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Amicus Draconis

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About Amicus Draconis

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  • Birthday 07/05/1987

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  1. Again you put Gwaihir in a solo context, while I see him as a fellowship hero. But even in a solo Tactics/Spirit deck with UC, I am no longer reliant on his response to ready at all. In such a deck you could pack Winged Guardian, The Eagles are Coming, Landroval, Descendant of Thorondor, Vassal of the Windlord, Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Support of the Eagles, Meneldor, Flight of the Eagles, Eagle Emissary and Wilyador. That is at most 33 cards out of 50, or 2 thirds of your deck with 2 thirds of your heroes being Tactics, which is what I would strive for. Of course you do not need 3 copies of each card, so you can include Born Aloft, Flight of Meneldor or Feint. If you want to combine double tactics with Radagast in a solo deck, UC has no sphere match. For Elrond you need Vilya first and then the question is, whether you need more willpower, attack or A Burning Brand. For Gandalf the question is similar, but both heroes have special attachments for action advantage (Light of Valinor and Shadowfax) and thus less need for UC. I did not say, that Gwaihir's best potential is as a defender. I said, that I prefer UC primarily on defenders and Gwaihir is one (due to sentinel and 3/4). But with 4 attack he can also succesfully be used as an attacker if needed. I would not waste a Winged Guardian to ready Gwaihir as long as I have access to cheaper Vassals or one of the eagles with leave play effects. And there still are Flight of the Eagles, Meneldor's Flight and Born Aloft to ready him between defenses. With Leadership in the mix he has access to Dúnedain Warning, within Lore there is Protector of Lórien. And as long there is no new FAQ also A Burning Brand with Song of Wisdom. "Many" restricted armors that boost defense are not available for all other tactics heroes except Quickbeam and Beorn: Most of them have trait requirements with only Round Shield (conditional) and Gondorian Shield available to everyone. But then do you really need more than 7 defense in most cases? And if you do, there is still time for taking some damage or a eagle chump blocker, which can ready Gwaihir. Shadowfax is an argument against UC on Gandalf, as it does the same, just better. Gondorian Fire and Blood of Númenor can be slapped on anyone with Steward of Gondor, which you most likely will use to pay for these effects. And while Boromir has lower threat than Gwaihir, it will not last long with his ability. Sure, Beregond is the best defender in the game, but he also is a one trick pony. Gwaihir can also quest and attack, if the situation calls for it. Théoden does have his toys, but you have to find them first, they work only once per round (as you already said), he is not ranged and does not ready as easily as Gwaihir in the combat phase. Dori has less defense than Gwaihir, which itself is a bad thing. You need defensive attachments on him, otherwise he will die faster than Gwaihir. And before I put any defensive attachments on Dori, I put them on the main defender in the first place. And again Gwaihir can reach 7 defense with Support and a Winged Guardian, you will need 2 restricted attachments on Dori in addition to Support to surpass that (he is neither Gondor nor Noble). At least the other heroes on this list do not need extra defense buffs. You already said enough about Na'asiyah: She does some things better than Gwaihir and others worse. Tom Cotton does not have any keywords, less hitpoints, less attack and needs attachments to ready in the combat phase while Gwaihir has the potential to do so while another eagle does something useful like buffing EotMM, nuking the staging area or shuffling an eagle into the encounter deck. And with a lot of attachments, I can turn most heroes into a super defender. Grimbeorn with UC soaks a lot of resources, so he also needs resource acceleration and then he will not contribute playing the eagle allies. The other tactics heroes you mention all have their merits, but this time they cannot defend if necessary. Gwaihir has the flexibility to do both as needed. As I said before, Galadriel and Círdan need their rings (or mirror) first to get any use out of UC, Gwaihir does so from the start. Beravor has a useful though limited ability, but as none of her stats is higher than Gwaihir's she is not a better target. Denethor's ability can be useful, but it depends on the circumstances whether it is better than 4 attack or 2 willpower. Argalad's stat also are not better than Gwaihir's and his ability is limited to once per round. As I said above, many heroes can be better with enough attachments, but there is a point, where higher attack or defense just does not help you any longer, as you cannot overkill or overdefend your enemies. There are cards who benefit Gwaihir like Meneldor's Flight, which do absolutely nothing for the other heroes (except Éomer and Prince Imrahil), but they also need a lot of attachments to reach the Windlord. True, Support of the Eagles is only 3x in a deck, but there are also other cards that work on him like signals, Arwen, Protector of Lorien and Black Arrow. And even in risk of repeating myself: 7 attack and 7 defense surely are not the highest stats reachable in the game, but they are more than sufficient for most situations.
  2. I only included heroes with better inherent stats than Gwaihir: Quickbeam and Saruman are also 4 attack, but lack ranged.
