Another reason to convince any skeptic person that they should get some Dark Minions is

Dragon-helm - Resource - Special Item - 4 MP - 2 CP - +3 DI - (+1/+2)
Unique. Playable at any Under-deep Dark-hold (D) or Shadow-hold (S). Helmet. Warrior only: +1 prowess; +2 body (to a maximum of 10); +3 direct influence. Tap Dragon-helm to cancel one attack by Dragons or Drakes.

Wow. It's cards like this that make it (maybe) worth it to go down to the Under-deeps and have the possibility of facing creatures like Durin's Bane. It has several features, each of which would make it worth playing, but when combined, Dragon-helm is an immensely powerful card.

It's first feature is it's 4 MPs (for only 2 CPs). Many greater items have that many MPs and are easier to get, but don't have the added features. For the record, only Emerald of the Mariner and Phial of Galadriel have better MP to CP ratios (while being carried), and only a few weapons have 4 MPs and 2 CPs. But the MPs are the least of the abilities of this card.

The next feature is the +1/+2 modification for warriors bearing this item. That's pretty good, and on top of that, it's one of the few helmets. That's right, you can bear a weapon AND this card (and a shield and armor if you really don't care about corruption). Also, there is no maximum prowess from the +1, so you could have a 6 prowess character (Gandalf sounds fun) with Anduril and this card and a prowess of 12 and body of 10 (in the case of a wizard).

Add to that the nice bonus of +3 DI (you are, after all, wearing the most prominent heirloom of the House of Hador). Add that to a big fighter who's taking up a bunch of influence and you can control another decent fighter (perhaps to go out as a small company kicking booty). This boost can make a fairly good company into a great company.

The last ability it has probably won't be useful for the next few weeks. You can cancel any dragon or drake attack by just tapping Dragon-helm (and it continues to give all the other bonuses). This means that your opponent probably won't throw any dragons at you unless they're preceded by a drake or another weak dragon. Now why won't that be useful for a while? I would guess that people will set aside most of their Dragons cards for a while while they play with their new Dark Minions cards. But even if your opponents aren't using Dragons, you can use this to cancel the dragon auto-attacks to go and get hoard items (although an Under-deeps/hoard item deck might be overdoing it a bit).

This card has just a couple of drawbacks, but one of them is pretty major. The first drawback is the 2 corruption, but that's a pretty modest price for all of this card's abilities. The second is the fact that it's unique, so if your opponent is brave he might get it before you. That might actually be to your advantage though, as you might be able to influence his Dragon-helm away and not have to risk the dangerous Under-deeps. That is, of course, the major drawback to this card. As is shown by yesterday's card (Durin's Bane), the Under-deeps can be a very dangerous place. Not to mention the auto-attacks are a lot more dangerous (especially if your opponent is playing with creatures keyable to shadow-holds and dark-holds). The other factor is the time it takes to go to the Under-deeps, especially if you come right back afterwards. One other small problem is that, aside from the MPs, only a warrior gets the benefits of this card. Most characters are Warriors, but it makes it so that Hobbits, who would be good candidates, don't get much from this item.

So all in all, Dragon-helm is a very powerful card once in play, but can be rather dangerous to get out.

Ratings for Dragon-helm:
Isildur: 6.0
Frodo: 7.5
Legolas: 7.0
Wormtongue: 8.0
Strider: 8.0
Gandalf: 7.0
Smaug: 8.75
Eonwe: 9.2
Average: 7.7

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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.