Sword of Gondolin

Today I would like to wish everyone a happy new year. One card that was a prominent card in 1996 (and will continue to be) is

Sword of Gondolin # Resource # Major Item # 2 MP # 2 CP # +2/-
Weapon. Warrior only: +2 to prowess to a maximum of 8.

This card is the standard mid-range weapon. It's not as powerful as cards like Aiglos, but it's a lot easier to play. Plus, it's common, so it works really well in sealed deck.

First off, this card gives a warrior +2 prowess. This can be a tremendous advantage if you're facing a lot of combat, as it lowers the probability of a botched roll by quite a bit. It also allows your warrior to take -3 to stay untapped and have a much better chance of dealing with the strike. The +2 is only to 8, but since weapons are applied right after the character's starting prowess, the maximum is only a problem to Glorfindel, Beorn, Thranduil, and Elrond. And the maximum fits just nicely with wizards, boosting them to a pretty buff 8 prowess. The Sword can also work well with lower-mind warriors like Bard Bowman, bringing him to 5 prowess, which should be enough to keep him out of trouble for a while.

Sword of Gondolin gives two MPs, which is standard for a major item. And with three of them, you've got almost a quarter of your required MPs (in a 25 point game). It balances this with two corruption, which is a little steep for the card's abilities. However, a warrior with this card and a Fellowship can't fail a corruption check and gets +3 prowess. With three warriors, the company becomes something to be feared by orcs and other of Sauron's lesser brood.

There are weapons that give better bonuses (boni?). Glamdring is also a major item and gives 2 MPs, but it gives +3 prowess to anyone (not just warriors) and only one corruption. However, Sword of Gondolin has two advantages over Glamdring. First, it is not unique. Thus, if your opponent gets one out first, no worry, you can still bring out three more. Second, Sword of Gondolin is common, making it much more played in sealed deck, where this card really rocks.

Sword of Gondolin is also a good card to include in the powerful "Indy Jones" decks. A company can go to Moria, get a greater item, and then play a Thorough Search to get a Sword of Gondolin. With three Swords of Gondolin in your deck, there will be a high probability you will be able to have one in your hand to play along with your other item, Thorough Search, and Rescue Prisoners. Plus, it will help you kick the behind of the next auto-attack you face.

So Sword of Gondolin, through ease of play and a decent bonus, is a very good card to include in any deck where you plan to do a fair amount of fighting.

Ratings for Sword of Gondolin:
Isildur: 8.5
Frodo: 7.0
Bandobras Took: 6.0
Cirdan: 7.0
Alatar: 5.0
Legolas: 7.5
Samwise: 7.0
Gandalf: 3.0
Farmer Maggot: 9.0
Strider: 7.0
Beorn: 7.7
Wormtongue: 6.5
Fingolfin: 7.5
Merry: 7.2
Average: 6.85

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.