  3. I don't proxy cards either, unless they require an errata. UC is out of sphere for Gwaihir, yes, but that does not mean, I need a partner deck to include it. I happen to like tactic/spirit decks (paired with lore/leadership). Are you mostly playing one-handed solo mono-sphere? My first target for UC is usually the defender and Gwaihir happens to be one. And while there are heroes with fancy actions that require an exhaustion, not all of them need UC. They either need better stats than Gwaihir, an exhaustive ability, which can be used multiple times, or a combination of both. So let's see, who might qualify: Dori needs someone else to defend in the first place, so he is not a primary candidate for UC. Galadriel's ability has a limit, though through Nenya or her Mirror she can exhaust a second time. But without her toys there is no need for UC yet. The same goes for Elrond with Vilya and Círdan or Gandalf with Narya. Denethor has some nice encounter deck manipulation and depending on the quest, he can greatly benefit from UC. All other exhaustive abilities are either limit once per round or responses to revealing cards. Merry, Eleanor, Fatty Bolger, Argalad and Beravor have worse stats than Gwaihir and thus have no higher need of UC than him. This only leaves Haldir of Lórien, as long as he has increased his attack. In most quests there is no demand to ready a hero based on willpower alone, so they need a combat stat that is higher than Gwaihir's. For attack, without any weapons there are only Beorn, who cannot have attachments, Gimli with at least 3 damage on him, Na'asiyah with a pile of resources, Bard the Bowman against non-immune enemies not engaged with him, Grimbeorn the Old against non-immune enemies and a pile of resources, Faramir with 3 enemies in the staging area and Treebeard when self-damaging. Éowyn might use UC with her ability to attack for 10 twice, but that would make the card pretty useless afterwards. For defense without any armour there are only Beregond, Na'asiyah with a pile of resources and Spirit Dain Ironfoot when discarding a card. Erkenbrand does not have more defense but innate shadow protection when self-damaging. Leadership Dáin wants to be ready after defending, but only has one hitpoint more. Most of the heroes mentioned above need a keyword, healing to compensate for their abilities, attachments or resources to surpass Gwaihir in combat, so they need some extra combo pieces, which are about as hard to find as UC itself.
  4. While Unexpected Courage is only once in a core set, that is no reason to only include one copy in your or your ally's deck. And with Support of the Eagles and some eagle allies you can easily reach 7 attack and defense, allowing you to drop the unusable restricted attachments out of your deck. At the time when you will have run out of eagles, Born Aloft, Flight of the Eagles and Meneldor's Flight, you very likely will have found at least a single copy of UC. There are 5 non-unique, non-encounter eagle allies which you can play 3 times each. 3 eagles are unique (Gwaihir excluded), so you can only have one in play at a time, but especially Wilyador can be used to ready Gwaihir at the end of the round. 4 of these eagles have a forced discard, 3 of which can be prevented through paying a resource. That means you can ready Gwaihir at least 5*3+3*1=18 times in different planning phases (counting the uniques only once), at least 11 times in combat phases (3 times each for Vassal, Guardian, Descendant, once for Landroval and Meneldor), 3 times in quest phases for the Emissary and at least once for Wilyador at the end of a round. With careful planning this can ready Gwaihir for 33 rounds, which is more than enough time to find UC or threat out. And even if you use his stats twice in the combat phase, this will be enough for 16 rounds, which is still longer than most games I have played. And while the Eagles of the North are not reliable, they can save you a response from Hirgon for another round and add another eagle which can leave play. Interestingly the combined resource cost of all cards is 48, which also take 16 rounds to collect, provided you do not use Radagast, Mablung or Hirgon for extra resources or cost reduction. The Vassal does not need an extra target to ready Gwaihir, just let them attack in conjunction and Gwaihir is ready for the next round, which saves you an eagle in the next planning phase. Swift and Strong does work, if you use Elf-friend and Rivendell Bow. Heir of Mardil, Steed of the Mark and all the events can work on both Gwaihir and Boromir, if you grant them the right traits or keywords. Grima has a limit once per round, which is less frequent than Gwaihir's once per phase restriction. But in the end it just comes down to whether you are willing or able to put a single copy of Unexpected Courage on him before you run out of eagles, which should not be too hard, at least in a multiplayer game.
  5. I do not really see a problem with Gwaihir. Other heroes need a way to get ranged and sentinel through Arwen, Dúnedain Cache/Signal, Rivendell Bow, Elven Mail, Armour of Erebor or Shadowfax. Gwaihir needs an Unexpected Courage and still can ready often enough with his response. Of course that means, in a solo game, where his keywords hardly do anything, he is less useful and I would have liked an attachment for him to fix his downside.
