If you got a bit wary when you first saw this faction, wondering if it worth all the trouble, your response would be perfectly natural. Certainly there are more valuable dragon factions - scoring 5 or 6 MPs for Smaug or Itangast seems worth all the trouble, but Bairanax? 3 MPs? You can score 3 faction MPs far more easily in Moria or Gundabad, and there are even 4 MP factions that aren't as difficult to recruit, like the Hillmen and Dunlendings. So is Bairanax really worth the trouble?
Yeah, I think so. Because the dragon factions aren't just factions, after all - they are (potentially) a greivous thorn in the side of your opponent, a blight that is annoying at worst and devastating at best, that ALSO gives you MPs. Their region-spanning attacks could be just the ticket, and Bairanax's is no exception.
First, let's look at rousing the boy, though. Ovir Hollow has an easier auto-attack than its immediate neighbor, Gondmaeglom, but in other respects is very similar to that site. If you set it up right you could follow up the faction-raising with a Great Bats or two, always a nice thing. Nestled in a shadowland, it's a safer place for minions than Withered Heath or Northern Rhovanion, especially since starter movement there doesn't involve double wilderness. But the influence check needed is greater than 11, which is tough. And face it, you're not going to want to sacrifice an item in order to convince Bairanax to join your side in most cases. What this means is that, unless you're working with The Mouth + Blazon (a risky move but lovely if it works), you're going to need influence support cards, and lots of them. Even the +6 that Threats can give a Troll Lieutenant isn't enough to put the influence check into the Safe zone - needing >5 still makes me nervous. So you'll probably want to use someone's direct influence. The nice thing is that someone with 2 d.i. and blazon, coupled with a +3 by one or another boosting card, puts the influence check in a much more comfortable zone. But there's no getting around that it's a tough sell, so you'll probably be going after Bairanax in conjunction with other factions, so you can get the most out of the influence boosters.
And all this for only 3 MPs! If that was the end of the story, there wouldn't be much point at all. But once Bairanax is in play, he plagues your opponent. And while he's not big, the best thing about Bairanax is that he's far, far more likely to hit you than any other dragon. Smaug, say, will rip to shreds anyone travelling in the northeast, but there's quite a good chance that your opponent won't move to places where he's vulnerable. Bairanax hits Anduin Vales, oft-traveled by heroes and a not-uncommon waypoint for minions, either. He also hits Gundabad, which is a *major* minion hangout. Grey Mountain Narrows and Withered Heath are icing on the cake. The chance of Bairanax's regional attack actually proving useful is far, far greater than the other dragons'.
He's one of the smaller dragons, though - 2 strikes of 14/7. That will slow down most companies, and even if they can beat the strikes, two body checks at 7 give him better than even chances of surviving. There's a definite risk, though, if it's Beorn and Glorfindel who are doing the wandering, or Rogrog and his Posse of Pumped-up Orcs. Especially against heroes, who have more cards that can knock down a dragon's body, and who get MPs for the kill in addition to you losing the faction's, playing Bairanax Roused is a risk. However, don't overlook the fact that Bairanax chooses his targets - this can, in most cases, enable him to use one of his strikes to target a weaker character, lessening the risk of death. The risk is there, but I'd say it's worth it. Worst-case, you see that your opponent is playing with dragon-killers, so you hold off on playing him.
With its combination of MPs and hazard effectiveness, Bairanax Roused ranks pretty high among the dragons. Its balance of those two factors, especially considering the range of his attacks, makes it a card to contend with.
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)