213.html4|@/44@@TEXTR*chk" The White Tree

The White Tree

Resource: Permanent-Event
Marshalling Points: 5

Unique. Sage only at Minas Tirith. Playable only if a Sapling of the White Tree is at Minas Tirith. Discard Sapling of the White Tree. Minas Tirith becomes a Haven for the purposes of healing and playing hazards.

(note from Gandalf: since I'm leaving at noon today for Boston (Logan Airport, on my way to Frankfurt and then Budapest, if you see a Lufthansa crash today going to Frankfurt or on the 11th coming from there I'm probably on it), and won't have time to write a review before I go, I asked for volunteers from the raters to write an issue for that day. It's just for this one day, and as soon as I get back from Europe on the 12th I'll be writing them again, but this is the last issue until then. Isildur volunteered, and I was expecting another rater (who will remain nameless) to but they didn't do it (or at least not in time). After I told Isildur spefcifically not to do Pallando (couldn't have him directly conflicting my views in the COTD) he chose this card.)

At first glance it might not appear that special, it's hard to play and it only nets you 3 MP's (because you have to discard the 2 MP Sapling), but once it's out it can be VERY useful.

First off, the 3 net gain is not too bad (only a few resources give you more for less work) and it comes in miscellaneous points, which can be useful if you have a high item or faction strategy.

Next, it is impossible to get rid of this card. Once in play, you have 5 MP permanently, and you don't need to make a corruption check like you do with an item. All you need is a sage (fairly common) at Minas Tirith (which means you can't have discarded it yet) and a stored or unstored Sapling of the White Tree, which isn't too much of a problem if you plan on getting The White Tree into play (i.e. just put a couple in your deck :-).

Finally, Minas Tirith becomes a haven for the purposes of healing and playing hazards. While there aren't many hazards playable on Free-holds, there is one fairly nasty one: Assassin. More usefully, you may now heal at Minas Tirith, which is within 4 regions of 36 sites, from Mordor to Gondor and beyond. This means you can make dangerous runs to sites, return here, heal, and then dash back for more.

There are only a few drawbacks to this card. One is that if it is tapped and all characters leave it, it is discarded, not returned to the location deck like the "real" havens. Another is its difficulty to play (as mentioned above). Also, your opponent gets to use Minas Tirith as a haven as well. That reason is often not used because your opponent's deck is not counting on this card, while you can build your deck so that most of your cards are playable near Minas Tirith.

So all in all, The White Tree is a very good card with a few drawbacks, not to mention it has one of the highest coolness factors of any card in the game (IMHO of course :-).

Isildur's rating for The White Tree: 9.0

Comments? Questions? Complaints? E-mail them to tstone@nyx.net if they pertain to this particular Card of the Day, to MLGandalf@aol.com if they pertain to the Card of the Day series in general.

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