Okay, okay. So the ball has been most notably dropped. For May Galadriel became my Hero of the Month and before I knew it June was screeching towards me like a freight train with no sign of it slowing down. Not to get into too many details but recent restructures at work were chief in my inability to get content out on time. Alas I haven’t had much time to play the game either.
So instead of brushing Galadriel and the month of May under the rug I’m going to march on and give the Lady of the Wood the spotlight she deserves.
Please refer to my original announcement article on Galadriel to read up on who she is and why she is an amazing character. For this article, we will focus on some of her toys she has at her disposal. And we will start with two of the big hitters.
That’s right you guessed it. Nenya! (not pictured in above image).
Nenya, our second Ring of Power of the famous Three is nothing short of vital for Galadriel. Her inherent ability to draw cards and reduce threat is certainly powerful and allowing characters when they enter the game to quest without exhausting and an ever constant threat is equally amazing. However her high willpower of 4 is basically a moot point if she can’t do anything with it. Thankfully, Nenya allows our fair Lady to exhaust and give her willpower to another character. Not only is this a powerful effect (imagine using it with Theoden and his sword) but it’s very thematic as well. Galadriel in the novels was very much a sideline player, tending to her own borders while her people leave the shores of Middle Earth. Despite her isolation Galdriel’s influence stretched across vast distances and characters such as Frodo would find strength just in the thought of her. As a nice cherry on top Nenya grants Galadriel access to the Lore Sphere, akin to Vilya giving Elrond access to Spirit. I personally enjoy this effect the most as it opens many deckbuilding opportunities in decks that would most likely be heavy spirit.
The Mirror of Galadriel is yet another home run in regards to theme and mechanics working harmoniously. And like Galadriel’s ring, it is a powerful tool for players (though maybe not as vital). In the novels the Mirror is a mysterious artifact capable of great power, but at a cost. It would show the viewer images of the past, present and future (though the latter was always in debate since actions can drastically alter said future). Galadriel warns both Frodo and Sam of this and reminds them that is misused the Mirror can bring about despair. It’s meant as a guide, and though it can provide a good amount of knowledge, one has to walk along a knife’s edge to do so. Mechanically, the Mirror does exactly what you’d expect. It’s user may view the top ten cards of his deck, pick one and add to his hand, and then randomly discard one. Even with a full hand a player runs the risk of setting themselves back a couple steps, discarding the key card they hoped for. Coincidentally, the Mirror gets more treacherous the less cards a player has in their hand and therefore the more desperate they may be and the more prone they are to failure. From a design perspective, it’s cost of 1 (low as it is) makes the card well worth it. I can’t imagine taking the risk for simply two resources.
I won’t really list all of them, but a great number of Spirit Allies work wonderfully with Galadriel. Allies that require exhaustion, like The Riddermark’s Finest, get quite a boost in value when Galadriel is out The ability to quest and potentially chump block is an amazing effect that a player can hope to get every turn (provided they keep playing allies). In a Silvan oriented build, this is certainly possible as allies bounce on and off the table. Ironically, the one ally that potentially loses out when Galadriel is on the field is her very own granddaughter, Arwen Undomniel (ally) who can’t use her ability the turn she enters play.
Galadriel is a very versatile hero. As I hinted in my announcement article, I am very impressed by the fact that she can fit in with several decks, not just one like Celeborn or Dain Ironfoot. Her only downfall is when Nenya overrides her ability to reduce threat and provide card draw. If you play your card right (pun intended) you could slap an Unexpected Courage on her and reap the benefits.
My apologies this article is not as in depth as I would like. Even deeper apologies for falling off the map for a month. I am glad to be back and I think that giving Galadriel an extra month will give me the time I need to get back on track. So keep an eye out for more articles, and some decks that I have made (or seen) that make great use of the Lady of the Golden Wood.
-The Secondhand Took