CotT: Black Rain

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Peter
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CotT: Black Rain

Post by Peter » Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:46 pm

I wonder why this ultra-interesting card wasn't reviewed in the CotD. Black Rain is as far as I know the only way to get the ring out that doesn't involve testing.

The rules are pretty simple, it's played on a sage in a ruins in a wilderness (like Buhr Widu) during the site fase. Your opponent shows a non-avatar character from his hand, if available, otherwise his whole hand. If a character is so revealed you may tap the sage to make a ring roll. A 10, 11 or 12 means the One, a 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 means Dwarven and 7 or lower means Spirit. The ring (from your hand) is played with the sage.

The big problem with this card is of course the requirement that your opponent has a character in his hand. This means you are quite dependant on your opponent.

Good odds can be obtained by first scrying (untimely whispers), perhaps in combination with a Call of Home on an important character (so that the character is less likely to be discarded between your opponent's M/H fase and your site fase).

When playing against a minion there could be a nice combo with the Lieut of Barad-dur: the Mouth. Simply send the Mouth back to your opponents hand and the next turn Black Rain. Given the importance of the Mouth it's very likely he'll still be in your opponents hand.

Note that you can play multiple copies of Black Rain on the same sage, since the sage is only tapped when you actually play a ring. This is incredibly useful since your opponent will likely not let you have multiple chances with this card. Ok, it's a 4 card combo, but you only need to pull that one off (and get the Ring home, in the case of Buhr Widu through :w:,:s:,:s:,:d:) to win 7-0. The chance of getting the ring out with that combo is 42% btw. Still, even the best minion ring with the scroll has an equal chance to Black Rain.

Now what I think of when reading this card is the Lidless Eye. Remember, the Big Eye can look at 5 random cards from your opponents hand during the org fase. Also that 7 extra GI can come in a little handy for some extra body guards (or extra sacrificial goats, see below for more on that). A few palantirs for scrying also can't hurt.

To get the whole character problem under control there are the usual cards, Call of Home, Call of the Sea, Tookish Blood. Also Will Not Come Down can be used to return characters to it's owners hand. I suspect that against minions and FW's the Withdrawn to Mordor (for FW's) card can also be used to furfill the character requirement.

Press-gang (from the Balrog) is also interesting, especially when you can get one of your own characters discarded during your M/H or even better site fase. Why would you do such a stupid thing you ask? Well, here's the trick. First get one of your opponents characters discarded, a weak one that gives no MP's preferably so your opponent will not have a good reason to free him. Once your opponent's character is off to the side do something stupid with one of your character, causing a discard. Again, the best time to do this is during the site fase, when your opponent can't discard the character any more. One way is to send a lot of weak characters with strong protectors (you don't want to lose them during the M/H fase) to sites like Minas Tirith. Against the auto-attacks stay untapped (or use already tapped/wounded characters when possible), that's a pretty much instant body check, with a bit of luck you'll get a character discarded.

Ok, that's about it for this time. My conclusion is simple: Black Rain rocks, if you can actually play it. Remember that any Black Rain is a Little Gold Ring or one that Sauron Fancies + Test of Fire + Scroll of Isildur. Also remember that Black Rain can be played in places 4 regions away from Barad-dur for easy storing.




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Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:34 pm

hey, nice CotT, I never thought about using call of home for black rain, nice idea. You've mentioned the main drawback to BR I guess, which is that you usually only get to play it once, but that might be an advantage as well, since often your opponent might not want to hold on to characters and discards them or plays them untimely.
also, keeping untapped sages around at :R: in :w: isn't always as easy as it seems either, but yes, BR is powerful, perhaps even more so for FW I'd say, because of the surprise-effect and general use of the rings.
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Peter
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Post by Peter » Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:23 pm

Thorsten the Traveller wrote:also, keeping untapped sages around at ruins and lairs in wilderness isn't always as easy as it seems either, but yes, BR is powerful, perhaps even more so for FW I'd say, because of the surprise-effect and general use of the rings.
Not to mention that :R::w: is fairly common in the typical Badbeard territory (Eradior) ;-).

I just thought of a nice combo btw. The Palantir of Annuminas can be used to get the Black Rains out of your deck and discard pile. As far as I (and the spoiler + cards CRF list) know this does not require you to show the card to your opponent.

henrikbe
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Re: CotT: Black Rain

Post by henrikbe » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:35 am

Peter wrote:I suspect that against minions and FW's the Withdrawn to Mordor (for FW's) card can also be used to furfill the character requirement.
Can you play Withdrawn to Mordor on you opponent's characters? Sounds a bit unfair, since he wouldn't have any way to defend againts it. Would be like Call of Home without the roll.
Press-gang (from the Balrog) is also interesting, especially when you can get one of your own characters discarded during your M/H or even better site fase.
If you can play Withdrawn to Mordor on your own characters, this trick should be quite easy.
Henrik

Peter
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Re: CotT: Black Rain

Post by Peter » Fri Feb 25, 2005 9:04 am

henrikbe wrote:Can you play Withdrawn to Mordor on you opponent's characters? Sounds a bit unfair, since he wouldn't have any way to defend againts it. Would be like Call of Home without the roll.
Well, the trick is that agents are both hazards and characters for minion/FW (AFAIK). Therefore should your opponent use a strong (6 mind or more) agent against you you can send it back to his/her hand, furfilling the Black Rain requirement. Of course, the chance of actually meeting agents as a minion isn't all that big.
henrikbe wrote:If you can play Withdrawn to Mordor on your own characters, this trick should be quite easy.
This asumes that when an agent is discarded it can be put under Press-gang. I'm not so sure on this (would be cool if it was possible though).

