Shortly after Dragons was released, someone posted a note to the newsgroup saying the equivilant of "Me:tD has a Stormcrow, a promo released in Deuelist, a WotC magazine which had sutff in it about Alliances. In Alliances was a card called Storm Crow. Coincidence?

Stormcrow # Hazard # Permanent-event
The direct influence of each Wizard is reduced by 2 (by 4 if Doors of Night is in play). Discard all resource permanent-events that have been played on each company with a wizard (i.e., on the company as a whole, not individual characters, e.g., Fellowship). No such cards may be played on each Wizard's company. Discard this card when any play deck is exhausted. Cannot be duplicated.

This card alone can wreak havoc against a deck. Not only does it give a wizard a harder chance at influencing factions etc., possibly force the wizard to drop a character, it even forces the discard of quest cards. And if you play this card without a wizard in your deck, your opponent is liable to get really annoyed at you.

The first ability of this card is perhaps one of the most annoying in the game. Many players count on their wizard to max out on influnce to control an extra character or two. Imagine the horror your opponent finds when you play Stormcrow and force him to discard Aragorn (or 9 mind worth of other characters) in the next organization phase. Or with Doors of Night in play, Gandalf with Boromir heads to convince The Great Eagles to join his cause one more time. What was once an easy shot has now become an attempt to roll better than a 7. Or as Saruman heads to Edoras, force his words to be Foolish and have Wormtongue turn against the Stormcrow. With Doors out, his DI is 2 vs. factions. Ouch. Even without Doors, Stormcrow is pretty good, often forcing the discard of a character.

The other ability of Stormcrow is pretty good as well. Getting rid of Fellowships is one of the more difficult tasks in general play. You can't easily kill a character or corrupt one, so your options are basically cards like Call of Home or Faces of the Dead. Or you can just play Stormcrow, getting rid of any Fellowships on the wizard's company and preventing further ones from being played. And most companies would rather have a wizard than a Fellowship... Also note that Stormcrow gets rid of quest cards like Fate of the Ithil-stone or To The Uttermost Foundations. To avoid this, you may want to avoid questing with your wizard, which can really hinder the ability to complete a quest.

Decks built around not having a wizard can now actuall be fairly viable. With Saw Further and Deeper plus Stormcrow, your oppont's only up on you by 1 influnce, and yours is more flexible. Of course, Stormcrow is the sort of annoying card that is likely to have a Marvels Told played on it, especially in a multi-player game. But what else are multiple copies for? Not to mention, it's one less Marvels Told floating around to get rid of your Wakes of War or whatever else you'd like to keep around. Plus, you can even get a Stormcrow for naught but the price of a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.

Ratings for Stormcrow:
Isildur: 5.7 (10.0 in a wizardless deck)
Bandobras Took: 8.0
Farmer Maggot: 9.5
Samwise: 5.0 (8.5 in wizardless)
Strider: 8.0
Fingolfin: 4.0 (10.0 in wizardless)
Beorn: 7.0
Frodo: 9.0
Legolas: 7.2
Average: 7.0 (8.5 in a wizardless deck)

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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.