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card review Minor Ring

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Card Review
Minor Ring: click to enlarge
Minor Ring

Card text:

Lesser Ring. Playable only with a Gold Ring and after a test indicates a Lesser Ring. +2 to direct influence. Cannot be duplicated on a given character.
"'...magic rings as you call them, and they were, of course, of various kinds: some more potent and some less.'"-LotRI

  • Card Number: LE129
  • Rarity: Common
  • Card Type: Resource Item
  • Alignment: Minion
  • Artist: Audrey Corman
Minor Ring
written by LV44
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There's an old English expression that goes, "Take care of the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves." Meaning, that if you concentrate on gathering and saving the seemingly insignificant, in due course you will have something far greater. The Minor Rings are your pennies, the pounds your blessing from Sauron.

The Dwarven Rings are so tempting, are they not? All those sexy marshalling points, the incredible stat bonuses and the poetry of actually bestowing one upon a dwarf - as if the past glories of Durin himself might just be reclaimed. But it is such a gamble and, even after hoarding the right cards and making that sweet, sweet roll, you are faced with a horrendous corruption problem. In MELE, this is even greater an issue with the inclusion of The Roving Eye and, worse yet, Covetous Thoughts.

There is an easier path, and one that brings a fair share of bounty: the Lesser Rings. There are many advantages;

1) All of the common gold ring items can result in a Lesser Ring, so there are easily enough source GRI's for any deck.

2) Any result of a test can produce a Lesser Ring, so the issue of chance is entirely eliminated.

3) The Lesser Rings themselves are all non-unique, so there is no tense wait for the desired ring to turn up.

4) They offer a delightful 2:1 MP to corruption ratio; and

5) Their abilities are actually quite useful.

There are three Lesser Rings: Minor Ring, Paltry Ring and Trifling Ring and each conveys its own subtle benefits.

Minor Ring gives +2 to the bearer's direct influence. A bonus of this size turns a lesser character into a serious diplomat. Place it with a Lieutenant or Horseman in the Night and you obviate the need for Muster, Gifts Given of Old and similar one-off enhancers. In a faction-gathering deck, the Minor is more versatile than these cards, requires less overall deck space (two cards for a permanent effect) and also generates item marshalling points to balance those from factions. Blazon of the Eye grants the faction bonus, but delivers no MP and the Blazon cannot be used to control characters. Minor Ring controls characters as well, so the card can find a place in decks designed to make use of bruiser companies, or simply to keep a healthy amount of GI in reserve.

Paltry Ring grants its bearer an enormous +3 to prowess. With no limit to prowess (Carambor becomes a 9/9 warrior/ranger/scout). It is also not a weapon, so it can combine with the various blades, spears and maces. True, it only works against detainment attacks. So, okay, design your strategy accordingly. Use a covert party and raid the freeholds for all the greater items you can carry. Give it too a covert party and head in to Moria and the Goblin Gate. You'll soon find that `detainment only' is no great disadvantage.

Trifling Ring conveys a hefty +3 to direct influence. However, it can only be used against characters. The Orc Brawler could take Grishnak as a follower, or Shagrat have three Brawlers under his sway. Nice enough. But wait, there's more (in addition to the set of steak knives), as Trifling Ring is the perfect tool in an influence deck. Plus three against all characters. Even your opponents. Slap it on L. Of Angmar and watch him dismiss every orc and troll your opponent can summon to his/her cause with 8 DI. Hand it to Nain and have him really unsettle your opponents Dwarven Plunderers hero party. It isn't a very sporting way to victory but you're playing the bad guys here, dammit, you're supposed to be vicious. Sauron will love you for it.

As far as getting these little beauties into play, MELE has given you the gift of Gleaming Gold Ring. When tested, you may search your discard pile or play deck for any Lesser Ring and bring it straight into play. So, were you hoping to use up to three Paltry Rings to plunder the freeholds? No problem, all you have to include is three Gleaming Gold Rings. If the Paltry Rings come up first, you don't even have to waste your time and hand slots; the ring will be waiting patiently for you in the discard pile once you've tested that shining band.

The biggest drawback of the ring-strategy in MELE is the 4 CP that each of the Gold Ring Items carries, and the need to make a corruption check each turn until tested. This is less of a problem if you use your Ringwraith. They're close to invulnerable in combat, (especially if they have a magic or two handy, or one of the combat-oriented Unleashed cards) they have no worries with corruption and come equipped with a home ring-test kit. Send them to a borderhold, play Come By Night Upon Them and your Ringwraith can hang around for a second turn and play another Gleaming Gold Ring, a more efficient move in a time-vexed game. When the party returns to the darkhaven, your Ringwraith can hand over the rings (again no corruption checks) and the greater items and men factions will be so close, you'll smell them. (Especially the men factions; those Dunlendings never wash.)

So finding those pounds hard to come by? Gather the pennies - you'll be rich and powerful by game's end.


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 22, 2011 08:01 pm

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LV65 United States send message

Avatar for duff6551
Member since
November 15, 2002
Subject:    Posted: July 22, 2011 08:01 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

a common card with a lot of good going for it - the only problem i see with it is deck management - needing quite a few cards to make it worth-while
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