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Trouble in Tharbad: Allies Review

by on September 3, 2014

 trouble

Trouble in Tharbad is certainly an ally-rich expansion, with four new allies to drop into decks. In a pack that is fairly heavy on its Silvan focus, 2 of those new allies have the Silvan trait, while the others splash in some support for older deck types: Gondor and Eagles. Most importantly, all bring in something a little different, and offer some intriguing options for deck builders.

ALLIES

* Herald of Anorien (Leadership Ally, 2 cost, 1 willpower, 0 attack, 1 defense, 1 hit point):

Herald-of-Anórien

The sometimes controversial (in terms of its power) Gondor trait continues to get love from the designers even though the Against the Shadow cycle has ended. This is certainly a positive trend, at least in my opinion, as Gondor is a theme and deck type that continues to intrigue me, and I’d like to see it continue to develop over time. Still, although the Herald of Anories has the Gondor trait, it would be a mistake to think of it simply as a “Gondor card”. In fact, the Herald’s ability can fit into a great variety of deck types:

You may give Herald of Anórien doomed 2 when you play it from your hand. If you do, it gains: “Response: After you play Herald of Anórien, choose a player. That player may put into play 1 ally from his hand with a printed cost 2 or lower.”

This effect is part of a new variety of doomed cards in the Ring-maker cycle that give players the option of whether or not they want to trigger the doomed effect. I really enjoy this approach, as it gives more flexibility to these cards as opposed to the all-or-nothing doomed allies of the Voice of Isengard expansion.

With this in mind, let’s look at Herald of Anorien first in terms of his raw value as an ally assuming that you do not trigger his doomed ability. At 2 cost, 1 willpower doesn’t really contribute much, and 1 defense and 1 hit point basically means that the Herald can serve as a chump blocker and not much else. Unfortunately, Leadership already has cheaper chump blockers in the form of Squire of the Citadel and Snowbourn Scout. There are some synergies and combinations that can make Herald of Anorien into a better ally. For example, Visionary Leadership can boost his willpower up to 2. A 2 cost, 2 willpower ally for Leadership is a deal that I would definitely take. If you add in Sword that was Broken or Faramir (both Leadership options), you could potentially have a 3 willpower ally for only 2 resources. In this type of Leadership willpower boosting deck, Herald of Anorien is thus worth including, otherwise there are clearly better options if you are not planning on getting any use out his ability.

Leaving stats aside, how useful is his ability and does it pay his cost of admission? The Herald’s effect continues the Leadership theme of “ally dumping”, which is a term referencing abilities that let you put allies into play for free or for a reduced cost, as we’ve seen with A Very Good Tale, Fili/Kili, and Timely Aid, to name a few examples. Herald of Anorien essentially allows you to pay for an ally using threat instead of resources, putting a 2-cost ally into play for 2 threat. The catch, of course, is in multiplayer, where this threat has to be “paid” by all players. On the other hand, in multiplayer, the owner of Herald of Anorien can potentially choose any player to benefit from the effect, opening up the potential opportunities at any given moment. Still, the pill is definitely a bit harder to swallow with multiple players.

The ability itself is quite good, as almost all “ally dumping” effects are, as being able to get allies into play for free is a quick and reliable way to accelerate the power of almost any deck. No matter who the other ally is that you are playing, you could immediately exhaust both Herald of Anorien and the newcomer to play A Very Good Tale for a total swing of 6 resources worth of allies for only 2 resources and 2 threat. I’d be hard-pressed to leave A Very Good Tale out in any deck using Herald of Anorien for that reason. In terms of good targets for the effect, the Leadership sphere has a variety of choices, though none are immediately striking. Herald can be used to help facilitate various deck types in getting set up more quickly, such as helping to put out the Naith Guide for Silvan or the Warrior of Lossarnach for Outlands. Of course, it’s important to consider that the ally put into play by the Herald does not require a resource match, so other 2-cost Silvan or Outlands allies are fair game, as are Dwarves, Gondor characters, and anything else that you can imagine. This is perhaps where the true value of Herald of Anorien shines. From splashing in one of the best allies around, Arwen Undomiel, to some handy condition cancellation, Miner of the Iron Hills, to useful healing with Warden of Healing, there are several great options in other spheres. I haven’t even scratched the surface, when you also consider Imladris Stargazer, Ethir Swordsman, Ered Nimrais Prospector, Master of the Forge, and Westfold Outrider as just a few other possibilities in the 2-cost range. While I don’t think Herald of Anorien fits into every deck, and multiplayer application is tricky, as with all doomed cards, this is a card that has a variety of uses: greasing the wheels of a certain synergy, allowing strategic splashing of useful allies, and going all in on “ally dumping”. As a final note and word of advice: never underestimate the power of a free ally.

