Scuttling towards value.
First announced in 2021, Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming Universes Beyond set, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, releases globally on June 23, 2023. Unlike Universes Beyond’s Warhammer: 40,000, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is Modern and Historic-legal. Tales of Middle-earth allows players to cast Magic: The Gathering cards featuring Bilbo, Aragon, Legolas, and other fabled characters.
Market Price: $19.99
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth main set contains over 250 cards, including multiple versions of various characters. Players can pull showcase and borderless cards in Draft, Set, and Collector Boosters. However, Extended Art and serialized cards are exclusive to Collector Boosters.Any time Wizards of the Coast releases new-to-MTG cards, there may be a chance that synergizes form with cards from previous sets. For example, Tom Bombadil provides a new five-color Commander option for Saga-themed Commander players. Synergies between new and old cards led to several cards spiking in price during The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth spoiler season. Let’s review some impressive price spikes caused by the upcoming release.
Mind Over Matter
Exodus | Rare
Market Price: $45.67
Mind Over Matter is a Reserved List Enchantment from Exodus. For two generic and three Blue mana, you may discard a card to tap or untap an Artifact, Creature, or Land. In Commander, Mind Over Matter sees play as a combo enabler with Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Arcanis the Omnipotent, Temple Bell, and other cards. Before The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, Mind Over Matter’s average market price was $35. However, Mind Over Matter is no longer $35 thanks to the spoiling of The One Ring.
The One Ring
Universes Beyond: The Lord Of The Rings: Tales Of Middle-Earth | Mythic
Market Price: $53.23r
The One Ring has a unique activated ability that synergizes with Mind Over Matter. You may tap The One Ring to put a burden counter on it and then draw a card for each burden counter on The One Ring. Since The One Ring draws more cards with each burden counter placed on it, you can draw incrementally more cards with every activation of Mind Over Matter. A two-card combo in a single color that allows you to draw your whole deck is tempting enough for players to buy available copies of Mind Over Matter.
The March 14 announcement of The One Ring led to Mind Over Matter spiking in price from $35 to over $70. The above chart for Mind Over Matter shows sales volume by date across the bottom, and the blue line shows the average price sold. Three months after The One Ring announcement, Mind Over Matter is still selling for a higher price than $35, but not quite $70. Multiple Near Mint copies of Mind Over Matter listed on TCGplayer are available for under $50. Considering Mind Over Matter is a Reserved List card and The One Ring should be sought after by Commander players, don’t expect Mind Over Matter’s average market price to fall much further.
Commander: Dominaria United | Rare
Dominaria United has a few Set and Collector Booster exclusives, one of which is Historian’s Boon. Four mana grants you a White Enchantment that says whenever Historian’s Boon or another nontoken Enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, you get to create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token. Also, you create a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying and vigilance whenever the final chapter ability of a Saga you control triggers. Historian’s Boon hovered around bulk pricing since the release of Dominaria United until players found out about Tom Bombadil.
Universes Beyond: The Lord Of The Rings: Tales Of Middle-Earth | Mythic
Tom Bombadil is a five-color legendary God Bard who synergies with Sagas. If Sagas you control has four or more lore counters, Tom Bombadil gains indestructible and hexproof. Additionally, once per turn, whenever the final chapter ability of a Saga you control resolves, reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a Saga card. Place that card onto the battlefield and the rest on the bottom of your library in random order. Churning through Sagas (and their final chapters) with Tom Bombadil and Historian’s Boon will repeatedly generate 4/4 white Angel creature tokens with flying and vigilance.
Tom Bombadil’s spoiling as part of the March 14 announcement caused an initial jump in unit sales for Historian’s Boon. However, the surge in sales resulted in little upward price movement for Historian’s Boon. Another sharp rise in unit sales occurred in mid-May, raising the average market price of Historian’s Boon from around $0.50 to over $2. Following this price spike, the price point of Historian’s Boon continued climbing to $4. Interestingly, regular versions of Historian’s Boon sell for $4, whereas Extended Art versions sell at a discount for under $2.
Shelob, Child of Ungoliant
Universes Beyond: The Lord Of The Rings: Tales Of Middle-Earth | Rare
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth gives players a new Commander option for Spider-themed Commander decks. Shelob, Child of Ungoliant is a gigantic 8/8 Spider Demon with deathtouch and ward two that also provides other Spiders you control deathtouch and ward 2. In addition, Shelob, Child of Ungoliant possesses a unique ability that says whenever another creature is dealt damage this turn by a Spider you controlled dies, create a token that’s a copy of that creature, except it’s a Food artifact, and it loses all other card types. Although the copied creature turns into a Food artifact that cannot attack or block, any enters-the-battlefield abilities that the copied creature may have will trigger upon entering the battlefield. Player excitement for Shelob, Child of Ungoliant led to several price spikes for synergistic cards.
Eldritch Moon | Mythic
Ishkanah, Grafwidow is a 3/5 Legendary Spider with reach originally printed in Eldritch Moon. When Ishkanah, Grafwidow’s Delirium ability is active, you create three Green 1/2 Spider creature tokens with reach when it enters the battlefield. Paying six generic and a Black mana for Ishkanah, Grafwidow’s activated ability causes an opponent to lose one life for each Spider you control.
Shelob, Child of Ungoliant’s spoiling on June 5 led to a sales unit surge and price spike for Eldrich Moon’s Ishkanah, Grafwidow, causing its average market price to skyrocket from about $1 to $2 or 100%. Since June 5, the average market price for Ishkanah, Grafwidow has risen to $2.50. Fascinatingly, The List copies of Iskanah, Grafwidow also spiked from $1 to $1.60 or 60% over the same period.
Curse of Clinging Webs
Commander: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt | Rare
Curse of Clinging Webs is a three-mana Enchantment that spiked in price recently due to Shelob, Child of Ungoliant’s spoiling. Curse of Clinging Webs enchants a player, and whenever a nontoken creature controlled by the enchanted player dies, exile it, and you create a 1/2 Green Spider creature token with reach.
Although Curse of Clinging Webs’ price spike is not as exciting as Ishkanah, Grafwidow, it did increase from $0.22 to $0.37 or 68%. Multiple high-quantity unit sales transactions likely caused Curse of Clinging Webs’ price spike. One transaction on June 5 was for 127 copies of Curse of Clinging Webs’ at $0.22 each. Profiting from a $0.15 gain may be challenging, but the percent increase is respectable.
Commander 2015 | Rare
Market Price: $48.80
The most astounding Spider-themed card to spike in price is Arachnogenesis from Commander 2015. Arachnogenesis is a three-mana Instant that produces X 1/2 Green Spider creature tokens with reach, where X is the number of creatures attacking you. Also, Arachnogenesis prevents all combat damage that would be dealt this turn by non-Spider creatures. A one-sided Fog that creates Spider creature tokens is an excellent inclusion in a Commander build led by Shelob, Child of Ungoliant.
Many players are fond of Arachnogenesis, considering it recently spiked in price from $30 to $60. Demand for Arachnogenesis appears organic as the average units sold per transaction since June 5 is one copy. Supply scarcity also likely influences Arachnogenesis’s higher price point since it only has a single printing from Swell The Host Commander Precon. A future reprinting of Arachnogenesis will indeed cause its average market price to crash, but there is no telling if or when that may occur.