This is a really interesting card. Supports the dwarven mining strategy, but if you end up with him in your hand (and don't have a way to discard him for gain), then he's either a chump blocker or questing for 1, neither of which is worth 3 cost. I haven't decided if he's worth playing in a deck that's not totally based around him, or whether it's worth building a deck around him. But I'm interested in finding out.

He's cool with King under the mountain. —
Sure, and plenty of other Dwarf cards that discard off the top of the deck. I'm wondering though, if how good he is when discarded off the deck truly offsets how bad he when you draw him, and if that value justifies the inclusion of "mining" cards that you wouldn't otherwise use. My feeling is that yes, he is worth it, but I do hate when I draw them instead of something a bit more efficient. —

One of my favorite aspects of this game is to take cards that I feel are generally under valued by the community, and demonstrate how they have more value than you might think at first glance. That is pretty easy to do with this card, since most players find no value in it, and have probably never played or thought about playing it.

Basically, what this card does is function as a means to shuffle the encounter deck. This can actually be useful in the following situations:

  1. You have scried the encounter deck and see several rounds of terrible options coming your way. Maybe you are almost location locked and the next few encounter cards are locations? Perhaps you are saturated with enemies and you see two more enemies coming your way. Maybe that game ending treachery is in the line-up and you don't have a A Test of Will yet? Of course this assumes you have a means of scrying, and thus combos with Henamarth Riversong, Rumour from the Earth, Scout Ahead, Palantir, Denethor, and my new favorite scrying tool, Interrogation.

  2. Speaking of Denethor, it actually combos really great with him and this might be one of the most compelling reasons to use this card. The reason is that due to Denethor's ability, you often end up getting an opportunity to bypass really difficult cards and move them to the bottom of the encounter deck. This tends to result in a heavily stacked, nasty "last 5 cards" of the encounter deck when you get to the bottom. The End Comes let's you bypass these and start fresh with a newly shuffled encounter deck. This also works when you have a treachery or other effect "search encounter deck and discard pile for.. then shuffle" effect that shows you that the remaining 8 cards left at the bottom of the deck aren't the ones that you hope to face.

  3. Occasionally, there are cards in the encounter deck that got discarded when you didn't want them to. The one that comes to mind is Ranger of the North, but this can also apply to objective allies, objective attachments, or maybe just a particular location that you would rather see in play that not. The End Comes gives you the means to shuffle these back into the encounter deck once discarded.

  4. This one is the most quest dependant, but certain quest effects actually trigger off of cards in the encounter deck discard pile. The most obvious example of this are Deadman's Dike with it's dreaded "Cursed Dead" which triggers all other copies to come flying out of the discard pile when revealed. With this card you can reset the discard pile.

Of course, the real issue with this card is the puzzling restriction that doesn't allow you to play it unless a dwarf character leaves play. This alone makes this card fairly difficult to justify outside of dwarf decks, and even within dwarf decks you tend not to see a lot of allies leave play. To my knowledge, there are no "discard for" effects on any dwarf characters. Probably the best way to get around this odd restriction is to include a Miner of the Iron Hills or Erebor Hammersmith. These are cheap dwarf allies that you can use for their "enters play" effects, and then chump block with them to use this card. Luckily, both of these dwarves are in sphere with Denethor and other scrying effects.

It may not be over powered by any stretch of the imagination, but give this card a try sometime. You might find it can be more useful in a pinch than you first thought.

Overpowered, broken, anti-thematic, not fun to play. Needs errata

Suggested errata: Change "Attached hero gains the Gondor trait"...to... "attach TO a hero with the Gondor trait"

Atleast constraining it's overpowered effect to the Gondor trait makes it far more restrictive and thematic.

That's about how I see it. If it's constrained to Gondor, it's more thematic and less pervasive. As it is, it's basically the only thing that can offer this kind of resource acceleration, so you basically need to include it in a leadership deck, as I feel that the sphere is balanced around having access to it. And it's so annoying to throw in 2 or 3 of them in every single deck with access to Leadership. And on top of that, I've included it in decks specifically for gaining the Gondor trait (where, of course, the resource gain is never unwelcome). It's just ridiculous. And being so thematically is just salt in the wound. —
"so thematically *off*" I meant to say. I don't see an edit option. —
How about just not playing cards you don't like instead of wishing an errata? —

I will admit that I probably had the same reaction nearly everyone else had in the community upon seeing this card for the first time. My first thought was "sweet! another form of encounter card cancellation!" followed by, "wow, exhaust a hero of a specific type as part of the cost? that's too restrictive - probably unplayable".

