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Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings

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Pro Tour the Lord of the Rings was the final Pro Tour of the 2022–23 season . It took place on July 28-30, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. It followed the release of the straight-to-Modern set The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth , and the first Modern Pro Tour after the return of the Pro Tour Label. Additionally, it was the final Pro Tour before 2023 World Championship , so it was the final chance to earn AMP and lock up a slot.

Modern [ | ]

With most of Constructed Magic being relegated to MTG Arena from 2020 to 2023, Modern had been upended multiple times as to be basically unrecognizable from Mythic Championship IV Barcelona , especially with the release of Modern Horizons 2 .

The One Ring and Orcish Bowmasters , released in The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth , were expected to make waves in the now turbulent format, by upgrading Tron and Rakdos decks, respectively. Additionally, the land-cycling spells introduced in The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth were additions to the Living End and Crashing Footfalls decks. Delighted Halfling and Samwise Gamgee made appearances in select decks as a mana-dork and combo piece, respectively.

Day One [ | ]

Featured drafters: Nathan Steuer

The top eight players after day one:

Day Two [ | ]

Featured drafters: Kai Budde

Top 8 [ | ]

Javier Dominguez and Simon Nielsen make it back-to-back Pro Tour Top 8's, joined by two Italian players in Marco Del Pivo and Stefano Vinci. Additionally, Kai Budde would reach his tenth career top eight. Sadly, on this Sunday, the promise "Kai does not lose" would be broken, as Christian Calcano would beat him in the quarterfinals, en route to the finals, piloting a Mono-Green Tron deck. There he would face Jake Beardsley , who in his first Pro Tour, cheered on by commentators and fans, would win the day with a Rakdos Evoke Deck.

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pro tour lord of the rings mtg

When is MTG Pro Tour Lord of the Rings Barcelona?

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History will unfold at the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour in Barcelona, featuring gameplay from Universes Beyond set The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth .

Tabletop Magic returned with the 2022-2023 season, showcasing a total of three Pro Tour tournaments at MagicCon events around the world. For the first time in the history of MTG , professional players will compete at a Pro Tour with Universe Beyond cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth (LTR) set.

How to watch Pro Tour Lord of the Rings

The Pro Tour Lord of the Rings will take place over the course of three days at MagicCon Barcelona from July 28 to 30, just one month after the tabletop global release of The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth .  A broadcast will run from July 28 to 30 through Twitch . Gameplay on Friday and Saturday starts at 4am CT and competition on Sunday starts at 3am CT.

  • July 28: Three rounds of LTR Draft followed by five rounds of Modern Constructed.
  • July 29: Three rounds of LTR Draft followed by five rounds of Modern Constructed—Top eight advance to final day. Players who reach 13 match-wins advance to the playoffs.
  • July 30: Top eight playoffs featuring Modern Constructed gameplay.

Players who compete in the LTR Pro Tour tournament can earn invites to future Pro Tour events and even a slot at the Magic World Championship. Similar to Pro Tour March of the Machine , the prize pool for the event is $500,000, with first place taking home $50,000.

Related: All MTG Commander Masters cards worth money: Projected prices before launch

Other MagicCon Barcelona events

In conjunction with Pro Tour LTR are several events open to all players. A Secret Lair Showdown Championship will take place, along with another Un-known tournament hosted by game designer Gavin Verhey.

The weekend of Pro Tour LTR Barcelona coincides with the Commander Masters prerelease. The Precon decks will drop on Aug. 4. Limited players can dive into any number of LTR Draft and Sealed events in Barcelona as well.

Update July 25, 7:30am CT : Broadcast times were added for the MTG Pro Tour Lord of the Rings in Barcelona.

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Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings - tournament brand image

Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings

Game: Magic: The Gathering

Organized by: Wizards of the Coast

Tournament Type: Tabletop

Formats are Modern and The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Booster Draft More information about Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings can be found at https://magic.gg/events/pro-tour-the-lord-of-the-rings-fact-sheet-for-competitors

Free to Play | Invite Only | Format: Draft, Modern, Draft2 | Ended | 266 of 512 Enrolled Players

Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings Fact Sheet for Competitors

For paper printouts generated for this tournament, participants' names will be displayed using their full real names, irrespective of their profile's name display settings. This specification applies solely to printed materials.

The organizer has agreed to pay out prizes in 6 days or less.

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Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings - Top 8 Players & Deck Lists

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings is well underway in Barcelona, and we're officially down to the Top 8. Some of the best players in the world have come together in Spain to slug it out with some of Modern's hardest-hitting decks. The Top 8 kicked off today at 4 a.m. ET, so be sure to tune in here . In the meantime, let's take a look at the Top 8 players and their decklists.

MTGA Assistant

Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings Top 8 Players And Deck Lists

pro tour lord of the rings logo

Below are the remaining players, which decks they're playing, and their particular list. So, without further ado, let's jump in.

Javier Dominguez

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Mono Green Tron

Main 60 cards (22 distinct).

Walking Ballista

Side 15 cards (14 distinct)

Tormod's Crypt

Christian Calcano

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Mono Green Tron (Jegantha Companion)

Main 60 cards (20 distinct).

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Simon Nielsen

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Jake Beardsley

Rakdos evoke, main 60 cards (21 distinct).

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

Side 15 cards (9 distinct)

Lightning Bolt

Marco Del Pivo

Italy has a plethora of great MTG players, Del Pivo among them. For Pro Tour Lord of the Rings, he sleeved up Temur Rhinos, one of the tournament's better-performing decks, with three copies in the finals. He said he landed on the deck because it fit his playstyle. Apparently, it was a good choice.

