Great Secrets Buried There

For a world based on medieval Europe, one can find some links to some parts of Eastern philosophy. And while Twilight is almost a perfect representation of yin and yang, it has a few peers in Tookish Blood and

Great Secrets Buried There # Hazard # Permanent-event
Playable if opponent has at least ten cards in his play deck. Opponent reveals the top ten cards of his play deck to himself. If one is available, opponent must choose a non-special, non-hoard item from the revealed cards to place off to the side under this card (item does not give marshalling points and is considered out of play). If none are available, opponent must show you the cards he revealed to himself. Opponent shuffles all remaining revealed cards into his play deck. Opponent may play this item as though it were in his hand at any Under-deep site. Alternatively, you may play this card as a resource on yourself if you have at least ten cards in your play deck. In this case, you and your opponent reverse roles.

Often a card which has multiple uses should be considered over one with a single but better ability. This card can go into some certain resource decks, some hazard decks, or you can combine the two and use this card as it seems fit at the time (or on whichever turn you draw it).

The effect as used as a hazard can be either good or bad, again depending on the situation. The worst case scenario is that your opponent was planning on making a run to the Under-deeps and you're just saving him a slot in his hand. Or perhaps he turns up an item like Orcrist which you wanted to play and now can't because it's in play for uniqueness. The best case scenario is that you lure your opponent down to The Under-gates and unleash Durin's Bane. This is one of the ideal cards to put in a hazard deck that concentrates on sites, especially if you have some nasty but hard to play cards which cripple spelunkers. Even without these terrors, though, with a few auto-attack enhancers like Incite Minions or site-keyable creatures like Umagaur and Buthrakaur, and three Great Secrets Buried Theres you can cut your opponent off from an average of 9 or so MPs. Of course your opponent can get rid of GSBT with a card like Marvels Told, but then the item's in the discard pile. This card can also come at a bad time, though you still get a benefit there. If you don't manage to turn up a good item, you get to have a glimpse at your opponent's deck contents. This is most useful early on so you can get a sense of his strategy, but can also be nice late in the deck if you notice that in the next few turns he'll draw a Nazgul, so maybe you should reconsider that trip to Carn Dum. This problem can also be alleviated by using GSBT in conjunction with Palantir of Minas Tirith to figure out when your opponent will get an item that you want to delay.

As a resource, this card is fairly nice as well. If you have a company that thinks it can handle the Under-deeps, Great Secrets Buried There can let you save a card slot for, say, Dark Quarrels to deal with the auto-attack or a hazard for use against your opponent. Unfortunately you can't grab something like Aiglos (it's a special item), but if your deck is stocked with Palantiri, swords, armor, etc. then you can have a second item waiting until you want to go and get it. Also, if you can't turn up an item in your top seven cards, chances are you'll want to reshuffle your deck anyway. While Eyes of Mandos has a similar effect, GSBT is better in a deck designed to get lots of items as it lets you save Pallando's extra card for something else. Or use another wizard.

So Great Secrets Buried There can be a nice card, either in the right hazard portion, the right resource portion, or a deck designed around this card, some Palantiri, Mirror of Galadriel, Eyes of Mandos, Far Sight, etc. I'd call that an "I called it" deck.

Ratings for Great Secrets Buried There:
Isildur: 7.8
Farmer Maggot: 8.5
Samwise: 5.5
Strider: 7.5
Legolas: 4.2
Beorn: 7.0
Frodo: 6.5
Fingolfin: 7.0
Average: 6.75

More back issues

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.