This is a great card which I think doesn't always get its due. In the category of powerful Dwarf deck attachments, certainly it's somewhat outshone by Legacy of Durin and King Under the Mountain, because as we know, card draw is king (under the mountain). But it's still pretty incredible for all that, and especially so since the playstyle of a Dwarf deck is typically focused on swarming allies.

So, quick breakdown. First, it's potentially important to remember that it says "Attach to a hero." A hero rather than a Dwarf hero, so if you have a lot of Dwarf allies in play you need not have Dwarf heroes to make use of this. And of course the effect is very simple, all Dwarves get +1 hit point. It's a global boost which applies to all Dwarf characters anywhere on the table, not just ones you control. I believe this is one of only two global hit point boosts in the game, the other being Bill the Pony for Hobbits. Hardy Leadership is much more useful though, because any global boost is more useful the more characters in play are getting the boost, and as mentioned, Dwarves focus on swarming allies, so any Dwarf deck should get a very substantial number of hit points out of this.

Now it must be pointed out that Dwarves tend to have pretty good hit point values anyway, with a decent selection of 3 HP allies, which is very good. But extra is pretty much always going to be useful. Obviously Core Set heroes Glóin and Gimli can get significant benefits out of extra hit points, but just having more on all your allies is great. Consider an Erebor Guard - pretty solid ally defender, barring shadow effects can survive attacks up to 4 . With Hardy Leadership in play he can survive up to 5 , or take more shadow effects than he previously could. Many dwarf allies make decent backup defenders because while they lack they have the hit points to survive a hit - the Erebor Hammersmith is an obvious example of this - and giving them all an additional hit point makes them that much better.

But that's not even the best bit. Defending is significant, but the biggest benefit of a global hit point boost is for dealing with direct damage. A search for the 'Direct damage' encounter card category on Hall of Beorn yields 128 results as of me writing this, I'm pretty sure it's not catching everything, and in general the problem of direct damage has gotten significantly worse as the game has gone on. Of course you include healing to counteract it, but you need to survive until you draw that healing, preferably without killing off a bunch of your characters, so you need some decent hit points pools to draw on. Given a swarm of Dwarves with already good hit point pools plus Hardy Leadership there's little chance of you getting overwhelmed by the damage even if you don't even bother with healing at all. A Dwarf deck using Hardy Leadership can guaranteeably shrug off things like The Necromancer's Reach or Blocking Wargs; they needn't be too worried about Low on Provisions or Biting Wind; they can take Archery damage on the chin no problems; and they can probably stand up to Naurlhug for a decent amount of time without anyone getting incinerated.

I could go on, but I think I've said enough. When you're playing a quest with a lot of direct damage effects in it, the difference between playing without Hardy Leadership versus with it is night and day. In one case you're constantly worrying you'll reveal too many direct damage effects and weighing up which characters you can most afford to lose; while in the other you have no worries as your Dwarves weather the torrent and stroll through the quest with everyone still alive and barely seem to break a sweat. In general I would always like to have at least 1 copy of this in a Dwarf deck with access, and against certain quests it can easily be a 3x and potentially even a mulligan card.

There are cards, that when you first look at them, you know they're cool. Others you know aren't. And still others you're not quite sure until you try them. I daresay for many, Elven-light fell into that last category. ("Play it only from my discard pile? Then how does it get there?") The pool of cards that benefit you by discarding other cards from your hand has grown, to the point we now have Silver Harp, where you prevent it from happening.

For any discard deck (Arwen, Círdan, and Erestor come to mind as Noldors love to discard; it's in Tolkien's official LotR compendium) the power of Elven-light becomes apparent when you discard it, because not only do you get the benefit of the discard effect (as in Arwen's case) but if you have enough resources, you can spend 1 to draw a new card... and get Elven-light back in hand. The last part is very significant (as opposed to removing it from the game) as you now get to use it again. And again, and again, and again.

For instance, envision you have Protector of Lórien or Elven Spear attached. If you have 2-3 spirit resources to spare, then with only 1 Elven-light, you could discard it 3 times and have 2-3 new cards drawn from your deck. Of course, you don't want to squander resources, so it's not always best to use it right away, but that's another great aspect, as it'll sit in your discards until you're ready to play it.

If you haven't tried a discard-centric deck, definitely do so as it feels different and fun. It'll make you appreciate this card, as it turns resources into cards, while either fueling your best discard effects, or serving as excellent fodder when you're forced to discard, such as with Daeron's Runes or Círdan.


Asfaloth is a card most people would find to be obviously very good. The impact it had on the game is large enough that I don't think we'd ever see anything like it nowadays at this more advanced point in the card pool. From a different perspective though, I kind of think Asfaloth is actually under-rated - in that I think people under-rate the value of Asfaloth played on heroes other than Glorfindel.

