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The Dread Realm: Allies, Attachments, and Events Review

by on February 19, 2016

dread

 

It’s time to bring the review of The Dread Realm player cards (and Angmar Awakened player cards in general) to a final conclusion. Then, we’ll be able to move onto The Grey Havens and the new cycle in earnest! This will be a bit of a lightning round by TftC standards, as I’ll devote just a single paragraph to each player card. Which will be quickly brushed aside as chaff? And which will be praised for all time? Read on to find out!

 

ALLIES

Eothain (Leadership Ally, 4 cost, 2 willpower, 2 attack, 1 defense, 3 hit points):

Éothain

Eothain is a new Rohan ally with a readying ability that plays off of the trait’s play-style:

Response: After a Rohan ally is discarded from play by a card effect, ready Éothain.

While Leadership is one of Rohan’s main spheres, previously there have only been two allies with that trait within the sphere: Snowbourn Scout and Warden of Helm’s Deep. Another option has thus been sorely needed to help round out Rohan’s presence within Leadership. Eothain is certainly on the expensive end of the scale, a problem which is exacerbated by the fact that usually you’ll only be running one Leadership hero in a Rohan deck. On the other side of the equation, though, Spirit Theoden can lower his cost to 3, and there’s certainly resource generation available in the sphere, including Theodred. What you end up with is an ally with strong stats for either questing or attack (and 3 hit points to soak up archery and direct damage). His ability is a rare bit of action advantage for an ally. This readying allows him to quest and then attack, essentially giving you two-for-one, or two attacks. The trigger is something that will be happening often, usually every turn in a good Rohan deck, so you should be able to get value for money. All in all, Eothain won’t be the core of a Rohan deck and won’t win a game single-handedly, but he rewards you for doing what you should be doing anyway. He’s worth at least 1 copy, possibly 2 copies, in most Rohan decks using Leadership.

  • Protip: Use Eothain and his 4 cost to help trigger A Very Good Tale, and then ready him back up by discarding a Rohan ally in play, perhaps one of the new allies you put into play with A Very Good Tale itself!

Versatility: ♦◊◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

Fornost Bowman (Tactics Ally, 3 cost, 1 willpower, 1 attack, 1 defense, 3 hit points):

Fornost-Bowman

The Fornost Bowman is the final ally piece for Dunedain decks, at least within this cycle. Just as the Guardian of Arnor provided defense based on the number of engaged enemies, the Fornost Bowman does the same for attack:

Ranged.

Fornost Bowman gets +1 for each enemy engaged with you.

Generally, I like the Guardian of Arnor better. Defense is typically the main concern of Dunedain decks, which need to keep multiple enemies engaged, but don’t have many options for staving off attacks on a consistent basis over the course of a game. Guardian of Arnor directly addresses this need. By contrast, Dunedain decks already have strong attack options. Tactics Aragorn reduces enemy defenses while the Dunedain Hunter provides 3 attack for free. There is also the fact that, in a Dunedain deck, you’ll often be looking to kill off maybe just one enemy a round at most, while keeping most around, which makes attack strength a lower priority. The Fornost Bowman’s ability is therefore useful but not strictly necessary in many cases. There are some special advantages that the Fornost Bowman does provide. First is the ranged keyword, which can be valuable in multiplayer (although Dunedain decks are more likely than the average combat deck to leave other players without many engaged foes). Second is the 1 willpower, which can be helpful during big quest pushes. I would argue that similar attack boosting/hulking allies for other traits, such as the Erebor Battle Master or Booming Ent are easier to pump with a smaller amount of accompanying risk. Still, if you’re looking to round out a Dunedain deck, then the Fornost Bowman is a solid choice, and the ability to lower the cost with Heir of Valandil makes this ally more appealing, although mostly as another body. It’s worth remembering that the Bowman can certainly be potent against battle quests, especially late in a game. Outside of Dunedain decks, I’d probably be happier with other Tactics options, such as Galadhon Archer (2 cost for 2 ranged attack and 1 point of direct damage).

