108.html|@/@@TEXTR*ch~b Balrog of Moria

Balrog of Moria

Hazard: Permanent-Event
Marshalling Points: 5

Unique. The Balrog appears in Moria. The Moria site gains a second automatic-attack of 1 strike with 18 prowess and no body. If this 2nd automatic attack is defeated, this permanent-event is removed from play (i.e., the Balrog is defeated). If your opponent defeats this 2nd automatic-attack, he receives the marshalling points. In addition, unless Galadriel is at Lorien or she is not in play, Lorien is considered a Free-hold [F] (for purposes of healing and playing hazards). +2 prowess to all automatic-attacks at sites in Hollin, Redhorn Gate, and Wold & Foothills.

Another really good hazard. It's almost like a Nazgul attack (keyeable to one site, yes, but still a Nazgul attack) and two other features as well. Let's go over them one by one. First off, it's a permanent-event, playable during the movement/hazard phase. This means that you can play it after your opponent has announced they're moving to Moria and therefore waste them a turn, if nothing else (assuming they don't actually try to beat it, though I suppose they could). Second, the 18-prowess automatic-attack. 18 prowess. Wow. Almost as powerful (as much prowess, but no body and you can't enhance it quite as much) as Khamul or Shelob, and not even as many marshalling points if defeated (with a big IF). Of course, since it's doubtful your opponent will actually be foolish enough to try to kill the Balrog (unless they have a REALLY souped up character or they are in dire need of Gollum or an item from Moria) it's more usable as a way to keep your opponent from using Moria, and therefore making them go through more work to get that killer item out. So it's like having Khamul as an automatic-attack. Never mind if you enhance this attack with cards like Eye of Sauron - then it's powerful enough so even the most powerful of characters have no chance of beating it (already non-enhanced characters with 5 prowess or less can't). And that's just the first feature. The second one can also be quite useful. It basically restricts the movement of Galadriel while she's in play. If Galadriel is not in Lorien at the time of playing this card then Lorien becomes a free-hold instead of a haven. I believe this is permanent until Balrog is discarded (I think that's how to interpret it, it makes some sense, anyway, it's another reason to attack it). Now you can do without Lorien as a haven, but it's extremely difficult, considering that the closest haven to more than half of the sites in Middle-Earth is Lorien. Now you can no longer retreat to Lorien for healing and keeping your companies safe from creatures. Instead it's just a free-hold like several others. And the only way to get another haven even nearly as good is to use The White Tree at Minas Tirith, to make that a haven, which isn't quite as good for the Northern regions but is better for the southern ones. Finally, there's the little extra enhancer feature, the +2 to auto-attacks in Hollin, Redhorn Gate, and Wold & Foothills. That makes Moria (with its three strike Orc attack already there) more dangerous, as well as darkening Ost-in-Edhil (another one of the easier sites for good items) and Dimrill Dale's automatic-attacks. Not as good as the other two features, but still pretty good. Overall, Balrog of Moria is an extremely good hazard permanent-event, with enough of a variety of uses to make it worth putting in almost any deck.
Ratings for: BALROG OF MORIA

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