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Different cards with the new reprint?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

The essence of the ABB superdefender is all present in the very first cycle -- Unexpected Courage, Song of Wisdom (if not Lore), A Burning Brand.  The premise that 4 safe defenses are fine (up to 13 if players cooperate) but more than that is abusive is hard for me to swallow.  Here's the repeatable readying attachments (that can ready after a defense) in release order:

Well, this is an easy thing to settle. You make a super-defender deck using cards out of the first 3 cycles, and I'll make one using the modern card pool, and we can compare how many round it takes each one to achieve super-defender status.

The truth is it's way, way easier now, despite the pieces (UC, Song of Wisdom, ABB) being around for a while. It's not just the readying effects you have to consider. Its a combo-deck that requires lots of pieces working together, and we've got lots more card draw and resource acceleration than we used to, which helps in gathering all these pieces.

4 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

Good candidate, though it's still free if you chump what he grabs :).

Seriously, the synergy would be terrific, but not overpowering.  It would make the ability effectively free *if* he found an ally, but it's a once per round ability and IMO wouldn't be "broken" under that circumstance.

Hama could be used to abuse some recent tactics events. In the right deck, recurring Oath of Eorl is not that different from recurring Thicket of Spears, and more recently, he could be used with Gwaihir's Debt to play core set Gandalf for 1 resource every round of the game.

Edited by Seastan

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6 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

It's known, because Caleb said as much when the combo was discovered, that the combo with Vanish from Sight was what triggered the Wandering Took errata.  But that Wandering Took had the *potential* for massive threat reduction from its lack of limits was demonstrated, even if not forseen in the core set, by the Earendil/Took/LoAragorn combo discovered and publicized way back in 2012.  I don't think it's a low blow to the designer's intelligence to suggest that *any* card released without limit should be assumed to be exercised in the future an arbitrary number of times in a single round or phase -- if that's deemed too strong, then it's too strong *at release*.

The comment I was replying to said that an errata is a statement that the card was too powerful, even in progression mode. But Earendil/LoAragorn were not available in progression mode.

Wanting more per-round restrictions is a reasonable position. But slapping a limit on everything under the sun is:

1. Ugly, as in many cases it would be redundant and confusing. Some confused guy: "Why does Erestor say 'Limit once per round' on his forced discard ability???". Developer: "Well, maybe some card in the future will make you trigger end of round effect multiple times, and then there might be cards further in the future that can be used to exploit that." Confused guy: "..."

2. Not necessarily effective. You can't predict what cards will come out years in the future, and the limit you set may not be low enough and require errata anyway.

3. Infeasible. It would require issuing an errata for more than half the cards in the card pool at this point. If the argument that these cards should have had limits to begin with, ok (see above 2 points), but this is not the fault of the current designer.

And yes, it's a low blow to the current designer to suggest that he is both saying A: "this card was broken to begin with" and B: "I only decided to errata this now". If instead we hold the designer in high regard, then only one of those statements can be true. And given that B is true, A must be false.

It is incredibly hard to design an expanding card game, with no rotation, with no promise of being the sole developer, that will experience no broken combos for almost a decade, and I feel like you are not giving the developers enough credit for the remarkable job they've done in limiting them.

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6 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

Good candidate, though it's still free if you chump what he grabs :).

Seriously, the synergy would be terrific, but not overpowering.  It would make the ability effectively free *if* he found an ally, but it's a once per round ability and IMO wouldn't be "broken" under that circumstance.

'Free if you use the ability solely for chumps' and 'always free even if you spawn ally Beorn every single time' are two very different situations.

Regardless of your opinion on the precise power level, Imrahil's ability is supposed to be balanced by the cost ttached to it. Being able to entirely obviate that cost is clearly against the design of the card, which some would certainly define as broken.

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1 hour ago, Seastan said:

Well, this is an easy thing to settle. You make a super-defender deck using cards out of the first 3 cycles, and I'll make one using the modern card pool, and we can compare how many round it takes each one to achieve super-defender status.

The truth is it's way, way easier now, despite the pieces (UC, Song of Wisdom, ABB) being around for a while. It's not just the readying effects you have to consider. Its a combo-deck that requires lots of pieces working together, and we've got lots more card draw and resource acceleration than we used to, which helps in gathering all these pieces.

