Mariner's Compass

Attachment. Cost: 1.

Item.

Attach to a or a Scout character.

Response: At the beginning of the travel phase, exhaust Mariner's Compass and attached character to search the top 5 cards of the encounter deck for a location. Switch that location with a location in the staging area. Shuffle the encounter deck.

Lucas Durham

The Grey Havens #8. Leadership.

Mariner's Compass
Reviews

never thought much of this card, till i had a run in with nightmare locations. escape from dol-guldur has some of the nastiest locations in the game (torture chamber and dungeon labyrinth). These locations, even alone, could spell creeping doom. Together, they're terrifying (as well as other cards in the deck that add resources to them). Approaching this quest I tried to incorporate as many location control cards as I could. Thorin's Key, strider's path, and shortcut are all great in that quest, but I consider this attachment the single best card for that quest, simply because it allowed you to keep switching these nasty locations out before they ended the game. It's a weird thematic image though, using a compass to navigate a dungeon : )

That's one of its best uses, I've found-get rid of non-prog counters on locations, like Time in The Antlered Crown (especially since the Time keyword doesn't seem to trigger if it's added, not revealed...) — AlasForCeleborn 685
Not to mention that you can use it to get rid of a location Guarding a player card to easily get if without needing to explore the location. — Alonewolf87 2237
@Alonewolf87 I didn't know that. In that situation, does the new location just go into the staging area (instead of being attached the guarded card that the old location was attached to)? — AJ_800 304
guarded said: Guarded The guarded keyword is a reminder on some objective cards to reveal and attach the next card of the encounter deck to the objective when it enters the staging area from the encounter deck, and place them both in the staging area. The objective cannot be claimed as long as any encounter card is attached. Once that encounter is dealt with, the objective remains in the staging area until it is claimed. If another objective card comes up while attaching a card for the guarded keyword, place the second objective in the staging area, and use the next card of the encounter deck to fulfill the original keyword effect. Enemy and location cards attached to guarded objectives do still count their threat while the enemy or location is in the staging area. An encounter card attached to a guarded objective is dealt with in the following method, depending on its card type: Enemy: The enemy leaves play, either by being defeated or as the result of a card effect. Location: The location leaves play, either by being fully explored or as the result of a card effect. ....... if taking the wording as its stands, leaving of the location is enough, no matter how. that would include it will work. what do you think? — doomguard 2041
I agree with doomguard — GreenWizard 310

This card is very underrated. For only one resource (in , a sphere with many extra resources lying around) you get the ability to customize your staging area. This allows you to swap out locations that give off nasty effects while in the staging area, and swapping for a more manageable location. Of course, since its only the top 5 cards of the encounter deck, you will have a limited selection of locations to choose from (probably 2 on average). However, you will only be swapping out the worst locations in play, so even worst case scenario, you will swap the location with another that's equally terrible. But a lot of the time, you will swap it out for something better, such as lower . This card is especially useful in , because there are so few location control cards in , increasing this cards value.

This card works well on any combat focused character because it allows the character to perform a useful action if no enemy is going to engage you. Some prime targets for this card are Lindon Navigator because she can quest and then navigate with the compass, Forlong in a Outlands deck (because of his built in readying effect), Rider of Rohan, Rammas Lookout, Ceorl (and is in sphere), Haldan, Idraen, Lanwyn, Angbor the Fearless, Knight of Dale, Orthanc Guard, Wandering Exile (for the same reasons as the navigator), Halbarad, and especially North Realm Lookout (because it activates his ability and synergizes with Dale decks). It works the best with characters such as those, but it can really work well with any or Scout character.

And that's the beauty of the card, its really flexible and provides a useful effect at a cheap cost (and that's without considering that this card lets you instantly obtain your guarded cards such as The Arkenstone by swapping out the location). This card isn't going to hold your team together but it does provide some useful location management for decks that need it.

If this isn't my favorite location control card, it's pretty close. Sure, it doesn't put progress on locations like a Northern Tracker, Asfaloth, or other similar cards. However, has a lot of other things going for it:

First, it is in Leadership, whereas most location control is in Lore or Spirit. This makes it available to decks that otherwise wouldn't be able to include location control at all.

Second, it is inexpensive. It is easy to get out early even in multisphere decks (unlike Northern Tracker or its ilk). It does cost you a character action, but there are plenty of characters that don't do that much after coming into play. Great targets include Snowbourn Scout, Herald of Anórien or an extra Errand-rider.

Third, encounter decks don't tech against it very much. There are plenty of quest cards and locations that prevent direct progress on staging area locations. Other than cards that are straight up immune to player card effects, cards don't tend to hinder this effect.

Fourth, it is useful in almost every quest. There are always locations that you would rather not see, whether it is because of high threat, bad travel effects, bad while in play effects or otherwise. This allows you to get them out of staging and replaced with something easier.

Fifth, it is absolutely great tech against certain quests. This at least makes this worth of a side board spot in decks. This card really shines in any quest that puts tokens on locations -- whether that's damage in Celebrimbor's Secret or Raid on the Grey Havens, time counters in The Antlered Crown or mire tokens in The Passage of the Marshes. In all these quests, the tokens are time bombs waiting to go off and cause bad effects, and Mariner's Compass can reset the timer on a location. Also, it can free up guarded cards from locations in any quest that has them (or for any player deck that runs them).

Thies 64

I played in such a way that I also used the compass when there was no location in the staging area to find one of the top 5 cards of the encounter deck (The Hills of Emyn Muil). But it seems to me that you're not allowed to do that... Can someone please give me the rules excerpt with page reference why this is the case?

I decided to play this way because according to the reference manual it says you have to change the game state when playing a card (so it does) and also there is no word “then” between the two sentences so I thought it wasn't mandatory to have a place for the exchange. Thanks for your help :)

The issue lies in the use of the word "switch", which is clarified in FAQ item 1.26 — Alonewolf87 2237
(1.26) The word “switch” In order for a switch to occur, switched items must exist on both sides of the switch. — Alonewolf87 2237
Dang posting from my phone and accidentally splitting this, anyways the FAQ is quite clearing in establishing that for a switch you need to have items on both sides, so you can't use Mariner's Compass without a location in the staging area to switch, you can't use the Response of West Road Traveller if there isn't an active location, you can't use Wizard Pipe with an empty deck etc. — Alonewolf87 2237
Great, thanks for your quick reply. All right, then I'll have to try Emyn Muil again... :) — Pillgrim 1