Shelob's Lair

Spiders and humans are in a love-hate relationship. Many people can't stand the sight of spiders while others are fascinated with our arachnid neighbors. I find spiders interesting, though one spider I would avoid lives in

Shelob's Lair # Site # Shadow-hold # Imlad Morgul # Wi, Bl, Fd, Wi, Sl # Opponent/You draw: 4/3
Nearest Haven: Lorien
Playable: Items (minor, major)
Automatic-attack: Orcs -- 2 strikes with 8 prowess

When you plan a deck, perhaps the most important consideration is what sites you want to use. The sites you'll be traveling determine what resources you can play and dictate somewhat what sort of character makeup you'll want. Not without reason, the sites around Mordor are rarely considered.

Since Shelob's Lair is a site, there's no reason not to include it in your location deck. You never know when you'll want to move an agent there or rescue some prisoners. However, if you don't have one (and this is a good decision in the rarity scheme), you shouldn't go out of your way to get it. You can draw 3 cards for moving here, so it can help you cycle, but your opponent can also draw four, so it helps her even more. You can play minor or major items here, which is good, but which is also doable at 30 other non-underdeeps sites. It's got an auto-attack of two strikes at 8, which is a little on the high end compared to sites like Sarn Gorwing (3@5) or Barrow- downs (1@8). In fact, it's the exact same attack as Mount Gundabad which can give you a greater item. Also, the auto-attack is an orc attack (for some odd reason), and so is susceptible to Minions Stir, Redoubled Force, and other orc enhancers. One Redoubled Force makes this attack into a 5@10, more nasty than any single natural surface auto-attack. However, I think people would still use it if it were not for its location.

Shelob's Lair resides in Imlad Morgul. While the site and region themselves are a shadow hold and land respectively, Imlad Morgul is prone to the attacks of three Nazgul while the Lair itself can be hit by Shelob, two strikes at 19/9. That's worse than the Balrog and you can't even get a greater item (or gold ring)! And since you're going through two shadows, you'll need two cards to make things so that nasty stuff like undead can't be played on you. So if you're up for a big fight (who says machismo doesn't play a role in card games?), or you think your opponent won't have an answer for a shadow based strategy, why not head for Shelob's Lair? Or hey, why not play a Snowstorm and then head from Minas Morgul to Shelob's Lair to Cirith Ungol to Urlurutsu Nurn to Barad-dur to the Under-courts to...

Now once Lidless Eye comes out, your minion companies will probably find Shelob's Lair a nice place to visit, but it will be a different sort of site. Until then...

Ratings for Shelob's Lair: Isildur: 4.0 Samwise: 5.5 Farmer Maggot: 7.5 Legolas: 5.0 Bandobras Took: 4.5 Fingolfin: 5.0 Beorn: 6.6 Frodo: 6.5 Strider: 4.0 Alatar: 4.0 Average: 5.3

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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.