Erestor and Arwen strike again!  Seriously, I think Gather Information and Heed the Dream are also huge factors in making combo decks more reliable.  I look forward to Radagast enjoying Word of Command -- unlike Gandalf, he doesn't block a popular ally.

But if the end state is indeed abusive and needs to be *prevented* from happening in uncoordinated multi-player games, it was abusive back when it was achieved later in the game on average.  It's also not especially a recent development -- your Tower of Beregond comes together quite reliably I'm sure, with only one card (a single copy of Ioreth) later than Grey Havens.

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1 hour ago, Seastan said:

Hama could be used to abuse some recent tactics events. In the right deck, recurring Oath of Eorl is not that different from recurring Thicket of Spears, and more recently, he could be used with Gwaihir's Debt to play core set Gandalf for 1 resource every round of the game.

Oath of Eorl's not that different and in a few circumstances might be better -- but recurring Thicket of Spears with Hama was considered fine after its own errata, it wasn't until later that it was decided to be abusive after all.

Recurring Gwaihir's Debt every turn *is* pretty overpowered, and could easily be done in Radagast/Hama/Tactics eagle deck with the help of Wizard's Pipe.  Can't argue with that, and I guess with Hama's nerf I'll have to settle for playing Gandalf four times in a row.  Plus two for the other two Gwaihir's Debt copies.  Plus three for Tome of Atanator.  Plus three for post-Tome fetches with Word of Command.  Maybe I can squeeze in Hammersmith to get Tomes back -- Booyah!

The problem, as I see it, with the Hama nerf is that if a Tactics event is so powerful that it can't be played every turn without breaking the game (and Gwaihir's Debt w. Wizard Pipe is a good candidate, I think), it's probably too powerful to be recurred 3 times in a row or by records.  YMMV.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

But if the end state is indeed abusive and needs to be *prevented* from happening in uncoordinated multi-player games, it was abusive back when it was achieved later in the game on average. 

I disagree. A combo that is only achievable by late game is not as problematic as one that can be achieved in early game.

Quote

It's also not especially a recent development -- your Tower of Beregond comes together quite reliably I'm sure, with only one card (a single copy of Ioreth) later than Grey Havens.

Sure, the deck is not exactly recent, but neither is the last FAQ. That deck came out in early 2017, and the last FAQ we got was later that same year. It takes time for these kinds of decks to spread through the meta.

And who knows? Maybe the errata is not in response to super-beregond in particular. Maybe it's about something they know, but we dont. Like maybe they want to release a 3+ defense sentinel defender in the lore sphere, something they simply can't do with the current ABB in the card pool. The last (only) sentinel lore hero we got was Loragron, back in 2012.

Edited by Seastan

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That may have sense, because after all, the errata on ABB does not prevent making Erkenbrand the new superdefender, it just needs a bit more resources than setting Beregond.

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10 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

Oath of Eorl's not that different and in a few circumstances might be better -- but recurring Thicket of Spears with Hama was considered fine after its own errata, it wasn't until later that it was decided to be abusive after all.

This actually supports the point I'm trying to make. Hama+Thicket was incredibly hard to keep up indefinitely. It cost you all your resources and your card draw for the turn. Since you were locked into mono-tactics, you had very little extra card draw or resource generation in order to do anything else. All you do is play thicket, and discard the card you drew that round to get it back. Oh, and if you didn't have thicket in your opening hand, it might be a half-dozen rounds until you draw into it, making the whole thing incredibly high risk.

Enter Amarthiul, who broke open that mono-tactics restriction and had a native ability of generating extra resources for having enemies engaged. With Amarthiul's access to Steward, you could actually afford to keep up Hammer-stroke as well to take on all enemies every round. Suddenly, with a development in the card pool, some older, balanced-at-the-time cards became able to dominate all combat at the table. Sound familiar?

