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card review Rats!

Card Review
Rats!: click to enlarge

Card text:

Playable on a company containing at least one minor item that is at or moving to a Ruins & Lairs [R], Shadow-hold [S], or Dark-hold [D]. Company discards one minor item of its choice or chooses one of its characters to become wounded (no body check required).

  • Card Number: LE328
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Card Type: Hazard Event
  • Alignment: Neutral
  • Artist: Tom Cross
written by LV44
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This card is nasty! I am writing about this card because I have been subjected to it (and abused by it) repeatedly in the last three weeks.

This card's strengths are three fold: it is most difficult to deflect or defeat; it can be played on a company "At" or "Moving To" a Ruins & Lairs, a Shadow-hold or a Dark-hold; and its zero MP risk.

Its weaknesses, such as they are, are mainly where it cannot be played; i.e., Border-holds, Free-holds and Havens and paths not destined to R&L, Shadow-hold or Dark-hold. Most players go to a Ruins & Lairs for the Info, and often for the items (can you say dragon hoard?) Except for heros running about mustering factions and allies, most hero companies will be travelling to any combination of the three qualifying sites. Minions are only safe if they are going to border-holds, free-holds or dark havens.

I can only see one method of dealing with Rats!, namely by changing the site type. Quiet Lands and Rebuild the Town are the only options I have found. Still, this means your company can bet hit by Rats! on the way to the site, plus the errata on Rebuild the Town means this solution will only work on subsequent turns. The other option is to not cart minor items, but this solution is no solution, as you don't know when playing if your opponent has Rats! in his or her deck. I suppose the alternative is to have Armory in play and store the minor items you are not using or willing to lose.

I shocked one opponent by choosing to wound Glorfindel II rather than surrender either my Black Arrow or my Horn of Anor. I saw it as card economy; I can always attempt to heal my characters, but trying to get a card from the discard pile back into my hand takes serious effort, more than a minor item is usually worth.

The fact that this card is a short-event, with no attack to defeat nor other practicable methods of thwarting means you are basically out of luck when your opponent plays this card. I hope that there will be a future card to deal with this type of card; something along the lines of Blinding Flash, Spell, Sage only, cancels one Rats! or one orc or troll auto-attack. If Doors of Night are in play, can be used to cancel Rats!, Orc and Troll attacks. Sage makes a corruption check at -2.


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 24, 2011 04:30 pm

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Discussion about this Card Review
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Author Message
LV64 United States send message

Avatar for duff6551
Member since
November 15, 2002
Subject:    Posted: July 24, 2011 04:30 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

an uncommon card with a lot of stuff going for it - its "short event" issue makes it a very good card to have
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