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A Journey to Rhosgobel actually has an interesting scenario where you can add Athelas to the staging area. Is it guarded when added by Forest Grove?

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No, it is not guarded when added by Forest Grove.

According to the FAQs, on guarded:

Surge, Doomed, and Guarded keywords should be resolved any time the card on which they occur is revealed from the encounter deck, including during setup.

The word revealed here is not mentioned in the actual rule book and is the cause for confusion. If we assume that Guarded is only triggered when a card is revealed then Athelas enters the staging area unguarded when added by Forest Grove.

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    Note that this has also gotten an official answer from Caleb Grace, the designer of the game. He wrote: "Because the Athelas is not revealed when you trigger the Response of Forest Grove, you place an unguarded Athelas in the staging area." So this question has been officially answered.
    – rmunn
    Apr 8 '16 at 2:02

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