Magic: The Gathering announces Commander Masters and LOTR Universes Beyond details

It's going to be a busy summer with The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ and Commander Masters

(Image: Wizards of the Coast)
(Image: Wizards of the Coast)

In just a week, Wizards of the Coast announced two new Magic: The Gathering products that will keep players busy during the summer period of 2023 (if you live in the northern hemisphere, that is).

The first product announced earlier this week was the Universes Beyond set The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™.

Middle-earth in Magic: The Gathering has been teased since quite a long while ago, and this new set will be released first on 23 June, before another wave lands on 3 November.

This set is Modern-legal, and consists of a Starter Kit, Jumpstart, Draft, Set and Collector boosters, a Bundle and Gift Bundle, Commander decks, Secret Lair drops, Scene Boxes, and a Prerelease Pack too.

Prerelease for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ is on 16 June, so if you are interested in some Sealed with Middle-earth characters, do set a reminder on your calendar now.

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ will also be available on Magic: The Gathering Arena on 20 June, and it will be legal in the formats Alchemy and Historic (not that people in Southeast Asia can legally play *sad face*).

Meanwhile, more details about The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ (including the Commander decks, Secret Lair drops, Scene Boxes) and its November release will be available in due time, as First Look into the product begins on 14 March.

(Image: Wizards of the Coast)
(Image: Wizards of the Coast)

New Masters set reveals first three reprints

The second product announced is a brand new Commander Masters, which is set for tabletop release on 4 August.

Commander Masters is the first Masters set that is meant just for the Commander format, which means the set will be reprints only and these reprints will (hopefully) be cards that are popular in the Commander format.

In fact, Wizards gave a sneak peek of the product by revealing three cards which are due for a reprint.

The first is Jeweled Lotus (or as I call it the Black Lotus for Commander), which was first introduced in Commander Legends in 2020.

Normal, Frame Break Borderless, Foil-Etched Jeweled Lotus
Normal, Frame Break Borderless, Foil-Etched Jeweled Lotus (Image: Wizards of the Coast)

Besides the normal art, Jeweled Lotus will now have a foil-etched treatment, as well as a brand new Frame Break Borderless treatment.

The next card revealed was The Ur-Dragon. If you’re unfamiliar with Magic: The Gathering lore, the Ur-Dragon is the progenitor of all the dragons in Magic: The Gathering.

In a way, the Elder Dragons like the big bad Nicol Bolas and his twin Ugin can trace themselves to the Ur-Dragon.

Normal, Profile Borderless, Foil-Etched
Normal, Profile Borderless, Foil-Etched

First printed in Commander 2017, The Ur-Dragon is also now available in a foil-etched treatment and a brand new Profile Borderless treatment.

The last revealed card was Capture of Jingzhou.

First printed in Portal Three Kingdoms all the way back in 1999, and only subsequently reprinted as a Judge Promo, this take an extra turn card that is definitely not Time Warp is badly due for a reprint. And yes, there is a foil-etched treatment too.

Normal, Foil-Etched (Image: Wizards of the Coast)
Normal, Foil-Etched (Image: Wizards of the Coast)

Commander Masters will be available in Draft, Set and Collector boosters, as well as four Commander decks.

While details of these Commander decks are unknown at the moment, these decks already have names — Eldrazi Unbound (Colourless and gasp, are they printing Wastes for its manabase), Enduring Enchantments (WBG), Planeswalker Party (WUR), and Silver Swarm (WUBRG).

If you are clueless what WUBRG means, it’s the five colours of Magic: The Gathering: White, Blue, Black, Red, Green.

These Commander decks though will each feature ten new Magic: The Gathering cards, including brand new Commanders, and are thus not reprint-only decks.

While everyone besides Wizards of the Coast is probably clueless about the remaining cards that will be reprinted in Commander Masters, I will like to make some (grounded) speculation.

Please reprint them :( (Image: Wizards of the Coast)
Please reprint them :( (Image: Wizards of the Coast)

Cards like Deflecting Swat and Fierce Guardianship are obviously Commander-centric, and have not been reprinted outside of Commander 2020, thus making them really difficult to get at the moment.

It is an absolutely no brainer for Commander Masters to reprint these cards, but hey Wizards of the Coast (if you're reading), feel free to validate my speculation when you do your First Look for Commander Masters on 16 May.

Players can also expect preview events at WPN Premium Store from 28-30 July.

Meanwhile, enjoy the panic-selling as players start to sell their current copies of Jeweled Lotus on the secondary market before the price of the card drops!

Jay Chan plays a lot of Dota 2 and MTG. He's terrible in Dota 2 and a scrub in MTG, and maybe spends too much money on both games.

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