Earcaraxe Roused :: MEAS :: Dragon Faction :: 4 MP :: r1
Unique. Manifestation of Earcaraxe. Playable at Isle of the Ulond if the influence check is greater than 11. Modifications: influencer discards a major item (+2) or a greater item (+5). All attacks by manifestations of Earcaraxe against any of your companies are canceled. Any company moving in Andrast Coast, Bay of Belfalas, Eriadoran Coast, and/or Andrast faces one attack: Dragon - two strikes at 17/7 prowess/body (attacker chooses defending characters).
Art by Omar Rayyan
Earcaraxe has always been the anomalous dragon, living in a completely differen corner of Middle-Earth as the others. She is also one of the biggest and the best, hazard-wise. Similarly, Earcaraxe Roused is one of the best dragon factions, but is unusual enough that it takes special planning to make her worth the trouble of recruiting.
The first thing to note is that her numbers are good - she's worth 4 MPs, but is easier to recruit than the other dragon factions at that level. At greater than 11, she's just as hard to recruit as Bairanax Roused (who's only a 3 MP faction), and easier to recruit than Leucaruth or Daelomin. The Hillmen, a faction that gives equal MPs, requires only 1 less to bring into play, and Earcaraxe Roused has the additional benefit of her attack.
That attack is formidable - 2 strikes at 17/7, with attacker choosing. The question is, will it come into play? Against a minion company, probably not - there are far fewer reasons for minions to operate with a coastal strategy. The coastal ruins & lairs force minion companies to tap characters when theyre revealed as sites, and they don't have any compensating bonuses. The Stones is still an easy place to score greater items for them, but greater items in general don't pack the punch for minions that they do for heroes. However, coastal strategies are still very common for heroes, and The Stones and Isles of the Dead that Live are commonly-visited sites - and sites that get hit by Earcaraxe Roused's regional attacks. Even if the heroes in question are buffed-up to handle dragons, her ability to choose defending characters can usually help to target a weaker character and prevent the chance of losing her (to say nothing of the insurance that her 7 body provides). So I'd strongly recommend using her against a hero opponent.
Attractive as a faction as she is, it can be a little tricky. That 11 requires some sort of supporting cards to pull in the faction - even a Horseman in the Night with a Blazon of the Eye needs greater than a 6 to recruit her. You can always use the items to help, but as far as I'm concerned that's still a last-resort sort of measure. And the problem is that there's not many other factions in the area, so the Gifts as Given or whatever else that you stock in the deck for her may not be easily used elsewhere. She isn't a no-brainer faction that you throw into any deck that works in that area. You have to build a deck that's designed to get her in play, and since designing a deck around just one card is often asking for trouble, you also have to have other significant things to do in the area. Is she worth all the trouble? Is such a deck doable? I'm working on it . . .
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)