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Where and How to Play The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™

May 31, 2023
Wizards of the Coast

Ready for an adventure? Embark on weeks of fun-filled play featuring iconic Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, wraiths, Orcs, and much more with the release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™, which arrives in local game stores worldwide on June 16 for a Prerelease kickoff and everywhere else on June 23!

As with every one of Magic's large set releases, there will be a suite of ways to play The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, from WPN retailer events to our convention-level celebrations!

Prerelease: June 16–22

Friday, June 16, will be your first opportunity to hold your precious ... Draft Boosters, freshly pulled from a Prerelease Pack, as The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth will receive the full Magic Prerelease experience at a WPN retailer near you!

Prerelease Packs for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth have everything needed for your journey, building a sealed deck, and having a great time with other players at your local game store:

  • 6 The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Draft Boosters
  • A foil-stamped rare or mythic rare from the set
  • A 20-sided spindown
    • 1 in 10 Prerelease Packs will have a special spindown featuring gold lettering on translucent green!
  • A code for Magic: The Gathering Arena (where available)
  • A special Prerelease promo twist to celebrate a very important birthday for two very important hobbits ... 1 of 6 borderless scene cards depicting Bilbo Baggins's birthday celebration!

These Prerelease promos give fans an exciting souvenir with which to celebrate their Prerelease. And you can collect all six borderless scene cards to assemble the full scene!

Note that these borderless scene promos aren't intended for play during Prerelease events, but you can still play the rare or mythic rare foil-stamped promo included in each Prerelease Pack.

The Prerelease is also the most exciting time to discover the fun of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth with Sealed and Booster Draft formats that take you through the world of Middle-earth and the epic trilogy. Players can participate in the Prerelease by playing in a tournament at their local store, signing up for a more casual event, or taking their Prerelease experience home with them to play with friends and family. WPN retailers may run a combination or all of these, so check with your local retailer for more info on the experience that best suits your Prerelease party.

For those who may be new to Magic and are looking for something simple to jump into, Jumpstart is also a Prerelease option, and The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Jumpstart Boosters give you a quick pathway into play. Just open two Jumpstart Boosters, shuffle them together, and you're good to go!

As with previous sets since fall of last year, players who do play in one of their local retailer's Prerelease events may be able to snag a 30th anniversary promo. Prerelease events featuring The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth will feature the following 30th anniversary promos:

Please note that the Tarmogoyf promo is only available in Japanese for WPN stores worldwide. All other cards are English globally. Tarmogoyf and Glen-Elendra Archmage are rarer promos than the others, and supplies will be extremely limited at many WPN retailers. Check with your WPN retailer on how they intend to award promos, as the distribution methods may differ.

While you're stopping by your local game store for a Prerelease experience, don't forget that you can buy any other The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth product, including Set Boosters, Collector Boosters, Commander decks, and more, all starting on Prerelease weekend at WPN retailers!

CommandFests: June and July

What better way is there to celebrate a new release filled with iconic legends than with a format that's all about legends? CommandFests are returning in North America starting June 16–18 and in Europe, Asia, and Latin America starting late June and July.

CommandFests are big celebrations of all things Commander and provide attendees with a place to participate in events, meet special guests and artists, and make new friends over games of Commander all weekend.

CommandFest events for this round are as follows:

June 2023

July 2023

The promo cards supporting CommandFest events in June and July are a variant Gandalf, Friend of the Shire and Caras Galadhon as a very Tolkien take on Tranquil Thicket.

Special guests, artists, and event offerings will differ by market and organizer, so please refer to each organizer's event page for full details of an event near you.

Launch Party: June 23–25

You've heard about first Prerelease, but what about second Prerelease? Actually, that's just called a release, and WPN retailers host Launch Party events starting on June 23, the global release for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. Stop by during a Launch Party for whatever your local WPN retailer offers and to play with some new cards, participate in a draft, let the Ring tempt you a time or four, and maybe pick up a booster display and that Commander deck you forgot to get during your Prerelease events.

WPN retailers offer a Buy-a-Box promo for anyone who purchases a full booster display, so why not splurge at your local game store and get an extra-precious shiny along with a box of fun?

Commander Party: July 21–23

Commander Party goes WPN-wide on July 21–23! Formerly a WPN Premium–exclusive program, this event provides all WPN retailers with an exciting mid-season celebration of the latest set starting in July. You can expect lots of fun and flavor featuring The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth with your local Commander community for this round.

Participants in these events will receive a retro frame Lifecrafter's Bestiary while supplies last. Note that WPN Premium stores will receive traditional foil retro frame promos, while all other WPN retailers will receive non-foil promos.

