I have always found Tolkien's use of Palantíri in the Lord of the Rings one of his most clever devices (among so many). It is one of those aspects of his work that can only gain with time. It is now easy to see a Palantír as modern media in which one can be served the truth but only wrapped up in many a lie or false perception. The fact that Denethor's or Saruman's gaze was strayed by Sauron for them to see what he wanted them to believe, is very frightening, when one applies the situation to himself, him being the one in want of knowledge and Sauron being the Evil Eye of whoever wants to gain from you believing his falsehood.
The above would of course make for a great discussion if anyone is willing. But since this is the boards for the game, I will draw into the new player card of that title. I believe the design of the Palantír which came with the Assault on Osgiliath is also the designers' finest hour. I wouldn't believe it when I first saw the card. It seemed underwhelming. But thematically, it is as strong as ever. In my games, I was aware that using it will potentially (and very likely) harm me, but the want for wisdom was too great to resist the temptation. And sometimes knowledge I gained by looking into the Palantír only resulted in despair.
That said, the card can also undoubtedly win you games. It is much stronger in solo if one is seeking card draw and safer scouting. But it may be ideal in 2-player game to find out 2 upcoming staging cards, plus another which may become a shadow. In solo, with proper threat management, you can use Palantír repeatedly and for the latter attempts you may be safe on one or two cards matching the named type. Scouting with Henamarth or Denethor (how thematic, again) will make this also a better option, with the likes of Shadows of the Past or Watchful Peace being an occasional combo. Overall I recommend trying this strategy to everyone, at the least to see how strong is his will against the tempting and dangerous knowledge.
Edited by lleimmoen, 23 August 2013 - 12:56 AM.