Magic: The Gathering’s hotly anticipated Lord of the Rings set, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth, finally has a release date: June 23, 2023.

We’ll get a first look at some cards in the set to help whet our appetite on March 14, while the set’s preview season will officially kick off on May 30. It will also get its own prerelease on the weekend of June 16, after which it will arrive on MTG Arena on June 20.

Today’s announcement contained an exciting surprise: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth will have a second, holiday launch window in November 2023. “More details to come,” says Wizards of the Coast.

The existence of a Magic and Lord of the Rings collaboration was first revealed in February 2021 when Hasbro announced the Universes Beyond product line that would bring third party IPs onto the faces Magic cards. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth will be the first full Universes Beyond set release, with the previous products being made up of Secret Lair drops (The Walking Dead, Warhammer 40k, Transformers), Commander decks (Warhammer 40k), and bonus sheet inserts in The Brothers’ War (Transformers).

In addition to the expected set products—Draft, Set, Collector, and Jumpstart boosters—The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth will also have four Commander decks and some number of Secret Lair drops. It will be Modern-legal on tabletop and legal in both Alchemy and Historic on MTG Arena.

Unfortunately, Wizards didn’t share any preview cards for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-EarthBut they did share a new piece of art, which shows the standoff between Gandalf the Balrog of Morgoth, painted by Magali Villeneuve.

Previously, Wizards had shared another piece of art from the set by Dmitry Burmak, featuring Gandalf and the Hobbits in the shire.

To say that expectations are sky high for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth would be underselling things at this point. The first proper Universes Beyond release, the Warhammer 40k Commander decks and Secret Lair drops, were a far more successful than expected. Those Commander decks, which released in October 2022, sold so well that Wizards needed a third printing by the end of 2022 to satisfy demand, which helped push Wizards’ Q4 2022 revenue up 40% year-over year.

Lord of the Rings has a far larger fanbase than Warhammer 40k and The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth is getting an expanded suite of products that matches that of any of Magic’s premier sets: Commander decks; Draft, Set, Collector, and Jumpstart boosters; bundles; etc. As a result, Hasbro expects Wizards’ Q3 revenue (the set releases at the end of Q3 2023 on June 23) to be up “significantly.”

Stay tuned for more info on the upcoming release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth as details become available.

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