"It was in the beginning of the reign of Malvegil of Arhtedain that evil came to Arnor. For at that time the realm of Angmar arose in the North beyond the Ettenmoors. Its lands lay on both sides of the Mountains, and there were gathered many evil men, and Orcs, and other fell creatures. [The lord of that land was known as the Witch-King, but it was not known until later that he was indeed the chief of the Ringwraiths, who came north with the purpose of destroying the Dunedain in Arnor, seeing hope in their disunion, while Gondor was strong.] - LotR, Appendix A, (iii) The North Kingdom and the Dunedain
Angmar Arises :: MEDM :: hazard permanent-event :: c
Any creature that can be keyed to a Shadow-land may be keyed to Forochel, Arthedain, Angmar, Gundabad, or Rhudaur. Any creature that can be keyed to a Dark-domain may be keyed to Angmar or Gundabad. Discard this card when a creature keyed to one of these regions (not to the region symbol) is defeated.
"...the power of Angmar arose again, and the Witch-king came down upon Arthedain..." - LotR
Art by Douglas Chaffee
In Darkness Bind Them :: MEDM :: hazard permanent-event :: c
Any creature that can be keyed to a Shadow-land may be keyed to Ithilien, Harondor, Horse Plains, Khand, Imlad Morgul, Nurn, Gorgoroth, Udun, or Dagorlad. Any creature that can be keyed to a Dark-domain may be keyed to Khand, Imlad Morgul, Nurn, Gorgoroth, Udun, or Dagorlad. Discard this card when a creature keyed to one of these regions (not to the region symbol) is defeated.
Art by Donato Giancola
Reaching Shadow :: MEDM :: hazard permanent-event :: c
Any creature that can be keyed to a Shadow-land may be keyed to Anduin Vales, Northern Rhovanion, Southern Rhovanion, Grey Mountain Narrows, Woodland Realm, Western Mirkwood, Heart of Mirkwood, Southern Mirkwood, Brown Lands, or Dagorlad. Any creature that can be keyed to a Dark-domain may be keyed to Heart of Mirkwood, Southern Mirkwood, Brown Lands, or Dagorlad. Discard this card when a creature keyed to one of these regions (not to the region symbol) is defeated.
Art by Ted Naismith
I will readily admit that my favorite set of METW so far is MEDM. Dark Minions has so many cards in the set that bring much more of the sinister side of Middle Earth (like that's hard to do) to the fore. Cards like Out of the Black Sky, Durin's Bane, Nameless Thing, and these three, Angmar Arises, In Darkness Bind Them, and Reaching Shadow.
If you think about it, Orcs really aren't that hard to key, whether to region type or site type. I mean, a few cards here and there, and you've got yourself an orc parade.
What about other creatures keyable to Shadow-lands and Dark-domains? Here is a listing:
All Nazgul, all Trolls but Tom, all Undead, Crebain, Mouth of Sauron, Wargs, Dire Wolves, Lesser Spiders, Marsh-Drake, Lawless Men, Landroval, Elf-Lord Revealed in Wrath (w/no Doors), and Ent in Search of the Entwives (w/no Doors). (For the ease of writing, any further mention of creatures keyable to Shadow-lands and Dark-Domains will be limited to Trolls & Undead.)
Most of these are keyable to Shadow-land & Dark-domains if not to others like Shadow-holds or Dark-holds. Their playability limit allows them to be big usually from the get-go, and their pumpability is relatively easy. Well, you may think otherwise, but having a heavily boosted creature doesn't do you any good if your opponent never goes to the regions that your creatures lurk in.
So what exactly am I saying?
Let's put it another way. As far as we've seen so far, creature- hazard prowess and toughness, along with number of strikes (and MPs) are pretty much dependant upon playability. I am the sort of person who will hold on to a card for a really long time, biding my time, waiting for the moment when it's limited playability will pay off with it's big punch.