Temur Rhinos

Main 60 cards (25 distinct).

Crashing Footfalls

Stefano Vinci

image

Main 60 cards (24 distinct)

Brazen Borrower

Side 15 cards (8 distinct)

Questing Beast

How I Got Top 8 at Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3

How Seth Soul Spike'd a Top 8 finish.

By Seth Manfield | @SethManfield | Published 7/9/2024 | 9 min read

I was looking forward to Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3, more so than any other Pro Tour in recent memory. For one, the event provided me a good excuse to travel internationally, and Amsterdam is a place I have always wanted to visit. The Modern Horizons sets tend to provide a significant shakeup to the Modern format, which means a brewer's paradise for deck building! As someone who likes to build new decks rather than play something mainstream, this was appealing to me. However, these reasons don't compare to the most significant reason this Pro Tour was so special. 

Attending "house testing" is the most enjoyable and social part of playing in the Pro Tour. Traditionally, this testing experience involves renting a home for almost a week to play games, and also see friends and teammates. In the case of Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3, the team CFB-UltimateGuard testing house was on another level. In fact, it was a huge farmhouse, including live animals! While getting woken up at the crack of dawn by roosters crowing wasn't on my bucket list for this event, it was a unique experience. This was the largest testing house I have been in, with multiple huge tables for playing games, great Wi-Fi and lots of beds, which is everything a good MTG testing house should have!

Of course, while the testing house was very nice, the experience was made by the people that were in the house. Hall of Famers were out in full force, and having Kai Budde pick me up from the train station after a long flight and train ride was an easy way to forget about any jetlag I may have been experiencing. While there are some mainstay Hall of Fame members on the team like Reid Duke, LSV, Gabriel Nassif and myself, we were also joined by Raphael Levy, Kai Budde and Jon Finkel. Having seven Hall of Famers on one testing team for the same PT is the most I can remember. We were even able to get most of the team in one photo, which is actually quite an accomplishment!

Deck Choice

I will walk through the process that led me to deciding to play the Mono-Black Necrodominance deck. The first step was a team meeting where we discussed spoilers, and there were many cards that stood out from Modern Horizons 3 . While Nadu, Winged Wisdom was an early standout, I'm someone who likes to look beyond the shiniest thing at the start of testing. Necrodominance was initially a confusing card to me, as I hadn't played with Necropotence before, but Raphael Levy talked a bit about how the card seemed powerful to him as a card draw tool.

https://infinite.tcgplayer.com/article/robot/b0c06544-b6db-4e44-bd19-79c46dc87170

There are two parts of Necrodominance that aren't intuitive to me. The first is having a different maximum hand size than seven. I had never played with a card that restricted hand size before. The other part is the paying of life being an end step trigger (not an activated ability), and deciding on the number of cards you would like to draw all at one time. Initially, Necrodominance did seem much worse than Necropotence , and it seemed like too many things would need to go right in order to get the card to work. However, that didn't mean I gave up on the idea of Necrodominance being good.

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

Reid Duke early on in testing highlighted the card Soul Spike as a way to pitch black cards to cast a spell without investing any mana. Zero-mana spells or alternative ways to convert the extra cards drawn with Necrodominance are exactly how to make the card great. I built a list that optimized being able to cast spells during the end step after drawing cards with Necrodominance, which meant not playing cards like Sorin of House Markov that promote casting spells before your end of turn. Phyrexian Tower seemed like a reprint that could provide some explosiveness to the deck, and could even be played alongside The One Ring to provide some supplemental card draw (and get The One Ring into play quickly). 

I was excited by the potential of the Necrodominance deck. I played it against Bant Nadu, Ruby Storm and a bunch of other strategies my teammates came up with, never really having a bad testing set internally. I decided to lock in the deck about a week and a half before the Pro Tour, which is the earliest I have ever made a deck choice. 

A couple of factors influenced this decision. The first is the deck was doing well internally, shifting between a 55 and 60 percent win rate depending on the day. This is very good, especially considering I know we weren't playing the deck optimally, as it is quite challenging to pilot. Card availability and being able to focus on tuning and small details was another reason to make my deck choice early. I also felt like whatever deck choice I made would feel like a bit of a gamble since the format had been turned on its head (with the addition of Modern Horizons 3 ), and I might as well play the deck I like the most and played the most games with. Gabriel Nassif and Raphael Levy liking the deck and staying on it throughout the testing process was the final factor, boosting my confidence in the deck. 

Card Choices

Once deciding that I wanted to play Mono-Black Necro, it was time to really hone in and focus on the individual card choices to elevate the deck list. Mono-Black Necro had been showing up on Magic Online, but none of the lists were quite like the one team CFB-UltimateGuard had come up with. This is the deck I submitted for the Pro Tour: 

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Mono-Black Necro by Seth Manfield

'Mono-Black Necro' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Seth Manfield

Event: Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3

Rank: 5th-8th

Market Price: $1401.29

Destroy target creature if it has mana value 2 or less. Revolt — Destroy that creature if it has mana value 4 or less instead if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.

{T}: Add {C}. {T}, Sacrifice a creature: Add {B}{B}.

Choose target creature. You lose 2 life. Until end of turn, that creature gains "When this creature dies, return it to the battlefield tapped under its owner's control."

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different mana value X or less.

({T}: Add {B}.)

Indestructible When The One Ring enters the battlefield, if you cast it, you gain protection from everything until your next turn. At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life for each burden counter on The One Ring. {T}: Put a burden counter on The One Ring, then draw a card for each burden counter on The One Ring.

