Gems of Arda

One of the several new concepts introduced in Dark Minions was quest cards, cards which don't have their full effect until you do something certain. In many cases, it's lucky that they're rare.

Gems of Arda # Resource # Special Item # 3 MP # 3 CP
Playable at The Gem-deeps. If you have a stored Vein of Arda, playable at any Under-deeps site. During any organization phase in which you store Gems of Arda, you may immediately tap a character in the same company and play with him a non-special item from your hand or discard pile. This item must be identical to an item that your opponent has already stored. Your opponent's stored item is discarded, and you may never store the item you played.

While this is one of the easier quests to carry out, it also gives fewer MPs and probably a worse ability than most of the rest of the quests. Its effect, though, can be very useful.

Firstly, the basics. The Gem-deeps is a pretty reasonable Under-deeps site with an easy auto-attatck to deal with and it's under a fairly safe site (Glittering Caves). If you're running a dedicated Under-deeps deck (with Veins of Arda), you can play it anywhere, including after you've played your normal item. So if you're not too bogged down with corruption, Gems of Arda can be a nice item to grab before you head to the surface. Unlike most quest cards, you get the MPs immediately, though you also have to deal with the 3 CPs right away as well.

Once stored, Gems of Arda has a really interesting effect. You can "take" any non-special item that your opponent stored. There are, though, several caveats to this ability. The first of these is that you have to have the item in your deck and have drawn it (or brought it from the sideboard to the discard pile). So if you can anticipate what items will be played and stored, you can plan with Gems of Arda. The second caveat about this is the fact that it must be a non-special item. This means you can't grab Mithril or the Book of Mazarbul or Earth of Galadriel's Orchard or most of the items that would normally be stored. Perhaps the best you could get with this is if your opponent stored an Aligned Palantir of Osgiliath or Amon Sul, robbing your opponent of 7 MPs and giving you 3. Other than that, the only things that get stored very often are large greater items like The Mithril Coat and The Iron Crown. So chances are that you won't get much out of Gems of Arda than 3 MPs, or 6 if you grab two at a time...

Ratings for Gems of Arda:
Isildur: 5.0
Bandobras Took: 6.0
Farmer Maggot: 2.0
Samwise: 6.5
Strider: 4.0
Fingolfin: 8.5
Beorn: 7.2
Frodo: 6.0
Legolas: 7.0
Average: 5.8

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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.