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Assault on Osgiliath: Player Cards Review

by on August 20, 2013

assault on osgiliath

I have returned from Gen Con laden with new LOTR material, but before I can delve into The Black Riders, Blood of Gondor, and The Stone of Erech, there is still a bit of business to attend to: reviewing the player cards from the Assault on Osgiliath Adventure Pack! This new collection of cards provides support for Rangers, Outlands, and mono-sphere, with a touch of Gondor thrown in for good measure. Just like last time, I will be rating these cards according to three categories: versatility (how many different kinds of decks can this card work in and how applicable is it to various types of scenarios), efficiency (how much power does this card provide compared to its cost), and uniqueness (how many other cards provide a similar ability). 


Faramir (Lore Hero, 11 threat, 2 willpower, 2 attack, 2 defense, 5 hit points):

For many players, the wait for Faramir has been intense, but one of the most beloved Lord of the Rings characters has finally arrived in his hero incarnation. This card is a thinker in many ways, and by that I mean that its relative worth as a hero is not immediately apparent on first glance. Faramir’sfaramir special ability is to gain 1 point of attack for each enemy in the staging area, which immediately suggests that he will work best in a hero configuration with a low starting threat, in order to keep enemies in the staging area. However, he starts himself at an extremely high threat of 11. The benefit of this is that you get a hero with a crucial hit points level of 5, joining Glorfindel, Aragorn, and Bombur in the hearty Lore heroes club, and well-rounded stats, but this also means that Faramir’s starting threat directly works against his ability. Would Faramir be a better hero if he had 2 willpower, 2 attack, 1 defense, and 4 hit points for a starting threat of 9? I think a strong case could be made for that alternate configuration, but this seems to me to be a purposeful design choice, as a means of counter-balancing his ability and encouraging careful deck building.

Because of this high starting threat, it appears that Faramir is meant to work in conjunction with decks that keep enemies in the staging area via traps and tricks rather than through maintaining a low level of threat exclusively. This seems borne out by the fact that many of the cards that perhaps work best with Faramir emerged during the current cycle: Ranger Spikes, Advance Warning, and Ithilien Archer. The question of course is whether Faramir’s boosted attack is useful if most enemies are trapped in the staging area. Two strategies seem appropriate to get the most from Faramir’s ability: picking off enemies one at a time and including events and attachments that allow him to attack the staging area. Including the Great Yew Bow and Hands Upon the Bow will make use of Faramir’s “ranged” keyword (he’s the first Lore hero to have this keyword). In an ideal situation, Faramir could have a boosted attack strength of at least 4-5, and then could use the Great Yew Bow or Hands Upon the Bow to dispatch a fairly strong enemy in the staging area. This of course requires access to the Tactics sphere. Alternatively, Faramir can bring down enemies one at a time, using the attack boost gained from enemies left in the staging area to kill off one stronger foe. This necessitates having enough questing power or questing tricks to overcome the extra threat left in the staging area for next turn.

Overall, I find Faramir to be a fascinating hero with some interesting applications. Obviously, he can be a fantastic battle quester, as any enemies that show up during staging will have one point of their threat offset by his ability. He also perhaps is better in 3 or 4 player games in the sense that you are likely to see more enemies in those situations. In my opinion, Faramir is a strong hero, but one that is perhaps more “advanced”; you can’t simply drop him into a deck and play and hope to get the most out of him.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

* Knight of Minas Tirith (Tactics Ally, 3 cost, 0 willpower, 3 attack, 1 defense, 3 hit points):