The use of Asfaloth is easy enough to see - placing progress on a location can equate to directly improving your questing if you put that progress on the active location, or indirectly doing so by putting it on locations in the staging area, which hopefully you can therefore explore without bothering to travel to them. This is especially relevant if the locations in question have annoying Travel costs or effects while they're the active location. Sometimes it may even be the quickest way to get rid of a location which simply has a negative effect while it's in play - if the said location has few enough quest points, you could exhaust Asfaloth after the location was revealed in the Quest phase and then exhaust it again in the Refresh phase, which might be a relevant point if the negative effect triggers at the end of the round. The options for this inevitably expand with the inclusion of additional progress placing effects, but Asfaloth is pretty strong by itself. It was even more significant at the time of its release as there were far fewer alternatives - Snowbourn Scout was a one-shot, The Riddermark's Finest and Ride to Ruin were both one-shots requiring discarding an ally, and Northern Tracker while very powerful, was more limited in timing and more gradual than Asfaloth with Glorfindel, which could be significant if again there's a specific location you want rid of. It's also cheaper than the Tracker and easier to find since it can be fetched by Master of the Forge or Westfold Horse-breeder.

Continuing to contemplate the historical significance of the card, it's quite notable that since the release of Asfaloth, locations with only 1 or 2 quest points have become not quite extinct, but far less common than they were, which I think we have to attribute to the impact of Asfaloth - the designers don't generally want a location to be revealed and then immediately explored for basically no cost without impacting the game at all (since it can be explored between staging and quest resolution). I wouldn't expect to ever see anything quite like it again given that big impact it made. Incidentally, since the result of Asfaloth's appearance is that many more locations have 3 quest points which previously might have been designed with less, you can still try to pull this off if you have some other means of placing a single point of progress.

Asfaloth is great. Honestly, as Glorfindel's lustre has faded a bit with the advent of other heroes who can fill the same role as him, Asfaloth is one of the big things which causes him to still be a top pick because it doesn't work as well for anyone else. The boost to Asfaloth is also one of the best arguments for the otherwise sub-par Glorfindel. That's how good it is. But as mentioned above, I would say Asfaloth can also still be worthwhile on other Silvan/Noldor heroes when it only places 1 progress at a time. I made the point about the comparisons at the time of release, and of course back then there were more locations with lower quest point values, making it easier to get through them relatively quickly without requiring additional location control effects to supplement it. Now if I'm attaching it to someone other than Glorfindel I probably would want to be combining it with other means of placing progress, though that's not an absolute, especially if there are locations with 3 quest points I particularly want to deal with without travelling to them but deckspace is tight for whatever reason. That I think is a coherent argument for Asfaloth being worth it on other heroes at the time of release - 2 resources for 1 additional progress every single round is reasonable to my mind - but what about now? Well, I think it still compares pretty favourably. Other options released more recently include The Evening Star, but that's an event so it lacks the repeatability; Explorer's Almanac takes away from your normal questing progress; Mirkwood Explorer is more expensive and takes time to accumulate the progress before putting it on a location; Warden of Arnor has a similar effect for cheaper, but doesn't give you control over where the progress goes; Arod is the closest, but it still lacks a bit of flexibility since it can only be triggered on killing an enemy while Asfaloth can be used freely in any action window you care to choose.

Now I'm not arguing that Asfaloth is always a good idea without Glorfindel, but sometimes you want that bit of location control, or it might be one of multiple bits of location control. Under some circumstances, the ultimate flexibility of Asfaloth can still make it the top choice for location control even when it's only placing 1 progress at a time. To be honest I kind of prefer it that way, because it becomes a card which is good in some cases but not others, rather than being pretty much an auto-include and thus making for boring deckbuilding.

Overall, Asfaloth is the ultimate in flexibility for location control. If you're playing with either version of Glorfindel and have access to the sphere, you should pretty much always be running it, because it's so good it changed how the designers balanced the game with regards to locations. But don't forget about it when you're playing without Glorfindel either, because there will be times when it turns out to still be really useful.

Now, when I first saw this card, I was holding it sideways and thought Aragorn here ran into a wall. All jokes aside, that's probably what the encounter deck feels like when you play this round after round. Of course that's really not economic since you could play Henamarth Riversong and do the same thing every round but for one resource. However, Rumor from the Earth is still one of my favorite cards and a powerful one too.

The Mirkwood Runner, despite also being a fantastic Youtube channel, is sorely underrated as a card by the community. Attacking an enemy with no defense, he's overcosted. Attacking an enemy with one defense makes him good, and from there on up he'll be cleaving through trolls all day. The only problem is he has to attack alone. But if you can boost his attack, you have a Grade A orc slayer.