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Jban

Tactics Aragorn, Ready for Errata!

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Hi all,

 

Despite I don't like encouraging errata's my playing group and I really think Tactics Aragorn unbalances the game, we decided to make this topic on the ffg forum.

 

ffg_MEC38_1.jpg

 

The main issue with Aragorn is that he is able to engage 4-6 enemies during combat if you have some decent readying effect. These readying effects make that there are 5 enemies you don't have to defend at all.

 

I'll post my first deck that I made for him, and it's really ridiculous how easy combat has become. It's almost like you have 5 Haldirs and you don't need to worry about the engagement.

 

Hero:

Aragorn (Tactics, The Lost Realm)

Merry (Tactics, The Dark Riders)

Pippin (Lore, The Dark Riders)

 

Allies: (11)

Dunedain Hunter 3x (Tactics, The Lost Realm)

Watcher of the Bruinen 3x (Tactics, The Watcher in the Water)

Warden of Healing 2x (Lore, The Long Dark)

Defender of Rammas  3x (Tactics, Heirs of Numenor)

 

Attachments: (17)

Daggers of Westernesse 3x (Tactics, The Dark Riders)

Mighty Prowess 2x (Tactics, The Druadan Forest)

Rivendell Bow 3x (Tactics, The Watcher in the Water)

Fast Hitch 3x (Lore, The Dead Marshes)

Blade of Gondolin 3x (Tactics, Core Set)

Rohan Warhorse 3x (Tactics, Voice of Isengard)

 

Events: (22)

Straight Shot 2x (Tactics, The Hobbit - On the Doorstep)

Halfling Determination 2x (Tactics, The Dark Riders)

Unseen Strike 3x (Tactics, The Redhorn Gate)

Feint 3x (Tactics, Core Set)

Foe-Hammer 3x (Tactics, The Hobbit - Over Hill and Under Hill)

Daeron's Runes 3x (Lore, Foundations of Stone)

Peace, and Thoughts 3x (Lore, Shadow and Flame)

Take No Notice! 3x (Lore, The Dark Riders)

 

Mulligan: A decent defender.

 

Ok that's it, I decided to post the deck so it would be easier for me to explain whats wrong with the complete mechanic. No comments on the deck itself, since that's not the purpose of this post.

 

Some things that should come to your attention are the focus of my 50 cards:

  • Readying effects: Fast Hitch, War Horse, Merry
  • Staging control/Engagement: Dunedain Hunter, Aragorn,Take no notice, Pippin
  • Draw: Foe Hammer, Peace and Thought, Daeron Runes, Pippin
  • Attack: Weapons, Aragorn, Unseen Strike
  • Defense: Watcher of the Bruinen, Defender of Rammas
  • Miscellaneous: Warden of Healling, Halfling Determination

In a 4 player game, this deck starts to feel like a complete cheat. Why? Well you engage one of the weakest enemies in play, you defend it with 1 of your defenders. Next Merry and Aragorn attack, one of the readying effects will ready Merry, Merry will ready Aragorn and Aragorn engages a new enemy. Because Merry and Aragorn are both ready, you can repeat this for 5/6 times (if you get 2 Rohan Warhorses and 3 Fast Hitches out of deck) and all enemies are killed.

Because of this a single player playing a similar deck can do all combat for 4 players, which seems way too overpowered if you ask me. Because this is also a mechanic that's easy to play because just Pippin alone will draw 3/4 cards every round and you still have the earlier mentioned drawing cards. You will be able to attach 3 of the readying attachments on Merry before the end of round 3, and therefore you will also be able to ready Aragorn 3 times and kill all enemies in play without a single scratch.

 

We did some brainstorming on how we could reduce the Aragorn effect without ruining the idea and we came to 2 ideas:

 

  1. Change the text as follows: After Aragorn participates in an attack that destroys an enemy, choose an enemy not engaged with you and engage that enemy. (Limit 1 per round)
  2. Change the text as follows: After Aragorn participates in an attack that destroys an enemy, choose an enemy engaged with another player and engage that enemy.

