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GrandSpleen

Heroes you haven’t tried yet

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I was looking at the list of available heroes, and I’ve done a pretty good job of using most of them at some point or another. Here are the heroes I think haven’t really given the time they deserve. How about you?

Argalad. I have built decks with him but never played them.

Eomer, leadership. I’m not that enthusiastic about his ability.

Fastred. The threat part of his ability seems attractive. As for staging area attack, when I build those decks, I do so with the intention of avoiding attacks. I don’t really want to devote a hero slot to a “just in case I have to engage” strategy.

Folco. He is essential for some decks I have used on my own in OCTGN, but it seems not to count unless the hero hits the table with other players, for me.

Kahliel, I haven’t made a harad deck that I’m happy with yet.

Spirit Merry... I always use the tactics version 

Na’asiyah. Someday...

Quickbeam. Just because he’s n ew.

Tom Cotton. Failed hard in my campaign when I tried to use him! I like the idea though...

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I'm using Argalad for my narrative campaign series on my blog, and I quite enjoy him. His ability is deceptively powerful, even without readying.

For LdEomer, I've got to admit that I like him less than the other staging area attack options. That said, I did make a pure solo deck with Eomer, Fastred, and Galadriel that used Herugrim and Nenya to swing for insane attack into the staging area, and that deck was just fun to play.

I love both Fastred and spirit Merry - although I've only ever used that version for a thematic pelennor deck.

Other than that, the heroes on your list are all on mine too. I haven't really used LdImrahil much either - I think I need to give him a chance.

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Fastred is a good option on a bad mechanic. You can still engage an enemy just to lower your threat by 2 you know ;).

I don't understand your point about Folco. I'm using it as a 4 threat hero for secrecy hobbit decks because all that stridder or "sneak attack to Prince Imrahil" options are indeed cute but don't worth the cost.

Since Merry spirit was released I alway use is spirit version. I never get a big use of tactic merry, probably because building mono tactic fight decks don't make me dream.

Quickbeam have already find a great use along Gloin to me. He could ready so many times.

Tom was a real blast to me. I was trying to put some hobbit synergies together since so many times. But they basically only be good for they low threat in secrecy decks and the hobbit pipe mechanic. Now we have a hero who help both to block (Tom himself, can be help by hobbit cloack and staff of labathron) and to attack (with his ability on other hobbits) and with an event to put thing together and enjoying cool entering the game ability (like bilbo). And you have free to play curious brandibuck that can attack for 2 and then quest for 2. Not bad! Tom really work well in my decks.

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Thurindir, for sure. It's only a matter of time before I build myself a side quest deck, though. 

Treebeard would have been on my list too, except that I literally just built a fun deck with him.

It's been a really long time since I last played Fatty, too.

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4 hours ago, Rouxxor said:

I don't understand your point about Folco. I'm using it as a 4 threat hero for secrecy hobbit decks because all that stridder or "sneak attack to Prince Imrahil" options are indeed cute but don't worth the cost.

 

I mean I've used him, but only by myself in OCTGN, and I want to use him at the table with other human players with physical cards.

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Fasted is one of my favorite heroes in recent memory! Your point about wanting to avoid enemies altogether with a staging area attack may be true, but it's unrealistic. There are a ton of effects in this game that force you to engage enemies. But apart from that, he actively helps you reduce your threat over time which is vital to staging area attack decks.

I recently heard from someone who took a Fastred/Dunhere/Eowyn deck through the entire Haradrim cycle, and I wasn't the least bit surprised.

Now, if you play primarily multiplayer I could see even more of a case for this guy. Without Fasted, you need everyone at the table to have low threat in order to have someone left for Dunhere to attack. With Fasted you just optionally engage something that was going to go somewhere else, then push him back to the staging area in the combat phase.

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Someone still needs to sell me on this guy.   I want to like him! So my real problem: it just seems like the Fastred deck is a "staging area attack" deck in name only.  Mechanically it doesn't offer anything unique, no attack avoidance, still have to deal with engagement 'Forced' effects.  