henrikbe
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Re: CotT: Black Rain

Post by henrikbe » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:05 am

Peter wrote:
henrikbe wrote:If you can play Withdrawn to Mordor on your own characters, this trick should be quite easy.
This asumes that when an agent is discarded it can be put under Press-gang. I'm not so sure on this (would be cool if it was possible though).
My idea was to play Withdrawn to Mordor on one of your agents characters, I can't see why he wouldn't then be put under Press-gang (since he's a character). However, the question is if you're allowed to play Withdrawn to Mordor on agents acting as characters.
Henrik

Peter
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Post by Peter » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:51 am

I'm sure it's illegal. Agents played as characters are considered normal characters.

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|Highwayman|
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Post by |Highwayman| » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:30 pm

topic dead for almost 2 years (without 1 month), but I've got to ask a question about Black Rain

did anyone, ever played with or played against a Black Rain deck that worked???
And I don't mean a deck that does some stuff and Black Rain on the side if things go well, but a deck that relies on Black Rain and is build around it

I'm very curious about it, as I've been thinking about this card for a while now - inventing ways of how to successfully (so you actually get to roll for the ring 'test' - you catch a character in your opponent's hand) play it

I'm not interested in theory but in things that someone had actually seen work - cuz in theory everything can work, but when it comes to playing... nothing seems to work...
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Sauron
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Post by Sauron » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:16 pm

Joe Bisz had a deck that did black rain. &nbsp;He played influence destruction / call of home, etc to force characters back into your hand, so he could black rain, it worked decently.

Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:09 pm

It does rely on luck, like just about any other dunk deck, but a good Call of Home/Influence Buster strategy does give you a fair chance. &nbsp;If I had rolled better, Black Rain would have gotten me a two-turn Minion dunk.

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|Highwayman|
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Post by |Highwayman| » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:56 pm

the problem are a few decks that are almost totaly immune to influence/sending character to hand strategies - most of those decks are fallen-wizard

so any ideas how to beat them?

the main question is is it really worth it? Black Rain gives you a 10-12 chance to get The One - you can have the same chance with some of the minion rings if you throw a Scroll on that or move to Under-grottos, if you combine it then you actually have a greater chance than with Black Rain - plus you don't have to worry about putting characters into your opponent's hand

so what would be your call?
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Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:25 am

Almost every hazard strategy's going to fail against some kind of deck. &nbsp;In this case, yes, a high GI deck will hurt your chances. &nbsp;That's a risk you take, but you can catch many people with their pants down (so to speak) in a dedicated Black Rain deck, even if they do plan on having tons of GI. &nbsp;If it's less effective against decks with extra GI, it's brilliant against decks that push their influence to the limit.

The advantage over the normal Scroll/Grotto Test deck is economy -- Black Rain gives you a chance to use your hazards to help find the One, and requires only one resource card (that does not tap its site, no less) to find the one. &nbsp;This makes it a more difficult but at the same time potentially safer way of ring-finding.

Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:27 am

Black Rain isn't a strategy, how can you build a deck around just 3 cards? but it's a good side or support-strategy to a "dunk" deck or any ring deck, spirit rings are cool too and can be put to good use, but obviously if you're only interested in a speedy win, rings are not the way for minions, at least not like this (dunking aside) -try my squatting at Bree ring deck, that's tourney winning actually! &nbsp;:wink:
But why not use Black Rain? there are no strings attached really, even if hazard portion is not designed for it, opponent is bound to have a char in hand some time, or at least you scare him out of holding chars for more than one turn. Isn't that just great?

Just start with the dark weatherforecaster himself (Grimburgoth), go to Hollin and dig up some rings, you can't miss. Bring his side-kick (Hador) along, and a dwarf or two. I twice scored the One in two turns that way (go to moria first to read a Scroll, or dimrill dale to Bend all Thought upon it). Luck yes, but always faster then Under Grottos, and if it doesn't work for yeh, just score some good rings and pillage a nearby town. Bag End anyone? Always good fun.
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Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:15 am

My deck involves getting a focused Palantir of Annuminas in order to cycle Black Rain every turn. &nbsp;It's the three elves (Hendolen, Carambor, and Calendal). &nbsp;You All Thought Annuminas, use it to pull a Focus, and then you're off to the races at the Worthy Hills. &nbsp;If you don't get the One, you can still have a couple of Spirit Rings under Whispers and use them to try for the Worthy Hills factions.

Black Rain can be a strategy. &nbsp;A risky strategy, but you can still build a resource portion around it.

Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu Feb 01, 2007 3:12 pm

Sounds like a fun deck, these three usually don't get played together, but really, playing Black Rain every turn will be impossible anyway, you can never send enough chars to hand, and opponent will not hold them either, so what's the point? I mean you could play it every turn, but would that increase the succes-rate? Black Rain means surprise, mainly. But, at least you get to see the hand, and a scared opponent is always good too :twisted:
Surely you played normal rings as well in this deck? otherwise I think the base is a bit thin, just a palantir and a whispers...
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