There is much to like about this new Tactics ally, but some key considerations to keep in mind as well. The Knight of Minas Tirith requires you to play a mono-Tactics deck (and it can’t be splashed in, as this card requires printed Tactics icons). To make up for that restriction, you get a very knight of minas tirithimpressive ally, as we’re talking about a massive 3 attack for a cost of 3 (compare to the Veteran of Nanduhirion, who gives you 3 attack for 4 resources). Obviously, Tactics does have the much cheaper option of the Vassal of the Windlord, who also provides 3 attack for only 1 resource, but that ally can only be used to attack once and is extremely vulnerable to direct damage because of its single hit point. By contrast, the Knight of Minas Tirith is sturdy, with 3 hit points, and can repeatedly attack every turn until he is destroyed. Obviously, his strong attack makes him ideal for battle questing as well. Now let’s consider his ability, which is essentially two effects in one. First, when he enters play, he allows you to choose an enemy in the staging area and engage with it. This is essentially the Son of Arnor’s effect, except the latter card allows you to engage any enemy in play, not just those in the staging area. This ability of the Knight to pull an enemy from the staging area during the planning phase can be extremely helpful to either remove threat before questing or to get to grips with those enemies that prevent optional engagement. The second part of the Knight of Minas Tirith’s ability is that he immediately exhausts and attacks the enemy you just engaged. This is an opportunity to put some damage on an enemy, or even potentially destroy it if its stats are low enough. The only downside would be if the enemy has a defense of 3 or higher, which would make the attack, and the character’s action for that turn, wasted. Note that since this is a response, you can always choose to not use the Knight of Minas Tirith’s ability, but they are tied together, so you can’t choose to use the engagement portion but not exhaust to make the attack. Overall, this is a strong Tactics ally that is limited by its restriction to mono-Tactics decks.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

* Pelargir Shipwright (Spirit Ally, 3 cost, 0 willpower, 1 attack, 1 defense, 3 hit points):

I haven’t seen this guy get too much attention so far, but he is pretty damn good. Continuing the Spirit trend of including Gondorian craftsman (it was the Minas Tirith Lampwright in the last pack), pelargir shipwrightthe Pelargir Shipwright brings some questing power to the table, although this is dependent on the number of Spirit heroes (each hero you control with the printed Spirit icon adds +1 willpower to this ally). This means that in a mono-Spirit deck, you are looking at a 3 willpower ally for 3 cost, who also is extremely resilient with 3 hit points (so basically getting the questing power of ally Denethor without any of the drawbacks and for 1 less resource). The main question is whether the Shipwright deserves a place in non-mono Spirit decks. With 2 Spirit heroes and thus a willpower of 2 for the Shipwright, the decision would really have to be made on a deck-by-deck basis. You can grab a West Road Traveller or Silvan Refugee for cheaper and both have 2 willpower. However, the Shipwright can actually take some damage and even mount a defense or two. If that’s something that’s important to you, then it might be worth it to the choose the Shipwright in that situation (of course, you could include all of the above for maximum willpower as well). With only 1 Spirit hero in play, the Shipwright is sitting at only 1 willpower for 3 resources. I would only include him in that case if I really wanted a solid body in place. Overall, this is a must-have ally for mono-Spirit decks and a strong ally overall. You won’t get any special abilities out of him, but sometimes all you need is just some help in questing and defense.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦◊◊

* Gondorian Fire (Tactics Attachment, 0 cost):

This is the attacking Tactics version of the Blood of Numenor attachment, and acts identically to it except that in this case it boosts attack instead of defense. By paying 1 resource from the attached hero, you can raise that hero’s attack by the number of resources left in his or her pool. This attachment gondorian firewill not fit in every deck, as it requires you to be fairly confident that you will be generating enough resources (or at least not spending them all) so that one hero will be able to stockpile a large enough pool to justify the inclusion of this card. Thankfully, the attachment itself costs nothing, so it is great to be able to slap it onto a hero so that it is ready when needed. Obviously, the best candidates for this attachment are those heroes who generally will have large pools of resources on them to enable other abilities (and they need the Gondor or Dunedain trait as well, although Steward of Gondor can easily grant this), and who have a strong starting attack. For this reason, Leadership Boromir and Leadership Aragorn immediately spring to mind as natural recipients. Elladan, who may end up with a resource pool due to his ability as well, can make fantastic use of Gondorian Fire as well to cut through a swathe of enemies with the help of Steward of Gondor. At the end of the day, almost any hero can make use of this ability, as long as you can get resources on them to pay for it. The biggest drawback of Gondorian Fire is that there are quite a few other ways to boost attack in the game currently (although some of these are weapons with restrictions to Elves or Dwarves, so having a Gondor attack boost is certainly welcome), and constantly paying resources is not necessarily an ideal way to gain access to this effect. Still, you do have the option of using it only when you really need it, and only with the decks that will gain the most benefit.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦◊◊◊

