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Against the Shadow
Strategy Guide - Part 2
Hero and Minion Specific Cards

Copyright Nigel Buckle ©2001

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

In this series of articles I am looking at each card in the Against the Shadow expansion for MECCG. In part 1 I considered the hazards, in part 2 (this article) I am looking at the hero specific cards and the minion characters, finally in part 3 I will cover the minion resources and sites.

I will also include the card text and rarity for each of the cards.

A brief explanation of rarity, with Against the Shadow you get 2 Rares, 4 Uncommons and 6 Commons in each pack. Each level of rarity has a number, this is the number of times the card appears on the sheet, so the higher the number the more 'common' the card (e.g. an R1 is roughly twice as rare as an R2).

Also in this article (at the end) I have given a sample hero resource deck (30 cards), suitable for playing against both Hero and Minion. You would probably want to modify this deck, depending on the cards you own, your hazard strategy and the type of decks you expect to face.

 

Correction to the "Near to Hear a Whisper" entry in Against the Shadow Strategy Guide Part 1:

Please note the original entry for this card was misleading, as an agent can attack a company if it is declared that it is entering the site where the agent is currently located (in the Dark Minions rule insert), the entry for this card should be:

Another specialist card – if you are building an agent attack deck then this card should probably be included. When you get your agent to the company's site you want to be able to attack, and with the right mix of hazard-events you can probably attack in the movement hazard phase and then again in the site phase, no matter if your opponent decides to enter the site or not. Outside of a specific agent attack hazard strategy, however, this card is not much use, and beware of it backfiring by allowing your opponent's agents to attack you.

 

Cards:

Resource Permanent/Short Event Cards

Most of these cards are quite specialist, which means you'd only want to use them in specific decks, or maybe in the sideboard. Of the 14 cards in these categories I only really consider 2 to be essential for a player to own (and fortunately they are both common), another 4 are also generally useful:

Essential

Glamour of Surpassing Excellence (Common)

Safe From the Shadow (Common)

 

Useful

Alliance of Free Peoples (Rare)

Biter and Beater! (Common)

No Strangers at this Time (Common)

Tower Raided (Rare)

The other cards are more limited; if you don't have the card then there are a few types of deck you can't build but even if you have all the cards most of the time it's only these 6 you will use frequently.

 

All the Bells Ringing

Rarity = U3

Resource Short-event

Playable during opponent's site phase before strikes are assigned on a hero company at a Free-hold or Border-hold if a minion company attacks. The attack is cancelled and the minion company must face all automatic-attacks of the site - which attack normally, not as detainment. Afterwards, the minion company may attack the hero company again.

An anti-Company vs. Company Combat card that is not terribly useful. You have to hold this card until your opponent attacks you and then only if you are at a Free-hold or Border-hold. Even if all these requirements are met it does not cancel the attack, all it does is force the minion company to face the automatic-attack again, and afterwards the company can still attack.

Alliance of Free Peoples

Rarity = R2

Resource Permanent-event

If at least one hero Dwarf faction, one hero Elf faction, and one hero Man faction is in play, all hero Dwarf factions, hero Elf factions, and hero Man factions give an additional marshalling point. Discard when any hero Dwarf faction, hero Elf faction, or hero Man faction is discarded from play. Cannot be duplicated.

A nice theme card that is quite useful in the right deck. If you are intending to play Dwarf, Elf and Man factions then there is no reason not to use this card (in the sideboard at least). With this card in play all of your factions of the right type (Dwarf, Elf and Man) are worth an additional marshalling point. Dangers to consider are that it is discarded if a faction (of the right type) leaves play, and it may help your opponent.

Biter and Beater!

Rarity = C2

Resource Short-event

Playable on a company facing an Orc attack or in combat with an overt company. Also playable during opponent's site phase. Every Sword of Gondolin, Orcrist, and Glamdring in target company give an additional +2 prowess bonus and lower the body of strikes their bearers face by 1.

A useful anti-Company vs. Company Combat card. Compare this card with All the Bells Ringing – this card is so much more useful. It can also be used against Orc Attacks (including automatic-attacks), and it works at any appropriate site, during both your turn and your opponents. The company needs to be carrying the right weapons (swords) but if you intend to use this card in your deck you should include the weapons as well. Not a card for every deck, but useful in the right situations.