Skip your draw step. At the beginning of your end step, you may pay any amount of life. If you do, draw that many cards. Your maximum hand size is five. If a card or token would be put into your graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.

If it's not your turn, you may exile a black card from your hand rather than pay this spell's mana cost. Destroy all creatures that entered the battlefield this turn.

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it with mana value 3 or less. That player discards that card.

You may exile two black cards from your hand rather than pay this spell's mana cost. Soul Spike deals 4 damage to any target and you gain 4 life.

As an additional cost to cast this spell, you may exile any number of black cards from your hand. This spell costs {2} less to cast for each card exiled this way. March of Wretched Sorrow deals X damage to target creature or planeswalker and you gain X life.

When Boggart Trawler enters the battlefield, exile target player's graveyard.

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.) Choose target card in a graveyard other than a basic land card. Search its owner's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them. Then that player shuffles.

Menace When Grief enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. Evoke—Exile a black card from your hand.

Destroy target land that is snow or could produce {C}. Overload {4}{B}{B} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change "target" in its text to "each.")

Deathtouch Whenever you draw a card, you gain 2 life. Whenever an opponent draws a card, they lose 2 life.

Permanent cards in graveyards can't enter the battlefield. Players can't cast noncreature spells from graveyards or exile.

Flash When Orcish Bowmasters enters the battlefield and whenever an opponent draws a card except the first one they draw in each of their draw steps, Orcish Bowmasters deals 1 damage to any target. Then amass Orcs 1.

Destroy target creature or planeswalker.

Each land is a Swamp in addition to its other land types.

Shadow (This creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.) If a card would be put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, instead exile it with a void counter on it. {T}, Sacrifice Dauthi Voidwalker: Choose an exiled card an opponent owns with a void counter on it. You may play it this turn without paying its mana cost.

When Shambling Ghast dies, choose one — • Brave the Stench — Target creature an opponent controls gets -1/-1 until end of turn. • Search the Body — Create a Treasure token. (It's an artifact with "{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.")

You may sacrifice a nontoken black creature rather than pay this spell's mana cost. Each opponent sacrifices a creature or planeswalker with the greatest mana value among creatures and planeswalkers they control.

Part of why this list is unique is the amount of actual lands compared to modal double-faced cards (MDFCs) in the deck. There are only 11 lands, compared to 14 MDFC's. The main reason to play lots of MDFCs is to make cards that require pitching black cards like March of Wretched Sorrow and Soul Spike significantly better. When drawing lots of cards with Necrodominance you want to have a good way to get rid of those cards during the end step, and lands cannot be used for value in the same way MDFCs can.

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

The MDFCs also are cast on a regular basis. Malakir Rebirth provides the deck a "scam" element. Even though it isn't the main focus of the deck, turn one scamming Grief can be a good alternative way to win. Boggart Trawler is extremely important against any of the graveyard combo strategies. Fell the Profane can be used to deal with opposing annoying creatures like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse . Playing four copies of March of Wretched Sorrow became an easy decision because of how many black cards are in the deck, and how good March of Wretched Sorrow is when drawing lots of extra cards. The deck needs to be able to gain life in order to offset the life lost.

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

Another tool I mentioned earlier is Phyrexian Tower , which enables the most explosive draws the deck has to offer. We shifted around between three and four Phyrexian Towers, and 10 to 12 creatures that can be sacrificed (not counting Sheoldred and Boggart Trawler). Part of the goal was to have enough early creatures to consistently use Phyrexian Tower and cast Flare of Malice using the alternate casting cost (which is quite good at answering a Nadu, Winged Wisdom ). Shambling Ghast was a card I inserted into the deck, and while we only ended up playing two of them, and it isn't very powerful on its own, it does play well with Phyrexian Tower and Flare of Malice. Orcish Bowmasters and Grief require less of an explanation, as two of the most generically powerful black creatures in the format.

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

The Mono-Black Necro deck wants to play some type of interaction on the first turn or two, and then land one of the powerful card draw engines. In order to get The One Ring or Necrodominance into play, sometimes discard spells are required to take opposing interaction away from the opponent. Discard spells tend to be solid early plays against every deck in Modern, and are also black spells that can be pitched away later in the game. Discard works very well in the deck, and we actually landed on main-deck Inquisition of Kozilek over Thoughtseize (though there are two Thoughtseize in the sideboard). The Mono-Black Necro deck uses its life total as a resource, and many of the top decks in Modern don't have many expensive spells that cost more than three mana, which was enough to want Inquisition of Kozilek over Thoughtseize. 

Points of Debate

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

My teammates and I didn't agree on ever single card choice, so let me talk about some of the more contentious decisions when deciding the last few slots in the deck. Two Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth versus one copy is a super close call. I went with two because I had times where making Phyrexian Tower into a Swamp is very important. The one Force of Despair was in and out of the main deck, and we ended up going with one in the main deck and one in the sideboard. Force of Despair is great against Bant Nadu, though I will admit one card we largely overlooked in testing was Vexing Bauble (a card that is excellent against Mono-Black Necro.)

Ruby Storm is a deck we were expecting to be popular, and it was, though it did very poorly overall. I was a strong advocate for playing Soulless Jailer as the best way to beat Ruby Storm after sideboard, since the matchup feels quite bad in game one. Soulless Jailer is also good against Esper Goryo's and Living End. We all ended up on three or four copies of Soulless Jailer. There was also a debate about how popular Eldrazi would be, and whether the Eldrazi decks would be Tron-based or the Gruul Through the Breach version. Break the Ice is good against all versions of Eldrazi, so we ended up going with that as our sideboard hate, over the less reliable Damping Sphere (which we also tried). 

