Wisp of Pale Sheen

The card from Dark Minions widely regarded as the worst is

Wisp of Pale Sheen # Hazard # Creature # 1 MP # 6/- # Keyable: Wi, Sl, Dd, Cs, Rl, Sh
Undead. One strike. Attacker chooses defending characters. Any character facing a strike whose mind is equal to or lower than the strike's prowess must tap if untapped following the strike (unless the strike is cancelled).

This card can actually be pretty useful. The point of playing hazards is usually to tap characters, and this card does that pretty well. It's also playable in a lot of places and can be easily enhanced. It does, though, have a pathetic prowess.

First the good stuff though. It's playable in 6 places, second only to Crebain. Pretty much the only way for your opponent to avoid being able to be attacked by the wisp is if he goes through border-lands and free-domains to border-holds and free-holds. In other words, unless your opponent is running a Gondor deck, you can play this card almost any time. You get to chose the defending characters, which can really help. And while the prowess is low, the character won't take -3 because he'll be tapped anyway (unless you stupidly choose a character with a high mind). Plus, with the nasty Undead enhancers available, you can potentially tap any non-wizard character with this card. You can also bump it's strikes/prowess up to 8/10.

But once you've played your three Chill Dousers and Plague of Wights, there are better ways to tap characters. Ghouls, for instance. 16 strikes at 11 is better than 8 at 10, as everybody will be tapping anyway. Granted, Undead are normally just playable at shadow and dark lands and holds, but there are also better tappers for the wilderness and ruins & lairs. Cave-drake is one good choice as well as cards which can't get ANY given character but often get the same effect like Gnaw With Words and River.

Also, with just 6 prowess, chances are pretty high that your opponent will be able to beat the attack. So, he taps a character but gets an MP. In a one deck game, this may be an effective cost, but in two deck and longer games, it's usually not.

Additionally, Neeker-breekers is probably a better choice. It's playable in almost as many places, has one more prowess, and gives each character a strike (with mind as prowess) instead of just one character. In fact, since you can't get wounded by Neeker-breekers, it's basically a strike at 10 vs. the character's mind (all the untapped characters will take -1). Neeker-breekers has a pretty good chance of tapping the same people Wisp of Pale Sheen does, and is less likely to give its MP away.

So all in all, Wisp of Pale Sheen is just a little bit short of being a really good card. As it is, though, it isn't really worth putting in your deck.

Ratings for Wisp of Pale Sheen:
Isildur: 4.5
Frodo: 7.0
Bandobras Took: 4.8
Cirdan: 3.5
Alatar: 7.0
Fingolfin: 6.5
Legolas: 7.5
Samwise: 7.0
Gandalf: 3.5
Farmer Maggot: 2.0
Strider: 4.0
Beorn: 6.5
Wormtongue: 4.0
Merry: 5.0
Average: 5.2

More back issues

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.