Quote

Recurring Gwaihir's Debt every turn *is* pretty overpowered, and could easily be done in Radagast/Hama/Tactics eagle deck with the help of Wizard's Pipe.  Can't argue with that, and I guess with Hama's nerf I'll have to settle for playing Gandalf four times in a row.  Plus two for the other two Gwaihir's Debt copies.  Plus three for Tome of Atanator.  Plus three for post-Tome fetches with Word of Command.  Maybe I can squeeze in Hammersmith to get Tomes back -- Booyah!

I do agree that the Hama errata doesn't necessarily prevent all abuse of his ability. But give that deck you suggested a try and see how it works out. Paying 3 cost for Gandalf by recycling Tomes is not the same as paying 1. You're also "wasting" all your Word of Commands fetching more copies. The deck you're describing sounds fully devoted to the Gandalf recycle strategy. And when a deck goes that route it can be strong but not broken (see Sneak Attack + Tome of Atanatar decks). The one I described with pre-errata Hama can be devoted to other things, making it a solid deck with an extra Gandalf/round as a cherry on top.

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1 hour ago, Seastan said:

The comment I was replying to said that an errata is a statement that the card was too powerful, even in progression mode. But Earendil/LoAragorn were not available in progression mode.

Wanting more per-round restrictions is a reasonable position. But slapping a limit on everything under the sun is:

1. Ugly, as in many cases it would be redundant and confusing. Some confused guy: "Why does Erestor say 'Limit once per round' on his forced discard ability???". Developer: "Well, maybe some card in the future will make you trigger end of round effect multiple times, and then there might be cards further in the future that can be used to exploit that." Confused guy: "..."

2. Not necessarily effective. You can't predict what cards will come out years in the future, and the limit you set may not be low enough and require errata anyway.

3. Infeasible. It would require issuing an errata for more than half the cards in the card pool at this point. If the argument that these cards should have had limits to begin with, ok (see above 2 points), but this is not the fault of the current designer.

And yes, it's a low blow to the current designer to suggest that he is both saying A: "this card was broken to begin with" and B: "I only decided to errata this now". If instead we hold the designer in high regard, then only one of those statements can be true. And given that B is true, A must be false.

It is incredibly hard to design an expanding card game, with no rotation, with no promise of being the sole developer, that will experience no broken combos for almost a decade, and I feel like you are not giving the developers enough credit for the remarkable job they've done in limiting them.

Earendil/LoAragorn come online early in progression mode.  But (full confession) I didn't think the more powerful Took/Vanish combo was worth fixing with errata -- you can't "abuse" Wandering Took without passing it back and forth, which means anyone who gets his threat reduced with an unlimited Took is *cooperating* in doing so, and I don't see that as a problem to be fixed.  So I think Took should've only had his limit from the beginning *if* the designer felt that threat reduction was one of those things that needed to be *prevented* from being used in a loop.

I don't know the designers, but I think it's quite possible that Nate French and Caleb have different philosophies for this sort of thing.  How many cards that have been errata-ed by Caleb were designed by Caleb?

I'm not calling for a limit on "everything under the sun".  I'm calling for a limit on effects that would be problematic if recurred an arbitrary number of times.  Horn of Gondor generates resources and doesn't exhaust to do so -- a limit would be sensible.  Horn of Gondor aside, how many resource generators in the game *don't* have a limit?  All of the attachments do, I believe, and with WANI's nerf it may just be Traffic From Dale that can generate insane resources.  On the card side, with Legacy of Durin nerfed that just leaves Lord of Morthond and Rod of the Steward among attachments.

Now if you wanted to attack readying -- which I don't, but hypothetically suppose it was considered an errata worthy problem.  Slap "limit 1 per hero" on UC, Fast Hitch and Miruvor and "limit 1 per character" on Spare Hood and Cloak and you're done -- there's lots of readying cards, but almost all are *already* limited.

At this point in the game, it's rare to see a card that isn't limited in some way.

Please don't confuse criticism of errata with criticism of the state of the game or the qualities of the designer.  It's a minor irritant for me in a game that, I think, is better than ever.  Errata is the least of Caleb's jobs, and he managed to skip it completely in 2018 (which bothers me not at all).  *Most* of the errata, if you grant the need for errata, was well done and preserved the "common case".  And through 2017 power-level errata (though annoying to me) was affecting only a fraction of the powerful cards.  I hope that 2019 doesn't represent a change in philosophy, and when the next FAQ comes out we'll see if it has.