For those who are not completely convinced by the ultimate strength of this mechanic, feel free to try the deck I posted.

 

With Galadhrim's Greeting,

Jban

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So other than using quick strike which you don't even have in this deck I'm not sure exactly how you are stopping enemy attacks? regardless of how or when you engage these enemies THEY attack first during the combat phase and THEN you can attack them back, ALL PLAYERS resolve enemy attacks before any player can make attacks back against enemies. 

What you are suggesting is that these 5 or 6 enemies are all in staging hence when you engage them with Aragorns effect they do not make an attack and you can slaughter them one by one. I get that but if enemies are engaged with other players (and not in staging) they will attack before you are able to one by one pull them across and destroy them.

Yes you can "easily" destroy every enemy in play with this combo but you need to get a bunch of weapons and readying effects out FIRST and to achieve destroying all enemies in play before they attack you would need every enemy in play to be in staging and only one engaged with players and only then can you destroy the engaged foe with Aragorn and from there you can slowly pull each enemy one at a time to you and destroy it. 

I can see that your deck has a lot of cards to keep enemies in staging but in a four player game not every deck will have low starting threat and be able to engage no foes during the encounter phase. 

 

I do get that its very very powerful but requires lots of set up and you will need to defend successfully first against all engaged enemies before you are able to just run a train on them. So yes it can take care of all OFFENSIVE duties even in a four player game but most definitely does not allow you to do so without taking a scratch, all enemies attacks for all players will still need to be defended and only after this can you decimate everything in play. 

Edited by PsychoRocka

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Hey Jban, how are you?

 

Well, you know the rules better than anyone I know so I am curious.  How are the enemies staying in the staging area of a 4 player game?  The situation you described that basically removes having to defend only works if you are pulling enemies from the staging area, which means the other players do not have them engage due to thier threat.

 

You have 2 of the lowest threat heroes in your hand, so the other players should be engaging them.  

 

I know you know how combat works so I wonder if you left some part of this combo out of your post?

 

 

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I don't think he needs errata, but in case people don't understand how it works...

Enemies can only attack during their attack step of the combat phase. After that is over, if you can engage the enemy - like say with Aragorn - you get to attack without the enemy getting a chance to attack first.

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Took, Jban seems to be implying that Aragorn can take 4-5 enemies from the staging area every turn and avoid the need for defense.  (he says that one deck can handle "all" combat for 4 players, so we're assuming there is no defense necessary coming from the other players)

 

This means the enemies must be kept in the staging area.  Otherwise they will attack other players as per usual and Aragorn's ability doesn't matter so much (it would just be a different way of doing 'ranged').

 

You can do this quite handily with a mono-lore deck using Advance Warning, Noiseless Movement and some event recursion. In that case, Aragorn is not so different from a lot of readying thrown onto Dunhere in a similar staging-area-attack setup.  

 

Or you keep everyone's threat very low, which will not be possible unless every player is using low-threat heroes plus threat reduction.  That means all 4 players are robbed of the freedom to deckbuild in order to achieve this combo, which I see as meaning that it will not be very fun for most folks and therefore won't see much play.  I don't think there's an errata necessary.

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Took, Jban seems to be implying that Aragorn can take 4-5 enemies from the staging area every turn and avoid the need for defense.  (he says that one deck can handle "all" combat for 4 players, so we're assuming there is no defense necessary coming from the other players)

 

This means the enemies must be kept in the staging area.  Otherwise they will attack other players as per usual and Aragorn's ability doesn't matter so much (it would just be a different way of doing 'ranged').

 

You can do this quite handily with a mono-lore deck using Advance Warning, Noiseless Movement and some event recursion. In that case, Aragorn is not so different from a lot of readying thrown onto Dunhere in a similar staging-area-attack setup.  

