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Against the Shadow
Strategy Guide - Part 1
The Hazards

Copyright Nigel Buckle ©2001

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

In this series of articles I will look at each card in the Against the Shadow expansion for MECCG. In part 1 I will consider the hazards, in part 2 the hero specific cards and the minion characters, finally in part 3 I will look at 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 free-people hazard deck (30 cards), suitable for playing against both Hero and Minion (but probably not Balrog). You would probably want to modify this deck, depending on the cards you own, your resource strategy and the type of decks you expect to face.

Cards:

Hazard 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 21 cards in these categories I only really consider 7 to be essential for a player to own (and fortunately they are all common/uncommon), namely:

  • Alone and Unadvised (common)
  • Enchanted Stream (common)
  • FEAR FIRE FOES! (common)
  • Full of Froth and Rage (common)
  • Power Built by Waiting (common)
  • Short Legs Are Slow (uncommon)
  • Summons From Long Sleep (common)

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 7 you will use frequently.

A Lie in Your Eyes
Rarity = R2
Type = Hazard Short-event
Playable on an untapped non-Ringwraith, non-Wizard character. Your opponent may either: tap the character, tap an ally the character controls, or choose for you to make a roll (draw a #). If the result is greater than the character's mind plus 6, the character is discarded (along with all cards he controls).

This is a specialist rare card (or to put it another way generally weak), which might discard a character if your opponent decides not to tap. If the character has a high mind (6 or more) this card has no effect at all. I doubt if this card gets used in many decks, if you want to tap a character there are better cards.

Alone and Unadvised
Rarity = C3
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
Corruption. Playable on a non-Wizard, non-Ringwraith character in a company with 3 or fewer characters. Target character makes a corruption check at the end of his movement/hazard phase for each region he moved through. All of his corruption checks are modified by adding the number of characters in his company. During his organization phase, the character may tap to attempt to remove this card by making a roll (drawing a #) if the result is greater than 6, discard this card. Discard this card if his company has 4 or more characters. Cannot be duplicated on a given character.

This card is designed to stop those annoying 2-character companies with a big warrior to handle most creatures, and it is really hard to stop them with the low hazard limit (such as Beorn/Anborn, Troll Lieutenant/troll lout etc). Even a 3-character company can have trouble with this card, the corruption it gives in this case is low (1) but the number of checks (one for each region) can soon mount up. You can also use this to hit those single characters sitting at a haven, or leaders waiting at a site to collect 3 factions. If you are playing a corruption deck then you'd probably want copies of this card. Other hazard decks can use it if you can spare the space - if nothing else put a copy or two in your sideboard to use against opponents who favour small companies. It is also possible to use this card with a heavy creature deck - eliminate enough characters and then you can play this card (and chances are the remaining characters have collected the items from the dead).

All in all a staple hazard card that most players should have access to (it's only a common and also features in the challenge decks).

Come at Need
Rarity = C2
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
Playable if you have an ally in your hand. When this card is played, place one ally from your hand "off to the side" with it (the ally gives no marshalling points). The ally must be able to be attacked. If an opponent's company moves to a site where the ally is playable, it faces a single-strike attack (with no type) with the attributes of the ally, except the prowess is increased by 7. The attack is detainment if the ally and the company are both minion or both hero; and this card is discarded afterwards. If defeated, discard this card and place the ally in your opponent's marshalling point pile - he receives the ally's marshalling points as kill points. You may return the ally to your hand and discard this card during your organization phase.

On the face of it this is a card that lets you attack your opponent with your own allies, although the ally will end up either in the discard pile or your opponents MP pile afterwards. However you can also use this card as an extension of your hand, and the ally counts as in play for uniqueness, so if you play Gollum with this card in effect you have reserved Gollum until you are ready to move to one of his sites to play him - if you intend to use the card for this effect watch out for your opponent discarding Come at Need with a Marvels Told/Voices of Malice. In summary, a specialist card that can surprise your opponent (hitting a minion company moving to Eagles Erie with Gwahir for instance is great fun), but probably not used in many decks.

