Last updated on May 10, 2023

LotR Tales of Middle-earth promo image

Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth promo image

So far we’ve discovered that the long awaited MTG set Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth has a new mechanic, and that’s “the ring tempts you.” As one could expect, the characters of Gollum, Frodo, and Sam are connected to the mechanic, and there could be many more characters and designs coming our way.

How does the mechanic truly work? How many more designs will we see? I don’t know, but today we’re going over everything we know so far. We’ve seen just the cusp of the mechanic, and now it’s time to speculate on it a bit.

Do your best not to succumb to the whispers you hear, and let’s get to it!

How Does The Ring Tempts You Work?

Sol Ring (LoTR Commander Decks) - Illustration by L J Koh

Sol Ring (LotR Commander Decks) | Illustration by L J Koh

You first time a card has the Ring tempt you, you gain an emblem named “The Ring” and a corresponding helper card. It begins with only the topmost ability active, but permanently gains additional abilities moving down the emblem each time you’re tempted by the ring. Each time you’re tempted including the first, you must chose a creature to become your Ring-bearer.

Call of the Ring

Call of the Ring is one of the most efficient and straight-forward ways to not only gain The Ring emblem in the first place, but also to continuously be tempted by it and progress its abilities.

Sauron, the Necromancer

Sauron, the Necromancer doesn’t necessarily tempt you with the ring, but it does act as a strong Ring-bearer and gets stronger if it is. It has menace, making it an excellent attacker, and creates 3/3 Wraith tokens with menace that stick around if it’s holding The Ring.

Gollum, Patient Plotter

Gollum, Patient Plotter triggers the ring tempts you when it leaves the battlefield. If you want “ring temptations,” you can blink it. Or sacrifice it, return it to your hand, and repeat the cycle once again. Maybe it’s a downside, but it doesn’t look like it on a 3/1 creature.

Samwise the Stouthearted

Samwise the Stouthearted brings another interpretation to the mechanic. Play it, recover a creature, and be tempted by the ring, which looks like a downside in this context.

Frodo, Sauron's Bane

And finally we have Frodo, Sauron's Bane, which can outright win you the game with four triggers of the ring tempts you. You’re definitely going to want as many triggers as you can get if you’re playing Frodo, that’s for sure.

The History of The Ring Tempts You in MTG

The ring tempts you is a mechanic first introduced in Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth. The first cards the mechanic appeared on were Frodo, Sauron's Bane, Samwise the Stouthearted, and Gollum, Patient Plotter. Coincidentally these are all characters that are highly impacted by the One Ring in LotR lore, but that’s what we expect from such a top-down design.

Gallery and List of The Ring Tempts You Cards

Is Ring-bearer a creature type?

No, Ring-bearer is a new and unique designation. It is not a creature type, ability, or sub-type.

Is The Ring Equipped to a Creature?

The ring is not an equipment, and is not equipped to a creature. Instead, a creature is selected to be a brand new designation, the “Ring-bearer.” The creature chosen to be the Ring-bearer is the Ring-bearer until you either choose another one, it leaves the battlefield, or leaves your control.

Can You Have More Than One Ringer-Bearer?

No, only one of your creatures can be the designated Ring-bearer at a time.

What Happens After The Ring Has All Its Abilities?

When you’re tempted by The Ring, but it already has all its abilities, you will still be able to chose a new or existing Ring-bearer.

Does The Ring Gain Abilities If You Don’t Have a Creature?

Yes, The Ring will still gain abilities even if you don’t have a creature to designate as the Ring-bearer since you were still tempted by the ring in the first place.

Wrap Up

Rings of Brighthearth - Illustration by Howard Lyon

Rings of Brighthearth | Illustration by Howard Lyon

Our journey to Middle-earth is just starting, and it’s gonna be an exciting one. I can see this mechanic being powerful, but at the same time there could be some counterplay.

How do you punish the “the ring tempts you” player? Maybe you can appeal to the dark powers and play some Nazguls, which get stronger over time. Or perhaps Boromir or Saruman are related to it somehow. In any case, we’ll be getting the chance to test the cards ourselves soon enough!

Are you looking forward to being tempted by the ring (or maybe not)? Let me know in the comments below or find us over on the official Draftsim Twitter.

Stay safe folks, and when in doubt, always follow your nose!

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