I've just started reading The Hobbit to my young son and was instantly reminded of this card when I read the relevant line from the book, which is the flavor text on this card. As a bonus, I retrieved this card and showed it to my son, which amazed him -- both because of the artwork (including Bilbo cowering in the background) and that it gave my son an idea of how well the book is known. But what about the card itself?

Given the timing of the card, it can obviously be a complete loss of 1 resource and 1 card if no enemy appears. That is, unless you employ various scrying tricks, of which there are a few. The easiest to setup is playing one-handed with Henamarth Riversong, who should be a staple in any solo deck. But since I now play 99% of my games with 2 decks, I pass over this card. And not just for those reasons, but because given all the attack power you can muster these days, paring off 2 in one instance can't compare with +2 every turn.

Still, when I want to create a direct damage deck, this one is on the radar... but again, unless I'm willing to play one-handed and/or make scrying work, I pass it up. Regardless, I like the card for it's artwork, for honing in on a specific moment in Middle-Earth, and now, for me, the added bonus that I'll always think about my son's widening eyes when I showed it to him, giving him an inkling of the scope of Tolkien's reach.

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Errand Rider is an incredible splash card. He's a great fit for two different archetypes: the Gondor Swarm and a multi-sphere deck, but first, let's look at the Errand Rider in a vacuum.

That one cost immediately tells me this card is worth something. You'd be hard pressed to show me a one-cost ally in this game that is not good, and our serviceable friend here is no exception. Even with a blank text box, Errand Rider is a nice chump blocker that can even take some direct damage before biting the dust.

Now let's throw his action in the mix. The first thing you should have coming into this game as a new player is an understanding of sphere and resource pool balance. Having the ability to shift resources around is phenomenally useful. Your single Spirit hero? Now you can play those crucial two cost cards in one round or have a resource handy for some cancellation. Hand full of pricey uniques? Get 'em out there! If your deck has heroes from three different spheres, Errand Rider can even save games; and multiplayer takes him to a whole new level.

He also fits extremely well into your old Leadership Gondor swarm deck. This one cost chump becomes a serious contributor being boosted by Boromir and Visionary Leadership. Even if he dies the round you play him, a Gondor deck benefits just from having another ally around to key off of (AVGT, Herald of Anorien , Citadel Custodian).

As you can see, auto include glue ally in many decks. Don't let that stat-line fool you from giving this hard worker his due credit.

(its interesting: finding 200 words to describe the Dunedain Warning isn't easy.) no one would question its inclusion in a mono leadership deck, also good for multiplayer. 4 stars in the Dunedain sky.

Warning is solid attachment card, very useful, mainly while using a heroes with lower value. I usually use two copies in deck, which is good enough to boost one defender. I also use moving action with this card much often then in the case of Dunedain Mark. Only the artwork could be a little bit better. Verdict: 4/5.

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Basically an auto include in hobbit decks with all hobbit heroes(which are most of them) because the Good Bartender covers a very useful ability for the little guys. His ability allows the squishy hobbits not to worry so much because with him in play, they have a back up plan. Losing a hero could devastate a deck that you are playing as they provide resources each round, their stats, and their useful abilities. So keeping a hero alive is very important in a deck, and Barliman Butterbur provides the support we need for the hobbit decks.

His ability is similar to Dori and Frodo Baggins in that he can absorb damage. One good thing about his ability is that it doesn't require you to exhaust him to use the ability because it is passive which let's you commit to the quest.

Although, one thing to consider is that his ability ONLY works if all of your heroes are hobbits, which limits your options a bit. It would be a lot better if the requirement was that it only worked for hobbit heroes which would allow us to include it other decks containing a hobbit hero such as Frodo Baggins. But...most of the time, hobbit heroes only appear in full hobbit decks anyways.

Now, let's look at his stats. 1 is good considering his function is to soak damage, 1 could allow you to take a attack with him if you didn't want to go undefended, but the 3 is great. It is a good amount of , considering we only paid two resources for him. The health is a good amount because the hobbit heroes only have 2 or 3 health anyways so you might survive. I'm not 100% sure if this is how it works but if I take an undefended attack with Merry(who only has 2) and the enemy has 3 and I put the damage on Barliman Butterbur, would he take 2 damage or 3? Merry's max is a 2 so how would that work? Anyways, the stats all add up to five which is right on point on what the proper price would be for a 2 cost ally.

One bummer about him though is that he doesn't have the hobbit trait, but rather the bree trait. This means Tom Cotton's extra won't affect him, Raise the Shire can't bring him in for a phase, and Elevenses can't use him to reduce our threat.

All in all, I you are gonna build a hobbit deck I wouldn't overlook this guy as, like with hobbits, there is more to him than there seems to be.