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About dalestephenson

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  1. My takes: ---Oin--- Between the two abilities, I think the healing would be very useful and has a very weak thematic link to the flavor text (since fire-making is useful for healing). But it's highly unusual to give a healing effect to spirit, especially when there's a Lore dwarf hero that you are also boosting. The one good thing is that it would help a little bit with patching up Gloin, which is a good thematic link. Willpower boost is a natural spirit ability, but allowing twice a round should be a boost for more than dwarven mining. 4 willpower for 8 cost is very strong, especially when the willpower can be tuned for 2-4. Would be very popular in a dwarven mining deck. I tried to think of what else fire-making would do in the game, and the obvious related card is A Burning Brand. Discard for shadow cancellation or replacement would be useful and appropriate to sphere, but also overlaps too strongly with what Balin already does. A useful ability makes Oin attractive as a splasher, and a discard ability makes Oin attractive in a mining deck. But Oin's passive text wants to be in a dwarven swarm, and to compete with Nori in that environment he needs a larger five-dwarf boost. Unfortunately there's already so many dwarves that synergize with swarm already that it's hard to think of a reasonably powerful effect that wouldn't substantially overlap to a hero that already exists. Perhaps an Elfhelm-like effect for dwarven heroes would be useful enough -- give dwarf heroes at the table +1 defense if leadership, +1 hp if lore, +1 willpower if spirit, and +1 attack if tactics -- this would give Oin both attack and willpower when the threshold kicks in. The downside is that it takes so much room that it would be the only boost he gets. ---Dwalin--- He's good value already for 1, obviously, but his stat distribution would definitely be more useful if he had the warrior trait. ---Kili and Fili--- The one change I'd like to see here is to search the deck *and discard* for their opposite number. Two allies for three is a good deal, but not when the effect can't fire. ---Bombur--- Bombur's biggest problem is his stat distribution -- if he were 3/4 instead of 2/5 he'd have better defensive bones. The shuffle-to-draw is both Lore-ish and mining-useful, but the heroes that want five dwarves aren't generally the dwarves that want to mine. And the five-to-dwarves don't have a good defender. If we can't alter the distribution, maybe we could give more incentive to invest the attachments in making Bombur a fine defender -- if he defends without taking damage, draw a card. This would synergize with hero Dori, at least. You could also make it easier to boost his defense, perhaps by giving him +1 defense for each attachment with Dwarf printed on it. ---Thror's Map--- Of the three versions, I like the third best. I don't like a unique attachment being a disposable, and I do like the idea of making it useful in a Dwarf deck even without travel requirements to work around. Making it a resource cost is not only appropriate for the money-loving dwarves, it avoids anti-synergy between the dwarf-specific willpower boost and the need to have a hero ready in order to travel safely. ---Expecting Mischief--- Two damage for a 1-cost response is very strong, I think the card is fairly priced for its current effect *if its effect fires*, which it isn't guaranteed to do. What this card *really* needs to be is a 1-cost trap that does 2 damage when attached -- for weak enemies that'd be better than Poisoned Stakes, though not as strong against stronger enemies. ---Ravens of the Mountains--- The shuffle makes the progress less predictable, but optimizing for progress makes the scrying useless -- and removing the shuffle also prevents you from mixing it up when you know something bad is coming. I think the card would be fine with the shuffle-and-scry if you had the option of discarding the encounter card or putting it back on top, so if you've got a nasty treachery you may not place progress, but you can avoid it completely. ---Great Yew Bow--- I like the change. When it enables attacking alone, it's a hard thing to lose a Restricted slot with no benefit, and giving a benefit to Dale/Esgarath heroes is thematically appropriate.
