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Temple of the Deceived: Events Review

by on August 30, 2016

temple

Here’s Glowwyrm’s take on the events of Temple of the Deceived! -Ian

Glowwyrm here to review the events from the Temple of the Deceived.  This might be the best player card cycle we’ve ever had.  The hits just keep coming, and the events in this pack are all solid, and they all have the chance to be game-changing.  So without further ado, let’s dive into the cards.

EVENTS

Revealed in Wrath (Tactics Event, 1 cost):

Revealed-in-Wrath

 

There’s nothing quite as sweet as turning the tables on the encounter deck in a drastic way, and that is exactly what this next card does.  Once the encounter deck started blanking the text boxes of heroes I thought, “Oh yeah!  How’d you like to have your text box blanked?”  Only, I didn’t really have a way to do that aside from killing an enemy or canceling a treachery, which just isn’t the same.  Revealed in Wrath gives the players a chance to strike back.  It is absolutely oozing possibility, and so we can only scratch the surface of it here, but I’ll try to outline some broad uses for the card.

Revealed in Wrath is a one cost Tactics event.  Its text reads:

Play only if you control a Noldor hero. 

Action: Choose a non-unique enemy.  Until the end of the phase, treat the chosen enemy’s printed text box as if it were blank (except for Traits.)

  1. Avoiding nasty effects during the Quest Phase

There aren’t too many enemies that bother you during the quest phase, but the ones that do are notable and terrible.  The main enemy that comes to mind is the Black Rider from A Shadow of the Past.  Blank their box for the quest phase, and they won’t be attacking you no matter how many times you fail a Hide Test.  Stone Giants from the Hobbit saga also come to mind, because you can make sure that Galloping Boulders don’t Surge.  Remember that revealed in Wrath doesn’t cancel the When Revealed effects on enemies, and if you play it after the staging step, its effects will only last until the end of the quest phase.

  1. Avoiding nasty effects during the Encounter Phase

Lots of non-unique enemies have Forced engagement effects (i.e. engage the player with the highest threat), a reduced engagement cost (reduce a Nazgul’s Engagement cost by 30 if the One Ring is exhausted), or terrible things that happen when they engage you (makes an immediate attack).  Revealed in Wrath can be used to avoid any of these effects.

  1. Killing Mumaks

Mumaks and Oliphants are so terrible that they deserve their own section.  They have a cap on the amount of damage they can take in a single turn, and so if you’re going to fight one, you’ll have to be prepared to suffer its high attack for multiple rounds.  Not so now!  Blank that sucker’s text box and send every single attacker you have after him.

  1. Keeping Enemies engaged with you

Lots of annoying enemies have text that allows them to bounce back to the staging area after they attack (I’m looking at you, Wargs!)  Keep them around and make sure they feel your wrath.

  1. Removing Toughness from Uruk-Hai

Tired of seeing those Uruks dodge direct damage (that’s really your fault for bringing a direct damage deck to a quest with Uruk-Hai) and needing all that extra attack to take them down?  You can wipe that away with Revealed in Wrath to make sure you kill that enemy.

  1. Reducing an X defined value to Zero

This ought to work, but I might wait for a ruling on this before you take it to the bank.  Some enemies have values that are x, which are defined by their text box.  In this game, an undefined X equals zero, so if you blank the text box and remove the definition, it should send that value to zero.  The case in which this matters is Foundations of Stone, in which you’re fighting Nameless Things who have X’s in their stats (and an X for hitpoints).  Blanking its textbox should allow you to kill it, no muss no fuss.

  1. Avoid any nasty enemy effect you want to from a non-unique enemy

Well duh, you say, that’s what the card does.  I just want to underscore how good and how flexible this card is.  It might not be an instant staple, but it should go into the sideboard of any deck you have that has both a Tactics Hero and a Noldor hero (or if they happen to be Elladan, it’s both).  You gain a ton of flexibility and can protect yourself from the effects that will hurt your deck the most.  There’s just a lot to like about this card.

And some things you can’t do with Revealed in Wrath:

Removing Archery

Archery happens at the beginning of the Combat Phase before you have an action window in which to blank their text boxes. You might be laughing at the Easterlings because you took down their Mumak, but they won’t go down quietly.
Cancel Immunity to Player Card Effects

This is another weird area, but you shouldn’t be able to blank the text box of any enemy that is immune to player card effects. There is only one non-unique enemy in the entire game that can gain immune to player card effects (Morgul Wraith), so it’s a pretty rare case, but the immune to player card effects ought to exist (and block you out) before you blank out the text box.

