“Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey!”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
The epic adventure that begins in the shadowed streets and alleyways of Gondor’s greatest city reaches its conclusion with a desperate battle at the very gates of Mordor…
After exploring underworld locations, encountering hidden ambushes, and rallying the troops during battles and sieges, the new scenario from The Morgul Vale presents Middle-earth’s greatest heroes with an opportunity to ride against the strength of Mordor, itself. Should they succeed, though, the heroes will find no peace. Instead, they must fend for their lives in battle against one of Mordor’s undying captains, the Nazgûl of Minas Morgul!
Meanwhile, while the Against the Shadow cycle has developed the Gondor trait and strengthened mono-sphere decks, The Morgul Vale draws the cycle’s focus on these themes to a close. Players gain an inspiring new hero and three copies of each new player card.
Leading the Charge Against the Shadow
Even as The Morgul Vale builds toward a climactic confrontation with one of the Dark Lord’s greatest servants, it also reinforces the ranks of Middle-earth’s greatest heroes with the arrival of the renowned warrior and noble king of Rohan, Théoden (The Morgul Vale, 134).
Much like Dáin Ironfoot (Return to Mirkwood, 116), Théoden offers a static boost to a range of characters. However, unlike Dáin, Théoden offers his boost even while he is exhausted. While players have long made great use of Dáin’s ability to inspire their Dwarf characters, to do so they have had to build their decks around any number of abilities to ready Dáin after he exhausts. Otherwise, they have had to look at Dáin’s eleven starting threat, his Willpower, his Attack Value, and his tremendous Defense Value and then count them all as a loss – unless they could afford to give up the bonuses he offers to all the other Dwarf characters in play.
Théoden is a more active leader. King of the Horse-lords, Théoden is every bit as comfortable in his saddle as he is upon a throne. He was not meant to idle and wither; he was meant to ride against his foes with sword in hand, and his attributes reflect this idea. Boosted by his ability, Théoden can quest for three Willpower, attack for three Attack Strength, or defend with Sentinel and two Defense Strength. Indeed, when you use Théoden, you won’t have nearly so much difficulty finding a good use for his talents as you’ll have in choosing between the options available to you.
Fortunately, there are a number of cards in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game that allow you to ready an exhausted character, and The Morgul Vale introduces one more that suits Théoden perfectly. Steed of the Mark (The Morgul Vale, 139) attaches to a Gondor or Rohan hero for one resource and allows that hero to spend one resource to ready after committing to the quest.
Then, with Théoden leading the charge, your Tactics heroes can quest with the sort of Willpower previously thought available only to Spirit teams. In this way, The Morgul Vale and the Against the Shadow cycle continue to develop the personalities of each of the game’s four spheres of influence and offer players a plethora of reasons to experiment with decks built around spheres they may have previously overlooked.
Quest to the End
Follow Théoden’s charge, or find your own path to the gates of Mordor. The Morgul Vale, the action-packed conclusion to the Against the Shadow cycle, is scheduled to arrive at retailers in the third quarter of 2013!