Versatility: ♦♦♦♦◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

* Gwaihir (Tactics Ally, 5 cost, 2 willpower, 3 attack, 1 defense, 4 hit points):

Gwaihir

Gwaihir was spoiled quite a long while ago, but it’s great to finally get such a loved character in the flesh…err, cardboard. Even better, after an achingly long stretch for Eagle fans (I count myself among them), there finally is a new Eagle card!  To put things in perspective, the last Eagle card was released as part of the Return to Mirkwood Adventure Pack way back in November of 2011, so it’s certainly been quite a wait. The lord of the Eagles has arrived to break the monotony of non-Eagle decks and usher aside all lesser creatures. Gwaihir boasts some stellar stats and a killer ability for Eagle decks:

Response: After Gwaihir enters play, search your discard pile for an Eagle ally and put it into play under your control. At the end of the round, if that ally is still in play, add it to your hand.

Gwaihir’s stats are so good that if he was a hero, he would have a threat cost of 10 (if following the usual formula). 2 willpower in Tactics is always huge, more so than in other spheres, 3 attack is strong, and 4 hit points allow him to serve as a defender or damage soak in a pinch. Certainly, the expensive cost of 5 resources is Gwaihir’s greatest weakness. In isolation, 5 wouldn’t be too terrible, but when you factor in 5 for the other unique Eagle, Landroval, along with 4 for each copy of Descendant of Thorondor and Eagle of the Misty Mountains, and Eagle decks can be quite expensive to run. Adding Gwaihir into this picture just makes matters even worse. Granted, not all of the aforementioned allies need to be used, but bringing Gwaihir along in addition to some of those mentioned probably means either a mono-Tactics focus or some form of consistent resource generation (or both). Still, if you can pay for Gwaihir, he really adds great value to an Eagle deck both with his stats and ability. Imagine having both Landroval and Gwaihir on the table, and the terror they can inflict on their foes!

In terms of Gwaihir’s ability, it really is tailor made for Descendant of Thorondor. When playing Gwaihir, you could summon the Descendant from the discard pile to deal 2 damage to an enemy in the staging area. Then, at the end of the round, the Descendant would fly back to your hand, dealing an additional 2 damage. When combined with other tricks to get the Descendant into and out of play, such as Sneak Attack, in addition to paying for it normally, an Eagle deck with Gwaihir could really put the hurting on enemies through direct damage. You could even purposely get Descendant into the discard pile without initially paying for it through the strategic use of cards like Eowyn or Protector of Lorien or the in-sphere Trollshaw Scout. Note that Gwaihir’s own ability hinges on entering play rather than being played from hand, so you could Sneak Attack him in to bring in the Descendant for even more shenanigans! While Descendant is the best choice, Gwaihir could also summon some of the disposable attacking/defending Eagles such as Vassal of the Windlord and Winged Guardian to get extra uses out of those allies, especially since they end up in the discard pile quite often.

