The One Ring (Serialized 1 of 1) | Illustration by Veli Nyström
In the coming The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth for MTG, we’re getting something that we’ve never (quite) seen before in Magic before: a unique, serialized version of a card. The One Ring, a key artifact from Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth, is an all-powerful unique item, and if any card was deserving of this treatment, this is a pretty good candidate for it.
But what does the card actually do? Where can you get it from? Let’s take a moment to look into it here!
What Is The One Ring in MTG?
The One Ring | Illustration by Veli Nyström
The One Ring is a card included in the upcoming The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, due to be released worldwide on June 23, 2023. The card itself is relatively simple in design, but it perfectly encapsulates the Dark Lord Sauron’s ring from the famous books, allowing you to draw cards (power), at the cost of losing life.
It’s suitably a mythic rare and also legendary. After all, there can only be one!
What Are the Different Versions of The One Ring in MTG?
There are four different versions of The One Ring coming in the Lord of the Rings set: the regular version, an extended art version, a “borderless scene” version, as well as the much talked about serialized version.
Where Can You Get The One Ring?
The one-of-a-kind, unique, serialized The One Ring can only be found in English language collector boosters for Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. Of these, only one in the world will contain it, so it’s going to be pretty difficult to find. It should be noted that these collector boosters could also be found in either a collector booster box or the collector booster in the gift bundle.
The borderless scene version, which is part of a panorama with Frodo, Sauron's Bane, Samwise the Stouthearted, and Gollum, Patient Plotter, is included (in foil) in both the regular bundle as well as the gift bundle. This is the only place to find it in foil and is included, 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 last two versions (the regular version and the extended art) can be found in all booster pack types.
What Are the Odds of Finding the Serialized 1/1 The One Ring in a Booster Pack?
There’s only a single version of The One Ring’s serialized version in existence, so the odds of opening it in any given collector booster are one in however many boosters have been printed! Handily, Amazon has advertised the collector boosters with the odds of pulling the card as less than 0.00003%, indicating there are at least 3,333,333 collector boosters in existence.
Has the Serialized 1/1 The One Ring Been Found?
The set hasn’t been released yet, so unless someone has been opening the product early, it won’t have been found!
Will the Serialized 1/1 The One Ring Ever Be Found?
We actually don’t know if The One Ring will ever be found. We’ve never really seen anything like this in MTG, so we don’t have very much to go off of. There are many reasons why it may never be found, or at least won’t be found for a long time, like the product going missing, getting damaged, or sitting in a private collection unopened for years to come. It could even be as simple as someone not even realizing what they have!
One data point we can use is the serialized Viscera Seers that were included in some Secret Lairs in 2021. Whenever any of these have been found, eagle-eyed internet users have been tracking them to see what’s been found so far. Only 41 of these have been found to date, which isn’t even half of the 100 that are indicated to exist. Of course, more than this could have been found and not posted, but there’s every chance that this could happen to The One Ring too.
What Is the Value of the 1/1 Serialized The One Ring?
It’s probably impossible to predict the value of The One Ring, but there are already some indications out there as to its value. Dan Bock, a well-known collector of high-end MTG cards, has offered $100,000 to the person who finds it, with some minor caveats to the find. This is probably the floor of the offers as we approach the set’s release. He has also offered $50,000 for someone to throw it into a volcano with him, although he doesn’t seem to mention if you have to gather a fellowship to go along with you…
It’s even harder to predict in the longer term. There have been some suggestions of it being the first $1 million card, with others saying it’ll never reach the heights of a Black Lotus, of which the most expensive one we know about is the Chris Rush signed artist proof (technically not an actual card, but still makes a good point) that Post Malone paid $800,000 for.
While Black Lotuses aren’t unique (although they’re incredibly rare), they’re incredibly powerful cards with a lot of history behind them. But The One Ring has multiple versions that will be available for a tiny fraction of the cost of the 1/1 version, so it’s not like anyone will be paying that much to just play with it.
There are some reasons why this might warrant a seven-figure price tag, though. For starters, this isn’t just an MTG collectible, but a Lord of The Rings one, too. This increases the demand outside of the normal sphere of players and collectors. Secondly, it’s Magic’s first (although doubtful last) 1/1 serialized card, and the first of such events often prove particularly sought after.
Is The One Ring a Good Magic Card?
The One Ring is exactly the type of card that looks inoffensive at first glance, but can actually be quite powerful. The two abilities it has are protection, which gives you protection from everything until your next turn when it comes in, and card draw, which causes you to lose life in a roundabout way.
Let’s look at the card draw ability first. You may be surprised to learn that there aren’t many cards out there which have the text “tap: draw a card” without some kind of extra cost. Some cards will allow you to tap to loot (draw then discard), others rummage (discard then draw), and there’s plenty of options out there which allow you to pay mana, tap, and draw a card, too. The only other artifact that allows you to tap and draw a card, with no restriction, is the comically bad Urza's Blueprints. While you need burden counters on The One Ring to actually draw a card, which technically is a restriction, tapping it puts a counter on it before you draw, so unless there’s something like a Solemnity out, there’s no restrictions here.
The reason this ability is so powerful is that if you have a way to untap The One Ring, such as a Voltaic Key, you’re then able to draw multiple cards a turn. Similarly, effects like Seedborn Muse will untap The One Ring in each opponent’s turn too, so you can draw a card from it for every player’s turn. And because you only lose life in your own upkeep, if you can find a way to sacrifice it before the trigger happens, you won’t even lose any life! The indestructibility does make getting rid of it slightly more difficult, but it’s relatively trivial to do so if you’re ready for it.
While the draw ability is probably the most impressive part of the card, the protection it offers isn’t bad either. If you gain protection from everything, you can’t be targeted with a card like Thoughtsieze or Lightning Bolt, and you can’t lose life due to damage, either. If you can find a way to flicker it, too (my choice would be Teleportation Circle), you’re going to be very difficult to beat.
Does Magic Have Any Other 1/1 Serialized Cards?
No, there aren’t any other 1/1 serialized cards, but there are two unique cards.
First is 1996 World Champion, awarded to, you guessed it, the MTG World Champion in 1996, Tom Chanpheng.
The other example is Shichifukujin Dragon, a card designed to promote the opening of a Tournament Center in Japan in 1996. We’ve not seen anything else like this in the intervening 27 years, though!
Will There Be More Unique Serialized Cards like The One Ring in the Future?
At this point I’d be surprised if we never saw any more serialized cards in the future of Magic. They clearly generate a lot of hype, and the chance to open them will be a good driver of pack sales for WotC. It could end up being overdone, though, as we’ve seen with other gimmicks in the past, like masterpieces.
Maybe Wizards have learned their lessons in that regard and will hold these back until there’s a card that’s particularly deserving of the treatment.
Oblivion Ring | Illustration by Franz Vohwinkel
The One Ring has certainly generated a whole lot of hype, and that’s only going to build as the release approaches. If the card isn’t found soon after release, the hype will potentially get even higher!
What would you do if you opened it? Would you sell it? Keep it? Leave it to your nephew in your will? Personally I think I’d start a crowdfunding campaign to take it to a volcano and throw it in. Obviously one that’s in a nice place to visit! Let me know your thoughts on it down below, or find us over on Twitter to share the news if you’re the lucky winner.
Good luck in your hunt for The Precious!
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