- Card Talk Season 6 Episode 6
- Video episode
- Audio episode
- Shadows of Mirkwood
- Core and Revised Core Set
- Player Card Categories
- Shadow Control
Basic shadow cancelation
The flavor text refers to when Aragorn tells Gimli and Legolas the he used the palantir of Orthanc. Gimli expresses concern that Sauron is aware of them now. Aragorn responds with basically saying he is intentionally forcing Sauron to attack them. The intent is have to misled Sauron to attack them and lead him away from Frodo and The One Ring.
As Aragorn hinted at in the flavor text, Sauron will attack them, but the attack won’t be effective. This is because it will be misdirected away from the true threat to his power. Shadow cards typically make attacks stronger and canceling one will make it less effective. The parallel between the theme and mechanism is there although the scale is different. Aragorn is using a metaphor to explain his strategy for the war. The card affects only an attack by a single enemy.
Card Synergies and Interactions
The big downside of the card is that it is an event and can normally be used once. Fortunately, Spirit is the sphere of Discard Recursion. Dwarven Tomb can get it back directly to hand to play Hasty Stroke again. Will of the West, Galadhrim Weaver, and The White Council will only shuffle it back into a players deck. These do make it possible to get another play Hasty Council, but then a player has to draw it again.
Map of Earnil should be noted won’t work to recur Hasty Stroke. This is because the shadow reveal that would trigger Hasty Stroke’s response doesn’t happen during an action window. The player can’t activate the Map’s action to play Hasty Stroke from the discard pile.
A big weakness of Gloin decks are shadow effects. A big attack boost that would go beyond his hit points or an effect that discards attachments can wreck the whole strategy. Also taking multiple undefended attacks increases the chances of seeing a bad shadow. Most of shadow control alternatives require the hero to defend, but Hasty Stroke does not.
Not all shadows are created equal in this game. Early in the life of the game, scenarios are notoriously swingy. There were some encounter cards that would do virtually nothing and others would basically require the players to cancel them or lose. Shadow effects suffered from the same variability. Darrowdelf known for it’s terrible treacheries doubled up with many awful shadow effect’s like Sudden Pitfall discarding the defending character. Sleeping Sentry already notorious is arguably worse as a shadow since it will discard all exhausted cards.
Against the Shadow is also notorious for bad shadows because so many can add more shadow cards to an enemy. It is even possible to have a chain of several shadows on a single enemy.
Later scenarios, has many enemies immune to player card effects. That immunity doesn’t extend to shadow cards except for a few exceptions. Fire in the Night, The Road Darkens, and The Battle of Pelennor Fields make the big boss enemy’s shadows immune as well. Hasty Stroke won’t be as helpful in those scenarios.
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 Hasty Stroke at 4 rings. The effect can be very useful, but not every scenario has shadows that require cancelation. There are also many alternatives in the full card pool that provide shadow cancelation like Erkenbrand, A Burning Brand, Armored Destrier, Jubayr, Sterner than Steel, Balin, etc. Many of their shadow control effects are repeatable. Doubling up on shadow cancelation only makes it more consistent. It will still make it into many decks or at least their sideboard.
- Dave – 5
- Grant –
- Ted –
- Matt – 4