One of the cinematic multi-card scenes in Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming Lord of the Rings crossover, Tales of Middle-earth, features a case of mistaken identity.
Tales of Middle-earth introduces scenes made up of multiple borderless cards that, when placed side-by-side, depict some of the most memorable moments in JRR Tolkien’s trilogy of fantasy novels in a single image.
Among the familiar scenes included in the set are Bilbo's Birthday Party, the destruction of Isengard, the battle at Helm’s Deep and the set’s biggest scene, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields that forms the climax of The Return of the King.
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields is made up of 18 individual cards that span all the way from Gondor’s capital of Minas Tirith to Sauron’s stronghold of Barad-dûr in Mordor, with characters including Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Eowyn facing off against the Witch-king (on his Fell Beast), Gothmog and their armies of oliphants, orcs and more.
It’s an epic scene gorgeously rendered by illustrator Tyler Jacobson, carefully constructed so that adjacent cards can form separate mini-scenes as well as being part of the complete panoramic picture.
Unfortunately, though, the cards that make up the scene also feature a fairly noticeable error, as acknowledged by publisher Wizards of the Coast in a recent blog post.
The MTG maker revealed that changes to the artwork during production planned to exchange Rohan king Théoden’s central place in the battle scene with his nephew and Rohan marshal, Éomer.
While the card text was successfully changed from Théoden to Éomer as planned, however, the earlier artwork for the scene had already been approved and sent to print with Théoden in his original place - meaning that the artwork of Théoden ended up on a card now referring to Éomer.
“Due to an internal miscommunication, the card title, mana cost, and rules text were swapped after the art had been approved, and the scene went to print depicting Théoden, King of Rohan as originally commissioned,” Wizards of the Coast explained.
The mistake means that the borderless scene card variant of Éomer, Marshal of Rohan depicts Théoden, but is otherwise identical in cost, abilities and rules text to Éomer’s non-scene card, which shows the right character. The non-scene version of the Théoden, King of Rohan card is similarly correct when it comes to both artwork and rules text.
In either case, the mix-up doesn’t affect gameplay at all - it simply gives Lord of the Rings pedants something to smugly point out during matches.
“We don't believe this takes away from the breathtaking work from Tyler Jacobson, and we hope it doesn't remove any of the joy that will come from assembling this massive scene,” Wizards of the Coast wrote.
Tales of Middle-earth will be released later this month, with its wide release on June 23rd following an MTG Arena launch on June 20th and a prerelease from the 16th.