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦◊◊

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

Galadhrim-Healer

The Galadhrim Healer is a brand new Silvan ally that provides healing when she enters play:

Response: After Galadhrim Healer enters play, choose a player. Heal 1 damage from each hero controlled by that player.

On the surface, this is a cheap and useful ability along the lines of other Silvan “enters play” allies, and healing has grown in importance with the proliferation of archery and direct damage. However, I don’t feel like the Galadhrim Healer will make the cut in most of my Silvan decks for several reasons. First is the availability of superior options, specifically Silvan Tracker. While Silvan Tracker is slightly more expensive, and only heals Silvan, the healing is repeatable, applies to all Silvan characters (not just heroes), works automatically, and comes packaged with a better set of stats. Overall, I’m much more likely to continue using the Silvan Tracker as my main healing option in Silvan decks than including the one-time use Galadhrim Healer. While the “one-time use” label is a bit unfair, as Silvan decks are built to pop allies in and out, making the Healer’s ability likely to trigger several times over the course of a game, there are plenty of other candidates for Silvan “remove from play”/”enters play” effects that I’d rather target instead. The Galadhrim Healer’s stats are also just not impressive, even with a one-turn boost from Celeborn. What really kills the Galadhrim Healer is the competition from other Lore Silvan allies. Besides the Tracker, I’d much rather have the Galadhrim Minstrel at the same price point, and the slightly more expensive Mirkwood Runner is better as well. When you factor in useful Silvan allies from other spheres, I just don’t know if there’s room for the Healer. The exception is against certain scenarios that really pile on damage in copious amounts, in which case I might double up on healing with Silvan Tracker and the Galadhrim Healer working together. Outside of Silvan decks, the Galadhrim Healer is certainly a possible healing choice, but the Warden of Healing at the same cost will always win that battle.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦◊◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦◊◊◊

ATTACHMENTS

Sword of Numenor (Leadership Attachment, 1 cost):

Sword-of-Númenor

Sword of Numenor is a rare weapon in the Leadership sphere, one that can potentially generate resources by destroying enemies:

Attach to a Dúnedain or Gondor hero.Restricted.

Attached hero gets +1 .

Response: After attached hero participates in an attack that destroys an enemy with 5 or more printed hit points, exhaust Sword of Númenor to add 1 resource to attached hero’s resource pool.

I really want to love Sword of Numenor, as the only weapon in Leadership (leaving aside the Outlands-granting Sword of Morthond, which doesn’t really count), and one with an evocative name. However, there are some serious questions as to its actual utility as a resource generation engine. Rather than generating a resource simply if the attached hero destroys an enemy, the trigger is actually participating in an attack that destroys an enemy with 5 or more printed hit points. How rare is this “magic number”? A quick look at the last two quests shows that about 44% of regular enemies in The Battle of Carn Dum (8/18) and about 33% of regular enemies in The Dread Realm (5/15) have 5 or more printed hit points. This kind of distribution means that, in a best case scenario, the Sword of Numenor will generate a small handful of resources per game, and it’s definitely not something you can count on as a consistent source of resource generation. There’s little point in comparing it to Steward of Gondor, as if you are taking a look at all at Sword of Numenor, it’s because you want an alternative in order to avoid a clash in multiplayer or for thematic reasons. Still, in order to merit the deck space, the Sword of Numenor doesn’t necessarily need to be as strong as Steward, but must at least help your deck get up and running on a consistent basis. The main problem with Sword of Numenor isn’t necessarily the restrictive trigger, but the fact that you’ll likely only be be able to get resources out of it in the mid-to-late game, as it will take some time to find a target and build up enough strength to take out said target. Unfortunately, it’s actually in the early game when you want your resource generation to be working. The positive aspect of Sword of Numenor is that it’s cheap and provides +1 attack, which puts it on the same level as Dunedain Mark, even without the resources. It does have the restricted keyword, however, and can’t be passed around like the Dunedain Mark. But since it’s non-unique, you can put a couple in play, even on the same character, as long as you’re not using other restricted attachments on that character. With that in mind, I wouldn’t mind putting Sword of Numenor in my deck as a replacement for Dunedain Mark, if I don’t care about restricted or playing off of the signal trait. In this case, the Sword’s resources are a nice bonus rather than a core strategy, but with multiple copies, you could get a good flow of resources several times a game.