 

Or you keep everyone's threat very low, which will not be possible unless every player is using low-threat heroes plus threat reduction.  That means all 4 players are robbed of the freedom to deckbuild in order to achieve this combo, which I see as meaning that it will not be very fun for most folks and therefore won't see much play.  I don't think there's an errata necessary.

You have worded this far better than I. No errata needed for sure.

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Yeah, there's no errata necessary here.  The combo can work against quests with high engagement enemies or if you have one or two mono lore decks cycling Advance Warning.  But most of the time several enemies will still come down that you'll have to block.

 

Not to mention if you are playing against enemies like Umbar Assassin that have engagement effects that get worse if you don't optionally engage...

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I wonder if it would be more apparent in 2 player, actually. Throw in Brand son of Bain for the other deck and you can swing for 7 (and -1 defense) without any weapons. It's easier to keep 2 decks' threat low than 4.

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Guys, I think you should really give this deck a serious try then you'll understand his -ours- concerns.

I am part of his playing group and got the chance to see Aragorn in action; well, we expected him to be very good but this is far more than reasonable.

The main argument that's been made in this post against Aragorn being broken is the fact that keeping enemies in staging is difficult. Sorry, but this simply isn't true!

First off, do not forget about Pippin raising each enemy's engagement cost by 2, meaning that as long as every player in your group has a threat lower than 28 you'll have to deal only with enemies with an engagement cost of 25 or below. How difficult is it to manage? Not at all. Keep in mind we're talking about the first 2-3 rounds of the game since those are the most important while playing 3-4p: usually after this treshold all decks will have completed setup and will be ready to crush the encounter deck.

So with 26-27 you can usually make sure most of the enemies remain in staging, and that is a very reasonable starting threat (more often than not decks will have lower starting threat with 3-4p).

Sure, there are some enemies with 20-25 engagement cost that may give you a bit of trouble, but how big are those? Usually they're not so scary and a Defender or Rammas or even a 2 Def Hero is able to defend them with little trouble, not to mention you have Feints, Take No Notice-s, Noiseless movements etc. to keep the most troublesome enemies at bay.

Bottom line, having trouble keeping enemies in staging thus having to defend them is not a satisfying argument.

 

Another argument: it takes long to set this combination up. Not really. 1 Rohan WH/1 Fast Hitch + 1 Dagger of Westernesse and you have 2x attacks at 7-8 strength + 1x 5-6 strength which is more than enough to kill 3 enemies, and you will also probably get to draw at least 2 cards. All of this can easily happen in T1.

 

 

 

"Yeah, Hama Thicket of Spear or even.... Boromir I is clearly at the same level or even better."

 

Hama + Thicket + Hammerstroke (HS needed, otherwise good luck engaging more than 2 enemies) , or Hama + *insert strong Tactics event here*, surely is a strong (and for me boring) combination.

But it does take time to set up, since you have to draw both the events and need resources to accomplish this (a whooping 5, to be accurate). And you still lack a mean of killing all those enemies you engage.

Tactimir... well you need to defend all the enemies and also need something to engage all of them; not sure how it can be put on par with Aragorn.

 

 

My proposed fix: Limiting Merry.

Limiting Aragorn to one of the 2 options Jban proposed would surely work, but I think limiting Merry (sorry Jban, I know you love him!) would also be a nice solution, since he lends himself to abuse too easily. Even though you usually need some setup to abuse Merry I think limiting him is the best way to prevent future issues, becuase I think that what really makes this deck broken is not Aragorn himself, but coupling Merry with readying effects: Aragorn is merely the piece the combo engine was lacking in order to work, but he is not broken without huge readying effects.

Edited by Eu8L1ch

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Man, all I see is a strong deck combo. Nothing more. Nothing less. There is nothing that breaks the game in what you have described. Just a really useful in some cases tactic to beat the quest. You don't abuse any loopholes, don't misuse anything that was not intended to be. What's the problem?

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Jban, I have played a lot of games with you, you are a master at deck building so if anyone was to come up with the best Tactic Aragorn deck it would be you IMHO.