The one Surgical Extraction is a card that not all of teammates ended up playing. This card is quite nice against graveyard decks, or the Jeskai Control decks as an answer to Snapcaster Mage or Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury . Playing Surgical Extraction came at the expense of the one copy of Cling to Dust , though with decks like Esper Goryo's gaining momentum, perhaps it makes sense to play both! Dauthi Voidwalker and Thoughtseize fall in the category of versatile sideboard cards that can come in against many matchups, though they aren't the super high impact hate cards like a large chunk of the sideboard is. 

Moving forward, I expect Mono-Black Necro to be a major player in Modern. Even in an event dominated by Bant Nadu, there were two different versions of Mono-Black Necro that made it to Top 8. This deck is really fun to play, though gameplay decisions are difficult, especially when it comes to managing the number of cards to draw with Necrodominance . 

Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3 was memorable for me, for many, many reasons. The tournament experience goes far beyond my personal result (though it doesn't hurt that I made Top 8!). The next stop on the tour is the World Championship in October, and while I've had a very good season so far, it will be very difficult for anyone to stop Simon Nielsen, and his bid for the Kai Budde Player of the Year Trophy.

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Price Trends: Magic: The Gathering Cards Climbing in Price - 7/11/24

Price Trends: Magic: The Gathering Cards Climbing in Price - 7/11/24

We want you to have the best information available when you price cards on the TCGplayer Marketplace. So to help you get the most from your inventory, we’ve put together a downloadable CSV report of Magic: The Gathering cards that have dramatically increased in Market Price in the second half of June 2024. (Note: This report only considers Near Mint copies of cards with at least five sales between June 13 and July 8, 2024 .)

Here are ten highlights from that report. First, we have the five cards that gained the most value in the second half of June 2024 after starting with a Market Price of $5 or less.

Top 5 Price Increases—MTG Cards $5 or Less

#5 Herald of Hoofbeats

  • Set: The List Reprints
  • Increase: +$10.38
  • Current Market Price: $13.67

Herald of Hoofbeats makes Knights virtually unblockable, so it was always destined to spike in price as soon as we got a new Knight typal commander with blue in its color identity. We haven’t gotten one of those recently, but we did get Omo, Queen of Vesuva in Modern Horizons 3 this month. Omo puts “everything counters” on creatures so they become every creature type, including Knight, allowing them to benefit from the horsemanship offered by Herald of Hoofbeats.

#4 Tortured Existence

Tortured Existence has only been printed twice: once in Stronghold in 1998, and once in The List. Copies from The List are much easier to find in Near Mint, so they’ve been the go-to cards for Commander players who want to make use of its combo with Disa the Restless , a new commander from Modern Horizons 3.

With Disa in play, Tortured Existence essentially lets you play Lhurgoyf creature cards from your hand for one mana while also returning a different creature card to your hand. Ideally you’ll fish out another Lhurgoyf and keep the chain going.

#3 Virtus the Veiled

  • Set: Battlebond
  • Increase: +$11.44
  • Current Market Price: $16.05

Battlebond, the Two-Headed Giant-focused set, was not opened in great quantities when it released in 2018. So cards from the set are hard to come by, and always at risk of spiking when they suddenly become hot in Commander. That’s what happened this month to Virtus the Veiled, which is one of the best Assassins that players can copy using Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad , a new commander from Universes Beyond: Assassin’s Creed.

#2 Maze’s End

  • Increase: +$12.83
  • Current Market Price: $16.96

Getting 10 Gates into play to win a Commander game with Maze’s End got a lot easier in June with the release of Omo, Queen of Vesuva in Modern Horizons 3. Along with putting “everything counters” on creatures, Omo puts them on lands too, granting them every land type including Gate.

Note that this version of Maze’s End is currently the most expensive—other printings like the original version from Dragon’s Maze , the Prerelease version, and the Ravnica Remastered Retro Frame version are all under $10. This either indicates that players really prefer the List version, or more likely, the prices of the other versions are behind the market right now.

#1 Elegant Parlor

  • Set: Murders at Karlov Manor
  • Increase: +$13.48
  • Current Market Price: $17.39

Elegant Parlor started June as the cheapest of the Surveil lands from Murders at Karlov Manor. Now it’s become the most expensive card of the cycle, as Modern Horizons 3 has given the card at least two new homes in Modern: Jeskai Control lists, where Elegant Parlor helps players pay the Escape cost for Phlage, Titan of Fire’s Fury , and Ruby Storm lists, where it stocks the graveyard for Past in Flames .  Next, these are the five cards that gained the most value in the second half of June 2024 after starting with a Market Price over $5.

Top 5 Price Increases—MTG Cards Over $5

#5 The One Ring (Showcase Scrolls)

  • Set: Universes Beyond: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth
  • Increase: +$36.79
  • Current Market Price: $190.74

Supply for Universes Beyond: The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth has started to dry up, but The One Ring is still one of the most-played and powerful cards in Modern or Commander, so demand hasn’t flagged. As a result, every version of The One Ring is trending up right now.

#4 The One Ring (Extended Art)

  • Increase: +$38.54
  • Current Market Price: $137.21

Speaking of The One Ring, here it is again! It’s not clear if Wizards of the Coast will ever reprint The One Ring, especially once its LOTR license agreement expires in 2025. If they don’t, there’s a risk the card will become a permanent target of speculation.