Early Harvest
Rarity = C2
Type = Hazard Short-event
Playable on a faction that is normally playable at a Border-hold (except Army of the Dead). Make a roll (draw a #) modified by -1 if the faction is a minion faction. Return the faction to opponent's hand if the result plus the normal marshalling points the faction gives is greater than 12.

Another card to attempt to remove factions, the problem is this card is rarely successful, a typical faction gives 2MPs, so you would need to roll a 10 to return the faction to your opponent's hand (and 11 against minions). Also this card ONLY affects factions playable at border holds. The main use for this card is the sideboard as defence against those big hero southern factions - you are probably better off using Muster Disperses or News of Doom.

Enchanted Stream
Rarity = C3
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
Playable on a moving company with at least one Wilderness in its site path. A ranger in the company can tap to cancel this card before it resolves. The company cannot voluntarily split or move to a new site unless it taps all of its untapped characters to a maximum of two during its organization phase. Discard during any organization phase if the company is at a Haven/Darkhaven.

Another card to raise the importance of rangers! If you can tap out all the rangers in a company before playing this card, then the company is in trouble. This card fits into decks that use rivers - if the company only has one ranger they must either remove the stream and lose their site phase, or tap 2 characters in the organisation phase next turn. This card is great against active ringwraiths especially if you follow it up with a river (or another stream).

Fealty Under Trial
Rarity = C2
Type = Hazard Short-event
Playable on a minion in a Darkhaven or Barad-dûr. Make a roll (draw a #) adding the marshalling points (as though they were stored) and corruption points of all items and events played with target minion. All items and storable events played with target minion are then automatically stored

(no corruption checks are made). Then, if the result was greater than 15, discard the minion (and all other cards played with him).

This is a strange card; on the surface it seems to help your opponent by storing the events and items the character has been collecting. However this card does have its uses, you can use this card to remove minor items like Blazon of the Eye or a Whip, if the character moves to a Darkhaven to heal - you can store their items for them, even if they didn't want them stored. It's also a way to remove allies, if a character with enough items is at a Darkhaven with an ally, play the card and roll high, it helps that minion items tend to give more corruption points. Just make sure this card is more likely to hinder your opponent than help them. All in all a card not likely to see much play, it would have been much more useful if you could have played it on a minion at a Dark-hold or Shadow-hold, then it could be used to hit leaders squatting to collect 3 factions.

FEAR! FIRE! FOES!
Rarity = C3
Type = Hazard Short-event
Playable on a Free-hold or Border-hold. An additional automatic-attack is created at the site this turn: 5 strikes with 8 prowess (detainment, no attack type). Alternatively, playable on a detainment automatic-attack a minion company is facing. The attack becomes normal (not detainment) and has -1 prowess.

This is a way to create automatic attacks at sites that don't currently have them, or create a new attack at a site. Combine this card with Tidings of Bold Spies to try to tap your opponent's characters. The only drawback to this card is it is a short event, so your opponent can wait and enter the site on the following turn. Its alternative use is worth considering against minion companies.

Full of Froth and Rage
Rarity = C2
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
All Spider and Animal attacks receive +2 prowess. Discard if a Spider or Animal attack is defeated. Cannot be duplicated.

The permanent enhancer that boosts animal and spider decks. This card makes animal and spider decks viable, especially against minions. Consider a deck with this card, Wake of War, Spider of the Morlat and Giant Spiders - your opponent will fear to tread in Mirkwood.

Near to Hear a Whisper
Rarity = R2
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
Any agent may attack a company at his site at the start of the site phase if the company chooses not to enter the site. May be revealed on-guard if the company chooses not to enter the site. Discard when any play deck is exhausted. Cannot be duplicated.

Another specialist card - if you are building an agent attack deck then this card is probably going to be included, if you've managed to 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. However outside of a specific agent attack hazard strategy this card is not much use, and beware of it backfiring and your opponent's agents attacking you.

One Foe to Breed a War
Rarity = R2
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
Playable on a wounded non-Wizard, non-Ringwraith character. The next time target character would otherwise heal, discard this card instead. Attacking player may always assign the first strike of any attack to this character (unless Alatar moves into the company to face a strike). Cannot be duplicated on a given character.

