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  1. Super-quick turnaround, but some really good feedback from various places has put another Thror's Map version on the table: The consensus seems to be that a repeatable effect that ignores travel costs is just too powerful, and so keeping it discard-to-use is important. However, the idea to keep the discard-to-use but also give it +1 WP to dwarves was floated, and I like it.
  2. Looks like the plan is to leave Glorfindel untouched now. Thanks for the feedback on that, everyone. And the Ancient Mathoms project is back with the player cards from both Hobbit boxes! Between the two boxes, there's only 8 cards that we were wanted to touch, and a few of them we're not certain on whether they need it. There are also multiple versions of Oin and Thror's Map, and feedback on which one is preferred by the community would be appreciated. In addition to the cards below, we also looked at Fili and Kili - they are powerful enough as is, but we were wondering if our nerf to Leadership Dain might make it worth giving Fili and Kili a small boost (we were thinking a play-from-hand effect that boosts their willpower or attack - depending on which one you played and which one you put into play - until the end of the phase). On the other hand, they are probably good enough as is - but we'd like some community feedback on the idea. Oin is not a bad hero, but his resource smoothing effect is niche and the attack boost really isn't needed for Dwarves - you're almost certainly looking for ally attackers if you're running tactics in a 5-dwarf deck. In addition, he's almost completely sidelined by the hero version of Nori. We've had 2 different ideas. The first idea was to open up a healing card for Dwarves specifically - they are one of the last traits without in-trait healing (others being Eagles, Woodmen, Outlands, and Beornings). This ability plays into the dwarf mining theme as well - thematically, the descriptions of the Dwarves from the hobbit films describes Oin as the healer, but that's thematically weak, to be sure. This version of Oin attempts to give Dwarf Mining a much-needed willpower boost. Since most Dwarf allies have lower willpower than normal to account for Dain, it's hard to do an early-game willpower ramp. Oin can help bridge the gap with strong early-game questing. The only thing we did to Dwalin was to give him the warrior trait. This makes him eligible for Hauberk of Mail and Raiment of War - the premier defensive attachments for allies. It also puts him in line with the Erebor Guard. This one we're not 100% needed to be done, but it's been a slight annoyance - Dwalin could be a fine defender, but isn't eligible for the majority of defensive attachments that could go on allies. Bombur is...an interesting hero. He makes it so you only need a single dwarf ally to get up to the 5-dwarf requirement to turn on Thorin, Ori, Oin, and many of the Dwarf allies. However, he is completely useless after that. Not to mention that his stats are less-than great. So basically, his ability lets you get access to a small number of hero or ally abilities a turn earlier. Now, it is incredibly thematic, so we didn't want to get rid of it. But we did want to give him another ability, and this one hits right at one of the most annoying parts of playing a dwarf mining deck - drawing into your Hidden Cache or Ered Luin Miner. There's a reason that Gandalf w/Wizard Pipe is so popular in a dwarf mining deck. So his ability lets you shuffle a card from hand back into your deck and draw a card. It's not super powerful - ally Erestor is probably better, Lore Bilbo is definitely better, and Beravor, Gleowine, or Erestor are entirely in a league of their own. In addition, the more you use his ability, the more diluted your deck becomes in the future. But it does get cards you'd like in your deck back in there, so you can use Very Good Tale or Timely Aid or mining cards or something else to use them the way you wanted. The stealth errata to Thror's Map was...contentiously received by the community. We had actually planned on nerfing the card as part of the project, but the actual nerf went further than we had planned on going. One of the ideas we had discussed was reducing the cost to 0 and making it discard for the effect - it's the most like the actual errata'ed card. A second idea involved requiring a hero exhaustion to trigger the effect. We also gave it a willpower boost to the attached Dwarf to give it some utility outside of the travel effect. The third idea required spending a resource from the attached hero's resource pool each time you use the map. Expecting Mischief is a fun card, but hard to use effectively - you end up playing it without knowing whether or not an enemy is coming up. It can be useful with scrying, but the theme is a little off - the title is about expecting mischief, but the effect requires you to either guess or already know that something is coming. We made it a response to an enemy being revealed instead. Finally, ravens of the mountain. A cool idea, but in execution, less effective. Forcing you to shuffle before playing the card makes it possible for the card to do absolutely nothing, wasting the resource and the hero exhaustion you spent on it. Not worth it for the 2 or 3 progress you could get out of it. We took out that requirement. For Bard the Bowman, we just cleaned up his wording to match modern phrasing. Instead of "makes a ranged attack," instead its "attacks an enemy not engaged with you. This is part of our larger push to get consistency on the very few early cards that point to ranged attacks when they probably should point to attacking enemies not engaged with you. For example, Rivendell Bow not working with Haldir of Lorien's Combat Action. For Great Yew Bow, we addressed the common problem that the Bow allows you to make attacks into the staging area but doesn't help you make those attacks effective. We made it a weapon that works with Dale or Esgaroth heroes. As always, we'd love to hear community feedback on these! Let us know what you think!