Outside of an Eagle deck, I would have a hard time justifying Gwaihir’s inclusion, simply because of his cost and the fact that his ability relies on a certain level of consistency of Eagles allies built into the deck. Although if I was looking to build a mono-Tactics deck that could quest, I would be inclined to give him a try even without the use of his ability. Either way, the card pool is surely richer for having Gwaihir it from both a lore and Eagle synergy perspective, and I am a particular fan of the powerful, expensive unique allies. While it’s nice to drop random no-name ally #247, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of playing a strong and powerful character with a name and a history. For the Eagle connoisseur and deck builder, Gwaihir is surely a must-have.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦♦

Galadhrim Minstrel (Lore Ally, 2 cost, 1 willpower, 0 attack, 0 defense, 1 hit point):

Galadhrim-Minstrel

The Galadhrim Minstrel is a brand new Silvan ally, and is part of Galadriel and Celeborn’s people based on the word “Galadhrim” (“tree people” in Sindarin). As the Silvan deck continues to round out, it’s important to keep getting new low-cost allies with the Silvan trait that can serve a valuable “glue” function or at least facilitate the synergy of the deck and how it operates. The Minstrel certainly fits the bill with a simple yet important ability:

Response: After Galadhrim Minstrel enters play, search the top five cards of your deck for an event card and add it to your hand. Shuffle the other cards back into your deck.

This is essentially like a one-time use version of Master of the Forge for events. On the face of it, then, Galadhrim Minstrel looks to be far worse than the Master of the Forge, since the ability is not repeatable and attachments generally tend to be more crucial to deck function than events. However, it is important to understand just how Silvan decks work, as they have been developed in this cycle, and the role events play in this deck type. Silvan decks live and die by their ability to return Silvan allies to hand. This is because, on the one hand, there are a variety of useful effects that trigger off of returning a Silvan ally to hand, such as attack cancellation through Feigned Voices or threat reduction through the upcoming Island Amid Perils. That’s not all, though, as returning Silvan allies to hand is also crucial in order to be able to play them again and make additional use of an “enters play” ability like the one on Naith Guide (or on the Galadhrim Minstrel itself), or to gain the benefit of Celeborn’s stat boost once more. It doesn’t become clear just how vital this is until you actually play Silvan decks. All of the Silvan cards that return allies to hand thus far are events and this is why the Minstrel’s ability is far better than it looks on first glance. If you are using a Silvan deck and get stranded without the events you need, then the deck will not be able to work to its full power. The Galadhrim Minstrel allows you to have a better chance of drawing cards like Tree People, Feigned Voices, etc., early and often and this is why it is a great addition for Silvan deck builders. Certainly, one could argue that you could simply add other, more generally useful card draw effects to your deck to get at those events, especially if you have access to Lore anyway. Still, it’s difficult to ignore the value of a cheap, Silvan ally that helps get key events into your hand quicker, can be used to trigger those events, and can serve as a chump blocker at need.

In terms of stats, the Galadhrim Minstrel is not bringing much to the table, although the single point of willpower can at least help a bit with questing. However, during the first turn that the Minstrel enters play, you can use this ally to quest for 2 willpower instead of 1, which is a pretty substantial contribution. If you have Children of the Sea in hand, you can also boost this up to 4 willpower, and then have the Minstrel be shuffled into your hand to be potentially drawn later.

While the Silvan synergy is clear, does the Galadhrim Minstrel have a place in non-Silvan decks? Here, the stats really do prove a hindrance, as without the boost from Celeborn and other Silvan-specific cards, you are really looking at a pretty paltry body that won’t do much to help your board position. There also are a ton of card draw effects in Lore that are better than the Minstrel if you don’t have a particular need to draw events. However, I could imagine a Spirit/Lore deck where I would find the Galadhrim Minstrel useful in pulling out those treasured copies of A Test of Will or The Galadhrim’s Greeting. How many times have you cringed because you knew there were several copies of A Test of Will in your deck, but didn’t have any in hand with nasty treacheries lurking around the corner? The Minstrel has what you need (potentially). Similarly, a Tactics/Lore deck that is lacking in card draw could benefit from the Minstrel by having a way to get those copies of Feint, for example, into hand much more quickly. Still, these uses will depend on deck composition, as if you don’t have a healthy percentage of events in your deck, then you might be better off with other Lore card draw effects. On the other hand, decks that rely on events for a certain combo would do well to give the Minstrel a look.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

