There are 104 allies and 86 attachments in the whole game. That's a lot of targets for A Fair Exchange. In , we think about the Steward of Gondor, but also all the traits-based engines relying on Narvi's Belt, The Elvenking, Lord of Morthond, Gúthwinë and so many others.

Before this card, decks in were feeling like this: add 1 of each cards you kind of want, and 3 of the ones that were absolutely required. Keep your combos strings short, as you have limited ways to fetch cards. In fact, there are only 3 tutors in : Dúnedain Message for side quest, The King's Return for guarded cards and Wealth of Adventure for skills. Some few others can look for specific cards among the top 5: Soldier of Gondor for Gondor allies, Galadriel for attachments of cost 3 or less and Weather Hills Watchman for Signals.

A Fair Exchange allows your to setup better combos with 3 or 4 cards to the point of making those decks viable without needing to draw half your deck. This opens up many new deck building strategies - and really boost the value of by giving them value when clogging your hand. No more dead Steward of Gondor in your hand! Some maths: if we need 2 cards that we run 3 times each, we have 50% chances to get our 2-card combo after drawing 10 cards. With 3 A Fair Exchange to spice things up, it becomes ~80%. If you run multiples of less important , it becomes even more guaranteed to pull off the combo.


I personally have really enjoyed using this card with decks that have strong filtering mechanisms. For example, Aragorn with Estel is super strong repeatable filtering that grows if you give him more traits with the other ALeP titles. Combine that with Elven-light and suddenly 100 cards in your deck doesn't seem so bad. Then you get an automatic threat reduction, heroes not exhausting to quest, being able to search and play any card reducing its cost by 3, or put it in your hand if you don't want to play it yet. If you start with low threat or are desperate you can use the ability on side A of the card as extra filtering, but I don't rely on it since you only have one big threat reduction you don't want to burn too soon.

I'm considering other decks this contract would work well with besides Aragorn, though he himself is super flexible and can work with Noldor, Gondor, or Dunedain. Dwarves, since they get an obscene amount of card draw, could work well. Galadriel with her Mirror of Galadriel seems like another option with potential, but losing her threat reduction would feel really bad.

The authors of this game did Bilbo dirty. Why 9 threat!? He should be 6, maybe 7. If he were he'd be much more playable. Most heroes' threat is the sum of their attributes. Not sure why Bilbo is an outlier.

The original lore #Bilbo Baggins had 9 threat, so this one has it as well, his ability is meant to compensate. —

It seems a very good ally card to me. Cost/game impact is profitable for both offensive and defensive oriented decks at any moment of the game (except perhaps turn 1). It's definitely worth a try in my Dunedain deck.

This has to be my least favorite fan card. While overpowered additions like Thengel are broken, they can be a ton of fun to play with. He has a plethora of unique uses in Rohan, Beorning, and The Last Alliance decks. Even Deeping Defender fits in with staging area attack or direct damage decks. However, Seasoned Forager just fits into every Lore deck. Its "restriction" is so simple to avoid, calling it a restriction is harsh. All you have to do is not include Leadership, Mablung, or Arwen Undómiel in your deck. Then, you have a turn-one playable Steward of Gondor that multiple players can use because it isn't unique. Even worse, it is even more overpowered with the new contract: At the End of All Things. Because most resource acceleration is banned, Seasoned Forager is the auto-include option. The final nail in the coffin is Wealth of Adventure. At least if you couldn't find Steward of Gondor in your mulligan, you would have to have a second plan. However, Wealth of Adventure automatically searches your deck for a Skill, virtually guaranteeing Seasoned Forager. Thankfully, Wealth of Adventure is a Leadership card. If it was Lore, I would be seriously disappointed. I still appreciate fan cards and will never stop loving The Last Alliance. However, cards like these inspire no creativity, introduce little deck-building challenge, and break the game's balance. I know another Master of Lore wasn't the right answer, but I would rather have underpowered spice than this bland powerhouse.