#3 Soul Spike

  • Set: Coldsnap
  • Increase: +$40.80
  • Current Market Price: $46.81

“Spike” indeed. This card grew nearly 700%, thanks to being a crucial component of the new Modern deck built around Necrodominance from Modern Horizons 3. Necrodominance turns life into card draw, while Soul Spike turns cards into lifegain at a slightly better rate, so they combo together perfectly.

Soul Spike has only been printed once, and that was as a rare in a Magic set from 2006, so it’s likely to remain valuable until Wizards of the Coast either reprints it or bans Necrodominance in Modern.

#2 Sylvan Paradise

  • Increase: +$44.63
  • Current Market Price: $84.91

Sylvan Paradise’s Market Price has continued to climb due to its interaction with Nadu, Winged Wisdom in Commander. Sylvan Paradise lets you target all of your creatures at once for a single mana (without harming any of them), for a boatload of card draw and/or ramp.

Even if Nadu, Winged Wisdom is eventually banned in Modern (as players hope and expect after its dominant performance at Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3), Sylvan Paradise will likely remain expensive until either it gets reprinted or Nadu gets banned in Commander too.

#1 Gaea’s Cradle

  • Set: Urza’s Saga
  • Increase: +$46.70
  • Current Market Price: $798.62

Even small shifts in the Market Price of Gaea’s Cradle register as huge gains or losses thanks to its sky-high value. It sells faster than other similarly expensive cards on the Reserved List because its splashy effect bridges the gap between high-power casual Commander players and cEDH players.

By selling these cards online, you can reach a broad audience of customers who are willing to pay what these cards are truly worth. Download the May 2024 Price Trends Report to review every Magic card that went up in value this month. Then list those cards on TCGplayer so your inventory can do more for your business.

Download the MTG Price Trends Report

Your feedback is important to us. Let us know how we can improve this report or provide more value to you.

Peter Day loves playing and writing about any game where you get to shuffle cards. He currently serves as a Content Editor for TCGplayer, and mostly focuses on helping buyers and sellers stay up-to-date on market trends. He also enjoys video game soundtracks, weird fiction, and trying (and failing) to build good decks with bad cards.

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Modern Horizons 3's Newest Deck: Mono-Black Necro MTG Deck Guide

A "fixed" Necropotence is still Necropotence.

By Reid Duke | @ReidDuke | Published 7/3/2024 | 12 min read

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

Today, I'll discuss Mono-Black Necrodominance, which was my deck of choice for the event (I finished 10-6 in 42nd place). Other than Nadu, Necro was the only archetype to put two players into the Top 8. One of these was Seth Manfield, who will undoubtedly also have some great thoughts and stories to share here on ChannelFireball.com.

I believe that Necrodominance was the most challenging deck I've ever played in a Pro Tour. It was certainly one of the most fun and engaging. Our version - developed by Seth, Gabriel Nassif and Raphael Levy - was very heavy on free spells and very heavy on double-faced cards. For this deck, every card you draw can either be used at face value, or it can be treated as material to support an alternative game plan or strategy. Malakir Rebirth , for instance, can be played as a land, pitched to Force of Despair or cast targeting an evoked Grief to shred the opponent's hand. Which one you choose needs to depend on your draw, the matchup and the specific circumstances of the game.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Mono-Black Necro by Reid Duke

'Mono-Black Necro' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Reid Duke

Market Price: $1403.78

Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, you gain 3 life. Otherwise, you draw a card. Escape—{3}{B}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

If Leyline of the Void is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield. If a card would be put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.

As an additional cost to cast this spell, you may exile any number of black cards from your hand. This spell costs {2} less to cast for each card exiled this way. March of Wretched Sorrow deals X damage to target creature or planeswalker and you gain X life.

Permanent cards in graveyards can't enter the battlefield. Players can't cast noncreature spells from graveyards or exile.

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.

If it's not your turn, you may exile a black card from your hand rather than pay this spell's mana cost. Destroy all creatures that entered the battlefield this turn.

You may exile two black cards from your hand rather than pay this spell's mana cost. Soul Spike deals 4 damage to any target and you gain 4 life.

When Shambling Ghast dies, choose one — • Brave the Stench — Target creature an opponent controls gets -1/-1 until end of turn. • Search the Body — Create a Treasure token. (It's an artifact with "{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.")

Indestructible When The One Ring enters the battlefield, if you cast it, you gain protection from everything until your next turn. At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life for each burden counter on The One Ring. {T}: Put a burden counter on The One Ring, then draw a card for each burden counter on The One Ring.

You may sacrifice a nontoken black creature rather than pay this spell's mana cost. Each opponent sacrifices a creature or planeswalker with the greatest mana value among creatures and planeswalkers they control.

Skip your draw step. At the beginning of your end step, you may pay any amount of life. If you do, draw that many cards. Your maximum hand size is five. If a card or token would be put into your graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead.

({T}: Add {B}.)

Menace When Grief enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. Evoke—Exile a black card from your hand.

Destroy target land that is snow or could produce {C}. Overload {4}{B}{B} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change "target" in its text to "each.")

Flash When Orcish Bowmasters enters the battlefield and whenever an opponent draws a card except the first one they draw in each of their draw steps, Orcish Bowmasters deals 1 damage to any target. Then amass Orcs 1.

Destroy target creature if it has mana value 2 or less. Revolt — Destroy that creature if it has mana value 4 or less instead if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.

{T}: Add {C}. {T}, Sacrifice a creature: Add {B}{B}.

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it with mana value 3 or less. That player discards that card.

Shadow (This creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.) If a card would be put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, instead exile it with a void counter on it. {T}, Sacrifice Dauthi Voidwalker: Choose an exiled card an opponent owns with a void counter on it. You may play it this turn without paying its mana cost.