  3. We don't have an official ruling, but the current consensus in the Discord is that the Ring's Setup text is still active even when it is in the discard pile. (You couldn't retrieve a Master card from the discard pile, because the Ring only says to search your deck, but Setup text that doesn't directly reference your deck should be fine.) Also - congrats! Amazing use of ally Nori. Hadn't thought to use him yet
  4. Alright - some revisions based on feedback from a lot of places. First off, Glorfindel. I am more than halfway considering retracting the proposed nerf, after it has been pointed out to me in a number of places that Glorfindel is a lot less overpowered than he once was - in large part because his historical overuse has at least as much to do with the fact that there were very few viable Spirit options for a general-purpose deck until the game's 4th or 5th cycle. In Core, Eowyn is the only one - Dunhere is too specialized to splash and Eleanor is largely a multiplayer card. In Shadows of Mirkwood, Frodo is useful (but also the only Spirit hero that cycle). In Dwarrowdelf, the only other Spirit hero is Dwalin, whose ability is situational, so you can't just put him into a deck. In the Against the Shadow cycle, you get Spirit Pippin (one of the worst heroes in the game) and Caldara (good - not yet very good, that will require a few cycles - but only useful in a mono-spirit deck). In Ringmaker, you get Idraen and Galadriel, the first real splash options for Spirit for a long time (Idraen is fine and Galadriel is amazing). The Hobbit boxes brought Nori and Oin - useful in a Dwarf swarm, but not so much outside, and the first 2 LOTR Saga expansions brought only Fatty Bolger - another candidate for one of the worst heroes in the game. So...not a lot of options until much later in the cycle. In addition, I've had some feedback that the Glorfindel nerf as proposed would kill the hero entirely for a number of players - just too much downside to be worth the low starting threat. So here we go: Another option might be to give Glorfindel a positive ability as well as the harsher original nerf - something mild but useful. (Of course - the easy option is to leave him the way he is, and realize that the game's power curve has crept up enough that he's not so powerful that he warps deckbuilding space anymore - and as I've said, I'm seriously considering it.) Asfaloth, on the other hand, probably stays nerfed (although remaining as-is is also on my mind). But nobody really liked any of the proposed ideas. So, building on Dale's observation that one progress is not enough and two is too much, but 1 with a conditional 2 might work out, here is an idea: It synergizes with Noldor, but not so much that it can't be played outside the trait. And it can also - finally! - go onto ally Glorfindel. Next - those Healing Herbs were far too powerful. I'd blame lack of sleep, but really it's probably that I didn't spend enough time to actually think deeply about what I was writing on the card when I made the last-minute change. Instead, here is another version - built along the lines of Dale's suggestion (and very similar to the pre-last-minute change version - I don't know what I was thinking, other than maybe not wanting to step on Athelas' toes). And there has been widespread pushback about Risk Some Light - 1 cost for scry 3 plus discard a card might actually be too cheap. And on reflection, I agree with it, although I still think that 3 is too expensive. Luckily, there is a wonderful middle ground just waiting for us. Finally, Heavy Stroke was generally well-received (except for 1 commenter who felt that being a niche card for non-immune boss enemies was exactly what the card should be - I'll just register my disagreement here and move on, noting also that it is not even really that useful against non-immune boss enemies), but it was felt that the proposed version of the card lost a lot thematically. Here is a proposed version built from that feedback that is more thematically useful - though I think I'm skeptical that it would be good enough to displace Khazad-Khazad as an attack boosting card. That's the last of the revisions to the latest set of cards. However, I did remember one card that I wanted to touch - more to resolve a lingering wording frustration than because it actually needs a boost. Rivendell Bow. Later on in the game's life, the "making a ranged attack" wording was almost completely dropped, replaced by "attack an enemy not engaged with you." So we're just updating this card (and the few other cards in the early card pool that deal with that wording) to reflect the later approach. Also - because this card not boosting Haldir's Combat Action is...not good. We also relaxed the "printed ranged" restriction, although it really only matters for a hero given the Dunedain Cache, I suppose, and therefore could be kept as a less-wordy alternative. As always, feedback is appreciated very much! And - as I hope we have shown - always listened to and often worked into the project.