  2. Mumakil's first reveal was a Terrible Fever, but a turn later blind Vilya played Sneak Attack in the planning phase, Gandalf happened to be in hand, and the card draw turned up a Warden of Healing who kept Arwen alive the entire quest. I was able to get all the Haradrim out except Yazan, and had a 4-threat location to travel to for my Pit Trap. Here's how we did against Mumakil (outside cards in parens): 0 alonewolf87 (0) 0 dalestephenson (11) 0 Trumpet95 (25) 0 General Grievous (31) 2 bobbymcbobface (14) And cumulative through the first two quests: 0 Trumpet95 (25) 0 General Grievous (31) 1 alonewolf87 (0) 1 dalestephenson (11) 3 bobbymcbobface (14) Only the brutal Black Serpent remains; still a week left to put a deck together and join the league.
  3. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work twice. After all, you can certainly have multiple attachments that boost your defense with the same text. +4 attack/defense with repeatable readying....
  4. I'm not sure about Beorn ability vs MotK -- MotK is immune to card effects, after all. But "cannot" usually trumps all. However, Thorongil is *not* immune, so certainly would fall off when Beorn is attached, at which point Beorn hero would be removed.
  5. There's no exclusion of objective heroes, so you should be able to Thorongil an objective-hero Kahliel.
  6. Since it's just an attachment, not a contract, there's no need for Desparate Alliance. It will work fine to attach a hero version to a MotK hero, though that will still have the MotK stats, taking some of the lure away from Thorongimli. It's a shame you can't use multiple contracts, MotK would make the threat requirements for 4-hero much less onerous.
  7. I've always found LoAragorn's ability least exciting -- even though it's the largest threat reduction effect in the game, if you end up not needing it his text might as well be blank. SpAragorn needs three resources and Thorongil to acquire that ability now, and I think his ability *will* be useful. If there's a location, he can wait until after staging to decide whether to "quest" via threat reduction or stay ready for combat, and that's not a bad thing for Spirit. Too bad Thorongil is unique. Hmm, maybe instead of ignoring uniqueness to play four Aragorns, I should just run one Aragorn with four abilities... Forest Road Ranger is the Woodman who could get buffed with a lot of location attachments, though that only counts as one ready for the card. I like readying Mirkwood Explorer to nuke a newly revealed location, but Leather Boots is the tool for that job.
  8. Of course, starting at 48 threat the quests shouldn't take long....
  9. Time to ignore uniqueness rules and send all four Aragorns against the saga....
  10. Ally Arwen + Arwen Ally Beorn plus Beorn sadly won't work.... Ally SpElfhelm + Elfhelm Ally Elrohir/Elladan + hero version
  11. You could try to adapt a stereotypical deck to your needs by replacing the cards from later cycles, this may be easier for you than building a deck for scratch. For example, the Outlands stereotypical deck uses only one distinct card (2x Prince of Dol Amroth) later than Against the Shadow. One of the heroes is later (LeDenethor), but you can swap him out for Theodred to get resource acelleration. Gondor was the other main archtype enabled by that cycle, but the Gondor stereotypical deck uses quite a few post-AtS cards and two later heroes (LeDenethor and LeFaramir). If you don't mind losing progression then both decks would probably work reasonably well against the cycle, since they're capable of both regular and Battle/Siege questing and they're monosphere. While there's not a canonical Outlands deck identified by the community, there are a LOT of progression decks at ringsdb. If you enable only the packs through AtS and then search for decks using Hirluin, I think you'll find a lot of Outlands decks.