Drughu

Rarity = U3

Resource Short-event

Playable on a hero company during your organization phase if you discard a ranger character from your hand. All characters in the company this turn receive +2 prowess against attacks keyed to Wilderness and during combat at Ruins & Lairs. Cannot be duplicated on a given company.

A theme card that is much too specialist to consider playing. You have to predict when this card will be useful to play, and you have to have a ranger character that you do not plan to use in hand as well. To use this card you need a deck that visits Ruins & Lairs and travels through Wilderness, and include additional ranger characters (for the discard). It is the last requirement that really reduces this card's usefulness.

Farmer Maggot

Rarity = R1

Resource Permanent-event

Unique. If one of your companies faces an attack while at a site in The Shire, Arthedain, or Cardolan, you may immediately replace its site card with another site card in The Shire, Arthedain, or Cardolan (from your location deck). If your company takes this option, the attack is canceled and this card is discarded.

A hard card to get (being an R1 it is twice as rare as the other rares in the set). Fortunately this card is very specialist and unlikely to see much play. Even if you include it in your deck it is not going to be that useful - it can cancel an attack, but you have to move to an alternative site (not that useful if you needed to visit Bree to bring in the Rangers of the North for example). You might consider this card if your resource deck is based around the Shire, Arthedain, and Cardolan – such as decks using Tom Bombadil and Mistress Lobelia, or Fallen Gandalf - but for most of the time this card will stay in the binder.

Glamour of Surpassing Excellence

Rarity = C3

Resource Short-event

Playable on a company at a Border-hold or Free-hold. Make a roll (draw a #) for each hazard permanent-event on characters in the company. Discard each hazard whose roll is greater than the number normally needed to remove it as printed on the card (ignoring all modifiers and conditions).

If no number is given, the permanent-event is discarded if its result is greater than 8.

A great utility card in the right deck, and a worthy sideboard card against corruption strategies in general. If you are playing a deck that predominately visits Border-holds and/or Free-holds you should really consider using 3 copies of this card in the deck. It's a great way to try to remove all those annoying permanent events your opponent plays on your characters (such as corruption cards, Foolish Words, Plague, Shut Yer Mouth, etc.). What is nice is it affects all the characters in the company, so you can remove a number of hazard cards (if you roll high enough), and you can remove permanent-events that you could not remove otherwise (such as So You've Come Back).

Mount Slain

Rarity = R2

MPs = 2

Resource Permanent-event

Playable during any player's turn if a strike against one of your companies from a Ringwraith attack or Nazgul creature fails. If still in active play following its body check, discard the Ringwraith.

This is a specialist card that can be quite useful in the right deck if you regularly face Nazgûl creatures or are attacked by Ringwraiths. It is also a way to get MPs from your own Nazgûl permanent-events – just play the right Nazgûl (e.g., The Witch-king), go to the right Under-deeps site (e.g., The Iron-deeps), and face the strike from the Nazgûl. If you beat the strike and fail the body roll, play this card for 2 marshalling points.

No Strangers at this Time

Rarity = C3

MPs = 1

Resource Permanent-event

Playable during the site phase on a Free-hold or Border-hold if you have played a faction there. This site is never discarded and never untaps for you. All detainment attacks at all versions of this site against minion companies instead attack normally. Against minion companies, each version of this site has an additional automatic-attack: an exact copy including all modifications of the first automatic-attack listed on its card. Cannot be duplicated on a given site.

Another generally useful card for decks that play factions at Free-holds or Border-holds. In effect you get another marshalling point (a miscellaneous marshalling point at that) out of the faction. The problem is the site never untaps or is discarded, so you can't reuse the site in the following deck cycle. Despite this minor drawback this card is superior to the minion equivalent, Tribute Garnered, as it gives a miscellaneous marshalling point (rather than a faction marshalling point), it is not discarded if the faction is discarded, and it is not discarded if any play deck exhausts.

