Resource: Greater Item
Marshalling Points: 3
Corruption Points: 2
Hoard Item. Weapon. Only a Wizard may bear this item. +2 to direct influence and +2 to prowess. +2 to any corruption check required by a spell card. Tap bearer at the beginning of your end-of-turn phase to take one "spell," "ritual," or "light enchantment" from your discard pile into your hand. Bearer makes a corruption check. Cannot be duplicated on a given Wizard.
This card gives you the better of Saruman's two abilities in an enhanced form, with only one disadvantage from using Saruman's (other than that it comes without an extra item needed). Plus, it also gives you a fair set of enhancers, AND you can use it with another card (Staff Asunder) to have an emergency defense against high-powered attacks. Pretty cool. Let's look at the abilities, then the reasons you might not want to use them. First the basics. 3 marshalling points, only 2 corruption points, pretty good ratio compared to most cards. It's a weapon, so any enhancers/damagers to those apply. And it also gives you a decent set of statistic modifiers, with +2 to direct influence (for a total of 12 since only a Wizard can use this), and +2 to prowess (for a total of 8, as much as Glorfindel). Plus you get a corruption check modifier that effectively cancels this card's corruption points in any spell-caused corruption check. And it's non-unique, so you can have three in your deck, though you can only use one because of the "Cannot be duplicated on a given Wizard" part. Then there's the main ability. You can do basically what Saruman can do, with rituals and light enchantments added, i.e. you can take a card from the discard pile to your hand of a certain type (in this case spells, rituals, and light enchantments) once per turn in exchange for tapping. As I've said several times, this is a great ability, allowing you to recycle all sorts of useful cards. Particularly Wizard's Test, which with this ability makes a Wizard effectively better at testing rings than Gandalf. If you combine this with the right Wizard (my suggestion is Radagast, for high draws and the ability to recycle anything you get, plus to use as a backup special ability with Shadow of Mordor out), you can get quite a nice combo going. And, as I said, in a bad situation you can use Staff Asunder (I'm reviewing that tomorrow) to get an extra boost to your prowess. However, there are a few disadvantages to this card. The first is the corruption check. How much it matters depends on your Wizard, on how laden they are with items etc. In the case of Radagast, to use that example, you have a +1 to checks already, meaning if he just has this it's impossible for him to fail the check (2 points, +1 to the roll, automatic 3 or better and therefore impossible to lose), and if you use Fellowship or Emerald of the Mariner you can even take negative-modifier checks or have more items. The other problem is the fact that it's a Greater Hoard Item, probably the most difficult type of item in the game to get out. You can only play this at Dragon sites (and not even all of them, only 5 of them even have it) or at a Shadow or Dark hold with Dwarven Hoard. That can be pretty dangerous. But still, overall Wizard's Staff is a great card, giving you an almost fantastic ability without even losing that much.
Ratings for: WIZARD'S STAFF
|Frodo||8.0||Farmer Maggot||10.0 *|
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