* Map of Earnil (Spirit Attachment, 4 cost):

The second in the “book series” of attachments (although I suppose this one is a map), the Map of Earnil does for Spirit what the Book of Eldacar did for Tactics. It allows you to play a Spirit event in map of earnilyour discard pile as if it was in your hand, requiring you to discard the Map to do so. The high cost of 4 to play this attachment is reduced by 1 for each hero you control with a printed Spirit icon, thus making it extremely affordable in a mono-Spirit deck with a low cost of 1, and a decent purchase at a cost of 2 when running 2 Spirit heroes. I do feel that the Map of Earnil is definitely not as valuable as the Book of Eldacar, primarily because there already is a Spirit event recycler that is better (the Dwarven Tomb, which brings a Spirit card from the discard pile into your hand for 1 resource no matter how many Spirit heroes you control). Even more damning, you can’t use the Map of Earnil to bring back the two Spirit events that you probably would want to recycle the most: A Test of Will and Hasty Stroke. Since both events are responses, and the effect on Map of Earnil is an action, you wouldn’t be able to play it to bring A Test of Will into action to respond to a treachery, for example. With Dwarven Tomb, you could bring A Test of Will into your hand during an action window, and have it ready to play later. Still, there are other Spirit events that might be worth recycling, particularly threat reduction events like The Galadhrim’s Greeting and Elrond’s Counsel. Perhaps you could even bust a hole in the space-time continuum by using Map of Earnil to bring back Dwarven Tomb to bring back another card! Wonkiness aside, I think this is the weakest of the sphere books, because of the reasons discussed here, which is not to say entirely worthless.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦◊◊◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦◊◊

* Palantir (Neutral Attachment, 1 cost):

This card inspired quite a bit of debate when it was first spoiled, mostly centering around the question of whether it was worth the cardboard it was printed on or whether it should be sunk to the bottom of the ocean and devoured by nameless creatures. The Palantir allows you to exhaust med_palantir-aooboth itself and the attached hero to peer at the top 3 cards of the encounter deck. Such knowledge comes at a price though, as you must name an encounter card type before you scry, and for every card that does not match the type you named, you must raise your threat by two. There also could be a hidden benefit, as for every card that matches the type you named, you may draw a card. This is definitely spot-on in terms of theme, as seeking to use the Palantir’s powers always entails the risk of attracting the attention of Sauron. In judging the value of this card, it is important to treat it for what it is: a scrying instrument. If you look at it as a card drawing engine, then it surely would be bonkers to use this thing, as there are so many other good options for card draw that don’t require you to raise your threat by such obscene amounts. On the other hand, there is nothing else currently that lets you just straight up scry the top 3 cards of the encounter deck (Risk Some Light comes very close, and may even be better in that you get to drop 1 card to the bottom of the deck, but then you are left with only 2 cards at the top that you know). The other existing scrying effects, like Denethor and Henamarth Riversong, let you look only at the top card. This makes them extremely effective for solo play, but they rapidly lose their power with each added player. The Palantir, on the other hand, could allow players in a 3-player game to know exactly what was coming during staging for a turn and plan accordingly (barring surge). It could also allow a solo player to know not only what was going to come up during staging but also potential shadow cards as well (or staging for next turn in the absence of combat). Of course, what can’t be ignored is the possibility of a 6 threat increase in return for this power, which is certainly nothing to scoff at. This would probably be an ability that you use maybe once or twice during a game, not something that is endlessly repeatable (like Denethor or Henamarth). It also requires exhausting a hero. The Palantir would best function in a deck with a fairly low starting threat and tons of threat reduction available. At the end of the day, players take different approaches to this game, and while some don’t bother with scrying or manipulating the encounter deck, and thus the Palantir will never be for them, others enjoy exploring those possibilities, and this card might find a place with these players. I would say that the penalty built into this card is perfectly appropriate for the power of scrying the top 3 cards of the encounter deck. If it was too easy to do so, it could easily break the game.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦◊◊