Blanking the Text Boxes of Unique Enemies.

If you’re like me, the first thing you thought of doing with this card was targeting a unique enemy.  For me, it was “take that Bill Ferny!”  followed by “oops, he’s unique.”  As much fun as it would be to blank Bill’s text box, I just can’t with this card.  It would be awesome to blank the Lord of the Dead before he blanks you, or to remove indestructible from an indestructible enemy, but sadly, we can’t do that with Revealed in Wrath.  This card would be way too good if the players could do that, and it would remove pretty much all drama from every boss fight, so I understand why the designers did that.  Just try to remember this rule, and don’t get carried away with it like I did.

Revealed in Wrath is an excellent card with a ton of possibilities.  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

Versatility: ♦♦♦♦♦

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦♦

Glowwyrm’s Rating: Fascinating.  I’m still considering the possibilities.

Ian’s thoughts: Glowwyrm pretty much covered it. This card needed to exist and now it does. I’ll just add that I’m intrigued by the possibility of throwing a single copy into any Hama deck and recycling it when needed. This is the ultimate sideboard card, and I feel like it has the potential for facilitating a lot of big swings in games, more than it probably ever will be given credit for because it’s one of those subtle effects. I’d give it a 3 for versatility (because of trait restriction), 4 for efficiency, and 5 for uniqueness.

Scouting Party (Spirit Event, 2 cost):

Scouting-Party

 

Scouting Party is a two cost Spirit event.  Its text reads:

Response: After you commit characters to the quest, if each character you have committed to the quest has the Scout trait, each of these characters get plus two Willpower until the end of the phase.

I don’t have nearly as much to say about this card, because its possibilities and power are pretty straight forward.  If you are playing with Scouts, and you are going to quest with those Scouts (and only those Scouts) you should include this card.

Okay, more seriously, there’s an interesting comparison here between Scouting Party and Astonishing Speed.  I like Astonishing Speed and will usually run a couple of copies in my Rohan deck.  It costs three, which is a lot, but with Spirit Theoden around that’s usually not too bad, it gives all of my Rohan characters plus two willpower, which is great for a late game questing push, and it applies to every Rohan character on the table (whether I’m controlling them or not).  It’s a solid but expensive card that can help in a Rohan deck.

Scouting Party is both better and more essential.  First, the costing two instead of three makes a huge difference.  You’re talking about spending a whole turn’s resources on one questing push as opposed to two spirit resources, which are getting easier to come by these days.  Second, Scouts need the willpower boost more than Rohan does.  Most Scouts are sitting at one or two willpower (as opposed to the fairly constant two willpower for Rohan) because the Scouts are plunking progress onto locations in addition to questing.  Getting some progress and a big quest boost is really good.  Sending only Scouts to the quest isn’t a big hindrance for this event, as it will probably only affect a couple of your questing characters  for one round, and the boost you get from the willpower should more than make up the characters you left behind.  Finally, while Rohan characters are popping in and out of play (or just out) to benefit from discard effects, the Scouts should stay around.  You can build quite the questing army for a late game push.

By no means are Scouts built up to the point that they are rivals to Rohan, I just think this events fits them better and is more necessary to the archetype.  And before you hate on Astonishing Speed too much, remember the poor, nearly unplayed Untroubled by Darkness, the unnecessary Dwarf global questing boost event (I play it without Dain!).

I like Scouting Party, and I like that the Scout trait continues to see development in this cycle.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

Glowwyrm’s Rating: Interesting.

Ian’s Thoughts: A well-costed card for Scout decks. I remember piling up some massive willpower numbers with Astonishing Speed and the old school Rohan rush decks during the first and second cycles, and I could see Scouting Party doing similar work for much cheaper. You won’t always need a big rush card like Scouting Party for every quest, but it’s certainly a fantastic closer or means of overcoming a crowded staging area. I’d give it a 2 for versatility, 3 for efficiency, and 3 for uniqueness.

Arrows from the Trees (Lore Event, 1 cost):

Arrows-from-the-Trees

 

If you thought Revealed in Wrath was going to be the only flashy combat focused event in this pack, think again!  Trap decks continue to get some love and support in this cycle, and the following event contains some powerful possibilities:

Arrows from the Trees is a one cost Lore event.  Its text reads:

Play only after making engagement checks. 

Encounter Action: If no enemies were engaged this phase, deal one damage to each enemy in the staging area.  Then, the players as a group may spend three Tactics resources to deal two additional damage to each enemy in the staging area.