Often I hear the argument "Why should I use this card, when I can replace it with a different card and make the deck better?"  Actually I hear this argument from you on the podcast!

If you're looking to manage threat and defend well, spirit Beregond.  Less threat management sure, but better defensive option (better native stats, better access to defense boosting effects).

If your aim is "kill enemies after having engaged them," Fastred can be replaced.  All he is doing is providing +attack to Dunhere and lowering threat by 2.  The threat is nice, but Beregond seems better. He can apply his reduction to other players at need.  And in general threat reduction is not hard to achieve.  Dunhere essentially starts with a handicap since he's at 2 attack native.  And he has to attack alone.  Any other 3-attack hero would be superior if attacking enemies, after you engage them, is your goal.

If you're looking to attack enemies, without engaging them, Fastred is just an insurance policy.  I guess I'm really only interested in staging area attack as being an alternative to the traditional engage-defend-attack sequence of play (even if it's not realistic for the entire game).

 

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One difference between SpBeregond and Fastred is that Fastred always lowers your own threat, while Beregond lowers the defending player.  He's also reducing by two (always) instead of one (if uninjured).  Still, it's hard to argue that SpBeregond isn't a better choice in most situations, since he has better defensive stats.  Is he also better for a Dunhere or LeEomer deck that wants to kill enemies in staging?  I think that's possible, and if you have the philosophy that card A is better than card B that playing B instead of A can't be justified, then that could be used to not play Fastred.

But that philosophy doesn't fit well with "heroes you haven't tried yet".  If Beregond didn't exist, I think Dori would be a popular hero.  Because Beregond exists, there are practically no cases in which a Dori deck can't be improved by adding Beregond instead.  But it's worth trying Dori, because he can be fun to play.  The same is true for Fastred.  Even if a better deck could be constructed without Fastred, it wouldn't be a Fastred deck.

My favorite Fastred trick with my Black Serpent Fellowship was to defend an enemy for each deck, bouncing his own (weaker) enemy back into staging while leaving the other deck (with LeEomer) with their enemy engaged.  Then in the questing phase LeEomer with Firefoot and Spear of the Mark could take out the staging enemy *and* have the spillover damage take out his own.  Took some setup, but it was beautiful when it happened.

I'm still inclined to favor Fastred over SpBeregond for a solo Dunhere deck, though.  While Beregond's ability can counteract the threat raise each turn, other sources of threat raise, special engagement effects, or low engagement costs can all scupper Dunhere's lone ability.  None of those will prevent Fastred from setting Dunhere up.  (Aside from his 3/3 defense, of course.)

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On 3/10/2018 at 3:03 PM, GrandSpleen said:

Someone still needs to sell me on this guy.   I want to like him! So my real problem: it just seems like the Fastred deck is a "staging area attack" deck in name only.  Mechanically it doesn't offer anything unique, no attack avoidance, still have to deal with engagement 'Forced' effects.  

Often I hear the argument "Why should I use this card, when I can replace it with a different card and make the deck better?"  Actually I hear this argument from you on the podcast!

If you're looking to manage threat and defend well, spirit Beregond.  Less threat management sure, but better defensive option (better native stats, better access to defense boosting effects).

If your aim is "kill enemies after having engaged them," Fastred can be replaced.  All he is doing is providing +attack to Dunhere and lowering threat by 2.  The threat is nice, but Beregond seems better. He can apply his reduction to other players at need.  And in general threat reduction is not hard to achieve.  Dunhere essentially starts with a handicap since he's at 2 attack native.  And he has to attack alone.  Any other 3-attack hero would be superior if attacking enemies, after you engage them, is your goal.

If you're looking to attack enemies, without engaging them, Fastred is just an insurance policy.  I guess I'm really only interested in staging area attack as being an alternative to the traditional engage-defend-attack sequence of play (even if it's not realistic for the entire game).

 

Alright, I'll try selling him a bit harder.