  • Protip: As a weapon, Sword of Numenor can trigger effects like Foe-hammer and Goblin-cleaver.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦♦

Weather-stained Cloak (Lore Attachment, 0 cost):

Weather-stained-Cloak

 

The Weather-stained Cloak provides damage protection during the quest phase:

Attach to a Ranger character. Limit 1 per character.

While attached character is commited to the quest, Weather-stained Cloak gains:

Response: Exhaust Weather-stained Cloak to cancel 1 point of damage just dealt to attached character.

If you review cards from the standpoint of their general applicability, then the Weather-stained Cloak is an instant dud. There’s just too few cases where it’s better to cancel a single point of damage than to simply include healing and get rid of the damage after the fact. However, it’s always important to remember that this is a game where success can often depend upon building to face the specific challenges of a quest, especially when it comes to the more difficult ones. So while a card may be fairly useless or subpar against 95% of scenarios, if it helps to unlock 5% of them, then it still has a place in the card pool in my opinion. This seems to be the case for Weather-stained Cloak. You really don’t have to look hard to find the situations in which the Cloak can be useful. Cold from Angmar is one of the most annoying treacheries around, dealing a point of damage to a hero and blanking the text box of all damaged characters, and it exists in the very same cycle within which the Weather-stained Cloak was released (and has the weather trait no less)! In this way, the Cloak can be seen as a direct counter to Cold from Angmar, as you can simply deal the damage to the attached hero and then cancel it. Of course, everyone will be familiar with The Necromancer’s Reach from the Core Set, and even the brand new The Grey Havens deluxe expansion has some direct damage during the quest phase as well. The real limitation here is that the Cloak can only be attached to a ranger character, and ranger allies tend to have enough hit points to survive direct damage and then heal it afterwards (the same applies to ranger heroes of course), while those fragile allies that really need this kind of protection, like all those 1 hit point questers in Spirit, don’t have the ranger trait. So overall this attachment is certainly quite limited, and can’t even help you against many of the situations it was designed to counter, but it still is worth a look against some very specific situations. I still prefer my parka though…

Parka-Front-Face

  • Protip: If an enemy makes an immediate attack during staging, and the attached character defends, the cancellation can be used against a point of damage suffered in the attack.

Versatility: ♦◊◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦◊◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦♦

Sword-thain (Neutral Attachment, 4 cost):

Sword-thain

 

Pretty much since I first picked up the game, I’ve dreamed of having a way to transform an ally into a hero, much as a pawn can turn into a queen in chess, and Sword-thain has made this dream a reality:

Attach to a unique ally belonging to any sphere of influence.

Attached character loses the ally card type and gains the hero card type.

Looking at Sword-thain mainly as a form of resource generation is probably the wrong way to go about it. Steward of Gondor obviously outclasses it, as does Resourceful within secrecy. Paying 4 up front to generate 1 extra resource probably is a rate of return that won’t be worthwhile in most cases, although the fact Sword-thain is neutral means that you can pay resources from one sphere to generate resources for another. For example, with 2 Spirit heroes and 1 Lore hero, you could pay Spirit resources to add another Lore hero, essentially permanently smoothing out resources in a deck. This could be worthwhile under the right circumstances. Still, the real attraction here is not resources but fun and creative applications. Turning an ally into a hero is important because it gives that new hero access to attachments (and events) that it didn’t have access to as an ally. For example, sticking Unexpected Courage, which can only be attached to a hero, onto ally Faramir or Gleowine means that you can get double use out of their abilities. Or you could put Gondorian Shield onto ally Boromir to transform him into a solid defensive option. Or how about a Rohan Warhose on ally Legolas for some significant card draw? The point of this card, the real point, is that there are more possibilities than I can list here. That is what this card is all about: dreaming big and pulling off combos that will wow but aren’t necessarily optimal. What you’ll notice is that most of these setups are quite expensive, with a total cost of 10 for the Faramir/Unexpected Courage/Sword-thain combination and 9 for the Warhorse/Legolas/Sword-thain combination. Again, this isn’t a card for power players, this is one for those who like a little bit of flash in their play. The one exception is Sword-thain in a Caldara deck. I would argue that Sword-thain is a must-include in Caldara decks these days, and is fairly easy to pay for with the ever-present Zigil Miner/Imladris Stargazer engine in that deck type, and dramatically increases the power of Caldara by bringing out 3 allies with each activation rather than 2. So with that all being said, I love this card as one that gets my head away from straight-forward deck building and towards something a bit more magical. It will continue to find new uses for the rest of the life of the game with the release of each new unique ally and attachment that can only go on heroes. And the cost of 4 seems perfect to prevent it from being too strong.