Orc-mail

Rarity = R2

Resource Permanent-event

Playable on a company containing only Hobbits and/or Dwarves. Target company may not be attacked by an overt minion company. If an overt minion company at the same site as the target company moves, you may replace the target company's site card with your copy of the minion company's new site (if this site is in your location deck or in play) when this new site is revealed. At the start of each of your opponent's site phases, make a roll (draw a #). If the result plus the number of minion characters at the same site is greater than 12, discard this card.

A Hobbit/Dwarf theme card (which is especially effective if combined with An Unexpected Party) that you might consider for the sideboard if you are worried about attacks from overt minion companies, or even straight in the deck if you are building an aggressive "hunt the minions" deck, since you can attack with no fear of counter-attacks on the following turn. It has two nice effects, cancelling Company vs. Company Combat and also allowing your company to follow a minion company as it moves from site to site. Be careful about moving to a site with a large number of minions - if this card gets removed your company is likely to be slaughtered in the ensuing combat. All in all, another specialist card that probably won't see much play, except in casual/theme decks or specialist Dwarf decks.

Power Against the Shadow

Rarity = C3
Resource Short-event

Playable during opponent's site phase on a company being attacked by a minion company. All heroes receive +3 prowess until the end of the turn. Cannot be duplicated on a given company.

Another of the not so useful anti-Company vs. Company Combat cards. As with most of the others, you are reliant on your opponent to make this card playable.

Safe from the Shadow

Rarity = C2

Resource Permanent-event

Hero characters may store resources (items and events) during the end-of-turn phase as though it were their organization phase. Cannot be duplicated. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

A useful card in any deck planning to store resources, since this card allows you to store them during the end-of-turn phase. This allows you to untap characters bearing resources that otherwise you would not have been able (i.e., Rescue Prisoners, Dreams of Lore, etc.) and also store items/events before calling the Council, rather than have to wait an additional turn. Just be wary of your opponent gaining more benefit from this card than you. A good example of a deck using this card is the Alatar Challenge Deck.

Spies Feared

Rarity = R2

Resource Permanent-event

Scout or Ranger only. Playable on a Shadow-hold if one of your scouts is there or on a Ruins & Lairs if one of your rangers is there. An automatic-attack is created at the site against minion companies: Orcs – 5 strikes with 8 prowess (detainment). Additionally, automatic-attacks at the site are duplicated (including the new one) against all companies. Discard when site is discarded or returned to your location deck.

A specialist card that makes sites more dangerous for all companies (especially minions). You might consider using this card if a particular site was critical to your strategy – but in general this card will see little use.

The Sun Unveiled

Rarity = C3

Resource Short-event

Playable on a character at a Free-hold if Gates of Morning is in play. Remove all hazard permanent-events on the character and, if tapped, untap him.

Only useful in decks that use Gates of Morning (or Crown of Flowers) and intend to visit Free-holds. For most decks, Glamour of Surpassing Excellence will be a much more useful card, but in the right deck this card can be used to good effect. The Sun Unveiled is probably too specialist to see much active play.

Tower Raided

Rarity = R2

MPs = 6

Permanent-event

Playable during the site phase on an untapped Shadow-hold if your company there: bears an item worth at least 2 marshalling points, contains an untapped scout, and discards for no effect a Stolen Knowledge card it controls. Tap the site and discard the item. Company faces an attack: Orcs - 4 strikes with 8 prowess. By the end of the site phase, tap a scout in the company or discard this card. If this card is not discarded, all versions of this site are now Ruins & Lairs, and no factions are playable there. Discard this card when the site is discarded or returned to your location deck.

A cool thematic card that is surprisingly easy to include in your deck. This is a mission card like those in Dark Minions (such as Pass the Doors of Dol Guldur and Fate of the Ithil-stone) that gives a big marshalling point bonus. The downside to playing this card is you have to discard a major item and a Stolen Knowledge card. This is not to difficult to achieve – use Dark Numbers for the stolen knowledge requirement and if you use a leaf brooch you don't even have to discard a major item! The easiest sites to raid are Sarn Gorwin (Orcs 3 at 5) or Goblin Gate (Orcs 3 at 6) but there's also the Dead Marshes (Undead 2 at 8), all within easy reach of Lórien. Not an essential card, but definitely fun to play, and very viable in a tournament.

