Beorning Beekeeper is just too expensive for what it does. Many "bad" cards fall under this category, because they're undeniably useful, but outrageously expensive. So, for four resources you're getting two attack that's about half of what would be cost efficient. It does have a nice pool of HP, but with just one defense, I wouldn't look there. It does have one willpower, which is not bad for tactics. But it's ability is pretty much four resources for a couple points of attack and a damage or two. Maybe the next cycle will give the beekeeper some Beorning support, but for now, back to the binder.

Second Breakfast is a card that makes me laugh. It's not just the art, it's just such a bad card! How many times have there been an attachment in the discard that you would warrant a card slot and a resource for? Granted, It's better in multiplayer, but aside from Cram and Haradrim Spear; (lets not think about Borne Aloft) There aren't many uses for it (other than depriving you of your appetite).

I think that this card is worth another look. :-) I agree that it's much stronger in multiplayer, certainly. Sometimes picking up an attachment card is worthwhile just because it's a card in hand, such as if someone is playing Spirit Eowyn. Additionally, I would readily add Explorer's Almanac and Good Meal to the list of attachments that are worthwhile getting from the discard pile. —

Radagast was an interesting idea, but one which was implemented much better later in the game's life with Treebeard. Even before we saw what could have been Radagast didn't seem like a great deal. Now, I would say Radagast is more maligned than he deerves to be, but he's still not great. The thing is, he's a bit like the Master of Lore in that he's useful once he's in play, but justifying spending those resources on him rather than on something else is tough, especially in the early-game, which is when you want to play him to get maximum use out of his ability.

His stats are obviously not worth 5 resources. 2 is the best thing he has, and that's not worth 5 resources by any stretch. Meanwhile consider his ability. The healing option is almost never used, and in any case there aren't a lot of valid targets. The only Creatures who aren't Eagles are The Riddermark's Finest and Bill the Pony, neither of which are exactly a priority for healing; meanwhile the Eagles are mostly low and expecting to leave play, with the only tougher ones being Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Landroval and Gwaihir. Once in a blue moon, or if you're playing Journey to Rhosgobel and stack up enough resources to heal a meaningful amount from Wilyador the healing might by useful, but by and large you use Radagast's resources to play cards. Once again, non-Eagle Creatures are very rare so his main use is for Eagles. And certainly there's utility in that, healping to get more Eagles out quicker - but it's one extra resource per round, so it'll take 5 rounds just to break even on what you'd have if you paid for Eagles with the resources you actually spent on Radagast.

That's the standard line of argument. I feel it misses something in that it only considers Radagast's stats and his ability separately. Clearly neither stats nor ability are worth the steep cost of 5, but what about the two together? If we say Radagast's 2 is worth 2-3 resources, then by that logic it only takes 2-3 rounds for Radagast to break even by paying for Eagles, which is certainly more reasonable. This makes a decent case for Radagast being usable in some circumstances. The problem remains, however, that he costs almost two rounds' worth of resources to play, and you might really want to play other cards with those resources to ensure you survive the early rounds. So by the time you feel you can get away with saving up for Radagast, it may be too late in the game for him to make that much of a difference. Not to mention that if you're playing an Eagle deck, they're a very combat-focused archetype, so the 2 may not be something you particularly want that much. Now there could be a case where you play Radagast with resources from a sphere other than , so playing Radagast doesn't reduce the number of Eagles you can immediately play - but then the reason to play Radagast is if Eagles are your primary focus whereas this hypothetical seems to imply Eagles are not so central to your strategy or you wouldn't be getting so many non- resources. And if you have 5 spre non- resources there will probably again be better ways to spend them than Radagast, especially if Eagles are not the main theme of your deck.

Now there are a couple of other benefits to Radagast in that he is an Istari. That means he can use a Wizard Pipe or a Word of Command. Or Flame of Anor if you want, but if your Eagle deck needs that kind of extra combat boost something may have gone wrong. Word of Command obviously is incredibly useful, and if Radagast's main purpose is to help play Eagles then losing his action shouldn't be too big a deal. Wizard Pipe can be useful if you're built around it in other ways, with cards like Expert Treasure-hunter (plus Hidden Cache perhaps) or of course the classic Vilya. These are some interesting and potentially powerful options, but they're a fair bit of work to be the only things you're using Radagast for, so I would be more inclined to view them as potential bonuses to an Eagle deck using Radagast.

So while there is some definite use to be gotten out of Radagast, potentially even commensurate to his cost in the long run, he's going to be much more palatable if you have some means of getting him into play cheaply. Of course any cost reduction we use for Radagast we're then not using for other things, but since Radagast can justify himself once he is in play, the issue is not so much making him worth it, but making him a decent early-game option by allowing us to play him as well as other cards that have more immediate benefits at that point. I mentioned Vilya above, and in addition to having synergy with the Wizard Pipe option obviously it can also get Radagast into play for free. Elf-stone, Timely Aid and Send for Aid could all work, and Gríma would at least drop him to 4-cost, though since that's still more than a round's worth of resources it continues to be hard to justify. Vilya with Elf-stones as a backup option may be the best choice, since of course Elrond can pay for allies of any sphere so you don't lose out on your Eagle focus.

