written by mc9457
For hand discarding, the Elves have all other fellowship cultures beat hands down (no pun intended). They also provide some of the best cards for knowing your opponents hand as soon as he does through revealing.
Here is a list of the cards that cause the discarding of the hand. We will start with the two most powerful cards.
Mirror of Galadriel
Relevant Text: Fellowship: If your opponent has more then 6 cards in hand, exert Galadriel to look at 2 cards at random from an opponents hand. Discard one and replace the other.
As you can tell, through two exerts of Galadriel, you can look at half your opponents hand and cause two of the nastiest cards to go to the discard pile. While this may only be 2 cards, that is two cards the shadow player can not easily get back. And that is two less cards you have to worry about in the shadow players hand.
Far Seeing Eyes
Relevant text: Each time you play an elf, chose an opponent to discard a card from hand.
Why is this good? Again, every time you play an elf, you cause an opponent to discard a card from hand. If you are playing an all elf deck, this card can pay off big time combined with the Mirror. The downside to Far Seeing Eyes is that it is unique so no putting out 4 copies of Far Seeing Eyes and playing Galadriel to cause 4 cards to go away. You have to work at that discard.
The White Arrows of Lorien
Relevant text: Archery: If bearer is an archer, exert bearer to make an opponent discard 2 cards at random from hand.
This card is great for getting rid of pump cards or some of the nastier combo cards, such as Final Cry. Plus 2 cards at random from hand is great for further decking your opponent and preventing a combo from getting set up later on in the game. The only downside is that the bearer has to be an Elven companion. Exerting Legolas, Greenleaf for White Arrows seems like a waste of his really potent directed archery.
Curse Their Foul Feet!
Relevant text: Fellowship: Exert an Elf to reveal an opponents hand. That player discards a card from hand for each Orc revelead.
This card can be good as well, especially in an area that has a lot of Orc decks played. And lets face it currently there is only one culture that has no Orcs in it Ringwraith. Have an area that plays Moria Swarm a lot? This card can be incredibly potent there as you avoid the potential swarm from hand.
Relevant text: Fellowship: Exert an Elf to reveal an opponents hand. You may discard a [isengard] minion revealed to draw 2 cards.
This card could be good as well if your area is high in Isengard decks. If your area seems populated with anything else, this card is only good for a look at your opponents hand. Not the card of choice (well, at least until may Realms of the Elf Lords becomes tournament legal).
Relevant text: Skirmish: Make an Elf strength +1. If a minion loses this skirmish to that Elf, that minions owner discards 2 cards at random from hand.
Again, this card could be good if your opponent has a hand left at this point. Between Far Seeing Eyes, Curse Their Foul Feet, Mirror of Galadriel, Far Seeing Eyes, and The White Arrows of Lorien, as well as playing a minion from his hand for you to battle, if your opponent has any cards left in his hand it will be a miracle. Even if he does play a minion, then you have to beat that minion with an Elf. Elves, while great with discard and great with archery, are not the best at winning battles. Their power and their vitality prevent them from winning and even living through most skirmishes.
The current major downside to playing the Elven hand discard strategy is two fold.
First, most of the cards cause you to exert a character to discard cards from your opponents hand. This is a hard drink to swallow as it opens the Elves up to beatings from any damage +1 minion and really an instant death. Any deck that packs cards that force you to exert for any reason whether it be Moria Lake (exert Frodo or two companions when the fellowship moves here) or Under the Watching Eye (exert a companion each time the fellowship moves) will slow down the discard strategy as well.
Second is the amount of twilight a good discard deck adds to the pool. Most of the Elven cards that cause the discarding to occur cost 2 or more twilight to play. This gives your opponent a lot of twilight to play with. An Elven discard strategy is usually best mixed up a bit with another strategy to protect your Elves as they take apart your opponents hand.
However, properly applied, your opponent will begin playing with his hand face up the entire game simply because you are going to be seeing it as much as him!