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The first Tuesday of every month is always a fun one for me because it
means a new LOTR FAQ Document will be released by Decipher, Inc. For the
December release I wrote an article that helped clarify each and every new
entry so that players and directors alike would have an easier time
understanding them. January didn't have a very big change, but this month
has a lot of information. And as such, I will once again review this the
1. HOWL OF HARAD 4 U 236
A new addition to the suddenly popular ´´Watch List´´. For those of you not
familiar with this card, here is it's game text:
Howl of Harad (4 U 236)
Twilight Cost: 1
Game Text: Plays to your support area.
Response: If a Southron wins a skirmish,
remove 4 to make the Free Peoples Player
wound a Ring-bound companion.
Many people are asking why this card is added to the watch list, as it
hasn't been seen in many top level decks and out cries of its power are not
as frequent as other cards on the watch list. The fact that Decipher hasn't
done anything to this card, other than add it to the watch list, makes me
think that it's under review because of something that will come out in
Battle of Helm's Deep.
The other possibility is that Decipher intends to make the Southron
sub-culture a more viable deck, and will REDUCE the 4 twilight cost for this
condition's special ability. As of right now it is very difficult to do a
lot of wounds with this card when you have to remove 4 each time. 20
twilight would only result in 5 wounds, and even if Frodo was your only
Ring-bound companion, that's barely able to get him to put on the Ring. That
20 twilight is probably better served if used to play more minions.
2. ÚLAIRË ATTËA, THE EASTERLING 2 U 82
´´This card may not be spotted by cards that require an Easterling. 'The
Easterling' is his subtitle, meaning 'Man of the East.' Keywords are not
found in subtitles.´´
Unlike SW:CCG, keywords are not located in a card's title, subtitle, or
lore. This entry was added to clear up confusion about Ulairë Attëa being an
Easterling for purposes of cards that spot or trigger off of an Easterling
To clarify, keywords are only located in the game text, card type, class or
race portion of a card. (Ex. Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirth is not a
Defender +1 character, Weapons of Isengard are not weapons, and Elven Brooch
is not an Elf.)
3. FRODO, COURTEOUS HALFLING 4 R 301
´´This card only prevents Shadow cards that make you discard from hand or
draw deck. If a Shadow card gives you a choice, you may choose to discard.
Example: If a Dunlending Rampager is played, Courteous Halfling does not
prevent the Free Peoples player from discarding. Since the game text of the
Rampager says 'may discard,' a choice is provided.´´
•Frodo, Courteous Halfling (4 R 301)
Twilight Cost: 0
Shire Companion • Hobbit
Game Text: Ring-bearer (resistance 10).
While you can spot 3 unbound companions,
Shadow cards may not discard cards from your
hand or from the top of your draw deck.
Strength: 3 Vitality: 4 Signet: Frodo
I always love it when we get spoilers in rules documents. I haven't seen
anyone notice it yet, but the Dunlending Rampager hasn't been revealed to
us, but it's mentioned here in this entry. Looks like he will give the Free
People's Player a reason to discard cards. How or why has not been
determined yet. Interesting...
This clarification brings Frodo more in line with cards like Old Noakes that
trigger off of ´´make´´ or ´´must´´ in Shadow card effects. So a Shadow player
would not be able to make the Free Peoples Player discard a card at random
for an Orc Inquisitor, but the FPP could for Too Great and Terrible.
4. DESERT STALKER 5 R 72
´´'Spot 4 Free Peoples cultures' means to spot 4 Free Peoples cards with
different culture icons in their upper right corners. Those cards can be of
An entry for a new card in the Battle of Helm's Deep expansion. This means
that Eomer bearing Armor is 2 cultures (Rohan and Gondor). Please also note
that The One Ring does not have a culture icon. It looks like fellowships
with many cultures (Trust Me As You Once Did) will take a hit in this new
5. EYE OF BARAD-DÛR 5 R 96
´´This card must be played in order to use its response text, which is
affected by cards like Legolas, Dauntless Hunter. The text 'discard this
card to' is superfluous.´´
A minor clarification of this new card. Events are always discarded after
they are used (even if they're cancelled or prevented), but the wording on
this event made it a little unclear if the Shadow player was playing the
event or simply discarding it for an effect. Compare it to the some of the
new stack conditions.