Deathtouch Whenever you draw a card, you gain 2 life. Whenever an opponent draws a card, they lose 2 life.

Destroy target creature or planeswalker.

When Boggart Trawler enters the battlefield, exile target player's graveyard.

As an additional cost to cast this spell, pay X life. All creatures get -X/-X until end of turn.

Each land is a Swamp in addition to its other land types.

Choose target creature. You lose 2 life. Until end of turn, that creature gains "When this creature dies, return it to the battlefield tapped under its owner's control."

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different mana value X or less.

The Game Plan

Necrodominance has the familiar core of a black midrange deck. It features discard spells, removal, Orcish Bowmasters and the Grief "scam" package. While these things can give you plenty of mileage and heavily unbalance the opponent, you always eventually want to stick one of your engine cards in either Necrodominance or The One Ring .

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

Once you do, you'll draw cards at an unfair rate, and use your many free spells to convert those cards into more practical advantages. The life gain from Soul Spike , March of Wretched Sorrow and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse keeps your card draw flowing and takes the game out of reach for the opponent.

Structure of the Deck

While Necrodominance may be the single most important card, this deck only functions due to the combination of Modern's free spells and the recent influx of quality double-faced lands.

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March of Wretched Sorrow , Soul Spike , Grief and Force of Despair all demand the price of black cards out of your hand. Thankfully, a huge portion of your mana base (in our case 14 out of 25 lands) can now be black cards. Instead of finding yourself with a glut of basic Swamps, these are all materials that you can put towards other uses.

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Keep this dynamic in mind when making changes to the main deck or the sideboard. Every additional non-black card (we're talking lands, artifacts or splash colors) will make it that much more difficult for the deck to function smoothly.

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

Another key card is Phyrexian Tower , which makes the deck fast and explosive. Grief and Tower are an amazing combo, since you can sacrifice the Elemental for mana with its evoke trigger on the stack. In this way you can power out a turn two Necro or a turn three The One Ring while stripping away opposing permission spells and making sure the coast is clear. Orcish Bowmasters is another natural fit, since it creates two bodies at such a cheap rate that you don't mind sacrificing one for mana.

pro tour lord of the rings mtg

Shambling Ghast is certainly an unconventional choice in a format as powerful as Modern. However, we found it to be the glue which held the deck together, offering a critical density of bodies to sacrifice to Phyrexian Tower and Flare of Malice .

Your mulligan decisions need to factor in the power of the card Necrodominance , and how differently the deck plays when you have it versus when you don't. It's totally fine to keep a non-Necro hand - either a Grief scam hand, or some interaction that lines up well against the opponent's deck. However, it's quite hard to outright win a game in this fashion, so you'll often feel like you're buying time until you can draw Necro or The One Ring .

A six or five-card hand that can put Necrodominance onto the battlefield will usually be better than a seven-card hand that cannot. So don't be shy to mulligan mediocre sevens, knowing that you can very easily win games with a lower number of starting cards.

On the other hand, the presence of Necro can justify keeping a hand without a cheap play, gambling on a hand that needs to draw a third land or otherwise has a missing piece. In other words, "turn one nothing, turn two nothing, turn three Necrodominance" is a solid opening in a lot of matchups, especially when you're on the play.

If you do mulligan lower on cards, you'll often want to put your resources towards getting Necro or The One Ring onto the battlefield, even if it slows you down. For instance, after you've mulliganed, you should more strongly consider playing out Boggart Bog as a land rather than pitching Boggart Trawler to evoke a naked Grief , or to Soul Spike their turn one Delighted Halfling . There will be plenty of time for those plays once you get your engine card online.

How Many Cards Should You Draw?

The original Necropotence is a famously difficult card to use properly, and Necrodominance is no different. One funny moment in our Pro Tour preparation saw me playing a game while Seth and Gab watched over my shoulders. I drew seven cards with my Necro and then asked my teammates what they would have done. Seth said he would have only drawn four cards. Gab said he would have drawn 12! And we'll probably never know which of us was closest to correct. These plays are not obvious, and skilled players can reasonably take very different approaches to the games.

Still, I'll outline a step by step process you can use to help you decide a good number of cards to draw on a given turn.

Start with two preliminary steps to see if extreme decisions need to be made.

First, evaluate the risk of decking yourself or running out of threats. This won't happen often, but it can come up in some scrappy control games, or if you've had to sideboard out or exile more key cards than you would have liked. If this is the case, your priority becomes getting the most value out of your remaining cards. Don't overdraw and wind up discarding spells that could have held long-term value.

Second, check if you have a life gain source. This means Sheoldred, the Apocalypse is on the battlefield, or you have March of Wretched Sorrow with an open mana and a valid target. In these cases, the cards you draw will pay you back in life points, so you can go very big with much less risk.

Once you have these preliminary steps out of the way, think about what you want your final five-card hand to look like when you end your turn, and work backwards. Is it a midrange matchup that's all about value? If so, refilling up to five cards will put you in good shape regardless of what those cards are, so there's no need to overdraw. Conversely, is your opponent about to combo off with Nadu, Winged Wisdom or Through the Breach ? If so, you need to draw a lot of cards to give yourself the best chance of being prepared with Force of Despair or another removal spell.

How many cards do you already have in your hand, and how strong are they? Imagine your board is three lands and Necro, and your hand contains a fourth land and Sheoldred. Well, these are already among the best cards you can have, so you're not really looking to upgrade them. In this case, I'd only draw up to the five or eight card range. On the other hand, if you have no cards or your hand stinks, then you should draw more cards in order to line up a strong play for the following turn.