  6. I wanted to point this out as well.
  7. If a card does not make the cut for probably the best deck it can be in, it does not have enough going for it. What is the point of drawing a card for free, if the deck performs better without it in the first place. Spirit decks tend to have lower threat than others, so in most cases the enemy will be engaged by someone else anyway. And what is the advantage of it being spirit? For a Dale deck it does not matter, because Brand is Leadership in the first place and Bard can play any attachment. In a fellowship someone else will provide the combat power including ranged and sentinel, in case the spirit deck is only used for questing.
  8. With the old version of Háma the number of cards returned from the discard pile depended on how often he attacked in a round. With the newer version he could play any number of events from the VD. And I think it is important to restrict him to tactics events. Being able to play 6 copies of Non Return, Out of the Wild and Leave no Trace would remove a total of 18 encounter cards from the deck. I prefer Erestor as more powerful while being more expensive. If you plan to reduce the cost of Fresh Tracks to zero, Grey Cloak also needs a change, as this card is now inferior in every way to Fresh Tracks. Grave Cairn would be more thematic, if it triggered on characters being destroyed, but that would make the card even more useless. My problem with Sword that was broken is that it is too powerful on Aragorn, though not as broken as the official Dáin Ironfoot. I would rather restrict the willpower buff to a limited number of characters. Just compare it to Celebrían's Stone, which costs 1 resource less but only gives 2 willpower in total. And is it intentionally no longer unique? Ever my Heart rises might need a unique symbol, as it is pretty easy to ready the hero every round in a multiplayer game resulting in a slightly different version of Light of Valinor with threat reduction on top. I thought a while about Short Cut searching the encounter deck for another location but I think, that is not needed. A short cut can also lead to enemies, so in the end I like your proposed change. Adding the cost of an ally to the stats of a hero with Grave Cairn is a good idea. I like the changes to all other cards.
  9. Normally in this game you have to carefully read the cards like whether an encounter card is revealed or just added, whether a card is played or put into play or whether a card is drawn or added to the hand. But in this case setting and reducing are the same.
  10. I have not acquired this quest yet, but could you not just build a deck with more than 50 cards to buy extra rounds?
  11. Well, that is a bummer. Hopefully there will be a FAQ soon to keep track of all these rulings.
  12. There are other immune, cannot leave staging bosses, but they are only considered to be engaged with the first player, so I guess, that is all of them. I would not use the net draw of Foe-hammer to compare with Legolas. Sure, you have to discard two cards, but when drawing five cards, you have more options and you can just discard, what is least useful now. That way, you get faster through your deck, as long as your combo is ready. Beravor has been errataed because she could draw too many cards and while doing so, she could not kill an enemy as opposed to Háma. You are right, this discussion has led a long way from the Long Dark. But it was insightful nontheless.
  13. I'll give you the point that Gwaihir's Debt is a strong card and recurring it is even stronger, but that is more due to the effect, that Gandalf's response triggers when entering play instead of being played from hand which would be appropriate for that cost, similar to Kili, Fili or Galadriel. I had a quick look at Some Sort's deck and in the description it says: "Sometimes in 4-player it can't keep up with the incoming stream of enemies, but it still works for solving 75% of the combat in the game, even if it can't quite get to 100%." This does not quite sound like monopolizing combat. After all you need a lot of tools to engage extra enemies, which cost resources and this deck has only 2 resources per round to spare, if Aragorn manages to kill someone. And cards like Southron Support really screw you up. But another thought occurred to me regarding Durin's Bane. Even though Feint was errataed to no longer work for every player, The Wizard's Voice still does, and with a starting threat of 0, increasing threat because of doomed hardly matters, especially if the Balrog cannot attack. This can to an extent be applied to many quests. I have seen broken multiplayer decks like Vilya and Outlands, and these are not nerfed and probably never will be. Should they not also be errataed? Well, Feint, Thicket, Eorl or even Quick Strike are all events and no permanent solution for a non ranged Háma, but Forest Snare sure is (it does not need to be in Háma's deck). And for pre-errata Háma your card draw and readying effects are the limit, how often you can snipe with him. I am not sure, whether he can immediately recur HutB but a second copy will do the trick. I am not sure, whether I understand your section about Daeron's Runes. You wrote "If unlimited recurring Foe-Hammer is more cost-effective than playing Legolas or raising your threat with Steward of Orthanc or mixing with another sphere that actually has more card draw effects -- well, it *should* be better, or Hama's hero ability isn't strong enough to justify playing him in the first place." Drawing 3 or more cards per round is better than 1, or am I missing something? As I wrote in the beginning, Gwaihir's Debt is strong, but that is more the property of Gandalf than of the event. But I can imagine, he will not be errataed because of the classic Sneak Attack combo. But then, why should Leadership of all spheres (in the core set) be able to cheat in Gandalf, while every other has to play him normally? I do not mind having his stats temporarily in play, but the response is just too strong for the cost of a single resource and an extra card, when you get this beefy ally on top.
