Gold Belt of Lorien

The fellowship, worn and famished, stopped by in Lorien to restock and regroup. When they left, they took many items and much advice. The gift to Boromir was

Gold Belt of Lorien - Resource - Special item - 0 MP - 1 CP - +1 DI
Unique. Only playable at Lorien. +1 direct influence to bearer.

This card can either be very useful or hardly useful at all, depending entirely on the exact makeup of a player's deck. It has one effect, +1 direct influence, which could make the difference in the game or it might not make any difference at all.

I can hardly count the times I've been one DI short of being able to bring in another character. The mind/influence ratios are set up so that there are several characters with 2 DI, but most of the 2 or 1 mind characters aren't that good except as dragon fodder or in a dwarf deck. However, with this card you can control one of several good 3 mind characters. Similarly, there are several good characters with 4 mind, but only 3 characters with 4 DI. This card can make it possible to fit that extra Boromir in with Aragorn. This card can also help you to bring in factions if you use a couple of companies and thus must have someone without too much DI influencing quite a bit.

One problem with this card is that other cards may do similar tasks better. I'm primarily thinking of Elf-stone and Horn of Anor. Many of the good 3 and 4 mind characters I mentioned earlier are elves (Analena, Eladan, Elrohir, and Gildor Inglorion). Elf-stone gives one more DI and is also a minor item, not a special item. Thus, you can include it in a starting company. Similarly, with Horn of Anor, +2 DI to factions is always better than one, and you can put it on a character like Adrazar if your deck has such a need.

There is one specific combo that I would like to mention, however. If you start Galadriel, Celeborn, and a 5 mind character, you can have Galadriel with Elf-stone controlling Celeborn, move them to Lorien, and send them to Lorien. When the Gold Belt shows, up, you just have to tap Celeborn and then transfer the elf-stone the next turn to make controlling Galadriel easier (an extra card for 6 mind is not bad).

That bring me to another point: playability. This item is very easy to play as most decks sojourn to Lorien at least once, and your opponent will most likely not play anything to make it difficult for you to play items at Lorien. However, since this card has an effect like a minor item and it's not quite as easy to get out, it loses some value there.

The other two disadvantages to this card are its one corruption, which is pretty minor, and its uniqueness, which mean that you can't have two, which would be even more useful.

Perhaps the best way to decide if you want this card in your deck is to look at your character makeup and see how close you will be to being able to control an additional character or two beyond the starting company without a wizard. If one influence will make a difference, you should consider adding this card.

Ratings for Gold Belt of Lorien:
Isildur: 5.5
Strider: 5.0
Frodo: 6.5
Gandalf: 4.0
Legolas: 3.0
Eonwe: 5.0
Samwise: 8.4
Smaug: 4.0
Farmer Maggot: 8.5
Wormtongue: 6.8
Average: 5.6

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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.