I'm from a wargame background, so I'm not coming in with the idea that errata is some sort of sin or bad reflection on a game -- it happens, and the more complex a game is the more likely it is to happen.  But from that same background I also come with the idea that errata is *not* another name for an optional rule, and that errata *always* has costs as well as benefits.

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9 minutes ago, Yepesnopes said:

@Seastan Did not you post a deck post WANI errata that allows infinite resources? I want to remember it used sword-thain?

Yes. This is a combo fellowship that still allows infinite resources post WANI-errata: https://ringsdb.com/fellowship/view/4634/combo-fellowship-beat-any-quest-on-the-first-turn

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1 hour ago, PocketWraith said:

'Free if you use the ability solely for chumps' and 'always free even if you spawn ally Beorn every single time' are two very different situations.

Regardless of your opinion on the precise power level, Imrahil's ability is supposed to be balanced by the cost ttached to it. Being able to entirely obviate that cost is clearly against the design of the card, which some would certainly define as broken.

Sure, but the difference between Chump and Beorn is *way* bigger than the difference between getting your resource back and not getting your resource back.  Imrahil's ability generating one resource per turn and paying for itself (if it hits) isn't remotely broken because it's just one resource a turn -- it doesn't let him recur his ability by giving that resource back, which is what you'd need to make TaImrahil broken.

Imrahil's ability is balanced by the cost he paid for it.  Horn of Gondor generating resources is balanced by the cost paid for it (plus that stupid Restricted slot).  I have LeGimli and put Dwarven Shield and The Day's Rising -- now when he defends, he *always* gets the resource he needs to ready Legolas.  That doesn't mean I'm doing something "clearly against the design of the card", it means I'm using synergy between cards that are working as designed.

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4 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

I'm calling for a limit on effects that would be problematic if recurred an arbitrary number of times.

Is Wandering Took's ability problematic if recurred an arbitrary number of times? Not in the core set. It's not possible to know these things unless you know every card that will come afterward. I agree that it's wise to limit resource generation effects though, even if there are no immediate problematic combos. Horn of Gondor, for example, can still be abused in its post-errata state.

Quote

Now if you wanted to attack readying -- which I don't, but hypothetically suppose it was considered an errata worthy problem.  Slap "limit 1 per hero" on UC, Fast Hitch and Miruvor and "limit 1 per character" on Spare Hood and Cloak and you're done -- there's lots of readying cards, but almost all are *already* limited.

At some point, given a growing card pool, there will be enough different reading effects, that even if limited to 1 per hero, they'd still be problematic when all stacked on the same hero. And we're already there. Just look at: https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/1202/everything-costs-1-1.0. This deck has Beregond defending a ton of attacks every round, and doesn't even use UC or Armored Destrier.

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19 hours ago, Yepesnopes said:

Errated cards and a forbidden card list? I would say is either one or the other no?

Both are fine (plus restricted lists), lots of card games do that. Even Arkham Horror LCG does that now in their most recent FAQ.

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4 hours ago, soullos said:

Both are fine (plus restricted lists), lots of card games do that. Even Arkham Horror LCG does that now in their most recent FAQ.

Yes, but Arkham horror does not force anyone to play with errated cards because they do not reprint cards with the errata. The errata stays in the document only. For me this is the key difference.

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12 hours ago, Seastan said:

Is Wandering Took's ability problematic if recurred an arbitrary number of times? Not in the core set. It's not possible to know these things unless you know every card that will come afterward. I agree that it's wise to limit resource generation effects though, even if there are no immediate problematic combos. Horn of Gondor, for example, can still be abused in its post-errata state.

At some point, given a growing card pool, there will be enough different reading effects, that even if limited to 1 per hero, they'd still be problematic when all stacked on the same hero. And we're already there. Just look at: https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/1202/everything-costs-1-1.0. This deck has Beregond defending a ton of attacks every round, and doesn't even use UC or Armored Destrier.

I grant your point on Wandering Took.  Certain effects it would be possible to predict in advance that recurring the effect is problematic (e.g. Horn of Gondor), but shifting threat back and forth between players with no net loss is not one of those effects.