  12. My takes: SpAragorn's ability isn't dramatic, but I like having an Argalad for locations in the game. There are few heroes where it's important to buff their willpower specifically; this will be one. The contract should be fun to play, and now makes it easier to start in Valour if you're feeling aggressive.... Four hobbit decks will be the most common for theme, TaMerry, and Drinking Song. Shining Shield looks fine, cheap +1/+2 that can go on a lot of nobles. Knowledge of the enemy seems useful for Dunedain decks, but it's not an early accelerator, I don't see it being used much. I like Haleth in a traps or woodmen deck, also will be a great addition to a Three Rings deck. Fantastic ability for MotK hero. Woodman Lore likes distributed attachments, and a couple of woodmen allies really like loaded up locations; OTOH some location attachments don't mind being distributed (Power in the Earth, Thror's Key, Hithlain). I don't see this card being used outside of a woodmen deck, and not guaranteed to see play there. Misty Mountain Journeyman's use for a Dunedain deck is obvious, if it uses spirit (which most don't). But it's fantastic value for any deck that expects to have an enemy engaged during planning sometime, which covers a lot of decks. A Desparate Path is interesting, the first card to search out a treachery. This card is going to be very quest dependent, but if you know you can survive whatever treachery turns up this a very powerful card for YOLO questing. Westfold Lancer is great willpower value for Tactics, and a fantastic option for Lothriel. I think the price is fair for Tireless Thoroughbred, but the cost of a restricted slot makes it tough to put on a hero unless Elfhelm is in play. Being able to put it on a character is nice, but aside from Beorn, Soldier of Erebor and maybe Gimli I'm not seeing a lot of likely targets. Thorongil is expensive; which alternate-hero abilities are worth spending 3 to get the ability and a sphere match? Aragorn -- adding LoAragorn's one-time ability is certainly worth 3. TaAragorn's passive -1 defense to enemies would also be handy. Beregond -- adding SpBeregond's threat reduction to TaBeregond is certainly worth 3. Bilbo -- giving LoBilbo the extra willpower and damage would be great, as would giving TaBilbo the extra card draw. Boromir -- both abilities are potentially useful to the other version. Brand -- no joy here, LeBrand isn't ranged and TaBrand won't be in a Dale deck. Dain -- giving SpDain the global dwarf boost seems worth three, but a defense boost isn't worth 3 for LeDain. Denethor -- 3 to add LoDenethor's scrying to LeDenethor is worth it. Eomer -- since characters don't generally leave play before Eomer commits to the quest, there's no synergy here, but adding LeEomer's ability to TaEomer might be worth 3 once the Galadriel/Herugrim combo is set up. Eowyn -- one time ready and +9 attack is worth 3. Faramir -- LoFaramir with LeFaramir's ally readying would be nice in an Ent deck. If LeFaramir is in an ent deck, the sphere addition is actually useful, though LoFaramir's ability may not be worth the cost even with that. Frodo -- while the two responses are in different activities, they are both strong enough to be worth 3 cost. Gimli -- attack and defend abilities don't synergize, not worth 3 in either direction. Glorfindel -- LoGlorfindel's healing isn't worth 3 Legolas -- adding the progress to SpLegolas may be worth 3 if he's routinely readied for attack. Merry -- with cheap readying, I think combining these may be worth 3. Note that SpMerry gets his attack 1 higher than TaMerry does in an all-hobbit deck. Saga SpMerry with the new contract and Thorongil.... Pippin -- if you were running SpPippin for some unknown reason, adding LoPippin's useful ability would certainly be worth 3. Imrahil -- 3 is expensive for a once-per-round conditional ready, but adding TaImrahil's ability to LeImrahil might be worth 3. Theoden -- adding TaTheoden's ability depends on how many Tactics heroes are around, it would at least buff Theoden by one and the tactics symbol may also be useful.