This event just feels like a card that will always sound better than it actually plays.  When it works, it will be absolutely awesome and you’ll high five around the table (a little awkward if you’re playing solo) and celebrate as multiple enemies go down.  When it doesn’t, it will sit in your hand and you’ll think “stupid teammates, why can’t they manage their threat better.”  But I want this card to work, so let’s see how we can make it happen.

The first task is to keep everyone in the staging area.  In a solo game this isn’t too hard of a task, and this could be a neat throw in to a hobbit deck that doesn’t want to engage enemies.  Every little bit helps the hobbits in the combat phase, so throwing some copies of this event in might be a good idea.  Of course, one low threat enemy slipping through the defenses will mess all that up, but you can always save it and try it again.  It doesn’t matter if you already have enemies engaged with you, it just matters that you didn’t engage them this turn.

In multiplayer, not having anyone engage enemies becomes a lot more difficult.  With some coordination and planning, you can all run low threat decks and manage the staging area, but that’s a lot of preplanning.  Instead, if you want to run this event in multiplayer, you should probably play mono-Lore.  That way, you can play Advanced Warning so that you ensure that no enemies engage anyone this turn.  Then you could drop multiple copies of this event down in one turn, hope that the Tactics players will pitch in a bit, and wipe the staging area clean of enemies.  One epic turn that only requires a few card combo and a handful of resources.  Very reasonable.

Triggering the Tactics part of this event is pretty expensive, but I don’t think you have to do that for the event to be good.  In a Haldir deck, for example, softening up the enemies in the staging area so that he can attack them and take them down is worthwhile.  In a direct damage strategy, every little bit helps.  If you’re playing a low threat Thalin-Lore deck, you can throw this card in and hope you draw it early before enemies start rushing down.  It will let you get some damage on them before you have to start bringing them down and fighting them.

And in a ranger trap deck that excels at managing the staging area, this card is a no brainer.  It gives those Poison Stakes a head start, it allows you to reset your Ranger Spikes (with someone like Anborn or Erebor Hammersmith to fish them out of the discard pile), and it softens the enemies up for combat.

This card has a lot of uses, and even if you don’t get to use the big splashy “take out the whole staging area” effect, it can still be a good include.  It’s nice that there are more ways to deal with enemies than the normal “defend then attack” routine, and I hope the designers keep giving the players options like this.

Versatility: ♦♦♦◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦◊◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦◊

Glowwyrm’s Rating: Fascinating.  I’m excited to try it out.

Ian’s Thoughts: This is definitely one of the most intriguing cards of the cycle for me, as it seems to be so ripe for some amazing combos. On the other hand, I worry that it will be difficult to pull off in many cases, especially in multiplayer. When it does work though, Arrows from the Trees can be big, as doing that much damage to every enemy in the staging area at once is unprecedented. I do think we have the tools in the game with traps, various direct damage effects, and the upcoming Argalad to make this card work. It just will require very specific deck building outside of solo and will be terrible in pick-up multiplayer games. As for solo, this card isn’t a staple but worth paying attention to for decks that want to snipe the staging area or deal in direct damage. I’d give it a 2 for versatility, 3 for efficiency, and 4 for uniqueness.

Conclusion

So there you have it.  Half of the adventure packs in the cycle reviewed already!  Which event in here was your favorite?  What creative uses can you think of for Revealed in Wrath?  What’s your favorite card so far this cycle?  Leave your comments below!

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4 Comments
  1. Anonim permalink

    It’s good RiW is limited to non-unique enemies. If it didn’t, you could play a Háma deck with this in Battle of Carn Dum!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Oh definitely! It would’ve been so incredibly broken otherwise.

  2. I wonder about the possibility of using RiW in a trap deck. I’m specifically curious as to whether or not it could be used to put traps on enemies that can’t normally have attachments.

    If I recall correctly, conditions only get checked when the attachment is first attached, so blanking the card text to get a trap attached means that the trap should remain after the text is unblanked… right? I can see an argument that because the text is usually “can not have non-Morgul attachments” or whatever that this is different than “attach to a Lore hero” since one condition is as a prerequisite for the actual act of attaching while the other is pretty much a blanket ban.

    Since it’s an action I think this still wouldn’t enable you to attach a trap to a just-revealed enemy that is immune to attachments in any case, but I could see it being very useful in a quest that returns enemies to the staging area and/or features other engagement-related shenanigans.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Great question and a good thought. It had previously been said that attachments won’t fall off if the “cannot have attachments” returns after blanking, but it was recently ruled that they will in fact fall off. So you might be able to get a trap on with Revealed in Wrath, but then it would fall off when the phase was over. Pity!

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