Faction & Item Cards

Many of these cards are quite specialist, which means you'd only want to use them in specific decks, or maybe in the sideboard. Of the 9 cards in these categories I do not consider any to be essential to own and only really consider 4 to be generally useful:

Useful

Angmarim (Rare)

Bow of the Galadhrim (Uncommon)

Haradrim (Rare)

Wain-easterlings (Uncommon)

The other cards are more limited; if you don't have the card then there are a few types of deck you can't build but even if you have all the cards most of the time it's only the above 4 you will use frequently.

Angmarim

Rarity = R1

MPs = 3

Man Faction

Unique. Manifestation of minion Angmarim. Playable at Carn Dûm if the influence check is greater than 11(Muster has no effect on this attempt). Standard Modifications: Wizards (-5), Men (+1).

Another of the 'ultra' rares (R1s) of this set - unfortunately this card is quite useful in the right deck. This is an unusual faction in that it is playable at a Dark-hold, rather than the standard Border-hold or Free-hold. This means you can avoid the usual hazards like Assassin. The problem with this faction is the high number required to influence, the fact you can't use Muster, and the penalty Wizards get to their attempt. This is a faction you can combine with Rescue Prisoners or even Lucky Search, or Thorough Search for a major item. However, you may decide a visit to Carn Dûm isn't worth the risk of Company vs. Company Combat against a minion opponent (as Carn Dûm is a Darkhaven). All in all, very playable in the right deck.

Bow of the Galadhrim

Rarity = U2

MPs = 2

Corruption = 1

Major Item

Unique. The following effect applies only if the bearer is an Elf Warrior. In company versus company combat, make a roll (draw a #) before strikes are assigned for each non-unique minion ally in the company the bearer is facing. If the result for an ally is greater than the ally's mind plus five, discard the ally.

The bow is quite useful, as it is a 2 marshalling point item giving only one corruption point, and being a non-hoard item it is playable at all the major item sites. The special effect is quite specialist, however, and requires an Elf Warrior. Unless you are actively hunting minion companies this item is best stored after it has been played.

Haradrim

Rarity = R2

MPs = 4

Man Faction

Unique. Manifestation of minion Haradrim. Playable at Southron Oasis if the influence check is greater than 9. Standard Modifications: Wizards (-5), Dúnedain (-2), Elves (-2), Dwarves (-2).

Another big faction playable at the Southron Oasis, but inferior to the Southrons being worth less marshalling points and harder to recruit –Haradrim is perhaps best used in southern decks as a backup for the Southrons (giving you a second faction to try if you fail influencing Southrons), or even in the sideboard for the second deck cycle. With all the negative modifiers your best attempt at influencing this faction is a Man.

Jewel of Beleriand

Rarity =C2

Corruption = 1

Minor Item

Hoard item. Tap this item and make a roll (draw a #) - if the result is greater than 6, the bearer untaps if tapped. Cannot be duplicated on a given character.

If this item was not a hoard item it would be awesome and probably most hero companies would start with two! It is a hoard item, however, and it is unlikely to be included in decks, since most players using hoard sites consider Thror's Map the only hoard minor item worthy of including in the deck. The effect of often untapping a character is nice, but not powerful enough to warrant a slot in most tournament quality decks, especially as you have to go to a hoard site to play it.

Nûrniags

Rarity = R1

MPs = 5

Man Faction

Unique. Manifestation of minion Nûrniags. Playable at Nûrniag Camp if the influence check is greater than 13 (Muster has no effect on this attempt). Standard Modifications: Wizards (-5), Men (+1).

Another of the 'ultra' rares (R1s) of this set, but unlike Angmarim, not generally useful. So, if you haven't managed to track down a copy you are not missing much - the influence number is excessively high and there is little chance a Wizard will be successful. Combine this with the fact that Nûrniag Camp has an automatic attack (Men 4 at 7), you are better off playing one of the other Southern factions. Nûrniags is really a card for the collectors.

Petty-dwarves

Rarity = R2

MPs = 2

Dwarf Faction

Unique. Manifestation of minion Petty-dwarves. Playable at The Worthy Hills if the influence check is greater than 10. Standard Modifications: Elves (-2), Dwarves (+2).