* Ranger Bow (Lore Attachment, 1 cost):

I fell in love with this attachment as soon as I laid eyes on it, my affection for Rangers and Lore leaving no other choice. On its surface, it looks like it might have limited utility, as the cost of exhausting a character is always a high price to pay, and 1 damage on an enemy is not necessarily ranger bowmind-blowing. However, what makes this attachment so much better than it could otherwise have been is that it can be placed on Ranger allies, not just heroes. It just so happens that there is a specific Ranger ally, the Ithilien Tracker, that loses quite a bit of value when more than one is on the table (the first copy can exhaust to cancel the threat of the first enemy revealed, but subsequent copies will simply target that same enemy, making it redundant). The Ithilien Tracker thus makes a perfect recipient for the Ranger Bow (of course, there are other possibilities, such as the recently released Ithilien Archer). As for the cost of exhausting 1 character to inflict 1 point of damage on an enemy in the staging area, this may seem marginal upon first glance, but becomes quite effective when combined with other direct damage effects. If you throw in Thalin, that’s already 2 points of automatic damage on one enemy per turn (assuming you draw an enemy during staging). Add in another Ranger Bow and you have 3 points. From there, you can pursue a variety of options to maximize the use of this automatic damage. Faramir can take advantage of a Great Yew Bow to attack weakened enemies in the staging area. A Spear of the Citadel or Gondorian Spearman can similarly make use of the Ranger Bow’s effect to pile on some damage of their own once the enemy engages. From all this talk, it becomes obvious that Ranger Bow (and Faramir himself) encourage a Lore/Tactics marriage. This can be done in a variety of ways: using songs to splash in Tactics to a mono-Lore deck, creating a Lore/Tactics dual-sphere deck, playing multi-player with a Tactics deck, etc. All in all, the extra point of damage from the Ranger Bow can end up being the difference between killing an enemy or having it survive (imagine Sneak Attack/Gandalf placing 4 damage on a 5 hit point enemy in the staging area, and Ranger Bow finishing it off, for example). Thus, the Ranger Bow is a quality attachment for a Ranger trap/direct damage deck, all for the low cost of 1.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦◊◊

*  Sword of Morthond (Leadership Attachment, 1 cost):

This card is absolutely bonkers. I could honestly end my review of this card there and it would be med_sword-of-morthond-aoosufficient and accurate. I’ve already discussed previously how strong the Outlands trait is, and how you can easily end up with an army of allies, all boasting 3’s or 4’s in most of their stats. If that wasn’t powerful enough, the Sword of Morthond allows you to transfer these Outlands boosts to a Gondor ally, creating a super-powered character that will make your heroes look like yesterday’s news. Let’s take the example of the Leadership ally, Faramir, and assume a Outlands boost of 3 in all traits. Attaching the Sword of Morthond to him would grant Faramir stats of 5 willpower, 4 attack, 5 defense, 6 hit points! Even with a more modest boost of 2 for all traits, Faramir would have 4 willpower, 3 attack, 4 defense, and 5 hit points, far surpassing all existing heroes. With this example in mind, it’s clear that the Sword of Morthond is a must for Outlands decks, and can easily create a super-defender that won’t diminish your overall Outlands traits if he/she is somehow destroyed (not to mention a super-quester and super-attacker). To be honest, I don’t think Outlands needed any more support, but here they have it, and they are all the more powerful for it.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦♦

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦♦

* Forest Patrol (Lore Event, 1 cost):

