Arrows Shorn of Ebony

The first time I wrote this review, I made the mistake of thinking it said "all subsequent strikes are defeated." Rather, it says "all subsequent FAILED strikes are defeated." Several people have pointed this error out, and I'm now repairing it.

There are many major factors in combat. One of them is how well the weapons are made. Even the strongest warriors will lose if their weapons are poorly made.

Arrows Shorn of Ebony # Resource # Minor Item # 0 MP # 1 CP
Hoard item. Warrior only: discard Arrows Shorn of Ebony to modify a strike from a hazard creature not keyed to a site by -1 prowess, -2 body. If this strike is defeated, all other subsequent failed strikes from this attack are automatically defeated.

In a way, this card is like Black Arrow, though while Black Arrow is decent several times, Arrows Shorn of Ebony is really nice once.

First of all, this card is a hoard minor item, so it's pretty much only useful in a dragon slaying deck, though if you really want it you can use Dwarven Hoard or head over to Framsburg. Other than that, though, all you have to have is an extra untapped character. Once you've got this card you need a warrior to use it, but they're so numerous that you have to try in order not to have one in your company ;-)

The main use of this card is when you're facing a creature with a big and nasty body, but you have a company which can handle the prowess. For instance, if your company is attacked by Scatha (normally 3@15/9), have a warrior (not necessarily the one facing the first strike) shoot the worm as he approaches, lowering the strike to 14/7. If you defeat this strike (and then beat a 7 for the body check) you're half way to the MPs. You still have to deal with the other two strikes, but if you've got a decently powerful company (with, perhaps, The Dwarves Are Upon You! and Fellowship), you should be able to deal with the other two strikes. And if you do, there's no need to roll those body checks, as the arrows take care of them (I can't count how many times I've not gotten MPs because of ONE lousy body roll). Your chances get even better with a Black Arrow or two (you can't use multiple ASoE because of the "one skill card per strike" rule).

How useful is this, though? It doesn't work against creatures keyed to a site (At Home Dragons would be a natural target for this card, as would Nazgul keyed to Dark-holds). This significantly reduces the frequency of use, though it still hits quite a number of creatures. Also, against creatures without body, this card is inferior to Black Arrow (which can be reused and is easier to play). Also, against single-strike creatures like Nazgul, Risky Blow or a similar card may be a better choice for its higher prowess boost, but can't be lugged around for intimidation factor.

So if you think you may run into some creature or ahunt Dragons (or similar creatures) and need another card in a dragon slaying deck. Make sure you understand how the card works before you use it, though or you might make a mistake like I did.

Ratings for Arrows Shorn of Ebony:
Isildur: 3.5
Farmer Maggot: 6.0
Samwise: 6.3
Strider: 8.0
Legolas: 6.2
Beorn: 6.7
Frodo: 7.0
Fingolfin: 7.5
Average: 6.4

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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.