A slightly specialist faction that is useful in the right deck - Dwarves have a reasonable chance of influencing them (especially Dwarves like Balin, Gloin, etc.), and the Worthy Hills can be reused (if you have an untapped Sage and an untapped Scout). Consider this faction (along with the Woses of the Eryn Vorn) in a deck based around Rivendell. The main problem with influencing this faction is the automatic-attack at the site, but at least it is only detainment.

The Ithil-stone

Rarity =R1

MPs=5

Corruption = 4

Special Item

Unique. Palantír. Playable at Barad-dûr. When a character taps to play Ithil-stone, make a roll (draw a #). If the result plus the number of scouts in his company is greater than 9, Ithil-stone is successfully played. Otherwise, the bearer is eliminated and Ithil-stone is placed in your out-of-play pile. Bearer makes a corruption check at the end of each of his untap phases. Bane of the Ithil-stone is discarded and cannot be played. If The Lidless Eye is in play, its player's hand size decreases by two.

Another 'ultra' rare (R1). Again, it is fortunate for most players that it is highly unlikely you'd want to use it in a deck. Barad-dûr has one of the nastiest automatic attacks in the game (Orcs 4 at 7, Trolls 3 at 9), it is situated in Gorgoroth, and the play of the item is not guaranteed (unless you have a company with a large number of scouts). A theme card that most players can happily live without.

Wain-easterlings

Rarity = U2

MPs = 3

Man Faction

Unique. Manifestation of minion Wain-easterlings. Playable at Easterling Camp if the influence check is greater than 8. Standard Modifications: Wizards (-5), Dúnedain (-2).

Another faction that is not quite as good as its counterpart in Middle-earth: The Wizards (Easterlings in this case) - the roll required is one lower, but they are worth one less marshalling point and Wizards get a big negative modifier. This faction is worth considering in a deck that uses Easterlings (as a faction for the second deck cycle) or even as a replacement if you own Easterling Camp but not Easterlings.

Woses of the Eryn Vorn

Rarity =U2

MPs = 2

Wose Faction

Unique. Manifestation of minion Woses of Eryn Vorn. Playable at The Worthy Hills if the influence check is greater than 10. Standard Modifications: none.

Similar to the Petty Dwarves, but not as useful – there are no race bonuses or penalties for this faction and the roll is rather high. Unless you have a deck built around Elves, Petty Dwarves would be a better option (and they can be boosted by Alliance of Free Peoples). You are probably only going to use this faction in a tight location deck based around Rivendell, or if you really want to avoid Border-holds and Free-holds.

Site Cards

There is no real reason not to include all the sites in your site deck, but if you have to trade for cards then it may be useful to know which sites I feel are the most useful, and which are only needed for very specialist decks (or to complete your collection of sites).

Useful

Geann a-Lisch (Uncommon)

Gobel Mírlond (Uncommon)

Raider-Hold (Uncommon)

The Worthy Hills (Uncommon)

 

Cirith Gorgor

Rarity = R2

Type = Dark-hold

Card Draw = 5/3

Region = Udûn

Site Path = Wilderness Border-land Free-domain Wilderness Shadow-land Dark Domain Dark Domain

Nearest Haven: Lórien

Playable: Items (minor, major, greater)

Automatic-attacks: Orcs - 5 strikes with 8 prowess Trolls - 2 strikes with 10 prowess

Another Dark-hold in Mordor, this time in Udûn, which could be useful for getting to/from the Under-galleries (rather than try to use Morranon). It is also a site you can use for agents (such as agent roadblock using Seek Without Success. You can use it as a place to stack your ranger agents up to cover the approaches to Mount Doom). However, as a site to visit to play items, there are better places to go rather than the heart of Mordor!

Geann a-Lisch

Rarity = U2

Type = Ruins & Lairs

Card draw = 2/2

Region = Old Pûkel-land

Site Path = Wilderness Wilderness Wilderness

Nearest Haven: Edhellond

Playable: Information, Items (minor, major)

Automatic-attacks: Men - 4 strikes with 8 prowess

Special: Any Man hazard creature can be played at this site.