Here is why I don't think an errata is needed, and instead I think you just made a killer deck:

 

1. Aragorn's engagment ability does not work if the enemy is immune to player card effects right?  Since it targets the enemy, not the player like 'Hands upon the bow'.  So there are some limitations already.

2.Defending is still needed if the enemy has an engagment lower than the high 20s, since the enemies will most likely engage other players first, true the enemy may not attack for much, but shadow cards can alter that.

3. Other players have to pick up some slack (willpower, location managment, cancelation, threat reduction, those lore cards mentioned above).

4. Other players have to make sure thier threat stays below 30, not always easy with doom.

5.  Your friend said 'Keep in mind we're talking about the first 2-3 rounds of the game since those are the most important while playing 3-4p', so unlike most decks, this can shine even on turn 1.

Bottom line....you made a great deck and if you coordinate with the other players you have a winning strategy.

Edited by chadgar24

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I am a friend of jban in this game.

 

Ok, it is not broken, but the feelings after the combat phase is: where are all the enemies? 1 minute ago there were a lot of them? where there are now? ^^

 

When i saw that deck at first sight i knew that deck will be very good. And certainly. As trololo said: it is a very good deck. However, the feelings are: there is a little cheat, you dont ask me where, but...

 

PD: i'm the best deck builder... well, maybe jban now, but i was his master ^^

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Guys, I think you should really give this deck a serious try then you'll understand his -ours- concerns.

I am part of his playing group and got the chance to see Aragorn in action; well, we expected him to be very good but this is far more than reasonable.

The main argument that's been made in this post against Aragorn being broken is the fact that keeping enemies in staging is difficult. Sorry, but this simply isn't true!

First off, do not forget about Pippin raising each enemy's engagement cost by 2, meaning that as long as every player in your group has a threat lower than 28 you'll have to deal only with enemies with an engagement cost of 25 or below. How difficult is it to manage? Not at all. Keep in mind we're talking about the first 2-3 rounds of the game since those are the most important while playing 3-4p: usually after this treshold all decks will have completed setup and will be ready to crush the encounter deck.

So with 26-27 you can usually make sure most of the enemies remain in staging, and that is a very reasonable starting threat (more often than not decks will have lower starting threat with 3-4p).

Sure, there are some enemies with 20-25 engagement cost that may give you a bit of trouble, but how big are those? Usually they're not so scary and a Defender or Rammas or even a 2 Def Hero is able to defend them with little trouble, not to mention you have Feints, Take No Notice-s, Noiseless movements etc. to keep the most troublesome enemies at bay.

Bottom line, having trouble keeping enemies in staging thus having to defend them is not a satisfying argument.

 

Another argument: it takes long to set this combination up. Not really. 1 Rohan WH/1 Fast Hitch + 1 Dagger of Westernesse and you have 2x attacks at 7-8 strength + 1x 5-6 strength which is more than enough to kill 3 enemies, and you will also probably get to draw at least 2 cards. All of this can easily happen in T1.

 

Oh my... how scary... 

I usually play with wandering took and song of earendill, or doom dwarf deck that reduce my threat to 0 turn 1... so i didn't see how keeping threat low was necessary nor lore pippin that powerfull.

And yeah putting tons of fast hitch and unexpected courage and rohan warehorse on tactic merry and boosting them so that both can kill every ennemies by themself is clearly easy. 2 attack for a total of 7-8 in turn 1 with 2 cards, yeah, that's Boromir too... wait, he can untap more, and defend.

Engaging more than one enemies is not difficult when you either play the roles with a higher threat, or the fact that one third of the card are usually... not enemies.

 

"Yeah, Hama Thicket of Spear or even.... Boromir I is clearly at the same level or even better."

Hama + Thicket + Hammerstroke (HS needed, otherwise good luck engaging more than 2 enemies) , or Hama + *insert strong Tactics event here*, surely is a strong (and for me boring) combination.

