It seems like I'm one of the few that considers Dori to be terrible, so I thought I'd elaborate on my feeling toward the card.

First, his stats. You'll find cheaper attackers in lore, such as Loyal Hound, Emyn Arnen Ranger, and Quickbeam. In even in a dwarf swarm deck you'd be better off playing Bifur or a cheaper lore dwarf.

Ok, so you're playing him for his ability.

Second, his ability. Let's break it down. If you are using it on a huge attack that is going to kill a full health hero, it's going to kill Dori instead. In which case it's more cost effective to be using a cheap chump ally. If you're using it to siphon off just 2 damage from a hero that is near death (so that Dori doesn't die and can be healed and used again) you'd be better off just having Self Preservation on that defender instead, as it would not only save the hero but actually provide the healing as well (with the Dori strategy you still need another card to perform the healing). If the lack of flexible target is an issue for Self Preservation, look to Daughter of the Nimrodel instead (though I think Warden of Healing is even better even if it only heals 1 damage on each target).

Well, what if the defender can't be healed? Ah, now we get to it. This guy is amazing in a Beorn deck right? Wrong.

Let's break it down again. If you're using this guy to save Beorn from a huge hit, it's going to kill Dori, in which case a 1-cost chump ally would have been better. So that's not why people think he's good. People think he's good because if Beorn gets attacked by an enemy with 2-3 , Dori can siphon off the damage to Beorn. Because while Beorn can't be healed, Dori can - and can then be used again the next round. This strategy keeps Beorn alive for longer.

And it works, to an extent. But you know what's better than Dori for protecting Beorn from 2-3 enemies? Simply defending them with a Defender of Rammas! They're cheaper, they can defend up to 4 (which would kill Dori), you can have multiple of them in play, and they don't require healing every round! And if a surprise shadow attack puts an enemy up to 5 , your Defender of Rammas will die, but so would've Dori. But least you've saved Beorn from taking 4 damage, and the Defender of Rammas is cheap to replace.

There you have it. Even in Dori's ideal use case he gets blown away by a staple ally. Put this card back in your binder.

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It's nice when a new player with limited card pool, posts thoughts on an unreviewed card only to be trounced by the site's most venerated poster. While there are many cards better at specific purposes, I think Dori provides some flexibility in the right deck. It will probably get included less and less as I acquire more cards, just trying to explain how I've seen some good use out of him. —
Hi Quetzal, please don't take it the wrong way, the review was not made as a response to yours. If you're having fun with the card, that's all that matters. I only posted mine shortly after yours because you brought the card to the front page with your review, which reminded me that I'd been meaning to make my own. —

Question: Who decided that needed Unexpected Courage fused with Staff of Lebethron? Because that's what Armored Destrier is. Yes, it takes up a restricted slot, but shadow cancellation and readying in one card is still a really good combo. And, if you have Elfhelm in play, Armored Destrier also gives you a boost, making you miss the restricted slot it's taking up less. Gondorian Shield may be able to provide +2 , Blood of Númenor even more, but to me Armored Destrier is the king of the defensive attachments.

First off, who it can go on. I like how, while has the theme of blocking huge attacks (via Feint, Beregond with a Gondorian Shield, or Gondorian Spearman) has more of a theme of blocking lots of smaller attacks. Warden of Helm's Deep won't block as high of an enemy as Defender of Rammas, but he can block more attacks overall due to sentinel and the ability to survive direct damage. Armored Destrier continues this theme, providing no base boosts but readying the defender so you can deal with multiple attacks. In addition, it can go on sentinel heroes, allowing you to defend multiple times across the board.

Second, the readying. Unexpected Courage is almost a staple in decks, so readying is clearly a strong effect, and, while it is more situational readying than ye-olde UC, Armored Destrier does not disappoint. Elfhelm defending for 3 twice is nothing to sneeze at, or defending once so you can counter attack. Erkenbrand is another great target, allowing you to block twice with in-built shadow cancellation.

Third, Armored Destrier's shadow cancellation. If Armored Destrier just provided the readying, it would still be good, but the shadow cancellation makes it incredible. Discarding a shadow card is less accurate than cancelling one you know has a shadow effect, but it has its own benefits (die, stupid Core Set Wargs, die!) And, even if you do discard a shadow card with no shadow effect, that's still an attack you can feel safe knowing how much it's going to hit for. The shadow cancellation and readying on Armored Destrier make the Dream-chaser cycle a lot easier, allowing you to stay engaged with enemies like Throngs of the Unfaithful almost indefinitely at low to no risk.