  5. Both of these are very good ideas - I'll mull them over
  6. I think so. It is one of the very few resource acceleration cards in Lore, and I like that. I feel like a case could be made theme-wise either way, but I'm going to go with the option that result in the smaller change to the card. We actually haven't changed the sphere of any card we've touched yet, and for this project, that might be a little bit too far. (If you'd like to play with it as neutral though, I'd love to hear a play report and see how it goes!) Sure. Top 10 is probably a better call. Searching the whole deck might step on the Rivendell Minstrel's toes (and I'd love keep her and Love of Tales relevant in a song deck). But 10 is a good middle ground, I think. If it searched the whole deck, I'd agree that it would have to be a song not in play. But with just the top 10, I'm ok with finding another copy of Love of tales with the enters play response. ------------------------------------------------ It's been a week since the last set of Ancient Mathoms cards dropped, and I think between all the feedback, we've gotten to a good place with them. Of course, only playtesting will reveal that for sure, but we've gotten as far as theorycrafting can get. So, of course, that means that it's time to wrap up Season 2 of the Ancient Mathoms project with the cards from the Foundations of Stone and Shadow and Flame APs! We are reaching the end of our (very short) nerf list for the Ancient Mathoms project. After this, there's only 2 cards left, and probably everyone can guess what they are! (Actually, I think that it's upthread, so I'll just note it here - Blood of Numenor and Gondorian Fire) But before that, there are 3 more cards from this cycle to get the nerf. Spirit Glorfindel, of course, is the poster child for overpowered heroes. 5 threat for 3 willpower and 3 attack is incredible. However, the real problem with Glorfindel is not his low threat - his negative ability balances that out. The problem is that he came in a pack with an attachment that allows you to completely negate the negative ability with no downside. Our solution is to not let the ability be turned off. He's still ridiculously good, but you have to deal with his ability instead of just playing Light of Valinor and forgetting about it. Asfaloth is an extremely powerful card. Repeatable 2 progress on any location is an incredible ability - in fact, Caleb has mentioned in an interview that he feels it's more overpowered than the Northern Tracker, because it can clear a 4-quest point location in a single round (using Asfaloth a second time in the refresh phase). We have 2 options to tone it down. The first is to drop it down to just a single progress - taking the non-Glorfindel ability and making it universal. To compensate, we give the attached hero +1 willpower. The other option is to keep the 2 progress and spread it across multiple locations. Finally, the king of overpowered cards. Vilya. There's a good reason that Vilya decks are the most powerful in the game - free cards regardless of cost can build up a board state incredibly rapidly. The problem is that there isn't a good nerf available without completely rewriting the card. Our solution was to make it cost a resource when you put the card into play - it at least makes it cost a little more when you put that 5-cost ally into play. Still totally worth it for 1 resource, but now you have to weigh keeping the resource on Elrond to use it. Now lets get on to the main attractions - cards newly minted to give them fresh relevance in the modern card pool. First up, the Lore attachment Healing Herbs. Exhausting a hero is not worth it to get one-time healing, even if it is to full. (Except perhaps in an emergency). We added an ability to exhaust the card to heal 1 point of damage. For a free card, it's still quite good, even if it's not in the same class as warden of healing or daughter of the nimrodel (our version, of course). Next is the Trollshaw Scout. We gave him a willpower, boosted his attack to 3, and gave him the ability to attack while exhausted, paralleling the Watcher of the Bruinen (and the later Lindon Navigator). We Are Not Idle got hit hard with the nerf bat. We pulled back a little on that - letting you exhaust any character but limiting the total amount to 3 resources. We also limited the card draw to triggering if you actually exhaust a character, to pull back from the auto-include outside of Dwarf decks just for the thinning. Next are 2 events that got our standard secrecy