- Card Talk Season 1 Episode 11
- Shadows of Mirkwood
- Core and Revised Core Sets
- Player Card Categories
- Willpower Bonus
- Messenger of the King
Faramir shows his quality right in the Core Set.
Faramir was the younger brother of Boromir. He was a brave warrior who loved lore and music and was disliked by Denethor, his father, for his gentle nature. After Boromir’s death, Faramir commanded the Rangers of Ithilien and found Frodo and Sam on a mission. Despite initially holding them captive, Faramir showed his quality and did not succumb to the lure of the Ring. He was later struck down during the War of the Ring and almost burned alive by his father. He was saved by Gandalf and healed in the Houses of Healing. There he met Eowyn, fell in love with her, and the two later wed.
The ally can be a representation of Faramir as the Rangers of Ithilien captain. They had to fight against superior numbers. As a result, he had to keep them moving and carefully choose their battles. It would take tremendous willpower to keep fighting in that situation and keep his men alive.
Card Synergies and Interactions
The more allies, the more targets to gain +1 willpower when he exhausts. Gondor, Outlands, Silvan, and Hobbits all have pretty low cost making it easy to play several in a few short turns. Gondor in particular has several allies in Leadership fitting in quite nicely with ally Faramir. Outlands typically has Leadership access thanks to Hirulan the Fair being in Leadership while also providing resource smoothing for Outlands allies. Silvan similarly typically uses Celeborn and/or Thranduil heroes. Hobbits have Leadership Frodo and Sam heroes to provide Leadership access.
Cards that can put allies directly into play can help build the ally swarm and maximize his willpower boost.
There’s no limit on Faramir’s ability other than how many times a player can exhaust him. Ally readying effects are more limited than those for heroes. The Core Set provided one in the same sphere, Ever Vigilant. Later expansions introduced some repeatable ally readying with Leadership Frodo hero, Leather Boots, Spare Hood and Cloak, and Narya. Although Spare Hood and Cloak either needs to have Faramir exhaust and move it to another character or a Long Lake Trader.
Global readying effects not only help by letting Faramir use ability twice, but allow the player to send all their allies to the quest and ready for combat.
Sword-thain and Messenger of the King
Both cards can make Faramir a hero. This opens up many more readying cards like Unexpected Courage for multiple uses of his ability. Messenger of the King has the big advantage of letting Faramir be a hero right away and get to using his ability more than once. It however limits readying him to just once per phase. Faramir then could only double boost a player’s willpower. Sword-thain doesn’t have this upper limit. It is less reliable since a player needs to draw and play both 4 cost cards.
Faramir’s ability helps more in quests with stages where it is better to rush through them. The classic example is Stage 2 of Journey Along the Anduin. It has players reveal an additional card each turn and keeps enemies from engaging. It can be very easy for too many cards to build up in the staging area with the extra card and each player limited to engaging 1 enemy per turn. Wastes of Eriador has a similar Stage 2 where during Night the players have to discard an ally. Staying in that stage can be very detrimental as the effect combined with enemies eats away at the player board state. Questing through the stage minimizes the negative effects in each of these scenarios. Journey in the Dark, there is an objective that counts down until the arrival of the Balrog. Questing quickly through before the Balrog arrives makes the scenario much easier. Desert Crossing in the Haradhrim cycle has a time limit with players losing when they reach 60 temperature and the temperature rises every turn. Questing quickly is key to winning that scenario.
Another common situation in scenarios is players just need to quest through the last stage to win. The Hobbit Over Hill and Under Hill has this in We Must Away Ere Break of Day, and Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim both have this. Dungeons Deep and Caverns has the added twist of treacheries all gaining surge. The Dread Realm also puts a little twist on this with requiring all locations to be explored and placing progress from the quest on each location in play. Similar to the situations above, it deals damage to characters if any locations are still in play and lingering for multiple turns can be punishing.
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 Faramir Leadership ally at 3 rings. His ability is undeniably powerful considering how vital questing is to the game. He is a little costly at 4, but in the sphere with the best resource acceleration cards its really not bad at all. If anything the main downside is he can be a win more card if played late in the game. Especially as the card pool grew to include more efficient questing allies. Still he provides an tremendous boost and with as an action, and it can be used after staging. Messenger of the King enabled providing this willpower boost ability. It also opens up many more readying cards making a double boost much more consistent, but it caps the usefulness of those effects given the limit once per phase limit. Even if a player doesn’t use his ability, he has a decent 2 defense and 3 hit points to help defend some weaker enemies.
- Dave – 5
- Grant – 4
- Ted – TBR
- Matt – 3
100 Willpower by Seastan
The deck has lots of resource acceleration, card draw, and ally readying to maximize using Faramir’s ability.
Círdan the Shipwright (The Grey Havens)
Denethor (Flight of the Stormcaller)
Erestor (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x Anfalas Herdsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Hunter of Lamedon (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x Warrior of Lossarnach (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
3x Narya (The Grey Havens)
3x Spare Hood and Cloak (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Captain’s Wisdom (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Ever Vigilant (Core Set)
3x Gaining Strength (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Wealth of Gondor (Heirs of Númenor)
3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to A Storm on Cobas Haven
3x Thrór’s Key (On the Doorstep)
3x Thrór’s Map (Over Hill and Under Hill)
Decklist built and published on RingsDB.