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EBerling

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  1. Whoa now, even Brok Ironfist has his very fringe uses. For instance, I've been using him lately in a BoF Dwarf deck, the idea being that you start with Bombur as your Lore Hero to begin with 5 Dwarves, then after you've built up a little you can use Helm of Secrecy to turn Bombur into a more useful hero (at which point you can also play Brok for free, since Bombur is leaving play). He's also fringe-useful in a Gray Wanderer deck designed around exploiting Timely Aid + A Very Good Tale. Either card can put Brok into play for free, and when he tells a very good tale his 6 Cost is actually a boon (e.g. Brok + any 4 cost ally would let you grab two 5 Cost allies during Tale-Tellin', or Brok + 2 Cost ally = 4+4 cost allies). In both types of decks, you generate enough resources that you can also just bite the bullet and play Brok for his 6 cost if you really need his body on the table stat. He's still a bad card, don't get me wrong, but I'd say he's probably got a comparable set of fringe-uses to The End Comes.
  2. Lord of Morthond is incredible for an Outlands deck, especially with a Gray Wanderer Hirluin who starts with Lord of Morthund as his free attachment for access to incredible, out-of-the-gate card draw. Alternatively, an all Leadership lineup with Hirluin, (MotK) Forlong, and either Denethor or Prince Imrahil can make great use of it as well. Personally, I find Outlands to be the least thematic of the "faction" traits and I find its mechanics to be pretty dry and repetitive to actually play. So, were one to add cards to Outlands, I think the key is stuff that is a bit more interesting than just doing a bunch of stats algebra. Some of your suggestions are pretty good at accomplishing this. Another area of exploration for Outlands would be neutral allies, as these would avoid the issue of interacting as strongly with Forlong, Prince of Dol Amroth, and Lord of Morthond.
  3. My FLGS (Midwest USA) also received their copies on Friday.
  4. Very much this. The card has several potential uses, but those uses are quest-dependent and the cost awkward enough that this card never justifies inclusion as one of a deck's 50 cards. It's also a card that has only gotten worse with age and will continue to get worse should more cards ever release. First, because the designers got better at designing quests so some of the uses of TEC are no longer needed (returning Gollum to the encounter deck, for instance) AND the more player card choices that players have, the less and less justifiable including something like The End Comes will be. This card, like Brok Ironfist, is just a generally bad card by today's standards, especially since the card pool is so much larger than when these debuted. They were bad upon release, but now there are so many other things you can run instead. And, while unfortunate, that's okay, because the vast majority of cards in this game still have uses in at least some deck archetypes, and that's impressive for a game as old and large as LotR:LCG. And it's doubly okay because Dwarves have far more cards than any other "faction" archetype, so having these two duds isn't that painful for thematic Dwarf decks.
  5. It's really surprising to me that this hasn't been done. Everyone I've talked to seems to love the Campaign-aspects of the Sagas and really wants something that makes the "stakes" of a non-Saga games a little more interesting. So much could be accomplished with even just a 50 card pack (this would give you one Campaign Reference Card and 4-5 Boons/Burdens for each of the 9 Quests in a cycle). This wouldn't really take much more work, from FFG's perspective, than the Custom Build-a-Scenario packs they've been releasing over the past year. I guess I'm the exact opposite, in this regard. I would get exceptionally bored playing the same deck for 116 quests. I was trying to do a "The One Deck" Gray Wanderer deck, and I almost disliked my deck after running through just the first 22 Quests (through Heirs of Numenor) and had to put it down. That's not even 20% of the quests in the game. I'll certainly return to it at some point, but I really needed a change of pace with some radically different decks. On the other hand, I'm sure I've played some quests more than two dozen times, as I've got a lot of different decks and play not only solo but with two other groups of players. I'm sure I've played Journey Along the Anduin (my go-to first test quest for a new deck) at least 100 times, and I am positive that I'd have much more fun playing Journey Along the Anduin for the 100th time with a new deck than I'd have playing the 100th new quest with the same single deck. All of the groups I play with tend to grab our decks and then try to run them through a cycle, or at least a series of linear quests. I honestly don't know how other players/groups would decide what to play... like do so some people build a deck and think "man I really like Encounter at Amon Din and The Redhorn Gate, so I'm gonna take this deck against those two quests..." I suppose the difference may be in how people approach deckbuilding. I tend to be more in the "The One Deck" kind of camp, and build decks that are intended to take on host of quests, while other people view deckbuilding as something you do with a particular quest in mind. For people who build decks AGAINST each individual quest, since with that approach you're basically looking at each quest as a challenge to unravel and beat, once that's done... maybe it doesn't have much replayability because you've already built and proven what you think is the best tech against that quest..? For me, I view deck-building as an exercise in trying to build decks (especially thematic ones) that are robust and flexible enough to tackle an entire cycle worth of quests... so for me I find myself happily replaying the same cycle of quests over and over because the novelty is seeing how a new deck responds (or fails to handle) to the challenges of those quests, and a series of quests are the metric by which a deck is evaluated. There are still lots of archetypes I have never even tried, and lots and lots of unexplored variations of archetypes I have tried, so I don't think lack of variety in Player Cards is pressing issue. But if we were to be graced with new content, and I had to pick either new player cards OR new quests, hands-down I know I'd get the most excitement and mileage from new player cards, because I'm sure I could play the existing 116 Quests for an eternity and not get bored with the game. And having a 117 or 118 or 222 available quests wouldn't really change that much. Having another twenty heroes or six new contracts or thirty new attachments... that however would certainly be felt and appreciated.