  • Protip: To reduce the overall cost, you can Sneak Attack an ally into play and then put Sword-thain on them. It has been ruled that since the character is no longer an ally, they won’t return to hand at the end of the phase.

 

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦♦

EVENTS

Hour of Wrath (Tactics Event, 4 cost):

Hour-of-Wrath

 

Hour of Wrath is perhaps the flashiest of the valour effects we’ve seen in the cycle, allowing all of a player’s heroes to defend and attack without exhausting for a phase:

Action: Choose a hero. Until the end of the phase, the chosen hero does not exhaust to attack or defend.

Valour Action: Choose a player. Until the end of the phase, each of that player’s heroes do not exhaust to attack or defend.

While Hour of Wrath and Sword-thain couldn’t be more different if they tried, they are alike in that they are both 4-cost cards that provide a sexy effect that isn’t always practical. Looking at the regular action, there probably are only a few cases where you would pay 4 to have only a single hero attack/defend without exhausting. However, it could bail you out of a desperate situation where you are suddenly outmanned by enemies. Imagine having Beregond with a Gondorian Shield defend against 5 or 6 enemies during a single combat phase. That would probably be worth 4 resources. Even better would be a hero with strong offensive and defensive capabilities, like a Tactics Aragorn for example. The problem on the attacking side is that if only one hero can attack every enemy, but you don’t have many other options, you probably won’t be able to rack up enough kills to make the event worth the cost and trouble. So it’s really the valour action that’s the main attraction here. With all of your heroes able to participate in each attack and defense, Hour of Wrath could basically allow you to turn a situation in which you are overwhelmed to one in which you clear out all enemies engaged with you. That is certainly worth 4 resources. The main problem with this card is that the situation in which this card is useful won’t turn up every game, and even when it does, you might not have it in hand or have the resources to pay for it. So Hour of Wrath is the kind of card that explodes one game and gives you a victory all by itself, but sits in hand or in your deck useless for 10 other games. You end up having to ask yourself whether that Hour of Wrath you draw turn one or turn two would be much better if it were some other card that could help you out immediately and prevent you from ever getting into a dire situation in the first place. Still, there is a place for this card, and much like Sword-thain, it’s for those players who want flashy, creative effects and not necessarily for those who prioritize the optimal play. I can see possibilities in a player making this card cheaper with A Good Meal/Merry or Mablung and recurring it with Hama, but overall this seems more like a card that you might throw 1 copy into a deck as a potential helper but not one that you look to on a consistent basis.

  • Protip: Use Stand Together with the valour action and you can pool all of your heroes’ defense strength for each defense.
  • Protip: With Tactics Aragorn and the valour action, you could potentially engage and destroy every enemy on the board in multiplayer, and with Legolas and the valour action, you could generate tons of progress.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

Elven-light (Spirit Event, 1 cost):

Elven-light

 

Elven-light appears odd at first glance, but it works perfectly with the Noldor “discard from hand” mechanics:

Elven-light can only be played from your discard pile.

Action: Return Elven-light to your hand from your discard pile. Then, draw 1 card.

