Hero. Threat: 13. 3   4   2   4  

Istari. Isengard.

When a player card effect would reduce your threat by any amount, reduce that amount to 1.

When you play an event with the printed doomed keyword, Saruman gains the printed , , and icons.

Response: When you play a card with the Doomed keyword, ready Saruman.

Martin de Diego Sádaba

Challenge of the Wainriders #54. Lore.


Let me explain why Saruman is one the best heroes of the game.

First, his stats. Notice this sweet 4 , wich makes him the second best fighter after Beorn (but Saruman can wear Attachments ). His is good to, but nothing special for someone with this threat level. His is a bit behind (although he can take A Burning Brand against nasty shadows effects, i wouldn't make him my main defender).

Nonetheless, he can make a better use from his stats than any other hero, because he has the best readying ability of the game. Most champions have some kind of limitation : Prince Imrahil's is once per round, Elladan or Elrohir are limited to special windows of the combat phase. And you don't need to pay ressources or loose an ally : it's just a bonus effect from all your Doomed cards, many of them already being top-tier cards (you loved Deep Knowledge ? Consider it now gains the printed text "Ready Saruman").

Of course, Doomed increase your Threat level, and it's hard to reduce yours when you have Saruman (remember, his limitation is only for player cards, so encounter cards can lower your threat by more than one. ). So here are your possibilites :

Did i just said shenanigans ? Cause you know the best card for shenanigans is ? Word of Command. And what better way to play this exhausting-istari event than a Istari whith build-in readying ? Yes, Saruman is an Istari. Go play with your pipe and make all Gandalf does better. For he is only grey when you are Saruman of Many Colours !

Emmental 403
Spirit Beregond is also a good partner in crime for Saruman threat-wise. Grima of course being able to give Doomed to any card is thematically and mechanically perfect. — Alonewolf87 1888
Great review! What I'm still trying to figure out is what he is doing in front of Orthanc holding his staff like that... — bobbymcbobface 676
Looks like he's checking to see if his gutters need to be cleaned out. — eddyvan 33
@eddyvan, lol — Truck 1389
Gwaihir has 4 attack too, btw — Truck 1389
Quickbeam has 4 attack too. — GreenWizard 309
Another shenanigan is to Helm of secrey him into Loragorn to lower threat after using doomed cards. this solo deck is built around this : — Marcelf 1347

Super interesting hero. I wonder at which point in the story-line this is supposed to depict him: before he was halfway on the path to corruption is my guess, because why would he be a hero otherwise? Rereading the Lord of the Rings, my attention was drawn to the passage where Gandalf describes being captured by Saruman, and the latter is quoted as calling himself "Ring-maker" (where the eponymous cycle derives its name from) and as wearing a ring. It kinda makes me wish there would be a ring attachment specifically for Saruman's ring, kind of like this card in an earlier incarnation of the Lord of the Rings card game: Perhaps Magic Ring could serve that function, though it seems a bit of a poor substitute.

Caedus 49