Time to Escape
Escape from Mount Gram Is Now Available for The Lord of the Rings
"Goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. […] Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tons, and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light."
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
If the early responses to the Adventure Pack's announcement and preview were any indication, the scenario in Escape from Mount Gram is poised to become an instant classic. This is due largely to the way it forces you to think differently about your deck. At the beginning of the scenario, your heroes are held captive in a Goblin cell, deep in the darkness beneath Mount Gram. Your allies, Items, Artifacts, and Mounts are all taken away from you, "captured" and set aside during setup. Even your fellowship has been broken; you start with just one hero in play, and the others go to your captured deck. Alone and unarmed, your one solitary hero must find some way to free the rest of your fellowship, reclaim your gear, and make an escape!
In his preview, "Prison Food," developer Matthew Newman addressed some of the different ways that Escape from Mount Gram forces you to think differently about the game. When you start with just one hero, each phase of the game feels brand new. Each enemy feels more menacing. After all, the game was designed so that you could start with three heroes to balance against the three main tasks before you: questing, defending, and attacking. Fortunately, as Matt mentioned, you start with a glimmer of hope. Not only does one of your heroes manage to slip out from his cell, but Stage 1A reduces your starting threat to the threat cost of your sole starting hero.
This means you can buy yourself some time before you need to face an enemy like the Cruel Torturer (Escape from Mount Gram, 43). It also means that you'll find new use for all the game's Secrecy cards. A fan-favorite mechanic that originated in the Dwarrowdelf cycle of Adventure Packs, Secrecy allows you to play powerful cards at significant discounts so long as you keep your threat at twenty or below. Now, as you start with just one hero, the pack has arrived, and your prison door has cracked open, it might just be time to make your escape swiftly and Secretly!
Swift and Secret
Along with its new scenario, Escape from Mount Gram introduces a new hero and twenty-seven new player cards (three copies each of nine different player cards), several of which allow you to manipulate the victory display to your advantage. These permit the exploration of an all-new sort of strategy within The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and it's one that plays very well into the strengths of the Adventure Pack's new hero, Rossiel (Escape from Mount Gram, 28).
This clever Silvan Lore hero arrives with a fairly modest set of attributes to befit her low threat cost. However, Rossiel is extremely quick to master the challenges she encounters, and she gains two extra Willpower whenever the active location shares a Trait with a location in the victory display. Likewise, she gains two points of Defense Strength whenever she defends against an enemy that shares a Trait with one in the victory display. You may not always benefit from her abilities, but when you do, Rossiel becomes one of the most capable heroes in the game, with an effective Willpower of four, Attack Strength of one, and Defense Strength of four – all for just eight threat cost.
Naturally, Rossiel will want to take advantage of the event Leave No Trace (Escape from Mount Gram, 35) to force locations into the victory display. Later on, she'll also hope to make good use of None Return (Across the Ettenmoors, 62) to force enemies with the appropriate Traits into the victory display, as well. Still, even before you can get your hands on None Return, you can explore the new tactics afforded by Rossiel and her victory display manipulations with such cards as Scout Ahead (The Wastes of Eriador, 9) and Out of the Wild (Road to Rivendell, 36).
There's no better place to start experimenting with Rossiel and her unique tactics than within the dungeons of Mount Gram. Here, she is guaranteed a couple turns to take advantage of Secrecy, and your ability to manipulate the encounter deck and victory display can help her free the rest of your fellowship… a matter that becomes especially important once you've made your way to the third quest stage and Jailor Gornákh (Escape from Mount Gram, 41) sounds the alarms!
Deck Created with CardGameDB.com The Lord of the Rings Deckbuilder
Total Cards: (49)
1x Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens)
1x Bofur (The Redhorn Gate)
1x Elrond (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
1x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)
3x Keen as Lances (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Leave No Trace (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Needful to Know (The Redhorn Gate)
3x Out of the Wild (Road to Rivendell)
3x Ride Them Down (The Antlered Crown)
3x Risk Some Light (Shadow and Flame)
3x Smoke Rings (The Black Riders)
3x Will of the West (Core Set)
Side Quest: (1)
1x Scout Ahead (The Wastes of Eriador)
Race to Freedom
Whether or not you design a new deck around Rossiel and her victory display manipulation tactics, Escape from Mount Gram is certain to test your skills and your luck in an wildly new and exciting fashion. When you consider that this Adventure Pack introduces not only a thrilling new scenario but also presents you the keystone of a new strategy suited to the tastes of veteran deck-builders, as well as fans of the Secrecy keyword, you can see why Escape from Mount Gram is poised to become an instant classic.
The door to your prison cell is now unlocked. Don't wait! Head to your local retailer today, and pick up your copy of Escape from Mount Gram!
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