Another specialist rare card, this one is useful in heavy creature decks or any other deck that can regularly wound characters, it slows the healing process and also allows you to target the wounded character with any strike. The obvious use of this card would be to eliminate Wizards/Ringwraiths, but unfortunately you can't.

Pilfer Anything Unwatched
Rarity = U1
Type = Hazard Short-event
Playable on an untapped agent. Tap the agent. Make a roll (draw a #) for a character in play of your choice with a home site the same as the agent's current site. To the roll add 5 if the agent's current site is also the agent's home site. If the result is greater than the character's mind plus 5, the character is returned to his player's hand (one item may be transferred to another character in the same company).

A sideboard card - this card combined with Lobelia Sackville Baggins can stop a hobbit deck cold. Likewise combined with Dror it can hurt Dwarf decks. The problem is the card requires that the agent's home site matches the targeted character's home site - this limits its effectiveness. Expect to see it used most against hobbits and dwarves with the Blue Mountain Dwarf Hold as their home site. What is nice is the roll is not dependant on the free GI of your opponent - just the character's mind.

Power Built by Waiting
Rarity = C3
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
Tap during a company's movement/hazard phase to increase the hazard limit against that company by one. This card does not untap during your untap phase. You may use two against a company's hazard limit to untap this card.

Wow, this card is just awesome (tapping it does not count to the hazard limit, otherwise the card would be pointless) against decks that are designed for a low hazard limit, or in hazard decks that need a high hazard limit (such as Nazgûl decks). You also see this card used in hazard speed decks, as there are no playability restrictions. You can untap the card for another use on the turns when you haven't any hazards to play against that particular company. The only reason not to include this card in every deck is if you need the hazard slot for another critical card.

Returned Beyond All Hope
Rarity = C2
MPs = 2
Type = Hazard Short-event
Bring one hazard creature of the following type from your discard pile to your hand: Maia, Elf, Dwarf, or Dúnedain. Alternatively, bring a Maia permanent-event from active play to your hand. Alternatively, make a roll (draw a #) - if the result is greater than 8, bring an eliminated Elf or Maia hazard creature to its owner's discard pile and place this card in your opponent's marshalling point pile (do not discard it).

Although this is a common card its real use is in rare intensive decks that use the Maia manifestations and Elf-Lord revealed in Wrath (and the other elf hazard creatures). You can use this card in any deck where you are using the right type of hazard creature as it acts like a specialist Mouth of Sauron, but in most cases the 'Mouth' would be a more useful card to have. Also consider using this card if your opponent manages to eliminate an Elf or Maia hazard creature that gives more than 2 MPs, as this card reduces the MPs to 2.

Ride Against the Enemy
Rarity = C3
Type = Hazard Short-event
Playable on a company moving through a Wilderness if you have a character in your hand. Reveal the character. A single-strike hazard creature attack is made on the company with the attributes of the revealed character, except the prowess is increased by 7. Other cards have no effect on this

attack. The attack is detainment if the revealed character and the company are both minion or both hero. If defeated, place the character in your opponent's marshalling point pile - he receives the character's marshalling points as kill points. Otherwise, discard the character.

This is a great thematic card - use your own characters as hazards against your opponent. The problem is using your characters, once you've played this hazard your character is either dead or discarded, which isn't that useful if you wanted to play them, also it is a combo card as you need to hold Ride against the Enemy and a character. Finally most competitive decks are kept as close to the minimum deck size as possible, adding extra characters just reduces the effectiveness of the deck. In summary, a cool thematic card more suitable for casual play than in a killer tournament deck.

