Continuing with a two week theme of dualistic card pairs, let's talk about

Himring # Site # Ruins & Lairs # Region: Elven Shores # Fd Cs #
Opponent/You Draw: 1/1
Nearest Haven: Grey Havens
Playable: Items (minor, major)
Automatic Attack: Undead - 1 strike with 8 prowess; each character wounded must make a corruption check

After yesterday's review of Shelob's Lair, this looks quite tame. Not only is its auto-attack easier, it's site path is generally safer. Pretty much the only disadvantage of it is that it's out of the way for decks east of the Misty Mountains.

The first advantage of this card is it's relative safety. It's a ruins & lairs, so it's still susceptible to things like Cave-drakes, but there aren't too many sites that aren't attackable by a Cave-drake. It doesn't have a wilderness in its site path, so Dragon's Desolation doesn't work, nor do Long Winter and Foul Fumes. It can be reached from Rivendell, Grey Havens, Isles of the Dead that Live, The Stones, and most sites west of the Misty Mountains. Being in a coastal sea has some disadvantages, though not as many as being in a shadow-land or dark-domain. You can be hit by Rain-drakes, Sea Serpents, Nameless Things, Corsairs of Umbar, Watchers in the Water, and Earcaraxe. There are also some nasty events that can hit you like Drowning Seas, Wind of Wrath (you though you were going to Himring but instead you went to Urlurtusu Nurn), Noose of the Sea, Storms of Osse, Lost at Sea, etc. The thing is, though, even though many people sideboard those cards, the only ones you're likly to fave unless you spend a lot of time in the sea are the Nameless Things, Corsairs, and the Rain-drakes. You're more likely to run into nasties when you're going through shadow-lands.

So aside from the sites safety, what else is good about it? Well, it doesn't let your opponent draw many cards (0 if you move there with Alatar), but you don't get to draw many either, so it balances out. You can play minor/ major items here, which as I said yesterday is doable at 30+ sites. Himring, however, has an easier auto-attack than most of them. One strike at 8 isn't bad. Any party that isn't planning to cancel everything will probably have a character with a prowess of 5 or more, even on the first turn. And even a 5 prowess character only fails on a roll of 2. The corruption check caused by being wounded by an undead auto-attack rarely makes too much of a difference. Most characters that have much of a chance of failing a corruption check probably can deal with one strike at 8. One thing to watch out for is The Moon is Dead, which will make it two attacks of 2 strikes at 9. That can be annoying, but a 2@9 attack isn't too hard to defeat and if you defeat the first, the second is no longer there. The other advantage to the single strike is you can have someone like a Hobbit take it with a Magic Ring of Stealth.

So in all, Himring is a good site for a Rivendell deck which would rather have a fight with a weak creautre than a big one. What with the Barrow-downs, Himring, and Ost-en-Edhil you can easily get several items without a big and tough company. It's also necessary for a coastal deck. And if you can't handle one strike at 8, there's always the Star-glass...

Ratings for Himring:
Isildur: 8.7
Samwise: 7.5
Farmer Maggot: 8.5
Legolas: 5.0
Bandobras Took: 7.8
Fingolfin: 7.0
Beorn: 7.2
Frodo: 7.5
Strider: 8.0
Alatar: 6.5
Average: 7.4

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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.