Choice of Luthien

One thing many people called for shortly after the game came out were more character-specific cards. This wish seems to have been fulfilled at least somewhat with cards like

Choice of Luthien # Resource # Permanent-event # 1 MP # +2 Mind # +2 DI
Unique. Playable on Arwen in Minas Tirith. She receives +2 direct influence and her mind increases by 2. Discard if Arwen moves to a site not in Anorien, Lebennin, Lamedon, Belfalas, or Anfalas. Tap Arwen to take one item, ally, or faction playable at her current site from your play deck or discard pile into your hand (reshuffle play deck if searched).

Well, aside from a role-playing bonus and some pretty good art by Tom Nasmith, this card can really help out the right deck. The most obvious advantage of this card is that, with one card, Arwen can control Aragorn, something that previously required a Lesser Ring with a test. And while her mind increases by two, your free influence increase by four (or seven if Arwen wasn't being controlled with DI). That's enough for a good character or two, and it also frees up Aragorn's 3 DI (or more) for influencing factions.

That's actually the best part of this card. You can take Arwen and Aragorn to any of Minas Tirith, Druadan Forest, Pelargir, Vale of Erech, Dol Amroth, Lond Galen, or Edhellond and have Arwen go find a faction for Aragorn to play. This both saves hand space and it lets you chose when to play a faction, instead of figuring it out when you draw. Also, if you fail to influence a faction, you can tap Arwen to get it back and try again (as the site is not tapped). This card, along with Sentinels of Numenor, can yield you 19 faction points in six turns. Or, if you want to keep your faction points balanced with the others (you can only get half of your MPs from one type of source), you can also get Nenselde the Wingild and the Palantir of Minas Tirith.

This card pretty much only goes in one deck. Decks based around Gondor can be pretty good, as it's quite possible to go through almost no wilderness the entire game. Thus, you can gather resources (mostly factions) in peace. The deck can also gather items well, as there are a couple of items sites in Gap of Isen and two sites that lead to the Under-deeps. This works especially well in decks that try to get The Will of Sauron and Snowstorm out.

This card is slightly useful if you don't have Aragorn out. It lets Arwen control a two-mind character, but her mind increases by two, so you lose flexibility. And Gondor decks are possible without Aragorn, though he really helps. So Choice of Luthien can be a really helpful card, both in terms of play and in terms of role-playing (now if Faramir/Eowyn could control each other...).

Ratings for Choice of Luthien:
Isildur: 7.0
Frodo: 7.0
Bandobras Took: 9.5
Cirdan: 9.0
Alatar: 4.0
Legolas: 3.0
Samwise: 7.5
Gandalf: 8.5
Farmer Maggot: 9.5
Strider: 6.0
Beorn: 6.9
Wormtongue: 5.5
Fingolfin: 7.0
Merry: 6.5
Average: 6.9

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.