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  1. Elrond. Great impact early, great value late. Threat is the only concern although his resource versatility allows him to be in every deck even if you have to build around him a bit if you want a decent starting threat. I actually think that you have to carefully build around Galadriel more due to her totally lack of combat contribution and total lack of first turn contribution. She most easily compares to other heavy economic engine cards like Bilbo and Theodred which never find their way into my decks. Galadriel's impact on allies sets her apart from those, but the weakness still remains. To make solid use of the free ally questing, you need a good questing ally that can also do something else meaningful. Usually that is simply chump blocking as it is uncommon to be putting into play allies that are good at questing and notably good at something else other than dieing. There is value here in doing the chump block, but it doesn't call to me as something I want to build around. I am very glad to have Galadriel in the card pool because she fills some notable niches that can't be otherwise matched (allowing secrecy at 21 threat, card draw in Spirit). But Elrond supplies so much more value in the game.
  2. Unfortunately, none of these heroes are top 4 for me largely because I am a low threat lover. Sam, Pippen (Lore), and Glorfindel are my top 3 since they have exceptionally high value at a low threat. Great in any deck. Magical together. Eliminated a while ago. AZ – Elrond – He brings more to the table and solves so many problems in deck building (nearly every problem other than threat). He literally can work in every deck . . . once again if you can manage the threat. He is the most deserving hero remaining and the argument is very strong that he is top 5. BA – Aragorn (Lo) – A weak semi final matchup. I can only hope the winner gets crushed. Both heroes certainly have their solid uses. Aragorn gets the modest nod since he presents a much much stronger early game while still providing substantial scaling with his attachments. Galadriel starts with a weak impact if no Nenya and has limited upside. Given how far Loragorn has progressed in this championship, I am predicting a huge run by Tactics Aragorn in the championship next year. Seems like he could unify a lot of the voting blocks (Aragorn and Tactics fans at a minimum).
  3. AV – Eowyn – A very interesting matchup that often plays out when I am deck building. There was a time not long ago I would have called Frodo superior due to his versatility and synergies. But Eowyn frees you up to do all sorts of other things with the other heroes and cards. While she is boring, she enables the rest of the deck to be very much not boring. One the other hand, Frodo stopped finding his way into my decks largely because it always seemed like an upgrade to swap in Eowyn. So I wouldn’t be honest with myself if I didn’t vote for Eowyn here . . . which disappoints me a bit. AW – Beregond – This is nearly a toss up for me. Both are fantastic heroes and oddly enough great defenders. It is the sentinel key word that makes the difference. In an intentional deck pairing, a strong sentinel defender first turn is really powerful and once again enables the rest of the heroes/decks to do cool things. AX – Gandalf – This one is a no brainer. I greatly enjoy the fiddlyness of Gandalf. Lots and lots of decisions. Lots and lots of versatility. And THE best card sifter by far if built right (around zero cost events). This once again enables lots of strategies since it is much easier to promote your combos . . . which is awesome. I can’t wait to see shadowfax. AY – Aragorn – The weakest pairing in an otherwise strong round. My love for Silvan is still developing. My respect for building around Aragorn remains. Gandalf should crush whoever emerges here.
  4. AN Eowyn – There is always an immensely strong argument to include Eowyn on the table. Legolas has a ton of competition both as a tactics hero and as a ranged stud (Haldir is better, I'd be interested to see the voting on this matchup). I can see why Legolas is a fan favorite, but Eowyn is the superior hero. AO Frodo – Easy choice. Elrohir has too many restrictions to be broadly useful. Frodo is a great addition in nearly any deck and also comes with lots of hobbit synergies. AP Elrond – A very close one here, and I am totally torn. Elrond just barely gets the nod and not necessarily because of Vilya. He smooths out the balance of any deck and brings a lot of options to the table. The bonus healing is difference making particularly on the archery heavy quests. I won’t be a bit sad if Boromir wins though. AQ Beregond – Stud especially when supported by shadow cancellation. AR Sam – Argh! A very hard match up. Sam is one of the best “any” deck hero in the game plus he comes with synergies. I am having an absolute blast with Gandalf though even though it requires some very targeted deckbuilding. This is another that I won’t be disappointed either way. AS Haldir – I see the value of Galadriel but I continue to maintain that she introduces a dangerous amount of fragility in the opening turns. Haldir is perhaps the most devastating hero in the game to build around (perhaps second to Boromir) with his free preemptive strike. AT Glorfindel – Too good. I wish we had more low threat options to compete with him. Hobbits are a good start but we need more. AU Aragorn – Send forth Strider to strike down the upstart Eomer. I prefer my stud attackers to have ranged and/or action advantage and/or be Haldir/Dunhere types. And for pure early turn power, I prefer Beorn (who has high attack AND action advantage). I could make an argument that Gimli is more than capable of delivering the same studliness as Eomer with a higher upside, versatility, and synergy. Aragorn has fallen a bit out of favor with me simply due to other awesome choices but he is still a great option particularly with wingfoot bolstering him.
