Fifteen Birds in Five Firtrees

For a while, several people were calling for more cards related to The Hobbit. Dark Minions has brought several of these (as did Dragons) such as An Unexpected Party and

Fifteen Birds in Five Firtrees - Resource - Short-event
Playable on a moving company facing a non-unique hazard creature if Gates of Morning is in play. All attacks of the creature are cancelled and all attacks of the next non-unique hazard creature the company faces this turn are also cancelled. An untapped character in the company must tap to face any strike from a subsequent hazard creature attack for the rest of the turn. The company must do nothing during its site phase unless it contains a Wizard or you discard Eagle-mounts from your hand. Cannot be duplicated on a given turn.

The first comment for this card comes from the rater Strider: "Text too long!" It is awfly long (and probably pretty small, though I haven't yet seen it), but it does have a fairly useful effect.

This card can cancel up to two attacks with a fairly minor penalty (none really if you have a wizard), which compares well with Concealment, the standard method of attack cancelation. The main advantages this card has over Concealment is that it does not require any characters to tap (although losing your site phase can be worse) and the fact that it can cancel more than one attack. However, those attacks must be non-unique, so no stopping Dragons or Nazgul or some of th nasty trolls. However, the majority of the hazard creatures are non-unique (although they often get less play than some of the big baddies). Perhaps, then, you should keep this card in the sideboard so that you can bring it in when your opponent turns out to be using an orc strategy. Also note that this is a good card to use against cards like Slayer, Nameless Thing, and Assassin, as this cancels all the attacks of the hazard creature.

The next cool thing about this card is that it then cancels the next non-unique hazard creature the company faces. Now, unless your opponent has two more creatures and two more hazard limit, chances are you just won't see another non-unique hazard creature and you can go right on and raid the site... assuming you can.

That is perhaps the biggest disadvantage of this card. While most decks have a wizard, some don't and it's often a while before they get into play. This can also be alleviated with Eagle-mounts, which is rapidly becomming a much more useful card. But the discarding of Eagle-mounts isn't really worth it (unless you were planning on it with cards like this). So if you don't have your wizard out and you don't have an Eagle-mounts in your hand, you might as well face the hazard creature (it IS non-unique, so probably not THAT good) unless you've got a pretty weak company and fear a wounding.

There are, of course, several drawbacks to this card. The first is the fact that you have to have Gates of Morning out, which isn't all that common. If your deck hopes to have Gates out, though, then this card may be worth including in your deck. The other two disadvantages, mentioned earlier, are the fact that the creaatures must be non-unique hazard creatures (so no auto- attack busting) and the possible loss of the site phase.

One other cool thing about this card is it's name. Playing this card opens up an opportunity to start singing (whenever I think of this card I have the song they had in the animated version of The Hobbit (with Orson Bean) going through my head). While this doesn't have much of a psychological advantage like Words of Power and Terror and such cards, it does increase the fun of the game (much like we do when someone gets out Gollum or The One Ring), which is the entire point anyway.

So Fifteen Birds in Five Firtrees is a cool card, useful in some situations, but not in others.

Ratings for Fifteen Birds in Five Firtrees:
Isildur: 5.7
Frodo: 7.0
Legolas: 5.0
Wormtongue: 7.0
Strider: 6.5
Gandalf: 8.0
Smaug: 6.5
Eonwe: 6.8

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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.