Unique. When Elrond is at Rivendell, his controlling player may keep one more card than normal in his hand. -3 marshalling points if eliminated.
Home Site: Rivendell
First, he's 7/9. Being 8/9 was the main attribute of yesterday's card, and the 7/9 is only one of many of Elrond's features. Another one is his high influence. I personally rate a card by its influence minus its mind for that area, giving Elrond a -6 (Frodo has -4, by comparison, while the Wizards all have 10(!)) 4 influence can control lots of characters, especially with bonuses. Though -6 isn't that great, it's still pretty good, for all that Elrond gives you. If you give Elrond The One Ring, for instance, he gets 9 influence, almost as much as a wizard.
Also, the 3 marshalling points are quite handy. Also, he's got one more feature. When he's at Rivendell (his home site), his controlling player gets to keep one more card than normal in hand. Just think about the use of this. Pallando has this feature as his main one, and he's a wizard, for crying out loud, the moral of which is that instead of getting Pallando you should put down another wizard and get Elrond (my scathing Pallando review is coming soon, too). But the feature is a useful one. You can make even bigger hazard combos with this. Yes, you can now fit all nine Nazgul into your hand at once. Or you can combine the 3 elven-kings (well, that's what I call them, anyway): Elrond, Galadriel, and Cirdan, who each have this skill (actually, they're very similar in general) for a total of THREE more cards than normal in hand, bringing it up to ELEVEN(!). Or add Pallando, pathetic wizard though he is, for four extra and TWELVE cards. Think about this. You can unleash veritable armies of hazards at your opponent's larger companies at once. Wouldn't it be nice to see one of those 9-character non-hobbit companies, and actually be able to play 9 hazards on them? Now you can.
There are only two main problems with Elrond. The first is the -3 M.P. if eliminated. This is trivial, since if you're smart about it you'll probably keep Elrond at home anyway, free from all danger. And the other one, slightly larger, is the 10 mind. First of all, this is offset by the 4 direct influence, making it (IMHO) really only 6 mind, not that bad. And also, 10 mind is only 1/3 of all your influence (assuming you have your wizard revealed) and this card's worth that much. Overall, a great character, as long as you're willing to give up the 10 mind.
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