Flaming Brand (2R32)
|Blood of Numenor (2U31)||
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|Flee in Terror (2U33)|
Flaming Brand (2R32) is a Gondor Possession from the Mines of Moria set.
Back in the early days I remember asking myself, "why can't my companions bear more than one hand weapon?" I mean they all have two hands right? With the release of Mines of Moria, my question was answered. Indeed companions can bear more than one hand weapon. Well, they can if they're a Man and if the weapon lets them. And so, the Flaming Brand became a turning point for free peoples weapons.
By itself, the Brand gives a solid strength +1 to its bearer for zero twilight. The ability to use this weapon in addition to another hand weapon, like Ranger's Sword or Blade of Gondor, is particularly important since the strength +1 against most minions would seldom be a worthy replacement for a companion's unique weapon. Of course, what is most impressive about the Brand is its special ability when in battle against Nazgûl - it gives the bearer an additional strength +2 and damage +1. Nazgûl are by far the toughest minions to fight at base level. They have large strengths, large vitalities, and are mostly Fierce, making each of them fight as though they were two. The Flaming Brand gives the free peoples bearer a distinct advantage against Nazgûl. Early in the game, the Brand will help keep your companions from being killed when the fellowship is weak. Later in the game, the Brand makes fighting Nazgûl like taking candy from a baby.
The sheer power and versatility of the Flaming Brand resulted in its being one of the first cards placed on the X-list. Indeed, with a very select pool of Nazgûl minions, all of which were unique, Nazgûl players found it very hard to mount an effective assault in the face of potentially 4 copies of Flaming Brand on the table. That's right, the card is not unique and therefore can be borne separately by four members of the fellowship. Just think: Eomer with Firefoot, Eomer's Spear and a Flaming Brand, plus Gamling, Aragorn, and Boromir each with a Flaming Brand and a sword. Even Flaming Brand duplicate: how about Faramir, Son of Denethor with two Flaming Brands?
The decision to use one or more spaces in your Open deck for Flaming Brands should be made based on what you expect your opponents to be playing. If you aren't encountering many Ringwraiths, then the +1 strength bonus may not be worthwhile, especially if you expect to see Grima, Wormtongue. On the other hand, if your deck has trouble consistently winning skirmishes against the Nazgûl, then Flaming Brands may be just what you need to pick up your pace of movement. In this case, you may have to modify your deck to counter Grima, and for this, Ithilien Trap is perfect. >by Hayden-William Courtland
Strengths and Weaknesses
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