Spider of the Morlat

One thing I thought Dark Minions should have had more of was spiders. It had a few spider enhancers, but there's still only two non-unique spiders. Spider of the Morlat # Hazard # Creature/Permanent-event # 4 MP # 16/9
Unique. Spider. May be played as a hazard creature (with two strikes) or as a permanent-event. As a creature, she may be played at Dol Guldur and The Sulfur-deeps. If Doors of Night is in play, she may also be keyed to Southern Mirkwood, Heart of Mirkwood, or Woodland Realm; or at any adjacent site of The Sulfur-deeps. If played as a permanent-event, all Spider attacks receive +1 strike. Additionally, any company moving in Southern Mirkwood, Heart of Mirkwood, Woodland Realm, Dagorlad, or Brown Lands faces a Spider attack of 2 strikes with 10 prowess. You can return Spider of the Morlat as a permanent-event to your hand-which counts as one against the hazard limit.

Well, as one rater put it, this card is to Shelob what Durin's Bane is to the original Balrog. It has a simlar effect as shelob, but better. First, her (I assume almost all spiders are hers, espeicially big nasty ones) creature stats are pretty good. 16/9 is on par (actually a little better) than most of the Nazgul, and she's worth just 4 MPs. She has a lower range than most Nazgul, normally limited to Sulfur-deeps/Dol Guldur, two nasty sites that are only visited in an Under-deeps deck or by someone trying Pass the Doors of Dul Guldur. With Doors of Night, though, she's got a fair ranger, comprising most of Mirkwood and several Under-deeps sites. However, most of the times I go through Mirkwood (except maybe Woodland Realm), I'm using movement from Lorien, and there aren't too many good sites in Mirkwood, so Spider of the Morlat is best played as an event, able to attack later, not held in the hand as a surprise.

As an event, she rocks. On top of giving all spider attacks +1 strike (all those six spiders you're going to play). This can also add on to cards like Wake of War, Shelob, and Dwar of Waw for a total of +4 strikes and +3 prowess (making Giant Spiders 6 strikes at 13/-). Plus, her spider enhancement affects her children in Mirkwood, making them at least 3 stikes at 10. While this isn't a totally deadly attack, it's still pretty nasty (assuming your opponent's travelling in the middle-eastern part), and can tap out a few characters to start off a M/H phase. It's not as dangerous as a dragon ahunt, but it is a) permanent and b) won't give your opponent Marshalling Points if he defeats it (it won't even go away).

The only disadvantages are that Spider of the Morlat is only really useful in a Spider deck, has limited regions, and if your opponent also happens to be playing a Spider deck, you could be in for some real interesting times.

So Spider of the Morlat is a cool card, like all of the children of Ungoliant IMHO, and will get better as more spider cards come out (as they hopefully will :-)

Ratings for Spider of the Morlat:
Isildur: 7.0
Frodo: 8.0
Bandobras Took: 6.5
Cirdan: 8.5
Alatar: 6.0
Fingolfin: 9.5
Legolas: 7.5
Samwise: 8.0
Gandalf: 7.0
Farmer Maggot: 9.5
Strider: 8.5
Beorn: 7.2
Merry: 5.5
Wormtongue: 8.5
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.