Come out and celebrate the WPN-wide rollout of Commander Parties this July!

MagicCon: Barcelona Hosting Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings: July 28–30

MagicCon heads to Europe for the first time with an exciting celebration of all things Magic: The Gathering at MagicCon: Barcelona, July 28–30. Attendees will experience three days of play, events, meet-and-greets, artist signings, merch, and plenty of excitement as MagicCon brings together thousands of fans, from artist buffs and Commander players to competition enthusiasts.

Tickets to this three-day celebration just went on sale earlier this month, so if you're interested in checking out MagicCon for the first time (or if you just want a good Magic-themed excuse to visit one of the most beautiful cities on the planet), then book your tickets now before it's too late!

MagicCon: Barcelona will also be host to the third and final Pro Tour of the 2023 calendar year, Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings. As befits the name of the big tournament, this three-day, invitation-only competitive extravaganza will feature three rounds of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Booster Draft followed by five rounds of Modern Constructed on both Friday and Saturday, with Modern being the Top 8 playoff format that decides who will be crowned Pro Tour champion.

Pro Tours are one of the most beloved tournaments in competitive Magic and feature an international attendance typically between 200–300 players. This tournament has players competing for their share of a $500,000 prize pool, with $50,000 going to the winner. Additionally, top finishers from this event will qualify for the next Magic: The Gathering World Championship, which takes place at MagicCon: Las Vegas, September 22–24.

All participants in the Pro Tour receive a non-foil copy of the Secret Lair Prize Card Jace, the Mind Sculptor, 2023's Pro Tour promo, with artwork by Wizard of Barge. It's a commendation for just making it to the Pro Tour stage. The top 16 finishers in the tournament will also receive traditional foil copies of this year's promo.

And it wouldn't be Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings if we didn't have a little surprise for Pro Tour competitors!

For this event, all Pro Tour competitors will also get a special non-foil Gandalf the White promo, with the top 16 finishers receiving a traditional foil copy as well!

Not qualified, or not able to attend to see it all in person? Tune in to all weekend to see the latest from the tournament floor and to see who makes it to Magic's next World Championship.

Store Championship: August 5–13

You can catch everything that the world's top players bring to Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings and prepare yourself for your Store Championship events the week after the big tournament! This round of Store Championship events will have WPN retailers running their local tournaments as either Modern Constructed or Limited events using The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Draft Booster product.

As with previous rounds, all WPN retailers will receive promo card support to spice up their Store Championship. Participants will receive a non-foil copy of Gifted Aetherborn (while supplies last).

Placing Top 8 in your Store Championship gets you a traditional foil Eidolon of the Great Revel:

And finally, the winner of a Store Championship receives a traditional foil promo variant of Saruman of Many Colors!

Journey to a WPN retailer near you August 5–13 and show your local competitive community that you've got what it takes to be the store champion!

Regional Championship Qualifiers: Ongoing

Regional Championship Qualifiers for the 2023–24 season have begun! The first round of this new season started on April 22 and connects to the Regional Championships taking place from September 30–December 17, 2023. This round ultimately feeds into the first Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour of 2024. Retailers may run their local RCQs in either Limited or Pioneer Constructed for this round.

The current round is a great opportunity to get into the season early. Compete at a local Regional Championship Qualifier and get a promo, Unholy Heat, just for attending (while supplies last).

Top finishers will get a non-foil Eldritch Evolution, while those who win a qualification to their Regional Championship get a traditional foil copy. Note that top finisher awards of the non-foil will vary by region and retailer, so check with your event host for full details if there are any amendments to what is awarded.

This round runs until August 20. We'll have more info soon on the round after that so be sure to check back regularly for new details as they come.

Commander Nights: Weeknights

Looking for some weeknight summer fun? Commander Nights may be a good fit for you. Every WPN store can run these, and the structure from store to store may be different. Some may allow players the option to play toward completing achievements to unlock prizes. Some may focus more on fast and efficient decks for the more competitively inclined. And some may just encourage all local players to come in and play however they'd like in an environment where making friends is as easy as making enemies in your Commander pod by being the only player who led with Sol Ring on turn one.

No matter how you enjoy your game, there's a good chance a WPN retailer will be hosting gatherings near you, and it'll be a good evening of gaming.

That's a packed schedule of play this summer following the release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. No matter where and how much you play over the next few months or whether it's at your local game store or MagicCon: Barcelona, diving into the newest Magic set release will be a blast!

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