Bill the Pony (3U106)
|Why Shouldn't I Keep It? (3R105)||
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|Frodo's Pipe (3U107)|
Bill the Pony (3U106) is a Shire Possession from the Realms of the Elf-Lords set.
Bill the Pony is one of the core choke cards of Fellowship Block. Similarly to No Stranger to the Shadows (1U108) or A Talent for Not Being Seen (1U316) , he offsets the twilight generated by having a companion in your Fellowship when you move. Bill the Pony can be played on Frodo, and is thus useful in every Fellowship in the main formats where he is legal.
The more choke cards you stack, the more effective they become, so he's often played with those two cards, as well as Aragorn, Heir to the White City (3R38) , Consorting With Wizards (2R97) , Sting (1R313) , and occasionally Galadriel, Lady of Light (1R45) and Gimli, Dwarf of the Mountain-race (2P121) . In Fellowship Block, he's always discarded at The Bridge of Khazad-dûm (1C349) , and often discarded at site 4, so you'll need to play him twice. Sam, Faithful Companion (1R310) can help with that, downloading Bill twice, but keeping Sam around long enough to do that is usually counterproductive to keeping your twilight generation down, so Sam often ends up as a chump blocker instead.
In Tower Block and Towers Standard, there are fewer underground sites to get Bill down. While some of the other choke cards are X-listed, he's often played alongside Legolas, Dauntless Hunter (4R73) . In later formats, Bill is consigned to the X-list himself along with most of the other choke cards.
Bill the Pony comes back off the X-list for Expanded, where he is only on the R-list, limiting you to one copy of him per deck. It hardly matters, though, because underground sites are far too popular in that format. Even if you packed strong site manipulation, the one site that can't ever be manipulated, Mount Doom (15R193) , is underground.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Other choke cards, like No Stranger to the Shadows (1U108) , Aragorn, Heir to the White City (3R38) , A Talent for Not Being Seen (1U316) , Consorting With Wizards (2R97) , Sting (1R313) , Galadriel, Lady of Light (1R45) , Gimli, Dwarf of the Mountain-race (2P121) , and Legolas, Dauntless Hunter (4R73) .
- Sam, Faithful Companion (1R310) can download him, repeatedly if necessary because of underground sites.
- Expensive Shadow sides, like Nazgul Beatdown.
- Underground sites. In Fellowship Block, Bill always gets discarded at The Bridge of Khazad-dûm (1C349) , and can be discarded at site 4 if it's Balin's Tomb (1U343) , Great Chasm (2U118) , Mithril Mine (1U345) , or Moria Stairway (1U347) . In Tower Block/Towers Standard, it's just Caves of Aglarond (4U352) and Cavern Entrance (4U355) . (Technically, Caverns of Isengard (5U120) also discards Bill, but since it's the last site and Bill still reduces the twilight generated at that site, it doesn't matter.)
- Shadow sides that do well with relatively little twilight, such as Moria swarm and Isenorcs.
- From the 2002 FAQ: When the fellowship moves with Bill the Pony to an underground site, the Shadow number of that site is reduced before Bill the Pony is discarded.
|Bill the Pony, Dearly-loved (13R143)||Bearer must be a Ring-bound Hobbit.
When you play Bill the Pony, you may reinforce a token.
Regroup: Spot 2 minions and remove 2 tokens to make a Shadow player discard a minion from play.
- Fellowship: The Original FSG/Nazgul, a Fellowship Block deck by ket_the_jet on The Last Homely House forums
- A unnamed Dauntless Hunter deck, a Towers Standard deck by zen89 on The Last Homely House forums