It is probably for this reason that it took me so long to slot Quick Ears into one of my decks. It's a good thing I did, as this card is far better than I had previously imagined. Allow me to explain by breaking this card's cost and effect down.

At first glance, the cost seems rather restrictive. However, as a long time enthusiasts of the "ranger" trait, I learned a long time ago that ranger characters tend to be high /high resource cost characters for stats that are fairly balanced across the board. If we took an average of all ranger characters, I would not be surprised if the mean were close to 2 , 2 , and 2 . What this means is that rangers are GREAT targets for action advantage, and likewise are typically over-valued if you "don't" have action advantage. So if you are running heroes with the ranger trait, you probably really should be including action advantage as well to take advantage of their balanced resource spread and the growing trait sub-theme of "exhaust ranger character to..." abilities. It is a little off putting that this particular event is restrictive to heroes rather than all characters, but the upside is that a Ranger traited hero typically has good combat stats and can add value by staying readied through the quest phase regardless of whether their exhaust is needed for an action.

The ability belongs in the very exclusive and powerful class of effects known as encounter card cancellation. Technically, there is only one other card like it, The Door is Closed!, since A Test of Will and Eleanor both technically only cancel "when revealed" effects, and not the entire card. At first glance, it appear that there isn't much net gain for the cost of a hero exhaust and one resource since you discard 1 encounter card just to replace it with another. However, I've found through play that this card is VERY useful in the following situations:

  1. Quick Ears is great for cancelling one of my most hated types of encounter cards in the game, surging enemies. I've always thought the surge keyword is most obnoxious when it's found on enemies, because it gets you three times. A surging enemy a.) surges a new encounter card, b.) adds it's threat to staging, AND c.) ties you up in combat. Quick Ears let's you cancel them outright without triggering their surge.

  2. It's great for cancelling enemies with horrendous "when revealed" effects, as it cancels before the "when revealed" goes off.

  3. It's good for avoiding enemies from hell like Mumaks.

  4. My favorite use is to have it on hand when I've reached that point in the game where I'm saturated with about as many enemies as I can handle, and I know that one more will tip the balance and start tearing up my board state. For me, a Ranger hero at the ready and 1 resource is piece of mind knowing that I can greatly reduce the chances of having to deal with 1 more enemy this round before I am ready for it.

All in all, this card has managed to find a "1x" slot in my mono Ranger trap deck.... and sometimes 2x in scenarios with a lot of surging enemies or enemies that come with "when revealed" effects.

I think you've convinced me to try the card!... ;-) —
Do enemy cards that are immune to player card effects avoid this card? —

This card is a real head scratcher. Why does this card exist? What were they thinking when they designed and then eventually printed this card? It is a terrible, nearly unplayable card, but at least you might think of a scenario in which it is useful, like stopping effects that bring enemies into play from discard. The effect is okay. The part that is weird is the cost and the flavor. Why is it tied to a dwarf character dieing? This makes the card so awkward to pull off that nobody even bothers to try. It's not like you can just kill your own ally at will. You can discard some rohan allies or whatever, but not a dwarf. It doesn't even fit the theme. Why would a dieing dwarf shuffle the encounter discard back in the deck? What is the flavor here? The name and flavor text seems to refer to when the fellowship discovered that Balin's colony in Moria had been destroyed. So, this knowledge gives them insight that prevents discard recursion effects? I don't get it. I personally think it would be great if there were player cards that could interact with the encounter discard, but this is a confusing bust.

I find a way to use this card. The Gandalf-Dwarf Miners, dig deep in your deck. This card is perfect to recycle the deck. Ok, I know we have that Spirit Event, but this card is 0 cost!, and with those weaks miners, is easy to destroy one of them. —
BAH, I missread, thinking that you shuffle your deck! but it is the encounter discard pile..... —
All that I can say for this card is that there are times where it is advantageous to reshuffle the encounter deck. One would be when you know through scrying what is coming in the next few rounds and don't like it. Another would be if something you were looking for (Ranger of the North comes to mind, or Tom Bombadil) got discarded as a shadow. There are other scenario specific times where it could be useful as well (Deadman's Dike with 3 copies of Cursed dead in Discard!). —
Accidentally posted too early. To finish my thought, the real issue with this card is it's situational requirements. Atleast it's 0 cost neutral. I could see using it maybe 1x in the right scenarios with the right player deck. —