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The Iron Crown

Resource: Greater Item
Marshalling Points: 4
Corruption Points:5

Unique. Whenever bearer makes an influence check, he must also make a corruption check. If the bearer is not a Hobbit: he recieves +1 to body to a maximum of 10; he recieves +4 to direct influence; and he may tap The Iron Crown to cancel an attack by Orcs, Trolls, or Men against his company.

It's fairly nice, but not THAT nice. Like a pretty good faction but with a nasty 5 corruption added on (and its effects are lowered to just the M.P. and the negative effect if you use Hobbits, so don't try to sneak out of it that way). It has one more difficulty, too. Whenever you make an influence check with this on, you also make a corruption check. This can be pretty problematic, particularly because of its high corruption points and the fact that its main bonus is to your direct influence. But you can still control characters with no sweat, so it's not that bad unless you're using the Wandering Wizard (14 D.I. is enough for almost any faction influence easily) strategy in which case it becomes a real problem. The +4 to direct influence is, however, enough to control an entire medium-power character, or even some of the Hobbits (not Frodo and Bilbo, unfortunately). The +1 body to max of 10 is also nice, and useful on every character except Galadriel (who has 10 body already). Not much, and the least useful of the attributes IMHO, but still occasionally can make the difference between life and death for a character. Finally there's the mildly useful cancellation effect. Not like canceling Nazgul by any means, but like carrying a miniaturized version of Torque of Hues around all the time. And there are some deadly Men attacks too (though the Orcs don't add up to much and the Trolls aren't too numerous or too powerful), like Assassin (which I still haven't gotten around to reviewing, I'll have to do it in the next set). But not that useful, since the really deadly attacks are Nazgul and a few special cases like Smaug and Shelob and there aren't many good Orc, Troll, or Man attacks (though like I said, there are a few). One question lots of people are asking: whose is it? Morgoth's was beaten into a collar and sent away with him, so the only one I can think of is the Witch-King's or something (unless it's meant to symbolize the return of Morgoth's evil to Middle-Earth through Sauron, Scott?). Overall, The Iron Crown is an okay but not great card, certainly worth what you pay (practically nothing, just the cost of two stamps, some envelopes and paper, and a bit of ink) but not that great.
Ratings for: THE IRON CROWN

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