To start, let me tell you that I own 3 copies of the base game, and one copy of every encounter deck and every expansion. I have 9 playable hero decks that I play regularly.
My take on the player cards: Brand is not a great hero. His ability is limited to multiplayer, and I play a lot of solo games. I do not use him regularly in any deck unless I am looking specifically for Ranged ability, and even then I usually use Legolas from the base set. The allies are good with the exception of Keen Eyed Took (so 3 good, 1 bad). Four of the remaining five player cards (events and attachments) are cards I never ever use.
My take on the encounter deck: This is a very extremely location heavy challenge. So, if you can handle that by using cards that clear locations (Northern Tracker in particular) it becomes quite easy. There are very few enemies and minimal combat. It is a unique change of pace compared to other encounter packs, but simply clearing locations is a bit bland, and it does not hold up interest after repeated plays. Note also there is a card in this encounter deck called "Rockslide" which is probably one of the most frustrating types of cards that can occur in any encounter deck (probably second to any card with "surge"). Rockslide can end a game in a hearbeat, even if you have planned well.
So, 2 out of 5 on this one. Many other encounter packs are much more worth your money.