Staff Asunder

Resource: Short-Event
Playable on a Wizard bearing Wizard's Staff whose company is facing an attack. Wizard makes a corruption check. Place Wizard's Staff in your marshaling point pile. Wizard gains +5 prowess against the attack. Modify the attack's body by -2.
[Archivist's note: Gandalf wrote this review thinking Staff Asunder gave -2 to the attack's prowess, not body.]
The usefulness of this card depends on your opinion of Wizard's Staff. If you don't like Wizard's Staff, and you think it's not that useful, this card is pretty good. But if you like Wizard's Staff and its abilities, then this card is pretty bad, taking away your Wizard's Staff and making you go to all the work of getting another one. Let's look at the details. Staff Asunder is, at its heart, just another prowess enhancer, one that happens to force a corruption check and discard a (potentially) valuable Greater Hoard Item. Naturally, the increase is astronomical, a whopping 7 prowess (effectively, anyway, +5 for your Wizard, and -2 for the attack, total difference of 7) guaranteeing at least 11 prowess (remember, Wizard's Staff and its abilities go away BEFORE the new enhancers apply, so you don't get the extra 2 prowess) and therefore automatic defeat of any attack with 14 prowess or less. And giving your Wizard a greater than 50% chance against almost any attack. Quite nice. This gives you a "safety net" if your wizard is attacked by Earcaraxe or Smaug (the two most powerful attacker-chooses-defenders Dragons) or by a Nazgul with Fell Beast. Or for that matter anything else with prowess high enough to pose a significant threat to your Wizard. Not to mention the combos with you combine this with other cards like True Fana. So it can be useful, though an attack canceller can often be better/safer than to risk using this and merely increasing your chances of beating it. And there are reasons not to use this. First of all, it gets rid of your Wizard's Staff, a very useful and hard-to-get item as I discussed in the last issue. And often situations where your wizard is being attacked by powerful creatures are the times you'd most want something like the Staff. But you do get the marshalling points (3 of them), so it's not entirely a loss. Also, there's the corruption check, another potential problem, that can sometimes be actually more dangerous than the attack to your Wizard's life. So overall, Staff Asunder is an okay but still fairly mediocre card, a powerful enhancer but one that carries several penalties for its use.
Ratings for: STAFF ASUNDER
Frodo8.0Farmer Maggot6.5
Sauron9.0 *Isildur5.0
Legolas4.0 *Beorn10.0 *
Eomer3.0 *Glaurung5.0

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