#254: Witch-king of Angmar

Overconfidence in a prophesy can be fatal, shown in both Macbeth, who's life was not to yield "to one of woman born," and in the Witch-king, who would not be killed by "no living man."

Witch-king of Angmar - Hazard Creature/Permanent-event - 6 MP - 17/12 -
Playable: Dd, Dh
Unique. Nazgul (1st). May be played as a hazard creature (with one strike) or as a permanent-event. As a creature, may also be played keyed to Angmar, Gundabad, Gorgoroth, and Imlad Morgul; and may also be played at sites in these regions. If played as a permanent-event, it will remain in play until tapped during the opponent's movement/hazard phase (tapping counts against the hazard limit). When tapped, Witch-king of Angmar becomes along-event and causes all Shadow-holds to become Dark-holds.

Numerically, Witch-king has the most powerful strike in the game. It will automatically wound any character of less than five, and has a good chance on almost any other. Further, if you can manage to defeat the prowess, you have to beat a 12 body, impossible without modifiers. The best way to accomplish that is with one of the "ladies" of METW, preferably Eowyn or Peath (although even they might not pull it off without an enhancer or two). He can get even more big and mean with The Pale Sword and a Fell Beast (2 28/12 attacker- chooses strikes).

However, even though he does have a ridiculously dangerous attack, there are several reasons not to put him in your deck. First, his areas of play are few and far between (there are 5 dark-domains, 2 outside of Mordor, and 5 dark- olds, mostly in regions where he could be played anyway). His additional regions do help, although he could already attack Gorgoroth and Gundabad. Angmar can be a pleasant surprise to someone looking for hoard items in Zarak Dum, though.

Along with his limited play is the limited frequency with which those places are visited. Chances are that a company will only be in one of those areas if they are prepared to deal with Nazgul surprises (either by cancellation or by souped up ladies). Thus, there is a good chance that Witch-king will just sit in your hand taking up space until you manage a chance to play him.

Nazgul attacks can happen, however, but your deck has to at least be partly Nazgul-attack oriented for it to happen with any regularity. Morgul-night (with Will of Sauron if you want to take that risk) works especially well for one half, with a Fell Beast or Morgul-horse making up the other half of making the attack possible.

And assuming you do manage to attack with him, there is a chance, although small it has happened to me, that you opponent will get 6 MPs which you can't get rid of.

There is another option with Witch-king that can vastly help a Nazgul deck: his permanent-event ability. He can change all shadow-holds to dark-holds for one full turn (i.e. as a long-event). There are 7 shadow-holds to add to the 5 existing dark-holds, and expect more to come along in Dark Minions. There is one problem with that ability though, you can't tap him and then bring him back with an Uvatha or Mouth of Sauron to attack the shadow-hold he just converted. You can bring him back to your hand with Morgul-horse, but then he would no longer affect the shadow-holds. With The Will of Sauron, though, Witch-king becomes deadly with other Nazgul.

Overall, Witch-king of Angmar is a very powerful card in a limited number of situations. His playability might increase with Dark Minions as the current craze shifts from hoards to the underdeep, but currently he is not worth including in your deck unless your deck revolves around Nazgul.

Ratings for Witch-king of Angmar
Isildur: 4.0 (9.7 in a Nazgul deck)
Frodo: 6.0
Farmer Maggot: 9.5
Gandalf: 9.5
Legolas: 9.0
Strider: 7.5
Wormtoungue: 7.0
Samwise: 9.1

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Card names and text copyright 1996 by Iron Crown Enterprises, all rights reserved. This document copyright 1996 by Trevor Stone. Permission given to duplicate so long as no profit is made and the copyright notice is kept in tact, blah, blah, blah.