Self preservation is a nice healing card, but the best advantage I can see here, is that it's not restricted on heroes only, and you can use it on any characters, which make this card excellent bonus for important allies or in some cases also on targets which are for the purpose of the game taken as allies (as Glum in return to mirkwood, for example) and don't have restrictions on attachments. So this makes this card useful in specific scenarios or when you're running unique characters, important for the deck's mechanics. Artwork is also fine. Verdict: 4/5.

85

Protector of Lórien is an excellent card. First of all, it can give Éowyn's ability to any hero you're running, along with the discard mechanism, so if you are running hero, it works very well with Stand and Fight. If you use it on Éowyn, you can boost up to 8 per phase in solo game, 9 in fellowship and 10 -11 in multiplayer without any other attachments. And you can do it after the new encounter card was added to to staging area. Since the action is limited only on phase, you can use it also on defense in the same round if the situation allows it. The defense mechanism worked for me very well with Bilbo Baggins, Beravor who will provide enough cards or Denethor with his 3 or any other dedicated defender. Not even saying that this card is also very well done from the thematic point of view with excellent artwork. Verdict: 5/5.

85
I used it on Bilbo as well. This plus A Burning Brand on Bilbo, it can keep him alive pretty well. —

Very good trap, which is little bit expensive, but on the other hand, you can put it on anyone. The enemy however must be in staging area, so you have to face him first, but it works well with Son of Arnor and can be reclaimed from discard pile with Erebor Hammersmith or Second Breakfast. Very nice artwork. Verdict: 4/5.

85

I've always thought of Rune-master as a form of resource acceleration or at least, being able to essentially play most signal cards for free, but I had a thought when looking at TalesftCards Grimbeorn deck. This card really enables the signal attachments to function as repeatable resource smoothing on top of the buffing or healing that they already do. It's basically like have an Errand-rider in play that's immune to archery damage and can give someone attack/defense/healing/etc at the same time. And isn't limited to sending a resource from your hero to someone elses.

Probably not a groundbreaking use of the card, but still a fun idea I think. If only signals were viable targets for Long Lake Trader, that would get crazy.

28

Bold statement time: if you deckbuild for him, Gimli's not an offensive hero, but a defensive one.

Let me explain; due to his ability, you want to stack damage on him, and, due to said ability, it's actually better to give him boosts than boosts via attachments. So, you use the painfully obvious combo every Core Set player's done and put Citadel Plate on him. But it's outside of the Core Set that I'd argue Gimli reaches his greatest level of power, if you stack him with (I will admit, typically expensive) boosts, and some healing.

Everyone knows how defending works; you deal an attacking enemy a shadow card, exhaust a character to declare them as a defender, then look at the shadow card and resolve the attack. But Gimli with Citadel Plate dramatically changes this, especially once healing's in play. "Oh, the Temple Guardian's hitting 6 ? Meh, undefended on Gimli anyway." Simply put, Gimli plus Citadel Plate (and especially the second one, if you can find it) dramatically changes the game. You go from blocking with Defender of Rammas to just absorbing an attack undefended, even from the Host of Angmar. 's healing and even Dark Knowledge make Gimli even more insane. You'll be taking multiple attacks without exhausting, the shadow scrying of Dark Knowledge or Silver Lamp allowing you to see nasty shadows so you can respond properly. Gimli plus boosts plus healing I'd argue is even more absurd than Beregond with a Gondorian Shield, Raven-winged Helm, and plenty of Honour Guards for backup. Sure, Beregond can defend for infinity against an enemy-but only one. Gimli can eat multiple attacks, even from high enemies if you have healing, and still be ready to counterattack.

And can he counterattack; once you get some damage stacked on him, Gimli effectively has X , where X is the total bulk of the bulkiest enemy in the encounter deck. For example, with 2 Citadel Plates and maxed out damage, Gimli can one-shot any enemy with less than 14 total bulk. Not only does that mean that the Eastern Crows definitely aren't getting up again, it means that you effectively have an ideal boss-killer; not only one who can most likely one-shot them, but one who can defend against them, too. But even damage up to his maximum printed still gives him 6 , the typical magic number for destroying enemies.

Another nice thing about Gimli defensively is how he dodges restrictions on declaring defenders. Witch-king's anti-chump/Beregond "no declaring characters with less than 2 as defenders against the Witch-king" getting you down? Just take it undefended on Gimli. Uruk of Mordor's inability to be defended against by Defender of Rammas or Snowbourn Scout getting old? Defenderless Gimli. Druadan Warrior attacking when you're out of resources? Just dump it on Gimli. Sure, that's minor, but it's minor like Power of Orthanc; not that useful in most quests, but downright absurd in the few it has use in. And all this is ignoring Vigilant Guard.

Overall, Gimli may be an oldie, but he's still a goodie; sure, he requires a lot of support, but if you give him that support, if you build your deck around him, you'll find yourself blinking at the sheer amount of defenderless attacks you're tanking. Word of warning, though; many are the times you'll scream at an enemy, "You couldn't get +1 , could you?" Gimli may require a lot of support, but he's well worth the deck space and resources it takes.

(Also, Grappling Hook is way too fun with Gimli; it's fun sending a character on the quest with more than the Outlands player.)