treatment. Both were waaay overcosted outside of secrecy, but decent inside secrecy. We brought the cost down enough to hopefully make them worth playing (at least situationally) outside of secrecy. The real question is if the effects are worth it even for free. But I think they are. Finally, we have Heavy Stroke. It's...not a good card. You have to do 4 damage through an enemy's defense to make it better than Khazad Khazad, and there are very few enemies with more than 7 hit points. And really, to be more cost-effective than Khazad Khazad, you need to be doing much more than that. But it only works on a single Dwarf character, and since the nerf of the Erebor Battle Master there aren't any Dwarfs that can even get up to enough attack to make it even close to worth it, and even fewer enemies where it makes sense to use the event anyways. So we moved a different direction, more like Firefoot instead. Dealing damage to another enemy engaged with you is a much better use of the resource, and fills a niche that currently is only filled by Firefoot. It's probably a more powerful effect than Firefoot, but it's not repeatable, so I'm ok with that. So - what do y'all think? There are 3 cards from the cycle that we didn't touch but that might be worth touching. Path of Need is really expensive, but really powerful. Longbeard Elder is a fine 3 cost for 2 willpower and 2 hit points, with an interesting ability (that gets really good with scrying). And the Erebor Battle Master is still good value at 3 cost (for 5 attack - 6 when boosted by Dain!), but might be overshadowed in a Dain deck just by swarming cheaper allies (like Veteran Axehand). Like I said - what do y'all think? Do any of these 3 need extra help, or do they all have enough of a place in decks on their own?
  7. On the first point - it's intended for you to search for the song. The confusion can be easily remedied by another slight wording change: On the second point, the second ability does not trigger. I take that from the interaction between Grima and the Isengard Messenger. You can use Grima to reduce the cost of the Messenger by giving it Doomed 1. However, that Doomed 1 does not trigger the Isengard Messenger's own ability to increase his willpower - by the time he's in play, the Doomed has already come and gone. I would rule Love of Tales the same way.
  8. Thanks. Good point on Love of Tales. Luckily, it is easily mended, using suggestions from up-thread:
  9. That mostly happens for the early quests. For example, Nightmare Conflict at the Carrock forces you to put 1 progress on the first quest stage each round, so you can't turtle forever and then kill the trolls with ease when you finally move on. Nightmare Dead Marshes automatically shuffles Gollum back into the deck if he gets discarded, so you don't have to go searching through the whole encounter deck for him if you fail enough escape tests. Most of the early nightmare quests also significantly tighten up the theme of the quests.
  10. In other news, here are the adjusted cards from Watcher in the Water and Long Dark, based on feedback received here and elsewhere: Short Cut has been changed to trigger off of a location being revealed, to avoid being able to break the game during setup by getting rid of a setup location. (Angmar battlefield in Carn Dum, Rhosgobel, the Carrock, etc) Love of Tales now cantrips when it enters play, and also has the Song trait, so it can be found with a Rivendell Minstrel. Sword that was Broken now fully conforms to the other Aragorn attachments, but can only be played on a Dunedain hero. There are few splashable Dunedain heroes other than Aragorn - Beravor and Thurindir are the easiest, and they are out of sphere (although you could run a 2-leadership hero + beravor deck and pretty reliably get it into play, but I think that's a risk I'll have to take). If you're playing Amarthiul or Halbarad, you're likely playing a dedicated dunedain deck, and those could use the willpower boost. Grave Cairn readies a hero and gives a rather large boost to all stats for the whole round. This makes it significantly better than Durin's Song or Halfling Determination, but the cost of losing an ally probably makes it closer to an even trade. Watcher of the Bruinen will get a point of willpower and can defend while exhausted. The forced card discard is already a hefty cost, and we want a stellar effect to make it worthwhile. Finally, Ever My Heart Rises has been made unique - it's effectively Light of Valinor plus threat reduction, it probably deserves it.
