When I read a pronunciation guide somewhere one line made me get a totally different perspective on the Elven tongue. C is always hard, not soft, which seems slightly odd whenever I say "One of my starting characters is

Celeborn # Character # Warrior/Sage Elf # 2 MP # 6 Mind # 1 DI # 6/9 # Home site: Lorien
Unique. +5 direct influence that is only usable against Galadriel.

Celeborn is a pretty decent fighter, with the same prowess/body as Aragorn for three less mind. He also has the sage skill, letting him play cards like Marvels Told or Dreams of Lore. These abilities make him a nice choice for a starting character in one of the fixed packs, perhaps combined with Theoden, Elrohir, and Robin Smallburow.

For 6 influence, Celeborn is a pretty good buy. He's got one or more higher prowess over all the other 5- and 6-mind characters and a higher body than most of them. He's got the same number of MPs and the same or higher prowess (for one less company size) as any two 3 mind characters, assuming neither has a corruption modifier. The disadvantage, though, is that if Celeborn takes a strike, he won't be untapped for the next attack. His prowess also lets him get the full benefit from Sword of Gondolin, making him an 8/9 worth 4 MPs, which isn't bad.

The combination of warrior and sage skills isn't quite as good as, say, warrior and ranger or warrior and diplomat. Most of the cards requiring sage skill require the character to tap, and thus be unavailable for combat, or are mostly useful if the character doesn't do a lot of movement. Still, Celeborn can be able to stay strong through the site phase to be untapped for an information card like Ringlore or Dreams of Lore.

The one area where Celeborn isn't too great is influence. His one DI means he'll need some help to control any characters and since few factions give bonuses to Elves, it's best to leave the influence to someone else (or use a Muster). Celeborn does shine in one area of influence, though, he can control Galadriel. Of course, he needs a little help, as he normally only has 6 DI for his wife (which can be useful to influence her away). The most common way to get Galadriel under the control of her husband is to start her controlling him with an Elf-stone. Then, to get the wife under the husband, Gold Belt of Lorien is a nice choice, although Narsil and Emerald of Doriath work as well. And what are the benefits of this? Well, for just 6 GI, you get an extra card in your hand, two sages ready to play cards like Marvels Told, Master of Wood, Water, or Hill, Mirror of Galadriel, Three Golden Hairs, Phial of Galadriel, use palantiri, etc. And with Saw Further and Deeper, you're only eating into your normal influence pool by one. For 5 MPs, that's not bad. Or, if you don't mind not having the extra card in your hand, you can move the two of them elsewhere, play Await the Event of Allies, and be sitin' pretty.

So if you're looking for a strong warrior who's not too likely to turn up in the character draft, Celeborn may be just the chap you're looking for.

Ratings for Celeborn:
Isildur: 8.5
Farmer Maggot: 9.0
Samwise: 8.0
Strider: 8.5
Legolas: 8.0
Beorn: 7.7
Frodo: 8.5
Fingolfin: 9.0
Average: 8.4

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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.