Defender of the Naith (Neutral Ally, 3 cost, 0 willpower, 1 attack, 2 defense, 2 hit points):

Defender-of-the-Naith

If there is one ally in the Trouble in Tharbad Adventure Pack that has inspired more discussion and debate than any other, it is the Defender of the Naith. This neutral Silvan ally is clearly meant to serve the role that its name assigns to it, which is defense, and this is paired with some action advantage that is keyed to the Silvan trait :

Sentinel.

Response: After a Silvan ally you control leaves play, ready Defender of the Naith.

The main criticism of Defender of the Naith is that he only has 2 defense and 2 hit points. This means that any enemy with 4 attack strength or greater will automatically destroy the Defender, and an enemy with 3 attack strength will deal 1 damage and leave the Defender on the verge of destruction. When paired with a moderately expensive cost of 3 resources, there doesn’t seem to be much value here compared to possible alternatives. The Defender of Rammas, for example, costs only 2 resources and boasts 4 defense, although it only has 1 hit point. To add to the argument against Defender of the Naith, it is also unclear how valuable the action advantage really is, given the mediocre stats. With no willpower, you can’t quest and defend (although Celeborn could give the Defender 1 willpower for the first turn), and the 1 attack isn’t substantial enough to really justify using the effect to attack and then defend. The main use thus seems to be for defending against multiple enemies, as you could defend once, then use an event to return a Silvan ally to hand, which would ready the Defender to stand in the way of a second enemy. Unfortunately, the low stats of the Defender again makes this problematic, but you could imagine defending against an enemy with 3 attack or lower, then having the Defender chump against a second enemy with a high attack value, covering 2 enemy attacks with 1 ally.

Despite the justified criticism, after using Defender of the Naith in a few Silvan decks, I feel like this ally does have a role to play. So far, Silvan decks, at least if you’re adhering tightly to theme, have one major weakness: defense. Most Silvan characters have a fairly low defense and Celeborn is the closest the trait gets to a solid defender. In this context, Defender of the Naith becomes much more valuable than he seems at first glance by providing a solid defensive answer for Silvan decks at key points in a game. While the Defender’s 2 defense is not as high as one would like for 3 resources, Celeborn boosts this up to 3 defense on his first turn. Combined with 2 hit points, this is usually enough to make Defender of the Naith into quite a solid defender during his first round on the board. The key to playing him is therefore choosing the right moment to drop him into play, when the 3 defense will be most needed, rather than playing him as soon as you have the resources. In fact, strategically playing allies rather than playing them as soon as you are able is a key way in which Silvan decks in general differ from other deck types. With Arwen Undomiel in play, you can actually get Defender of the Naith up to 4 defense on his first turn, and 3 defense on subsequent turns. This is one reason why I find Arwen to be a crucial component of Silvan decks that use Spirit, despite her own Noldor status. The other important aspect of Defender of the Naith that makes this ally useful is that he is neutral, which means that the 3 resources aren’t as big a hurdle as they might otherwise be, especially since Silvan decks tend to be tri-sphere builds to get access to the Silvan effects and allies, which are scattered across the spheres. In terms of the readying effect, perhaps the optimal combination would be a first-turn Defender of the Naith defending against one enemy, then using Feigned Voices to return another Silvan ally to hand to cancel the attack of a second enemy, which would ready the Defender in order to defend against a third enemy. This would allow you to effectively cover 3 enemy attacks in a single combat phase. Of course, this won’t happen all the time, but it doesn’t require much at all to pull off. Keep in mind that Silvan Tracker can keep healing Defender of the Naith as needed, and Elven Mail can boost his hit points.

