9 June 2009

Expanding the Shadow

A second glimpse into the foul minions of Sauron.

The Shadow corrupts everything it touches, and right now it is spreading over all the lands of Middle-earth. At the front of this onslaught are Sauron’s most feared minions.

Following the Lord of Harad is this week’s Shadow Spotlight: the Black Númenórean, the Mouth of Sauron!

Available in the early game, this foe is fearsome indeed. His Wisdom stat allows Sauron to place two Influence every turn this minion is not defeated. This allows Sauron to rapidly spread his foulness through the lands, turning them against the intrepid heroes. Every influence placed makes the lands that much deadlier to the heroes, and will require far more favor to turn back the tide of evil. His Fortitude and Strength are on the weaker end for a minion of Sauron, almost equal to that of the heroes. However, this vile minion can infect the adventurers facing him with the debilitating Corruption cards. These afflictions can spell disaster, as their effects are widespread and harsh. In an upcoming article, I will go over how these hindrances can be avoided and removed.


Boasting more ranged capabilities than the Black Serpent, the Mouth of Sauron can strike without warning. Drawing from the range heavy Zealot deck, the Mouth of Sauron can often hit before the opponent has a chance to react. Using the Strategize attack forces your opponent to tell you how many melee and how many ranged attacks are in their hand. This information can be vital to defeating the hardy dwarven fighter Thálin or outmaneuvering the shifty ranger, Beravor. Like the Ravager deck, favored of the Black Serpent, the Zealot deck provides the Poison Arrow attack. This ranged attack does extra damage if any damage is dealt, making it deadly in all circumstances.


Although he favors range, the Mouth of Sauron is capable of some wicked close combat attacks. Charge will cancels an opponent’s ranged attack, and makes an excellent follow up to the Strategize attack. Smash reduces your opponent’s defense, leaving them open to your attack. Lastly, Reckless is a devastating attack, but can spell your doom if played at the wrong time. If you are dealt damage while using Reckless, you will take two additional damage.


The Black Serpent is able to move twice in his activation. This is a powerful ability giving him the drop on a nearby hero. The power of the Mouth of Sauron is far more insidious. When entering combat, heroes must draw a Corruption card. Corruption cards hamstring the heroes with a wide array of awful abilities. From attribute reduction and discarding your cards to doubling negative effects and limiting your favor, these cards are nasty. In addition, Sauron has a number of cards in hand that play upon the Corruption levels of the heroes. Dealing damage and further debasing the heroes with even more Corruption cards, these afflictions are best avoided all together. Even worse is when the Mouth of Sauron can catch a group of heroes together, as he is likely to fight multiple players before he is defeated. The strongest tactic, guarding each others backs, is what the Mouth preys upon.


Our first Shadow minion, the Black Serpent, is a brutally effective fighter, capable of surprising a hero and putting him, or her, down for the count. The second featured is much more subtle in his destruction of hope. Increasing the rate at which Sauron can exert his influence over the lands, hamstringing the heroes with devitalizing Corruption cards, and striking them with powerful ranged attacks. The Mouth is a dangerous foe, and each Shadow revealed gets ever more deadly.

Middle-earth Quest is a game of adventure and conflict set in the time leading up to the creation of the Fellowship. One player will adopt to mantle of Sauron and do his best to spread his evil influence across the lands. Up to three players become heroes and will do their best to foil Sauron's foul plots, and rally the peoples of Middle-earth to their side.

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