2 for 3 resources is alright, but the returning of 1 resource makes this card similar to Envoy of Pelargir, and so Halfast effectively costs only 2, with a little resource smoothing on top. The extra stats means this is roughly equivalent

Add in a single side quest, and Halfast now looks like the Envoy, but has one extra and hitpoint, and has slightly more flexibility in its resource smoothing. With anymore than one side quest, Halfast is just fantastically cheap. Even mono-Leadership might benefit from his resource smoothing if Kahliel, Hirluin, or any of the heroes that require paying a resource for abilities.

The two downsides are that Halfast is unique, and that it's in Leadership instead of Neutral, as should be expected to limit such a cost-effective ally. Leadership has pretty good side quests to play, though.

If you or your fellowship plays side quests, this card should be showing up in someone's deck, even if just one copy of it for the cheap 2 .

10

Honestly, Marks(wo)man of Lorien isn't just hands-down the best ally from the Dream-chaser cycle, they're honestly one of the best allies in the game. Ethir Swordsman is one of the best questing allies in the game, Derndingle Warrior is the best defending ally in the game (#changemymind), and Marksman of Lorien is honestly the best attacking ally in the whole game.

First off, comparing them to the gold standard attacking ally, Veteran Axehand. Marksman of Lorien costs 1 more for 1 more and 1 less in exchange for ranged, and their enters play effect. Ignoring their response, Marksman is a simple case of more expensive than Veteran Axehand in exchange for higher with ranged. But such a simple explanation is doing the Marksman a disservice; that ranged has proved incredibly helpful in several of my games, and 3 in one character is honestly really helpful sometimes, especially when you have readying available like Narya. And Narya really illustrates the main point about the Marksman; they're 3 cost for 3 with ranged.

And they can get better.

Naryaing an ally with ranged, boosting them up to 4 and readying them to attack again, maybe with ranged, is ridiculous, and it gets even more absurd once you get multiple Marksmen out. For reference, the Siege Ship from A Storm on Cobas Haven is one of the toughest enemies from the Dream-chaser cycle at 5 and 7 . That's as much bulk as the Hill Troll from the core set. And yet, when I'm fully set up, with Narya, multiple Marksmen, and Narya, I can reliably just discard those behemoths once I'm done with enemy attacks, and have 8 ranged ready to squash whatever other enemies have engaged me.

Since they're a Silvan, Celeborn also boosts these allies, giving them 4 where you need it the turn they enter play. And speaking of entering play, we haven't even talked about their enters play effect. After they enter play, you give an enemy of your choice -2 , effectively making Marksman a 5 ally the turn they enter play, and unlike Rúmil or Galadhon Archer, there is no engagement restriction on which enemy you target, so you could theoretically target an enemy in the staging area so that either Dúnhere or Haldir of Lórien can snipe it come the combat phase. Combine that enters play effect with Celeborn's boost and you hit (pseudo) 6 , the magic number to kill most enemies. Yes, that is only for one turn, but then they go back to a 3 ally with ranged, which is like saying you lost half your wealth and now only have $50 billion.

And, once more on the subject of entering play, Marksman of Lorien is a Warrior. You know who else is a Warrior? Prince Imrahil. Prince Imrahil with the Marksman is so ridiculous it's unbelievable. Being able to drop them for 1 resource, trigger their enters play effect, and get an attack or two out of them before shuffling them away so you can trigger them again later is hilariously good. Honestly, if you're using Prince Imrahil's ability to dig for an attacking ally, the only better option I'd say you could find is Beorn.

All in all, Marksman of Lorien might be a bit expensive, but they are worth every penny of their price. Two means they can take a point of direct damage without dying, ranged is more helpful than you'd expect, and 3-5 pretty much means if you can hit something it's gonna die. In a deck with fairly slow resource acceleration you may want to take a pass on the Marksman, but even then I'd say seriously consider them just because of the value you get for their cost. And, if you're running a deck that can consistently play the Marksman, whether through resource generation or cheating, you should already be sleeving them at this point or hunting for the Drowned Ruins.

It seems this card was severely nerfed. It should read now "Item.  Attach to a Lore character. Restricted.  Response: Exhaust A Burning Brand to cancel a shadow effect just triggered during an attack that the attached character is defending."

Now it seems borderline playable to me.

Source: boardgamegeek.com

My card doesn't have those words so nope still good ;) —
After hearing about this errata, i was thinking that this would work well with the upcoming Three Hunters contract: the restricted is a good thing for once? Either way, exhausting is a nerf that i can't spin into a good thing though. —
What gives with this card not getting an errata in the FAQ but it's printed differently now? What other cards are like that? —

This is not a review per se, but rather me pointing out an easteregg: This card actually depicts Caleb Grace, the main designer for LOTR for the past 7 or so cycles. It is customary at FFG to allow employees of five years to make cameos in their products.

Source: kotaku.com

Ceorl is quite possibly one of the best allies from the Dream-chaser cycle. Sure, against Veteran Sword-elf, Master Ironsmith, and Soldier of Dol Amroth that's not much competition, but I'd say he can stand his ground even against the likes of Marksman of Lórien (which is actually really really OP, hashtag change my mind) and Glorfindel.

First off, the most important thing about Ceorl; he's cheap. 2 is pretty much nothing, and while 1 isn't stellar, it is serviceable, and his 2 cost for 2 is a ratio often restricted to allies, while his 2 means he won't die to a stray damage like Silverlode Archer. Ignoring his text box, Ceorl is already a solid one-of in pretty much any deck.

When you take his text box into account, Ceorl really starts showing his quality. Spending 1 is arguably a bit expensive, especially if you want to consistently ready Ceorl, but there is one major mitigating factor: Ceorl is , just like the best card in the game, meaning that you can slap Steward of Gondor on a hero, turn it 90 degrees sideways, and ready Ceorl pretty much constantly.

And you want to know who one of the best targets for Steward of Gondor is? Círdan the Shipwright, because of his potential to go dual-sphere with Narya- Wait a minute, that's and together right there. Ceorl is a fantastic target for Narya, being able to, if you play your cards right, be declared as an attacker, ready with Narya, have 3 for the first attack due to the timing window, hit another enemy for 3 , then ready with a resource to hit another thing for 3. That's three attacks with as much base as Legolas for 12 starting threat, 2 resources, 1 , two , and whatever it cost you to ready Círdan. The ability to pass Ceorl to other players isn't to be forgotten either, giving them either 2 extra , an emergency chump who won't be killed by "Deal 1 damage to the defending character," or even just an extra body for the likes of Sailing or Hide tests.

All in all, Ceorl is a great ally without his text box, providing with cheap , and with his text box he can be a real workhorse, questing while still being able to attack, potentially multiple times. Add in Narya for more and Faramir for and Ceorl can quickly turn from just another unique ally into a superhero.

Definitely adding him to my leadership Aragorn deck now! —