Finally, think about casting Soul Spike during your end step. To maximize value, you'll keep five cards in your hand, and your Soul Spikes represent multiples of three cards on top of that. So with one Soul Spike, eight cards is perfect so that you can pitch two, cast Spike, and keep five without discarding. With two Soul Spikes, 11 cards is perfect for the same reason.

With this process in mind, let's return to the general case where you've just tapped out for turn three Necro at a high life total. The most I'm likely to draw up to here would be 14 cards (let's say I have three in hand and draw 11 more). That's pretty extreme, so I'm more likely to take that approach if I already have a Soul Spike or two in hand, or if I feel a sense of urgency due to the matchup. The least I'm likely to draw is up to a full hand of five. And if I have some bad cards in hand like too many lands or redundant copies of Necro or The One Ring , then I'll overdraw a little bit so that I can improve my hand and sculpt my game plan a little better.

TLDR: You should usually be drawing in the range of four to 12 cards the turn you cast Necro. You can draw more if you have a life gain source ready to go. When in doubt, don't go too crazy because you can likely use those cards and life points even more effectively on future turns.

Alternative Builds

My team's build of Necrodominance was very focused on the engine cards, with four main deck copies each of Necrodominance and The One Ring . It was also very focused on double-faced land/spells.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Mono-Black Necro by Noah Ma

Created By: Noah Ma

Market Price: $971.75

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.) Choose target card in a graveyard other than a basic land card. Search its owner's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that card and exile them. Then that player shuffles.

If a land is tapped for two or more mana, it produces {C} instead of any other type and amount. Each spell a player casts costs {1} more to cast for each other spell that player has cast this turn.

Until end of turn, target creature you control gains "When this creature dies, return it to the battlefield tapped under its owner's control, then create a Wicked Role token attached to it." (Enchanted creature gets +1/+1. When this Aura is put into a graveyard, each opponent loses 1 life.)

Escalate—Discard a card. (Pay this cost for each mode chosen beyond the first.) Choose one or more — • Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose an instant or sorcery card from it. That player discards that card. • Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn. • Target opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Polluted Delta: Search your library for an Island or Swamp card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Marsh Flats: Search your library for a Plains or Swamp card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

({T}: Add {B} or {R}.) Raucous Theater enters the battlefield tapped. When Raucous Theater enters the battlefield, surveil 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put it into your graveyard.)

As Pithing Needle enters the battlefield, choose a card name. Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated unless they're mana abilities.

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp. {T}: Add {B}. {1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

Choose one — • Each opponent sacrifices a nontoken creature. • Each opponent sacrifices a creature token. • Each opponent sacrifices a planeswalker.

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Verdant Catacombs: Search your library for a Swamp or Forest card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

Lifelink Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.) At the beginning of your postcombat main phase, if you gained 3 or more life this turn, exile Sorin of House Markov, then return him to the battlefield transformed under his owner's control.

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Bloodstained Mire: Search your library for a Swamp or Mountain card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

It's worthwhile to highlight a very different build piloted by Noah Ma, who made the Top 8 alongside Seth, and who led the tournament during the swiss rounds. His deck was a bit more or a classic black midrange deck that leveraged Necrodominance as a great card, but could still operate without it. He had more creatures like Dauthi Voidwalker and Sorin of House Markov , and his mana base had more value lands like Castle Locthwain .

The decks and game plans are significantly different, and it wouldn't be helpful to call one better or worse than the other. However, maybe there's something to learn from looking at the two decks side by side. Shambling Ghast is a pretty weak card, so maybe moving slightly away from the Ghast + Flare + Tower package and slightly more towards standalone creatures and Castle Locthwain would make for an ideal middle ground.

Tips and Tricks

  • Avoid game rule violations from failing to skip your draw step, or putting cards in your graveyard while Necrodominance is on the battlefield. I started keeping a die on both my library and my graveyard and found this helpful. 
  • Malakir Rebirth will not work when Necro is on the field, so don't try. 
  • Necrodominance has a triggered ability that goes on the stack in your end step. If your opponent wants to stop you from drawing, they'll need to kill the enchantment in your main phase. If they want to flash in Orcish Bowmasters , they'll have to do that in response to the trigger, before you decide how much life you're paying. You cannot stop Necrodominance with Pithing Needle . 
  • You don't always need to evoke Grief at the first opportunity. Malakir Rebirth, Phyrexian Tower and Flare of Malice are all ways to get additional value from evoking. So I often like to wait and give myself a few extra chances to draw one of those. If I don't, then I'll pull the trigger when I need to clear the way to resolve one of my big spells, or when I'm worried about my opponent setting up their own combo or big play.
  • Casting Soul Spike or March of Wretched Sorrow in your own end step is nice to keep your hand size down, but there are times when you really need to keep these cards available during your opponent's turn. Against creature combo decks like Nadu or Yawgmoth, you'll sometimes need to show discipline by discarding cards and saving Soul Spike to break up their big plays. 
  • Soul Spike is one of the cards you'll most want to put on the bottom of your library after a mulligan. That said, this deck never shuffles or searches its library, so remember where the Soul Spike is and don't get frustrated when it takes a long time to draw it.
  • Don't underestimate the spell sides of your double-faced cards. Even though they're inefficient, I cast all of Boggart Trawler , Fell the Profane and Agadeem's Awakening to good effect in the Pro Tour. In particular, Boggart Trawler has a useful effect in Modern right now, and can even put on a clock when you're shredding your opponent's hand and battlefield with your disruption.