1) The Fastred deck is *not* meant to engage every enemy. Only ones with low threat (and therefore likely low attack) so that you can bounce them back and maintain your threat at a low level. Dunhere is still heavily relied upon to kill enemies before they ever engage. The ratio in games I play is probably 2:1 for enemies killed without/with engagement. Since Fasted reduces your threat by 2, you only need to engage an enemy ever other turn if you really want to keep your threat low. With Beregond you'd have to defend every turn.

2) Again, Beregond's higher defense isn't as useful as you'd think because the enemies with high attack tend to have high threat as well, so you don't engage them.

3) My response to swapping Fastred for Beregond and Dunhere for some other attacker is this: weapons. Weapons are as important to this deck as Fastred and Dunhere. By virtue of the deck being low threat and focused on staging area attacks, there are six cards you can include in your deck (3x Spear of the Mark and 3x Dagger or Westernesse) that will give Dunhere +2 attack for a cost of 1. That's huge. You of course also run 3x Open the Armory so you can virtually guarantee you will start with a 5 attack spirit hero that only cost you 8 threat. The second weapon follows soon after to turn him into a 7 attack menace. And since he's spirit you get access to UC to really start tearing up the staging area.

4) Just take a look at the Eowyn/Dunhere/Fastred lineup's first turn: Start with 23 threat. Play a weapon on Dunhere, play a 2-cost 2-WP ally, quest for 6, have a backup defender ready, and attack the staging area for 5. It's just incredible how fast the deck gets set up and how fast it continues to ramp despite no resource generation. It really is a top tier deck.

 

Edited by Seastan

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My list of never-played heroes - Note that I almost never play solo:

Dori - He looks bad and I rarely play any dwarves besides Gimli and Bifur

Eomer (Le) - His ability is very meh, and staging area attacks are less effective in multiplayer games.

Fastred - Similar to Eomer.  If I'm going to do staging area attacks in solo, I prefer to never engage the enemies.

Galdor of the Havens - His effect isn't very exciting, and I'd almost always rather play Erestor.

Kahliel - I kept waiting for more Harad support, but it never really got fleshed out.

Na'asiyah - She's a hero you need to build around, but it's a very straightforward and boring build.

Quickbeam - New, but also doesn't look very good.  I doubt I will try him.

Thurindir - I like the idea of him, but in multiplayer we almost never want to devote a turn to side quests.

 

Other heroes that I've rarely played:

Gandalf, Boromir (T), Caldara, Dain, Hirluin - Too powerful for my taste.  Don't want to be "the Gandalf guy" at the 4 player table.

Bard, Brand, Lanwyn - Their lack of weapons makes me always go with Legolas or Haldir instead.  The new cycle should fix this problem.

Bilbo, Fatty, Dwalin, Oin, Pippin (S), Aragorn (Le) - Any deck that these would fit into, there is usually another hero with the same traits (or same name) that would be a better fit.

Treebeard, Halbarad - Any deck that these would fit into, the ally is usually better.

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Despite having the full card pool, there are plenty of heroes I've never tried...

 

Argalad

Bard the Bowman

Beorn

Sp Beregond

Bombur

Le Boromir

Brand son of Bain

Celeborn

Dáin Ironfoot

Dori

Dúnhere

Dwalin

Elfhelm

Elladan

Elrohir

Le Éomer

Ta Éomer

Lo Faramir

Fastred

Fatty Bolger

Folco Boffin

Frodo Baggins

Glóin

Halbarad

Haldir of Lórien

Hirgon

Idraen

Lanwyn

Sp Legolas

Ta Merry

Mirlonde

Na'asiyah

Nori

Óin

Ori

Sp Pippin

Le Prince Imrahil

Ta Prince Imrahil

Quickbeam

Rossiel

Thalin

Ta Théoden

Sp Théoden

Thorin Oakenshield

Tom Cotton

Treebeard

 

o_O

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4 hours ago, Teamjimby said:

Galdor of the Havens - His effect isn't very exciting, and I'd almost always rather play Erestor.

I love Galdor!  Always happy when I figure out a deck that works with him.  I like Erestor too, but I dislike how he so strongly dictates your playstyle.  

