Hour of the Shire-folk
The Mountain of Fire Is Now Available for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
"This is the hour of the Shire-folk, when they arise from their quiet fields to shake the towers and counsels of the Great."
–Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring
An expansion of dire, world-shattering stakes and Epic Multiplayer possibilities, The Mountain of Fire carries you far from the quiet comforts of the Shire and deep into the climactic events from the end of The Return of the King and the end of Middle-earth's Third Age.
Its scenarios lead you and your heroes from the Tower of Cirith Ungol to the Black Gate, where you'll confront the Orcs, Trolls, and Men of Mordor. Survive your battle long enough, and you just might buy enough time for Frodo Baggins (The Mountain of Fire, 1) to cross the ash-ridden, smoke-filled wastes of Mordor and climb the slopes of Mount Doom until he stands before the fiery chasm in which the One Ring must be destroyed.
Whether you play them as standalone adventures or as the dramatic final chapters of your ongoing The Lord of the Rings Saga Campaign, these scenarios bring a range of all-new experiences to The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. You'll face enemies with engagement costs greater than fifty. Your threat elimination level will rise to 99. You'll throw yourselves into combat against forces you cannot possibly defeat. And you'll rejoice in the faintest glimmer of hope as the great Eagle Gwaihir (The Mountain of Fire, 41) swoops down from the skies.
In addition to its new scenarios, The Mountain of Fire also introduces four new heroes and twenty-seven player cards (three copies each of nine different cards). Every bit as epic as the scenarios in which you'll want to use them, these heroes, allies, Items, and events also take their inspiration from the final chapters of The Return of the King.
Rise to the Challenge
"I think that this task is appointed for you, Frodo; and that if you do not find a way, no one will."
–Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring
From the Saga Expansion's announcement and previews, we've already learned much about the challenges and allies that await us in The Mountain of Fire.
- The announcement presented us with an overview of the expansion's new scenarios and introduced the new "dire" keyword, which resets the threat elimination level to 99—a threat level that comes charging at us with surprising speed. We also learned about the new ally versions of Elladan (The Mountain of Fire, 7) and Elrohir (The Mountain of Fire, 8), Aragorn's friends, and a pair of Elven Rangers we'll be thrilled to have at our side during the battles to come.
- We then learned more about the scenarios in "The Road to Doom." They open with a prison break. Immediately afterward, they slam us right into an impossible battle at the Black Gate, asking us to hold out as long as we can against the assembled Orcs, Trolls, and Nazgûl—all in a desperate effort to buy our Ring-bearer enough time to make his way to the fires of Mount Doom.
- Our next preview, "The Names Among Them," provided us some hope for our coming battles. We may very well find ourselves hopelessly outnumbered, but at least we can head to battle with the support of Éomer (The Mountain of Fire, 3) and the Men of Rohan. With Guthwinë (The Mountain of Fire, 11) in hand, Éomer may help us find some weaknesses in our opponent's positions, and his Rohirrim may help us survive more of our foes' sword thrusts and volleys of bolts and arrows.
- Finally, in "Journey's End," developer Caleb Grace addressed how all the choices you make throughout the expansion's earlier scenarios—and all the choices you make throughout your whole Saga Campaign—come to a head at The Crack of Doom (The Mountain of Fire, 78). There, if you can make it that far, you must help Frodo summon the inner Fortitude to resist the Ring's corrupting influence…
Of course, in the novels, Frodo had just enough strength and wisdom and mercy to prove equal to the task. There was a strength to his character that Gandalf had recognized early, and it was tied in part to his nature as a Hobbit—loyal, responsible, and more interested in peace than any measure of power or glory.
Indeed, the Hobbits and their surprising depths of strength proved central to the fate of Middle-earth in more ways than one, and their strength and accomplishments are celebrated once more in The Mountain of Fire.
Friendship Rather Than Wisdom
"It would be well to trust rather to their friendship than to great wisdom."
–Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring
The Return of the King focused on Frodo and Aragorn and their adventures because their actions most directly shaped the end of the Third Age. However, the events from The Return of the King were by no means limited to these heroes—nor even to those who accompanied them to the ends of their journeys.
What Frodo and Aragorn accomplished had repercussions throughout Middle-earth—from the Mountains of Ash to the Iron Hills, from the Black Gate to the Last Homely House, and from the fires of Mount Doom to the fields of the Shire. As a result, even as The Mountain of Fire carries us as far into the darkness of Middle-earth as we can possibly go, it reminds us of home in the Shire—of all that our Hobbit heroes hope to preserve and protect, and to which, someday, they hope to return.
This celebration of everything Hobbit begins with Friend of Friends (The Mountain of Fire, 12), an attachment that represents the true bonds of friendship between Frodo and Sam. Fittingly, a single copy of this card does nothing, but two copies—one each on two different Hobbit heroes—provide tremendous boosts to your fellowship. Indeed, just as the Hobbits' courage and loyalty saw them through all manner of trials and dangers, Friend of Friends can transform heroes like Frodo and Sam into Hobbit-sized powerhouses, with an array of attributes worthy of heroes with far greater threat costs.
And Friend of Friends isn't the only new card in The Mountain of Fire that can boost your Hobbit heroes. The memory of Rosie Cotton (The Mountain of Fire, 5) back in the Shire can inspire your Hobbits to tremendous feats. Why, with the thought of Rosie to urge him forward, Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders, 2) can quest for five Willpower, or defend himself without harm against enemies with Attack Strengths as high as four—so long as those enemies have a higher engagement cost than your threat level. Alternatively, Rosie could inspire Sam to strike down his foes, adding her two Willpower to his Attack Strength, thereby helping him to overcome his enemy's defenses.
Finally, Tom Cotton (The Mountain of Fire, 4) is the chief of those the Hobbits left back in the Shire and the sturdiest of them. He arrives in The Mountain of Fire as a valuable Tactics hero who can help you muster your Hobbit army. Whether you're looking to fend off the Chief's Men or take the fight to the Dark Lord's Nazgûl, you'll find that Tom Cotton's three Defense Strength and his unique ability can come in quite handy; he inspires every Hobbit ally you bring into play to the tune of two bonus points of Attack Strength until the end of the round.
The bonus Attack Strength is necessary if you want to make an all-Hobbit deck capable of taking down the game's tougher enemies, but it's particularly valuable in combination with Raise the Shire (The Mountain of Fire, 19), which can search the top five cards of your deck—or potentially, your entire deck—for a Hobbit ally you can use to attack an enemy you've just engaged.
Together with Merry (The Black Riders, 3), Rosie, and Tom Cotton, one or two of these Hobbit allies can help your Friend of Friends make short work of a Wounded Uruk (The Mountain of Fire, 22)—and might even help you cut down a Gorgoroth Hill-troll (The Mountain of Fire, 33) in one fell rush!
Enter the Dark Lord's Domain
One moment only it stared out, but as from some great window immeasurably high there stabbed northward a flame of red, the flicker of a piercing Eye.
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Mordor stretches before you. Mount Doom looms overhead. The end of your journey is within sight. Can you complete the task you began so long ago? Or will the Third Age of Middle-earth end in darkness?
The fate of the world hangs upon a thread—a thread you hold in your hands.
Enjoy some of the grandest and most epic quests in all of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. Bring your Saga Campaign to its climactic conclusion. The Mountain of Fire (MEC62) is now available at your local retailer. Pick up your copy today!
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