  5. X – Legolas – I love threat reduction, so this is a tough choice. Legolas barely gets the edge due to his versatility in a lot of decks rather than being forced into the dwarf archtype Y – Eowyn – Eowyn struggled a bit in the Heirs of Numenor cycle but has re-ascended since into a hero I am tempted to put in every deck Z – Elrohir – I don’t see the appeal in leadership Boromir and don’t understand the high seed. I at least seriously think about putting an Elrohir deck together occasionally. Every time leadership Boromir even crosses my mind, I replace him with either Imrahil or Aragorn. AA – Frodo – Leadership Aragorn gets attention from me but is usually cut for other options. I don’t build with Frodo as much anymore (saga expansions don’t help), but he still gets the nod. AB – Elrond - AC – Boromir - AD – Beregond – It took me a while to fall in love with Beregond. But with shadow chaining being less common in the material from the past year, he is a god send. Imrahil is great too and would win for me over many of the other pairs on this list in this round (cough Z cough) AE – Bifur – Bifur is great deck glue. The rise of hero Gandalf and the Silvan deck give him additional uses. Denethor never seems to fit into any deck that I want to build. AF - Sam Gangee – This matchup is unfair. I could make a case that lore Pippen is a top 5 or 10 hero since he is an immensely useful engine character that provides decent value in his 2 questing. But Sam is a stud. AG – Gandalf – It is refreshing to play decks that operate completely different than everything else. And he is powerful. AH - Haldir of Lorien – Faramir is another hero that never finds his way into my decks. Haldir is really powerful to build around. AI – Beorn – The king of early survivability versus the queen of anti-early survivability. Awesome. This game is decided in the early rounds and I think Galadriel is overrated since she needs to be carefully built around (oddly Beorn makes a good Galadriel body guard). AJ - Glorfindel AK – Celeborn AL – Aragorn - AM – Dain Ironfoot – Eomer is another popular hero that doesn’t find his way into my decks. Perhaps I will discover him one day. Until then, all hail Dain.
  6. A – Nori B – Bard the Bowman C – Eowyn D – Thorin Oakenshield E – Frodo Baggins F – Ori G – Boromir H – Balin I – Prince Imrahil J – Denethor K - Bifur L – Pippin M – Merry N – Gandalf O – Haldir of Lorien P –Galadriel Q - Beorn R – Mablung S – Celeborn T – Gimli U – Hama V – Dain Ironfoot W - Mirlonde
  7. Speaking to the spirit of the questions. I think many run Thorin, Ori, and Nori in one deck which is a fantastic combo, my other hero combo right now is Dain, Thalin, and Dwalin. I think Dwalin mostly blows, but he is needed for Spirit access right now until a new option is available in hobbit 2 (crosses fingers). My decks are posted on my latest blog entry here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/16358/heirs-of-numenor-how-it-has-changed-the-game I don't see Bombur replacing anyone in this group unless an alternative to A Test of Will reveals itself. While the Thorin, Ori, and Nori deck could use a stud blocker, all in all your rank and file dwarves can often handle most attacks once without dieing (even more with Hardy Leadership or a ring mail), and they can generally be cranked out when maximizing synergies such that they are easy to toss away as cannon fodder blockers. So I see the value in a Bombur super defender with Burning Brand, but this is somewhat redundant with a powered up Dain on the board - and Dain is a MUST. As far as Bombur's card text goes, I don't think there are enough synergies at the moment to make it particularly valuable. Thorin and Ori's powers are easily triggered with a deck packed full of dwarves. An Erebor Battle Master really doesn't need many dwarves on the board to be able to kill just about anything in the game. And We Are Not Idle is just not enough to justify Bombur's existence.
  8. Definitely agree. Secrecy is key word should be used much more often, even if it is a modest 1 or 2 discount. And we absolutely need more threat reduction options in general as well as non-Spirit spheres (although I'll note that the most resource efficient threat reduction is in the leadership sphere . . . sneak attack gandalf)
  9. I guess the point is that if you know that Blocking Wargs is going to be an issue, then you can at least prepare for it. To beat Into Ithilien you have to ensure that you have at least 4 A Test of Wills available for play before you get through the end of the encounter deck (hopefully it will be less with one or two being shadow effects). If everyone at the table has 3 in their deck, this is very doable - even more so if you have Dwarven Tombs backing them up and/or card draw support. I completely agree that having these Spirit cards works against the other things you need in the quest, but at least I have a chance. I have a lot less problem with cards that I am at least given an opportunity to try to counter than ones that can make the game unrecoverable first or second turn. Southron Support (let alone drawing two of them!) first turn on Into Ithilien almost qualifies here. Sleeping Sentry as a shadow effect is absurd particularly when applied on a first turn attack when, beyond a mulligan, there is very little power from the players to be able to set up a defense. A first or second turn Blocking Wargs is not pleasant, but it is eminently survivable as long as you aren't counting on Vassals to make your questing math balance out. I want to be clear that I don't like the card and I think that the infinite loop scenario is likely a horrible design oversight, but I think it is a step too far to say it is the worst. Also, with a few key exceptions, I really like HoN - although I am close to being frustrated enough with a few of these exceptions to start house ruling the quests.
