MTG Lord of the Rings: Scene Boxes - What They Are & Why They're Awesome
The Magic: The Gathering/Lord of the Rings crossover set releases one week from now, on June 23rd, and is all the rage. The set, called "Tales of Middle-Earth, " has much to like. There are highly flavorful cards and some powerful playable ones. There's also the serialized 001/001 One Ring card that has just reached a two-million-dollar bid. Today, I'll cover an excellent product that isn't being talked about - The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth scene boxes.
What the product is, what it contains, how much it costs, where you can and can't get it, and why I think it's one of the better products to buy from the line-up will all be covered below. You're in the right place if you're curious about the MTG LOTR scene boxes. So, let's jump right in.
Lord of the Rings Scene Boxes
Lord of the Ring scene boxes contains six textless, borderless "art cards" that come together to show iconic moments from The Lord of the Rings franchise. They also include six scene cards that are playable magic cards. These are just your usual borderless magic cards but have art connecting to form a scene obscured by text boxes. To be clear, the art cards are your typical art cards, but in this case, they also have connecting art to form a scene. You can find the complete gallery of scene cards here.
The descriptions for these are somewhat unclear, but I think I have the right of it. That said, after poking around, I did notice something stage. Check this out, on one side you have a traditional art card, like we've seen in the past, with signatures (each from different cards that represent the given character), and on the other, something WOTC isn't ready to show us yet.
Take the art card foras an example. If you search for the art card on a site like Scryfall you'll get the image below.
Notice that it can be flipped over, indicating a dual-faced card. So, what's on the other side? Something not yet available. Considering these LOTR scene boxes don't come out until November, it seems like there may be some correlation, but that's just a guess.
You'll also get the same things if you search for Gandalf, Aragorn, or the Witch-King. So, perhaps these will be flip cards with the art card on one side and the scene card on the other. But, if this is the case, the Amazon description and the packaging seem vague that these are dual-faced.
In addition to both sets of cards, you get a paper display easel that holds and displays the art cards. Lastly, these boxes have three Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth set boosters. Considering the current price point on these (which I'll discuss below), this is a pretty good bargain, given that set boosters are included.
Speaking of price, each one of these boxes (there are a total of four) is available for presale through Amazon right now for $36. Set boosters are roughly $9 each, so you're getting all the art cards, scene cards, and the paper display easel for around $9, which is pretty sweet. Here is a look at the four individual decks and the art/scene they create.
Flight of the Witch-King
This scene depicts the Witch-king of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgûl, flying high above the battlefield. If I had to guess, I would say this represents the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
"Upon it sat a shape, black-mantled, huge and threatening. A crown of steel he bore, but between rim and robe naught was there to see, save only a deadly gleam of eyes: the Lord of the Nazgûl... now he was come again, bringing ruin, turning hope to despair, and victory to death. A great black mace he wielded."
—The Return of the King
Gandalf in Pelennor Fields
This scene shows Gandalf confronting the Witch-King Angmar during the battle of Pelennor Fields after he (Angar) kills the king and leads a ram to the gates of Minas Tirith, the largest city in Gondor.
"Arise, arise, Riders of Thèoden! Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered, a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor! Death! Death! Death! Forth Eorlingas!"
—Théoden's speech before the charge from Return of the Ring
Aragorn at Helm’s Deep
Here Aragorn wields his legendary blade, Andúril, in defense of Helm’s Deep against the attacking legions of Saruman and Sauron.
"A new power is rising; its victory is at hand. This night the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan. March to Helm's deep, leave none alive. TO WAR! There will be no dawn for Men."
—Saruman's speech to the Uruk-hai before their march from The Two Towers
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The Might of Galadriel
This is the most ambiguous of the art pieces. That said, it seems to show the beautiful yet terrifying full potential of the ancient queen, Galadriel - Similar to when she sees herself corrupted by the One Ring when Frodo offers it to her. If I'm off, comment and let me know.
In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!
—The Fellowship of the Ring
Frequently Asked Questions
When Do The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth Scene Boxes Release?
As mentioned, the main LOTR: Tales of Middle-Earth set releases on June 23. However, the scene boxes will be released on November 3rd, 2023. If I had to guess, I would say that this nearly five-month delay was so that the scene boxes would come out close to the holiday season. They would make great gifts, so fair play, Wizards of the Coast.
Where Can I Buy Scene Boxes?
These are still in the preorder stage; Amazon is the only place I can find them. However, once we're closer to release, these will likely be available anywhere MTG cards are sold.
How Much Do They Cost?
The current preorder price on Amazon is around $36 per box. There is also a bundle that contains one of each scene box (for a total of four) which is $136. This option will save you around $8 before taxes if you want all four boxes. That said, as time passes, I imagine these will increase in price, at least some.
Why Doesn't This Release With The Main LOTR: Tales of Middle-Earth Set?
My guess is Wizards of the Coast wants these dropping close to the holiday season. They come with set boosters and collectible art/scene cards, making great gifts for any Magic: The Gathering or Lord of the Rings fan.
Is It Worth It To Buy A LOTR Scene Box?
Overall, yes. Especially at their current price point. Even if these do climb in price, the set boosters will maintain a value of about $27. So, whatever they cost above, that is what you'll be paying for the art cards, scene cards, and easel.
The LOTR scene boxes might be my favorite product, and it doesn't even come out with the main set. But no matter, what's not to like? The scenes are iconic, the art is phenomenal, and it comes with everything you need to display your favorite set with style. Plus, you get some packs to crack and a few playable cards with equally fantastic art.