Arwen, Queen of Elves and Men (10R6)
|Arwen, Echo of Luthien (10U5)||
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Arwen, Queen of Elves and Men (10R6) is a Elven Companion from the Mount Doom set.
Arwen, Queen of Elves and Men is one of the strongest versions of Arwen at the cost of being somewhat unreliable, much like her predecessors Arwen, Daughter of Elrond (1R30) and Arwen, Fair Elf Maiden (7R16) . She's cheap enough at two twilight cost to easily fit into a starting Fellowship, and, as long as your strategy involves other strong skirmishers or consistently wounding minions every turn, she's easily as good as an 8 or 10 strength companion. She does have weaknesses—her gametext is strong but often inconsistent—but she's one of several strong Elven skirmishers in Movie Block, and a part of that culture's resurgence in that format. She appears at least occasionally in almost every deck with a significant Elven contingent in Movie, including archery decks, Elfman, Telepathy and Elvents, and Rainbow Wounding.
To get the most out of Arwen, you need to carefully shape the wounds on the opponent's minions. Direct wounding can wound minions to set up her bonuses. You can't control archery, but it does pose a difficult choice for your opponent: kill off minions (and possibly ruin a swarm), or give Arwen a free win or overwhelm in her skirmish. When you get to the Assignment Phase, try to assign unwounded minions to skirmishes they'll lose (but survive). Then, resolve the skirmishes that will wound but not kill minions first, then resolve skirmishes that will kill minions after Arwen's skirmish. She's great as a partner for another high-strength, low-damage skirmisher, like Aragorn in Elfman or other Elven staples like Glorfindel, Revealed in Wrath (9R+16) or Gil-galad, Elven High King (9R+15) .
Once you get rolling, she's quite effective at setting up overwhelms or simply wiping out the strongest minion in a swarm of weaker minions. She's especially effective against swarm and semi-swarm decks that play many minions with two or more vitality, like Isengard Orcs, Morgul Orcs, and some Sauron and Raider strategies. Her gametext applies to each minion skirmishing her, so swarm decks will often have a lot of trouble winning a skirmish against her at all. She's also great against Shadow decks that tend to exert their minions, like Sauron Grind or decks using Enduring Nazgul. Where she falters somewhat is against single large minions, especially minions with some protection from wounding from cards like Broad-bladed Sword (4C142) or Easterling Polearm (6U79) , due to her relatively low threshold to be overwhelmed and the lack of wounded minions to spot. Elven decks can patch up this weakness with skirmish events like Supporting Fire (4C83) , and Rainbow Wounding often can notch wounds to spot with Brego (4U263) and Slaked Thirsts (7U14) , but she's still somewhat disappointing with only one wounded minion to spot. This weakness is mixed! She always serves as a quiet deterrent to playing one more extra minion just to cycle it, or keeping many wounded minions alive through salvo of archery fire. Your opponent either risks boosting Arwen in her skirmish, or else has to sacrifice the opportunity to get a little more value out of a half-dead minion.
Her exclusive hand weapon, Gwemegil (1R47) , is one of the best exclusive hand weapons in Movie Block, and one of the very few Damage +1 cards available to elves. It's great for cycling your hand or activating Glimpse of Fate (10U12) , but it can clog your hand if you don't have Arwen in play. Asfaloth (1U31) and Asfaloth, Elven Steed (7R17) are both decent, and get the best of both worlds: they aren't exclusive to her so they won't get stuck in your hand, but are better on her. This reliance on possessions makes her less effective against Corsairs with Corsair Marauder (8R57) , despite the fact that they're a semi-swarm deck.
