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John Constantine

Gather Strength

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How will the timing work on Caldara and the new Prince Imrahil?

 

If I have Prince Imrahil in play and I choose to discard Caldara to trigger her ability, does Prince Imrahil count as a hero before caldara checks for how many Spirit Heroes I have in play?  Or does Caldara's ability have to resolve completely before Imrahil turns into a hero?

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Going by the text I think the number of other Spirit heroes you control is determined at the time you trigger the action, before Caldara reaches the discard pile, so Imrahil doesn't count.

Going by sensible game balance it definitely should work that way because if Imrahil + Sword-thain (on a different ally) got us the ability to Caldara for four allies at a time then that would be broken as hell.

Edited by PocketWraith

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Yhere is so much you have to work for to get to that point that I don't feel the 1 extra is going in the extreme at all.  In order to matter, you'd have to already have 4 good allies in your discard pile, a unique out and sword thain on them as well as Prince Imrahil out.  That is a LOT of resources and turn management.  The payoff better be powerful, and 4 allies is just that.   But, things being OP or Broken are completely subjective terms, so we shall carry on regardless.

 

 

The only real question remains - when does Imrahil convert?   And from the other Flame in the West thread and this one, it doesn't seem anyone is too sure about it.

Edited by Slothgodfather

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Sterner than Steel: Fantastic, maybe even better than Hasty Stroke. Just a Gondorian Shield and you are good to go :)

Golden Shield: Ok, most defenders have low willpower. Could be used as a back-up plan on someone like eowyn (but she couldn't quest in tis case). Nor am i a stranger still won't be played :D But it actually might make someone like Elfhelm with his balanced stats a really solid Defender.

Livery of the Tower: Poor man's Blood of Numenorß Actually rhich man's as this looks really expensive to be payed repeadetly. Could be used i cases of extreme direct damage and no Access to lore.

Desperate Defense: Behind strong walls for Spirit Beregond? The Cards look really similiar. I would say it's pretty safe to use with 6 defense.

Price Imrahil: Maybe Play him for his stats, but I don't think anyone will plan on loosing a hero right away from the start. You could sneak attack him in first round and then kill of someone like Spirit merry to Keep the same amount of heroes but get an upgrade on stats :D

Spirit Beregond: This Saga Expansion! First we get a 4 willpower tactics hero and now we get a 0 willpower Spirit hero, crazy times :D He has to compete with his tactics Version, but I don't see a clear winner. The cost reduction is really nice especially at the beginning, but the repeatable threat reduction can be awesome in the Long run. you could tank a weak enemy forever to stay out of Engagement range, help others to not threat out or with the help of Galadriel lower your threat by 1 each turn!

 

The heroes of Flame of the West look amazing! And the other playercards are mosly nice to great additions so far. I love Saga expansions <3

 

Edit: What's up with the Rohan tactics ally? My Money is on Eomer, maybe Theoden. Both have tactics heroes, but that didn't stop Legolas. All other important Rohan characters already have thier ally form or come as a hero in this box^^

Edited by Calvadur

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You could push it to seven with four players and Desperate Alliance.

 

Spending 8+ resources and discarding at least four useful allies seems a significant cost to get four "free" spirit allies at the expense of a hero.  Powerful effect, but not immediate and not auto-win.

 

haha hadn't thought of that. Combined with the discarding of Noldor, this could be an awesome strategy. The biggest problem would be making sure that everybody else had the card at the exact same time.  :P

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This is a quality group of cards, but perhaps more flashy than effective.

 

Sterner Than Steel is a pretty nice card.  A long time coming for Tactics.  Nice that it works with both weapons and armor, gives it a leg up on stuff like Foe-hammer.

 

Golden Shield seems like kind of a trap.  It's obviously a huge effect on Eowyn and Tactics Theoden.  Most other Rohan heroes have rather low willpower, so it's not doing as much.  Also only useful on one attack per turn, so it doesn't really help make a super defender.  Best case is probably throw it on Elfhelm with an Armored Destrier for up to 5 def, 6 if you give him Spirit.  I wonder if you are generally just better off sticking with stuff that provides a reliable boost.  You're only really getting a strong benefit from this if you have another attachment on the hero or if it's someone who should probably be questing.

