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John Constantine

Gather Strength

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I thought I had an idea, but turns out I was wrong.

New idea: because it doesn't conflict with Blood of Numenor?

But Blood isn't unique, restricted, or limit 1 per hero.
I thought it might be Unique. Shoulda checked.

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These are some SERIOUSLY awesome cards.....

Regardless of Limit once per turn, Spirit Beregond is so **** cool. Not only do we finally have an epic defender in spirit but he can reduce threat pretty reliably/regularly. His ability is definitely as spirit as can be so even though his stats might not really fit spirit and he sort of bleeds into other spheres his ability sort of makes up for this and ensures he does stay true to his sphere whilst also doing something very new and unique for spirit. 

Ally version of Imrahil is just fantastic.... 4 cost for 2/2/2/3 is already a decent enough deal and he has the Gondor trait so can easily be pumped up to better stats (3/3/2/3 is most likely with Leadermir and Visionary Leadership). His ability is sort of just the cherry on top. In any game where you DO lose a hero he steps in and completely eliminates any resource loss you would incur and can then also receive hero only attachments and buffs and whatnot. In any game where you do not lose a hero he is still a great ally with very nice stats that will most likely only have boosted stats in any Gondor deck. He is also great with Caldara as any time she is in your discard pile he is generating resources and can receive hero only buffs/attachments, then when you bring her back he goes back to being an ally but can keep any of those attachments he received and if you then discard her additional times he will step up to hero status each time you do taking away most of the drawback of having to sacrifice her (resource generation, one less spirit hero, loss of stats).

 

Then we have these four new AMAZING cards for defense. My favourite is easily Sterner than Steel. FINALLY some shadow control/cancellation that is actually useful.... first Armoured Destrier which is an epic card and now Sterner than Steel. Both are on a similar level to Hasty Stroke and Burning Brand in my opinion. 

To me personally this makes up for cards like Staff of Lebethron, Silver Lamp, Shadows Give Way etc which to me are either extremely subpar shadow control cards or are extremely niche and only useful in very specific deck builds. 

Sterner than Steel is essentially just Hasty Stroke in tactics with a cost of 0 instead of 1 but you need an armour or weapon attachment on the defending character. Now so long as you are running a deck where your defender receives multiple armour or weapon attachments and you are running tactics this card is VASTLY superior to hasty stroke in my opinion. 

First off Hasty Stroke is in spirit and many combat decks do not run spirit so you may need to rely on another deck to play this card for you when it is needed. Secondly saving a spare resource can be tricky.... especially if you have both Test of Will AND hasty stroke in hand..... do you cancel that awful treachery and hope you don't see a game ending shadow card? Or do you just take the treachery and save hasty stroke just in case (and then face the potential of not having to use it at all...)?
With Sterner than Steel you don't need to save a resource as it costs zero you JUST need the tactics resource match on a hero.

The very nature of shadow cards is that they are a nasty surprise as well as highly unpredictable so having a cancel that does not require resources is honestly the most ideal situation in my opinion as this means no matter what the game state so long as there is a weapon or armour attachment on the defending character you can ALWAYS cancel a shadow with this card. The amount of times I have had Hasty Stroke in hand but cannot play it at a pivotal moment is beyond count. I can tell you that in the VAST VAST majority of these situations my defender had Gondorian Shield or Elven Mail or in many situations BOTH attached to him. 

Thirdly and lastly exhausting a card like Gondorian Shield, Elven Mail or any of the other various weapons or armour that do not require exhausting for their effects is not only completely inconsequential but it is also going to happen very reliably considering that character is a dedicated defender and is SUPPOSED to receive those attachments anyway and as quickly as possible. Armour and Weapons that require exhausting for their own effects obviously are nowhere near as good paired with Sterner than Steel but I run very few of these type of cards so for me and many others this will not be a concern. 
This card is going straight into my decks and hasty stroke is coming straight out of them. 

The other three are great as well. One spirit resource for +2 defence AND readying that character, yes please! The Golden Shield is not quite as great as it is unique, restricted and requires exhausting however it does not say printed willpower so someone like spirit Theoden with 2 mounts attached and Elfhelm hero in play would get a +4 defence boost from the shield which is actually pretty **** powerful. Eowyn similarly can get +4 WITHOUT any boosts as her starting willpower is 4. Tactics Theoden would get +3 and is also a great recipient. I definitely think the weakest is Livery of the Tower but honestly even it seems like it would shine in certain decks. It can replace healing altogether in certain situations (Livery + Raven Winged Helm could completely negate any need for healing in a spirit/tactics deck) and does cost zero so I can see it being extremely good in certain situations. The restricted slot it takes up is somewhat worrying however as it does not add any stats or other abilities and if you have no resources to prevent damage with in the first place it does absolutely nothing at all. 