Absent of context, Elven-light doesn’t make much sense, but it essentially gives you a free card to discard to power an ability (such as that on hero Arwen) since you want it in the discard pile anyway (and can only be played from there). Once it is in the discard pile, you can then use it as a source of card draw, paying 1 resource to draw 1 card. Note that with hero Arwen, since you can gain a resource by discarding Elven-light, and then can use that resource to play it and draw a card, the first copy of Elven-light basically guarantees a free extra card for you each round. That is an amazing bargain by itself, but the true power of Elven-light is in its flexibility. You don’t have to use its ability each turn, so when you have enough cards in hand and really just rather save resources, you can leave it in the discard pile. On the other hand, when you have more resources than cards to play, you can trade in those resources for cards, keeping in mind that as multiple copies of Elven-light get into your discard pile, you can draw multiple cards per turn if you have the resources available. This all adds up to a strong source of card draw for Spirit, where previously it didn’t have many options outside of Galadriel and Ancient Mathom. Of course, Elven-light is not just about card draw and resources (with Arwen), it also helps to fund a wide variety of discard effects, especially many of those that help to make Noldor decks function. Since Elven-light not only draws you a card but also brings itself back into hand when it is played, you essentially increase your hand size by 2, which can help provide ammunition for cards like Protector of Lorien, Elven Spear, Elven Jeweler, etc. It would be a mistake, however, to think that Elven-light is only good for Noldor decks, as I’d even consider using it just with Eowyn, as she could discard it for extra willpower and then use it to draw cards when necessary. All in all, outside of Arwen herself, this is clearly the best card in the pack, an auto-include in Arwen/Noldor decks, and a strong consideration in any Spirit deck that has consistent access to a discard effect.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

Tale of Tinuviel (Spirit Event, 1 cost):

Tale-of-Tinúviel

 

Tale of Tinuviel is an event that plays off of the Dunedain and Noldor traits to provide both readying and a stat boost:

Action: Exhaust a Noldor character to ready a Dúnedain character, or vice-versa. Until the end of the phase, add the exhausted character’s printed to the other character’s , , and .

First off, as a fan of all things Silmarillion, getting an explicit shout-out to Beren and Luthien in this game is ridiculously exciting. In terms of gameplay, there are really two effects going on here. The readying is actually the star of the show here in my book, as action advantage is so often the key to victory in this game. What is most notable is that the character that exhausts can be an ally, as well as a hero. This is important, as it means you can exhaust a lowly Elven Jeweler or Rivendell Scout, who probably isn’t doing much anyway, to ready a powerhouse Dunedain like Aragorn. Of course, the beauty of this card’s balance is that if you choose that route, the accompanying stat boost will be lower, so it’s all a matter of deciding what you really need from this card and how much. Flexibility is really the name of the game here. So you could pull the most thematic move and exhaust Arwen to give Aragorn +3 to all his stats, or simply worry about the readying and give another character an extra action and maybe just a +1 boost. It is important to note that the stat boost only lasts until the end of the phase, so you can ready a character during questing, giving them extra willpower and leaving them ready for combat, but they won’t have the stat boosts available then. The biggest cost of Tale of Tinuviel is not the 1 resource but the exhaustion of one character, which means that it is not net action advantage in a quantitative sense, but it can be considered action advantage in a qualitative sense (in other words, trading the action of a character you need less for a second action of a character that can make a bigger impact). Common Cause, which does something similar, never really caught on much past the Core Set days. However, Tale of Tinuviel has points in its favor that Common Cause does not, such as applying to allies as well as heroes and providing a stat boost as well. Overall, Tale of Tinuviel is a solid choice for any deck that includes a decent number of Noldor and Dunedain characters (or Noldor/Dunedain heroes), although I’m not completely sold that it is an auto-include in those cases. Rather, its utility will depend on the specific construction of your deck. It does become even better in multiplayer, with the addition of more targets, and keep in mind that it has the song trait, so that it can trigger Love or Tales or be fetched with Rivendell Minstrel.

  • Protip: If a shadow effect boosts an enemy’s attack, you can use Tale of Tinuviel to boost the defender’s defense and save them from destruction, while also leaving them ready for another defense or a counter-attack.
  • Protip: Tale of Tinuviel can allow a high willpower character (who is normally only good for traditional questing) contribute to battle or siege questing by adding their willpower to another character’s attack or defense.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦◊◊

Conclusion

That brings to a close the player cards of the Angmar Awakened cycle! It’s been a wild ride, with some gems and some coasters, but ultimately the Noldor and Dunedain traits have ended up in a good place, with some interesting new archetypes, such as victory display shenanigans, also introduced. I have to say that The Dread Realm is not necessarily the strongest batch of player cards in terms of raw power, but Arwen and Elven-light alone are certainly worth the price of admission, and there are some cards that are just plain fun.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the player cards of The Dread Realm? Of Angmar Awakened in general?