Short Legs Are Slow
Rarity = U3
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
This card affects companies with at least as many Hobbits as non-Hobbit characters. The number of region cards affected companies can play is reduced by one (normally from four to three). Affected companies cannot use starter movement if region movement is being used in the game. Cannot be duplicated. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

A powerful anti-hobbit card. Most decks using hobbits have more hobbits than other characters (either all hobbits, or 2 hobbits and a 'protector'), so this card really hurts those decks. This card probably belongs in most sideboards as part of your anti-one ring card set - with this card in play hobbit companies are going to find it very hard to move, especially if you increase the problem with a card like "No Way Forward". I would not expect to see this card played straight in many decks, unless you are expecting lots of hobbits.

Slip Treacherously
Rarity = C3
Type = Hazard Short-event
Tap all untapped items in play. Items effects not requiring tapping apply normally.

A rather odd card - with limited use, many items (such as swords) work fine tapped, so again something to consider for the sideboard if certain types of deck that have to tap items give you problems, but probably too specialist for most decks.

Summons from Long Sleep
Rarity = C2
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
[The following text reflects official errata]
This card reserves up to one Dragon or Drake hazard creature. To reserve a Dragon or Drake creature, place it face up "off to the side" with this card (not counting against the hazard limit). You may play a reserved creature as though it were in your hand. A reserved Dragon or Drake receives +2 prowess when attacking. Discard this card when a reserved creature played with it attacks.

If you're using drakes or dragon hazard creatures you should seriously consider this card. It allows you to play one of these creatures off to the side and save it for a time when you can play it, this means the creature does not clog up your hand waiting for the right time to play it. The disadvantage is your opponent is forewarned that a drake/dragon is likely to be played on them. Of course if you have this card and the creature in hand at the right time you can play them together just for the prowess boost (and attack immediately). If you play hero you can use this (and a reserved dragon/drake) with Dragon Feuds (from the Dragons expansion) to cancel a dragon/drake hazard creature attack.

Trouble on All Borders
Rarity = C2
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
Playable on a unique faction in play. Any company moving through the region containing a site where the faction is playable, or through any region adjacent to this one, faces an attack. The attack is the same type as the faction and has 4 strikes with 8 prowess. The attack is detainment if the company and faction are both minion or both hero. Cannot be duplicated on a given faction. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

This is similar to 'No Escape From My Magic' (hazard card in the Dragons) the advantage of this card is it's common, and the card text is much easier to understand! The card is designed to hamper decks that operate in a small area (but still move rather than stay at a site). The problem is the card can backfire on you if your companies intend to move through the same region(s). Usually you see this card played by decks that squat or decks that move all over the map (and you play the hazard on your own faction after you've moved away). Probably best in the sideboard, and bring it in if your opponent is shuffling around a restricted area and has unique factions in play.

Turning Hope to Despair
Rarity = C3
Type = Hazard Short-event
Playable on a company facing a non-detainment attack from: Undead, Nazgûl, or Maia; does not count against the hazard limit. If the attack is not defeated, each character in the company makes a roll (draws a #) and adds his mind. If the result is less than 11, the character splits off from the company and forms his own company with the same site path as his original company. The character faces a separate movement/hazard phase this turn with a hazard limit of one.

This is a hazard designed to remove permanent events played on a company (such as Fellowship) and also give you a single shot at the characters affected (with the hazard limit of one). This is still a specialist card - you need to be playing with Undead, or a Nazgûl/Maia attack deck and you have to decide if this card is worth the space in your deck - in these types of deck there are a number of cards to choose from. For example in Undead decks you can use "Faces of the Dead" for a similar effect.

Unhappy Blows
Rarity = R2
Type = Hazard Short-event
Playable on a company containing both Dwarves and Elves, or both Orcs and Trolls. Make a roll (draw a #) and subtract five (seven for Orcs and Trolls). If available, your opponent must choose and return to his hand any number of Elves and Dwarves (or Orcs and Trolls) in the company whose total mind equals or exceeds this result. Items played with these characters are also returned to opponent's hand. Cannot be duplicated on a given turn.

Another specialist card - but the threat of it often stops players from combining Orcs and Trolls (or Dwarves and Elves) in a single company. Probably best kept in the sideboard and brought in if your opponent is rash enough to travel with Orcs and Trolls together (or Dwarves and Elves together). I think Gimli and Legolas should have been made immune from this card.