SO MANY new options and cards for defensive play and attachment heavy decks. The cards we get in Saga packs sometimes are just so goddamn useful/powerful/epic.

Edited by PsychoRocka

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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!

Take undefended, use Livery to make sure he doesn't die. Then, defend a real attack normally, use that money you made from the first attack to absorb damage from the second. It isn't amazing, but it's pretty solid.

 

 

 

Blood of Numenor is good when your shields don't get hit. BoN can give shields for multiples attacks where Livery can only absorb 1 damage at a time. Livery also counts as armor.....  The two are a balancing act. Probably depends on the quest sometimes.

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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!

 

Why 6?

 

edit: nevermind, I see it now.  When his ability triggers he gets +1 to both stats, so 4will+2def=6

Edited by GrandSpleen

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Wow, such an incredible treat. So many possibilities.

 

Théoden with Snowmane and Golden Shield suddenly becomes a super quester-defender (you just have to make sure to quest successfully lest your defending plans fall to sudden ruin).

 

Sterner than Steel is amazing for Tactics. The shadow effects becoming ever more bothersome, this is what the sphere needed, I feel.

 

A ton of new options for Spirit to shine in defense. I really like the Éowyn/Beregond swap, both being obviously amazing in their new roles.

 

I wish this art for Prince Imrahil was on his Tactics hero version which is a great card. This too is a great card, though I do not immediately know into which deck to put it (not having built a Caldara deck recently).

Edited by Fingolfin Fate

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.

Théoden with Snowmane and Golden Shield suddenly becomes a super quester-defender (you just have to make sure to quest successfully lest your defending plans fall to sudden ruin).

 

 

Also, with The Sun's Rising, Heir of Mardil, and Herugrim he can attack for a ton (or with just Armored Destrier, attack for 3). I suspect a possible Théoden jank deck becoming real, maybe with Galadriel and Elfhelm. Galadriel with the Mirror fetches attachments while Elfhelm supports and buffs Théoden, who does pretty much everything. Obviously not as powerful as Blood/Fire but still pretty fun and thematic.

Edited by Gizlivadi

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Golden Shield will look great on Tactics Theoden.

Or Spirit. You need Snowmane for the double action, and if Elfhelm is there, the Spirit Théoden becomes 3-willpower hero too. Quest for 3, defend 1 attack anywhere with 5 is a good deal to me, for the two cards of the total cost of 2. On the other hand, I am no expert on Rohan decks, they tend to be weak.

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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. ;)

 

QFT. Spheres mean nothing anymore.

Spirit is getting all the love lately  <_<

It can do almost everything now, and without the sphere bleed drawbacks the other spheres get  :angry:

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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)

 

[...]

 

I hope the Fellowship attachment is Elendil's standard, sewed by Arwen.

Tactics ally: Almost certainly Éomer.

Leadership ally: Almost certainly Halbarad.

Lore ally: Only one which really passes in that sphere is Ghan-Buri-Ghan(just a theory).

Attachments: Don't really know.

Events: Perhaps some Dúnedain focused event taking place in Dunharrow?

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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. ;)

 

QFT. Spheres mean nothing anymore.

Spirit is getting all the love lately  <_<

It can do almost everything now, and without the sphere bleed drawbacks the other spheres get  :angry:

 

 

Spirit has always been the poster child IMO. But Tactics is getting some nice toys largely in part of Tactics Eowyn. And on episode 100 of CotR podcast, Matt Newman did mention he had a mono solo tactics deck that is quite viable using Theodred, Eowyn and an unannounced tactics hero. It's starting to feel that tactics is no longer the red-headed stepchild. It can finally pull it's own weight for once.

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By Théodred, you mean Théoden, right? But we could see a new version of Théodred at some point soon, I hope. I know it is not the most famous of characters but since his Leadership hero version has been out since the core, we could get another version, at least an ally.

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By Théodred, you mean Théoden, right? But we could see a new version of Théodred at some point soon, I hope. I know it is not the most famous of characters but since his Leadership hero version has been out since the core, we could get another version, at least an ally.

 

*Uses Hall pf Beorn card search* :unsure: *ahem* Yes, Theoden. Sometimes the names are so confusing... :blink:

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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?)

I can think of two reasons:

 

1) Blood of Numenor you have to pay up front.  Livery you can pay after you take damage.

2) Boosting your defense only prevents damage from attack.  This can prevent direct damage from encounter cards and shadow cards.

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