I know this card tends to get panned for its effect (and the dislocated thumb), but consider the potential impact within a Dale deck as a counter to archery and/or treacheries that spread out direct damage (Necromancer's Reach, Wasted Provisions, Biting Wind, etc.). I've healed up to 6-7 damage from the board in one go with the Messenger, and so she tends to be a one-of in my Dale builds. Often, that one burst of concentrated healing is enough to keep an army of Dale allies (who all tend to have multiple hit points) around long enough to finish a quest.

There are 104 allies and 86 attachments in the whole game. That's a lot of targets for A Fair Exchange. In , we think about the Steward of Gondor, but also all the traits-based engines relying on Narvi's Belt, The Elvenking, Lord of Morthond, Gúthwinë and so many others.

Before this card, decks in were feeling like this: add 1 of each cards you kind of want, and 3 of the ones that were absolutely required. Keep your combos strings short, as you have limited ways to fetch cards. In fact, there are only 3 tutors in : Dúnedain Message for side quest, The King's Return for guarded cards and Wealth of Adventure for skills. Some few others can look for specific cards among the top 5: Soldier of Gondor for Gondor allies, Galadriel for attachments of cost 3 or less and Weather Hills Watchman for Signals.

A Fair Exchange allows your to setup better combos with 3 or 4 cards to the point of making those decks viable without needing to draw half your deck. This opens up many new deck building strategies - and really boost the value of by giving them value when clogging your hand. No more dead Steward of Gondor in your hand! Some maths: if we need 2 cards that we run 3 times each, we have 50% chances to get our 2-card combo after drawing 10 cards. With 3 A Fair Exchange to spice things up, it becomes ~80%. If you run multiples of less important , it becomes even more guaranteed to pull off the combo.


I personally have really enjoyed using this card with decks that have strong filtering mechanisms. For example, Aragorn with Estel is super strong repeatable filtering that grows if you give him more traits with the other ALeP titles. Combine that with Elven-light and suddenly 100 cards in your deck doesn't seem so bad. Then you get an automatic threat reduction, heroes not exhausting to quest, being able to search and play any card reducing its cost by 3, or put it in your hand if you don't want to play it yet. If you start with low threat or are desperate you can use the ability on side A of the card as extra filtering, but I don't rely on it since you only have one big threat reduction you don't want to burn too soon.

I'm considering other decks this contract would work well with besides Aragorn, though he himself is super flexible and can work with Noldor, Gondor, or Dunedain. Dwarves, since they get an obscene amount of card draw, could work well. Galadriel with her Mirror of Galadriel seems like another option with potential, but losing her threat reduction would feel really bad.

The authors of this game did Bilbo dirty. Why 9 threat!? He should be 6, maybe 7. If he were he'd be much more playable. Most heroes' threat is the sum of their attributes. Not sure why Bilbo is an outlier.

It seems a very good ally card to me. Cost/game impact is profitable for both offensive and defensive oriented decks at any moment of the game (except perhaps turn 1). It's definitely worth a try in my Dunedain deck.