MTG fans disgusted by low-quality Lord of the Rings foil cards

Jack Bye
Galadriel scene from MTG Tales of Middle EarthWOTC/Alexander Mokhov

While players had been eagerly awaiting the holiday re-release of MTG Tales of Middle Earth, the final product has been widely disappointing.

MTG’s Tales of Middle Earth set is one of the most popular products that Wizards of the Coast have put out in years. Drawing hordes of new fans into the game, Tales of Middle Earth is well on the way to becoming the best-selling Magic: The Gathering set of all time.

The popularity of Tales of Middle Earth is so great that the set is seeing a holiday re-release, doubling down on the set and providing the perfect MTG gift for players new and old. At least, that’s the way it should have gone. MTG players have gotten their hands on the new holiday release bundles, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative, thanks to the poor quality of the set’s scene cards.

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Foil issues on LOTR MTG cards

LOTR Foils poor quality 2Reddit user: casualgamerwithbigPC
LOTR Foils poor quality 2Reddit user: casualgamerwithbigPC

The problem with the Tales of Middle Earth scene cards is not their mechanical or story design. As with the initial release, the LOTR holiday cards had been hotly anticipated, with particular praise being heaped on the scene cards. Now though, that praise has all but evaporated after fans have received the cards in question.

The foil versions of MTG Tales of Middle Earth’s scene cards are a far cry from the gorgeous, intricate cards promised in marketing. The art is washed out, and while certain foreground elements can get through more or less unscathed, the cards’ backgrounds are almost totally obscured.

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Fan reactions to the Tales of Middle Earth foil cards

Since the launch of the Tales of Middle Earth holiday release, reviews on sites like Amazon have been overwhelmingly negative, with 1 and 2-star reviews being the norm.

Commenters on Reddit like GuessWhatIGot have been quick to voice their disgust, stating:

“It seems like they left everything too light on the art cards and then foiled them, making them look terrible.”

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Reddit Commenter Bringyourfugshiz went as far as to imply that the initial reactions were too kind, saying:

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“Ironically I don’t think your images do it justice. They look worse in person.”

While it would be nice to think that this is a one-off issue that won’t crop up again for MTG fans, this unfortunately isn’t an isolated incident.

Foil cards in MTG have been noticeably decreasing in quality in recent years. As pointed out by Wingnut5k in a separate Reddit thread:

“The quality has been absolutely atrocious on certain printings, like Secret Lair cards, to the point where it actively hazes and mutes the art to a point where it is much less visually appealing.”

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Line-wide problems with the Tales of Middle Earth scene cards have finally brought issues with MTG foils to a head. With the broader community becoming aware of the issue, it remains to be seen if Wizards will address these production problems before they hamper further anticipated releases.

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About The Author

Ecommerce writer with an MA in Creative Writing, covering MTG, DnD, and everything tabletop for Dexerto. Previously at WePC and VideoGamer. When not rolling dice and shuffling decks, he's playing old RPGs and wishing someone would remaster Skies of Arcadia already. You can reach him at