I would only use Caldara's effect with Prince Imrahil in my discard pile, since he gets to become a Hero while you have another Hero in your discard pile.

A all team is only good (at least to me) for a Fellowship, or The Hills Of Emyn Muil.

Overall card rating: 3 of 10

17
You can actually go for a Spirit Lore deck with Caldara/Lothiriel (to sneak Imrahil in play)/Galdor (to seed the discard pile at the start of the game) —

This card is very narrowly applicable, mostly interesting for spirit Legolas when paired with leadership Gimli because he will plan to use both stats every turn. Even then it's not so exciting, 2 resources for 2 total stats.

2 ressources for 2 stats is the normal price (see Silver Circlet for example). And it costs just 1 in Three unters decks. —

Elwing's Flight and Captains of the West are two of the cards that I think experience the most benefit from being in a deck with access to Good Meal. Their effects are incredible when they go off successfully, but they're so expensive for one-time effects that it becomes hard either to include them in your deck or pay for them if you do include them. This is especially true for Captains of the West (3 cost for a situational, temporary boost is typically not a good thing), but Elwing's Flight suffers from this problem as well, especially seeing as you need to see multiple copies of it for maximum effectiveness. However, if Elwing's Flight does reach its maximum effectiveness, it becomes a surprisingly powerful card, one that, in my opinion, quite justifies the support dedicated to it.

First off, small quibble with this and The Evening Star: Why no Song trait? It's, like I said, a small quibble, but it is kind of annoying. I don't know why, but I feel like this card would fit perfectly in the Song archetype.

Annoying lack of Traits aside, Elwing's Flight is a surprisingly thought-intensive card. It's not just fire-and-forget like Escort from Edoras; you have to strategize, not just when you play it, but if you should even play it. Let's say one of your heroes is Éowyn and you draw your first copy of Elwing's Flight; is the 2 resources it costs to play Elwing's Flight worth the ready it provides you? The +1 is immaterial in this example because you'd get the same benefit whether you play or discard it to Éowyn, so which is better; 2 resources for the future or a ready character in the present? The majority of the time, for the first copy you draw, this isn't really a choice and you discard Elwing's Flight the first chance you get. But what about the second copy? Is 2 ready characters worth 2 resources? The third copy, assuming the other 2 are in the discard pile, is almost always worth it, 3 pseudo-characters, each with 1 , in exchange for 2 resources is quite good.

Here's a table that shows the cumulative effects of drawing all 3 copies of Elwing's Flight and either playing or discarding them:

Copies played/copies discarded: 3/0 | 2/1 | 1/2

Total Resource Cost: 6 | 4 | 2

Total Characters Readied/ Boosted: 6 | 5 | 3

Benefits/Costs: 1 | 1.25 | 1.5

As you can see, there are several paths you can take using Elwing's Flight: you can maximize efficiency (benefits relative to costs) by only playing 1 of the copies, maximize effectiveness (total benefit) by playing all 3, or go for a middle ground by only playing 2. There is no hard and fast rule regarding which path you should choose, it's highly dependent on how your game goes.

The choice you make has weight because the results of it have a material effect on the game. Or, to put it bluntly, Elwing's Flight does something noticeable. Readying a questing character and boosting their is surprisingly powerful, as Strider showed later in the cycle, allowing you not just to have your questing characters ready for the combat phase but also to commit someone you otherwise wouldn't due to not being able to use them during the later phases of the round. This can make the boost Elwing's Flight provides much larger than the +1 printed on the card. For instance, you can quest with Argalad and ready him when you would have previously held him back from the quest, effectively making Elwing's Flight +3 . Even if that's the only ready it provides due to it being the first copy, that is still quite potent. Late game, this can get absurd, spending 2 for effectively +9 by readying 3 characters with 2 who you otherwise wouldn't quest with, like Gimli, Mablung, and Beravor.

Elwing's Flight is a complex card, and not for every deck. It's expensive and requires some investment in order to reach its maximum potential, including the thought to decide what that maximum potential will look like this game. Put that effort into it, though, and you'll find Elwing's Flight come to you like Elwing came to Earendil, lighting the darkness of the staging area's with a light brighter than a diamond.

You could play this card while your threat is over 20, but then you would just be Swift. Or, you could play this card while all your heroes are ready, but then you would just be Silent. Also, this card sure takes a long time to read for something called Swift and Silent. You should probably Just use Cram instead.

5

Well, reading all these very positive reviews for this card, I am no so sure. Don't get me wrong, Gandalf really IS a strong card, but it is far from auto-include in every deck.

Please prove me wrong, but here's my reasoning:

It is obviously best with Sneak attack (let's not talk about epic flavor fail when one of the most powerful beings in the Middle Earth is cowardly sneak attacking from behind) but there's a cost to it, too: Even with full playsets of both pieces, it does not have to come together all the time, and you can play only so many expensive allies in the deck. So sometimes you will lack any good Sneak attack targets in your hand. Maybe more time than you will get BOTH Gandalf and Sneak attack at the same time.

Now, let's see what he actually does:

  1. Costs 5 resources: Here we are. That's a lot. It basically mean saving up for entire round to play him in the next round. Any ally would be already doing something. I will return to this later.

  2. 4 points of stats: without readying effects, you get to use only one. The most useful are obviously willpower and attack. Using him for defence is pointless because you could chump with any 1 cost low stat ally to get the same outcome (which includes 4 health). These are rendered completely useless by the fact that you get Gandalf only for a single turn.

  3. Response: The most useful is obviously direct damage dealing. Threat reduction is nice, but I don't see it that resource efficient (Compare to Elrond's counsil) and it is good not finish the scenario in a timely manner rather than reduce threat. Threat is a resource and as soon as you will not die from it, you are actually wasting resources when trying to reduce it. Draw 3 cards is nice, too, but you already have one card you draw the turn earlier when saving up resources for Gandalf.

I get that these 4 damage can be applied to an enemy in a staging area and it ignores defences, but you basically get 4 damage two times (or 8 points worth of stats) for 5 resources. Let's compare it to a situation, where you play an ally for 3 resources, let's say it has 3 points in stat it is good at, and the next turn you play an ally for 2 resources whith 2 points in the best stat (and often you could do better). So by the end of the second turn, you already applied 3 stas from the first turn, and 5 stats from the second one, which is 8 total. It costed you one card more, but it is the same output for the same cost as Gandalf AND allies remain in play!