For me, this card is great. I really enjoy the idea of adding your own player cards to the encounter deck so as soon as I saw this card, I knew I had to put it in my eagle deck.

To play it you have to bring a eagle ally from play back into your hand. This could be quite expensive in most situations but could help for some of the eagles. If you use it on Descendant of Thorondor or Meneldor or even Gwaihir, then you can get more uses out of their abilities. So, if you have loads of reasources then this could be worth it, but you would probably want to use it on some of the more cheaper eagles like Vassal of the Windlord and Winged Guardian.

One way to "cheat" the cost is to Sneak Attack or Gwaihir an eagle ally in and then use this card on it.

The Eagle of the North ally itself is actually quite good. With the 2 and 3, it gives you some choices on what you want to do with it. You can quest or you can use him for a bit of attack. You'll probable want to quest with him cuz eagles have very low . You can also give him to another player who is in trouble in combat to help them out.

The Eagle of the North's ability is quite useful. Not because it gets rid of an enemy so you don't have to fight it, but rather because it gets rid of some of the in the staging area. Eagles have no problem dealing with enemies as they are very combat-powerful, but they can't do much during the quest phase.

This card is a card that you could think is worth it or.... not so much. For me, it's worth it because I like playing with gimmicks like this as I find them to be quite fun to use, but I'm sure there are better cards to include in you deck.

Eagles have been known to be very powerful for combat but... not much else. With the release of Meneldor, the players playing the eagle deck can actually contribute something to the questing power and the other players won't have to carry you so much.

We already know the ability is great but Meneldor comes with a bonus, it has 2!. You rarely see that in a ally and near never in a eagle. I'm glad that Fantasy Flight designed more eagles for the archetype and didn't make them combat heavy like the others.

I know it's a very unpopular card, but it has been a very useful card in my experience in the right situation.

In multiplayer, it can be incredible, espesially in 3-4 player games. Apply it to a high threat hero like Gandalf, Elrond, or Treebeard, and nearly every hero in the game gets a 2 boost. If the players have any leftover resources left, then they can give all of those heroes a 2 boost.

Now, for the problems.

There are a small amount of heroes that this card can reliably be used on. The heroes in most decks usually range from 9-12 threat cost so you have to apply this to a 13+ threat cost to get reliable use out of it. If you use it on a 11 or 12 threat hero then chances are you will miss a few target heroes who may actually need the boost.

The fact that it is a card is really annoying because you probably want to use this card on one of the three high threat cost heroes mentioned above. Elrond and Treebeard are both cards so you have to find some way to pay for a card. You could include a hero or A Good Harvest etc and for Elrond you could use Vilya to solve the problem. Inspiring Presence works ok with Gandalf on his own but you can get it in more reliably using Wizard Pipe. The card would function much better if it was in the sphere. While in theory you could go out of your way to fit this card in with those heroes, it's not worth your time usually.

Most of the time in combat, is more important than because you need to get rid of the enemy so it doesn't attack you again next round, while for defending you could just chump it or defend with one of your more beefy heroes. So, if the base effect of the card was the extra and the secondary effect the boost, then this card would probably be used more often.

A very niche card, but one that I have found great use with in a multiplayer deck.

One issue I can have with this card is that you need to have most of your heroes ready to be worthwhile. As a late game combo action with Grim Resolve or Doom Hang Still, especially in combat-heavy quests, it can save the day, but you'll have to spend 2 spirit resources and 7 leadership resources. There simply are better stat boosters in the game. —
Good point. I forgot to mention that. —

Tom is a card I have never seen on the table except in my own deck (and even then I have only built one deck with him). He's an effective card but he's not popular. And not without reason. He hurts himself a bit.

-He's defensively oriented, which is a nice option, but he's also tactics, which is where Hobbits are most poorly represented. If he had a generally useful ability, this would be fine: he'd be a great low threat defensive option. However, his ability text is entirely dependent on having Hobbit allies in your deck.

-Half of his ability text focuses on making Hobbits combat-ready. Hobbits aren't generally included in a deck for combat ability due to poor combat stats. So what does this mean? Essentially, it means that any deck which effectively uses Tom will not be a "Hobbit deck with Tom," it'll have to be a "Tom deck," meaning without him the deck would fail to function. So that makes him a pretty niche choice. He will never be on the list of candidate heroes to take a hero slot in a deck. You'll either start the deck with him in mind, or he will not enter into serious consideration.

-His ability appears to be more useful if you are able to bounce Hobbits in an out of play, like Silvans. While this is certainly true, if you're building a deck with many Hobbit allies supported by his ability, you probably don't need to. You just keep playing new ones. There are some ways to bounce Hobbits (Raise the Shire, Gaffer Gamgee, Keen-Eyed Took), it's usually not something you will build your deck around. So, players might look at this and decide the card pool doesn't support his ability well. I think this one is mostly perception though, as a deck built around Tom is going to have plenty of Hobbit allies in all likelihood, and won't really need to take them out of play.

-He pushes you toward a combat-oriented deck and then demands that you keep your threat low. This is probably his biggest problem. If you're combat-oriented you might be a multiplayer deck (I haven't seen Tom in a well-rounded solo deck yet, although I think it can be done thanks to his resource-smoothing ability). If that's the case, you want to engage multiple enemies per round. With low threat, you really can't, without devoting deck space to abilities that let you do so. You also want to have Sentinel, have Ranged in your deck, none of which are easily achieved with Hobbits. You can do all of these things, but they cost you card slots.

All that said, I do like Tom and I think he has a lot going for him. In his favor:

-Low threat defensive option in a sphere without other low threat defensive options. Actually, just being low threat in tactics is a big deal. With two of the 6-threat Hobbit heroes as the other heroes in your deck, you can start in Secrecy.

-Opens up deckbuilding space that doesn't exist without him. Always a pro.

-His ability is pretty unique, resource smoothing only exists on a couple of hero cards. Even if your threat gets high, his +2 attack ability continues to function.

-Good defensive attachments exist for him (Ring Mail is expensive but great for Tom, Fast Hitch becomes very valuable on him, Staff of Lebethron...) so you can build him up very nicely. He can be supported by the in-trait Rosie.

-People will be interested and watch what you do when you bring him to a multiplayer deck, hah!

So, there is good reason for Tom to be unpopular, but it is not because he is a bad card. He's actually a very good card. He's just very niche at the moment.

I initially overlooked the usefulness of this card, because of the cost, but it's better than I thought. Dwarf synergy. It shares a trait with Prince Imrahil. It's got A Very Good Tale and Sneak Attack in sphere. Sneak him in for two attacks or defenses. You can get this guy in for cheap, with strong stats and built in readying which is incredibly useful. It's also leadership where things are generally expensive, but resources are plentiful. Leadership is not full of powerful combat allies.