A very powerful and underrated contract.

NOTE: the first version of this review mentioned Elven-Light, however that card is played from the discard pile so it cannot activate CotW, unlike Gandalf which mentioned his ability counts as 'played from the hand'.

CotW forces you to build your deck with highlander rules: there can be only one of each card. Our instinctive reaction is that this is terrible for consistency. However, if you think about which cards you need to draw quickly to get your deck running, you are usually looking at consistent card draw and resource acceleration. You put 3 copies of Steward of Gondor in to consistently draw it or 3 copies of Imladris Stargazer and Zigil Miner etc.

In a CotW deck you replace those extra copies with cheap events and you have card draw and acceleration available right from the start. In fact, CotW is MORE consistent as a card and resource engine then most decks because it is immidiate available and because you no longer draw multiple copies of cards you need only 1 of.

If you're looking to actually go all in on the contract there are a few cards that work extremely well with it. The first is Gandalf. He can draw-then-play 1 card from the top of the deck each phase. Now you can only play allies and attachments during the planning phase, but events are fair game during the other 5 phases. So imagine using Wizard Pipe to draw the top card of the deck and replace it with Deep Knowledge during the Resource phase, then play it with Gandalf and activate CotW's card draw effect and you are up 4 cards before the planning phase. Play a Long Lake Fisherman from the top of your deck with Gandalf for a 5th and 6th bonus card. Play Elrond's Counsel during questing for the 7th card and a bonus resource, A Watchful Peace during travelling as the 8th card and reduce threat and finish up during combat by playing The Wizards's Voice for the 9th extra card. Generated value from Hero abilites and CotW: 4 bonus cards in hand and several useful effects for no extra resource cost.

Other obvious synergies:

Events you'll want to include if you can:

Tricks to find that 1 copy of one of your key cards:

I would recommend anyone to try and adjust an existing deck to this contract and see how it plays out, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Only decks that require multiples of certain cards to work at a basic level (ie. Outlands and the like) need to stay far away from this contract.

Combine it with Leather Boots to increase your action advantage. With both cards on a Ranger hero you can quest and then ready when an enemy or location comes off the encounter deck. No readying on treacheries but that doesn't matter in the scenarios I have played. I use Steed of the North and Leather Boots with Aragorn, Beravor, Thurindir.

2
Unless you are trying to not kill enemies engaged with you, you typically don't need action advantage if a location is revealed, at least in Solo. Plus, if you are going to spend two resources for readying, Unexpected Courage is better. Thus, I think Leather Boots should not be used with this card. —
Ready Beravor with Leather Boots after a location is revealed to use her card draw. I don't run spirit heros much so 1 Steed of the North + 1 Leather Boots is the same cost as Unexpected Courage. Also 6 cards (3 Boots + 3 Steeds) are drawn more often than 3 Unexpected Courages. —
True, but you are implying that you want both. Drawing two combo pieces is a lot less likely than drawing a single card. In multiplayer, I agree with your analysis. However, even then, I would put the boots and steed on different heroes. —

One of my favorite cards for a dunedain deck. 1 less card revealed in exchange for an enemy is a steal, and the two resources isn't too bad. you can pull out a weak enemy, bypass any "when revealed" effects, and have to worry less about revealing other bad cards during the quest phase. dunedain can sometimes struggle with questing, so this helds greatly, and is also fantastic multiplayer. only problem is if it whiffs and you wasted two resources OR you pull out a hill troll type enemy and you're like "ohhh crap!" (both have happened to me before ;)

