Hero. Threat: 7. 1   1   2   3  

Gondor. Noble.

Response: Exhaust Eleanor to cancel the "when revealed" effects of a treachery card just revealed by the encounter deck. Then, discard that card, and replace it with the next card from the encounter deck.

"Gondor wanes, you say. But Gondor stands, and even the end of its strength is very strong."
Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring
Magali Villeneuve

Core Set #8. Spirit.


We need more card reviews! So here I am, writing about one of the best Spirit Heroes in the game, at least in Multiplayer. By herself, and especially in Solo/low player counts, Eleanor is nothing spectacular. Despite her Spirit Sphere she contributes only 1 should she commit to the quest. She will most certainly not be attacking and though she could easily defend some of the earlier enemies, putting her up against a foe now is quite the gamble.

Despite all of this, she is still awesome. In 3 and 4 player games, game-breaking treacheries are bound to show up. Though many players will hold on to A Test of Will in preparation, sometimes the resources aren't there, the card doesn't show up, or something rips away the opportunity to play it. When all else fails Eleanor has the ability to give the players one final shot of making it through, with the only downside that another card needs to be revealed to replace the canceled treachery.

Outside of her amazing ability I have found her trait, particularly her Gondorian one to be quite beneficial. Slap an Unexpected Courage on Eleanor and not only can you cancel two treacheries but you can cancel a treachery and leave her to defend a little more confidently with cards like Gondorian Shield or Blood of Númenor.

I'd there an action window between cards during staging? I thought the Eleanor Unexpected Courage combo didn't work, but I might be wrong. — jodudeit 25
you may be right actually :P — SecondhandTook 573
you are correct, the unexpected courage is an action ability whereas eleanor's ability (like test of will) is a response. responses can be trigger whenever their text specifies, actions only during an action phase. when cards are revealed from the encounter deck, that is the staging phase, which does not allow action abilities. still, she's a beast in multiplayer — breeduss 5

Eleanor is an incredibly under-rated hero. While episode 1 of the Cardboard of the Rings podcast was entitled "Don't Ignore Eleanor", the sentiment was sadly somewhat retracted the following episode. A big part of the thing with Eleanor is that her power isn't exactly obvious. Her stats aren't going to do much for you, and even if you were going to make use of them her ability requires you to exhaust her. Yet despite all of this, Eleanor is incredibly useful, especially in multiplayer.

Firstly, I'll talk around the subject and tackle the fringe benefits of Eleanor. Since she's from Gondor, a Gondorian Shield will put her up to a fairly credible 4 . Without that boost, 2 and 3 is risky for defending but you can still do it against weaker enemies barring shadows. Since she's a Noble, she can have the Palantir, which itself can be an incredibly potent support card. And while her statline isn't anything to write home about, she is of course appropriately threat costed for it, at 7. Yes, I know Glorfindel exists, but Eleanor's best setting is multiplayer, where someone else may well be using Glorfindel, and Glorfindel while he has stats has no useful ability unless you count the boost to Asfaloth. Eleanor on the other hand, does have an ability, and that's where the meat of this discussion lies.

So, her ability. Another of my recent reviews was on A Test of Will in which I talked about how it's such a powerful card that the game balance might actually hypothetically be better if it had never been designed. I'm not going to get into reiterating that debate here, suffice to say that the ability to cancel a When Revealed effect is arguably the single most powerful ability on any card in the game. Test of Will is an instant 3-of card in any deck using the sphere for a very good reason. And that's Eleanor's ability as well. OK, Eleanor only cancels treacheries, but guess what? ALL THE WORST ENCOUNTER CARD EFFECTS ARE ON TREACHERIES. OK, Eleanor replaces the cancelled treachery with the next card, but the odds of the next card being worse than the one you just cancelled are decidedly low or you wouldn't have bothered cancelling it in the first place.

Not convinced? I'm just going to list a few treacheries Eleanor could cancel for you. Sleeping Sentry. Collateral Damage. Watcher in the Wood. The Master's Malice. Leaves on Tree. Southron Support. Exhaustion. Roasted Slowly. Are you convinced yet? Because I can probably think of more if you give me a minute, or if I start naming Nightmare cards as well as regular ones.

Now, one might argue that Eleanor is unnecessary because Test of Will already exists for these brutal treacheries, but one of the significant advantages of hero abilities as opposed to other cards is that they start the game in play rather than being contingent on your random shuffle and draw. Eleanor has this advantage. Plus, having both gives you more freedom - wherein either you cancel regular bad things with Eleanor and save the Tests of Will for the really brutal things, or vice versa, Eleanor stays up for the worst effects and you can play your Tests on lesser treacheries. Either way, this should notably reduce the number of treachery effects you're forced to take on the chin.

Now, OK, let's talk about the downsides of Eleanor. As previously mentioned, her stats aren't great, so if you don't cancel anything with her she won't be doing too much for you. She doesn't suit lower player-counts for this reason, because the less heroes are on the table the more you want the heroes who are to actually be doing things. But on the other hand of course, when you have more players you're also much more likely to reveal a nasty treachery which you really want to cancel. I'll say that Eleanor isn't really a solo hero unless in very specialised circumstances. Many people would be critical of the idea of using Eleanor in 2 player as well, but personally I've still found that she can work. 3 or 4 player and she really shines. 3 or 4 player, there are stats everywhere, but the chance to replace a horrible card with a less horrible card when you're revealing that many per round starts to feel worth its weight in resources.

