A new Magic: The Gathering card will be printed exactly once—not one run, but just one card

The One Ring from the Magic: The Gathering The Lord of the Rings crossover set
(Image credit: Wizard of the Coast)

Wizards of the Coast is launching a Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth crossover set for Magic: The Gathering, which will feature one card so rare that only one of them will be printed.

That card is, of course, The One Ring, "the treasure, and temptation, of Sauron's power" that caused so much trouble in Tolkien's Third Age. You know the story:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

There will be multiple editions of The One Ring card, including a main set version and bundle alt-art and extended art versions, which are available through increasingly limited channels. But the true prize is the 1 of 1 Ring, "a traditional foil card printed in the Black Speech of Sauron using Tengwar letterforms" that can only be found in an English-language Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth collector booster pack.

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

And yes, that means one single booster pack: One person is going to find this card, and will then be the only person on the planet to own it, at least until the occurrence of commerce or crime. In that way, it's kind of like an NFT, except instead of not actually existing, it does.

Here's a closer look at the one card to rule them all:

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

All of the different One Ring cards, to be clear, are "mechanically identical," which means owning the 1 of 1 (or either of the other special editions) won't grant you any advantages in a match. If anything, I think the opposite is more likely: Playing it will dramatically increase your odds of getting rolled in the parking lot after the game is over.

The other rings of power will be represented by Sol Rings themed after the ones created for elves, dwarves, and men. These employ Quenya, the language of the high elves, also written in Tengwar letterforms, and a limited number of both serialized double rainbow foil and non-foil versions will be available.

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth crossover set will release on June 23. The digital release—which will not include the 1 of 1 Card, for the record—is set to happen a few days earlier on June 20.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.