Dragons fit this bill, and there are ways to extend their playability such that the "big punch" is much more frequent, and requires less of a hold of your cards in hand.
This is where these three cards fit in and what makes them so useable. It takes the limited playability range of some of the harder creatures to play and extends it out quite a bit. And anything that allows me to manage my hand better as far as hazards go is a welcome addition in my deck. Notice all of these extentions come from the Dark-domains. A sort of "creeping doom" effect.
In fairness, these cards usually only work against a hero deck, though with some tweaking, even minions can find these cards really annoying.
Now, if we look at these cards closely, we see that they do not include Dark-holds or Shadow-holds. So, while the playability of some of the bigger creatures is extended somewhat, it still allows the relative balance of playability/power.
One immediately nice thing about these cards is the keyability to regions, not region types, so cards like Elven-cloak or Shadow-cloak (for the minions) simply do not work. Nor do card effects like tapping Gollum or Goldberry to stop an attack keyed to wilderness. However, Tom Bombadil and similar cards may still prevent attacks keyed to certain regions by name.
It's the region keying that's so important with these cards. Most of the Dark and Shadow domains are usually avoided, or they are directly targeted. So you are either facing a deck not suited to these regions, and therefore avoiding them, or one suited to these regions. Either way it can be frustrating to try to hit a company that rarely goes to these domains, and just as frustrating trying to hit a company that feeds off of strife, or to whom these attacks are sometimes merely detainment.
But much more often you will find a company skirting the edge of these domains. Wouldn't it be nice to hit a company going through Rhudaur with a big fat ambush of Olog-Hai? I mean, who ever expects that?
Even though these cards have been out for about a year, no one really expects Olog-Hai to come crashing down on them traipsing through Rhudaur to get to Rivendell. Nor do they expect the same from regions like Anduin Vales, Woodland Realm, Ithilien or even Harondor. Usually they are expecting drakes, Orcs, men hazards, or other wilderness and Border-land creatures. Hey, even the Undead can get nasty down in Rhudaur with these three cards in play.
The only drawback that I can see is the removal of these cards when a creature already keyable to these regions is defeated. (Example: if Angmar Arises is in play, and someone defeats the Dunlending Raiders. I have already sent an email to Ichabod concerning this, so look for the answer on the mailing list soon. I will send an update as needed).
If you manage your probabilities right, the chance that these cards will leave play because such a creature is defeated is really, really low. How easy do you think it would be to defeat Olog-Hai at 4 strikes at 11/5? And with the right cards in play, something like 4 strikes at 12/6!
Rogrog goes from 1 strike at 13/8 to 2 strikes at 15/9! Gothmog goes from 1 strike at 14/9 to 2 strikes at 16/10! Starting to sound like Nazgul, aren't they.
Well, the point is, with the right combo, these creatures can be very difficult to kill at best, and downright brutal at worst. Make your creatures big, then send 'em out to pound.
And here's an interesting tidbit. The current errata to these cards state that they do not allow creatures keyable to 2 shadow-lands to be played otherwise, like Wild Fell Beast. And while that's too bad, Morgul Night extends the playability of your Trolls, Undead and other whatnot tenfold. With Morgul Night in play, ALL wildernesses become Shadow-lands, and ALL Shadow-lands become Dark-Domains. I smell a combo.
The point is, give your heavy hitters the boost they REALLY need. Playability. What good is a big fat troll or undead if your opponent never goes to any of the sites or regions these creatures are in? Don't wait for the party to come to you, take it to THEM.
Original card review taken from : http://fan.theonering.net/morgulrats/
With the authorization of the webmaster.
The reviewing team consisted of Gwaihir (Chris Farrell), Gimli (Nathan Bruinooge), Ohtar (Charles E. Bouldin, Esq.), Radagast (James Kight), Joshua B. Grace (Beorn), Martijn Steultjens (Fram Frumgarson), Jason Klank (Saruman) and Jeffery Dobberpuhl (Wormtongue)