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15 Comments
  1. Everett Zuras permalink

    Like your Parka!

  2. William O'Brien permalink

    I think this undersells the power of Tale of Tinuviel quite a bit. The Spirit Noldor heroes all have really high willpower, making the stat-boost nearly unprecedented. The only other cards that can boost defense by 3 or 4 are Protector of Lorien and Blood of Numenor, and both take notable investment and do nothing for the follow-up attack. The comparison is to Common Cause, but the net effect is closer to a one-card Common Cause + Fair and Perilous + Stand Together. Or more simply – it’s essentially a one-card answer to most “boss” monsters. And it’s in the perfect sphere to maximize its use via Unexpected Courage and Dwarven Tomb.

    This card makes Galadriel + Aragorn (of any flavor) into an entire archetype of its own. Because of the restrictions it is obviously limited to what decks it can be in, but there are few cards that have such a powerful effect.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      That’s fair. I could imagine a Galadriel/Aragorn build that allows Aragorn to have some monster turns for example. The comparison to Protector/Blood is a bit tough, as they provide permanent solutions, while Tale of Tinuviel is temporary in nature, although as you say, they help with the counter-attack. The other issue is that there are just so many strong Spirit events that the competition gets quite fierce sometimes. Still, my underselling it is probably a reflection of not really pairing Noldor/Dunedain in a calculated way yet, but I’ll definitely have to give it a try soon.

      • Thaddeus permalink

        Yeah, I like the potential of the card (and love the art), but it would take a specific deck build (or two matching decks) to really get the most use out of it and I haven’t been inspired to make such a deck yet. Although, someday making a deck that’s all about pumping up Aragorn is on my to-do list. 😛

      • Sechen permalink

        The key is to combine Tale of Tinuviel with Hour of Wrath! Then you can have Arwen turn tactics Aragorn into a ridiculous beast, who will defend every enemy on the board and then slaughter them all. It’s almost worth playing the 15 or 20 games it would take to get the combo together, just to see it happen!

        • Son of Arnor permalink

          I have been trying quite hard to make that happen. Final round of Deadman’s Dike? Swamped by undead? Have Aragorn go ham and kill them all!

  3. ChasmosaurusChris permalink

    I was hugely disappointed with Sword of Numenor when it was spoiled. It just seems like the designers were worried about the power of resource acceleration and so overcompensated with too many restrictions. That said I always assumed it was unique for some reason. I’ll defiantly have to give it a go now. If you can get a couple of copies in play, maybe on the same character, I could see it being quite decent. Excellent article.

    • Thaddeus permalink

      Yeah, it’s too quest specific. Also if you’re routinely taking out enemies with 5+ hit points, then you’re probably not too desperate for resources. Also I’m not fond of the art, it looks too “generic fantasy”, like Warcraft or the like, for my taste.

      • ChasmosaurusChris permalink

        I’m feeling less down on it now. I’ll give it a fair go then pass judgement on it.

  4. Thaddeus permalink

    I found the reviews of the Fornost Bowman and Galadhrim Healer oddly short-sighted. They’re both superb allies. In a 3-4 person game, it’s unlikely that the Dunedain deck will be engaging *every* enemy and being able to swing across the table for 4+ attack is huge for the team. Plus I’ve found him supremely useful for solo games; I recently was playing the Dread Realm solo with a Dunedain Trap deck and with all the Reanimated dead and the like it was frequently the case that I’d have 6-8 enemies engaged with me! Having a single ally who could consistently take out the most threatening enemy or damage the main boss was huge.
    And while I 100% agree with your assessment about the Silvan Tracker being better healer for a Silvan deck, the Galadhrim Healer lets you heal all the the heroes of ANY player. And since the SIlvan decks tend to like letting others engage enemies (it’s like the anti-Dunedain), being able to toss some healing at your buddy who keeps weathering the bulk of the attacks is just good sportsmanship.

