The Missing Variants And Secret Fortune Of The Lord Of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

The Lord Of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is full of surprises, but sometimes it’s what a set doesn’t contain that’s more shocking

The One Ring
The One Ring, illustrated by Veli Nyström

Yesterday evening, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) confirmed there are extended art foil variants from Magic’s most recent set – The Lord Of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth – that simply don’t exist.

The Lord Of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is a set full of surprises. From the wildly elusive surge foils, to the infamous one-of-one serialized The One Ring, many had assumed the extent of the set’s chase cards had been reached. As it turns out, more surprises were waiting within Sample Collector boosters.

A bonus included in Commander preconstructed decks, these two-card Sample Collector boosters were originally thought to contain 37 extended art foil cards that are exclusive to these sample packs, with early estimations from Star City Games’ opening numbers setting the pull rate of these cards at only 5% (1 in 20 decks).

Based on our own opening numbers and speaking to other vendors, the pull rate looks to be approximately 5%.  These are not official numbers, but we feel comfortable putting this out there.

Ben Bleiweiss, GM of Sales, Star City Games

The combination of exclusivity and low pull rate has lead to an extreme spike in the prices for these particular variants – turning bulk rares into big hitters and the set’s marquee cards into small fortunes.

Not even 24 hours after these variants were brought to the Magic community’s attention, it was revealed that nearly half of them do not even exist. The following list of cards was transcribed by Star City Games’ General Manager of Sales, Ben Bleiweiss, from a group chat for WPN (Wizards Play Network) retailers and shows which cards do not exist in extended art foil anywhere:

With 19 cards eliminated from the pool, the remaining 18 cards are expected to spike even higher in price and will likely increase the demand for The Lord Of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Commander precons. You can see the list of extended art foils that do exist below: