I really like the fact that the discount can be used by the next player and not only by the one who played the Toymaker, it really opens up a lot of nice interactions.

Also some strong Santa vibes from this dwarf

never saw that. great!! —

Don't let the "0" cost lead you into thinking this card is a "must include".

I'm not a big fan of the Dunedain Pathfinder ally if you mostly consider its near and mid term effect on board state when deciding to play it. Sure the 0 "resource" cost is tempting, but there are other hidden costs....

Just looking at the 53 eligible location cards in the Harad cycle AP packs it comes from, 9 locations have 1 , 23 locations have 2 , and 21 have 3+ . This is counting multiple copies of each eligible location in the encounter decks.

That means roughly 40% of the time you are going to increase the staging area threat by more than the 2 you get from this ally, and another 40% of the time you are breaking even. Short term this is not good.

Now in exchange you get a zero resource cost emergency chump blocker and some long term upside of having 2 more per round for no resources spent - if you can keep the ally alive. However, this is not a "net" +2 as you still have to overcome the additional of the added location card that came with deployment of the Pathfinder before you get a "net" bonus.

And if this poor net / exchange wasn't enough to give you pause, there is also the chance the Pathfinder finds no eligible location, and goes away without deploying. This is equal to one turn of card draw with absolutely no return for it, when you could have drawn something else more predictably useful.

Now let's compare this to Celebrían's Stone, which gives you net +2 on the turn you use it, and every turn thereafter. You are also less likely to lose the hero it is attached to as you would an ally. Yes, this counterexample costs 2 resources, but very few cards are truly "free". ( Unlikely Friendship being an example of one that is almost truly free.)

This card has its uses - quick deployment of a chump blocker for no cost, when quest threat isn't an issue. It is a better card when the encounter deck is mostly <2 locations.

However, the hidden costs of this "free" ally may not be worth it in many situations.

The card's effect is “added” rather than “revealed” so can avoids any nasty surge or when revealed effects, this can help you decrease encounter threat later on. —
It greatly annoys me that this guy is 2 willpower while Dunedain Hunter is 3 attack, making the Pathfinder average to below-average compared to the absurdity that is Dunedain Hunter. —
Yeah he shold have the hunters distribution of stats. 3,1,1,3 —

This card is gold! For two resources it essentially either wipes out the attacks of a plethora of enemies, or at least makes them easily manageable. Both of these will usually allow one to take the attack of all enemies undefended, leaving any character not used for questing ready to attack. The fact that there are few cards in the game that can singlehandedly allow one to clear their board of enemies only increases this cards value. Of course, to maximize this cards ability, one must be above forty threat. Normally valour cards are hard to splash into any random deck, but in my opinion this card is the exception. Its effect is straightforward enough that one does not need to change their deck for it. When one plays it in the context of valour, however, it becomes even better. With Hope Rekindled! it can be played for free. Combine these two cards with the Hour of Wrath and the effect is deadly, and crazy fun. Horn's Cry allows one to defend unlimited enemies with Hour of Wrath, without taking much damage at all. To spice things up even more, run these cards with tactics Aragorn. For the price of four resources, you can kill every enemy engaged with every player in the game, as well as all the enemies in the staging area! Talk about value! On its own this card has great value, but combine it with a few others and its effects are legendary.

Defender of Cair Andros is a very powerful card. That is pretty clear to see. But is it worth it for 4 resources?

Lets first look at his stats.

One on a character is always welcome, though the cases when he will be questing, since he is a defender, are admitedly few. This does save him from effects like Power in their Terror. hallofbeorn.com

One attack is ok, but since he does have the Gondor trait that can be boosted by effects like Boromir if you need it.

Where the Defender really shines is... defending. Shocker. In most decks, (i.e. non secrecy) he is immediately able to defend for at least 2. His three hitpoints also make him much more difficult to kill than, say, Defender of Rammas. His Valour response is icing on the cake, allowing direct damage, similar to Spear of the Citadel or Gondorian Spearman. This also helps for extra damage opportunities on enemies like Nazgul of Minas Morgul or the stage 3 effects on Shelob.

hallofbeorn.com

hallofbeorn.com

Finally, Defender of Cair Andros is an excellent pair with Raiment of War. He also works very well with Hirgon or Prince Imrahil

All in all, Defender of Cair Andros is very much worth it and can be splashed into many, even non-Gondor decks.

All around solid card. I found his ability to be especially useful when paired with Gimli because it allows you the luxury of taking an attack undefended without fear of any nasty surprises and placing the damage on the son of Gloin. Our dwarf can then swing back with a boosted attack. Typically you have to block with Gimli first before he gets boosted, but with this card you don’t have to which gives you a tempo boost over the encounter deck.