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When Realms was released, in fact, even before it was released, I along with many of my local players were distressed by the ´´Do it or else´´ cards. Cards like Can You Protect Me From Yourself? and Terrible As The Dawn were a threat to the well being of the free peoples player. They seemed to give an unfair advantage to the shadow player to kill/cripple the free people's best companions and allies. An especially frightening card was Such A Little Thing. It is a card that could kill Boromir with a snap of your fingers. Just like that, one of best and most used companions in the game was dead, dead and gone. I thought for certain that this would be the end of any deck that relied on Boromir, especially twilight denial and Horn decks.
However, after watching the Worlds at DecipherCon, and witnessing the power of the Horn deck first hand, I understood that Such A Little Thing, was just a little threat. Sure, players lost Boromir left, right and center when facing a Moria deck, but whoever lost the Boromir would simply shrug it off, and would be forced to block minions with one of their 8-9 companions. No biggie. However the fear of losing him had shocked my local players into avoiding using Boromir all together.
So now let me get to the point of my article. The fear of what your opponent might have in his/her deck can be enough to determine what YOU will play. That much is obvious. So why am I talking about this now, seeing as Worlds has come and gone, and Realms is just a (sometimes painful) memory? Simple, there is a new card in The Two Towers that all seem to fear, or at least respect. That's right, it's Grima, Wormtongue! This little bugger deploys for a meager 2 twilight and gets to use his perverse ability not once, but twice, and during the maneuver phase to boot! Sure he's gonna kick it after he's forced to skirmish your Frodo w/Sting ;) but he's gonna get his licks in before he dies. This is bad for a couple of reasons. First, the cards that he spots don't even all have to be free peoples cards, it can be a mix of shadow as well. This means that Grima is a lock for Sauron and Nazgul decks that thrive on conditions. Second, Grima hurts you when you step up to fight the back-up that he is bound to bring along with him. Third, with all your super cool weapons and conditions back in your hand, this may deter the free peoples player from double moving, depending on the situation. And finally, Grima can clog the free peoples player's hand, which is always a bad thing.
To make matters worse, Grima has the nasty support card; Where Has Grima
Stowed It? which can remove any possessions the shadow player may deem as
Ok, by this point you may be saying 'that's great, but I already know all
this', so here's the portion of the article where I'll actually give some
advice. Throw caution into the wind and stack your guys with cards like
there's no tomorrow. So what if Grima manages to come out and returns a
bunch of your cards to your hand? Most non twilight denial decks that stack multiple cards will either be a ring-bound ranger deck (which is immune to Grima) or will have 7-9 companions, so there shouldn't be any problem when dealing with the army of minions in front of you. I can almost guarantee that not a whole lot of people will be using Grima, and those that do won't have many in their decks. For the simple reason that a player may believe that 'since the card exists, the fear of that card being played on my opponent will deter him/her from using multiple possessions/artifacts/conditions on his/her characters.' And if Grima turns out to be big in your area, then just give in and make a ring-bound ranger deck. Simple as that.
Good hunting everyone!
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