Clear Skies

Finishing with two weeks of duality cards, today's card is the opposite of Clouds, but gets used less frequently.

Clear Skies # Resource # Long-event
Environment. Playable only if Gates of Morning is in play. The prowess of each character is modified by +2.

This card can be very useful in a deck where your prowess may be lacking. The only thing, though, is you have to have Gates of Morning in play first. There aren't too many decks that use Gates because there aren't too many cards which require it and nobody plays with those cards because they don't have Gates in their deck... This is understandable, as it takes up a couple resource slots and doesn't help if your hazard portion wants Doors of Night.

There are some decks, though, that can use Gates, or at least don't need Doors. Men, for one, don't need Doors, nor do agents or corruption. You can run most auto-attack cards without Doors, and it's also possible to throw together an assortment of good cards that don't require Doors. The decision to add Gates to your deck, though, is a tough one. You're not so much concerned with whether your opponent will be able to benefit off of it as much as you may be with deck space. There are normally quite a few more resources that you want to put into a deck than you can. By adding cards for Gates you've increased your deck size by at least four (two for Gates, two cards which want it). Still, if you have quite a number of weak characters in your deck, it may be a good idea to include some cards like Clear Skies. And if you want Doors anyway, you can use Crown of Flowers to play Clear Skies.

Once you have Clear Skies in play, what good does it do you? +2 prowess to all characters is a pretty nice bonus. If you have a company of Hobbits it lets you face auto-attacks with more confidence. If you have a small company with just one character who can fight well, Clear Skies helps you deal with multiple-strike attacks. With any group of characters, Clear Skies reduces the penalty for staying untapped to -1, just as if your character were tapped. Since you play Clear Skies during the Long-events phase, it won't come as a surprise to your opponent as he plays his creatures. It does, though, work as a preventive measure. If an opponent thinks you'll have an easy shot at getting a couple MPs, she'll be less likely to throw creatures at you and you will thus arrive at your site with sufficient characters untapped. And if you can get Echo of All Joy onto the Clear Skies (hopefully with a strategy like corruption), you may be traveling on easy street (that's near the East Road ;-)

This card is a little different from many of the environments. Gates has to be in play when you play Clear Skies, but once in play, Clear Skies does its thing even if Gates is no longer in play. So if your opponent draw Peril Returned on your way somewhere, you've still got the +2 bonus. Of course, a Doors or Twilight will take out the Clear Skies, which means you could conceivably give yourself +2 on your turn and your creatures +2 on your opponent's turn, assuming you get a really lucky draw.

Ratings for Clear Skies:
Isildur: 6.75
Samwise: 7.5
Farmer Maggot: 7.0
Legolas: 6.5
Bandobras Took: 8.1
Fingolfin: 7.5
Beorn: 7.2
Strider: 6.0
Alatar: 9.0
Average: 6.6

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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.