•Here Is Good Rock (4 C 50)
Twilight Cost: 1
Game Text: Tale. Plays to your support area.
Skirmish: Stack a Free Peoples card from hand
here to make a Dwarf damage +1.
In the case of Here is Good Rock, stack a ´´Free Peoples card´´ is a cost that
is paid, you are not playing the Free Peoples card that is stacked. Eye of
Barad-dûr is played and as such Legolas, Dauntless Hunter will modify its
twilight cost. A simplier game text might have been: ´´Response: If the Free
Peoples Player reveals this card, add 2 burdens.´´
Also note, that when it's your turn you can not play Shadow cards so you
can't use the Eye of Barad-dûr if it is revealed.
´´When all modifiers are applied to a number (like strength, vitality, a
twilight cost, or an archery total), if its value after any effect resolves
is less than zero, then that number is zero.´´
Personally, I'm surprised more people have not noticed the impact of this
ruling. I think this ruling will have the greatest impact on the game of any
of the new entries. Similar to the ´´limit´´ ruling, there were certain
aspects of the game where players were applying the rules one way for some
cards, but not the same way for others. When a modifier is played, the total
can not be less than zero. If it is, then the number is changed to 0.
Previously, for many skirmishs players would only apply this rule for the
final total strength, not the incremential strengths.
For example: An Orc Inquisitor (strength 9) is skirmishing Legolas
(strength 6). The Free Peoples Player also has Frodo (with 7 burdens), Merry
(Friend to Sam) with a Hobbit Sword and Boromir(Son of Denethor). The Shadow
player has an Enduring Evil that will reduce Legolas's strength by 7.
Previously the skirmish would looks something like this.
SP : Enduring Evil (-7 strength)
FPP: Exert Boromir to make Merry strength +3
SP : Pass
FPP: Exert Merry twice to add his strength to Legolas (+8 strength)
When the skirmish is resolved, Legolas finished with 7 strength and is not
overwhelmed, taking only 1 wound. However this means that the modifier to
Merry's strength was applied immediately, while the Enduring Evil was not
applied to Legolas' strength. Had the modifier been applied immediately,
like for Merry, Legolas' strength would have been 0 not -1 and Boromir
wouldn't need to exert first in order for Merry to save Legolas. Merry alone
would have made his strength +5. This is the correct way to apply the rule
regarding negative numbers.
Like I said, I think this ruling will have the greatest impact on the game.
7. skirmish phase - losing character
´´A losing character is any character on the losing side in a skirmish when
Also, any character removed during his or her skirmish is a losing
character, even if that character's side eventually wins. That character is
not wounded (or overwhelmed) when the skirmish resolves.
Example: Boromir bearing a Blade of Gondor faces two Uruk-hai Raiding
Parties, each with two wounds. Boromir exerts once to use the Blade and kill
one of the Raiding Parties. That Raiding Party is a losing character. Then
the skirmish resolves and Boromir loses. Boromir is a losing character, and
the other Raiding Party is a winning character.´´
This ruling will affect cards that remove characters from a skirmish before
it resolves, either by game text (Merry, Unquenchable Hobbit and Pippin,
Just a Nuisance), being discarded, or killed. It also answers the question
about who loses a skirmish for the purpose of cards like Let Them Come! and
Gleaming Spires Will Crumble.
´´The definition of this keyword has been revised as follows: This character
may only participate in skirmishes when at its home site or when a [Gandalf]
card allows it do so.´´
Previously, the only Ents (and Unhasty characters) were allies. This loaded
keyword prevented the Free Peoples Player from, anytime he wanted, using the
Horn of Boromir from bring a strength 15 Treebeard into archery and
skirmishes. However, with the Battle of Helm's Deep expansion, there will
now be Ent (Unhasty) companions too. As such the rule had to be changed to
account for these characters also.
One subtle change is that the Horn of Boromir, and other such cards, can
bring an Unhasty Ent into the archery fire to soak up some wounds even
though that character would not be able to participate in the skirimishes.
Well, that is all for this latest update to the FAQ. Some minor changes,
some big changes, but as always an interesting read. Battle of Helm's Deep
of just around the corner and the Las Vegas Premier Series Event is close to
follow. I hope that this article has helped you prepare for both. Thank you.
Bravo 64, ´´Max of Tat´´
Rider of Rohan, ´´Úlairë Enriquë´´
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