Rank Upon Rank

Up until Dark Minions, man hazard strategies had a few viability problems. But now with one card (and a little help from Scimitars of Steel), they are now pretty viable.

Rank Upon Rank # Hazard # Permanent-event
All non-agent Man attacks receive +1 prowess and +1 strikes. If Doors of Night is in play, all Giant attacks also receive these bonuses. Discard this card when such an affected attack (automatic, hazard creature, or otherwise) is defeated. Cannot be duplicated.

At first, you might think that this card isn't too useful, after all, most of the man attacks are pretty specialized, but this can be a card that turns the tide of the game.

So, what effect can this have? Well, picture a Thief with 2 strikes at 16/- Chance are pretty good that someone will get wounded, and thus an item will be lost. Or picture Corsairs of Umbar, 6 strikes at 10/-. Pick-pocket can do some pretty serious damage with 2 strikes at 12/-, attacker choosing. And Assassin basically gets +2 from this card, as the extra strike ends up as a -1 modifier. One interesting attack that is affected is Traitor. Beorn, corrupted, now attacks with 2 strikes at 18, player to the left choosing defenders. It's a pity it doesn't get agents, too, but it works pretty well with the likes of Dunlending Raiders. And you might want to include some Giants and Thunder's Companions. Two strikes at 14 is pretty good, as is 4 stikes at 10. Even if you don't have Doors, your opponent might.

What else should you include in a man deck? If you have a few orcs or trolls, you might want Scimitars of Steel or Helms of Iron. With one of each, Corsairs of Umbar will be 6@11/4, just about as nasty as Nameless Thing, worth less MPs and with better range. The other cool thing about man decks is that they don't need Doors of Night. The only benefit men can get from Doors is if you want Giants with Rank Upon Rank or if you want to play Clouds (which can hurt you big time too). You can't even get full benefit from Night with Doors, as it hurts them just as much as it helps them. The other cool think about a man deck is it doesn't screw your auto-attacks over. The only man auto-attacks are Bandit Lair and Hermit's Hill, which are pretty tame and not too frequently visited sites. Of course, this means you can't enhance them so that your opponent has a bad time either. And man decks aren't as popular as, say, orcs or undead, so you don't have to fear getting hit with your own medicine very frequently.

So Rank Upon Rank can really make a man deck tick, with or withoug Doors of Night.

Ratings for Rank Upon Rank:
Isildur: 8.0
Bandobras Took: 9.0
Samwise: 8.0
Cirdan: 9.0
Frodo: 8.0
Alatar: 7.0
Legolas: 9.0
Merry: 5.9
Beorn: 6.9
Fingolfin: 9.0
Farmer Maggott: 9.0
Wormtongue: 6.5
Strider: 8.0
Average: 7.9

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Card names and text copyright 1996 by Iron Crown Enterprises, all rights reserved. This document copyright 1997 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.