Another card I was asked to review seems really cool and powerful at first. While it remains cool, it's got some problems in the power part.

Wraith-lord # Hazard # Short-event
Playable on a moving company with two Dark-domains in its site path. Each Nazgul that attacks target company this turn receives +2 prowess and lowers the body of any characters it wounds by one (for the rest of the turn). Each Nazgul so played does not count against the hazard limit. Cannot be duplicated on a given turn.

The art on this card (done by Brom) gives a sense of despair and futility, or at least horror. And this card is the bringer of these things, if your opponent ever sees it.

First the good parts. This card potentially lets you attack with all of the Nazgul against one company, counting as just one against the hazard limit. Not to mention that their prowesses will be 17 or more (20 for Khamul without further enhancement). 17 automatically wounds any character with a prowess of 4 or less, and has a good shot at most others too. And with this card, it makes it easier to kill those characters. One body may not sound like a lot, but when you miss by one, you can appreciate the difference it makes. Plus, this card is cumulative, so if your opponent has one character (say, a Hobbit), take all nine of the Nazgul, his body will be lowered to 0, assuming he doesn't die first. Even Galadriel with Nenya gets a three body in that situation, easy to roll over. Plus, unlike some other cards that don't have creatures count against the hazard limit, you can play enhancers like Morgul-knife on them.

Let's have a realism check here. What are the chances that you'll have all nine Nazgul in your hand at once? Pretty slim. You pretty much need several hand-increasers (Pallando, Emerald of the Mariner, Book of Mazarbul, Elven kings), some planning, luck, and maybe a Revealed to All Watchers. Even just a couple Nazgul can be bad enough, though. Picture a company of two trying to sneak through. You start off with something like a Ghosts to tap them, maybe draw out a Concealment or something. Do this halfheartedly, as if you just had one playable hazard in your hand. After that's done, get a big, evil grin on your face and slap down a Wraith-lord. As your opponent's jaw drops to the floor, pull out a Nazgul. Pick a character. Maybe he doesn't die. Try again with another. Maybe he doesn't die again, but his body's pretty low. Hit him again, this time he dies. Then hit the other character a time or two. Your opponent will sure think twice about going through two dark- domains again.

Which brings us to the part of this card that lowers its power and use WAY down. You need two dark-domains to play this card. The only place that this occurs naturally is Udun-Gorgoroth-Nurn, and any company heading there will likely expect this card (or be prepared for some other nasty threat). That leaves you with creating two dark-domains. If your opponent's heading into Southern Mirkwood from Dagorlad/Brown Lands or into Gundabad from Angmar, you may only have to play one Awaken the Earth's Fire to be able to play this card. The other place this card could plausible be played is on a company going through Brown Lands, Dagorlad, Horse Plains, or Khand. With two Awaken the Earth's Fires or a Morgul-night you can pull this card off. The first is fairly hard to pull off, and the second one can leave you vulnerable to the other edge of your sword. Not to mention probably the card in the highest number of decks, Twilight. Not to mention that an environment or two and this card may make up the number of hazards you would have reached if you had played the Nazgul individually, not to mention the fact that they take up hand and deck space. Not that this card isn't useful with just one Nazgul (+2 prowess, -1 opposing body, and not against the limit), holding this card until you have the right Nazgul may not be too affective (not to mention I've probably given more Nazgul MPs away than non-unique creatures).

Thus Wraith-lord can be a very powerful card, if you can manage to play it in the right situation, which is pretty difficult.

Ratings for Wraith-lord:
Isildur: 3.5
Frodo: 6.5
Bandobras Took: 7.5
Cirdan: 3.0
Alatar: 4.0
Fingolfin: 5.0
Legolas: 8.0
Samwise: 8.5
Merry: 9.0
Gandalf: 8.0
Farmer Maggot: 9.5
Strider: 7.5
Beorn: 6.7
Wormtongue: 6.0
Average: 6.6

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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.