One of my complaints with the game so far is that there are not enough allies around, so it's easy for your opponent to get double MPs for them. No longer, for we have
Noble Hound - Resource - Ally - 3/6 - 1 MP - 1 Mind
Playable at any tapped or untapped Border-hold. In all cases, Noble Hound must be assigned a strike before any strike can be assigned to its controlling character. Discard Noble Hound to cancel any effect that would take its controlling character prisoner (does not protect other characters from being taken prisoner).
Why did I say what I did at the start? Take a look closely at the text. First, Noble Hound is easily playable, any untapped border-hold. That's almost any faction site, even after you've played the faction. Next, and probably better, it's NOT unique. That's right, our first non-unique ally. That means that you can have three in a deck, or if your opponent beats you to him (like our games go for Quickbeam), it doesn't matter. Thus, you can use this card to insure that your opponent won't get double MPs (at least until Fido dies).
Now, since Noble Hound must be assigned a strike before his master can, he's not going to be too much use in a deck full of big bad dwarves, etc. It is, however, very useful with Hobbits. Now Frodo can have Sam, the faithful servant, and a Noble Hound, who will take any strike instead of his master. The problem with that is the fact that Noble Hound's body is only 6, and it's easy to boost a Hobbit's prowess to 3 (Sting). But if you use Noble Hound as a backup, if you are planning on cancelling most attacks, or as someone to take a hit when you fail a burglary attempt.
The other ability of Noble Hound is the fact that he can cancel a prisoner attempt against his master. There are quite a number of cards in Dark Minions that can take a character prisoner, and if the character is vital to your strategy, it can be quite a pain to have to go and rescue him. With Noble Hound you can say "Frodo and all his items stay with me."
Lastly, you can play this card if you don't have any other allies in your plans. Send a 1 mind whimp like Barliman Butterbur or Forlong out to a border-hold, get a Noble Hound, and then go to Rivendell with it and let the elves play with the big fuzzy dog.
So all in all, Noble Hound is a very cool ally, although you shouldn't expect him to stick around for too long. You can even use him in a wolf-themed deck.
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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.