To go along with the addition of more traps, Forest Patrol is a Lore event that allows you to deal 3 damage to an enemy with a trap attached to it. This synergizes well with the developing Ranger direct damage/trap theme. Generally, this card is quite powerful in the sense that 3 damage is a tonmed_forest-patrol-aoo of damage to deal directly to an enemy (just 1 less than Gandalf). There are a few in-built limitations to this card, however. Most obviously, you have to get a trap card attached to an enemy, and while there are 3 of those currently in the game, 2 of them might not work so well with Forest Patrol. The Forest Snare completely stops an enemy from attacking or doing much of anything, so it probably would be a waste to use the Forest Patrol in this situation, unless killing that enemy was essential to advancement. Similarly, Ranger Spikes keep an enemy in the staging area and takes away 2 of its threat, so unless that enemy is still contributing some threat and/or it needs to be destroyed because of some continuous effect or quest condition, then that direct damage could be better placed elsewhere. Probably the best candidate for the Forest Patrol to combine with is the Ithilien Pit, as that trap allows all characters to attack an enemy but that enemy will still be engaging and making attacks of its own, so direct damage will not be wasted [Actually, the Poisoned Stakes introduced in the next pack, the Blood of Gondor, works amazingly with Forest Patrol, but you’ll have to wait for the next AP review for that!]. One way you could look at the traps, I suppose, is as a means of facilitating Forest Patrol, and look at their particular effects as a bonus. However, these are expensive combos to run, either in terms of resources (3 resources for Forest Patrol/Ranger Spikes) or deck space (say 3 copies of Ithilien Pit + 3 copies of Forest Patrol). That’s not to say that the cost is not justified in certain circumstances; Forest Patrol and a Ranger Bow alone can dispatch a 4 hit point enemy in the blink of an eye. It’s just that you need to be intentional about when and how you include Forest Patrol in a deck.

Versatility: ♦◊◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦◊◊◊

* Men of the West (Leadership Event, X cost):

Men of the West is a Leadership event that provides yet more support for Outlands, in this case med_men-of-the-west-aooallowing you to pay X resources to bring X Outlands allies from your discard pile to your hand. I have to say up front that I am not a big fan of this card. I firmly believe that each deck type, no matter how powerful, should have defined weaknesses. In the case of Outlands, the main weakness of this deck type was a vulnerability if allies were either destroyed or discarded from a player’s deck. Men of the West has essentially nullified this weakness completely, which bothers me from the viewpoint of keeping the power level of deck types within a certain limit. I’m really curious as to the thought process behind this design choice, and the seeming quest to address all of Outlands’ weaknesses (Lord of Morthond previously took care of card draw). Leaving aside my own personal feelings about Outlands, in terms of simply assessing the value of this card, it is an extremely powerful effect for Outlands decks, essentially assuring that you will get most, if not all, of your trait-boosting allies out on the table (and that you can bring them back if they are destroyed). One of the great aspects of this card is that it enables A Very Good Tale to function even more effectively. That Leadership event is great for getting Outlands allies into play as quickly as possible. However, you could sometimes get stuck in a situation where you had to discard an extra Outlands ally beyond the cap of 2, and Men of the West resolves this situation. Alternatively, sometimes you would have the opportunity to play a great non-Outlands ally, but would have to sacrifice them to make room for Outlands characters. Now, you can play that non-Outlands ally and easily retrieve any Outlands characters you discarded. All in all, I would throw 3 of these into an Outlands deck without question.

Versatility: ♦◊◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦♦

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦◊◊


Overall, this pack is a must buy if you are at all interested in building Ranger trap decks. You get the ultimate Ranger hero, Faramir, a great direct damage tool for Rangers, and an interesting event that interacts with traps. Similarly, if you do happen to enjoy Outlands decks, than you really will want access to the Sword of Morthond and Men of the West. Beyond that, there are a couple of allies that work best in the context of mono-sphere decks, along with the Palantir and Map of Earnil. This means that if you are not interested in Outlands, Rangers, or mono-sphere, then there is not much here for you to enjoy. However, if you happen to like any of these traits, then you should be fairly happy with this pack.


From → Reviews

  1. Hastur360 permalink

    I think Infighting is very good in conjunction with Ranger Bow and Forest Patrol (especially with a Forest Snare on a big Enemy) as well. Both Infighting and Forest Patrol will be equally well served whenever the Lore “Record” appears.

  2. raynor2013 permalink

    You’ve got the knights all wrong. Playing mono tactics is only required to use their ability. Still a good ally in any bisphere deck. Far better than the veteran unless you are playing with dain

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I’m aware of the distinction there. I perhaps phrased my language wrong by saying “required” and “restricted”. You can certainly throw them in non-mono decks, but you’re not going to get the benefit of the ability.