At the end of the day, your mileage with Defender of the Naith really depends upon how much you stick to theme when building a Silvan deck or any deck based on a trait. If you don’t need every ally in your Silvan deck to have the Silvan trait or match the theme, then you could leave out Defender of the Naith and use something like Defender of Rammas or Winged Guardian instead. Still, I think it’s worth mentioning that outside of the Tactics sphere, there aren’t a ton of good defensive ally options out there, which is easy to forget when looking at the Defender in isolation. For example, the Orthanc Guard from Voice of Isengard also has 2 defense and 2 hit points and received some of the same criticisms as Defender of the Naith. Of course, there is another 3-cost neutral ally with one additional hit point, White Tower Watchman, that might perhaps be a better defender in terms of stats, but lacks the Silvan synergy and only gets its full value in mono-sphere decks. If you do prefer to stick to a certain trait when building a deck based around that trait, and you are looking to build a good Silvan deck, then Defender of the Naith certainly has a place and can help provide some defensive answers for Silvan. Keep in mind that O Lorien! can reduce the cost of the Defender down to 2, which makes for a better deal. If future cards are released that provide other defensive options for Silvan, whether a strong defensive Silvan hero or more Elven armor or something else, then Defender of the Naith might fall from consideration. Until then, though, Defender of the Naith has a valuable role to play in Silvan decks.

Versatility: ♦◊◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

Conclusion

Trouble in Tharbad has really upped the ante for Silvan decks, with 2 solid Silvan allies and a few other cards that will be covered in the attachments and events review. In addition, Eagle decks finally get some love after too long, with the great and powerful Gwaihir making an appearance. Finally, Herald of Anorien is the kind of card that experimental deck builders and those who like combos can fall in love with, as it can help to grease the wheels of all kinds of decks. In short, a cycle that has been all about solid options continues that trend with the Trouble in Tharbad allies.

Readers, what is your favorite ally from this AP? Which do you think is the strongest? Which do you think is the weakest? What is your favorite use for Herald of Anorien that you’ve come up with? Most importantly, I’m sure I’ll hear plenty about Defender of the Naith, so don’t be afraid to sound off!

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From → Reviews

26 Comments
  1. Fouilloux permalink

    I think I hoped in a previous post that the silvan will receive a “stewards’fear” pack, meaning that you would have anything you need to make a silvan deck within a given pack. I must say that for me, this pack plus the dunland trap are what was needed: silvan needed cheap allies to go and return to your hand, and that’s what this pack gave us with the minstrel: because a 2 cost silvan ally is in reality a 1 cost silvan allie with o’ lorien. In fact, what we have in this pack are : ressource acceleration, readying, healing,card drawing and defending for the silvan trait! (Well I should have kept that for the end ond the cards review but to late!)

    I am a bit a “slave to theme”, so I really like the fact that the Defender offer some defending aspect (althought I would prefer silvan tracker).

    I am also part of team eagle, so houra for Gwaihir!

    As I am also looking for good gondor allies, I like the Herald also.

    So all in all, that’s an excelent pack for me!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I agree. In terms of player cards, I think this is my favorite pack so far. Though once Celebrimbor’s Secret comes along with Galadriel/Nenya, I might have to rethink that title!

  2. Gwaihir the Windlord permalink

    I was thrilled to see myself (finally) come out in this game. The one thing I regret is that I am an ally. Don’t get me wrong; Gwaihir is amazing, especially with two willpower in Tactics, but I feel no trait archetype is complete without a hero. We have a strong set of eagle cards, but there is no real “leader,” so to speak. I feel very strongly that we need Gwaihir as a hero, not an ally. Currently, there are four allies that have been remade into heroes: Faramir, Beorn, Haldir, and Gandalf (very soon, anyway). It took three years for Haldir and Faramir and two for Beorn and Gandalf. It will be a long wait for Gwaihir to become a hero, if FFG considers it at all. Otherwise, TiT introduces a strong set of allies (though I’ve never been much of a doomed fan myself) that I believe we’ll see a lot of in the future.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I agree. I would really love to see an Eagle hero come out, and Gwaihir seems like the perfect candidate. I’m not sure if the designers feel if the Eagles are better off staying as allies, or if they’re just saving the idea of an Eagle hero for some future expansion, but I hope that it’s the latter.

