Throughout recent sets, Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro, have been pushing the artificial collectibility of MTG more and more. Creating new foiling techniques, art treatments, and serialized cards, MTG’s collectible market has been more saturated than ever before. Despite collectibles being pushed to new extremes within every recent MTG set, it doesn’t appear Wizards is slowing down. If anything, Wizards is still ramping up, especially for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set. As announced yesterday, this upcoming Universes Beyond MTG set features a serialized card more collectible than any other. Rather fittingly, this card is, of course, The One Ring. While obviously poised to be incredibly expensive, there are some concerns. Namely, this one-in-three-million MTG card could be too rare for its own good!
The One Ring
In case you’ve somehow missed all the hubbub about it already, within The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, there will be a serialized one-of-one copy of The One Ring. This incredibly apt card will technically be the rarest in MTG’s History, which should make it exceedingly expensive. Considering a single MTG card has sold $800,000 previously, it’s not entirely unreasonable to imagine The One Ring selling for one million dollars. In reality, however, this prospective price tag might be a little wide of the mark. After all, The Brothers’ War’s serialized cards all sold for significantly under their theoretical value, which we calculated.
Ultimately, until the card is actually in players’ hands, there’s no telling how much The One Ring will be worth. This small detail, however, hasn’t stopped MTG players across social media from relentlessly speculating about the card’s potential price. Curiously despite the card’s rarity pre-eminence, guesses about the value vary a lot from one player to another. Reddit user u/telenstias, for instance, suggested the rather tame guess that The One Ring will be worth “$10-20k easy. Maybe more.” On the other end of the spectrum, u/SaoirseAfterEver posited the card could be worth six figures, with the value only increasing beyond that. “Six figures this year, seven figures within three years. This is the ultimate financial flex for a wealthy idiot.”
As tantalizing as a one-of-one card may be, The One Ring simply doesn’t come close to Black Lotus. Thanks to its power and prestige, Black Lotus has long been seen as the ultimate MTG collectible. This has allowed pristine examples of the card to attain ridiculous prices. While The One Ring may be rare, it’s unclear if exclusivity alone will command a similar price.
The None Ring
While a one-of-one MTG card is obviously poised to be a pretty lucrative venture, this promotion isn’t a guaranteed success. After all, it’s possible the serialized copy of The One Ring may never appear online or be opened at all. “How funny would it be if it never gets unpacked because it’s in some random collector box that stays in a warehouse/someone’s unopened speculation for ten years,” u/intecknicolour commented. As amusing as it may be, this possibility seems surprisingly likely. After all, there’s no way Wizards can mandate every Collector Booster gets opened. Especially not before they print more, potentially burying the lucky Collector Booster beneath new product.
Even if The One Ring does get found and opened, there’s no guarantee it’ll be the collectible all-star that players are Wizards alike are hoping for. It’s entirely possible, for instance, a new player could find, play, and ruin this card accidentally without telling anyone. Thanks to the massive potential audience for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, this possibility is even greater than usual. Thankfully, due to the serialized, The One Ring being located inside a Collector Booster, an MTG collector should find it. That’s the theory, at least. Whether or not it happens that way, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Due to the possibility of The One Ring never being found, as WotC surely hopes, some players have already started concocting conspiracy theories about the card. Some Reddit users, for instance, believe the card may be planted to ensure marketability. Alternatively, the card could be given out to a celebrity such as Post Malone. While these theories may fall into a murky grey area for collectibles, u/cloud5739 noted it makes sense for Wizards to have a plan.
“I’m skeptical to think that WotC would release a stunt as crazy as this without some safety valves included to make sure it lands. Whether or not it “happens” to fall into the hands of an influencer is one discussion, but it seems very likely they have some sort of system to track where it will end up, or at most guide it into the hands of someone more likely to open it. Either way seems like serialized cards are here to stay.”
Cast It Into the Fire!
Given its rarity, if it is found, The One Ring should obviously be tremendously expensive. That is, at least, so long as the card isn’t damaged or, worse, destroyed. Thanks to the power of memes, however, this worrying prospect might just become a reality. As across social media, at least, it seems many MTG players want to destroy The One Ring.
“I hope someone gets the 1/1 and puts a video out lighting it on fire because canonically the ring gets destroyed.”
“The only prudent course of action is to destroy it. Ideally in a volcano for dramatic effect.”
“The only acceptable thing is to burn this card in a bonfire for the true flavor win.”
Ultimately, regardless of whether The One Ring is sold or lost to time, it’s sure to be quite the story. As several users on Reddit point out, this story may be very befitting for The One Ring. “It’s a total flavor win because if you open this card, you may spend your life being harassed by potential buyers and fearing for your personal safety from thieves,” u/Show-Me-Your-Moves commented. Following on from this, u/Kapplepie highlighted the connection goes even deeper than that! “Or, it’s never found and ends up in someone’s trash can for a century, just like in the book. Or WotC directs it to someone, thus becoming the personification of the ring’s will, aka Sauron. Tbh, I think it all fits,”