 

Livery of the Tower will generally be worse than Blood of Numenor.  It's basically the balanced version, as BoN should really be Restricted.  It is better than BoN when you only have one resource.  Natural combo with The Day's Rising.  Also protects against direct damage, so there are some quests where Livery + Steward will be a valuable trick. 

 

Desperate Defense should be an Action rather than a Response.  Being forced to play it before you see the Shadow effect really sucks.  There are generally better combat tricks available unless you are mono-spirit.  Reminds me of hero Dori, as a similar effect that comes pre-nerfed.  Not free, Sentinel only, bad timing.

Even if Imrahil doesn't add to Caldara's ability, he's still absolutely stellar with her, effectively mitigating the cost of discarding a hero. He's pretty solid altogether, a nice emergency outlet for when things go bad. Probably should have 4hp though.  Unless you are losing heroes a lot, he's generally worse than Ranger of Cardolan.

 

Spirit Beregond is great.  I would say he's better than the Tactics version.  Hopefully they start printing some more Gondor allies in Spirit, the current crop is rather mediocre.

Edited by williamobrien

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You can only do one Desperate Alliance per phase (There was a ruling a while back that any event which says Limit 1 per phase should really be like The Tree People since as written it's meaningless).

 

And what I'm getting from your other comments is that I guess neither of you has played or observed a good Caldara deck. I'll try to explain this though explanations don't necessarily substitute for experience (and my experience involved beating a variety of nightmare quests even before hero Arwen and Sword-thain were released).

 

There is so much you have to work for to get to that point that I don't feel the 1 extra is going in the extreme at all.  In order to matter, you'd have to already have 4 good allies in your discard pile, a unique out and sword thain on them as well as Prince Imrahil out.  That is a LOT of resources and turn management.  The payoff better be powerful, and 4 allies is just that.

Spending 8+ resources and discarding at least four useful allies seems a significant cost to get four "free" spirit allies at the expense of a hero.  Powerful effect, but not immediate and not auto-win.

This is a false equivalence. The payoff for having played (or put into play with Caldara) Imrahil and another unique ally is that those allies are in play. They're already worth the resources you paid for them (or the resources you paid for Fortune or Fate). Sword-thain not so much, but it is generating resources for you and making Map of Earnil free. So at most you've paid the 4 resources for Sword-thain to get this set up, and it refunds those over time. Getting allies into your discard pile is also not that difficult with effects like Eowyn/Arwen/Mirror of Galadriel (not all three in the same deck obviously), and the real workhorse of the Caldara deck, Zigil Miner.

Ally Imrahil already removes the downside of discarding Caldara that you lose out on her resources, making it harder to pay for Fortune or Fate so you can do it again. Letting him also give you an extra ally every time you do it? Bearing in mind that I've had games where I discarded and revived Caldara once every two rounds or so on average (and again this was pre-Arwen), that's quite a few additional allies. To the point where I would definitely not bet against that Caldara deck getting literally all of its allies (barring uniqueness clashes) on the table by the end of a long enough game.

Edited by PocketWraith

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So the player cards for Flame of the West (with a bit of speculation) are:

Aragorn (Fellowship, 1)
Éowyn (Tactics, 2)
Beregond (Spirit, 3)
 
? (almost certainly Tactics Rohan ally, likely Éomer, 4)
Imrahil (Spirit, 5)
? (perhaps Leadership ally, 6)
? (perhaps Lore ally, 7)
Sterner than Steel (Tactics, 8)
Desperate Defence (Spirit, 9)
Golden Shield (Tactics, 10)
Livery of the Tower (Spirit, 11)
? (likely attachment, 12)
? (perhaps Fellowship attachment, 13)
Esquire of Rohan (boon)
Esquire of Gondor (boon)
 
