Hasty Stroke

  • Card Talk Season 6 Episode 6
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode
  • Cycle
    • Shadows of Mirkwood
  • Set
    • 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.

Card Theme

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

Discard Recursion

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.

Gloin Decks

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.

Quest Specific

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.

Ring Rating

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

External Links

Erkenbrand – Community Review

by Phil Chesbro

  • Card Talk Season TBD Episode TBD
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode


He charged in with Gandalf and helped save humanity!

Editor’s Note: Phil here is referring to Erkenbrand arriving at Helm’s Deep with all the men he could gather and Gandalf. For those only familiar with the movies, Eomer being banished and brought back by Gandalf is one of the changes made from the book. In the book, he was imprisoned and freed once Gandalf broke the spell on Theoden. He then was at Helm’s Deep with Theoden and the rest.

Card Theme

He came paired with The Day’s Rising, which I love, but don’t actually use much. He really lives up to the role when he defend, readies, then attacks. Get ’em Erky! Plus, his ability cancels shadow effects, which could be a reference to breaking the ranks of Saruman’s forces.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Hauberk of Mail, Armored Destrier, and Warrior Keyword

Ring Rating

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 like Erkenbrand as much as I like Beregond. Sure, he doesn’t start with the same defense, but his ability is better than either Beregond abilities in my opinion. Canceling any shadow effect adds an incredible amount of control to combat. He’s also in Leadership, giving him access to Hauberk of Mail and Armored Destrier, meaning he can block for 4 twice without sweating any shadow effects. I’ve just started splashing him into my decks as a go-to defender and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

  • Phil – 2
  • Dave – TBR
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – TBR
  • Average – 2

Killer Solo Leadership by The BGamerJoe

A mono-Leadership deck featuring Erkenbrand as the main defender that BGamerJoe used to beat the entire Harad cycle.

Killer Solo Leadership

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Aragorn (Core Set)
Erkenbrand (The Antlered Crown)
Gildor Inglorion (Two-Player Limited Edition Starter)

Ally (20)
1x Ceorl (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Erestor (The Long Dark)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Knight of the White Tower (The City of Corsairs)
1x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Redwater Sentry (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Rosie Cotton (The Mountain of Fire)

Attachment (22)
2x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
3x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Dúnedain Remedy (The Drowned Ruins)
2x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Sword of Númenor (The Dread Realm)
3x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)
1x The Day’s Rising (The Antlered Crown)
3x Tome of Atanatar (The Blood of Gondor)

Event (7)
1x Second Breakfast (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Strength of Arms (The Drúadan Forest)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Prepare for Battle (The Mûmakil)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Roam Across Rhovanion


Attachment (1)
1x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)

Event (3)
3x Bulwark of the West (The Crossings of Poros)

Player Side Quest (2)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)
1x Send for Aid (The Treachery of Rhudaur)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.