Will Shaken
Rarity = R2
MPs = -2
Type = Hazard Permanent-event
This card cannot be played. If your opponent looks at cards from your hand (due to the use of one of his cards or abilities) and sees Will Shaken, place this card in his marshalling point pile. He loses two miscellaneous marshalling points. Your opponent may skip his turn in order to place this card in your discard pile.

Yet another thematic specialist card that has a very low playability unless your opponent is playing a deck that actively looks at your hand. There are specialist decks that do this (Lidless Eye decks, decks using Galadriel, riddling decks, etc) but this card is best placed in the sideboard if you plan to use it at all.

Hazard Creature Cards

Most of these creatures are quite specialist, so just like the hazards discussed above you are not going to use them in many decks, or the sideboard. Of the 16 creatures in Against the Shadow, I only really consider 2 to be essential for a player to own, namely:

  • Dwarven Travellers
  • Lady of the Golden Wood

And the Lady is only useful in decks against Minions. Seven of the remaining creatures are useful enough to consider for many hazard decks:

  • Alatar the Hunter
  • Durin's Folk
  • Gandalf the White Rider
  • Knights of the Prince
  • Lord of the Carrock
  • Saruman the Wise
  • Steward's Guard

If the free-people manifestations (the hero equivalent of the Nazgûl, the 5 Maia, Elf Lords and Beorn) could be used in the same way as Nazgûl Permanent Events to access the sideboard they would all be much more useful.

Alatar the Hunter
Rarity = R2, U1
MPs = 6*
Prowess/Body =13/9
Type = Creature or Permanent-event
Playable: Free-domain Free-hold
Unique. Maia. Manifestation of Alatar. Two strikes. Attacker chooses defending characters. Detainment and -3 prowess against hero companies. Discard this card if Alatar comes into play. As a creature, may also be played keyed to Andrast, Old Pûkel Gap, Anfalas, Lamedon, Lebennin, Belfalas, or Anórien; or at sites in these regions. As a permanent-event, all Maia attacks: receive +1 prowess and +1 strike and attacker chooses defending characters. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

The first of the Maia equivalents of the Nazgûl creatures from Middle Earth: The Wizards. The rarity of this card is such that really it is an uncommon (and a unique one at that), so most players should be able to pick up a copy. As a creature Alatar is powerful, but a little limited to where you can play him. Saying that he is probably the most playable Maia hazard as a creature. Hero decks concentrating in the South West and Gondor might want to use him as a defence against minion attack decks (as he covers the areas those companies will be moving in). Most of the time you would play Alatar as a permanent event, in this form, again Alatar is powerful but limited - as it is hard to actually attack minion companies with Maia hazards. Using Maia against heroes is less effective - the attacks are detainment and if your opponent is actually that Maia you can't even play the card at all (and there is a 1 in 5 chance of that).

Durin's Folk
Rarity = C3
MPs = 2*
Prowess/body =8/-
Type = Creature
Playable: Wilderness Border-land Dwarves. Five strikes. Detainment and -2 prowess against hero companies. May also be played keyed to The Shire.

Another free people's hazard creature, the playability is high (wilderness or borderland) but you are risking 2MPs playing this against a minion company. Against hero the prowess drop to 6 means the strikes are unlikely to be effective - but Durin's Folk can be quite nasty combined with Chill Them With Fear (7 strikes of 10 against minions, 7 strikes of 8 against heroes).

Dwarven Travelers
Rarity = C3
MPs = 1*
Prowess/body = 8/-
Type = Creature
Playable: Wilderness Border-land Ruins & Lairs Border-hold Dwarves. Three strikes. Detainment against hero and covert companies. Maia hazard creatures may be keyed to Border-holds or Ruins & Lairs against any company that has faced Dwarven Travelers this turn.