This is a reasonable major/information item site most suitable for decks operating out of Edhellond, or concentrating on Coastal Seas. There are significant drawbacks to using this site - it is a minion Darkhaven (of sorts) so you should be wary of using it when your opponent is a minion player, and more importantly any Man Hazard Creature can be played at the site, which means you can get pounded by Assassins and Sellswords between Charters. Certainly avoid this site if you know your opponent is playing a Man hazard strategy. As information is playable at this site you can use Look More Closely Later to untap it.

Gobel Mírlond

Rarity = U2

Type = Border-hold

Card Draw = 2/2

Region = Harondor

Site Path = Wilderness Free-domain Coastal Wilderness

Nearest Haven: Edhellond

Playable: Items (minor, major)

Automatic-attacks: Men - 4 strikes with 9 prowess (detainment)

A southern major item site that has a detainment attack – which reduces the risks to your companies. Certainly a staple site for decks operating in Harondor, and regions nearby, it also makes it possible for you to build a resource deck that only visits Border-holds and Free-holds (never Ruins & Lairs, Shadow-holds or Dark-holds) without having to resort to playing the Palantír of Minas Tirith for your item. Very useful in the right deck.

Nûrniag Camp

Rarity = U2

Type = Shadow-hold

Card Draw = 5/3

Region = Nurn

Site Path = Wilderness Free-domain Coastal Wilderness Shadow-land Dark Domain

Nearest Haven: Edhellond

Playable: Information, Items (minor, major)

Automatic-attacks: Men - 4 strikes with 7 prowess

A specialist site that most decks will not use at all – it is obviously essential if you want to recruit the Nûrniags, and possibly as a site for One Ring decks to attempt a Lucky Search, or as a stopping point before moving to Mount Doom. Other decks can find easier sites to play major items at in the South (unless you really wanted to visit a Shadow-hold).

Raider-hold

Rarity = U2

Type = Border-hold

Card Draw = 4/3

Region = Horse Plains

Site Path = Wilderness Shadow-land Shadow-land Shadow-land

Nearest Haven: Lórien

Playable: Items (minor, major)

Automatic-attacks: Men - 4 strikes with 9 prowess (detainment)

This is a far eastern major item site that has a detainment attack, and a reasonably high card draw. It is certainly useful in Southern decks, in a similar way that Gobel Mírlond is, although the automatic-attack is quite hard to pass without characters getting tapped. You can also use this site as part of a card drawing engine – combine it with Master of Esgaroth, A Short Rest, and Easterling camp to draw up to 13 cards with one company (move to Easterling Camp from Raider Hold with A Short Rest in play, to draw 7 cards (4 for Easterling Camp, 3 from A Short Rest) then move back to Raider-hold (using Master of Esgaroth), and draw an additional 6 cards (3 for Raider-hold, 3 from A Short Rest). Your opponent can only draw a maximum of 7, which is ideal for a hero speed deck.)

The Worthy Hills

Rarity = U2

Type = Ruins & Lairs

Card Draw = 2/1

Region = Cardolan

Site Path = Wilderness Wilderness

Nearest Haven: Rivendell

Playable: Information

Automatic-attacks: Men - each character faces 1 strike with 9 prowess

(detainment)

Special: During the site phase, you may tap two characters to untap this site - one a sage, one a scout.

Another information site for Rivendell decks. It is useful as Tom Bombadil can visit it, and providing you have untapped characters with the right skills, you can reuse this site. It is also necessary if you plan to play either the Woses of the Eryn Vorn or the Petty Dwarves. The automatic-attack is quite high, but as it is detainment there is no real risk to your company.

 

Minion Character Cards

Minion players have fewer characters to choose from than heroes (although there are plenty of non-unique characters to make up the numbers), so any additional ones are welcome. Of the 6 characters in Against the Shadow I would consider 4 of them to be essential for a player to own (fortunately they are all uncommon) and one to be generally useful (Mauhúr), I rate him as useful rather than essential because you can make do with an Orc Captain if you don't own him.

