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card review Not Slay Needlessly

Card Review
Not Slay Needlessly: click to enlarge
Not Slay Needlessly

Card text:

Playable on an attack by Elves, Dwarves, Dúnedain, or Men. Against a covert company, the attack is canceled. Otherwise, -2 to the attack's prowess. Cannot be duplicated on a given attack.
"'You will not have us slay wild beasts for no purpose, and it seemed no more, so I tried no arrow.'"-LotRII

  • Card Number: LE207
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Card Type: Resource Event
  • Alignment: Minion
  • Artist: Stephen F. Schwartz
Not Slay Needlessly
written by LV43
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This is one of the key cancellation cards that make covert companies viable and effective. Just about any covert deck will want at least a couple of them. The other covert staple is, of course, Ruse - a non-unique rare. Have I mentioned how much that bothers me? Shame, ICE, shame. For the poor among us, though, NSN can perform admirably.

The benefits of the card are immense - not just cancellation, but cancellation WITHOUT TAPPING. This makes the card ideal for handling that last hazard creature or auto-attack that would otherwise tap out your party. And it's not dependent on what skills any of your characters have - your scouts can all be tapped, for example, and it's still no problem. Like many MELE cards, NSN's flexibility is enhanced by a secondary ability. This one isn't too important, though, and it's all because of one word: "otherwise".

If the second ability read "alternatively" instead, now THAT would be wonderful. As it is, it only applies if the company is not covert. And in most cases, you commit to either a covert OR an overt resource side in the first place. If, however, you do opt for a split strategy, with one overt and one covert company, this card's flexibility will come into play. Both the abilities are thematically appropriate: the Free Peoples will hesitate before skilling, and even against abominations like orcs their compassion holds to some degree. The fools.

Before you get too excited about this card, remember that its limitations are severe. It only works against Elves, Dwarves, Dunedain, and Men. Depending on what hazards your opponent is playing, this card's usefulness could be cut short. A Man hazard strategy is common enough. A Dunedain/Elf strategy is also workable for the more card-laden folks. No such thing as a Dwarf hazard strategy (yet). All in all, your chances are pretty slim of any given opponent playing hazards that will all fall under the above categories. You're likely to slow down the odd Assassin here and there, but . . . keep NSN in the sideboard, right?

Not quite. Ultimately, it's not the hazard creatures you're worried about. It's the auto-attacks. Scads of MELE auto-attacks are Man attacks and Dunedain ones. All the southern border- and free-holds have them, not to mention key faction sites further north like Cameth Brin and Dunnish Clan-hold. Often these attacks are just detainment against a covert company, but detainment is all that's needed to tap out your vulnerable diplomat who's the only one with a decent chance to recruit the faction. NSN works against the formidable Dunedain guard around Bag End, and even those huge auto-attacks at the Dwarf-holds. Limited as it is, you'll always have a use for NSN, unless you're recruiting Orc and Wolf factions and picking up your items at dragons' lairs and the like. In which case you'd probably be playing overt anyway.

So, like all limitations, the ones on this card are easily overcome by making a deck that exploits its advantages. Which, it should be clear, is extraordinarily easy to do.


Original card review taken from :
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)


Modified on July 16, 2011 09:36 am

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LV63 United States send message

Avatar for duff6551
Member since
November 15, 2002
Subject:    Posted: July 16, 2011 09:36 am Reply with quote Report content icon

the most obvious advice here is to build your deck around this cards advantages and hope to eliminate the disadvantages - sound advice for any deck - this is an uncommon card and the poor among us thank you for its review
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