  13. I'm not sure why you say I'm putting Gwaihir in a solo context, I've pointed out sentinel/ranged, mentioned multiplayer repeatedly, and I see Gwaihir's natural home as a mono-tactics Eagles deck, which are typically not solo. Gwaihir's clearly better in a multiplayer context, he can get non-restricted buffs from other spheres and his sentinel/ranged can help cover enemies that escape the Eagles deck -- the most powerful Eagle has neither trait, only the one-shot Vassals and temporary Wilyador have ranged, and WG is the only viable sentinel option (Landroval also has it, but with 1 defense is a terrible repeat defender). But I've found at least in my fellowship play that a hero defender lacking sentinel (especially early) is often *not* a crippling limitation, as the combat deck engages the most enemies and the most difficult enemies. That's quest-dependent, but given a choice between two lockdown defenders, one of which has sentinel and the other of which can defend twice consecutively, I'll take the latter every time. I find ranged on a hero much less important than sentinel; there's a wealth of inexpensive ranged attackers, and they can be combined to take things down. Of the 11 cards you mentioned in the hypothetical Spirit/Tactics deck with Gwaihir, I think you want 3x of all of them with the exception of Landroval (1x), maybe Thorondor (2x), and if solo you can drop the unpredictable Flight of the Eagles. So 27-30 cards before adding in Born Aloft and Meneldor's Flight, two cards that in a normal Eagles deck (especially not mono-tactics) often don't make the cut -- and with Gwaihir, you *want* 3x of both of those cards, not just to exploit Meneldor and Thorondor but to ready Gwaihir at an opportune moment. Now you're up to 33-36 Eagles cards before adding a single spirit card in a spirit splash deck! There's little room left for Feint and other fantastic TActics card. There's little for Radagast and his staff, which is worth considering in a normal splash Eagles deck. You also haven't added 3x Gwaihir's Debt yet (the ONE Eagles card actually made better by having Gwaihir hero in play), which wants ally Radagast in play *and* wants 3x Gandalf too. Radagast as a lore splash is the natural off-tactics for an Eagles deck. He doesn't have access to UC, but he is going to want his staff (3x) and Wizard Pipe, and Gwaihir's Debt, and 3x core Gandalf, and Messenger Ravens -- add those on top of the 33-36 cards Gwaihir's need, and there's no room for other Lore or Tactics cards. A lot of heroes have toys that will eat into your deck space if you choose them -- Gwaihir needs over 30 cards to support his needs. That's why I see him as ill-fitting anywhere but mono-tactics, at least in a three-hero deck. It's absolutely true that with enough attachments you can turn any hero into a super defender, and with an Eagles deck Support can turn any tactics hero into a strong defender *and* attacker. That's why the most important attribute in a super defender is *ability to ready*, and that's where Tom Cotton shines if he's at the same table with a Lore deck containing 3x Fast Hitch. Yes, he needs Fast Hitch to get a readying advantage over Gwaihir, but once he has it attachment he can defend consecutively every turn, and the more copies he gets the more he can defend. For Gwaihir to defend consecutive he can remove an Eagle from play to do something useful, but it costs a card (the event), board state (Eagle removed from play), and will need more resources to put the Eagle *back* into play. It's *vastly* more expensive readying and it's not repeatable. Eagles leaving play sacrifices board state and/or cards. Gwaihir does nothing to provide card draw, but needs it badly, and his deck space demands and difficulty in getting weapons to exhaust preclude the few card draw options in Tactics. This is also why Gwaihir can't compare with Grimbeorn. Yes, repeat Grimbeorn will suck resources, but you won't always need to use his counterattack, and burning one resource for a counterattack is vastly cheaper than removing and replaying Eagles to keep Gwaihir readying! It's true that Gondorian Shield and Round Shield are the only armors that can go on all those tactics heroes, but that's not my point -- each of those heroes based on traits has buffs that can go *on them* that Gwaihir doesn't have access to, while Gwaihir has access to *nothing* restricted and nothing non-restricted that wants any trait but sentinel or ranged. Dori starts with one less defense than Gwaihir? He also can take Gondorian Shield *or* Ring Mail, and other decks can give him Armor of Erebor or Dwarven Shield. Tom Cotton starts at the same defense but can get G. Shield or Ring Mail, plus the non-restricted Hobbit Cloak. Grimbeorn can get the wonderful Raiment