She can be a strong starting companion in Elven decks, but oftentimes you'll want to play her after a bit more setup. Early in the game, where you'll generally have just one archer (probably Legolas, Greenleaf (1R50) or some other Legolas) and little other wounding and little to boost her, she can't handle much more than a strength 7 minion, and has a relatively low overwhelm threshold of 14 if she can spot one wounded minion. She comes into her own once you already have other strong skirmishers, or multiple archers, or can immediately equip her with one of her possessions. The main reason not to run Arwen is also one of her best partners in a starting Fellowship: Glorfindel, Revealed in Wrath (9R+16) . While Arwen can easily be the equivalent of 8 or 10 strength depending on the situation, Glorfindel is a solid, consistent 9 strength all the time for the same cost.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Gwemegil (1R47) , Asfaloth (1U31) , and Asfaloth, Elven Steed (7R17) are all above-average possessions when played on Arwen and help raise her worryingly-low overwhelm threshold.
- Archery. She needs to spot wounds on minions, and doesn't really care where those wounds are. Savvy opponents might kill minions rather than simply leaving them wounded, but even this weak counterplay stymies swarms and isn't terribly reliable.
- Direct wounding.
- She's often best as your second-best skirmisher, alongside another strong tank. You can assign unwounded minions to the other skirmisher(s), get those minions wounded, to set her up to handle her target.
- Swarms of low-strength minions with greater than one vitality, especially Isengard Orcs and Morgul Orcs. She can overwhelm one easily, fend off multiples with no trouble, and often handle a single stronger minion with the help of the wounds on all of the weaker minions.
- Minions that exert themselves. These are common in every culture, but especially common in Sauron and Raider cultures.
- Enduring minions (and similar minions like Berserk Savage (5R46) ). Many wounds on a single minion isn't quite as useful to her as a single wound on many minions, but she's already off to a good start against any minion that wants to be wounded.
- A single strong combatant that is immune to being wounded. Common examples include Easterling Captain (4R225) with Easterling Polearm (6U79) , Mûmak Chieftain (10R45) with High Vantage (10U44) or Line of Defense (8C63) , or a large uruk-hai with Broad-bladed Sword (4C142) . You can work around this with exertions from cards like Brego (4U263) or Slaked Thirsts (7U14) , but most of those are not available in Elven culture.
- Minions with only 1 vitality, common in Moria and Dunland cultures.
|Arwen, Daughter of Elrond (1R30)||Ranger.
While skirmishing a Nazgûl, Arwen is strength +3.
|Arwen, Elven Rider (3U7)||Ranger.
Response: If the Ring-bearer is about to take a wound, discard 3 cards from hand to prevent that wound.
|Arwen, Lady Undomiel (3R8)||While you can spot 3 allies whose home is site 3, each minion skirmishing Arwen is strength -3.|
|Arwen, Evenstar of Her People (6U13)||Skirmish: Exert an Elf to make a minion skirmishing Arwen strength –1.|
|Arwen, Fair Elf Maiden (7R16)||While skirmishing a fierce minion, Arwen is strength +3.|
|Arwen, Echo of Luthien (10U5)||Skirmish: Discard a card from hand to discard the bottom card of your draw deck. If the bottom card was an card, each minion skirmishing Arwen is strength –3.|
|Arwen, Staunch Defender (11U15)||Each minion skirmishing Arwen is strength –1 for each forest site on the adventure path.|
|Arwen, Reflection of Luthien (13S9)||While the fellowship is at a forest site, each of your other companions is resistance +1.
Skirmish: Exert Arwen to make a minion she is skirmishing strength –1 for each other companion assigned to a skirmish.
|Arwen, She-Elf (15R11)||While you can spot Aragorn, Arwen is strength +1 and resistance +2.
Skirmish: Remove an token to make a minion skirmishing Arwen strength -2.
|Arwen, Royal Maiden (19P6)||Ranger.
While you can spot 2 followers, each minion skirmishing Arwen is strength –2.
Maneuver: Add 3 threats to reconcile your hand.
|Arwen, Maiden of Rivendell (0P63)||Ranger. Skirmish: Exert Arwen to make a minion skirmishing an Elf strength -2.|
|Arwen, Maiden of Rivendell (0W16)|||