13 November 2015 | The Lord of the Rings LCG

Flight of the Stormcaller

Announcing the First Adventure Pack in the Dream-chaser Cycle for The Lord of the Rings

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Along with the crew of the Dream-chaser, several of Middle-earth's greatest heroes must once more sail the wild seas south of the Grey Havens. Their journey will take them through jagged reefs and raging squalls. They will confront corsairs and risk falling overboard, and all in a desperate effort to reclaim a stolen relic…

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of Flight of the Stormcaller, the first Adventure Pack in the Dream-chaser cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!

Set after the events of The Grey Havens deluxe expansion, Flight of the Stormcaller introduces a new scenario that allows you to embark upon a dramatic, high-stakes chase across the stormy seas. Your heroes join the crew of the Dream-chaser and the other ships in her fleet, and they must battle through treacherous waters, foul weather, and Corsair ships to close upon the Stormcaller, the powerful vessel commanded by the ferocious Captain Sahír. Time is of the essence, and if your heroes can't catch the Stormcaller, they'll forfeit their only link to the forsaken realm of Númenor.

Along with this unique scenario, which features quests decks for the players and for the Corsairs, Flight of the Stormcaller introduces a new Leadership hero and three copies each of ten different player cards. Altogether, its sixty new cards carry us far across uncharted waters, support decks designed to run with fewer than three heroes, reinforce the enduring strengths of the Gondor trait, and boast a handful of unique allies and events that plunge us deep into the cycle's new themes and mechanics.

For more about those themes and mechanics, we turn to the lead developer of the Dream-chaser cycle, Matthew Newman.

Lead Developer Matthew Newman on the Dream-chaser Cycle

Like each of the cycles before it, the adventures and player cards in the Dream-chaser cycle explore new themes and concepts within The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. You might even say they venture into “uncharted” territory. However, unlike the adventures from previous deluxe expansions and cycles, the story related through The Grey Havens and the Dream-chaser cycle follows a voyage that spans many leagues, taking players all the way across Middle-earth’s oceans. Throughout their journeys, players will discover uncharted ruins, sail in the wake of vicious pirates, battle a giant sea-monster, and explore an underwater grotto.

With this cycle, we wanted to take players off the map of Middle-earth for the very first time. As a result, it was fitting that the player cards in this cycle also did something they’ve never done before. The major theme of the Dream-chaser cycle is the manipulation of resources – not just allowing you to move them around from one character to another, but changing the way we play with and view resources. As a whole, the cycle boasts a high concentration of expensive and unique allies, who come with powerful effects that we expect will excite you to play with them.

About a quarter of the cards in the Dream-chaser cycle have effects that can be boosted through the expenditure of additional resources. Why is this interesting? The resources spent are not always of the card’s sphere. Take, for example, the card Tides of Fate (Flight of the Stormcaller, 7). When a shadow card increases an enemy’s attack, you can play Tides of Fate for zero Spirit resources to increase the defending character's Defense Strength by three. This acts as a soft-cancel for one of the most common shadow effects in the game, an increase in the attacker's Attack Strength. But there's more! If the players, as a group, spend two additional resources – from the Tactics sphere – you can then ready the defending character and boost its Attack Strength by three for its next attack.

Many of these cards act as pseudo “duo-sphere” cards, allowing you to marry two spheres together within your deck. Tides of Fate is a perfectly fine card in a Spirit deck with no Tactics, serving as a somewhat softer, but cheaper version of Hasty Stroke (Core Set, 48). But if you insert it into a deck with one or two Tactics heroes, it becomes much more versatile. And in my opinion, the best thing about these cards is how they encourage cooperation and teamwork in a multiplayer game – since the players can pool together their resources to pay for these additional effects, there are many instances in which they can be played.

The Leadership ally Eldahir offers another example from later in the cycle. For four Leadership resources, Eldahir is a Dúnedain ally with solid all-around stats, plus the Sentinel keyword. While he's not spectacular on his own, when he's combined with access to some Lore resources, he becomes extremely useful. His ability allows you to spend one Lore resource to look at a facedown shadow card, and if that card has a shadow effect, he becomes an even stronger defender. One resource is a small price to pay for some on-the-fly shadow scrying, but it’s even better when you consider that his action can be triggered by any player. You can play Eldahir with your Leadership resources and have your more vulnerable Lore-inclined partners take advantage of both his ability and his Sentinel keyword. Or, you can put Eldahir in a deck with both Leadership and Lore, perhaps taking advantage of his Dúnedain trait and Heir of Valandil (The Lost Realm, 10), using him to defend when you spot a shadow effect, and attack when you don’t.

Every single combination of spheres has a card in the Dream-chaser cycle that can be boosted in this way. It was a lot of fun to both dream up effects that would encourage players to pool their resources, as well as the combinations of effects that married the themes of two spheres together. Because of the unique way that they manipulate resources, these cards explore an interesting new space within the game, and I can see players building decks specifically to take advantage of their effects, or even building team-decks that allow each player to pay for each other’s cards.

Meanwhile, the Dream-chaser cycle and its Adventure Packs will continue to expand on each sphere and trait’s major themes – Noldor, Silvan, Gondor, Rohan, Hobbits, and Dwarves all receive cards that push their play style to the limit and encourage creative deckbuilding.

Have fun!

Sail the Uncharted Waters

Adding new weight to the rules for ships and sailing from The Grey Havens, your pursuit of Captain Sahír and his Stormcaller will lead you far across the seas, past treacherous reefs and through perilous weather. Will you catch the Corsair and recover the relic he stole? Or will you capsize and join the untold masses of drowned and forgotten souls who lost their way along Middle-earth's uncharted waters?

You'll have your chance to test your nautical skills and tack into the first chapter of an epic, new adventure when Flight of the Stormcaller arrives at retailers in the first quarter of 2016!

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