Essential

Bûrat (Uncommon)

Mîonid (Uncommon)

Tûma (Uncommon)

Wûluag (Uncommon)

Useful

Mauhúr (Rare)

 

Bûrat

Rarity = U2

MPs = 1

Mind = 4

Direct Influence = 0

Prowess/Body = 5/8

Skills/Race = Warrior/Ranger Troll

Unique. Manifestation of "Bert." May not be included with a starting company. May be played on the same turn Tûma and/or Wûluag is played. Discard on a body check result of 8. +1 prowess against Dwarves. Tap Bûrat to untap Tûma or Wûluag if at the same site. If Tûma and/or Wûluag is in his company, Bûrat's mind is reduced by one.

Home Site: Any non-Under-deeps Ruins & Lairs

Tûma

Rarity = U2

MPs = 1

Mind = 4

Direct Influence = 0

Prowess/Body = 6/8

Skills/Race = Warrior Troll

Unique. Manifestation of "Tom." May not be included with a starting company. May be played on the same turn Bûrat and/or Wûluag is played. Discard on a body check result of 8. +1 prowess against Dwarves. Tap Tûma to untap Bûrat or Wûluag if at the same site. If Bûrat and/or Wûluag is in

his company, Tûma's mind is reduced by one.

Home Site: Any non-Under-deeps Ruins & Lairs

Wûluag

Rarity = U2

MPs = 1

Mind = 4

Direct Influence = 0

Prowess/Body = 5/8

Skills/Race = Warrior/Scout Troll

Unique. Manifestation of "William." May not be included with a starting company. May be played on the same turn Bûrat and/or Tûma is played. Discard on a body check result of 8. +1 prowess against Dwarves. Tap Wûluag to untap Bûrat or Tûma if at the same site. If Bûrat and/or Tûma is in his company, Wûluag's mind is reduced by one.

Home Site: Any non-Under-deeps Ruins & Lairs

Bûrat, Tûma, and Wûluag are grouped together because they are so similar, and it is likely that you will use a combination of two or three of these Trolls in your deck if you use any at all, as they can be played on the same turn and if they are in the same company their mind stat is reduced. They cannot use any of them in your starting company, however. Their home site of any Ruins & Lairs is often useful. Assuming your Ringwraith is not in play, you can bring them out in the north to play the Ice-orcs, or avoiding Ahunt dragons, or in the west/southwest far from the usual range that your companies can easily move to. Do not overlook their bonuses against Dwarves, which is quite useful for Company vs. Company Combat, as hero Dwarves get bonuses against Orcs, not Trolls. The untapping ability is useful too – in effect doubling the skills of Scout or Ranger (For example, to cancel 2 Rivers played on a company containing Bûrat and Tûma - tap Bûrat to cancel one River, tap the Tûma to untap him, then tap Bûrat again to cancel the second River). A drawback to using Bûrat, Tûma, and/or Wûluag is they are all manifestations of unique hazards, so you would want to avoid using those particular Trolls as hazards in your deck. If Bert (Bûrat), Tom (Tûma), or William (Wûluag) is eliminated, then you cannot play the corresponding Bûrat, Tûma, or Wûluag at all. In summary a useful trio of Trolls, and expect to see them together if they appear at all.

Mauhúr

Rarity = R2

Mps = 2

Mind = 5

Direct Influence = 0

Prowess/Body = 6/9

Skills/Race = Warrior Orc

Unique. Leader. Discard on a body check result of 9. +2 direct influence against Orcs and Orc factions.

Home Site: Dol Guldur

Another unique Orc Leader with a body of 9, he is much superior to the 5 mind Orc Captain since he has a higher prowess too. The only reason not to use Mauhúr instead of an Orc Captain is fear of duplication (your opponent playing him first). A generally useful character in the right deck - certainly Fallen-wizards hankering after a bad company will consider using him.

Mîonid

Rarity = U2

MPs = 1

Mind = 4

Direct Influence = 0

Prowess/Body = 5/8

Skills/Race = Warrior/Ranger Man

Unique. +2 direct influence against any faction playable at Variag Camp.

Home Site: Variag Camp

This is a fairly essential character – a 4-mind ranger with a prowess of 5 – he is similar to Gulla, but is a Man rather than a Dwarf. The ranger skill is essential if you want to avoid roadblock cards (like River), or if you wish to use the excellent canceller card Crept Along Cleverly from the Middle-earth: The White Hand. Being a man, Mîonid is more flexible than Gulla in that you can use him in companies with Orcs/Trolls as well as the other races. Fallen-wizard's can also make good use of Mîonid as he's an excellent bearer of Black Arrow and about the best non-agent Man ranger available to a Fallen-wizard.