But it does take time to set up, since you have to draw both the events and need resources to accomplish this (a whooping 5, to be accurate). And you still lack a mean of killing all those enemies you engage.

Tactimir... well you need to defend all the enemies and also need something to engage all of them; not sure how it can be put on par with Aragorn.

My proposed fix: Limiting Merry.

Limiting Aragorn to one of the 2 options Jban proposed would surely work, but I think limiting Merry (sorry Jban, I know you love him!) would also be a nice solution, since he lends himself to abuse too easily. Even though you usually need some setup to abuse Merry I think limiting him is the best way to prevent future issues, becuase I think that what really makes this deck broken is not Aragorn himself, but coupling Merry with readying effects: Aragorn is merely the piece the combo engine was lacking in order to work, but he is not broken without huge readying effects.

 

 

 

Well, gondorian shield put boromir in a safety enough situation. And you don't have problem in scenario that raise your threat, making your combo fall apart, or with enemy engaging you immediatly that make your combo fall apart.

Remember also, you are locking Aragorn for attack, if something goes wrong... you lost the opportunity to do so.

 

> Don't get me wrong, the combo is nice. But not errata worth. <

 

Stuff like wandering took / song of earendill, loragorn / desesperate alliance, boromir I with his shield and other suff, doomed lore and leadership cards, hama / thicket of spear are quite more powerfull than this state. You just happen to have a lot of enemies in the staging area than are far over your threat. This is quite a rare situation I found myself into, or if it happens, we are using aforementioned combo, and they kind of feel... more cheaty. 

 

Now, with your permission... I will deckbuild and try to find something to make it errata worth :D

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Jban, I have played a lot of games with you, you are a master at deck building so if anyone was to come up with the best Tactic Aragorn deck it would be you IMHO.

Here is why I don't think an errata is needed, and instead I think you just made a killer deck:

 

1. Aragorn's engagment ability does not work if the enemy is immune to player card effects right?  Since it targets the enemy, not the player like 'Hands upon the bow'.  So there are some limitations already.

2.Defending is still needed if the enemy has an engagment lower than the high 20s, since the enemies will most likely engage other players first, true the enemy may not attack for much, but shadow cards can alter that.

3. Other players have to pick up some slack (willpower, location managment, cancelation, threat reduction, those lore cards mentioned above).

4. Other players have to make sure thier threat stays below 30, not always easy with doom.

5.  Your friend said 'Keep in mind we're talking about the first 2-3 rounds of the game since those are the most important while playing 3-4p', so unlike most decks, this can shine even on turn 1.

Bottom line....you made a great deck and if you coordinate with the other players you have a winning strategy.

just wanted to add to this list some encounter effects that also mess with the strategy:

-quests that force you to engage enemies as part of their mechanics or to beat the quest (blood of gondor, three trials, conflict etc)

-treacheries that force all players to search for an enemy and put it into play engaged with them

Don't get me wrong its a great deck and combo but I don't think its errata worthy.

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I agree that the deck is powerful, but it is important to remember that many scenarios punish you for this kind of engagement strategy. Off the top of my head, I wonder how this deck would handle Peril in Pelargir.

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I too believe that it is a powerfull deck that has an opportunity to work well ... 

 

If Aragorn is broken, then Boromir, with whom you have a good chance to win solo the AP "Assault on Osgiliath" on turn one with no other hero around should have been removed from game  :P

Edited by Nickpes

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I don't think he needs errata at all, but I do think Tactics Aragorn is the most powerful Aragorn.  When you have him working he is basically Feinting most of the enemies without paying the cost in resources or cards.

 

How is he "feinting" all the enemies? They still would have attacked (regardless of which player they're engaged with) before he can attack and pull one over unless you're using something like quick strike to get him to attack out of order.

 

I feel like either half the people in this topic either don't get how he works (or more accurately how the phases of the game progress)...or I just dont understand.  One of the two...probably the latter

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