#262: River

At first glance, someone might not think that the ranger skill has much worth as there aren't many ranger cards. However, a ranger may be the only thing to keep you in the race.

River - Hazard - Short-event Playable on a site. If a company that has moved to this site this turn does not tap a ranger, it must do nothing during its site phase.

The question for this card, as most others, is: why should I put this card in my deck? Most companies have a ranger, and they would be willing to tap said ranger so they can play stuff during the site phase, so what does this card do other than tap a ranger? The answer is that this card can give a great speed advantage if played with the right other cards.

Obviously the best time to use this card is after the rangers have all been tapped. This can be accomplished in several ways. If you have creatures where the attacker can chose the defenders (Cave-drake works well here) then you can tap their rangers before playing this card. Or you could take out the ranger entirely with a Call of Home or maybe a big attack on another character so that your opponent has to tap in support.

River can also be effectively played when your opponent needs his ranger during the site phase. He might have tapped everyone else and was planning on having, say, Beorn take an item. With this card he either has to somehow untap Beorn, or do nothing.

Also, this card can be devastating in mass numbers. Chances are that if you play two or three of these, your opponent won't have enough rangers to deal with them all.

It might not be a very good idea to put this card in a deck designed for a game that's more than two decks in length. This only prevents them from doing something THIS turn, and in three and four deck games one turn doesn't make much of a difference.

So all in all, River can be a very useful card, giving you an extra one turn advantage, which can make all the difference.
Ratings for River:
Isildur: 6.0
Frodo: 8.5
Farmer Maggot: 9.0
Gandalf: 5.5
Legolas: 7.0
Strider: 8.0
Wormtoungue: 4.0
Average: 6.0

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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.