of War, Captain of Gondor *and* Hauberk of Mail on him at the same time. I don't agree with the logic that Shadowfax's readying means that Gandalf shouldn't be a UC target. Getting Shadowfax makes Gandalf a *better* UC target, because you want to buff the hero that can ready *most often* -- plus it gives him both Ranged and Sentinel, matching Gwaihir's one big advantage. In addition, Gandalf has a repeatable exhaust-ability with Narya and a non-repeatable exhaust ability with Word of Command. And he's a better quester too. There's no possible way I'd waste UC on Gwaihir if Gandalf is at the table with Shadowfax on him. Yes, UC is not useful on Galadriel if Nenya hasn't come out yet. But being able to use both Nenya and Galadriel's ability is so useful that there's no way I'd put UC on Gwaihir over Galadriel just because Nenya's not out yet! It's not transferrable. The same is true to a lesser extent of Cirdan, though unlike Galadriel he can actually attack and defend. I do put defensive attachments on the "main hero" before Dori, UC included -- but that assumes that there is a "main hero" to buff. In a number of fellowships there never was a "main defender" and who Dori would end up buffing would vary. For example, in our saga playthrough Dori's deck had Amarthiul, but any enemies engaging with the spirit deck would be covered by Dori directly early on, and later Arwen (with Light of Valinor) or Eowyn (with Snowmane/Golden Shield). In another fellowship Dori would help out Beravor or Elanor as the situation demanded. When Dori is being "spread around", it makes sense to buff Dori first; if you have Dwarven defensive attachments they only go on Dori, if you use Dunedain Warning starting it on Dori can let you get double duty on an assisted defense (boost Dori's defense when exhausting, then move it to the defending hero before the attack is resolved). But if Dori's the intended Support target, you want buffs on him from the beginning, because once he gets that he is the tower. And once he gets that, he's a fine attacker in his own right as well, making UC useful with only one defense needed -- that's the thing about Support of the Eagles, even though Gwaihir has the advantager over everyone if being used for both defense and attack to start with, once a hero has Support they *all* attack and defend well. Blood/Fire can be slapped on anyone with Steward of Gondor, but Mablung is of special interest in that he generates resources *without* Steward and he doesn't need Steward to get it. If Steward is shy (and for a 1x core player it's only a 2x core) Blood/Fire cards are dead if you don't have a natural target. Steward is also such a useful target that you may have a better use for it than creating a Blood/Fire target. Argalad's ability is once-per round, but he's a ranged attacker and his ability means you want to boost his attack ASAP so he can cause direct damage. If there's an enemy in staging to use his ability on during the questing phase, it's reasonably likely there will be an enemy for him to attack in the combat phase; UC is a consistently useful card on him. I'm not sure I'd put UC on Argalad over Gwaihir, since buffing him to 3 defense is still shy of Gwaihir but sufficient to cover most enemies. But if his weapons came out before UC did, I'd give it strong consideration. Unexpected Courage is a fantastic card on Gwaihir, it can guarantee that he's ready for the combat phase and most of the time it will let him take two consecutive exhaustions in the combat phase. But like the Eagles themselves, Gwaihir needs UC more than it needs him -- UC is a fantastic card on a *lot* of heroes, and there's a lot of tactics hero that I would rather put Support/UC on than Gwaihir, because they bring something else to the table I value more than the sentinel/ranged combo and unreliable, board-state damaging readying.
  14. My most experience with Eagles is actually playing a progression descendant of Beorn's Path spirit/tactics deck (Thalin/TaGimli/SpEowyn), which was an Eagles deck in Dwarrowdelf/Hobbit/Numenor/Ringmaker -- I phased out the Eagles completely only when I got to Derndingle. A solo Eagles deck with double tactics is totally viable, especially with all spheres having some good questing heroes now. And though the threat hit would be high, I think Eowyn/Gwaihir/Gimli would certainly be viable, since outside of cycles with 1-hp enemies Gwaihir has more potential, and when one of the two UC shows up I'd put it on Gwaihir over Gimli so I could guarantee he is ready and could defend. That's not to say the deck wouldn't be better if I swapped out Gwaihir for Grimbeorn or TaBeregond or TaBoromir or Mablung (or any tactics hero that can defend four 4+ with a single Gondorian Shield), and every last one of those