Sometimes I wonder what the designers were thinking. This is another card that makes thematic sense (the Hobbits hiding from the combat phase), but not a lot of game sense. Skipping the combat phase at first blush doesn't seem to accomplish much -- since you aren't allowed to attack them, those enemies will be around next turn as well, so all you've done is put off the time of reckoning. Sure, you might be able to put another part into play next round, but if you hadn't wasted two resources and a card draw on playing this card, maybe you'd have that help already.

But on second thought, for a solo player this is the equivalent card to Ever Onward, a criminally underrated card. In the case of Ever Onward, for three leadership resources a solo player can completely ignore questing, and concentrate every character on combat. This can be a game-changer. This card, for a much easier cost of two neutral resources, can send absolutely everyone questing and ignore the combat phase entirely. That is something that on a number of quests could be a game changer.

The fly in the ointment is that unlike Ever Onward, this requires a specific deck lineup -- all Hobbit heroes -- and again I come back to what the designers were thinking. This card was released in the same pack as Pippin, whose only ability was kicking enemies back to staging. And at the time of release there was only one possible all-Hobbit lineup -- LoBilbo, SpPippin, and SpFrodo. This is a deck that doesn't have to engage enemies and has an unkillable defender if they do -- does this really sound like the sort of hero lineup that needs this card? You know who really needs this card? Players on Battle or Siege quests in this very cycle. And they are not going to be running the incredibly lame hobbit deck to do it. The all-hobbit restricted doomed this card to binder fodder, when in a less restrictive mode (say, if you control a Hobbit) it would probably still be binder fodder like Ever Onward, but at least it would be unfairly ignored.

So is there any way to exploit this little card? There's a lot more choice in all-hobbit lineups, and most of them are more useful in the quest phase than Bilbo Baggins. One thing to note is that the attack restriction is only on "you", so if you've got ranged help in other decks, you can stop all your engaged enemies from attacking, and let the bowmen do your dirty work for you while you quest.

Another interesting thing is that the word "you" is missing from the "do not attack". In theory, a non-immune boss simultaneously engaged with all players could be prevented from attacking anyone, while only your deck is prevented from hitting back. If that's true (and at this point in the game, who would ever make an official ruling on it), this might have some powerful sideboard potential in certain multiplayer quests.

The best thing that can be said for this card is that it is a fantastic fit for the theme. Denethor becomes increasingly depressed by hero injuries until he commits suicide.

But that's not very good value for four. He starts at 3 willpower, which is good for his cost, but won't stay there without healthy heroes or willpower boosts that could've enhanced other heroes. He has neglible attack and at 2/3 is too fragile to be a repeat defender without help (that you probably wouldn't want to give a suicidal ally). Even in a Gray Wanderer deck, if the lone hero is damaged he becomes a 2 wp quester for 4 cost with no positive abilities whatsoever. In fact, he's the only 4-cost unique ally in the game who doesn't have some sort of positive ability.

One of the very worst choices for Messenger of the King

On top of everything that was said in the other review his ability also has great synergy with other heroes that have effects on enemy engagement like Mablung or Faramir as it is a reliable way to use them twice in a single turn (and even more for Sam).

I just started playing, but if I choose to engage an enemy that is engaged to my friend in a 2 player game, does that enemy stay engaged with me the next round or does it attack my friend again? —
It stays engaged with you and will attack you the next round and every round to come until you kill it, similarly, if you choose an enemy in the staging area it will stay engaged with you and not return to the staging area. —

Honestly, Pippin isn't bad in solo. Group him with hobbit heroes, and use Hobbit Pipe and events such as The Galadhrim's Greeting to draw cards.. If enemies engage you just send them back to staging. Using Will of the West you can eventually get your to 0. I assumed Pippin was horrible because everyone says so, but I'm kinda digging him!

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But you can get your threat to zero with any hobbit deck containing spirit, with Spirit Merry probably the best accelerant. Spirit Merry is better than Spirit Pippin in practically every deck, including low-threat hobbit decks. There are a lot of hobbit-deck cards that *like* fighting enemies they choose to engage, Pippin's ability synergizes with exactly one of them -- Lore Pippin, who would draw his card anyway. Pippin's so bad that he would be better if he were named Fatty Bolger! —
Out of curiosity, how do you win in solo with a deck that never engages enemies? If Pippin didn't have that ridiculous all-hobbit restriction, I could see a solo deck with him and Dunhere or LeEomer. —

I have recently "re-discovered" Map of Earnil while playing a Noldor build w/Erestor, and it is quite powerful when combined with high-powered card draw. Essentially, you can get two extra usages out of a card like Elrond's Counsel or The Galadhrim's Greeting each time through your deck (the first when you trigger the Map and the second when you draw into the recurred event, which is now back in your deck). Well worth it :).

While your described situation makes the map better, Will of the West or just having a 50+ card deck accomplish the same thing for less resources. —
That's totally fair. I do think that the added flexibility the Map gives as to when you recur an event is worth the 2 resources in some situations (it's quite nice to play Elrond's Counsel from the discard pile knowing that you will draw right back into it w/Erestor on your next turn), but I agree it is hardly a staple card. —