Fantasy Flight Games has announced the 8th deluxe expansion for Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. A Shadow in the East brings you the normal three scenarios for expansions to the game, along with hobbits and The One Ring. The scenarios have your heroes (1) traveling the River Running, (2) investigating a series of abductions in Dorwinion, and (3) entering an ancient temple to save the kidnapped from a cult of Sauron. A Shadow in the East is the beginning of the Vengeance of Mordor cycle. However, with this many expansions you want to know what is new. A Shadow in the East introduces master cards, contracts, and the first double-sided hero.
In A Shadow in the East, The One Ring card is an attachment you can bestow upon any hero able to hold it. When The One Ring enters play, you may search your deck for a master card and add it to your hand. They provide a powerful effect at the price of increasing your threat (more details here).
“[C]ontracts are never included in a player’s deck and do not count towards a player’s minimum deck size. Instead, each player may choose one contract to put into play along with their heroes at the beginning of the game with its “A” side face up. When certain conditions are met, a contract is then flipped to unlock special abilities.”[source]
The first double-sided hero card in the game is Smeagol. When played you shuffle two cards into your deck that when drawn will flip Smeagol to his Gollum side and cause him to attack you.
A Shadow in the East releases in the third quarter of 2019. For anyone curious about Dorwinion’s place in LOTR lore, it is an agrarian region famous for wine. In the Hobbit, the escape of Bilbo and the Dwarves from the Elvenking is aided when the king’s butler and chief of the guards fall asleep after drinking Dorwinion wine.