News for November 2013
The Dark Lord Will Have His Prize
The Morgul Vale Is Now Available for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 15 November 2013

“Pippin knew the shuddering cry that he had heard: it was the same that he had heard long ago in the Marish of the Shire, but now it was grown in power and hatred, piercing the heart with a poisonous despair.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

The dramatic story of the Against the Shadow cycle reaches its thrilling conclusion in The Morgul Vale, now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore!

One of Gondor’s greatest heroes has been abducted. Now it’s up to you to save him, and there’s no time to waste as the Dark Lord’s minions rush their prized captive into the mouth of Mordor.

In The Morgul Vale, you must battle your way through relentless waves of foes, so it’s time to draw your blades and charge headlong at the enemy. As you race to beat the Dark Lord’s minions to the gates of Minas Morgul, you’ll find that your enemies are more organized than usual. Under the command of three Captains, one for each quest stage, the forces of Mordor grow stronger with every attack.

The first of these Captains is the Uruk, Murzag (The Morgul Vale, 151), who commands the rearguard. You must defeat him to continue deeper into the dreaded vale, but defeating this Captain is no easy task. Each time he attacks, he stands a good chance of summoning more of Mordor’s forces to his aid, and some of those forces may include his own retinue of bodyguards. Throughout the series of lethal skirmishes that define this action-filled Adventure Pack, you’ll find a number of Morgul Bodyguards (The Morgul Vale, 148) ready to sacrifice themselves to ensure their commanders’ survival.

If you make your way past Murzag, you’ll still have to face two more of Mordor’s Captains before you can hope to rescue Gondor’s captive hero. All the while, the Dark Lord’s minions continue their march To the Tower (The Morgul Vale, 147). Can you fight your way through some of the greatest adversaries you’ve ever faced? Can you survive the perils of the vale and unforeseen treacheries? These are the challenges that lie before you with The Morgul Vale!

Confronting the Shadow at the Gates of Minas Morgul

Over the course of five Adventure Packs, the Against the Shadow cycle has immersed players in its webs of mystery, conspiracy, and deceit. While its individual scenarios each offer unique mechanics and satisfying play experiences, they can also link together to weave a larger, grander narrative arc, one that finds its roots in the tavern brawl that opens the first scenario in Heirs of Númenor and that grows ever larger, darker, and more mysterious.

Now the cycle’s final secrets are at last revealed! In The Morgul Vale, you’ll not only battle some of the game’s toughest foes, you’ll find your way to the heart of the conspiracies and conspirators that your heroes first uncovered in the back alleys and catacombs of Minas Tirith. But will you be uprooting this evil once and for all, or will you be falling into a well-laid trap?

The Strength of Gondor

Throughout Heirs of Númenor and the Against the Shadow cycle, a number of cards have provided new strength to the Gondor trait. Now, in The Morgul Vale, three more cards offer additional enhancements to decks built around the trait, and a fourth card also lends itself to Gondor-themed builds.

  • The first of these cards is the potent Leadership attachment, Visionary Leadership (The Morgul Vale, 136). Attached to a Gondor hero, it provides all Gondor characters a permanent one-point boost to Willpower so long as its bearer has one unspent resource in his or her resource pool. This Skill attachment is perhaps the first card you’d want to add to any Gondor deck that uses Boromir (Heirs of Númenor, 1). While he has the resource to back up his Visionary Leadership, Boromir provides universal bonuses for Gondor characters that echo those that Dain Ironfoot (Return to Mirkwood, 116) provides to Dwarf characters. One of the aspects of the comparison that falls in Boromir’s favor, however, is that he doesn’t have to remain standing to grant his bonuses. Instead, he just needs to retain a single resource, and that’s not a difficult matter for a Leadership character; with the Steward of Gondor (Core Set, 26) attachment in their sphere of influence, Leadership heroes excel at collecting resources.
  • Even in a multi-sphere deck where he has to spend his Leadership resources to bring in allies, Boromir may be able to keep ahead of the resource curve. The Pelargir Ship Captain (The Morgul Vale, 135) can ship a resource token to Boromir from any of your other heroes. In a multiplayer game, he can even ship a resource from a willing ally’s hero. And, of course, the shipments flow more than one way. You could also move a resource from Boromir’s pool (or another hero’s) to fortify any character with the Blood of Númenor (Heirs of Númenor, 13) attached.
  • Gondor heroes may also benefit from the new Steed of the Mark (The Morgul Vale, 139). For a single Spirit resource, it grants any Gondor or Rohan character the same ability that makes Core Set Aragorn (Core Set, 1) one of the game’s most versatile heroes.
  • Finally, while it doesn’t specifically address the Gondor trait, the Scroll of Isildur (The Morgul Vale, 142) certainly deserves a place in any Gondor-themed Lore deck. Faramir (Assault on Osgiliath, 81) was always an apt pupil, wise, and learned in the scrolls of song and lore. Any knowledge he might gain from the Scroll of Isildur, he would almost certainly apply to his travels through the forests of Ithilien. Perhaps it would help him gain Advance Warning (The Drúadan Forest, 40) of all his enemy’s movements, not just some of them. Perhaps, in the Scroll, Faramir and his companions might find some echo of Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear, 9), and they might find some answers to the questions they face.

The Climactic Conclusion

Throughout the Against the Shadow cycle, we’ve seen new support for the Gondor trait and mono-sphere decks, and we’ve pushed deeper into the darkness of a conspiracy with its roots in Mordor. Now it’s time to finish your quest!

Develop your decks, gather your courage, and march into The Morgul Vale. The fate of Gondor is at stake, so head to your local retailer today to pick up your copy!

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.

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