  3. Pengolodh permalink

    In my second play-through of Trouble in Tharbad, I had four enemies engaged with me and only three characters ready: Idraen (who was excellent for the quest), a Naith Guide, and a Defender of the Naith. Of course my first move was to defend the Spy from Mordor with the Defneder, and, seeing as he entered play that round (Celeborn was in play), survived. Then I sacrificed my Naith Guide to Bellach’s Maruader, readying the Defender. Of course I didn’t realize this until Idraen had defended the Orc Hunter and I was pondering which of my heroes I should kill. Then I realized the Defender had readied, so I immediately blocked the second Spy, which sadly destroyed the valiant Defender. But hey, I didn’t lose a hero!
    Sorry if this is vague, I played the game two weeks ago and all games seem to mush together. But quick question: Do you ever find yourself congratulating your characters? Legolas recently smashed a Hill Troll thanks to Keeping Count and other attack boosting effects, and I promptly said, “Good job!”, holding out my hand for a high-five.

    • Gwaihir the Windlord permalink

      Don’t worry, Pengolodh. Sooner or later, all of us end up strategizing with our valiant friends – err, cardboard. 😉

    • Pengoloh: you’re absolutely not the only one doing this… Eomer has received a ton of high-fives from me

      • Pengolodh permalink

        Oh good! But my biggest fear was that someone would walk into the room and watch me apparently “slap” a piece of cardboard before proceeding to perform a jubilant dance.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Haha, I’m laughing at the high fiving of cardboard. I’ve definitely done some dramatic fist pumps after a particularly epic moment or victory.

  4. I think you’re right about the Defender; he is our best option for Silvan, but somewhat lacking in terms of stats. Sure with Arwen out and O Lorien! in play things look much better, but then you’re relying on two other cards to make him shine.

    I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if we see some sort of Silvan event or attachment that boosts defense. Perhaps a “Behind Strong Walls” for the people of the trees?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Yeah, I’m curious to see if we’ll see some more Silvan defensive help. We got the Elven Mail but it doesn’t do enough to provide real defensive solutions against high-attack enemies. I’d ideally like to see something that gives the flavor of Elves as more elusive types rather than just shaking off hits like Dwarves.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I would add that I tried a hit-and-move type Silvan deck by loading up on maximum copies of Feigned Voices and Feint, but the defensive help is still needed when playing against the more difficult quests.

  5. William O'Brien permalink

    I’ve been trying out two different Silvan builds, Celeborn-Haldir-Mirlonde and Celeborn-Galadriel-Sam, and Defender has been pretty key in both of them. Just having a body that can safely block 2 or 3 attack enemies so that you don’t need to waste chump blockers or Feigned Voices is important. He’s more important in the Galadriel verson which doesn’t have Silvan Trackers, but still had value in the Lore deck, where you want as many Silvans as possible so Tree People doesn’t whiff.

    This just in – Galadriel is really good. Nothing quite like dropping Saruman or Gandalf and having them pull double duty. Her synergy with Faramir is also notable (Faramir quests, then pumps everyone, then use Nenya for 5).

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I’m dying with anticipation for Galadriel. I tend to not proxy any upcoming cards, not because I think there’s anything wrong with it, but I try to preserve maximum excitement for soon-to-be-released packs by not playing with them until they are in my hand. Anyway, getting double duty out of those strong unique allies is just going to be so amazing, and it will make those Silvan allies really sing as well.

  6. Buz permalink

    I am a big fan of Defender of the Naith.

    1. Neutral resource match helps those invariably tri-sphere Silvan decks keep the allies coming
    2. Sentinel actually matters quite a bit in multiplayer, and can be gamechanging. It’s not at all a throwaway part of him, to me.
    3. The readying thing is a bonus, not an inherent part of his ability.

    I think eventually he might get crowded out a bit as more decent Silvan allies are released, but right now I’d rather have this guy than most of the 3-cost Lore Silvans, with the Tracker a notable exception.

