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Gandalf, Bearer of Obligation (13R33)

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Gandalf, Bearer of Obligation (13R33) Card Image

Set: Bloodlines
Kind: Free People
Culture: Gandalf
Twilight: 4
Card Type: CompanionWizard
Strength: 7
Vitality: 4
Resistance: 5
Game Text: While Gandalf is the Ring-bearer, each time the fellowship moves, add 3 burdens unless you spot 2 other companions and discard 2 [Gandalf] cards from hand.
Rarity: R

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Gandalf, Bearer of Obligation (13R33) Wiki

General Strategy

Gandalf has one of the nastier Ring-bearer penalties. 3 burdens is very steep, and Gandalf's low resistance simply exacerbates this issue. Discarding cards is far less damaging, but the fact that they have to be Gandalf cards restricts the player and lowers the probability that they will have the necessary cards. It also increases the likelihood that you will have to discard something good to evade the burdens. Unlike most other Ring-bearers, Gandalf's penalty cannot be prevented, as it triggers whenever the fellowship moves. However, this is also a major advantage of Gandalf's penalty, as he is one of few Ring-bearers who receives no penalty for skirmishing, and he is the only Ring-bearer with a solid base strength that can do so. Making Gandalf your Ring-Bearer also has numerous advantages, as you essentially get for free an otherwise expensive companion, and it allows you to play many events that need to spot him without fear of him dying or not showing up.

There are two main ways for a deck to cope with Gandalf's ability. The first is to have dedicated burden removal to counteract the many burdens added by Gandalf each turn. The second is to discard cards every time the fellowship moves, in order to prevent the burdens from ever being added. Note that in order to discard the cards, you must have at least 3 companions in your fellowship (Including Gandalf), so be wary of getting companions killed. Because Gandalf's penalty is so potent, it is necessary to build the whole deck around countering it, as he will almost certainly be corrupted otherwise.

By far the best source of burden removal for Gandalf is Shadowfax, GotM. This card can remove any and all burdens on Gandalf, provided you have a decent size fellowship and strong threat removal (Such as Citadel to Gate). Jarnsmid, BE is another good option, although he relies on your opponent playing minions (Which they may not do) and is quite vulnerable. Other Gandalf culture options include Narya, Watch and Wait and Ease the Burden, but there are also many options from other cultures that can help Gandalf remove burdens. Shire options include Tom Bombadil or “Bouncing Hobbits” (multiple copies of Home and Hearth, with tricks to keep replaying Hobbits like Pippin WoBas or Merry Swordthain; Knocked On The Head with Merry Impatient Hobbit -which heals a Gandalf companion- or Pippin Hastiest of All; and Make Haste with any Hobbit). Multiple copies of the Elven card Songs of the Blessed Realm, plus many Elven tales can also be effective, although the issue of using these condition based burden removal strategies is that they leave the Free Peoples player very vulnerable to condition removal (Saruman's Power, Buckland Homestead). Another option is to increase Gandalf's resistance with cards like Radagast's Herb Bag and The Ring of Rings (Or Unequaled Steed if you don't want to use GotM); followers like Radagast ToB and Gwaihir can help his resistance too, and can be quite handy when moving twice or thrice towards site 9.

Discarding cards to negate Gandalf's burdens works best in a large deck with lots of card draw (For the shadow side as well as the Fellowship side) that is primarily composed of Gandalf cards. The advantage of this is that you can use many situational events such as Have Patience and Fury of the White Rider, and then simply discard them if they're not needed. Good sources of card draw include Elrond, LoR; Ottar, MoL and Questions that need answering. Post-Fellowship phase card draw (Such as Careful Study or Woodhall Elf) is also helpful as it allows you to discard more cards for a double move. Having companions with muster will help you too to get those Gandalf cards just before moving at regroup; the Gandalf culture has plenty of cards that provide said keyword (Fear and Great Wonder, Gandalf's Staff Ash Staff, Strange Meeting, With Doom We Come or even Theoden, King of the Eorlingas). You can also return Gandalf cards from the discard pile to hand with cards such as Barliman Butterbur, PPP; Grimbeorn or Dasron for further discarding.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Versus...

Weak Versus...

Example Decks

Extra Information

Other Versions of Gandalf

Defender of the West (P) Mithrandir (P) Stormcrow (P) Leader of the Company (P) Stormcrow (D) Friend of the Shirefolk Friend of the Shirefolk (T) The Grey Wizard The Grey Pilgrim Greyhame The White Wizard The White Wizard (T) Mithrandir Defender of the West Manager of Wizards Leader of Men Leader of Men (T) Leader of the Company Leader of the Company (T) The White Rider The White Rider (F) The White Rider (O) Powerful Guide Powerful Guide (H) Powerful Guide (F) Powerful Guide (O) Returned Wise Guide

Other Prints of Gandalf, Bearer of Obligation

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lotr13033wiki.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/20 10:38 (external edit)

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