Phial of Galadriel

I've occasionally pondered building a deck around Galadriel just so I can play ALL the Galadriel cards. Not least of them is

Phial of Galdriel # Resoruce # Special Item # 1 MP # 0 CP
Unique. Playable on a non-Wizard, non-Dwarf bearer of Star-glass at a Haven in the same company as an untapped Galadriel. Tap Galadriel, replace Star-glass with Phial of Galadriel, and remove Star-glass from play. Tap Phial to cancel any Undead attack. Tap Phial to modify the prowess of any hazard creature attack keyed to a Dark-domain, Shadow-land, Dark-hold, or Shadow-hold by -2 - you choose targets of such an attack's strikes (regardless of tapped status, wounded status, and the normal abilities of the attack). Tap Phial to give +2 to any corruption check by its bearer. Cannot be transferred.

This is probably one of the top 5 items in the whole game, playability aside. However, it is rarely in people's decks. It's rare and it requires a rare character which takes up 9 mind to play. But if you can get it out, it rocks the world.

To get this into play, you have to do some serious planning. You should probably start with a Star-glass if you want to play the Phial. You can go without starting with Galadriel, but if you do, you should put the Phial in your sideboard and bring it into your dekc once Galadriel is in play. If you REALLY want, you can play Galadriel and the Phial the same turn and then discard her the next turn, but that's a bit of a waste. If nothing else you can leave her in Lorien for an extra card (Celeborn and Gold Belt of Lorien help here). And while you're at it, you can play Nenya, Mirror of Galadriel, Three Golden Hairs, hold on to an Ent, and use a Palantir.

Once in play, the Phial rocks. You can tap it to cancel an undead attack. That's pretty significant, as undead are getting pretty nasty. The old Star- glass could do that too, but you had to tap the bearer instead. With the Phial you can cancel attacks while tapped or leave the character untapped. The only thing this doesn't allow is to use a character untapping card to use the Phial many times, but you can use Weilded Twice. The second combat ability, -2 to creatures keyed to dark/shadow areas can be really nice too. While you can't use it against creatures like Shelob (keyed to a region) or something like Wargs keyed to wilderness (like you could with the old Star- glass) but it can make it easier to deal with nasty stuff like Nazgul, trolls, and orcs. The last ability may be the best. You can give someone like the Bearer of The Ring a Phial of Galadriel and make it even less likely to lose him to corruption. Or you can give it to someone with an aligned Palantir (in fact, you can give Galadriel a Palantir and then have her give herself a gift...).

Unfortunately, you can't give this to a Dwarf or Wizard. Dwarves with Dwarven Rings toting the Phial of Galadriel would get a little sick, but it also means you can't help out someone like Kili who has a corruption modifier. Also, this card would be perfect with a wandering wizard, cancelling or reducing attacks and preventing corruption. About the only hazard strategies it can't handle are widerness, border/free, and roadblock. Also unfortunately, you don't keep the old abilities of Star-glass, so against a wolf/spider/animal deck you may wish to hang onto the glass.

So Phial of Galadriel can be a very good item if you are playing with Galadriel. It's not too good in general play, but it can work GREAT in a theme deck based around getting out all of the gifts from Lorien...

(2.5 if you take ease of play into account)
Ratings for Phial of Galadriel:
Isildur: 8.5
Bandobras: 10.0
Farmer Maggot: 8.0
Legolas: 8.0
Strider: 8.5
Fingolfin: 10.0
Beorn: 6.8
Cirdan: 7.5
Frodo: 8.5
Samwise: 6.5
Average: 8.2

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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.