- Card Talk Season 5 Episode 31
- Angmar Awakens
- Treachery of Rhudar
- Player Card Categories
- Mono Sphere Required
It’s a double Sneak Attack!
There is no flavor text to link the card to a specific event in the books. There are a few specific instances of reinforcements arriving it could relate to.
- The arrival of Dain and his dwarves from the Blue Hills to reinforce Thorin and his company at Erebor while besieged by the Men of Dale and Elves of Mirkwood.
- Gandalf, Erkenbrand, the Rohhrim they gathered, and the Hurons reinforcing Theoden at Helm’s Deep.
- The Rohirrim reinforcing Gondor at The Battle of Pelennor Fields.
- Also at The Battle of Pelennor Fields, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and the Gondor’s armies from the southern fiefdoms.
The art depicting Gondorian soliders is likely referring to the arrival of Aragorn with the southern fiefs’ armies.
Placing 2 allies into play definitely fits with more troops arriving to aid those already engaged in battle. Those troops leaving soon after seems a little of mismatch. More likely in a battle reinforcements would relieve the battle weary troops that they could fall back, rest, and rejoin the battle later. If the mechanism allowed returned any 2 allies controlled by the player that would be more thematic, but also incredibly more powerful.
Card Synergies and Interactions
Allies with Enters Play or Leaves Play Abilities
There are many allies with abilities that trigger when they enter and/or leave play. The effects they can provide encompasses just about anything a player could want to trigger. The Core Set gave players card draw, condition removal, direct location progress, direct damage, enemy engagement, direct damage, and threat reduction all as enters play abilities. It expanded over the years to include action advantage, card search, resource smoothing, resource acceleration, discard recursion, card search, encounter control, defense reduction, engagement control, and healing.
What sets this card apart from Sneak Attack is twofold. It brings in 2 allies and they don’t have to be from the same player. This can lead to some great coordinated effects. Meneldor and Woodland Courier can be used to explore a 5 quest point location. Marksman of Lorien can lower an enemy’s defense to improve the effectiveness can Knight of Minas Tirith‘s engage and attack ability. Mablung or Son of Arnor can pull down an extra enemy for Sarn Ford Sentry‘s card draw.
I’d be remiss without mentioning Core Set Gandalf because Reinforcements a double Sneak Attack, and Gandalf + Sneak Attack cemented Sneak Attack as a Leadership staple. Reinforcements + Gandalf alone isn’t quite the value that Sneak Attack is. Three Leadership resources to draw 3 cards, lower threat by 5, or deal 4 direct damage to an enemy and use Gandalf’s 4 willpower, attack, or defense for a phase still isn’t bad. For example, the threat reduction is on par with Favor of the Valar and only 1 less for Galadhrim’s Greeting. It is just not as great of value as the one cost Sneak Attack. The real value of Reinforcements + Gandalf is when played with Galadhrim Weaver.
Galadhrim Weaver easily enables recurring Reinforcements turn after turn. A player only needs to make sure to have 2 copies of Reinforcements. After playing the first one, play the second with Galadhrim Weaver to shuffle the first one back into the deck. It becomes more reliable as a player draws out their deck or if Galadhrim Minstrel is used to search the top 5 for the shuffled in copy. Tome of Atanatar is another option that is in sphere with Reinforcements. It is not quite as easy to get Reinforcements to recur endlessly since Second Breakfast is needed to get Tome to put Reinforcements back into the deck more than 3 times each game.
Triggered Abilities by Characters Entering or Leaving Play
Aside from the effects you can get back by putting 2 allies into play, there are some cards that trigger effects when one enters or leaves play. Valiant Sacrifice is one of the few options for card draw in Leadership. Tactics Eomer, Leadership Prince Imrahil, and Gwaihir heroes all benefit from Reinforcements being played to activate their attack boosting or readying effects. Eagles of the Misty Mountains like Eomer can gains additional combat power although getting the ally back to hand can be better in many situations. Defender of the Naith with its readying works well if a player plays Reinforcements during combat preferably after it had defended once.
A Very Good Tale
This card can basically have Reinforcements give a player 2 allies that will stick around longer than a phase. A player only needs to exhaust the 2 allies from Reinforcements for A Very Good Tale’s action. The player can use high cost allies and potentially get high cost allies because Reinforcements will put any 2 into play for 3 resources.
Using 2 high cost powerful allies for 1 phase is a pretty good deal. Using 2 high cost powerful allies twice in a round is even better. Narya can ready both allies put into play and boost their combat stats. Strength of Arms also can be a good possibility considering its 2 cost and also requires 3 Leadership heroes. Grim Resolve and The Free Peoples could also ready both allies, but are very expensive and unlikely to be played with a 3 cost event.
Nonbo – Play or Play from Hand
One distinction to watch for in the ability text of card is when it says “play” or “play from hand”. These will only trigger if player paid the card’s resource cost to play it from their hand. Putting the card into play which the rules considers different won’t trigger these abilities.
Nonbo – Ents
All the Ents enter play exhausted. Putting them into play means they can’t be used for anything besides as targets for direct damage effects. Quickbeam is the notable exception since he can be readied at the cost of 1 damage on himself.
Card Talk uses the highly scientific yet arbitrary scale of 1 ring for the card to rule them all to 10 to be cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came.
I rate Reinforcements at 5 rings. It can be very powerful when a deck is built around it. I’ve played some decks that recur it several times. They’re fun toolbox decks that can find an answer to what many quests throw at them. The 3 cost of the event itself often means that decks that focus on playing it don’t build up much of a board state without some resource acceleration.
The 3 cost and restriction that 3 heroes pay for it means it can’t just be slotted into any deck. While Sneak Attack can put a single ally into play for a single Leadership resource. This is much easier to include in a deck even if there is minimal Leadership resources.
Still it is a very multiplayer friendly card because the effect is not limited to the controlling player. Players that coordinate their decks in a fellowship can make the best use of this. Particularly with many running the non-unique Silvans and/or Eagles to double up on their enter play effects.
- Joe – 7
- Dave – 6
- Grant – TBR
- Ted – 3
- Matt – 5
- Average – 5.25
- Tolkien Gateway – Battle of Five Armies
- Tolkien Gateway – Battle of the Hornburg
- Tolkien Gateway – Battle of Pelennor Fields
- Hall of Beorn
Cirdan’s Support Group by The Purple Wizard
A multiplayer support deck that uses Reinforcements to put Beorn ally, Core Set Gandalf, Leadership Faramir ally, or Elrond ally into play wherever they’re needed.
Balin (On the Doorstep)
Círdan the Shipwright (The Grey Havens)
Théodred (Core Set)
2x Beorn (Core Set)
2x Elrond (The Road Darkens)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller)
2x Imladris Stargazer (Foundations of Stone)
1x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x King Under the Mountain (On the Doorstep)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
3x Narya (The Grey Havens)
3x Silver Harp (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)
3x Tome of Atanatar (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Reinforcements (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
1x Second Breakfast (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x We Are Not Idle (Shadow and Flame)
3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Crossings of Poros
Erkenbrand (The Antlered Crown)
2x Ceorl (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Háma (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
3x Legacy of Númenor (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Will of the West (Core Set)
Decklist built and published on RingsDB.