The numbering (with Golden Shield as the first attachment) suggests that Tactics appears first for each card type (except hero, where Aragorn is first). That would mean there are only two events, and likely 4 allies and 4 attachments. Since the first preview mentioned Dunedain, we'll likely see Halbarad (though he could be either Leadership or Lore). Éomer, who was unscathed together with Aragorn and Imrahil and who hasn't yet appeared in the saga, is quite likely. He's probably the Tactics ally, although it's possible that he's Leadership, Merry's Tactics, and Halbarad's Lore. There are several possibilities for the fourth ally: Merry (with Pippin in the last box), Lore Denethor ally, one of the twins (seems unlikely, but could work if the other twin appeared in the last saga box), or any of the other commanders in the battle of Pellenor Fields (Rohan or Gondor/Outlands -- but not with the Outlands trait).
 
I hope the Fellowship attachment is Elendil's standard, sewed by Arwen.
Edited by Estel Edain

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I like how Beregond can reduce other player's threat when he successfully defends for them. Shame it's only once per round. But a 4 Defense hero with no Willpower for Spirit and previously we saw Eowyn for Tactics, man the sphere bleed is real with this Saga expansion. ;)

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And what I'm getting from your other comments is that I guess neither of you has played or observed a good Caldara deck. I'll try to explain this though explanations don't necessarily substitute for experience (and my experience involved beating a variety of nightmare quests even before hero Arwen and Sword-thain were released).[...]

 

This is a false equivalence. The payoff for having played (or put into play with Caldara) Imrahil and another unique ally is that those allies are in play. They're already worth the resources you paid for them (or the resources you paid for Fortune or Fate). Sword-thain not so much, but it is generating resources for you and making Map of Earnil free. So at most you've paid the 4 resources for Sword-thain to get this set up, and it refunds those over time. Getting allies into your discard pile is also not that difficult with effects like Eowyn/Arwen/Mirror of Galadriel (not all three in the same deck obviously), and the real workhorse of the Caldara deck, Zigil Miner.

Ally Imrahil already removes the downside of discarding Caldara that you lose out on her resources, making it harder to pay for Fortune or Fate so you can do it again. Letting him also give you an extra ally every time you do it? Bearing in mind that I've had games where I discarded and revived Caldara once every two rounds or so on average (and again this was pre-Arwen), that's quite a few additional allies. To the point where I would definitely not bet against that Caldara deck getting literally all of its allies (barring uniqueness clashes) on the table by the end of a long enough game.

I've not played or observed a good Caldara deck.  I plan on trying out a probably-not-so-good Caldara deck in the not so distant future (Eowyn/Caldara/Arwen in one deck, Elfhelm/Dori/Amarthiul in the other -- and mounts for everybody...), and I can see Imrahil being awesome with Caldara.  I probably won't be beating a variety of nightmare quests with it.

 

Still, there's no particular shortage of good decks that have beaten a variety of nightmare quests, or that can become absolutely overpowering by the end of a long enough game.  I've gotten all my allies from a Three Rings deck on the table, for example.  What I question is not that this will be very powerful with Caldara, but that it is *broken* with Caldara.  For "broken", I want to see a Caldara deck that will take the hardest part of most quests -- the beginning -- and curb-stomp it most of the time, solo.  I think it'd be a very rare game where you get the combo out on the second round, and until you hit the combo combat heavy quests will be a problem.

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Could someone explain the combo potential with hero Gloin and Livery of the Tower?

Edit: Also, hero Sam with Nor am I a Stranger and Golden Shield defends for 6!

Edited by jodudeit

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Could someone explain the combo potential with hero Gloin and Livery of the Tower?

I guess it sort of becomes a substitute for Burning Brand; you can use Livery to cancel any damage that might accidentally kill Gloin. You still take as much damage as you can handle, you just have to cancel the excess.

What I'm not clear on is when I would use Livery over Blood of Numenor. Anyone have any concrete examples? (I guess maybe Gloin insurance is one, are there others?)

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