guys is lower threat than Gwaihir. The deck's not especially good for Gwaihir -- with splash spirit there are spirit cards I want/need to include, not just my 1-3 copies of UC, and that deck space has to come from somewhere. Gwaihir wants to be in a deck with all the eagles, plus three copies each of Born Aloft and Meneldor's Flight. That's hard to justify in an Eagles deck, so I see Gwaihir's natural home as a full-blown kitchen sink Eagles deck, and that means mono-tactics is the way to go. You can also have a big Eagles deck combining double tactics with Gandalf, Elrond, or especially Radagast, but those guys have toys that demand deck space too, and they're all to my mind more attractive UC targets than Gwaihir anyway. As you say, Gwaihir's best potential is as the defender, and I agree the best target for UC is a heroic defender, barring exhausting abilities you want to use elsewhere. Gwaihir has great defensive bones, but even aside from his readying issues, he's hampered by having natural access only to Support of the Eagles, which is both expensive and needs WG or buffed Misty in play for defense -- and that works equally well on any *other* tactics defender (or for splashers in an Eagles deck, Song of Battle -- I'd add that to my Radagast Eagles deck both to help pay non-Eagle tactics cards and to make him a Support target, because the only thing better than a heroic defender with Support is a heroic defender with Support *and* A Burning Brand). But the other thing that hampers him is that his "natural" readying is rarely between defenses, only with WG leaving play, [or LeGimli readying him]. So a *ready* Gwaihir with UC attached is only good for two defenses, same as any other defender with UC, with Gwaihir having the handicap that you can't *guarantee* he's ready in the first place without exhausting UC. Without sphere-fixing, Support can only go on Tactics heroes (including Gandalf if he plays it himself). But it doesn't have to go in the Eagles deck, nothing requires it to choose an eagle you control. So whether part of the Eagles deck or not, all tactics heroes can take it. All other tactics heroes except Quickbeam (and Beorn, who can't use support either) can take 1-2 of the *many* restricted armors that boost defense in addition to Support. This is another hard obstacle for Gwaihir, though he has a trump card that someone like TaBeregond can't match -- if there's only *one* defense needed, he is powerful on the attack. Still, in a multiplayer situation where I expect multiple defenses to be common, which of the defensive-potential Tactics would I pass over as a Support/UC target? Gwaihir is a 3/4 defender. Gandalf is a special case since he has to play Support himself, but he's a *much* better UC target since he can quest better, use Narya or Word of Command, and with Shadowfax gets an extra ready plus ranged/sentinel. He can also play ABB on himself. He starts at 3/5. Definitely would prefer Gandalf. Boromir is 2/5 and neither ranged nor sentinel, but he starts with guaranteed readying (sadly nerfed to once per phase), gets to 4/5 with 1-cost Gondorian Shield, can naturally take Blood of Numenor and Gondorian Fire. Despite the lack of sentinel and ranged, I'm definitely buffing SuperBoromir over Gwaihir. Beregond is 4/4, and 6/4 with a free Gondorian Shield and also sentinel. If you're looking for multiplayer sentinel defense, it doesn't get any better than Beregond. Theoden is only 2/4, but he's sentinel already, can attack for three, and is boosted by 3 for both Goldien Shield and Herugrim (sadly, only one each). Much easier to boost his defense, I'd prefer him as a target. Mablung is only 2/4 but deserves mention because he's often an Eagles deck staple for his resource generation. Natural access to G. Shield is good, as is Blood/Fire *on a hero that generates resources*. Lack of sentinel diminishes his potential, but I think his upside is greater than Gwaihir in the same deck. Dori is 2/5 and sentinel, so Gwaihir starts with a point of defense on him as a repeat defender, though lacking a hit point. But Dori can take many defensive boosts that Gwaihir can't, and he has the unique ability among heroic defenders to help provide heroic defense safely *even when at the point of death*. I've played a ton of Dori fellowships and UC doesn't generally go on Dori (the one Dori fellowship that used an Eagles deck had TaTheoden/Dori/TaAragorn), but if the only two targets for Support/UC to set up a heroic defender were Dori and Gwaihir, I'd go with Dori -- his defensive potential is higher due to Restricted access. Na'asiyah is 2/4, but can be 4/4 by spending a resource. She lacks sentinel (or ranged) but her defensive potential is higher and her starting attack with buff matches Gwaihir. Not a