One of the most interesting cards released recently, I think. Two hero secrecy decks were a curiosity when secrecy was introduced. Sometimes they could work out well, other times, overcoming the starting lag in actions and stats was too difficult to be feasible. Now we have this card, which helps cover the old problems of secrecy. Granting both action advantage and two more , Strider goes a long way to helping two hero decks compensate. Now the question is, which heroes does it synergize with best? I've seen decks that play it on Treebeard, allowing him to contribute his big stats to both questing and combat. This certainly can be effective, enabling a hero to both quest and attack or defend, but what if you aren't playing a deck designed to do any combat? There are ways for this card to be used to good effect by decks focused on questing or support. Heroes like Beravor, Eleanor, Dori, Haldir of Lórien, spirit Merry, and Argalad all have an action they can exhaust themselves for. Strider enables them to quest and exhaust for their useful actions after questing! So you can send Beravor to the quest and exhaust her for card draw or even Distant Stars or Quick Ears. You can send Eleanor to the quest and always have her ready to cancel a treachery, and the other four mentioned heroes can all use their actions to help when enemies show up after questing. What about using it to make Elrond or Círdan the Shipwright quest hard and still have 'em ready to use their rings, Fair and Perilous, or Tale of Tinúviel? This is just one way it can be used to help the team in multiplayer games. The simple fact that Strider provides another action means it will work well with heroes that can be exhausted to use another action, whether they provide it from their own text box or from an event or attachment. It is an enabler of many new possibilities.

A very simple but potentially very effective effect. One of two cards (the other being Stand and Fight) which immediately in the Core Set marked out as the primary sphere for recursion effects. It's a very simple, but very effective ability. But despite its power I would also consider it well-balanced. The ability to recur things over and over is potent to be sure, and it offers incredible flexibility to decks, which for a cost of an extra 1 resource can treat any card in their discard pile as in their hand. The thing is though, any serious balance issues with Dwarven Tomb I would say are more issues with the cards it's being used to recur than with the Tomb itself.

So let's talk about why this card is so good, and about its limitations. It's not for every deck, of course - many decks will be happy to simply draw and play things from hand, and to only play each card once. But some decks want to use their events multiple times, while others may get enthusiastic about discarding from their hand or their deck. In such decks as those this may well be the perfect card. And sometimes it's just nice to have that flexibility.

The flexibility is the biggest point in its favour, as I've already alluded to. You can use Dwarven Tomb to get back an ally who died, an ally who you discarded to a player or encounter card effect, a temporary attachment, an attachment which was discarded by an encounter card effect, an event you played, or of course any card which you discarded from hand or discarded from your deck. The recent support for Noldor discard mechanics and the Dwarven deck-mining mechanic have given Dwarven Tomb a serious resurgence. Of course it's limited by the fact it can only target cards, but at the time of writing a search on RingsDB for cards which aren't heroes in the spirit sphere returns 116 results, which is easily enough to be getting on with. Now if you want to use your recursion for events, it might seem like the Map of Earnil is more flexible, since you don't have to choose which event you want to recur in advance - on the other hand though, the Map requires an action window to trigger it and you can take the same approach with the Tomb, on top of which you can use Dwarven Tomb to pull back events which are responses (like A Test of Will) in advance, which the Map cannot do. Finally of course, Dwarven Tomb always costs 1 whereas the Map only costs 1 if you're mono-sphere.

Dwarven Tomb is a card which can easily be pigeonholed into just a way of recycling Test of Will, and while that may well be the most potent option since Test of Will is an incredibly powerful card, the fact you have that flexibility is what drives Dwarven Tomb into being a truly great card. In a Caldara deck you may well use it to recur Fortune or Fate. If your threat is a concern you can obviously use it to recur threat reduction. In a dwarven mining deck of course you can recur anything you've been mining away, but most especially Imladris Stargazer or Zigil Miner. In a Palantir deck I've used it to recur Minas Tirith Lampwright to cancel a Surge which I've scried. If a quest has attachment discarding effects you can bring back your Unexpected Courage or Mirror of Galadriel or To the Sea, to the Sea! or whatever else is absolutely key to your deck's strategy. In any deck which goes crazy with its discards (from hand or deck) you may want it to recycle Will of the West. The options are far too extensive to list all of them, which is basically my whole point. You can do so much with Dwarven Tomb, it's such a flexibly powerful card, granting you additional access to various other powerful cards, it just opens up so many options and that makes it one of the most potentially interesting cards released in the Core Set.

I've always wondered why they did not release equivalent cards for the other spehres... —

Feint is kind of like the tactics equivalent of A Test of Will - it allows a one-time escape from disaster, you'll never be disappointed to draw one, and you'll probably kick yourself for not holding back a resource for it at some point. It's a powerhouse card, and a likely 3x in any deck I build that includes tactics. It comes up all the time where somebody is just one body short of being able to survive a round or kill something, so then you play this and they basically gain an action for one coin. Not just that, but it shuts down all sorts of "when attacks" effects and eliminates the risk of shadow cards. In most cases it's like the enemy doesn't exist for the turn. If you follow it up with Forest Snare, you can effectively blank a lot of tough enemies without ever having to fight.

