Secret Passage

One card that I haven't seen too many people take notice of or use is one that I have found quite useful while working on my tournament deck (starting tomorrow!)

Secret Passage # Resource # Short-event
Playable only at the end of the organization phase. If the company that it is played on moves to a Ruins & Lairs site, opponent may only play hazard creatures that are keyed to the company's site.

This card can make even the most dangerous site path into an easy journey (well, pretty much). It can be read as your opponent may only play hazards that are creatures keyed to your site, but the correct reading says that your opponent can't key cards keyed to your site path except for your site.

First off, to include this card in your deck you should plan to be going to some ruins frequently. This can easily be arranged as it's the most common site type. There are several good ones around Rivendell (like the Barrow- downs and The Stones), several around the coasts, and the dragon lairs. Most of these are reached from double wilderness, which can be infested with some nasty drakes and others. Most of the dragon lairs also have a shadow- land and a border-land, so this card keeps you safe from orcs and Slayers. Also, you can use this card in conjunction with, say, Morgul-night to make things worse for your opponent while keeping yourself out of trouble. It also nicely gets around Angmar Arises and Reaching Shadow, as you can't be hit by creatures keyed to regions.

Another nice combo is Rebild the Town. First play the Secret Passage. Your opponent looks at his hand and decides the Cave-drake and Dragon's Desolation should do just fine. He plops down the Cave-drake and you send orders ahead to Rebuild the Town. He can't key the Cave-drake, so it dissapears in a puff of logic. Unfortuantely for you, he also has a Slayer in his hand. Or if you want a Stealth for all company sizes, tap a sage for Secret Enterance and a Secret Passage. Now, your opponent can't key to the site and may only key to the site. He is now forced to either play an event or waste a turn of hazards. And that's a good thing.

I think the following combo works, though Secret Passage isn't as clear as it could be. Play Secret Passage and then move to Moria. Your opponent looks at you like your head's come unscrewed. Then you calmly pull out Quiet Lands, meaning you are on your way to Moria via the Secret Passage.

So Secret Passage is a nice card to include if you are planning on visiting ruins and lairs, though not seen frequently enough for lots of people to pack The Way is Shut or other similar cards.

Ratings for Secret Passage:
Isildur: 8.0
Samwise: 7.5
Bandobras Took: 8.0
Farmer Maggot: 8.0
Frodo: 7.5
Fingolfin: 8.5
Beorn: 7.4
Strider: 5.5
Legolas: 6.0
Cirdan: 8.0
Wormgongue: 7.5
Average: 7.4

More back issues

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.