The Last Alliance

Contract. Cost: X.

Side A

Choose two traits, A and B. Each of your starting heroes and each ally in your deck must have either the printed A or B trait, but cannot have both. You must have at least 1 starting hero and 10 allies in your deck with each trait.

Setup: Flip this card over.

Side B

While you control more A characters than B characters, reduce the cost of the first B ally you play this round by 1, and vice versa.

Action: Exhaust The Last Alliance to choose a card in your hand or a card in play under your control. Replace each printed instance of “A” or “B” in that card’s ability text with “A or B” until the end of the round.

“The strength of the Elves to resist him was greater long ago; and not all Men were estranged from them.”
—Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring
Unknown Artist

ALeP - Children of Eorl #85. Neutral.

The Last Alliance
Reviews

~ Caveat to this review: I misread and misunderstand cards all the time, so please correct me if I've erred. ~

This is an incredibly versatile and powerful contract with virtually no downsides. It requires you to run at least 20 allies, split evenly and only between 2 exclusive traits. You can (and likely will) include more than 20 allies of those traits, but that's up to you. This means you can't include ally Gandalf or other great off-trait allies in your deck. Your heroes must also have one of the two exclusive traits, but with the current size of the card pool, that isn't much of a limitation. Once you've met those two requirements it's nothing but upsides! In the right decks, the ally cost reduction can be triggered twice per round, but even without clever planning you'll often get the ally cost reduction once per turn.

Then there is the absolutely bonkers action that opens up the card pool like nothing else. Double the viable trait targets of one card for the entire round! Exhaust Last Alliance and (just to name a few examples) ...

  • Let Celeborn, Le Brand, Le Dain, or Le Boromir boost the stats of the secondary trait.
  • Bring in off-sphere allies from either trait with Thranduil, Tom, Hirluin, or Kahliel.
  • Run S Pippin alongside Dunhere or Le Eomer.
  • Ready Gwaihir after Gondor or Warrior allies enter or leave play from T Imrahil or Lothiriel's ability.
  • Put Brok Ironfist into play for free after discarding Folco or Caldara!
  • Treebeard ally can pay for nearly anything and ready anyone.
  • Overcome the trait restrictions of attachments. Put Fast Hitch, Golden Shield or Herugrim on almost anyone. Throw King of Dale on a Noldor or an Ent and go wild.
  • Make Steward of Gondor even more insanely powerful by granting the attached hero an extra trait!
  • Use The Elvenking to return any ally to hand and then play them later for reduced cost.
  • Events can hit more targets and be included in more decks.

The existing contracts can all be incredibly powerful, but each has a clear drawback. Bond of Friendship requires quad sphere and limits cards to 2 copies. Council of the Wise requires a singleton deck. Fellowship excludes non-unique allies, and Three Hunters excludes all allies. Burglar's Turn separates and randomizes your attachments. Grey Wanderer limits you to one hero. They all offer amazing boons if you're willing to build around the limitations. Last Alliance seems to offer more benefits for less limitations. It's an incredibly fun and crazy card that might be a tad too good, but that remains to be seen.

You folks did a lovely job with this deluxe, thanks for sharing it with the community.

Indeed this contract is quite powerful and can be seen as basically not having any drawbacks (though the deckbuilding can be challening and it tends to bring people towards ally swarm kind of decks), but for me the greatest positive aspect of this contract is the tactical choices it opens up for the player during the game. Almost all the other contracts are quite passive after deckbuilding and don't grant you many choices (Perilous Voyage and Council of the Wise aside), while each round with The Last Alliance you have many interesting choices to make for which card you want to be affected by the contract's second effect — Alonewolf87 1335