Put all of this together, and you get a ridiculously good defensive attachment that can bypass two of the main weaknesses of defenders, multiple attacks and shadow effects. Personally, I'd even say Armored Destrier's a little too good, especially with Elfhelm in play. Seeing that you're engaged with 3 enemies, as a questing deck, and being confident that you can handle your defenses, is a little too much for me. A 'Limit 1 per hero' would be enough, though, at least I think.

One last thing: if there's one deck, more than any other, that benefited from Armored Destrier, I would have to say it would be Dunedain. is one of Dunedain's homes, making this in-sphere, and it fits their play style like a glove. Staying engaged with multiple enemies means you need to deal with multiple defenses, something Armored Destrier provides easily. Those multiple attacks leave you vulnerable to bad shadows, which Armored Destrier discards. This fits so well in a Dunedain deck (at least theoretically), it's almost ridiculous, though it is very Tolkien-y. An attachment for a new archetype providing a huge benefit to an older one, despite the fact that the older one is mentioned nowhere on the attachment. A chance-meeting, as they say in Middle-Earth, and one which brings great profit.

While I've always liked his thematic ability, I overlooked this card for a while. Playing a dwarf deck one handed against The Watcher in the Water convinced me of its value.

I've typically built a dwarf deck around Dáin Ironfoot and used him as the primary defender with his naturally high / and gained actions through Unexpected Courage, Erebor Record Keeper, Cram, etc (no big innovation there). Often as Dáin takes on all comers, his can start to take a dive with repeated attacks. At this point in my card pool acquisition, Warden of Healing is my preferred source of restoration. And naturally the warden is great at healing two characters 1. So there is a fine combo with Dori, spreading out the damage a little so your tank and healer don't get overwhelmed. (This has been a problem for me in the mentioned quest since Mountain Wargs and various tentacles can be difficult to dispatch and frequently you have to figure out a way to just defend several attacks successfully for a couple rounds.)

Also, in a pinch Dori can be sacrificed if a shadow effect catches you unprepared and would result in the loss of a hero. Additionally, you can elect for an undefended attack knowing Dori will take the fall. It might give you some much needed flexibility.

Obviously Dori needs to exhaust to use his ability so you're (generally) saving him for the combat phase and if his damage smoothing ability isn't needed, he has a respectable 2.

This trap is easily my favorite. It's best in a solo game as there is usually only one enemy added a round except on some of the more combat heavy scenarios. And obviously should only be played with Damrod the king of traps for the cost reduction and card draw bonus. But if you go that route this card is incredible.

For 1 resource you essentially have Lore's version of Hands Upon the Bow but you can use as many characters as you want. Being able to to crush an enemy before they launch their attack is awesome as you don't have to use a defender or play the shadow effect game.

If you add in ally Anborn you can do this every single round and be able to launch your first strike attack forever.

This card is balanced by the fact that you pretty much want to play it only in the above combo. And that there are plenty of big bad enemies that are immune to player card effects and attachments. So you will want to pack some other options for those quests.

But for the majority of quests this is a great option.

Absolutley love this ally! I play him in a quasi-secrecy tactics Legolas, Spirit Glorfindel and Eleanor fellowship along with Shadowfax and his staff and he becomes an absolute machine. For the cost of 5 neutral resources you essentially get another hero for as long as you can handle the threat. With the aforementioned attachments he can use his staff to shore up weaknesses in your deck and with his Mount you can use him to quest, attack AND defend in the same round (or any combination of the latter) and he gains ranged and sentinel. And his stats are 4 across the board which match what the strongest of heroes only have one of in their base form (Eowyn, Beregond, Quickbeam).

Pack plenty of threat reduction and it helps if you start low, but the payoff to put in essentially a super-charged hero is well worth it.

Obvious limitations other than the threat limiting card options and starting threat you also have to acknowledge that the longer you keep him in play the less likely other players will be able to play their core ally Gandalf which is a staple in many decks, so some coordination is required.

But in solo or with careful planning this ally is one of the strongest. And pair him up with ally Treebeard to essentially almost double your power.

For a sample deck check out:

ringsdb.com