Sideboard Guide

+1 Force of Despair +1 Toxic Deluge +1 Fatal Push +1 Thoughtseize

-1 Agadeem's Awakening -1 The One Ring -2 Orcish Bowmasters

You may need to trim some free spells like Soul Spike if you see Vexing Bauble .

Sultai Nadu

+1 Force of Despair +1 Toxic Deluge +1 Fatal Push

-1 Agadeem's Awakening -1 The One Ring -1 Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

+3 Dauthi Voidwalker +3 Soulless Jailer +1 Thoughtsieze +1 Leyline of the Void +1 Cling to Dust +1 Force of Despair

-2 March of Wretched Sorrow -4 Orcish Bowmasters -1 The One Ring -2 Flare of Malice -1 Shambling Ghast

Jeskai Control

+3 Dauthi Voidwalker +1 Thoughtseize +1 Cling to Dust

-2 Flare of Malice -1 Force of Despair -2 Shambling Ghat

Grief Decks (Mirror Match and Various Others)

+1 Cling to Dust +1 Leyline of the Void +1 Fatal Push +1 Toxic Deluge

-1 Force of Despair -2 Flare of Malice -1 Agadeem's Awakening

Eldrazi Tron Urzatron Decks

+3 Dauthi Voidwalker +3 Break the Ice +1 Thoughtsieze

-2 Shambing Ghast -2 Flare of Malice -1 Force of Despair -1 The One Ring -1 Orcish Bowmasters

Eldrazi w/ Through the Breach

+3 Break the Ice +3 Dauthi Voidwalker +1 Thoughtseize +1 Force of Despair

-2 Shambling Ghast -2 March of Wretched Sorrow -1 Soul Spike -1 The One Ring -1 Flare of Malice -1 Inquisition of Kozilek

Boros Energy

+1 Fatal Push +1 Toxic Deluge +1 Force of Despair +1 Cling to Dust

-2 Flare of Malice -2 Shambling Ghast

Izzet and Jeskai Wizards

+1 Fatal Push +1 Cling to Dust +1 Thoughtseize +3 Dauthi Voidwalker

-2 Flare of Malice -2 Shambling Ghast -1 Force of Despair -1 Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

Magic: the Gathering | Esports

Pro Tour The Lord of The Rings Final Standings

COMMENTS

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    Next Pro Tour: 2023 World Championship. Pro Tour the Lord of the Rings was the final Pro Tour of the 2022-23 season. It took place on July 28-30, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. It followed the release of the straight-to-Modern set The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, and the first Modern Pro Tour after the return of the Pro Tour Label.

  5. MTG Pro Tour Barcelona Lord of the Rings standings, format, and more

    Over 250 of the best Magic: The Gathering players from around the globe competed in the Modern format and The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Limited Draft at the final Pro Tour of the ...

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    Barcelona hosted The Lord of the Rings Pro Tour tournament from July 28 to 30, showcasing the Modern format for the first time in years and multiple Magic: The Gathering World Champions securing a ...

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  10. Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings

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  11. Weekly Update (Jul 30): Pro Tour Lord of the Ring Decklists

    This weekend was Pro Tour Lord of the Rings featuring the Modern format and Lorien Revealed was one of the most-played cards in the format, showing up in everything from Control to Murktide to Rhinos. If you opened some Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth, makes sure to pull the island-cycler from your bulk. The card is very strong both in ...

  12. Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings

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    Modern Decks with 7+ Wins. As a reference, here are all decks with at least 7 Modern non-bye wins at Pro Tour The Lord of The Rings, along with their combined non-bye Swiss and Top 8 record, in descending order of their win rate: Jake Beardsley, 11-1, Rakdos Evoke (Winner) Kazune Kosaka, 8-1, Rakdos Evoke. Alexander Hayne, 7-1, Mono-Green Tron.

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  16. Pro Tour Barcelona Metagame Breakdown: The One Ring Meta

    Top64 in Pro Tour The Lord of The Rings (Barcelona, Spain) - Final Standings [269 Players] — 30-Jul-2023. Deck View; Arena; Tools & Export; $1013/353.04 Tix; Maindeck (60) ... Lucas Giggs MTG Streamer Hi, my name is Lucas de Almeida Hervás. I'm 31 years old, married, and I live in Indaiatuba/SP, Brazil. I've been playing Magic the Gathering ...

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    With Rakdos being the best deck in Pioneer, Nathan Steuer winning Standard Pro Tour with a Rakdos deck, and now Jake Beardsley winning the Modern Pro Tour with a Rakdos deck, it's safe to assume that big ol' Demon in Ravnica is pleased. The dominance those colors have currently in competitive Magic is crazy.

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    Discussion on Magic: the Gathering's Modern format plus its decks, cards, tournament results, and more! Members Online • Dgs_Dugs. ADMIN MOD Results of Day 1 Pro Tour Lord of the Rings Tournament Report The results from Day 1 are in, and I've crunched the numbers to see what it shows. First, I want to mention that I combined "Dimir Murktide ...

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    The Pillars of Draft. The day kicked off with The Lord of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth draft, taking a Limited format that was already familiar to competitors and giving them a chance to take it to a new level at the Pro Tour.. The conventional wisdom was such: don't draft green, if at all possible.This came true, as only one player went undefeated with a two-color green deck:

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  22. Kai Budde

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  24. Pro Tour The Lord of the Rings Fact Sheet for Competitors

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  25. Modern Horizons 3's Newest Deck: Mono-Black Necro MTG Deck Guide

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  26. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth

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  27. Pro Tour The Lord of The Rings Final Standings

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