  6. Gray-Wanderer Galdor deck, seeks to maximize the amount of Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale played in the first round. Has solo 1-Handed everything from the Core Set up through Heirs of Numenor (20/32, for a 62.5% success rate), excluding of course Escape from Dol Goldur that is impossible for a Gray Wanderer. I've used RingsDB for a long time, but this is my first time publishing a deck after some interest in the deck was expressed in a different thread. https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/17110/galdorandtheknightsofthering-1.0 HEROES (1): Galdor of the Havens Contract: The Gray Wanderer Cards: 50 Ally (23) 1x Erestor (TLD) 1x Faramir (Core) 1x Firyal 3x Gandalf (OHaUH) 3x Giant Bear 1x Gildor Inglorion (HoEM) 1x Gimli (ToS) 1x Glorfindel (FotS) 1x Haldir of Lórien (JtR) 1x Ioreth (SoCH) 3x Ithilien Lookout 3x Knight of Dale 3x Knight of the White Tower Attachment (5) 2x Song of Kings 2x Steward of Gondor (Core) 1x The One Ring Event (22) 3x A Very Good Tale 3x Daeron's Runes (FoS) 3x Deep Knowledge 3x Drinking Song 2x Sneak Attack (Core) 1x The Master Ring 2x The Seeing-stone 3x Timely Aid 2x Will of the West
  7. It's best in 1-Handed Solo. Only because it sort of breaks the game AND because it's zero fun for other players to have to endure. Like, it's first Planning Phase usually takes like 10-15 minutes and may involve taking 15-20 actions and can involve shuffling your deck upwards of 8 times (shuffles required for every Seeing-Stone, Timely Aid, A Very Good Tale, Drinking Song, etc.). It's sort of a thing of a beauty, but it's a repetitive 1-Trick pony that has a lot of mechanical busyness, which is part of the reason why I set the deck down after Heirs of Numenor back in Feb. But I do think it may have the chops to approximate a "ONE DECK' sort of approach to Gray Wandering, so at some point I may tweak it a little bit in light of some of the newer APs and lessons learned and try to take it solo through the whole game.
  8. Galdor of the Havens Contract: Gray Wanderer (Song of Kings) Ally (23) 1x Erestor (TLD) 1x Faramir (Core) 1x Firyal 3x Gandalf (OHaUH) 3x Giant Bear 1x Gildor Inglorion (HoEM) 1x Gimli (ToS) 1x Glorfindel (FotS) 1x Haldir of Lórien (JtR) 1x Ioreth (SoCH) 3x Ithilien Lookout 3x Knight of Dale 3x Knight of the White Tower Attachment (5) 2x Song of Kings 2x Steward of Gondor (Core) 1x The One Ring Event (22) 3x A Very Good Tale 3x Daeron's Runes (FoS) 3x Deep Knowledge 3x Drinking Song 2x Sneak Attack (Core) 1x The Master Ring 2x The Seeing-stone 3x Timely Aid 2x Will of the West This is an ally blitz deck. Galdor of the Havens is the most reliable hero for maximizing early game copies of Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale, and being means he can run incredible card draw in the form of Daeron's Runes, Deep Knowledge, and Drinking Song. A Song of Kings from the The Grey Wanderer gives Galdor access to more deck-thinning card draw in the form of We Are Not Idle, while also granting the ability to attach Steward of Gondor and play as many copies of Timely Aid, and A Very Good Tale per turn as possible. Many The Grey Wanderer decks only seem to run Timely Aid, and often they are set up to only play copy per turn as the deck's one non-unique off-sphere card per turn. This deck, on the other hand, aims to play 2-3 copies of Timely Aid and 2-3 copies of A Very Good Tale all in the first turn, giving you an impressive set of 4-5 cost bodies from Round 2 and onward, at which point the deck is hopefully gaining 5 resources per turn and playing at least one 4+ cost or ally. Set-Up Attach the The One Ring and fetch your lone master card, The Master Ring. Draw your six cards, then use Galdor's set-up ability. Never mulligan -- always use Galdor of the Havens' ability to discard and draw new cards, as the idea is to thin your deck out as much as possible while you ruthlessly search for Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale. When you pitch cards from your starting hand in lieu of taking a mulligan, keep only 1x Steward of Gondor and any and all card draw events. Depending on the nastiness of the Quest's treachery cards, you may either keep The Master Ring or toss it to increase the chances of finding Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale. Galdor of the Havens's selective pitching and refilling, coupled with the copious amounts of card draw means