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card review Dwar Unleashed

Card Review
Dwar Unleashed: click to enlarge
Dwar Unleashed

Card text:

Playable during the organization phase on Dwar the Ringwraith (if Dwar is your Ringwraith). His own company may use region movement this turn.
"'He was tall and black-like, and he stooped over me.'"-LotRI

  • Card Number: LE179
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Card Type: Resource Event
  • Alignment: Minion
  • Artist: Brad Williams
Dwar Unleashed
written by LV43
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His 9 prowess, 10 body put him in the upper half of the Ringwraith rankings--a position he shares with others, but is only exceeded by The Witch King. He's also not alone in having 5 direct influence, but again, no other Ringwraith can beat it. The main question with Ringwraiths is: to move or not to move? Dwar is very effective either way.

Leaving him at a Darkhaven makes his Warrior and Scout traits irrelevant, but it's nice that he's a sage and thus able to use sage-from-afar cards like Voices of Malice. His ability is highly useful in conjunction with companies, especially overt ones, that are out there to kick some butt. +1 prowess AND body, AND it's until the end of the turn for that company--a hefty combination. If you're using multiple companies, you can wait to use Dwar's ability on the company that needs it most, and if nobody needs it during the m/h phase, you can always use it to buff up a company for the auto-attack. There's certainly competition for better abilities from people like Hoarmurath and Adunaphel, but Dwar's may well prove to be the best for combat-oriented companies. He can even use the ability on his own company if he's about to set out with some buddies.

Things get more interesting when you decide to send Dwar out. He's a warrior, of course, but also a scout--a fact that makes it possible to use Ruse on him when alone to effectively cancel attacks without tapping. Very nice. He's not a ranger, which is a little bit of a drawback, although not as much as you may think--if he's travelling alone, River is going to slow him down either way. He can use sorcery, which opens up a number of combat options.

He is NOT the man with the smooth tongue--his penalty cancels the bonus for Heralded Lord mode, leaving him a vulnerable 7/10 with only 5 direct influence. Except I wouldn't exactly call that vulnerable--it's actually not bad--and that's as bad as it gets. He's also penalized in Fell Beast mode, leaving him only at 10/00 with 3 direct influence. Both are less-than-optimal, but still respectable, modes.

Clearly, Dwar is meant to excel on horseback. His default stats are formidable, and, most importantly, he is FLEXIBLE--he has the prowess to handle many auto-attacks, and can thus pick up items, but he also has enough direct influence to have a very good chance at many factions. So while mode cards may render other Ringwraiths ideal for either fighting OR recruiting, Dwar in Black Rider mode can do both.

His stock will certainly rise, too, with the release of Against The Shadow's Black Horse allies. With that card, Black Rider mode becomes the easiest one by far to achieve, and his 5 direct influence can also be used easily to hold other Ringwraith followers. In fact, with his special ability and especially with his Unleashed card (see below), Dwar may well be the best Ringwraith to lead a bunch of his fellows out into the wide, wide world.

b. Dwar Unleashed
Resource Short-Event
Playable during the organization phase on Dwar the Ringwraith's company (If Dwar is your Ringwraith). His own company may use region movement this turn.
Art by Brad Williams

Dwar Unleashed. This is, arguably, the most powerful of the Unleashed cards. Ringwraiths are tough, virtually unkillable, and bigger and badder than their Maia counterparts. But they can only use starter movement--ouch! This means that, as a rule, they accumulate resources at only half the rate of other companies, all else being equal. But not Dwar. Once you get him going, you can keep him going and going from site to site, unworried about corruption for all the items he accumulates. Mucho efficiency there. If he has another Ringwraith follower (Uvatha is ideal), it's an unstoppable force.

Dwar's alternate home site also comes into play here a little--you can start him off at Cirith Gorgor and, with Dwar Unleashed, reach Beorn's House or Lonely Mountain or Shrel-Kain on the first turn. This is a marginal bonus, granted, but a bonus nonetheless.

So what about Forced March? Can't _all_ Ringwraith's accomplish basically the same thing using that card, at the price of just an additional movement-hazard phase? True, the cards played are basically the same. But all that extra movement sends your Ringwraith through a lot of extra regions--regions that could hold Elf-lords Revealed or other nasties. And Dwar Unleashed offers other flexibilities--for example, setting out from a Haven to a reachable site that doesn't have that Haven as "nearest Haven".

So, all hail the new Dwar. The "hey there, Dances With Wolves" comments will now stop.


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 March 1, 2006 06:37 pm

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