Grey Havens

The Grey Havens of Cirdan have been a very important spot throughout the history of Middle-earth. In the First Age it was a safe spot for the enemies of Morgoth as well as the main port on the ocean. During the Second Age it acted as the main contact between the Dunedain of Numenor and the Elves of the mainland. It also served as a grouping place for the troops of Gil-Galad before the attack on Sauron. In the third age it remained a safe place for the friends of Elves and was the departing place of the ring-bearers. This all important haven, though, doesn't play a very big role in the CCG.

Grey Havens # Site # Haven # Region: Lindon # You/Opp draw: 2/2
Site Path From Rivendell: Wi, Wi, Fd
Site Path From Edhellond: Wi, Cs, Cs, Cs, Cs, Fd

By virtue of being a haven (and therefore a site), there is no reason not to put Grey Havens in your deck (especially since every starter has one). As far as havens go, though, Grey Havens is sort of a lesser of four goods.

Grey Havens certainly has its uses. With it and its lord Cirdan you can keep an extra card in your hand (and he can be controlled with a one-influence dwarf with a Dwarven Ring). And while he's sitting there, he can easily bring in the Elves of Lindon, the only faction playable at a haven. If you add an Old Road and Blue Mountain Dwarves plus Wizard's Ring you can gain 7 MPs without leaving a haven.

Decks built around Grey Havens can do pretty well, although there's only so much you can do. There are only sites whose nearest haven is Grey Havens (Blue Mountain Dwarf-hold, Himring, and Isles of the Dead that Live), and while these sites are pretty nice and tame, they can also be reached from Rivendell (with a slightly more dangerous site path). Grey Havens can reach all the way to Angmar, Andrast Coast, and Hollin, but so can Rivendell, though Grey Havens can take advantage of Forod. So aside from Cirdan, the Elves of Lindon, and bringing Pallando into play (which can also be done at Rivendell), what use is Grey Havens? Well, it is the only haven that's not in a wilderness. So while Sauron wills the Snowstorm to continue, you can systematically run down the coast grabbing items from Himring, Isles of the Dead that Live, Isle of the Ulond, and Tolfalas before heading off into Gondor. Also, the number of creatures that can hit your company drastically decreases when your site path is Free-domain, Coastal Sea, Coastal Sea, Ruins & Lairs rather than double Wilderness, Coastal Sea, Ruins & Lairs. Further, there are about two or three creatures that hit Lindon by name as opposed to a few more that hit Rhudaur, not including cards like Angmar Arises. Grey Havens, due to this safety, is a key spot in a Coastal Seas deck, letting you start out with a Great Ship or Belagaer and travel almost unmolested down the coast, not caring much about the environment on the continent. Plus, when Cirdan returns from his sea journeys and canceling of sea monsters, he can hold an extra card for you.

So the seclusion of Grey Havens can be both good and bad. It means you're three turns away from many of the sites in Middle-earth, but if you're content with the site offerings on the west coast, you'll be fairly safe. The agent population density thins out as you travel west, and apart from some drakes, anti-coastal stuff is usually at most in people's sideboards.

So while Grey Havens doesn't have the range of most havens, it can be a nice base for a company which isn't up to braving the weather or creatures. And while it's stupid not to at least have it along (you never know when you might get blown that way), you don't have to worry about it too much, Cirdan and Pallando will take care of it.

Ratings for Grey Havens:
Isildur: 8.0
Farmer Maggot: 9.5
Samwise: 6.0
Strider: 10.0
Legolas: 7.0
Beorn: 8.0
Frodo: 9.0
Fingolfin: 9.0
Average: 8.3

A few corrections from recent posts. First, a couple people pointed out a combo I missed with Horns, Horns, Horns. It makes Alert the Folk a halfway decent card. Also, I accidentally copied the ratings for Bring Our Curses Home to the Great Secrets Buried There Review. If you really care, check out the webpage (issue 437), the average was 6.75. Also, I'm moving my resignation date to the 18th instead of the 15th so I can have a little time to catch up and so the new reviewers will have a chance to get organized. It looks like there will continue to be some real quality reviews after I leave.

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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.