In the end, Radagast is interesting and can pay off in the long term, but just too expensive in the short term to be worth it the majority of the time. He suffers from the general over-costing of some cards in the first cycle when the designers were still getting used to how to balance things; or maybe they just wanted him to cost 5 to match Gandalf but didn't balance out his stats/ability to equal that imposed cost. Either way he's mostly left in the dust unless you're in a context where you can afford to take things slowly at the start or you can get him into play for less than his actual cost.

Dunedain Warning is a nice, good, vanilla card. Extra defense is never bad (except on maybe Gimli?) and this one is non-restricted, costs one in the richest sphere and has that extra versatility if the encounter phase goes awry. One of my favorite uses is in a resource gen. deck where in the late game, it often ends up top-decking, so the money piles up. I can pass this around to every hero I need to defend and know they'll be in ship-shape.

My feelings about ally Faramir are kind of weird. I think that he's overrated by most people but also that he's overpowered to the point where I doubt he'd exist if he hadn't been an early card when the balance was a bit shakier.

So, firstly let's glance at his mostly irrelevant stats. 1 is fairly meaningless, but 2 and 3 is decent for an ally and you'd expect him to survive a hit, so he can be a passable backup defender in a round when you didn't need his ability - you want to be careful he doesn't die though, or you lose access to that ability and also you've kind of wasted 4 resources at that point. His 2 is really meaningless, because if you're in a position where his ability won't give you more than 2 you really shouldn't have bothered playing Faramir.

The ability then is the meat of the discussion of this card. While there are sometimes other uses for , in the vast majority of cases this is a means of improving your questing. It's comparable to the later Sword that was Broken with a couple of differences - first and most crucial is that Faramir can be triggered after the Staging step rather than before, allowing you to adjust how hard you're questing after finding out exactly what you're up against; and second is that Faramir can be targeted on any player in the game rather than being specific to you, so you can choose who to give the boost to in order to make the optimal amount of quest progress (whether that be as much as possible or a specific amount if you're trying to control your questing).

That second point improves Faramir's flexibility since in multiplayer it can then be much more reasonable to include Faramir in a deck which either doesn't have a lot of allies or doesn't really quest, since you can simply target another player. Even in ally swarm decks it makes things easier if you get a bad draw, because if another deck has better luck and plenty of questing allies you can just boost them rather than yourself. It also allows for better controlled questing as noted, if you're playing a quest where everything is liable to go wrong when you advance, like Conflict at the Carrock, but you'd still want to clear active locations pretty consistently. If different players are questing with different number of characters you can pick and choose from a few different options how much progress you want to make.

The fact it can be triggered after staging is obviously also crucial to the case of controlled questing since you can wait to see exactly how much threat you're up against before deciding where to target Faramir, or whether to not use him at all - this allows for his stats to actually sometimes be useful as mentioned above, because if for one reason or another you don't need that much quest progress then the extra from Faramir may well be superfluous, but unlike other big boosts, Faramir has another potential use.

Flexibility aside, the ability is tremendously powerful. The sphere has many means of amassing sizeable ally counts, with mustering effects like A Very Good Tale or Herald of Anórien combined with simply having lots of resource generation and paying for the allies normally. Consequently you end up with an ally swarm and can be questing with a large number of characters. Not that you need that many for Faramir to be worth it - as soon as you're questing with 4 characters (say 2 heroes and 2 allies) Faramir's boost gives as much as the resources it costs to play him, but then that number keeps going up, and it's not too outlandish a possibility that Faramir could wind up granting double digit amounts of , at which point it starts to feel utterly ludicrous. And don't forget, if you have some means of readying allies, there is no limit on Faramir's ability, so if you ready him after triggering it you can just trigger it again a second time to get even more ridiculous, though the chances of youneeding to are slim.

Which brings me back to my initial point. The amounts of Faramir can provide, flexibly, to any deck, make him seem pretty overpowered, and I doubt he'd have been this powerful if he'd been released a few cycles later in the game. But those excessive numbers are just that, excessive. Especially at lower player-counts, by the time you've got enough allies in play to reap significant benefits from Faramir you tend to have as much as you really need without him - and that's without considering the potential presence of other boosts like Sword that was Broken, Visionary Leadership or Dain Ironfoot. So I find myself thinking, "Why bother?" Now at higher player-counts Faramir may become more relevant as there's a lot more scope for things to simply fly out of control due to the sometimes wacky scaling of this game. If you encounter a large Surge train and fill up the staging area with an implausible amount of then certainly it could help to have an ally who can repond by providing a similarly implausible amount of to get past it all. So in 3-4 player Faramir makes more sense. But he's still far from being the only means of dealing with such a situation, and I would contend he is one of the least interesting means of doing so and thus still generally prefer to look elsewhere.

There's no denying ally Faramir's sheer level of power in the right context, and he's still well worth the resources even without leaning too hard into the ally swarm approach. He's arguably overpowered even, but despite that I feel he doesn't necesssarily deserve as much praise as he has been known to receive, because so often by the time he is both drawn and played he can end up being surplus to requirements. And that's the reason I tend not to use him, because while he's unquestionably worth the resources, I find it more variable and debatable as to whether he's worth the deckspace.