that it is not uncommon to see 30 cards from your deck in your first Turn, with a good chance of playing multiple copies of Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale. In a pinch, you can use Ioreth or Ithilien Lookout in conjunction with a 4-5 cost ally to play A Very Good Tale, hopefully at least netting on more 4-5 cost ally. An Ithilien Lookout and a 5 cost ally can combine on A Very Good Tale to grab two 4 cost allies, so that's the best math when telling a tale using the Ithilien Lookout. Even in a desperate pinch, two Ithilien Lookouts can A Very Good Tale to snag a 4-5 cost ally, which is still usually a net gain. Don't be too worried about rapidly filling your discard pile due to Galdor's starting hand purge, Daeron's Runes, or A Very Good Tale, as you can always play Will of the West as your first out-of-sphere card in a later round to recover your entire discard pile (along with all of those sweet card drawing events, Timely Aid, and A Very Good Tale cards already played. It's not unusual to play the same Timely Aid or A Very Good Tale card multiple times over the course of a game, as even if you are out of Secrecy paying 4 for Timely Aid is still always a good deal, as you're likely to get a 4-5 cost ally in exchange. Glorfindel, the Knight of Dales, and the Giant Bears can self-ready, meaning they can be used to quest and tell a tale, or they can even be used twice to tell tales as needed. Glorfindel in particular is very valuable, because his discard-to-self-ready effect is very handy for getting down to 0 Cards in your hand, allowing Galdor of the Havens to use his once-per-game ability to redraw 6 new cards. If you can get Glorfindel into play during your first round, it's even possible to trigger this before the end of the round, potentially getting 6 more chances at finding first round Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale. This deck tends to, on average, put about 20 resources of allies/attachments into play by the end of the first round. It's best opening ever put into play 49 resources worth of allies on the first round, and a handful of other openings have also exceeded the 30 resource mark. But, there is the rare disastrous start where, despite seeing more than half of the deck on Round 1, you just don't come into any copies of Timely Aid, which is hard to rally from. Fortunately, this is very unlikely statistically. (Copy-n-pasted from my RingsDB deck, sorry if any of the formatting gets lost in translation. Haven't touched this deck in a few months, and I did most of my quests using the more painful Set-Up happens in Step 7 rulings (hence the two copies of Song of Kings)... given that it sounds like Caleb is now okay with Set-Up stuff back in Step 2, could drop a Song of Kings for Protector of Lorien, then a back-up is nice if stuff discards your attachments).
  9. Galdor of the Havens: With him, for instance I pitch every single card in my starting hand that isn't Timely Aid or some form of card draw. This means Galdor potentially discards 6 Cards and takes 6 new ones, meaning your starting deck is really only 44 cards. Then, factor in that you pull out The One Ring, a Master card, and an attachment via Gray Wanderer during Set-Up and really you're looking at potentially running a deck that is only effectively 4`1 Cards, making it very reliable and consistent. Then, as soon as Galdor can, he empties his hand (things like Glorfindel ally and Protector of Lorien help greatly here) to use his Action ability and draws 6 more cards (after he's done that, he's a great contender for Helm of Secrecy). So, by deck-thinning, he effectively runs a deck that is 6 cards leaner. His action to replace a spent hand with 6 cards is some of the best card-draw in the game. This is what lets a Gray Wanderer --> Song of Kings Galdor so reliably play 2-3 Timely Aids and 2-3 A Very Good Tales on his very first turn, though I've done the same thing with other Gray Wanderers like Elrond and Leadership-Denethor, though they aren't quite as reliable in the early explosiveness as Galdor. In all of the above cases, it was Song of Lore/Leadership as the Contract attachment that enables the most mileage out of Timely Aid / A Very Good Tale shennanigans, which seem to be the real power of Gray Wanderer builds (not Resourceful or Strider, which I initially tried but dropped from all of my Gray Wanderer builds). At least in my own experiences.
