Continuing with a week of cards that come up in sealed deck, here's one of the six sealed deck factions.
Men of Anorien # Resource # Man Faction # 2 MP
Unique. Playable at Minas Tirith if the influence check is greater than 7. Standard Modifications: Dunedain (+1).
Well, this faction is pretty standard. It's worth 2 MPs, is found in a safe place, and has a fairly low influence number. It's also found in a failry good fixed pack. The other faction is Rangers of the North (with Aragorn), and the characters are pretty good (Aragorn, Boromir, Elladan, Kili, Annalena, Saruman, and Pallando). Only problem is, it's also easy to influence away.
First, as far as MPs go, Men of Anorien is on the low end for factions. Two points is pretty good in sealed deck, but in constructed deck it isn't as good (as you can usually get a couple three pointers). However, Men of Anorien is one of the safest factions in the game. It's playable at Minas Tirith, a free-hold which has a site path of Wi, Bl, Fd. So other than Slayers and other man-like creatures, you're pretty safe on the way there. Plus, in a deck based around Minas Tirith you can get The White Tree out, making Minas Tirith an easy and safe place to be.
As far as influence goes, Men of Anorien is pretty easy. Boromir II, a nice 4 mind warrior, gets a grand total of 4 influence against it, meaning he has to beat a three. Or in a typical Gondorian deck, you can give Aragorn a Horn of Anor (or even better, give him Return of the King when he gets to Minas Tirith) and he'll be assured of getting them in (assuming no followers). However, this is a double-edged sword. Since Minas Tirith is so easy to get to, and since The Tower Guard of Minas Tirith is also played there, your opponent might turn a visit for a 4 MP net gain. Also, Boromir II is a pretty popular warrior (and comes in another fiexed pack too), so it might be difficult to keep the Men of Anorien in play for too long.
Also, in constructed deck, there may be better cards to play at Minas Tirith. The Palantir of Minas Tirith, while imparting corruption, can be a very useful card to have. Also, you may want to leave Minas Tirith untapped (after playing The White Tree), so that you can heal there or use it to facilitate local travels.
So Men of Anorien can be a pretty good and easy 2 MPs for any deck which spends time in the south. It may be better to include this faction rather than the Tower Guard in a deck, as Boromir is generally a better character than Denethor.
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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.