    • Nuregami permalink

      While I’ve not yet used the Fornost Bowman (the whole Dúnedain mechanic isn’t something I’m sold on yet), I agree with you wholeheartedly regarding the Galadhrim Healer.

      O Lórien can get this beaut out for 1, heal another player’s heroes and then go into the quest (for 2 if celeborn is around). In a 4 player group, we have a Silvan deck and a Noldor deck including Elrond. We had been suffering quite a bit of damage, so 2 healing on 3 heroes was a godsend. Plus the Healer then got TreePeople’d and found another copy; making that 12 points of Healing for 1 resource (though admittedly 3 cards).

      • TalesfromtheCards permalink

        Good discussions guys! For both of these allies, I think they both are useful and solid, otherwise my ratings would have been lower, but I stand by my overall assessment for a few reasons.

        For the Fornost Bowman, let’s be clear about one thing: I include him in every one of my Dunedain decks including Tactics (although partly that’s a reflection of not having many options). But my comments reflect the fact that previous to his existence, the one thing I never said to myself about my Dunedain decks is, “I wish this deck had more attack!”. The problem was always in defense or getting hosed by shadow effects, which is why I mentioned that the Guardian of Arnor is much more pivotal. Again, this is not to say that the Bowman is useless by any means, and ranged certainly helps in multiplayer, but I rate a couple of the other Dunedain allies higher than him and he’s not the center of the deck and what it does.

        As for the Galadhrim Healer, sure she’s better in multiplayer, but I have trouble thinking of many instances in which I would prefer her over Warden of Healing. Even if you take into account the Healer being 1 with O Lorien and the Warden of Healing being 2, repeatable healing without strings will always be better. With Elrond on the table, you’re talking about 4 healing from each Warden and 6 from each Healer, but, again, the Warden can do that turn after turn, which is what you really want from a healer. In addition, damage tends to get clumped on 1 or 2 heroes in many cases, rather than evenly spread out, and I like the flexibility of the Warden to be applied to allies, as well as heroes. You can pop the Healer in and out to make her somewhat repeatable, but as I mentioned in the article, I would probably rather get repeatable uses out of Galadhrim Minstrel or Naith Guide or the stat boost for my Mirkwood Runner. And in the Silvan decks I have, I don’t see which allies I would comfortably cut for the Galadhrim Healer, as the others are higher priority.

        The exceptions to this I think are two cases:

        1) Thematic Reasons. If you really want to stick to just Silvan, then leaving out Warden of Healing and putting in Galadhrim Healer instead makes sense.
        2) I tend to always go tri-sphere with Silvan decks, but if I had 2 Lore heroes, and thus more space for Lore allies, the Galadhrim Healer would make the cut.

        My rating of 2 for efficiency for the Healer is probably a bit harsh. She’s definitely useful, I just don’t see myself using her that much for the reasons above.

        • Fouilloux permalink

          i think there is something interresting for me in the healer, it’s a her cost. I tried several duo of silvan deck, and I found out that I do not have so many 2 cost lore silvan allies. In fact, there is only Her, the Galadrim healer and henamarth. As they are the one I really want to use for the three people, I really find her interresting.

        • Thaddeus permalink

          In general the Galadhrim Healer is worse than the Warden of Healing. I don’t think anyone is going to dispute that, but I’ll still take her in a SIlvan deck. And not just for thematic reasons, but because of all the mechanical benefits of having her bounce in and out of play. I can’t use Warden of Healing to cancel an enemy attack or bring out more expensive allies. She might not be top-tier amongst the Silvan allies, but if I’m playing Silvan in Multiplayer, I’ll probably include two copies.

  5. Steven A permalink

    The Sword of Numenor would be a good fit for Elladan/Elrohir, but they don’t have either of the relevant traits without Steward. And that typically goes on Elrohir, in which case you’re paying a resource to ready him after defending in order to let him attack and get the same resource back. It’d be much better on Elladan, but who plays Steward on Elladan?

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