This has to be my least favorite fan card. While overpowered additions like Thengel are broken, they can be a ton of fun to play with. He has a plethora of unique uses in Rohan, Beorning, and The Last Alliance decks. Even Deeping Defender fits in with staging area attack or direct damage decks. However, Seasoned Forager just fits into every Lore deck. Its "restriction" is so simple to avoid, calling it a restriction is harsh. All you have to do is not include Leadership, Mablung, or Arwen Undómiel in your deck. Then, you have a turn-one playable Steward of Gondor that multiple players can use because it isn't unique. Even worse, it is even more overpowered with the new contract: At the End of All Things. Because most resource acceleration is banned, Seasoned Forager is the auto-include option. The final nail in the coffin is Wealth of Adventure. At least if you couldn't find Steward of Gondor in your mulligan, you would have to have a second plan. However, Wealth of Adventure automatically searches your deck for a Skill, virtually guaranteeing Seasoned Forager. Thankfully, Wealth of Adventure is a Leadership card. If it was Lore, I would be seriously disappointed. I still appreciate fan cards and will never stop loving The Last Alliance. However, cards like these inspire no creativity, introduce little deck-building challenge, and break the game's balance. I know another Master of Lore wasn't the right answer, but I would rather have underpowered spice than this bland powerhouse.

I think you overestimate the power of this card. First of all, it's not Steward of Gondor -- cost reduction of 1 is nowhere near the power of just add 2 resources. It's certainly useful, but the restriction of not being able to gain resources from ANY OTHER player card is quite limiting. You also can't use popular options like Resourceful, Magic Ring, Hidden Cache, Keen as Lances, Keys of Orthanc, Love of Tales, Proud Hunters, Beorning Hospitality, and several others. While you can stack with other cost reduction cards, few of the most useful ones (O Lorien, To the Sea) are actually in Lore. Also, the utility of this card drops sharply with multisphere, as it is restricted to matching the sphere of the attached hero. And certainly there's no point playing Wealth of Adventure with this card, as you've already got better resource acceleration options if you're running leadership. While it is powerful with At the End of All Things, I'm fine with that, as that Contract is difficult to operate in any case. —
Outside of Steward, this card is the best resource acceleration in the game. At least Steward was the selling point of Leadership. If you wanted resources, you basically had to run leadership. Lore already has a monopoly on healing and card draw. I don't think it needed top tier resource acceleration. Every single card you compared Seasoned Forager to (except for Magic Ring, which is a limit one per deck card) forces you to build a deck around it. Also, I would hardly consider Keen as Lances or Love of Tales to be popular resource acceleration options. Stating that this card is worse in multi-sphere decks is also true of Steward of Gondor. While it is a downside, it is hardly a deal breaker. Finally, the strongest cost reduction card (in my opinion) is Grima, who happens to be in Lore. However, I suppose you could be using Keys of Orthanc in that situation. —
Personally I think Arwen or Mablung are better resource accelerator than this card. —
I also think you're missing the point of this card. This card is meant to enable more fluid deckbuilding options than currently available. If I want resource generation in my deck, I usually have to run a theme deck such as traps, Rohan, pipes, ect. This card is similar to Contract of the Wise in that it allows you to make decks that aren't so focused around a theme, but still have access to resource generation outside of something obvious like Steward of Gondor, but we don't always want to include Leadership in a deck. So using Seasoned Forager, I can just make a Lore deck and include all the cards I want and have resource generation covered, without having to stick to a specific theme. —
If you view that as a benefit, I suppose you are right. However, I personally want to have a challenge when building decks. There is a reason why I rarely use Steward of Gondor. I find that this game is more fun when you have to use more creative solutions, such as Grima or Damrod. I think that generic solutions should be less effective, so that you are rewarded for solving the deckbuilding puzzle. For example, I think that Master of Lore was perfect. While he could have been stronger, he emphasized the weakness of Lore. Fan cards seems to erode the downsides of the spheres. While this opens new possibilities, I think it makes the game less interesting. With that said, this card can enable fun ideas and cool decks. I can see how this card would certainly help some players. I just feels a bit like training wheels to me. —
Personally I don't see the difference between this and Grima or Damrod, all of those basically grants you one extra resource each round with some kind of limitations. Grima costs threat but applies to all types of cards, Damrod applies only to Traps, Seasoned Forager requires you to draw and play it (unlike Grima and Damrod that are accessible from round 1), to forfeit all other forms of resource generation (while nothing prevents you to use Steward of Gondor in a deck with Grima or Damrod) and is also limited to the sphere of the hero you attach Forager to (ammitedly not a huge downside). Personally I would compare it favorably to Leaf Brooch (limited to events, being in Secrecy and the same-sphere-as-attached hero), which is definitely not a super popular card —
I tend to value my hero slots highly. Neither Grima or Damrod have impressive stats, although I suppose they make up for it with low threat. I would not compare this card to Leaf Brooch. Secrecy is hard to achieve and only discounting events makes in narrower. The only real restriction on this card is not playing other resource acceleration. I would say that many (probably even the majority) of Lore decks would benefit from playing this card. —
I just searched the number of Lore decks on RingsDB and there was 594 pages. Then, I added every resource generation card (excluding versatile cards like Gandalf's staff) to the Cards Not Included section. There were 218 Lore decks which had no way to generate resources. While this is not a majority, it is still a large percentage. In addition, this includes decks that have access to Leadership and Steward of Gondor. If you consider only non-Leadership decks, the percentage that would benefit from this card would be higher. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how many decks run Leaf Brooch. While I know its not a totally valid way of testing card strength, only 9 pages of decks use Leaf Brooch. —
Sorry, I meant 218 pages of Lore decks that should run Seasoned Forager. —
Follow up to that research would be how many of those lore decks with no resource generation qualify as OP, and how many would become so with that card added in. I have to say, I find that AleP has not made anything that is more broken than pre existing FFG cards, this card included. —
That is fair. My point isn't even that this fan card is worse than Steward of Gondor. I still can dislike Thengel's power level even though Elrond with Vilya is better. My biggest issue with this card is that is a general and simple solution to Lore's biggest drawback. At least Vilya requires Gandalf, Imlaldris Stargazer, or some careful deck building. You are correct that many of the Lore decks would not have become overpowered. However, I do not think any of them would have been worse. I think this card is one of the best examples of power creep and straying from the game's core. Lore is supposed to have terrible resource acceleration. However, I do still appreciate all the new life AleP cards add to the game. I am thankful for their existence. However, I would prefer if they had a few more creative restrictions. —

