On first glance this ally doesn't quite cut it at 3 cost. However pair him with his in trait king Théoden and Thurindir for access to lore without Doomed in Rohan and suddenly he looks rather playable. Questing is one of the traits specialities and for a small price this guy can provide massive action advantage. He's in the right sphere and has the Scout trait which can mean something these days. I'd be hard pressed to leave home without him in most Rohan decks. A solid card.

104

Well I actually think, that this is one of the few expensive cards from the core set, which got effect worth to pay the price. Not so often in solo, but sure in fellowship and definitely in multiplayer game. Especially after defense part of the fight phase, this card is truly epic and in heavy enemy quest it can do miracles. Even I feel epic when I play it and my friends are glad that I put it in my deck. And it's not so hard to pay for it in sphere, which is quite rich on resources, but there are several ways how to make this card cheaper. First one which pops on my mind is Good Meal in combination with Song of Kings if hobbit hero is in different sphere, then you have Vilya with Imladris Stargazer combination and there is plenty more, I think. But that's not the point, point is that this card is in my opinion well designed and if it would be cheaper, it would brake the game balance. Very well done dark artwork. Verdict: 5/5.

127

Nori is a subtle card. When it comes to Dwarves and Spirit, most people look at Óin for access to as well at a minus 1 threat cost. But what you get with Nori even after his errata, is a dependable and reliable hero who can defend early attacks and chip away at your threat every time you play a Dwarf from your hand.

It may not seem like much, but over the course of the game this can easily be 5+ threat. He's also in sphere to give you access to actual threat reduction and Dwarven resource acceleration via Zigil Miner. So if you were to play a Zigil Miner from your hand you gain resource acceleration to play more Dwarves and a nice threat reduction. Double win. No wonder he's so happy!

Thanks Nori!

104

Thorin is often overlooked these days for his cousin Dáin Ironfoot whom is arguably the lynchpin of any Dwarf deck. However unlike his cousin he comes with high as standard and in built resource generation. Something few heroes do.

Thorin really shines when paired with other Dwarves such as Ori and Bombur. Where Dáin Ironfoot rouses all Dwarves as the current King Under the Mountain. It was arguably Thorin who put him where he is, utilizing nothing but toymakers and a handful of less than warriors. Restoring the Dwarves to their former riches and that is shown perfectly in his card design.

Before you goto the staple that is Dáin Ironfoot give Thorin a thought. His card design is simple and effective and as Tolkien said "It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life."

104

This is one of those cards which just fits perfectly into its archetype. The Dunedain deck archetype is all about keeping enemies engaged. The drawback of this is of course that barring Forest Snares you need to keep finding ways to handle the defences of all those enemies to continue reaping the benefits. You may have a solid plan for them, but then something revealing too many additional enemies (e.g. via Surge) or shadow effects triggering extra attacks can throw a spanner in the works of said plan. Or maybe you're short on ways to handle those enemies until you can get more of a board-state - but you can't easily get out that board-state until you're gaining the benefits of having the enemies engaged, a seeming catch 22 which can only be resolved by some big boost. In all of these circumstances Descendants of Kings comes up trumps.

If all you need is to defend all your attacks, then by readying Dunedain characters equal to your engaged enemies you ensure that even if everyone was exhausted before playing it, Descendants of Kings will allow you to defend everything (so long as your characters are up to the defences, of course). If you have some characters already ready or have already done some defences then you'll have ready characters left over who may be able to attack (perhaps at Ranged so you maintain your engaged enemies bonuses but help out other players) or trigger other effects (e.g. A Very Good Tale, Beravor or Tale of Tinúviel off the top of my head). It's also worth noting that this is a generic action, not limited to the Combat phase, adding to its flexibility. Oh, and we mustn't forget that it only costs a single resource. For one resource this is potentially a hugely potent effect.

Of course this card can potentially also work outside of a Dunedain deck. In or out of a Dunedain deck, it's important of course that the effect is based off the number of enemies engaged with you specifically at the time you play it, so you can choose to use it at the most opportune moments - as opposed to the Dunedain lynchpin Heir of Valandil, which requires that the enemies stick around into the Planning phase. Whether you're playing a Dunedain deck which only wants to keep a certain number of enemies for HoV and other bonuses, or you're playing a regular deck (but using a reasonable number of Dunedain characters) which just wants to kill its enemies efficiently, it's helpful that you can time this card for maximum benefit at the moment when you're engaged with the most enemies and have most or all of your eligible targets exhausted. The primary use is certainly in Dunedain decks but other decks may have a use for it from time to time, especially given how cheap it is.

Ultimately, engaging a bunch of enemies in this game can be a risky prospect, especially in a Dunedain context where you keep them around into subsequent rounds, and when that risk backfires on you, Descendants of Kings is one of the perfect ways to pull your game back out of the fire.