Leaf Brooch

By now, I think ICE has released a card for everything that was given to the Free Walkers at Lorien. One of these cards is

Leaf Brooch # Resource # Special Item # 0 MP # 1 CP
Only playable at Lorien. If a non-special item must be discarded from the company of Leaf Brooch's bearer (according to any hazard or resource effect), you may discard Leaf Brooch instead to fulfill this requirement.

This card has a couple of interesting uses, and most of them are actually offensive rather than defensive. The most obvious use for this card is to prevent item stealers. However, most of the hazard item stealers let the defenders choose. There is an exception or two, like Pick-pockets, but it's not worth including Leaf Brooch in your deck just in case (though sideboard might work). Another defensive use for this card is that you can prevent the discard of one of your items when you get taken prisoner (I think, if you respond with this...).

There are a couple of defensive ideas that won't work with this card. First, you cannot discard it to save items in a corruption check, as a) the discarding is part of a mechanism of the game and not a resource or hazard effect and b) the character and his items are still discarded. By the same token, you can't save more than one item from a Call of Home. Also, this card won't work with most rings for The Ring's Betrayal, as all the non-gold rings are special items.

The resource uses are more numerous. The first one that springs to mind is to use this card with Token of Goodwill. A dragon attacks you, but as he's bearing down, Gimli steps up. "Mr. Smaug, instead of attacking us, would you like this lovely little Leaf Brooch?" I believe that this works even if you don't have a grater item in the company, but it could be interpreted both ways. Or suppose you have a ring in your company. Gandalf looks closely at the ring. "Hmm, I thought it was the One Ring, but I don't see the inscriptions. Could you drop the Leaf Brooch, I think it obscured the light and I'll try looking again." Or if you have two rings in your hand, discard Leaf Brooch to test the same ring for two different ones ("Hey, I bet if you wrapped that brooch around your finger, you would be more appealing to people."). This card can also be used to give you two uses out of a Healing Herbs or Potion of Prowess. More combos include Staff Asunder and Arrows Shorn of Ebony (or a non-man with a Black Arrow).

There are resource uses where this card does not work too. For instance, this card could be REALLY powerful with Necklace of the Girion, but that's a special item. It also won't let you move with Palantir of Elostirion (though I wonder if Great Road works there). And while you can eat it instead of Cram, it's no substitute for Waybread.

Since Leaf Brooch is really easy to play (unless your deck revolves around Gondor or Grey Havens), the only real disadvantage is the 1 CP, which is probably too much if you're using it just for defense but is definitely not too much if you're using an abusive combo. So Leaf Brooch can create some really cool combos, albeit some don't make any sense.

Ratings for Leaf Brooch:
Isildur: 8.0
Frodo: 8.0
Bandobras Took: 9.0
Cirdan: 2.5
Alatar: 4.0
Legolas: 8.5
Samwise: 7.0
Gandalf: 6.0
Farmer Maggot: 7.5
Strider: 7.0
Beorn: 6.9
Wormtongue: 5.2
Fingolfin: 6.5
Merry: 8.0
Average: 7.3

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.