Unexpected Courage is probably my favorite Spirit card. It's basically like buying a threat-less hero for only 2 resources! Have a hero with high stats in two different areas (like Glorfindel)? No problem! Just attach Unexpected Courage and you have a powerful quester and attacker. Or if a hero has a good ability and strong stats, Unexpected Courage is a huge benefit. This is an amazing card, a must have in every Spirit deck.


This card is insanely good. I keep having to double check that I am not reading it wrong. But turning dead cards into fresh cards every turn is nuts. And with the new Neutral Aragorn digging twice a turn from turn one for key cards is crazy good. Best filter/search card in the game ? Maybe.

I love sneak attack. It is a very versatile card that can be used in any deck that has leadership in it. The Gandalf Sneak Attack combo is a very powerful combo. I am new to the game, and just played through the Elves of Lorien starter deck, and though I have not tried this card in that deck yet, I am going to find a way to get it in there, because so many of the elves have abilities for when they come into play. Alongside Celeborn and Galadriel all of the Silvan allies coming into play would immediately get boosted for their turn, then be returned to your hand, which can trigger other card effects within SIlvan. It just seems like that would be an excellent way, other than Gandalf, to use Sneak Attack. Great card.


Ironically enough, I am starting to think the best place for Steed of the Mark is actually in a Forth, The Three Hunters! deck, despite it's lack of the restricted keyword. Hear me out.

The two biggest drawbacks as others have stated are the ongoing cost and lack of heroes worth readying with the ability. The nature of a Three Hunters deck means you will have targets worth the readying as well - the guaranteed willpower boost from the contract as well as whatever stat buffs from the restricted attachments they hold will provide some value.

With the cost reduction of the contract resources are very rarely lacking, and once the contract flips they just start to pile up. Spending that pile means the cost just isn't as costly - does it matter if my resource pile doesn't get beyond 3 for the rest of the game? and if you do feel you get in good enough shape you don't need to use it, you can stop.

That being said, it's still not nearly as good as the gold standard in Unexpected Courage, but with the contract it becomes eminently playable as a secondary source of readying, especially running Elfhelm for the stat boosts.