White Mountains

Today's card is another region-movement enhancer, this one from Wizards.

White Mountains # Resource # Short-event
Playable at the end of the organization phase on a company containing a ranger. If the company uses region cards for its site path, tap the ranger to move as if the following pairs of regions were adjacent: Old Pukel-land and Anfalas, Rohan and Lamedon, Rohan and Anfalas, Anorien and Lamedon. Otherwise, if the site moved to is in one of the regions listed above, the hazard limit is reduced by two (to a minimum of two). Cannot be duplicated on a given company.

This card, like Rhun yesterday, can both let you move to places you couldn't before or makes it safer to move to those places. However, unlike Rhun, it doesn't do both at the same time.

First of all, this card can be used to make movement around Gondor easier. With the pairs of regions this card connects, you can now move from Edhellond in Anfalas to Eagles Eyre all the way up in Anduin Vales. Or you can move from Minas Tirith in Anorien to The Stones in Andrast. Or from Wose Passage- hold in Old Pukel-land to Tolfalas in Mouths of the Anduin. Hey, you can move from Anfalas to Rohan, impossible without this card, with a site path of just two.

So what? Well, the normal Gondor-based strategy is a little far from many item sites. So you can use this card to get easier access from Gondor to sites like Isengard and Glittering Caves. And if your deck isn't totally centered around Gondor, but uses several sites in Gondor, this card can save you a turn.

There is a second use for this card. You can use it to reduce the hazard limit by two if you're moving to Edhellond, Lond Galen, Wose Passage-hold, Edoras, Dunharrow, Vale of Erech, Druadan Forest, or Minas Tirith. I think (though I may be wrong) that you can do this even if you're moving without region movement, but the card isn't particularly clear on this. This can be pretty useful if your opponent's strategy involves attacks on border-lands or corruption or roadblock. It is, of course, mainly useful if you have at least four characters in your company, but that's pretty common in Gondor decks.

There are really only two drawbacks to this card. The first is that you have to have a ranger (a good idea anyway) and you must tap him for the first effect. The typical Gondorian ranger is Aragorn, but there are others like Ghan-buri-Ghan. You should take care when planning this card so that you don't tap the ranger you want for the site phase. The other drawback is that, unless you're working with a limited supply of cards, most decks built around one area can reach everything they need easily without depending on this card. Again, the locations of some of the items sites may be a slight problem for some Gondor decks, but if you draw the right cards, you can easily get there from the site where you influenced your last faction (with about the same luck as drawing this card at the right time).

So while White Mountains has a pretty useful effect, it rarely makes it into most people's decks.

Ratings for White Mountains:
Isildur: 5.0
Frodo: 6.0
Bandobras Took: 8.0
Cirdan: 3.5
Alatar: 4.5
Legolas: 3.0
Samwise: 5.0
Gandalf: 4.0
Farmer Maggot: 5.0
Strider: 3.0
Beorn: 6.5
Wormtongue: 6.6
Fingolfin: 7.0
Merry: 6.0
Average: 5.2

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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.