Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Simple Repack Theatre Re-emerges For "Expanded Middle Earth!"

The Good: Some interesting and powerful new companions and minions.
The Bad: A lot of extra cards collectors are likely to have, Disproportionately expensive.
The Basics: Despite repackaging packs from prior sets, the new characters unique to Expanded Middle Earth make the cards worth hunting down!

It's a great time to review things like The Lord Of The Rings repackaged product "Expanded Middle Earth," which took packs of slow-selling products and repackaged them with exclusive new cards.

Basics/Set Composition

Decipher, Inc. had a habit of repackaging old products and boosting sales with new cards exclusive to new packaging. Deluxe Draft Packs, in this case The Lord Of The Rings "Expanded Middle Earth" Deluxe Draft Packs included four unopened packs of gaming cards and ten exclusive cards unique to this set. There were three different decks and the boxes included four of each deck type.

Each "Expanded Middle Earth" Deluxe Draft Deck included packs of:
Black Rider
and Bloodlines as well as one of three exclusive packs featuring Halbarad, Grimbeorn, or Elrohir.

The Expanded Middle Earth set consisted of six Shadow cards and nine Fellowship cards, all of which are Minions and Companions, respectively. The set includes 1 Dwarven, 3 Elven, 2 Gandalf, and 3 Gondor-affiliation companions to boost one's Fellowship. As well, there are two minions each from Men, Orc and Uruk-Hai affiliations. All of the images are characters who never appeared in the films, but were produced by WETA to appear as if they did!


This is a supplemental set and does not contain enough cards to play The Lord Of The Rings Trading Card Game.

Rule Changes

There is no rule book with the Expanded Middle Earth set so one needs to have prior knowledge in order to play the game. The cards are written such that the rules as updated in "Bloodlines" apply. There are no new rules in this set.


As a supplemental set, this wisely focuses on characters, which is what pretty much everyone wanted anyway!

The most useful and powerful card in this set might well be 14R5 Brand, King Of Dale. For only two twilight tokens, this Gandalf-affiliation Man may be brought into play. He is powerful with his strength of six and vitality of three. Moreover, he has a special skill that is great for anyone playing with a Gandalf and Dwarf deck. Brand's simple presence makes Dwarves and Gandalf-affiliated Men +1 strength! As well, when Companions are outnumbered by Minions, Brand increases the Archery total by that amount, giving Fellowship players a sudden chance to turn the tables on the Shadow player.


This set was sold in the Deluxe Draft packs and truth be told, collectors only need one of each deck to get a whole set, making the full box of many draft decks a waste of money. Still, these were shortprinted, making them a great investment!


Fans of The Lord Of The Rings and the trading card game will enjoy the "Expanded Middle Earth" set for the additional characters it presents, even if they weren't in the films!

This set was preceded by "Bloodlines" (link above) and followed by "The Hunters" (review pending!).

This is a set of gaming cards I proudly sell in my online store. Click here to see my current inventory and support the store!


For other card reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here to see an organized listing of links to all of the various card reviews I have written!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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