together with #hiden way its silver-bulletty in multiplayer carn dum, or other hard multiplayerquests, solo its (too) expensive —
While I have never played with the card, I would think it would be better in solo, as then you won't reveal any cards, allowing you to quest precisely. In addition, it is one of the few cards that allow Dunedain to remotely function in single player. —
2 res solo is 2/3 of your res. by default you have only 1 left you cannot do much with only 1 res. with 2 player its only 1/3 of the res of that round and with more player the better. if i do not play with tactic-mablung and/or amarthuriel i would not use this card in solo its to expensive. —
But in multiplayer, there are also three times more cards revealed. Every turn, each player needs to be able to deal with a card. If you are running a deck that can handle an enemy, paying two to guarantee one is great in solo. Especially because you don't have to quest against it. —
i have given you my experience, you are free to ignore it. have never used it in solo, have sevveral times used it in multiplayer and helped a lot, specially if much sorcery or similar is there. with 1 res i am not able to get a decent boardstate up, if you can, respect. tell me if you won a hard quest with a fundamental role of this card solo. i have only seen that in multiplayer. —
That makes sense, I prefer playing fun decks (like thematic solo Dunedain) over powerhouse ones or playing multiplayer, so that is how I evaluate cards. I can see how this card is not the best in solo. However, I don't understand how it is better in multiplayer. If you play this in solo, you don't need to save a resource for Test of Will or worry about a high threat card. In multiplayer, you still have to guess what will come from the encounter deck. —
in my experience: the touhg quests in multiplaer are not those that have regulary 1 or 2 more encounterars, i that are "normal" encountercards, it becomes oerproportional, i to much common (surge) or new keywords appear, like sorcery or boarding,.... where a good multiplayerfellowship can handle 1 (or 2?) of that kind in a round, but 3 often shifts the game to loose. and it is worse than a test of will, it cost more and et you an enemmy or ery unlucky get you nothing. if you coulduse it like test o will after reveal, than i would call it a ood tactic-test o will, but so you perhaps get a worse card than you would et in normal staging. another point in solo you normally do not need less locations. in multiplayer locationlock is a possible thread, and this card help to get fewer locations. —

Thurindir is a fantastic splash hero - at only 8 threat he's easy to squeeze into any deck where you want access for healing or card draw, starts with 2 and even if you only take the single side quest it thins your deck by one card, gets him up to 3 and you get the benefit of whatever the side quest you chose was, which can be a significant advantage.

Some good choices if you don't have something specific in mind are Gather Information and Scout Ahead - being able to pick up a combo piece or crucial card early can be game changing, and gaining some valuable intel around what's coming from the encounter deck not to mention being able to send something nasty to the victory display is sometimes crucial to surviving to build a board state. Some other decent picks is pairing him with Dúnhere and using Double Back early to ensure you stay under enemy engagement costs, Beorn and Keep Watch as noted below, in a quest focused deck or in multiplayer Rally the West can reap huge dividends getting it nice and early as well. The Storm Comes is a good one for some like the Harad or Outlands archetype, or in a Bond of Friendship deck where the allies are spread across multiple spheres by default.

While you'd never build a deck around him, a Steed of the North or Wingfoot will allow some action advantage to be able to use his 2 as well. He combo's well with Legacy Blade, whether on him or another hero; usually it's guaranteed 1 for no cost even if you only take the single side quest. He also is in sphere and provides the right trait for Dúnedain Pipe to help sort through your deck if you need to as well.

The one downside I will give for Thurindir is that completing side quests early requires a decent amount of early, and his boost is tied to completing them so it can feel counter intuitive sometimes. Running him alongside heroes that with their own action advantage or with even stats so they can quest in the early game but then fight once you have allies on the table or Thurindir sufficiently powered up.

Overall if you want access to and don't need something specific from the hero slot outside of sphere, for 8 threat cost you're getting quite a bit of versatility

131

Excellent for Hobbit decks, of course, but also for many mono- decks even if they're not in secrecy. The restriction to control no Warrior hero fortunately has little impact on most such decks -- there are only 2 heroes with the Warrior trait (Glorfindel and Celador). The flexibility of this card really makes it shine. It can help with questing (no worries if a Sand Viper comes out!), emergency defense (Cave-troll? Who cares!), or killing a high- enemy. I also found it fits perfectly in the Black Rider quests, neutralizing a stat of at least 4 on any of the Ringwraiths/Nazgul. One fun aspect of this card is that if you neutralize on an enemy, it also protects against any effects that would grant that enemy an extra attack this phase. Overall, an auto-include of at least 2x in any Secrecy decks with and a definite contender in any mono- -- 2 resources isn't a bad deal for an emergency get out of jail free card!

387