Each of he last three cards I will review have some sort of symbolic value. The symbolism for this one should be obvious.
The Ring's Betrayal # Hazard # Short-event
The bearer of a Ring must make a corruption check modified by -2. If the bearer fails this corruption check, his Ring is discarded, but he remains in play.
When I asked raters for comments on this card, almost all of them answered "A good card to hold in your sideboard in case of One Ring decks." Yet there are several other uses of this card.
First of all, this card depicts the moment at which The One Ring slipped off of Isildur's finger and fell into the Gladden Fields. Yet The Ring's Betrayal is probably not the best card to use against the Bearer of The Ring. If One Ring paranoia is why you sideboard this card, you'd be better off with The Will of the Ring or The Precious, both of which (when successful) cause both the loss of the ring as well as a character (and both are easier to fail in a typical ringbearer company). The Ring's Betrayal may still be a good card to have if you don't have space to pack the two above cards or if you would rather keep that nasty Hobbit around for something like Way-laid, Wounded, and Orc-dragged.
The Ring's Betrayal has a much more devastating effect (and is easier to be effectual) against a different ring. This card is almost the perfect answer to Dwarven Rings. Thorin, running high and low with Durin's Ring and a slew of other Dwarves under his control, suddenly finds that his ring has slipped, forcing him to loose the 6 MPs, insane prowess/body modifications, and +7 DI. And while any Dwarven Ring deck will have defenses against corruption, giving him a Lure (Expedience seems appropriate) makes him have to roll better than a modified 9. Perhaps that nasty Hobbit Samwise is annoying your creatures with his rings of Stealth and Nature. With this card, if he rolls worse than a 6, he drops his rings in the water. The wording of this card leaves some ambiguity as to what happens to the bearer of two rings, though. The way it's worded makes it sound like all the rings would be discarded, though the word I recieved from Ichabod, the official netrep, is that you target a ring on the character, so he only looses one.
The main disadvantage to this card is the fact that the bearer gets to stay in play. But often his reason for being in play is to use the effects of the ring, so he may be eating up influence. Also, this is one of the few hazards which cause a corruption check at -2, meaning you can often hit a character that normally wouldn't have a chance of failing. Also, even though the character doesn't get discarded, other effects that occur from corruption checks still happen. For instance, a heavily pumped Beorn wearing a Magic Ring of Courage can misplace his ring and think one his friends stole it, turning Traitor. This card can also get rid of a Free To Choose, giving the other "real" corruption checks a better chance of success.
Expect this card to pick up in popularity once Lidless Eye is released. A look at the card list printed in the latest Inquest magazine (and available on the web) shows that there are about 6 more rings than there are currently. It might even justify putting this card in your deck rather than sideboard.
Ratings for The Ring's Betrayal:
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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.