Note: When I refer to Havens in general, I will use the term "Haven" or "Havens". When I am referring to Darkhavens, I will use the term "Darkhaven". If I refer to Hero Havens, I will say "Hero Havens".
Well, first off I would like to apologize for the lack of any entry text of any sort, but Geann a-Lisch isn't anywhere I can find in Tolkien's works. And I to this point have tried to avoid using ICE's lore and flavor text. And so I will continue to do so.
Basic thoughts on Geann a-Lisch in general...
Being in Old Pukel Land, Geann a-Lish may not be in the most popular region in MECCG, nor will it be the most popular site. Yet there seems to be something intriguing about this site that eludes a first and even a second glance. One could almost say sinister.
The most obvious thing one notices about both of these versions as a whole is their site paths. Both of them contain at least 3 wildernesses. That by itself opens up an entire realm of nasties, from Were-worm to True Fire Drake to Lure of Nature gone berserk. Both versions are considered Ruins & Lairs for purposes of hazards, so both invite the wealth of creatures that one might find lurking about in old ruins. But let's take a closer look at each version seperately, and see how similar they really are. Or are they?
The minion version is basically a Ruins & Lairs that acts as a Haven in the same way that Minas Tirith would with a White Tree. You can heal there, and that's about it. Then again, being a ruins & lairs, I've never had a Cave-drake played on me at Minas Tirith either, because the White Tree also gives Minas Tirith the Haven status for the purposes of hazard play. Talk about roughing it. This site is probably the nastiest Haven you'll ever see.
Geann a-Lisch is also the only Haven that has a site path for the purposes of playing hazards. Now, let's think about what that really means to such a site. There are a few hazards that target sites with certain site paths, and normally, none of these hazards affected Havens. Cards like Drowing Seas, Foul Fumes, Fell Winter and Dragon's Desolation come to mind. Now, bear in mind, not all of these cards affect Geann a-Lisch, but somewhere in all that environment mirk I would guess there is a nasty combo I am not seeing. Like I said before, something sinister.
Besides the regular fare of creatures playable with up to 3 wilderness in the site path or creatures playable at Ruins & Lairs (and there are quite a few believe me), here are some other hazards that you might have missed:
Corsairs of Umbar, Dragon's Desolation, Pukel-Men, Earcaraxe Ahunt, Rain-drake, Doubled Vigilance (w/Doors = Detainment Orcs), Sleepless Malice (w/Doors), Neeker-Breekers, Saruman the Wise, Rats!, Dwarven Travellers/Maia combo and finally, Stout Men of Gondor. Some of these you may have expected, some of them you may not have. But the thing to remember from this list is how UNsafe this Darkhaven really is.
So why did it appear in the game? Good question. My guess is to give minions a 4th place to rest up, but man what an unsafe place. And I'm sure it's no surprise that no one I have played has ever gone there for any reason. Nor is there a character who's home site is Geann a-Lisch. Now you might be saying...what about Tuma, Burat, and Wuluag? Can't they come in at any non Under-deeps Ruins & Lairs? Well yes, but Geann a-Lisch is a Ruins & Lairs only for the purposes of playing and interpreting hazards, so as I see it, there are no characters or agents (currently) who can come in at Geann a-Lisch.
The hero version of Geann a-Lisch is decidedly nastier, and for one simple reason: the "Special" liner note on the site..."Any Man hazard creature can be played at this site". If I have to explain how positively nasty THAT is, then you haven't experienced any serious competition yet, and you haven't been playing any of the really hot decks that utilize man hazards.
Man hazards remain some of THE nastiest hazards in the game, period. I mean, they are bad enough, but this site allows ANY of them to be played here. Don't believe that could hurt bad? Try going to this site without getting hit by an Assassin. Except NOW, he doesn't HAVE to wait at a Border or Free-Hold to gut you, nor does an Ambusher have to catch you going through a Border-land or Free-Domain.
In case you haven't been keeping count, this includes (besides all the creatures keyable to 3 wildernesses or less or at Ruins & Lairs): Abductor, Ambusher, Assassin, Brigands, Corsairs of Umbar, Mouth of Sauron, Pick Pocket, Thief, Dunlending Raiders, Beorning Toll, Horse- Lords, Lawless Men, Pirates, Sellswords Between Charters, The Border- Watch, Lord of the Carrock and Stout Men of Gondor. I may have missed 1 or 2.
Not to mention all of the cards that boost such attacks: Rank Upon Rank, Clouds, Night, Carrion Birds, Thrice Outnumbered, Pierced by Many Wounds (shudder), Fury of the Iron Crown, Something Has Slipped (brrrr!), Scimitars of Steel, Helms of Iron, and Two or Three Tribes Present (the possibilities with THIS card and the site positively give me nightmares!). Again, pardon me if I may have missed 1 or 2 cards.
By the way, the site has an auto-attack of Men, 4 strikes w/8 prowess. And lest we forget all those Ruins & Lairs auto-attack pump cards such as: Arouse Denizens, Awaken Denizens, Choking Shadows, Eye of Sauron, Incite Denizens and Tidings of Bold Spies.
Here's a tasty combo for you to munch on: Imagine you are actually going to Geann a-Lisch, and your opponent has Rank Upon Rank in play, as well as Scimitars of Steel. With a hazard limit of three, your opponent decides to play, Arouse Denizens, Awaken Denizens and Incite Denizens, in that order. You are now facing the following attacks at Geann a-Lisch (if you are so bold to actually go in at this point), 10 strikes at 13....twice.
So, what do we get for all these ulcers? Not much in the way of playable stuff, just Information, and Minor or Major items. Seem a bit out of whack? Well, for all the trouble you'll be facing, it is. If you are going to this site unprepared, you are asking for a sword up the kazoo.
Save yourself a whole lot of heartache and heartburn by finding some other site to raid, unless you really really want to try out every site. But fair warning, you'd better be packing a lot of Dark Quarrels and other cancellers.
As for me, I now have a new favorite site not to visit anytime soon.
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)