Perchen

Rarity = U2

MPs = 2

Mind = 5

Direct Influence = 2

Prowess/Body = 3/9

Skills/Race = Scout/Diplomat Man

Unique. +3 direct influence against any faction playable at Dunnish Clan-hold.

Home Site: Dunnish Clan-hold

I would not expect to see Perchen in many decks, although the combination of Scout/Diplomat is great to use Ruse. His nearest equivalent in Middle-earth: The Lidless Eye is Layos (although the skills are different). His main problem is the prowess of 3 and the lack of warrior skill. If you need these particular skills it is better to use two characters, a scout and a diplomat. If you want a character in your deck just to bring in the Dunlendings, use Shamas instead (for 2 less mind). All in all, a character you may find the occasional use for, but most of the time you will recruit an alternative minion for your deck.

Sample Free-People Resource Deck (30 cards)

This resource deck mainly utilises cards from the Wizards, but it has cards from Against the Shadow at its heart (specifically Tower Raided). However as this expansion has few hero specific cards the majority are taken from other sets. I've tried to use as few rares as possible. Against the Shadow cards are in bold. This deck is also proof it is possible to build a Southern faction deck that is not that rare heavy (of course you still need certain rare sites such as the Easterling Camp).

The idea of the deck is to move the Company to Lorien, then split into 2 small companies (for a low hazard limit), play the various resources at sites in the South, use the short rests to draw lots of cards, eventually bring Gandalf out at Lorien, collect some characters and a leaf brooch. In the meantime a scout should have a Dark Numbers, sideboard in the Tower Raided, combine the company – move to a Shadow-Hold (such as Goblin-Gate) and play Tower Raided for 6 MPs (discarding the Dark Numbers and the Leaf Brooch). Use the Glamour of Surpassing Excellence to remove corruption and Foolish Words, I've used Tempering Friendship rather than Muster as it works with all characters, not just those with a high prowess. Be warned, Alone & Unadvised (from Against the Shadow) is a killer corruption card against this type of deck, you may want to include some additional anti-corruption resources either straight in the deck or at least in the sideboard.

Starting Company:

Beorn (Fixed – The Wizards)
With Black Arrow (Promo)
Controlling
Eowyn (Uncommon – The Wizards)

Thorin II (Rare – The Wizards)
With Horn of Anor (Common – The Wizards)
Controlling
Oin (Uncommon – The Wizards)

Resources (30):

1x Durin's Axe (Uncommon – The Wizards)

1x Glamdring (Uncommon – The Wizards)

1x Hauberk of Bright Mail (Common – The Wizards)

1x Leaf Brooch (Common – Dark Minions)

1x Men of Dorwinion (Uncommon – The Wizards)

1x No Strangers at this time (Uncommon – Against the Shadow)

1x Orcrist (Uncommon – The Wizards)

1x Rangers of Ithilien (Fixed – The Wizards)

1x Wain Easterlings (Uncommon – Against the Shadow)

2x Dark Numbers (Common – Dark Minions)

2x Forewarned is Forearmed (Uncommon – Dark Minions)

2x Glamour of Surpassing Excellence (Common – Against the Shadow

2x Noble Hound (Common – Dark Minions)

2x Smoke Rings (Common – Dark Minions)

2x Tempering Friendship (Common – The Wizards)

3x A Short Rest (Common – The Dragons)

3x Master of Esgaroth (Common – The Dragons)

3x Risky Blow (Common – The Wizards)

Characters for the Deck:

2x Gandalf (Fixed – The Wizards)

1x Alatar (Fixed – The Wizards)

1x Boromir (Fixed – The Wizards)

1x Faramir (Fixed – The Wizards)

1x Gloin (Uncommon – The Wizards)

Sideboard (not complete):

1x Tower Raided (Rare – Against the Shadow)

1x Haradrim (Rare – Against the Shadow)

 

Rarity: 22 Commons, 11 Uncommons, 7 Fixed, 3 Rares and 1 Promo

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