This is a great card, probably the best creature in the set. Dwarven Travellers have 2 main uses, to vastly increase the playability of Maia hazards and also as a very playable creature against hero decks. When you play this creature against hero companies you are not risking any MPs, you can play it keyed to a single wilderness or borderland and also at Ruins & Lairs and Border-holds, so it has a very high frequency of play. Against minion companies it has the threat that a big Maia hazard is following, so usually your opponent will try to keep characters untapped (and save the canceller) so you often don't give up a marshalling point when you play this apparently weak creature. Don't overlook building a Maia attack deck utilising Dwarven Travellers versus heroes too, just tapping characters might be enough of an edge to win you the game.

Galadhrim
Rarity = C2
MPs = 2*
Prowess/body = 11/7
Type = Creature
Elves. Three strikes. Detainment and -2 prowess against hero companies. Playable keyed to Lindon, Rhudaur, Wold & Foothills, or Anfalas; or at non-Haven sites in these regions. Each character wounded by this attack must discard all items he bears.

A specialist creature that probably should have been a rare. It is unlikely you will be able to play this creature on a minion company, and against a hero company the item discard will never happen (as it is a detainment attack). The Galadhrim can see some use detaining hero companies moving to/from havens or minion companies operating out of Carn-Dum. Best kept in the binder.

Gandalf the White Rider
Rarity = R2
MPs = 6*
Prowess/body =13/9
Type = Creature or Permanent-event
Playable: Free-domain Free-hold
Unique. Maia. Manifestation of Gandalf. Two strikes. Detainment and 3 prowess against hero companies. Discard this card if Gandalf comes into play. As a creature, may also be played keyed to Arthedain, The Shire, Rhudaur, Lindon, Wold & Foothills, or Anfalas; or at sites in these regions. As a permanent-event, the hazard limit against all overt minion companies is increased by one. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

Most of my comments about Alatar apply to Gandalf, however he is a good permanent event against minion companies (as long as you are playing hero or covert yourself!), especially those annoying low hazard limit Orc Scout companies. As a creature he is limited to free-domains, freeholds, regions around Rivendell and the regions containing the other havens.

Knights of the Prince
Rarity = R2
MPs = 3*
Prowess/body = 10/8
Type = Creature
Unique. Dúnedain. Four strikes. Detainment against hero companies. Playable at Anfalas, Belfalas, Lamedon, Lebennin, or Anórien; or at sites in these regions. Unless the attack is canceled, all untapped characters in defending company are tapped following this attack.

Strangely enough this creature is best played against heroes and fallen wizards. Any company moving in the South West is in trouble with this hazard - even though the attack is detainment, unless it's cancelled all your characters tap anyway! Certainly worth including in the sideboard to bring in against Gondor decks.

Lady of the Golden Wood
Rarity = R2
MPs = 3*
Prowess/body = 12/10
Type = Creature or Permanent-event
Unique. Elf. Manifestation of Galadriel. One strike. Detainment against hero companies. As a creature, may be played keyed to Wold & Foothills; or at sites in this region. As a permanent-event, all effects are automatically canceled which allow a minion player to search through or look at any portion of his play deck or discard pile outside of the normal sequence of play. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

It's highly unlikely you would play the Lady as a creature - but as a permanent event she's great against minions, in effect she's a "Bane of the Ithil Stone". Unfortunately she's unique and don't expect her to stay in play for very long - however there are a variety of ways of retrieving her as she is both a creature and a hazard event. If you're playing against a minion deck why not include the Lady?

Lord of the Carrock
Rarity = R2
MPs = 2*
Prowess/body = 16/9
Type = Creature or Permanent-event
Unique. Man. Manifestation of Beorn. One strike. Detainment against hero companies. As a creature, may be played keyed to Anduin Vales, Woodland Realm, Western Mirkwood, Wold & Foothills, High Pass, or Redhorn Gate; or at sites in these regions. As a permanent-event, all influence attempts against Man factions are modified by -2. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

The hazard manifestation of Beorn - who is a popular choice of character for hero decks, do not include this hazard if you plan to use Beorn! In general the Lord of the Carrock is most likely to see use as a permanent event, although companies often cross the Anduin Vales and Redhorn Gate so don't discount playing him as a creature (especially Balrog decks that roam the surface). In his permanent event status he reduces the chances of recruiting man factions, which isn't a problem if you plan your own resources appropriately, and in this form works well against hero and minion decks.