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16 minutes ago, GrandSpleen said:

 

I love Galdor!  Always happy when I figure out a deck that works with him.  I like Erestor too, but I dislike how he so strongly dictates your playstyle.  

Also a Galdor fan. Any time I get to combo him with To the Sea!² is a good time.

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2 hours ago, GrandSpleen said:

I love Galdor!  Always happy when I figure out a deck that works with him.  I like Erestor too, but I dislike how he so strongly dictates your playstyle.  

He is a cool idea and I really should try him.  I think I focus too much on his mulligan ability and underestimate the potential of his redraw ability.

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7 hours ago, Teamjimby said:

Thurindir - I like the idea of him, but in multiplayer we almost never want to devote a turn to side quests.

Try him. And side-quests. Really. 

I play two-player only and Dunedain decks I have are very good. Unique play-style (keep enemies enegaged, side quests, doomed) and suprasingly strong ;). 

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I'll second the strength of a Thurindir side-quest deck. It can get insanely powerful. I've got a 2-player unpublished fellowship somewhere that was basically a standard Dunedain deck of the "engage all the enemies" variety paired with a Thurindir deck whose primary purpose is to run Gather Information round 1 and use it to fetch Keep Watch. Between that setup, ally Arwen, and Entangling Nets for really big enemies, I had a Vigilant Dunadan blocking practically every enemy on the board without exhausting.

They aren't a good fit for every quest, but in the early game, side quests are almost always worth the turn you spend on them. It can even be worth completing 2 or 3 in a row if you've tuned your decks in that direction.

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Against the most difficult games I play it is quite impossible to success a side quest on turn one. You don't have enough willpower, either because the encounter deck put plenty of cards on the beginning and/or because he stop you from using your full power. In that case Thurindir is not very useful and the side quest needed in the early game (keep the watch, the storm comes, the one who allow to draw each turn) doesn't work. I'm still a fan of some side quest but I prefer gather information, who are as usefull on the beginning (get key cards for you mechanics) that in the end (get events that help to stand until the end, like feint or test of will) and even more double back who is essentially a quest more useful on the last turns. When I read you it is like early game allow us to do nice things to get ready for a bigger challenge. It is true sometime, but I more looking after deck who can deal with early difficulties because of what I'm playing against ^^.

I get the feeling that thurindir his quite long to set-up (get gather information for looking for another side quest that you could have looked for on a first place seem not a fast way to setup). It also can be completely disrupted by a "we need to get quick" mechanic. That is why I never really try it until now. But it is among the things I want to do in the future :).

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On 3/14/2018 at 2:53 AM, Rouxxor said:

Against the most difficult games I play it is quite impossible to success a side quest on turn one. You don't have enough willpower, either because the encounter deck put plenty of cards on the beginning and/or because he stop you from using your full power. In that case Thurindir is not very useful and the side quest needed in the early game (keep the watch, the storm comes, the one who allow to draw each turn) doesn't work. I'm still a fan of some side quest but I prefer gather information, who are as usefull on the beginning (get key cards for you mechanics) that in the end (get events that help to stand until the end, like feint or test of will) and even more double back who is essentially a quest more useful on the last turns. When I read you it is like early game allow us to do nice things to get ready for a bigger challenge. It is true sometime, but I more looking after deck who can deal with early difficulties because of what I'm playing against ^^.

I get the feeling that thurindir his quite long to set-up (get gather information for looking for another side quest that you could have looked for on a first place seem not a fast way to setup). It also can be completely disrupted by a "we need to get quick" mechanic. That is why I never really try it until now. But it is among the things I want to do in the future :).

I agree mostly. He's going to struggle against the absolute hardest quests in the game. But for other ones he is quite good. I have started using him with Send for Aid to get a free OHaUH Gandalf, Jubayr, Treebeard, or Glorfindel out on turn 1 or 2. Then play another big ally from hand and start using AVGT.

With Tactics Eowyn you can actually complete the sidequest on turn 1 against any scenario, even ones that start with a lot of threat. You just need to get a bit lucky and start with Grappling Hook.

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