In brief, treachery cancellation is among the most powerful effects in the game, and Eleanor is the most guaranteed way of having cancellation available. She deserves your respect.

blood of numenor or a gondorian shield and she shines as a defender as well. — Olander 133
I have had great fun with a leadership deck full of resources throwing an Ancestral Armor on her! — Taudir 338

Sadly I'm solo player, so Eleanor don't really work for me. I have to admit, that the ability is really strong one however, it deals only with treachery cards (not enemies) and it can't replace whole other hero with better stats. Also I'm usually trying to built the decks according to the scenario I play, so the deck is counting with dealing with treachery cards, so I'm not even sure, if there is point to use her in fellowship. So for now, she's probably good only for multiplayer or very specific scenarios. Very nice artwork. Verdict: 2/5.

matrosh 540
Aside from the mandatory Lore of Imladris, her and Denethor allowed me to finally beat Journey to Rhosgobel. 10/10 would Exhaust again. — Blackhaven 1
Don't write her off quite yet, I having been playing her solo along with Tactics Legolas, Spirit Glorfindel and Hobbit Gandalf and have defeated many quests thanks to her as a backup defender, saving me from nasty treacheries (usually the ones that get attached as conditions). You need your other heroes to be strong quarters/fighters and it's why she pairs up well with ally Gandalf that can quest and combat each round. In two player with my wife she has saved many a game from a sudden end. — Christian_Medic 1014

Eleanor is incredible, for awhile in our four player fellowship we called her Queen Eleanor and voted her the most important hero in the group. Yes in solo she generally has a 33% chance to be helpful, but that number climbs up with each player added ensuring that by the fourth player you can pretty much guarantee at least one treachery being revealed.

Enemies we can deal with, locations clog up the staging area, but treacheries many times are game-ending and having Queen Eleanor to be able to swoop in and save us in our most dire need is incredible. Countless times she has saved us, sometimes multiple times in one scenerio.

Also as mentioned her with a Gondorian Shield is a nice backup defender if no treachery card is revealed. She also combos well with Blood of Numenor, Spare Hood and Cloak, Silver Lamp, Livery of the Tower, and Unexpected Courage if you want to use her in a defender/cancellation combined role.

For Solo she may not be the most efficient but when the fellowship assembles she is truly the star of the show.

#Gondorian Shield, #Blood of Numenor, #Spare Hood and Cloak, #Silver Lamp, #Livery of the Tower, #Unexpected Courage cited here — fulvio.abbi 7

Everyone knows Eleanor's deal, there's no need to rehash it. In higher player counts and against quests with especially brutal treacheries, she's one of the best insurance cards in the game. In lower player counts or against quests with more typical treacheries, her ability is rarely useful enough to justify the heavy hit to your starting board state from bringing her. Since I mostly play true solo with a smattering of two-handed, I can appreciate her power, but I virtually never play her.

Or at least, that was true until Helm of Secrecy. The helm isn't a super popular card, and I get why. Since it's a 1-of, you can't count on seeing it until you're fairly well established-- and even if you could, you won't be able to afford to drop four resources to replace one hero with another (who, thanks to the printed threat restriction, is likely weaker than the first one) until you're in a pretty strong position. But if the first hero was good enough to get you into that position in the first place, why would you want to replace him or her?

But some heroes really front-load the value they provide. Denethor would perhaps be the most famous example-- often I'll run decks where he's the only leadership hero and Steward of Gondor is the only leadership card. Once Steward is down, he passes his one resource per round to the hero in your "main" sphere or occasionally just uses it to pay for neutrals. There are other examples-- Erestor or Galdor of the Havens in combo decks once they've gotten you to all your key pieces, say. Thurindir, Gilraen, or Widfast if you just want the setup effect.

And in decks like that, I love Helm of Secrecy as a toolsy late-game option. Once Denethor is no longer contributing much, why not chuck him and replace him with a new hero? The new hero will need to be cheap, which means you're probably not grabbing them for their stats but for their ability. And "on-demand treachery cancellation" is one of the most impactful abilities in the card pool. (Plus seven printed threat makes it an easy pivot no matter who you're tossing.) Once your board is established, about the only thing you have to fear is a terrible treachery coming along and wrecking it.

There are lots of other quality "toolsy" heroes you can pivot to. Théodred for resource acceleration, Merry or Galadriel for threat reduction, Either version of Beregond for a clutch defender, Balin for shadow cancellation, Dúnhere for picking off shy enemies, Legolas for ranged attack and progress, Frodo Baggins for the ultimate in hero insurance. But the frequency with which I find myself just automatically grabbing Eleanor even in true solo reinforces how much peace of mind her ability really provides.

Some Sort 3687

What's up with this card? Erebor Record Keeper can scribe a scroll without looking at it. Not so much Eleanor. No beard, either. ERK has a beard. Eleanor can't really attack or defend. ERK lets you know this right on the card. The exhaust cost is steep considering the shadow card gets replaced. The replacement card also gets revealed Eleanor would make a good ally, but I don't think the card cuts it as a hero most times.

In 4 players I almost always bring her, cause you will face very often game-ending treacheries and Test of Will is limited in number (and might not have been drawn in time) — Alonewolf87 2307
Does that get her a beard? I guess it depends on what a player is willing to gamble. It's that second draw that's a concern. I'd bring her to Road to Rivendell for one card or for secrecy. — MarvelsTold 4