Lord of the Haven
Rarity = R2
MPs = 3*
Prowess/body = 13/9
Type = Creature or Short-event
Unique. Elf. Manifestation of Círdan. One strike. Detainment against hero companies. As a creature, may be played keyed to Lindon or any Coastal Sea region; or at sites in these regions. As a short-event, tap up to two target characters in one company at a site in, or moving through, a Coastal Sea region.

The elf hazard against companies moving in coastal seas - unfortunately many hero coastal sea decks will use Cirdan as a character. It's rare for Minion decks to use coastal seas (their Darkhavens are too far from the coast for a start), this card is best in the sideboard - although there are probably better coastal sea creatures to use (Sea Serpent, Fell Turtle, Rain Drake, Corsairs of Umbar).

Master of the House
Rarity = R2
MPs = 3*
Prowess/body = 14/9
Type = Creature or Permanent-event
Unique. Elf. Manifestation of Elrond. One strike. Detainment against hero companies. As a creature, may be played keyed to Rhudaur, Arthedain, High Pass, The Shire, or Cardolan; or at sites in these regions. As a permanent-event, each player at the end of each turn may bring one Elf creature from his discard pile to his hand. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

As a creature Elrond is best used against hero companies working out of Rivendell, although he is also effective against minions based at Carn-Dum. However his real power is as a permanent event in an Elf hazard deck (recycle those Elf Lords) - or just in combination with Lady of the Golden Wood, but expect a minion player to remove the Master before the Lady (unless Bane of the Ithil Stone is in play).

Pallando the Soul-keeper
Rarity = R2
MPs = 6*
Prowess/body = 13/9
Type = Creature or Permanent-event
Playable: Free-domain Free-hold
Unique. Maia. Manifestation of Pallando. Two strikes. Detainment and -3 prowess against hero companies. Discard this card if Pallando comes into play. As a creature, may also be played keyed to Lindon, Númeriador, Arthedain, or Cardolan; or at sites in these regions. As a permanent-event, the next non-Ringwraith minion discarded from play is instead eliminated. Discard when a minion is so eliminated.

See Alatar (and Gandalf) - Pallando is a good permanent event against Orcs/Trolls. Any character discarded is instead eliminated; this means orcs or trolls who fail their discard roll on the body check are in fact eliminated.

Radagast the Tamer
Rarity = R2
MPs = 6*
Prowess/body = 13/9
Type = Creature or Permanent-event
Playable: Free-domain Free-hold
Unique. Maia. Manifestation of Radagast. Two strikes. Detainment and -3 prowess against hero companies. Discard this card if Radagast comes into play. As a creature, may also be played keyed to Southern Mirkwood, Western Mirkwood, Woodland Realm, Heart of Mirkwood, or Rhosgobel. As a permanent-event, all companies moving in Southern Mirkwood, Western Mirkwood, Woodland Realm, and/or Heart of Mirkwood have their hazard limit increased by one. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

Again see Alatar (and Gandalf) - obviously he is best suited against Dol-Guldur decks both as a creature and as a permanent event, he is especially useful against small companies or companies of Orc Scouts. However if you want to increase the hazard limit of any company you are better off using Power Built By Waiting. You may find some use for him as a creature against hero decks operating out of Lorien.

Saruman the Wise
Rarity = R2
MPs = 6*
Prowess/body = 13/9
Type = Creature or Permanent-event
Playable: Free-domain Free-hold
Unique. Maia. Manifestation of Saruman. Three strikes. Detainment and -3 prowess against hero companies. Discard this card if Saruman comes into play. As a creature, may also be played keyed to Gap of Isen, Rohan, Enedhwaith, or Old Pûkel-land; or at sites in these regions. As a permanent-event, all ring items give one additional corruption point. Discard when any play deck is exhausted.

