Deftness of Agility

A good scout in an RPG should have

Deftness of Agility # Hazard # Short-event
A Dragon can assign a strike (with a -3 modification to it's prowess) to a character already assigned to receive one of its strikes. Alternatively, a manifestation of Bairanax can direct such a strike with no prowess modification.

While preparing the last few weeks of CotDs, I realized I haven't done a dragon's special event, so I thought I'd look at one. These cards are only useful in decks with unique Dragons (though Cave-drake can benefit from a couple), which severely limits the options (and is also a good reason for these to be rare). And while most of them (this one included) can work with any dragon, they're best with their main dragon (which makes a single dragon subtheme interesting). In particular, Deftness of Agility is an event that can help kill off a character you really don't like. It's special dragon, Bairnax, is a mid-prowess Dragon, who doesn't have too many strikes in the first place (though does choose defenders).

First, a word of clarification. The extra strike assigned is not just a -1 penalty (there are other cards that can do that much easier), but the character faces two separate strike sequences. This means that, for instance, Smaug can become a seriously nasty Slayer, with one strike at 17 and another at 14. Plus, Smaug has body and nobody can tap to cancel the second strike. The disadvantage to Slayer, though, is that one Concealment can deal with both strikes and one use of Black Arrow lowers the prowess and body of both as well. Still, this gives you an additional chance to kill a wizard or some other annoying burglar. Deftness of Agility isn't as good with the dragons who don't get to be picky about who to eat (Agburanar, Itangast, Leucaruth, and Scatha), as chances are, anybody who your opponent assigns to take a strike you don't want to hit again because the character's either really big or is just a scrub tacking along to be offered as a sacrificial lamb. Deftness of Agility can work nicely with some of the ahunts, as they let you hit one additional character, but the -3 prowess modification can be tough on some like Scorba and Daelomin. You can also reveal Deftness of Agility on guard to affect an At Home or auto-attack manifestation, though few of these choose defenders. Also, during the site phase, the attacker usually would rather tap characters than have an extra chance to kill.

In some ways, Bairnax isn't the best Dragon to use Deftness of Agility. His prowess is three lower than that of both Smaug and Earcaraxe, so he's more like a 2-2 punch rather than a 1-2. Pretty much the only advantage to having the dragon of cold and snow use his own event is the fact that he's only worth 3 MP, one more than a Slayer.

So Deftness of Agility can create a Slayer with an attitude in a Dragon deck, an interesting event to help out those great worms.

Ratings for Deftness of Agility:
Isildur: 7.5
Farmer Maggot: 6.5
Samwise: 8.1
Strider: 4.0
Legolas: 6.9
Beorn: 7.0
Frodo: 6.5
Fingolfin: 7.5
Average: 6.75

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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.