The release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth for MTG introduced an unprecedented feature in Magic: a unique, serialized version of a card. The One Ring, a pivotal artifact from Tolkien’s Middle-earth, is incredibly powerful. It’s only fitting that such an important card received this special treatment.
What Is “The One Ring” in MTG?
“The One Ring” is a card appearing in The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set released globally on June 23, 2023. Although the card’s simple design perfectly captures the essence of the Dark Lord Sauron’s Ring from the original books. This card allows the player to draw additional cards (power) at the cost of losing their life, making it a legendary and rare item in the game. As the name suggests, there can only be one “One Ring.”
Different Versions of “The One Ring” in MTG
In the Lord of the Rings set, there exist four distinct versions of The One Ring:
- The regular version
- An extended art version
- A “borderless scene” version
- The much-discussed serialized version
Where Could You Find “The One Ring”?
The unique, serialized The One Ring could exclusively be found in English-language collector boosters for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. Of these boosters, only one in the world contained it! Notably, the collector booster containing it could also be found in either a collector booster box or the collector booster in the gift bundle.
The borderless scene version, which forms a panorama with Frodo, Sauron’s Bane, Samwise the Stouthearted, and Gollum, Patient Plotter, is included (in foil) in both the regular and gift bundles. This is the sole location to find it in foil, and it is included, along with the other three cards in the scene, in all bundles. Non-foil versions of these cards can also be found in collector boosters.
The regular and extended art versions can be found in all booster pack types.
Odds of Finding the Serialized “The One Ring” in a Booster Pack
Given that only one version of The One Ring‘s serialized version exists, the odds of finding it in any collector booster were one in however many boosters have been printed. Amazon advertised the collector boosters with the odds of pulling the card as less than 0.00003%, implying the existence of at least 3,333,333 collector boosters.
Has the Serialized “The One Ring” Been Found?
Yes, the 1/1 serialized The One Ring has been discovered, authenticated, and certified as genuine by PSA after its revelation in Toronto. The official Magic: The Gathering Twitter account confirmed the card’s authenticity. The owner promptly sought legal counsel, had the card graded, and sold it to a fellow fan – one of the most devoted Magic enthusiasts known, Brook Trafton. Initially considering Post Malone as a potential buyer, Trafton ensured the card went to a fellow player, and Post Malone acquired The One Ring for a staggering $2 million. He reportedly occasionally incorporates it into his gameplay.
When Post Malone made headlines by acquiring The One Ring for a whopping $2 million, it marked a historic moment in the trading card world as it became the first card to surpass the 1 million dollar mark. In addition to The One Ring, Post Malone made another substantial purchase, securing a Black Lotus artist proof signed by Chris Rush for $800,000. It’s worth noting that while the latter isn’t technically a playable card, it carries significant collector’s value.
The realm of Magic: The Gathering boasts a plethora of iconic and influential cards, and among them, Black Lotuses stand out. While not unique, these cards are scarce and have a rich history. In contrast, The One Ring has multiple versions, with the 001/001 variant commanding an astronomical price tag. However, more affordable versions are available, allowing a more comprehensive range of players to enjoy the card.
How Good is the One Ring?
At first glance, The One Ring appears innocuous, but beneath its unassuming exterior lies considerable power. The card possesses two fundamental abilities: protection and card draw, each offering distinct advantages.
Let’s delve into the card draw ability. Surprisingly, few cards in Magic: The Gathering offer a straightforward “tap: draw a card” effect without imposing additional costs. Some cards permit you to tap to “loot” (draw, then discard), while others facilitate “rummaging” (discard, then draw). Several options require you to expend mana, tap, and draw a card. Aside from The One Ring, only one other artifact grants this privilege without any restrictions, namely the somewhat underwhelming Urza’s Blueprints. While The One Ring necessitates the accumulation of burden counters to activate its draw ability, this is a minor constraint since tapping the card places a counter on it before drawing. Therefore, unless specific effects like Solemnity are in play, there is no restriction.
The true power of this ability emerges when you have a means to untap The One Ring, such as employing a Voltaic Key. This allows you to draw multiple cards in a single turn. Furthermore, effects like Seedborn Muse can untap The One Ring during each opponent’s turn, enabling you to draw a card for every player’s turn. Notably, since you only lose life during your upkeep, you can avoid any life loss by finding a way to sacrifice The One Ring before the trigger occurs. While its indestructibility adds an element of resilience, skilled players can still manage to remove it when necessary.
While the card draw ability is undoubtedly its standout feature, The One Ring’s protection aspect should not be underestimated. Gaining protection from everything renders you impervious to targeted spells like Thoughtseize or damage-based effects such as Lightning Bolt. Furthermore, if you can find a way to “flicker” The One Ring, for instance, by using Teleportation Circle, you become an incredibly challenging opponent to defeat.
Are There Other Serialized 1/1 Cards in Magic?
No, there are no other cards like The One Ring with a unique 1/1 serialized designation. However, the two other cards deserve special mention for their rarity and uniqueness.
1996 World Champion: The first is the 1996 World Champion card, an exclusive card awarded to the MTG World Champion in 1996, Tom Chanpheng.
Shichifukujin Dragon: The second example is Shichifukujin Dragon, a card designed to promote the opening of a tournament center in Japan in 1996. Remarkably, Wizards of the Coast went a remarkable 27 years between printing such unique cards, leaving us uncertain when they might choose to do so again.
Will there be more Unique Serialized Cards in Magic’s Future?
At this juncture, it would be surprising if Magic: The Gathering introduced fewer serialized cards in the future. These cards have proven to generate substantial excitement within the Magic community and serve as a potent incentive for booster pack sales for Wizards of the Coast. However, there is a caveat that the novelty might need to be more used, akin to past gimmicks like masterpieces. Perhaps Wizards has learned from these past experiences and will reserve such unique releases for cards that merit this distinctive treatment.
The discovery of The One Ring has caused a lot of excitement among Magic enthusiasts. The prospect of encountering it across the gaming table fuels our imaginations.
What would you do if you were the lucky owner of The One Ring? Would you sell it, keep it as a prized possession, or perhaps include it in your will for a beloved relative?
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below or join us on Twitter to continue this engaging conversation.
And remember, you can always get “the one ring” as a proxy on our MTG proxy service for $0.75 🙂