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Gandalf


Gandalf
Type: Ally Sphere: Neutral
Cost: 5
Willpower: 4 Attack: 4 Defense: 4 Hit Points: 4
Istari.
At the end of the round, discard Gandalf from play.
Response: After Gandalf enters play, (choose 1): draw 3 cards, deal 4 damage to 1 enemy in play, or reduce your threat by 5.


Set: Core Number: 73
Quantity: 4
Illustrator: Lucas Graciano


12 Comments

Everybody loves him
Yes he is a beloved Ally. But I see three emergent options to make a better use out of this mighty card:
  • Born Aloft (will bring Gandalf back to your hand before he is forced to leave the game at the end of the round): this means his special ability can be used an additional time
  • Sneak Attack (the obvious one)
  • Ever Vigilant (let Gandalf act twice in a round: e.g. quest and attack)
    • RonaldoVigilante likes this
I just can't imagine a deck without him.

For now.
best card in the game?
The beauty of Gandalf is that he very neatly balances out whatever it is that the player's deck is lacking. Decks that are short on Threat reduction can use him for that purpose (particularly in combination with Sneak Attack (Core)), while decks that are short on combat can use him for both his direct damage and as either a perfect blocker or a strong attacker. Card draw may be his least used ability, but there are certainly situations where it can help.
He's such a good card! 3x in all my decks (haven't tried OHaUH version yet--set's in the mail). This wizard is sort of like a "get out of jail free" card (well, for 5 build, anyway) for a turn.

You have to use him carefully. I use his threat reduction ability most often, followed by damage.
Everyone needs at least two in their decks. Preferably three. At least Fantasy Flight was kind enough to give four of him in the core set so that you could put two of each in two decks, therefore no Gandalf hogging fights :P
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ShaolinCowboy
Jun 30 2015 01:13 PM

I wouldn't say that he is a must have. 5 cost for a card that stays in play for one turn? For solo decks, that's a bit pricey. I'm not saying he doesn't have his uses. Gandalf is kind of a panic button card. I've actually had some success making decks and leaving him out. With some of the newer cards out there, I might want to spend my resources on a card with staying power like ally Treebeard or Gildor Inglorion (3 will, total of 11 stat points for 5 cost, not too shabby).

I think he almost becomes a "must include" when you play Sneak attack.

I have a group of 3(2+me) that I play with. None of us use this card(granted my friend bought every expansion so we have every card). I have never soloed so maybe if I made a solo deck. I might include this card for a late game save. Otherwise I think there are way better cards/card combos that can be used.  

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TheNameWasTaken
Jan 16 2016 06:41 PM

I have a group of 3(2+me) that I play with. None of us use this card(granted my friend bought every expansion so we have every card). I have never soloed so maybe if I made a solo deck. I might include this card for a late game save. Otherwise I think there are way better cards/card combos that can be used.  

 

If any of you play leadership (and if there's three of you, you probably do), sneak attack with Gandalf is awesomely strong and you really should use it.

I have a group of 3(2+me) that I play with. None of us use this card(granted my friend bought every expansion so we have every card). I have never soloed so maybe if I made a solo deck. I might include this card for a late game save. Otherwise I think there are way better cards/card combos that can be used.  

 

Like what?

 

Not being snarky--I am genuinely asking. 

 

I mean, you're right. There are better cards in any given situation. Sneak Attack Beorn or Gwaihir can be in the right circumstances. Considering the cost, UC and Steward are probably "better" cards. Or universal effects like Lords of the Eldar or Lure of Moria if multiple decks can get big effect from them. Maybe even some allies like Faramir or Treebeard or Anborn in the right decks. 

 

And of course there are reasons to use OHaUH or Hero Gandalf instead, precluding Core Gandalf's use. 

 

But the thing is...none of those other combinations (with the possible exception of Hero Gandalf loaded up with Pipe and Staff) have the same raw combination of flexibility and power that Core Gandalf has. Having him in hand can help you in almost any situation, assuming you have a way to get him on the board. And, while it is certainly sometimes worth 5 resources to play him, if he's in your deck then you should have a way to get him in for cheaper than that. 

 

And that's not even mentioning the fact that his neutral cost means that multiple sphere's can contribute to getting him on the board (if you have to play him for 5) and that he slots in to almost any deck to plug whatever hole needs plugging. Need a little more card draw in Tactics--Gandalf. Need direct damage in Spirit--Gandalf. Need you'r threat lowered in...anything but spirit? Gandalf. 

 

His power is his flexibility. 


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