  3. Mike D (Pharmboys2013) permalink

    Palantir would make a great article for your card spotlight series given its controversial nature. Just for kicks i included this in a deck throwing it on Denethor w/unexpected courage and i was actually quite pleased with the results

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Good suggestion. I need to give Palantir a good workout in preparation for such a spotlight. It certainly is as controversial in the game as it was in the story!

  4. I’m certainly excited about this new Ranger/Trap stuff coming out. The moment I get my hands on Blood of Gondor, I’ll be sure to build a R/T deck. Trying to decide, though, whether it should also be a Gondor deck, or shoot for all Lore and lower threat?

    Doing a Gondor deck with Leadership Boromir would allow all of the Lore Rangers to have an additional attack. This give Ithilien Archer a greater chance of damaging an enemy, which could knock them into a trap, and will give Faramir another attack point. Also, it’ll give the yet-to-be-released Anborn a whopping 4 attack. That’s sick!

    In order to do that though without having a 3-sphere deck with too much starting threat, I’m pretty limited in my other hero choices. Mirlonde will keep the threat lowest. Denethor will give an OK 30 and a heck of a lot of theme. The Lore Pippen (coming in Black Riders) may be a good choice, since he’ll slightly help keep enemies in the staging area and has a great threat level, while still having as much questing willpower as any of the other choices, though his Response ability is somewhat counter-intuitive to Faramir’s ability. Pippin would also give me the abilitiy to play Take No Notice (coming in Black Riders) for a cheap 1 resource, which could benefit either hero. The final choice could be Hirluin to make it a Gondor/Outlands deck, which would allow Sword of Morthond to have plenty of targets. While this could make a Gondor deck stronger, I feel that it would be weaker than a “traditional” Outlands deck.

    A mono-Lore deck is also quite possible, but loses the awesome bonus attack power from Boromir, and access to Steward of Gondor for resources, but with access to both Mirlonde and the Lore Pippin, we could have a very nice starting threat of 22. Of course, there are other good choices too, but this comment is long enough, somewhat off-topic, and is looking forward to far.

    The final thing that I have to say is that I’m glad that FFG has been creating so many new ways to play decks. We’re not longer limited to questing and attacking as usual. We’re getting a lot of choices as to how we can deal with the encounter deck: scrying, trapping, hiding, direct damage, damage to the staging area, and more to come, I hope. This makes fewer cards that are useful to just about everyone, but opens up more playing styles for different types of players. Hobbit decks can be very good, but not everyone will like playing that way. Same with any other type of deck.

    Ok, I’m gonna shut up now.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Great post Joe, and certainly not off-topic! I share your excitement at the new possibilities that FFG are opening up for us, and it certainly has breathed some new life into deck-building. After using Lore Pippin in a Hobbit deck against the Black Riders during Gen Con, I’m pretty excited about the possibility of including him in a Faramir Ranger/trap deck, like you suggested here. I think he would really fit in quite well in such a set-up, mainly to keep threat low. I’m still trying to find the right Ranger deck combination, but I really like the idea of including Tactics for the sake of Hands Upon the Bow, Great Yew Bow, and other direct damage. Actually Merry wouldn’t be a bad choice here, although this would be an unconventional choice, as he would be missing the Hobbit attack bonus. However, his low threat of 6 would absolutely facilitate Faramir shenanigans while giving access to Tactics, and Merry could help ready other heroes if he helped destroy them. It turns out those little Hobbits actually can play quite well with the Rangers!

  5. Michael permalink

    Thanks for posting another great read! I’ve come to very similar conclusions regarding Faramir and posted them in my review here:

    Joe, I experimented with the trio of Leadership Boromir, Faramir and Beregond. Resources weren’t a massive problem. Steward of Gondor on Faramir allows paying for all Lore cards, and Horn of Gondor on Boromir ensured that one resource was always in his pool. Since Gondorian Shield and Spear of the Citadel can be attached to Beregond at no cost, I did not feel the need for additional Tactics resources. Most cards (e.g. Gondorian Spearman, Defender of Rammas, Gondorian Shield for a secondary defender, Hands upon the Bow, Great Yew Bow, Feint) have a cost of less than 3.

