Earlier this year, we looked at the future of Universes Beyond and discussed, in part, the legality of cards that are part of Universes Beyond releases. As part of today's announcements, we shared more details on partnerships with some exciting worlds, including a vast, rich exploration of the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien in the 2023 expansion The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™. We're so excited for this set that it was the only 2023 expansion we talked about today. As part of that, we wanted to spend some time discussing the set's Modern legality.

The Lord of the Rings is a spectacular match with the Magic aesthetic. So many of the fantasy tropes, tales, and creatures that are seared in our minds and into popular culture owe their inspiration or popularity to this story. Gandalf is the wizened Wizard. Sauron is the ultimate evil. The Fellowship of the Ring is the prototypical adventuring party.

And we've taken great care to create new art that captures the essence of the characters, locations, and stories of Middle-earth while staying true to Magic's art style. This image of Gandalf from the set, for example, has the visual effects and colorful composition found in many Magic worlds.

Gandalf Art

So, in Tales of Middle-earth™, you'll meet Magic's take on Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, The One Ring, and so much more. We've taken great care to make the experience seamless between the Middle-earth loved by many, and the Magic aesthetic dear to fans.

We also knew that the immense size, the iconic nature of the stories, and the devotion fans have to The Lord of the Rings meant that we couldn't do the set justice without creating a full product lineup to give as many players the opportunity to play with these classic characters as possible. Like all Universes Beyond product, the set will not be legal in Standard, but Modern (and Historic) legality provides the greatest opportunity for the most people to experience this beloved world while still holding Standard as its own space. While the set isn't focused on Modern like a Modern Horizons set might be, we wanted to give as many players the opportunity to play with these cards and enjoy them.

Universes Beyond is about exploring worlds near and dear to all of us through the expression of Magic gameplay. As massive fans of the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien, we can't wait to experience The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ with all of you.