good fit for an Eagles deck because she can't pay for allies. Tom Cotton is 3/3 and lacks sentinel. But if you're going to set up an inpenetrable multi-defender with Support of the Eagles, you can't do better than a Hobbit with access to Fast Hitch. Support works for the *whole round*, so all you need is Arwen and Bob's your uncle. Since he synergizes with Hobbits he's unlikely in an Eagles deck, but that's no impediment to Support and he's a fine tactics splash in a Hobbit deck. Grimbeorn is 3/5 sentinel and can counterattck for effective-five. Absolutely no contest here, Grimbeorn is *vastly* better as a Support/UC choice. Amongst the other tactics hero, Aragorn, Legolas, Bard, Thorin and Merry all have when-attacks abilities that would be handy to trigger more than once in a round, so are attractive UC/Support targets. Elladan has unlimited (until the resources run out) attacks, so synergizes *extremely* well with Support if you've got enemies to kill. Once you get away from tactics Support needs sphere-fixing, but there's a lot of sentinel defenders who can buff their defense more easily than Gwaihir, plus Beravor, Galadriel, Elrond with Vilya, Cirdan with Narya, Argalad and Denethor with useful stats and exhausting abilities. The more players at the table, the more likely it is that *somebody* will benefit more from UC being attached to them than Gwaihir will. Gwaihir benefits a lot from UC, both from guaranteeing he will be ready at least once a round and to ready him in windows (like between consecutive defense) where Eagles won't. But Gwaihir having the greatest need for UC doesn't translate into UC necessarily being most valuable on him. Gwaihir's combat stats are excellent, and it's true that most heroes need combo pieces to surpass him -- but when they get those pieces, surpass him they will. Whether the other pieces are hit quicker or slower than UC/Support doesn't matter much, because those two cards can be used to great advantage on other heroes as well; there is *no* attachment or event I can think of which benefits Gwaihir and none of his competition. But I think the combo pieces will be hit sooner to buff defense, since heroic defenders or attackers typically have *multiple* attachments to boost their stats, not just relying on a single 3x, and Open the Armory makes them easier to find than other cards in the deck. By the time UC shows up, Gwaihir may not have the best combat stats, and long-term he certainly won't keep them. Replacing sentinel/ranged is a tougher task, though depending on how combat capable the other decks are -- and how often the quest can keep enemies away from the combat deck -- this may not be such a big deal even with multiple players.
  15. The problem I see with Grey Wanderer Gwaihir is that his Eagles need resources, and if you're providing resources with the contract you're not using his contract to ready. So I don't think you'd enjoy much action advantage with Gwaihir and would have to use the contract every turn just to get him to ready at all. Of the other-hero-readiers, I think LeFrodo is by far the weakest. Since Gwaihir has to quest with him, he can't ready Gwaihir if he's already exhausted, and it also requires questing successfully. SpLegolas is the second weakest, not just because a card is typically more costly than a resource, but because the only action advantage he enables is quest/combat, and with only 2 willpower for Gwaihir it's not *that* special. Still, Legolas can ready a Gwaihir who wasn't readied in planning, so he's a great option to have around. LeGimli I like a lot, since any enemy Gimli defends Gwaihir will be able to attack. He's also the only hero-readier who can allow defense/defense from Gwaihir, though that requires three enemies to defend against. TaMerry is the lone hero-readier who is a good fit in Gwaihir's own deck, he provides tactic resources for Eagles, he's low-threat so helps with Gwaihir's huge threat, and he can consistently attack with Gwaihir to either enable another attack or ready Gwaihir for next turn. His weakness is that the requirement to attack *with* Gwaihir means he can't set up defend/attack action advantage. Downside is that Merry's attack won't be bolstered by Gwaihir, and the other tactics hobbit hero wants hobbits in the deck, not eagles. TaBrand is the lone hero who can set up defense/attack action advantage, though that requires him to be able to destroy an enemy engaged with Gwaihir's deck and without Gwaihir's help. He can set up attack/attack though, and like Merry can leave Gwaihir ready. And like Merry, his readying is "free" instead of costing a resource or card. For maximum Gwaihir potential, he wants to be in a fellowship with all of these guys....
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