    I find that two cards are of particular use in this three-sphere Gondor deck: A Good Harvest (one could even consider to include The Galadhrim’s Greeting for threat reduction) and Envoy of Pelargir. A neutral 2 cost ally that provides one resource to any of your heroes is stellar in your opening hand! For instance, the Envoy lets you play Gleowine, Ranger Spikes, Steward of Gondor or a Defender of Rammas in your first turn.

    This deck is currently not viable in solitaire play (burt worked great in 2-player games with a Rohan player). This could change with the final adventure pack and the Visionary Leadership attachment (assuming that it will prove a Willpower boost to Gondor characters).

    Unfortunately (from a thematic standpoint), I find Spirit Glorfindel the best match with Faramir and his Rangers and Traps. Low threat, access to easy and cheap threat reduction and Asfaloth for location control can’t be beaten.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Nice deck suggestion (and great-looking review, by the way). I’m finding A Good Harvest to be quite the handy card actually. It has worked pretty well in my initial Black Riders Hobbit deck to smooth out some of the tri-sphere inconsistencies at the beginning of games, although it tends to be less useful later on once the attachments get going. Anyway, between the Hobbits and Rangers, I’m pretty satisfied with the opportunities for deck building experimentation right now.

    • Bah! A 3-sphere deck sounds awesome until you try to build it. How on earth does someone cut all of these cards out? There are way too many good choices with a 3-sphere deck. I could use the same three heroes and make several completely different variations of the decks with the rest of the cards!

      I’m trying to build this deck and I’ve cut sooo many good cards and I still need to cut 6 more! I miss the old tiny player card pool! =P Michael, can you show us the deck you created so I can see what kinds of decisions you made?

      • Landroval permalink

        “deciding on what to leave out is far more important than deciding what to leave in”

        (Ancient Deck Builder’s Proverb)

      • Hehe, Landroval, too true. I think that was the first lesson my teacher taught me at The Deck Builder Academy.

  6. I agree, A Good Harvest has become a firm favorite. I can’t count the number of situations it has proved useful. It can cover a hero’s death, a high cost ally a few turns early, etc.

    Personally my favorite card from this set is the Palantir. I’m usually a big tactics fan but the Palantir is such an incredibly thematic card I’m dying to use it *haven’t made it to the store to buy this set yet but a friend has it*

    I concur with the above poster. Hope you do a card spotlight on it at somepoint! 🙂

  7. sweetnesswhachacha permalink

    Thanks again!

    So I think Map of Earnil is much better than Dwarven tomb because if you pay one to bring it back to your hand, say in the case of galadriels greeting, you still must pay 3 more to play it, where now you just pay one and that’s all you need period. Honestly I use both, you can, with these 3 cards, get a ton of use out of test of will, hasty stroke, galadriels greeting, and elronds council. Those 4 cards you could play all day long and they would still be useful.

    The Palintir is an incredible feat in thematic design. As you frequently say, the 2 most dangerous points in the game are staging, and shadow effects. This to me works best for 3 players. One player uses the cards mentioned above to recycle threat reduction and treachery cancelation, and scry the deck, while the other 2 players plan their questing and planning phases perfectly. Here us where your Lamplighter from your previous article comes in handy again!

    Men of the west is a card that I agreed with your assessment , regarding a very good tale, but in practice I find I draw enough cards with lord of morthond that I don’t ever need to waste the resources to grab each card back. Three allies back to your hand is 3 resources, then you have to play them. Honestly I always draw these and never play them.

    • sweetnesswhachacha permalink

      OK I see my error of the map. You can’t play hasty stroke and test of will as a response, and I misread it, it still requires the cost of the card. So yes tomb is better, but I still think the map can be used for elronds council and gala greeting, and the tomb for hasty and test of will. Never can play those enough

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  5. Deck Spotlight: Galadriel Gets A Palantir | Tales from the Cards

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