    I haven’t tried the Envoy yet as we are pretty strapped with Threat stuff in our current builds (meaning my normal 2er partner and I) but it seems pretty solid. I wonder, though, in Leadership, don’t you have other, perhaps better, ways of getting a 2-drop for free?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I definitely agree with your #3 regarding Defender of the Naith. The readying is really secondary, and I haven’t gotten much use out of it so far. Really, his value is all about his defensive stats and his role in the Silvan deck.

      As for the Herald of Anorien, there certainly are better ally dumping cards around, as well as straight resource generation in Leadership that can pay for a 2-cost. I think his primary value is 1) in helping to splash in off-sphere allies and 2) combining with other ally dumping effects to really ramp up a deck quickly.

  7. To start with the Herald: I’m not a doomed fan, but this ability is great!

    The Defender indeed lacks in stats but if you can beef him up a readying defender (suppose you’re using Silvan with him) is never a bad thing. If he is defending for 3 or 4 and he can defend two or three attacks your fighting hero can take the enemies out. The Galadhrim Minstrel is nice in Silvan indeed.

    And Gwaihir! Finally! Nice stats, nice ability! Next up will be Hero Lord of the Eagles, so we will still be able to play Gwaihir ally.
    The hero’s ability will be: reduce the cost of unique eagles by 1 and when an Eagle enters play it gains + 1 will. 🙂

    • Gwaihir the Windlord permalink

      “Hero Lord of the Eagles . . .” I second this motion 200%.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Good idea. Myself and some of the Grey Company gents had a discussion at Gen Con about whether Gwaihir was truly the Lord of the Eagles or not. Anyway, I’d love to see an Eagle hero and you’ve covered the two areas an Eagle deck really needs help with: paying for allies and some extra willpower. While I’m not generally a fan of giving Tactics a ton of willpower across the board, I think Eagles are a good candidate to do some questing in that sphere.

      • Although I probably would find myself at the end of Gwaihir being Windlord, I don’t really like the fact of leaving Gwaihir ally behind. 😉 Also I agree on the fact of not giving Tactics willpower, but maybe some new Escort from Edorastype Eagle ally or hero boost could symbolize the Eagles swift help. Thanks for the reply! 🙂

        • TalesfromtheCards permalink

          Yeah, I always figured Rohan have such good questing because of their horses and being able to ride quickly, so it would make sense for Eagles to have some willpower help too!

  8. William O'Brien permalink

    Any particular reason why my comment is stuck in moderation?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Sorry, no reason other than being ridiculously busy the past few days!

  9. Silver Swan permalink

    Herald of Anorien works perfectly with an Outlands deck.

    Outlands represents Gondor’s ability to draft the entire population. Each card represents the beginning of another company, and as more people come to swell the ranks of existing companies and start new ones, they become remarkably effective fighting units. Ethir Swordsman’s ability represents the way the fisherfolk of the Anduin delta taught others how to handle boats, greatly speeding Aragorn’s journey. But such companies are not very secretive. So having a herald who raises your threat to bring them in, especially with good tidings spurring them on (A Very Good Tale), is both thematic and powerful.

  10. Mndela permalink

    I love this AP cause of your allies. 2 silvans, 1 eagle and 1 gondor ally (and doomed card). Great AP

  11. sweetnesswhachacha permalink

    “The key to playing him is therefore choosing the right moment to drop him into play”

    You hit the nail on the head. That’s why I love this deck type so much, many more decisions, a lot more tricks you can play, and it’s just so much fun to bounce them. So far I’ve found him pretty useful because of Celeborns buff, or pulling him back with the spirit event to reduce your threat by 3.

    The minstrel is awesome for the same reasons, quest for 2 and keep dropping him I’m for continual card draw and search.

    I’d agree, the wind lord is awesome , but I have noticed the high cost of the Eagles, and with another it makes me pause to play a bunch of them in one deck. I’d rather play 1 or 2 cost elves all day long…

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