Magic: The Gathering players were first introduced to cards from the upcoming The Lord Of The Rings: Tales Of Middle-Earth expansion in March. The new expansion features familiar faces like Frodo, Gandalf, and more, but what caught players’ attention was the phrase “The Ring Tempts You” on some of the cards. Magic-Con Minneapolis has provided an exclusive reveal of the new mechanic, along with two new card releases that highlight its benefits.
The “Ring Tempts You” mechanic is not related to “The One Ring” card, which is a standalone Legendary Artifact card with its own abilities. This new mechanic revolves around an emblem that boosts a creature’s abilities and is triggered by specific card text. Whenever a player uses a card that includes the phrase “The Ring Tempts You”, the player places The Ring emblem into play. The emblem contains four abilities, which are listed below:
– Your Ring-bearer is legendary and can’t be blocked by creatures with greater power.
– Whenever your Ring-bearer attacks, draw a card, then discard a card.
– Whenever your Ring-bearer becomes blocked by a creature, that creature’s controller sacrifices it at the end of combat.
– Whenever your Ring-bearer deals combat damage to a player, each opponent loses 3 life.
When The Ring emblem comes into play, if the player controls one or more creatures, they must select one of their creatures to be the Ring-bearer and attach the emblem to that creature. The designated creature then gains the abilities listed on The Ring emblem based on how many times the Ring has tempted the player during the game.
The new enchantment card, Call Of The Ring, not only kickstarts the temptation early but also turns it into a ticking time bomb of escalating power. Even if a player can’t draw other cards that tempt, within four turns the emblem will be fully charged. Pairing this with Frodo, Sauron’s Bane, who can win the game by damaging a player after being tempted four times, and Call Of The Ring can become a problem in a hurry.
Other cards with “The Ring Tempts You” revealed so far include Frodo, Sauron’s Bane, Samwise the Stouthearted, and Gollum, Patient Plotter. Some cards give players further rewards if the Ring has tempted them enough times, while others become more powerful if designated as the Ring-bearer.
There are a few caveats to using The Ring emblem. The Ring can tempt a player even if they do not control a creature, and the abilities stack even if there’s no creature on the board to designate. A creature entering the battlefield after its controller has been tempted does not immediately become the Ring-bearer. The Ring gains its abilities in order from top to bottom, and each player can only have one emblem named The Ring and only one Ring-bearer at a time.
In Magic: The Gathering, the “Ring Tempts You” mechanic is a unique addition to the game that adds depth and strategy.