Again see Alatar (and Gandalf) - Saruman is the anti-ring Maia, and as such is probably best used in the sideboard. Rings are a good source of MPs for minion companies, and hero decks using rings have to worry about corruption - if you intend to use Saruman either avoid ring items or have a method for handling the additional corruption. If you have him in the sideboard consider bringing him in against decks concentrating around Rohan and the Gap of Isen.

Steward's Guard
Rarity = C2
MPs = 1*
Prowess/body = 8/-
Type = Creature
Dúnedain. Five strikes. Detainment against hero and covert companies. May be played keyed to Wold & Foothills, Rohan, Anórien, Lebennin, Brown Lands, Dagorlad, Ithilien, or Harondor.

Don't discount the Steward's Guard; they are playable at a number of popular regions. Many minion companies will move in the Brown Lands and/or Dagorland. This creature is also useful against hero Gondor and Southern decks, with no danger of giving up MPs (although it is probably sensible to place them in the sideboard against hero decks).

Stout Men of Gondor
Rarity = C3
MPs = 1*
Prowess/body = 7/-
Type = Creature
Men. Six strikes. Detainment against hero and covert companies. May be played keyed to Old Pûkel-land, Old Pûkel Gap, Andrast, Anfalas, Lamedon, Belfalas, Lebennin, Anórien, or Rohan; or at sites in these regions.

Less useful than Steward's Guard, as minions travel less in the regions they affect. However consider them in a general man hazard deck as they benefit from "Rank Upon Rank" where the Steward's Guard do not. They are especially effective against Coastal Sea, Gondor and Southern decks.

Trolls from the Mountains
Rarity = C2
MPs = 2
Prowess/body = 12/5
Type = Creature
Playable: Wilderness Wilderness Wilderness
Trolls. Three strikes.

A triple wilderness creature for troll decks - this creature can be used in the same way that the triple wilderness drakes can be used (such as in a deck that creates additional wilderness with Fog for example or using Withered Lands) either to supplement the drakes or replace them. Combine them with Bûthrakaur the Green and Umagaur the Pale against minions - the company faces one of these creatures then you can play Trolls from the Mountains for a big attack that is not detainment (as the trolls are not considered to be keyed to anything). In other decks this creature is probably not going to see much use as the requirement for a triple wilderness reduces their playability.

Sample Free-People Hazard Deck (30 cards)

This hazard deck mainly utilises cards from Lidless Eye and Against the Shadow. It is useful against both Hero and Minion, against the former you are not risking MPs, against the latter you are. If you are missing some of the rares substitute them for other creatures of a similar type/playability however there is no real substitute for Chill Them With Fear, if you do not own at least 2 copies of this card, then this deck is not going to be as effective. I've tried to keep the rares used to a minimum (hence no Elf Lords, Wandering Eldar etc).

I've assumed you are using Pallando as your wizard, if not, swap the manifestation of your wizard with Pallando the Soul-keeper.

Creatures
  • 3 x Dwarven Travellers
  • 3 x Durin's Folk
  • 3 x Steward's Guard
  • 1 x Alatar the Hunter
  • 1 x Gandalf the White Rider
  • 1 x Saruman the Wise
  • 1 x Radagast the Tamer
  • 1 x Mouth of Sauron
  • 1 x Itangast Ahunt
Events
  • 3 x Chill Them With Fear
  • 3 x River
  • 3 x Returned Beyond All Hope
  • 1 x Redoubled Force
  • 3 x An Unexpected Outpost
  • 2 x Enchanted Stream

The hazards hit companies moving in border holds and around Gondor. The Rivers and Enchanted Streams and Itangast should slow companies in the North the blind spot is decks moving in Mordor/Angmar or Coastal Sea. Put hazards specific to these decks in the sideboard and bring them in with the Unexpected Outposts (or halving the hazard limit).

Rarity:21 Commons, 7 Rares, 1 Uncommon, 1 Rare/Uncommon (Alatar)

The only cards not from Lidless Eye or Against the Shadow are:

  • An Unexpected Outpost (Dark Minions Common)
  • Redoubled Force (Dark Minions Common)
  • Itangast Ahunt (Dragons Uncommon)
  • Mouth of Sauron (Wizards Rare)
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