  11. I actually wasn't thinking of adding traits to the events, but it might not be a bad idea. Advance warning could be Lore or Ranger heroes, Trained for War could be Tactics or Warrior. Strength of Arms and Against the Shadow would be more difficult to figure out. And certainly, both Against the Shadow and Trained for War will need additional help beyond just relaxing the "printed" requirement. Trained for War was actually one of the first cards I put together for the Ancient Mathoms project - we'll see if my initial design still holds up now that we're actually getting to Heirs of Numenor. "Play only if each hero you control has the Tactics resource icon (or Warrior trait?). Until the end of the phase, characters you control quest using attack instead of willpower." Doesn't do much for the card in solo play, but it turns it into a card that can let a combat deck help with a big questing push in multiplayer, and I think that's worth having in the pool. Strength of Arms is also the only one I'm worried about - it is an extremely powerful effect. On the other hand, it can take quite a bit of setup to actually get the sphere fixing card out of your deck and on the table. Lord of Morthond is an oversight, and I agree completely about both loosening and making it exhaust. The Records were originally on the list, but a couple deckbuilders in the Discord pointed out that that would just make it *easier* to set up the few remaining infinite-recursion combos left in the game (all or almost all of which involve the Records). Another option, however, might be to change the records so that they just play the event from your discard pile and do not put it back on the bottom of the deck? Then reducing the cost doesn't lower the barrier to entry for infinite recursion (and even prevents much of the infinite recursion). And it doesn't hurt the general playstyle too much - with attachment recursion like the Erebor Hammersmith and Second Breakfast, you can still get a *lot* of event recursion, and it even makes the general case easier to use, because the event stays in your discard pile when you use it. (The poor Tactics Record attachment is still invalidated by Hama, but at least it has a place outside of the Hama deck). I agree on the remaining allies and heroes - I couldn't see broken interactions (and even the Knight of Minas Tirith isn't exceptionally good in a mono-Tactics deck, and is hardly worth playing outside of one). Thanks for that hero analysis on TaTheoden - I had been planning on putting together the full list of Rohan heroes that could benefit, but I woke up this morning to see that you had already done it. I think that looking at the list makes it clear that the power doesn't get out of control (especially since I don't plan on giving him a +1 willpower for tactics *and* +1 willpower for Rohan - just +1 willpower for each tactics *or* Rohan hero.) On Caldara - in addition to relaxing printed sphere and adding some Gondor utility, I want to see if I can find a better way to approach that errata. Unlike Hama - who legitimately had options that could break the game (regardless of how easy it turned out to be in practice), Caldara doesn't break anything, she was just extraordinarily powerful. If she hadn't been errata'ed, the Ancient Mathoms project would probably have added her to the short list of superpowered cards that needed a nerf. The problem is that I haven't seen any good alternatives to how she could have been handled. (The only idea I've seen would be reversing a ruling about ally Imrahil, so that his ability didn't kick in until Caldara had already triggered - you could still use him as a replacement hero, but you couldn't use him to get an extra ally out of each Caldara use.)
