Gandalf's Search

Event. Cost: X.

Action: Look at the top X cards of any player's deck, add 1 of those cards to its owner's hand, and return the rest to the top of the deck in any order.

"Less welcome did the Lord Denethor show me then than of old, and grudgingly he permitted me to search among his hoarded scrolls and books."
Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring
Mike Nash

Core Set #67. Lore.

Gandalf's Search

Do you ever find yourself swimming in cash and yet not the right cards in hand? This is the card you want to include then. Sometimes if steward is played early to get the right cards out the gate, you might find yourself with a ton of cash and no cards to play. This is why drinking song is so popular in this sphere.

I believe it to be unfair to say this is one of the worst cards in the game. First of all, there is no limit to X. Heck, if you have 20 lore resources you can reorder the next 20 cards of your deck. Toss duplicates near the bottom, vital cards to the top. You can combo it with vilya. You can use it for a very good tale. Or zigil miner. Or recur card draw for the next x/2 turns with expert treasure hunter. You can get timing right with thror's ring, hidden cache, or other discardable cards. In certain quests (the riddle one comes to mind) deck scrying is very important. The pure versatility of this card makes it worth it. Yes galadriel costs 3 and puts one into play -- shes a great card for sure. She also leaves play at the end of the round, so it's not a permanent boon. Also her attachment trick might whiff. So while galadriel is an excellent card, she does not set the standard for how scrying should work nor is it a perfect card to begin with.

I will say I do not play with this card often, but I could name 10 cards worse than this one right off the bat.

Jtothemac 455
Can I reduce this cards costs (maybe Good Meal or Smoke and Think) and still get the full effect? — NERD 466

There are many candidates for worst card in the game including Power in the Earth and Taking Initiative, but for me, this is it. This is the only card in the game that is just flat out unplayable. The absolute best thing you can do with the card is pay 1 and draw 1, which makes it like Hidden Cache. Other than that, the effect is useless unless you pay more than 3 resources, in which case it is absurdly expensive. Let's just compare this card to the ally Galadriel. Galadriel costs 3, and for that price you get to do basically the exact same thing as Gandalf's Search going 5 cards deep, except instead of drawing a card you can get a FREE attachment and a pretty decent one turn ally for questing or chump blocking. The comparison immediately reveals how Gandalf's Search is utter garbage. People barely run Galadriel and she is a hundred times better than Gandalf's Search. The card is so bad it is insulting and nauseating.

Nice analysis, but you forgot The End comes in your list of unplayable cards. :-) — Lecitadin 184
I feel like this is a tough claim to make while Harbor Master and Brok iron fist exist :) — clm133 7
Just saying, brok iron fist is my favourite ally alongside Gandalf himself! :-) — ThorinSonOfMyDad 1

On the contrary, I would argue this is a semi-strong card and not garbage. The ability for any deck to pay one resource to draw one card during any Player Action window could be valuable. This card, and Ally Galadriel, synergize nicely with Elrond/Vilya decks. Paying 3 resources to play a card during any Player Action window that allows you to draw a card and know what the next two are could be gamble with a possible huge pay off (like placing a Ally Gandalf or Glorfindal in line to be played by Vilya for free...5 cost card for 3 resources, not to mention the card you put in your hand). Ally Galadriel can only be played in the Planning phase unless played with Sneak Attack, Timely Aid, etc.

That's a very niche play for an expensive card, which can be done better with other cards (e.g. Imladris Stargazer). I also don't see much benefit in saying something "could be useful" - IS it useful? We are on the last cycle of the game and the answer is still no. If you want draw, use one of the many actually good draw cards. — Schrodingers Hat 44
(Sorry, end of the comment cut off) if you want to set up Vilya, use Imladris Stargazer, Wizards Pipe, etc. Gandalf's Search is not a good card. — Schrodingers Hat 44
Let's not forget that the cost of playing this card is not only X, but also the card itself. With some exceptions (have other players drawn, draw when need to), you are better off not having the card in deck and drawing something different in the first place. To save this card the binder-fodder fate, I'm happy to house rule it so the search effect is X+2 while Gandalf is in play. — Gibby 56