The Lord of the Rings and Magic: The Gathering fans will soon be able to compete with their favorite legendary characters once Tales of Middle-earth drops on Arena. Along with the release of the latest Magic set comes details on the latest Arena Open and a bunch of events to keep players busy.

Mechanic Updates

It should come as no surprise that a set as complicated as Tales of Middle-earth will come with some extra details players should keep in mind before setting off on their Magic journey. One of the biggest additions to Magic is the ability to be tempted by The Ring. When you are tempted by The Ring you’ll get a permanent emblem that rests on the left side of your battlefield that will not only track your progress through the mechanic but also is an easy reference for what’s coming up next.

Part of being tempted by the ring involves designating a Ring-bearer, which will have a unique ring-shaped glow and icon to help identify it. The rules text of your Ring-bearer will also be updated to give it all its associated abilities.

Amass is technically a returning mechanic in Tales of Middle-earth but with a Mordor twist. Amass Orcs creates an Orc Army token, which requires older cards with the amass mechanic to be updated to be amass Zombies, either creating a specific Zombie Army token or updating your Orc Army to also include the Zombie creature type. Using both old and new amass cards will work together to create Orc Zombie Army tokens, turning the armies of Mordor even viler than before.

Jump into Middle-Earth

Jumpstart is getting a refresher with the launch of Tales of Middle-earth, gaining ten new packs to pick from for the game mode. This unique format has players picking two packets of cards, each one with twenty cards, and smashing them together to create one 40-card deck. Each entry into a Jumpstart event costs only 1,000 gold or 200 gems and you get to keep all the cards at the end.

Some of the new packs to pick from include the Hobbit-themed Breakfast pack, the mono-black evil of the Sauron pack, and a scry-heavy Elves pack. The new packs can be combined with any old one, letting you experiment with mixing mechanics.

Arena Open – Tales of Middle-earth

Dropping shortly after the release of Tales of Middle-earth is the Arena Open tournament, a two-day-long repeating event that anyone can enter. Starting July 1, players will be able to compete in both Best-of-One and Best-of-Three Tales of Middle-earth Sealed matches to attempt to do well enough to make it to the second day of the event.

Day two of the event is two Tales of Middle-earth drafts, where the matches are Best-of-Three. Doing well in the event has the possibility of paying out upwards of $2,000 so getting as much practice as you can before the event starts is key if you have dreams of making it to the top.

Even if you don’t do well, you can still walk away with a unique Dragon Hoard Sleeve, which isn’t as good as taking home prize money but is still something.

Event Schedule

Midweek Magic

  • June 20–22: Starter Deck Test Drive
  • June 27–29: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Phantom Sealed
  • July 4–6: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Constructed
  • July 11–13: Historic Brawl
  • July 18–20: Standard


  • June 16–29: Phyrexia: All Will Be One Quick Draft
  • June 30–July 11: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth
  • July 11–18: The Brothers’ War Quick Draft
  • July 17–25: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Premier Draft
  • July 18–August 1: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Quick Draft
  • August 1–5: Dominaria United Quick Draft

Everything Else

  • June 20–July 18: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Sealed
  • July 7–14: The Two (Command) Towers

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