Elrond, although just half-elven, was perhaps the mightiest of the Elven Lords. He was also a great influence in both the Hobbit and LotR. However, he does not come without a price.
Elrond - Character - 3 MP - 10 Mind - 4 DI - 7/9 - Warrior/Sage/Diplomat Elf -
Home site: Rivendell
Unique. When Elrond is at Rivendell, his controlling player may keep one more card than normal in his hand.-3 marshaling points if eliminated.
A first look at the stats may have Elrond jump out at you. In terms of prowess/body, he is the second most powerful character along with Beorn (even more powerful than wizards). Aside from wizards, he is one of only three characters with 4 real DI (other characters may get a boost above 4 for certain cards). His 3 MP is also the top of the crop for characters. His other stat may actually be the most important of all: 10 mind.
10 mind is higher than any other character, and is half of your direct influence (basically a third if your wizard is out). So in order to control this great character, you have to devote quite a lot of mind to him (which usually involves building your deck around him being out).
Beyond just his stats are his abilities. First, you lose 3 MP when he's eliminated (i.e. killed or misses a corruption check by more than 2). It's pretty hard to kill him, but this (mis)feature makes it much more attractive for your opponent to try. You could virtually avoid this, however, and gain his other ability at the same time: leave him in Rivendell and keep an extra card in your hand. The benefits of this are really good, as I explained in the Istari review, but in order to keep it working all the time, you have to leave him in Rivendell, eating up 10 GI (or, if your wizard is in play the movement of your wizard and all his DI). There is yet another advantage to keeping Elrond in Rivendell: Vilya.
Vilya was recently lowered in use by quite a bit by recent , but it is still a powerful card, almost enough to justify putting Elrond in your deck for. In addition to Vilya's prowess/body/DI modifiers, if Elrond is in Rivendell (which has beneficial effects anyway) you can take 3 resources from your discard pile and shuffle them in your play deck. With 3 of these you can keep recycling them and another card or two, but even just one can be quite useful. Maybe it's an event that's really useful, an item you lost in a corruption check, a faction that got dispersed, etc. You can bring it back into your play deck and not have to wait for a whole cycle. Or you can bring 5 cards into your discard from your sideboard with your wizard and then bring 3 into the deck. All this for the (fairly) minor disadvantage of a -3 corruption check (well, if he doesn't have any items you should be okay).
So all in all, Elrond is a very good character who is balanced by his high mind and the fact that you can't have all of his abilities at once.
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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.