For the first agent that I'm reviewing where I actually know what I'm talking about, let's look at a fairly medium one,

Raisha - Minion - Warrior/Scout Man - 2 MP - 5 Mind - 1 DI - 5/9 - Home Site: Variag Camp, Easterling Camp, Southron Oasis
Unique. Agent.

Raisha is a fairly average (as far as I can tell) agent, one of several female agents. But what is an average agent? Before reviewing (or for some, viewing) Raisha, let's look in depth at the specifics of agents.

First, agents look like characters, but act very different. First off, they act more like permanent hazards than characters, counting against the hazard limit for several things. They move one region at a time, may make creatures playable at her site, and attack a company. One thing to note is that although agents have mind and MP stats, your opponent can only get MPs for them and mind doesn't do anything yet. (Look for that to change in Lidless Eye, the stand alone expansion planned for spring where you can play dark lieutenants of Sauron). Currently the only thing the mind effects is the 36 mind restriction on deck building.

As an agent, Raisha can do several things against companies around Mordor. Being a scout she can play cards like An Article Missing (to discard an item), Sudden Fury (for +1 strike and choosing defenders). As a warrior, she can play cards like Cunning Foes (+3 prowess and chose defenders). She can also play one of several agent cards like Good Sense Revolts (make an influence attempt with +4, +8 if at her home site), Nobody's Friend (for better range), To Get You Away (to take a prisoner at her home site), or Your Welcome is Doubtful (for an influence check against an ally or character with pluses).

However, Raisha will most likely only be of use around Mordor. Her home sites are the sites where three of the four highest MP factions (excluding Army of the Dead and Returned Exiles), and these checks become automatic with Good Sense Revolts. She can also easily get to Urlurtsu Nurn, Mount Doom, Barad- Dur, Dead Marshes, Tolfalas, Henneth Anun, Minas Morgul, Shelob's Lair, and Cirith Ungol, and Shrel-kain (sorry, I'm in a card listing mood tonight). While these are all good sites, they are also (for the most part) fairly dangerous, and might be attacked better with another card. However, one interesting strategy can be to have agents in every area of the map except for the one that you are playing resources in (so there aren't any site conflicts).

In terms of fighting, Raisha is fairly good, within a point of all but the strongest characters (and above many). Thus, when a company enters its site, she can pop up and have an okay chance (within a point or two of just a high- roll contest) for wounding a character. And if a character decides to stay untapped, she's got an even better chance (and tapping a character may be just what you want to do during the site phase). Plus, she's a warrior and can get some of the few current warrior-agent enhancers (and hopefully more in Lidless Eye). However, many companies traveling to Mordor are prepared for a strike of average prowess of 12, so Raisha may not be all that effective.

So Raisha is a pretty good agent against decks centered around Mordor, perhaps she is best to be kept in the sideboard until your opponent plays the Southrons, Variags, or Easterlings,

Ratings for Raisha:
Isildur: 6.0
Frodo: 7.0
Legolas: 8.0
Gandalf: 7.0
Smaug: 7.0
Eonwe: 7.8
Farmer Maggot: 8.5
Strider: 4.0
Average: 7.8
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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.