  12. I think I see where you're getting at here - the way we currently are treating Sword that Was Broken is still not in line with the other Aragorn items, and to follow the pattern thoroughly would probably be too powerful. We could nerf the effect a little to make it so we could follow the pattern exactly, but I'm hesitant to do that. Do you have a suggestion? Or do you think it is not too powerful to allow on any hero? On another topic, I have more discussion questions! The Ancient Mathoms project is approaching the Against the Shadow cycle. This means we get to address 2 elephants in the room: the mono-sphere only cards and Outlands. On the first subject - we're thinking of relaxing the "printed" requirement for the mono-sphere only cards(edited) We're also thinking about allowing some of them to interact with traits as well as spheres For example, the Knight of Minas Tirith would read "While each of your heroes has the Tactics resource icon or the Gondor trait, Knight of Minas Tirith gains..." We're looking for community feedback on the idea - does it break anything, do the mono-sphere only cards encourage interesting deckbuilding enough that adding the traits actually reduces deckbuilding options? For reference, the specific cards under consideration are: Mirlonde Mithrandir's Advice Advance Warning Caldara Pelargir Shipwright Against the Shadow Tactics Theoden Knight of Minas Tirith Trained for War Strength of Arms
  13. Just found out that my wins are tainted. Apparently, the new Setup rulings mean that you do the Ash Mountain's discard from your deck effect before your resolve player setup cards. Which means that the One Ring and it's Mastery card could potentially get discarded before the ring comes into play. Which is a ruling that I'm not a fan of, but apparently it exists. So there's no way to reduce the number of cards you discard from your deck by using player setup effects (unless Caleb revisits the ruling in the future and reverses it).
  14. I just beat it twice with this deck: https://ringsdb.com/deck/view/169183 Originally, I was thinking Tactics Theoden + Tactics Eowyn to kill the Torech Gorgor Patrol on the first turn (with Inner Strength on Beregond, you can defend with impunity, and so all you need is a Feint or a chump blocker for the second attack). But I couldn't muster enough willpower to blow through the quest fast enough, so I decided to go for Spirit Eowyn for the sphere balance. I took inspiration from a Seastan deck with the same hero lineup, because it can get Tactics Theoden up to 6 attack on the first turn with Herugrim, which can be very valuable, and just added a few more questing allies and some stuff to interact with the discard mechanic of the quest. I left it at 56 cards in hopes of seeding the discard pile with good cards for Stand and Fight or Reforged (or getting Hidden Cache/Ered Luin Miner into play) before the game even started, but you could pretty easily cut it down to 50 (I'd probably cut Open the Armory - it's normally an essential card for this kind of deck, but card draw can be a liability in this quest - and Hidden Cache - the extra resources are useful for getting set up but become pointless in the late game). It's not a guaranteed win, to be sure. I lost once on the last turn of the game. Questing for 19 against 0 threat in staging, and only needed to make progress. Then Burning Reek came out and I only had 6 cards left in the deck but 13 characters out. I lost a couple other times, less memorably - this quest is unforgiving. But this deck can do it. The first time I won, I got out 2 Ered Luin Miners and a Hidden Cache in the opening discard (8 cards), and I had 2 Ethir Swordsmen in the opening hand. That 4 willpower let me clear the opening side quest (can't remember what it was), and it was pretty smooth sailing after that. The second quest was much harder-fought. At one point, I ended up with all 3 Patrols out and I couldn't find Herugrim, Veteran Axehands, or Stand and Fight to pull the ones out of my discard pile. I didn't discard an Ered Luin Miner until the late game, and I ended up playing 2 from my hand just to play the Dwarf Pipes on them. But I consistently handled willpower, and I eventually whittled down the Patrols. (I finally did find Herugrim with an Open the Armory). The win took 14 rounds, and I only had 5 cards left, so Burning Reek or Lost in the Dark would have sunk me if it came out. The priority of the deck is getting out willpower - I mulliganned for Ethir Swordsmen or Galadriel's Handmaidens. Both wins, I had 2 or more willpower allies in hand on turn 1. Second priority is readying on Beregond - that's the guaranteed way to engage a patrol, and you can afford to let it sit there for a while, even if you get a second enemy. Third priority is Herugrim on Theoden or - failing that - Veteran Axehands/Ered Luin Miners. On multiple occasions, I actually left the Ethir Swordsmen ready so they could contribute their attack to kill a patrol. Reforged gets you Dwarf Pipes out of the discard pile, Stand and Fight gets you whatever you need. I always quest with Theoden turn 1 (and often 2 and 3 as well) because I found clearing the side quests to be the most important thing. I think there might be a variant of this that uses a 3-attack Spirit hero (Lanwyn or Idraen) and Tactics Eowyn to kill the Patrol turn 1 and still have the willpower mustering you need. Perhaps it uses Eowyn + herugrim as a primary attacker?
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