So just to be clear, I have already posted something like this in the Ring-bearer's Trials thread, about how I would like to see more Istari cards as well as more magical artifacts such as magic rings, Palantiri, and spells. However, this idea has evolved in my mind to some pretty specific ideas, and knowing for sure that Caleb and Matt read the forums, I thought they deserved their own thread.
So basically, I was thinking that it would be awesome to see more of this wizard stuff in a future cycle. Namely, more Istari allies (Alatar and Pallando, copyright premitting), more Palantiri, and magic rings. Now, regarding the Palantiri, I'm basing my ideas on this article, from which I could gather that at the time our game takes place, only three palantiri are remaining in control of the Free-Peoples: the Palantir of Orthanc, the Palantir of Minas Tirith, and the Palantir of Elostirion. I've already said in the past that I hate the generic Palantir card we got in the ATS cycle, and that it would be awesome if we got these artifacts by their specific name and each having a unique ability. The Palantir of Elostirion (which by the way is located pretty close to Arnor and the general region we'll visit in the next cycle) was used to catch glimpses of Valinor since it could only look that way. Inspired by the Light of Valinor attachment and how it grants the ability to not exhaust to commit a character to the quest, maybe this Palantir could do something similar? For a cost, you could give the ability to someone to not exhaust to quest. But that's just one example. The other two Palantiri, of course, or at least the Orthanc one, should work with the Doomed mechanic to be really thematic.
As for rings, I would be happy if we just got a single neutral lesser ring attachment that gives a minor benefit like resource acceleration or a stat boost. Something not too powerful but useful enough that would also cover all the lesser rings the elven-smith made, as well as other magic rings there could be lying around in Middle Earth, that are not the Rings of Power themselves.
As for spells, we already have a few of those, but I was thinking of something rather extreme. I know we're getting a Gandalf hero soon, but I was thinking of the possibility to turn ANY wizard into a hero, I'm thinking of a neutral spell event called something like "Wizard Revealed", which would target both an Istari ally in play under your control and a hero you control. You discard the hero, and the chosen Istari becomes now a hero, gaining the sphere icon of the sacrificed hero and collects resources each round. This hero cannot leave play except by combat of encounter effects. The reason it wouldn't just lose his ability is to make Radagast more playable to compensate for his stats, and since the other wizards only have enters play effects, they would do basically nothing except have excellent stats.
This is just an idea though, and I do realize this event would be very hard to implement to the player card pool. The reason I made this thread is just to be sure Caleb is aware that these artifacts and wizards exist (I do think he is), and that they would be awesome to have in the game specifically. Not to mention it would expand the neutral player card pool and the lore of Middle Earth to great extent. I think it's shame we'll not see this kind of wizardly stuff in the Isengard/Ost-in-edhil cycle, but maybe we could see them in the next one, or if they ever make a cycle focused on the Blue Wizards.
Anyway, what do you think of this? This is a personal favorite theme of mine, but of course if we were to see it others should have to be interested in it as well. Would you like to see this kind of stuff in the game?