This card has saved me countless times when I have been swarmed by hordes of enemies, and every time, I have destroyed them all and been able to achive victory when otherwise I would have been toast. The power of this is unreal, in solo or multiplayer. Not having to exhaust to quest is nice, but where this really shines is in the combat phase. Your sentinel/buffed up defender can defend the board, and then you can declare each of your heroes as attackers against each enemy. Really, the bad guys don't stand a chance. This card is absolutely unreal, and completely lifesaving. The fact that it is limit one per deck is a great sorrow, but because it has no victory points, you can use it multiple times with cards like Second Breakfast or Reforged. And even if you only use it once, it should save your butt.

Yes, there is the obvious drawback of having to keep the active location in play. This means, if you want to get full strength out of Path of Need for a round, you will not be able to put progress on the current quest by questing that round. That's ok, though, because it's the enemies I want to destroy. Scrying is critical to make sure you don't over-quest and lose Path of Need, but even if you don't have Henamarth Riversong or Firyal (or something like that) you can just quest enough to break even, because again, the really power of this card lies in what it brings to combat. Generally, unless you are playing something like Helms Deep or are on a stage where you don't need to get progress, you will only keep this for a round and a half. Usually what I end up doing is playing it during the planning phase, questing even or questing just enough to not cross the active location, wiping out all engaged enemies, then using it for one more quest phase after that, in which I can mass up progress (and inevitably cross the active location). And this is always lifesaving.

Overall, path of need is a thematic powerhouse, and the fact that it is limit one per deck makes it even more thematic (similar to cards like Black Arrow, The Red Arrow, or Justice Shall Be Done) If you have leadership in your deck, consider putting this card in. It's expensive, but it might just save your life when you're swarmed with enemies and trying desperately to squeeze out a win.

I really want to like this card, but I feel like its use is really limited. The most it will do is negate the the of two locations (having one copy as the active location, and having the other two in the staging area). the chances of this happening, though, especially in low player counts, are really limited. Most of the time, you will only be negating the of one location in the staging area, and even then, this is not guaranteed every round.

In a quest like Danger in Dominion, or any quest focused on locations, this could have some uses. I suppose it prevents location block--but is it really the effort to cross? My opinion: not really, in low player counts. There are definitely better side quests with lasting effects. Still, it's good for Thurindir, and the artwork IS amazing.

This side quest is super niche, but can shine in a Thurindir + Woodmen deck that tries to get out lots of locations. I could also see it working with The Burglar's Turn contract.. —

Sméagol is, in my opinion, a great hero. Any secrecy lover should not overlook THREE threat cost. The card draw is much appreciated, but you will have to find some threat reduction if you want to use out regularly. Well balanced stats at 2/2/2/3 means Sméagol can quest or attack well (probably not defend though) Now, since he cannot have attachments, it will be harder to ready him, meaning that he will not end up using all his stats. That said, there are a lot of heroes out there with the same problem.

Now of course, there is the obvious problem of Smeagol turning into an enemy and fighting you. The designers made sure that you cannot get lucky and discard the Stinker card as a shadow, because it gets shuffled back into the encounter deck. And with it being a surge, there is really no benefits in this card at all. That said, Smeagol as a 2/2/2/3 enemy is not that difficult to deal with, and can be defeated pretty easily. the hardest part is definitely losing all your resources.

I think the best way to play hero Sméagol is find those Stinker treacheries and put them in the victory display before you draw them. Since Sméagol has such a low threat cost, Out of the Wild is a great way to do this. Scout Ahead works very well too. If you can remove even one, you greatly reduce the chances you will flip Smeagol to his enemy side, especially in solo.

This card indicates why fan cards are too good. It takes the power level of the best attacking spirit ally (Knight of Belfalas) and adds two useful abilities. First, devoted is helpful for Dunedain decks which need shadow protection, but it does not help with much else. This brings me to the second ability - its great. Getting Balin's ability for free on a 2 cost ally is insane. While making sure damage is dealt can be tricky in some decks, paying 2 resources for this ally the next turn is totally worth it. In short, this card has insane stats for spirit and an epic ability. Fan cards, I love you, but you're just too good.

This is exactly the problem I'm having with the ALeP content. The cards work really well . . . too well. There is no challenge, and oftentimes they render vast portions of the original card base obsolete —
Easy enough to exclude them. It's nice they exist but I hear you. —
It might be worth pointing out that these ALeP cards come alongside new quests as well. If there is a concern about them being too strong, you can always limit their use to the ALeP quests. Then who knows, maybe they'll surprise you. Sometimes the theorycrafting doesn't pan out when the cards actually hit the table. —
Take also this into consideration: if this card had had only 1 Attack or had cost 3 there is a decently high chance it would not have seen play. How many people are playing say Dunedain Watcher. —

Long time reader, first time reviewer. This card inspired me to write a review for it, because it has completely saved the day for me a number of times and they have created such memorable game experiences that I'm at the point that I want to put this in every deck I make that has access to Leadership.

Other reviewers have already mentioned some of the game-breaking moments this card can provide (like Helm's Deep), but what I think makes it so special is it allows you to do everything in combat with the best cards on the table. Swamped by attackers? Have your Sentinel uber-defender stop them. Every. Single. Attack. Then, follow up with your Ranged killer destroying every single one of them. Then, any hero with an action that requires exhausting to complete? Go for it. You're not needed for anything else right now. Clean slate for next round? Yes please? Lastly, it can go on ANY location in play. Not just the active location. So you can decide in advance where you want to make your almighty stand. Play it onto the next location you're going to travel to so you can get the immediate combat benefits. Quest lightly for a round (unexhausted) to keep that Path of Need location in play if you like, or clear it and go into the next combat phase all completely ready.

So, so good!