  10. Well, I don't think the +2 Willpower (or lack of exhausting) from Strider is all that valuable to a Gray Wanderer that is focused on Ally-Spam. You don't really need +2 early WP when you can spam allies into play on Turn 1 to quest for 10+ willpower on the first round. On Round 2 and after you don't even need to worry as much about exhausting allies for A Very Good Tale (which you are managing during Round 1), you're looking at having 15 or more Willpower in play just from allies, with +2-3 WP of additional allies hitting the board every round from then onward. I have taken my Galdor Gray Wanderer (starts with Song of Battle) deck solo (1-Handed) through the Core Set (sans Escape), Mirkwood, Khazad-Dum, Dwarrowdelf, and Heirs of Numenor and I've yet to have an issue with insufficient Willpower to manage staged threat. The quests that I did lose once or more before finally beating them were generally quests where having only a single hero resulted in an auto-loss type of situation (e.g. stacking Bitter Colds where you only have one Hero in play to take them or Lost in the Dark which is just a cancel-or-lose card for a single hero deck). I don't think there was ever a situation where Staged Threat was met was insufficient Willpower and resulted in Threat-Outs, except for an uncannily bad start here or there, but even Strider will still have those. Maybe modern quests will pose more of a challenge?
  11. @player3351457 @General_Grievous I may be the odd duck out, but I do not run either Strider or Resourceful with my Gray Wanderer decks, as they just don't seem useful enough. I would say that Timely Aid is certainly the lock, as with only one body the whole gimmick of Gray Wanderer seems to be about exploiting Timely Aid and using an army of allies to solve all of the quest's challenges (which means Gray Wanderers really struggle in quests that prohibit allies from doing stuff, though Swordthain can give a little breathing room here). I've found that the most reliable way to Gray Wanderer is to start with access to Lore + Leadership. Lore for the card draw (e.g. Daerun's Runes, Deep Knowledge, Drinking Song) and Leadership for the ally acceleration (e.g. Timely Aid, A Very Good Tale, Steward of Gondor). It also gives you access to some of the best Secrecy Allies, as an added perk. So, if I'm gray-wanderin' with a Lore Character I start with Song of Kings as my free attachment (and vice versa if you start with a Leadership Gray Wanderer, so they can start with Lore from Song of (Lore)). Couple this with the deck-thinning of starting with the One Ring + Master card, and you can build a very, very reliable deck. For instance, my go-to Gray Wanderer is Galdor + Song of Kings, as he has a very good chance of playing Steward + 2-3 Timely Aids and 2-3 A Very Good Tales in the first round. On average, the deck tends to start with 25-35 resources worth of allies in play during the first round, but I've started with over 50 resources worth of allies/attachments on the best of starts. Then, with Steward + Contract you can easily play a new 4-5 Cost ally every single round, and with recursion from the discard (e.g. Will of the West) you can retrieve cards played or lost to the A Very Good Tale, and at that point paying 4 to play Timely Aid even if you're out of secrecy is still a great deal when you're grabbing a 4-5 cost ally most of the time. You can do a very similar thing with Elrond + Song of Kings, as he has better stats than Galdor and access to Vilya, but I've actually found Galdor to be a bit more reliable (since the whole point is to Timley Aid as much as possible, and no one thins and draws a deck like Galdor).
  12. Only one? That actually wouldn't be too bad, as someone who endured the X-Wing 2.0 Conversion. When X-Wing converted to 2.0, a lot of people had to buy multiple conversion kits for each faction they owned, depending on how large their collection was and the sort of lists they wanted to be able to build. Do we know how many of each upgrade card will appear in the Upgrade Pack for Armada? We might see people buying multiple upgrade packs to "update" their collections (e.g. what if there are only 2-3 copies of TRC or External Racks in the pack?) I'm also curious... how many starter packs do people think will be required to fly a 400pt Separatist or Republic fleet? Did they say how long it would be until additional individual ship expansion packs would be out for Republic/Separatists?
  13. Likely either production cost (eliminating a size of card means their production facilities can be more standardized and they don't need to offer product support like sleeves/binders for the rare sizes--X-Wing eliminated the small sizes and I don't think Legion or any of their new boardgames use small sizes either) and/or mechanics (game designers have more space to utilize when designing cards/abilities).
  14. Yea, and really FFG could just continue to release player cards indefinitely and that would be fine. There are, what.... 116 quests already available? With four Custom Scenario-Building sets on top of that? New quests are great and all, but new player cards are where the real excitement always is. I can build a Gwaihir deck right away and start having fun with it, but's going to be probably years before I get to the Vengeance of Mordor cycle... I've been playing this game a lot over the past year (and it's been my go-to Pandemic game) and I'm still only at Druadan Forest in the HoN Cycle.
  15. Yea, I think it's safe to say we all suffer from Dragon-Sickness. Can never have too many LotR: LCG cards in one's hoard. Pictured Below, an LotR: LCG player holds their collection lovingly:
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