  10. I still think sleeping sentry is worse. Sudden pitfall is way worse early in the game when you may have to quest hero, but that card can be managed once you are a few turns into the game. A Foe From Beyond is very powerful, but at least it is thematic and fits in with the quest really well and scales as you progress through the quest. While it isn't quite as abnoxious, I've found Orc Assault or an early Power of Mordor to have a massive impact on the game often starting a death spiral if they aren't cancelled (with Power of Morder not being cancellable). Orc Assault essentially creates a lost turn which I can never afford on Cair Andros along with a threat hit from terrible questing. The one time impact of these cards is way more than Blocking Wargs. I think Orc Assault shouldn't impact your questing even on a battle/siege and Power of Mordor should be an addition to the encounter deck after a few turns. I agree with the comments that either removing the Surge or the shuffle back in is needed to avoid Blocking Wargs doing silly things. If you keep track of the Blocking Wargs you can at least plan for a round where you empty out the encounter deck and infinitely cycle Blocking Wargs. Admittedly, I play under the assumption that an infinite loop of Blocking Wargs doesn't end the game, it just kills all questers (which I think is plenty). I don't know if this is correct per se, but it is the only option that isn't silly. The thing that is really bothersome is that there are only 3 cards in the game that can directly get rid of Blocking Wargs (so not counting getting rid of the card through a shadow effect - which requires some unthematic metagaming) - A Test of Will, Eleanor, and Out of the Wild. If we are really required to cancel Blocking Wargs to have a chance against this quest, then we certainly need more options. For now, I won't go Into Ithilien without 6 A Test of Wills and 2 Dwarven Tombs in a two player game.
  11. Zdawg88 said: I think I've played this first scenario around 10 times already now and have lost every time. Played mostly solo and with a Gondor themed deck each time. I've switched my heroes around and can't seem to find which three Gondor heroes work best together solo. I want to use the new Boromir for his buff ability, also Beregond for his blocking ability. I've then switched it up between Imrahil and Denethor. Having Lore and being able to get the healers is pretty nice for this scenario. Problem is when that one enemy engages you and deals damage to all your allies. That usually sets me back hard. The one shadow effect that causes you to lose your entire hand sucks, as well as the one that causes you to lose attachments. I've lost a couple times on treachery too. A couple times I had 3 copies of the one treachery card in the discard pile so was discarding 8 cards from the deck. Proceeded to get 4 lands coupled with the storehouse being in play means I was raising my threat by 12. All in all a tough quest. I think the difficulty scale has evolved over time as a 5 is much harder then it use to be. I guess I'll have to break out my uber dwarf deck and give it a another go. Gondor is weak . . . I tried pretty hard to put together a Gondor deck that I thought would play well, but I just don't see it at this point. Hopefully it will improve, but Boromir's attack boost is really not that good of a synergy with the options available right now. Also the quest presents a highly variable start. There is a huge difference between just needing to deal with a couple of harbor thugs in a 2 player game compared to 5 or 6 enemies first turn with a little bad luck. As with many quests, the opening encounter draw has heavily impacted our fate.
  12. starhawk77 said: I've beat it a few times with my solo Noble deck (Elrond/Beravor/FoS Glorfindel), but it usually smokes me. I probably have a 15-20% win rate. Asfaloth is an all-star. It's a deliciously brutal scenario. The most hilarious thing, to me, is the fact that you can kill Smaug (no small feat) and STILL lose. Wow! that is an exceptional win rate for solo, I figured it was close to impossible just due to the challenges of mustering enough questing to not have to engage Smaug every turn. The stupid Esgaroth Warffs have largely neutralized my attempts to abuse Asfaloth or NT.
  13. We've beaten it handily with a pair of dwarf decks (with a substitute of Eowyn instead of Dwalin since questing willpower is ridiculously vital in this quest). As always, the first couple of turns are critical, and I find it makes a massive difference to not draw Smaug the Mighty early on (turn 1 in particular). If you can power up Dain to be able to safely soak some of the Smaug attacks, then you can generally crank out dwarves fast enough to handle the rest. Allies are a critical resource that must be managed closely as they are needed to both expand your questing ability and to block Smaug. A test of will and shadow cancellation is critical as well. If you can get through the first 2 turns without losing a hero and get a couple of defense boosters on Dain, I think it is a very straight forward and winnable quest with the dwarf swarm. Although it is admittedly very easy for it to turn against you quickly with a boosted Smaug attack, a badly timed shadow or treachery, a location pile up, or laketown damage - all with the potential to take you from well managed to Kenny Loggins in no time. The margin for error is deliciously thin - and most of our early losses could be traced back to one poor move (or an occasional brutal first two turns encounter/Smaug draw). I really like the quest by the way. Very epic. It lives up to the standard set by Osgiliath.
  14. MyNeighbourTrololo said: Nori + Spirit Bofur = At a cost of 1, your threat at the same level from turn to turn. With horn of Gondor the cost is reduced to 0. Yea I was thinking about this as well. I am surprised that they didn't phrase it like Legacy of Durin. This certainly takes care of any threat reduction needed for one of my dwarf decks.
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