  14. Admittedly, I mostly play 2-player games, so my experience with 4 players is limited. But in the games I play, combat is very well manageable without Thicket. And hopefully the player engaging everything plays Dúnedain or the group keeps on killing the enemies, otherwise you will reveal more treacheries which have the inclination to hurt everyone instead of only one player like enemies do. Yes, Eagles are costly, but Mablung, Hirgon or Radagast with his staff will help you play them. You mention Mablung as a way to help pay for Thicket, but when discussing TEaC you just dismiss them as expensive. Yes, Bofur and Master of the Forge do not reduce hand size, but in comparison to TEaC they cost at least two resources and will not help you in combat. And even if it cannot pull out Support of the Eagles, TEaC will increase the chance to draw it normally. You mention that Hands upon the Bow costs you a resource every round, yet you also do not like TEaC or Foe-hammer, which are free. What else would be free? I will not need Sterner than Steel, if I can kill an enemy before it attacks (provided it is not immune). And while it is free, in turn I have to pay for a defender with a weapon or amour and 1 or 2 extra questers. There are not many enemies with 0 defence, so the use of Straight Shot is limited. Goblin Cleaver is in essence +2 (3) damage for Háma, as both cards most likely target the same enemy, but again there is the need for an extra defender and willpower. Reckless Attack will hand out lots of doomed while not every one will be engaged with an enemy. Flight of the Eagles cannot be used, Valour of the North is situational. Proud Hunters would work and even generate a lot of resources but Háma is neither Noble nor a Ranger, so you need to pick your other heros accordingly. If I am in a position to use Last Stand repeatedly, I am either a troll or already winning. Persuing the Enemy would take several rounds to kill some enemies and in this timeframe I am already dead if I cannot deal with them in another way, in which case I do not need the card in the first place. The Wizard's Voice and Close Call both increase my threat by a lot while only being useful in emergencies. Gondorian Discipline is another emergency card and I most likely would not have needed it, if I had killed the enemy in the first place. Unseen Strike and Khâzad! Khâzad! give a better damage boost then HutB but again require a defender and extra willpower. Meneldor's Flight is a joke and Stand Together again requires more characters. In a multiplayer environment I am very likely able to attack someone with Háma to not require ranged on him, so someone else can use Hands upon the Bow. Thalin, Bilbo and Argalad can kill 3 (or 4) hp enemies from turn one but that will not change over the course of the game, while questing for 2 plus some extra for Bilbo. But even if I put ranged and two Spears of the Mark on Háma, he can eventually attack for 8 (and more with Dúnedain Marks), which will increase the possibilities of killing enemies in staging and there are some heroes who can quest for the above number on their own like Círdan and Éowyn freeing up the spot for yet another hero. The net gain for Foe-hammer is two cards, as you replace the discarded card with it. Legolas actually needs to kill an enemy to draw one card, while Háma requires an attack, a weapon and Foe-hammer to effectively draw two cards. So no, Legalos is not better, just different. Yes, there are characters who can draw cards without killing, but Bofur is the only one in tactics (even though he technically does not draw) and as I just established, he is slower while being susceptible to whiffing. And I do not kill enemies just to play Foe-hammer: I see it as a bonus for something I have to do anyway. And while you are complaining, that you need to discard something for Háma, you surely know, that Daeron's Runes also requires a discard, effectively gaining you zero cards. And yet you praise this card repeatedly.
  15. Well, if one player decides to spend all three resources and the card draw of a given round to play Thicket of Spears, they are severely limiting themselves, as without any other draw and resource acceleration they are not going to play anything else. And while Bofur and Master of the Forge can search the top five card every round, they can at most find one card, as long as you do not find a way to ready them. The Eagles are Coming can hit up to five targets and can be played several times a round, depening on how often Hama can attack. It is far easier to ready and declare him as an attacker than ready allies. Hands upon the Bow has the benefit of instantly sniping an enemy before quest resolution. Haldir can only attack in the combat phase provided he did not engage an enemy this round and Éomer can only attack directly after comitting to the quest, when enemies are least likely to be in staging. And while Quick Strike and Dunhere would work, there is no sphere match and the native attack value is 3 while most ranged heroes can attack for 4 with Hands upon the Bow. Of course I do not know, what Caleb had in mind, but I think this game has more pressing matters than preventing enemies from attacking with an expensive combo, which uses the total natural income of a round. With lots of sentinel and ranged characters a player is already able to dominate the combat phase and while it is more difficult, it is also more interesting.
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