It's also an excellent Shadow effectt cancelation! One of the strongest cards in the game, I think. —

The most powerful threat reduction event, and one that has salvaged many a game for my group. The cost will slow you down, but it often prevents a loss, whether by dodging a 10 attack boss that came out prematurely or giving the team a couple extra turns to close out the game at the end. I don't typically play it unless I have an immediate reason to, or it's late-game and I have extra money. Besides the powerful effect, the flexibility provides extra value, as you can target the player with the ranged guys, choose whether or not to spread it around depending on the situation, etc. I think all decks generally need some form of threat management, and Galadhrim's Greeting is one of the top contenders for mono- or a multisphere deck that can move its resources around in a pinch. Also, if you're playing a doomed deck with other people, be a dude and include 3x of this.

This combined with the Pooch or A Good Meal is insane. —

A Test of Will is a card which I can never leave out of a deck that uses . The moment I resolve on that sphere I put in 3 copies of Test of Will. And that's one of the reasons why I really dislike the card. To be clear before I start complaining about it, A Test of Will is possibly the best card in the entire game for pure power. One resource cancels a When Revealed effect from the encounter deck, no other conditions, that effect just straight up doesn't happen. The effect is demonstrably worth paying more than that 1 resource for given how often people will pay extra by playing Dwarven Tomb to retrieve it, or Map of Earnil to retrieve Dwarven Tomb to retrieve Test of Will. And the fact it's so easy makes it to my mind the biggest example in the game of an auto-include card by a very wide margin. It's just so universal and so easy that you can't justify omitting it, and that makes for boring deckbuilding.

It also raises issues with regards to encounter deck design because really quests should be designed on the assumption that the effects in the encounter deck will actually happen. Now I want to be clear - I'm not necessarily advocating for there to be no cancellation of When Revealed effects in the game at all, it's just that Test of Will is a bit too easy, being only 1-cost and no other restrictions on it.

Now earlier in the life of the game there were some treacheries which had ridiculously brutal effects - the infamous "cancel-or-die" which is another thing I really dislike in this game. But my logic here is that those cards were created under the (in my opinion flawed) mindset of "It's fine, because they can cancel it with Test of Will." Following that logic through, if it was either not possible or at least not as easy to cancel such effects, then "cancel-or-die" effects wouldn't be a thing (Since one would at least hope the designers would stop short of effects that were effectively just "die"). Therefore if A Test of Will didn't exist (or was more expensive in some way), then Sleeping Sentry (and similarly ridiculous cards) wouldn't exist, and I feel like I might prefer that version of the game. I feel like it'd be better balanced that way.

Regardless of feelings on how it would have impacted the game balance, I think it's pretty clear that a card of such incredible power as Test of Will absolutely would not be released nowadays. I mean, imagine if Test of Will wasn't in the Core Set, so our only cancellation was Eleanor (or perhaps go even further and imagine Eleanor didn't exist either). Imagine that was the case, most or all decks in the game had no means of cancelling When Revealed effects for 5 years, and then Test of Will was released in the latest adventure pack. People would go crazy about how overpowered it was. The only reason it tends to get a pass is because it was in the Core Set so everyone's used to it existing at this point and they don't really think about it. Or if they do think about it, then it probably saved so many games for them that they naturally feel well-disposed towards it. If a card like Test of Will were released now, it would be more expensive or more limited. It wouldn't just be a 1-cost event.

And then again, I'm also not in any way advocating for the removal of Test of Will from the card pool, and I will continue to include 3 copies in every deck I build forever, most likely. If I wanted to remove it, I'd need to somehow acquire a time machine so I could go back and stop Nate French putting it into the Core Set in the first place, and then we'd see the ripple effects impacting the design of treacheries. Since it was in the Core Set, it's way too late to change it now because the game has been designed to some extent to allow for it existing. That said, I do sometimes find it refreshing when I play more recent quests (which don't have the "cancel-or-die" problem) to use decks without , so when a treachery is revealed there's no lamenting my failure to draw cancellation, no debate over whether this is worth cancelling or if I should save it for something worse later on, the effect just happens and I have to deal with it happening.

In conclusion/summary, Test of Will is a ridiculously powerful card which you should basically never leave out of any deck that can play it. Perhaps we may speculate that things might have been better had it never been created, but even if so it's no use lamenting a past which we cannot change. As Gandalf says, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." And in this case, that involves simply accepting that this is one of the most, if not straight up the most powerful card in the entire game, and thus that 3 slots in every deck are automatically spoken for regardless of anything else.

Good arguement :) —
It wouldn't be so necessary if the treacheries weren't so damn ridiculous... —
I agree with this post 100%. —
Good arguments, here... but it's an event... meaning that you won't necessarily have it in hand when needed, which makes it less powerful then a passive ability or an attachment. ;-) —
That doesn't make it less powerful, just less reliable, which is an important distinction - and one which makes cancel-or-die even more of a problem because you can't guarantee having your cancel available, so it becomes unreasonable on both sides of the equation. —
Yeah, I know what you mean! I'm trying more and more to build solo decks without spirit against nightmare quests... —