Perhaps the creature that epitomizes the nastiness of undead decks is

Ghouls # Hazard # Creature # 1 MP # 7/- # Keyable: Sl, Sh, Dd, Dh
Undead. Five strikes.

On its own, Ghouls is a decent creature. It can at least tap a few, if not all, members of a company headed through dangerous areas. There are other creatures that do this job as well or better, and outside of sealed deck playing Ghouls straight up often results in giving away an MP. Once you've got a couple enhancers, though...

The first and foremost enhancer for Ghouls is the infamous Plague of Wights. With that card and Doors of Night, Ghouls become a fearsome 10 strikes at 8. This will certainly give you several -1 modifiers to assign. Rather than assign them all evenly, it's usually best to assign them all to one character that you either REALLY want tapped or would like a chance to kill. By doing this you also greatly reduce the risk of your opponent defeating the attack. And if you're attacking a 5 character company with 10 strikes, why not use Pierced By Many Wounds. With that you can either make the attack effectively 12 prowess (one for everybody, much better than Silent Watcher and Watcher in the Water), or you can have the Ghouls rise out of their coffins to pound the proverbial nail into a character's coffin.

The modifiers don't stop there, though. If The Moon is Dead is in play before Plague of Wights, Ghouls become 12@9/-. Add Chill Dousers and they're 15@12/-, about 6 times better than Morgul-rats. And if you play Plague AFTER the Chill Dousers, the Ghouls have 18 strikes. In order to get those kind of modifications, though, takes either careful planning or really good luck. The former takes away from your resource playing and the latter is unreliable. Thus, you can normally only count on one or two undead modifiers at a time. On its own, The Moon Is Dead can be a real help. Against a 3 character company, 6 strikes of 8 can be very troublesome, being almost positive to tap a character or two. Even against a large company, this combo can be dangerous as the characters are probably low- to mid-range so they can all fit under influence. Thus, a company heading for Moria and prepared for orcs may find itself hard pressed to have enough characters untapped for two items and a Thorough Search.

Chill Dousers can be useful here too. If you've got Sleepless Malice out with Doors of Night you can play a Chill Douser or two to whet your opponent's company's palate and then drop down a Ghouls with 7 strikes at 9. You might want something like a Spells of The Barrow-wight to further cripple the company, though that's another card you have to hold in your hand. You should think before you play a Ghouls on a tapped company, though. If you think you've got a chance of wounding or killing someone, go for it. If, though, you don't think you'll do much, hold it for later, as the company's already been tapped. Once the company's been tapped, Ghouls are probably better replaced by a Barrow-wight with an Icy-touch, doing more damage than just tapping characters.

Unlike several other strategies, there aren't too many defenses against undead other than to have a big and tough party. Vanish in Sunlight! can slow down one attack, but there will be more. Star-glass can cancel the attack, but another may come. Perhaps the best is to make the Shadow-lands into Wilderness.

So Ghouls are great creatures with just one modifier or with the whole Will of Sauron, Plague of Wights, Sleepless Malice, Clouds, The Moon is Dead, Chill Douser, Spells of the Barrow-wight combo.

Ratings for Ghouls:
Isildur: 8.0
Farmer Maggott: 8.0
Wormtongue: 6.2
Frodo: 8.0
Bandobras Took: 8.0
Samwise: 9.1
Legolas: 7.0
Strider: 6.5
Beorn: 7.0
Fingolfin: 7.0
Average: 7.5

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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.