I think you overestimate the power of this card. First of all, it's not Steward of Gondor -- cost reduction of 1 is nowhere near the power of just add 2 resources. It's certainly useful, but the restriction of not being able to gain resources from ANY OTHER player card is quite limiting. You also can't use popular options like Resourceful, Magic Ring, Hidden Cache, Keen as Lances, Keys of Orthanc, Love of Tales, Proud Hunters, Beorning Hospitality, and several others. While you can stack with other cost reduction cards, few of the most useful ones (O Lorien, To the Sea) are actually in Lore. Also, the utility of this card drops sharply with multisphere, as it is restricted to matching the sphere of the attached hero. And certainly there's no point playing Wealth of Adventure with this card, as you've already got better resource acceleration options if you're running leadership. While it is powerful with At the End of All Things, I'm fine with that, as that Contract is difficult to operate in any case. —
Outside of Steward, this card is the best resource acceleration in the game. At least Steward was the selling point of Leadership. If you wanted resources, you basically had to run leadership. Lore already has a monopoly on healing and card draw. I don't think it needed top tier resource acceleration. Every single card you compared Seasoned Forager to (except for Magic Ring, which is a limit one per deck card) forces you to build a deck around it. Also, I would hardly consider Keen as Lances or Love of Tales to be popular resource acceleration options. Stating that this card is worse in multi-sphere decks is also true of Steward of Gondor. While it is a downside, it is hardly a deal breaker. Finally, the strongest cost reduction card (in my opinion) is Grima, who happens to be in Lore. However, I suppose you could be using Keys of Orthanc in that situation. —
Personally I think Arwen or Mablung are better resource accelerator than this card. —
I also think you're missing the point of this card. This card is meant to enable more fluid deckbuilding options than currently available. If I want resource generation in my deck, I usually have to run a theme deck such as traps, Rohan, pipes, ect. This card is similar to Contract of the Wise in that it allows you to make decks that aren't so focused around a theme, but still have access to resource generation outside of something obvious like Steward of Gondor, but we don't always want to include Leadership in a deck. So using Seasoned Forager, I can just make a Lore deck and include all the cards I want and have resource generation covered, without having to stick to a specific theme. —
If you view that as a benefit, I suppose you are right. However, I personally want to have a challenge when building decks. There is a reason why I rarely use Steward of Gondor. I find that this game is more fun when you have to use more creative solutions, such as Grima or Damrod. I think that generic solutions should be less effective, so that you are rewarded for solving the deckbuilding puzzle. For example, I think that Master of Lore was perfect. While he could have been stronger, he emphasized the weakness of Lore. Fan cards seems to erode the downsides of the spheres. While this opens new possibilities, I think it makes the game less interesting. With that said, this card can enable fun ideas and cool decks. I can see how this card would certainly help some players. I just feels a bit like training wheels to me. —
Personally I don't see the difference between this and Grima or Damrod, all of those basically grants you one extra resource each round with some kind of limitations. Grima costs threat but applies to all types of cards, Damrod applies only to Traps, Seasoned Forager requires you to draw and play it (unlike Grima and Damrod that are accessible from round 1), to forfeit all other forms of resource generation (while nothing prevents you to use Steward of Gondor in a deck with Grima or Damrod) and is also limited to the sphere of the hero you attach Forager to (ammitedly not a huge downside). Personally I would compare it favorably to Leaf Brooch (limited to events, being in Secrecy and the same-sphere-as-attached hero), which is definitely not a super popular card —
I tend to value my hero slots highly. Neither Grima or Damrod have impressive stats, although I suppose they make up for it with low threat. I would not compare this card to Leaf Brooch. Secrecy is hard to achieve and only discounting events makes in narrower. The only real restriction on this card is not playing other resource acceleration. I would say that many (probably even the majority) of Lore decks would benefit from playing this card. —
I just searched the number of Lore decks on RingsDB and there was 594 pages. Then, I added every resource generation card (excluding versatile cards like Gandalf's staff) to the Cards Not Included section. There were 218 Lore decks which had no way to generate resources. While this is not a majority, it is still a large percentage. In addition, this includes decks that have access to Leadership and Steward of Gondor. If you consider only non-Leadership decks, the percentage that would benefit from this card would be higher. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how many decks run Leaf Brooch. While I know its not a totally valid way of testing card strength, only 9 pages of decks use Leaf Brooch. —
Sorry, I meant 218 pages of Lore decks that should run Seasoned Forager. —
Follow up to that research would be how many of those lore decks with no resource generation qualify as OP, and how many would become so with that card added in. I have to say, I find that AleP has not made anything that is more broken than pre existing FFG cards, this card included. —
That is fair. My point isn't even that this fan card is worse than Steward of Gondor. I still can dislike Thengel's power level even though Elrond with Vilya is better. My biggest issue with this card is that is a general and simple solution to Lore's biggest drawback. At least Vilya requires Gandalf, Imlaldris Stargazer, or some careful deck building. You are correct that many of the Lore decks would not have become overpowered. However, I do not think any of them would have been worse. I think this card is one of the best examples of power creep and straying from the game's core. Lore is supposed to have terrible resource acceleration. However, I do still appreciate all the new life AleP cards add to the game. I am thankful for their existence. However, I would prefer if they had a few more creative restrictions. —