In Peter Jackson’s film epic The Two Towers, the towering Ents unleash a fury of stones upon Saruman’s tower of Orthanc, and with the latest release to the Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game you can too! Early on in Decipher’s preview of the new set, we were shown Ent Horde, which at first glimpse is a very worrying card. FIFTEEN TWILIGHT!?! Yessir, but our Ent Horde is Twilight -2 for each Ent and Unbound Hobbit you can spot in your fellowship, so a key tactic to this is use Pippin: Hastiest of All with Merry: Impatient Hobbit, as by including these 2 Unbound Hobbits in your starting fellowship, you can launch Quickbeam: Breglad for only 2 Twilight! That’s a very powerful Starting Fellowship! An Ent with Strength 8 and Vitality 3, your ringbearer, and both Merry and Pippin allow you to play out your Strength 10 Ent Horde at -2 for each Ent and Unbound Hobbit, thus -6 already, down to a cost of 9.
I’ve heard arguments in various playing circles that Quickbeam: Breglad will replace the ever present Aragorn card in the starting fellowships of decks across the board. There are a few ideas behind this, first cards like The Last Alliance of Elves and Men and The Saga of Elendil make Aragorn a reputable tank, but with so many cards chastizing players for laying down support conditions, I feel that Quickbeam: Breglad’s ability to benefit an overall Ent strategy makes him of more use than the one man wonder Aragorn, as once hes dead, so is your chance of victory. Also, both Quickbeam: Breglad and Ent Horde are not bound by the Unhasty keyword, so they can participate in Skirmishes no matter the location, unlike the Two Towers Ent representative: Treebeard: Earthborn.
Another great new card in Ents of Fangorn is Skinbark: Fladrif. This card puts an emphasis on the Ents’ ability to turn the tide of battle for their Hobbit companions, If an unbound Hobbit is about to take a wound, exert Skinbark to prevent that wound. So as long as you pump your Hobbits up enough to keep from being overwhelmed, this tactic allows them to slip in and out of danger just as they do during the film. Last but not least is Ent Moot, a condition that adds 2 to the strength of an Ent, and only requires you to exert an ubound Hobbit to play.
Overall the Ents present in Decipher’s The Ents of Fangorn expansion truly live up to the strength and grace that we would expect after watching their destruction of Isengard on the silver screen. Ents of Fangorn will hit stores on July 2nd with the release of 2 starter decks, first featuring a Faramir theme, and the second based around The Witch King: Deathless Lord. Don’t forget to check out our Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game Mini-site here at Gaming Havens, and as always don’t hesitate to send in your comments and deck ideas to Havens@TheOneRing.net!
Until next time………