Regardless of whether we see a hero Gandalf in the Road Darkens, I want to delve a little into the core vs saga ally Gandalf. It seems there is a strong consensus that the core is just outright better but though I totally see how awesome the core version is I also find the saga version totally awesome.
The core is of course more versatile. In a deck without threat reduction, the core is probably always a better option. But without Leadership, I never play the core version any more (not having Sneak Attack and resource acceleration). Then in a deck that starts low on threat and/or have threat reduction, I really prefer the saga version. For five resources (and you have got options like Vilya or Elf-stone) you get a super character. And just for a single copy of Elrond's Counsel, you get him for two rounds and still end up lower on the threat. In fact, having him in play for four rounds will only increase your threat by six. This is of course not an option for a mono-Tactics deck or even mono-Lore where every resource is so preciouss but in a Glorfindel or Elrond based deck, this may not be a great deal at all. I find majority of my games take between six and eight rounds to complete, thus in the shorter ones, Gandalf can be present from say round 2 or 3 till the end without doing much damage to your threat level -- unless you are really running against it (like Return to Mirkwood, for instance).
How is it for you? Is the saga version gathering dust or treading the Wild?
Edited by lleimmoen, 12 May 2014 - 12:58 AM.