I like your everything costs 1.  With an assist from Elven-Light both Miruvor could be seen as permanent readying, and that card was on my four-card list of "1 per hero" if readying needed limited.  But the five one-short readying cards in the deck give you a maximum of five total readies for each run through the deck, and less than that if a Zigil Miner gets them.  Defending five attacks per turn can only be done twice in each run through the deck, defending six attacks per turn can only be done once.  I'll grant that you could easily design a deck with more of the temporary readies, but to the extent that readying is a problem, none of the temporaries have the impact that a permanent readier does in the same slot in the deck.

But it's also true there's enough different permanent readiers that you can get to a high number of readies with just one of each.  So if we take LeGimli (dwarf, noble, sentinel):

1 UC

1 Magic Ring (costs threat)

1 Ring of Thror (guarded)

1 Armored Destrier (takes a restricted slot)

1 Miruvor (consumes draw)

1 Heir of Mardil (combo with resource transfer/generation)

1 Elvenking (combo with Elf-friend and Silvan ally)

1 Spare Hood and Cloak (combo with LTT/Lookout)

That's no less than 8 readies every turn.  But it takes a *lot* of cards to pull off.  With the help of Diligent Noble, Beregond could use seven of these; the setup cost is obviously much greater than 3x UC, 3x Miruvor (w Erestor/Arwen), Magic Ring.

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14 hours ago, Seastan said:

This actually supports the point I'm trying to make. Hama+Thicket was incredibly hard to keep up indefinitely. It cost you all your resources and your card draw for the turn. Since you were locked into mono-tactics, you had very little extra card draw or resource generation in order to do anything else. All you do is play thicket, and discard the card you drew that round to get it back. Oh, and if you didn't have thicket in your opening hand, it might be a half-dozen rounds until you draw into it, making the whole thing incredibly high risk.

Enter Amarthiul, who broke open that mono-tactics restriction and had a native ability of generating extra resources for having enemies engaged. With Amarthiul's access to Steward, you could actually afford to keep up Hammer-stroke as well to take on all enemies every round. Suddenly, with a development in the card pool, some older, balanced-at-the-time cards became able to dominate all combat at the table. Sound familiar?

If we consider a hypothetical mono-tactics Hama deck with 3x Thicket of Spears, it's certainly true that recurring it took your only card and all your native resources.  But I don't see that in the ~43% chance that you didn't draw Thicket it was an "incredibly high risk".  You've got 47 other cards in your deck, and you do with those 47 cards what mono-tactics would usually do with such things.  It's a deck that *can* prevent engaged enemies from doing things indefinitely once Thicket shows up (~57% chance in opening hands), and so is more likely than not to be able to prevent enemy attacks from turn one, but there's nothing about include Thicket that nerfs the rest of your deck if it doesn't show up.

But you're also not limited to tactics heroes or tactics cards, since Thicket doesn't require printed tactics icons.  The errata to Thicket came after the Hobbit saga and HoN -- you have Good Harvest and Song of Battle.  Starting with Beravor means you can't play Thicket on turn one, but you'll be able to play it before long and you'll be able to do more than just play Thicket, and even mono-tactics with Good Harvest/Steward will be able to afford other cards.

Amarthiul lets you have an extra resource, and eventually that can translate into extra cards, but he doesn't enable Hammer Stroke and Thicket every round because Hama can only recur one.  He's certainly an improvement on straight mono-tactics, no enhancements Thicket, but it's not fundamentally different than earlier errata-approved Thicket play -- you can stop combat every turn and you can monopolize to the extent you can engage enemies.  More problematic to me (in terms of interfering with other players) is Tactics Aragorn's built-in ability to steal enemies -- now you can stop attacks *and* steal enemies consistently from other players who don't want you to monopolize combat. As you know, I'm not concerned about "balance" or "monopolization" when players cooperate or play alone.

Of course, even if you accept that the Hama/Thicket combination was a problem needing to be fixed, it doesn't necessarily follow that the errata Hama received was the best way to fix it.

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15 hours ago, Seastan said:

[on Radagast/Hama/tactics deck]

I do agree that the Hama errata doesn't necessarily prevent all abuse of his ability. But give that deck you suggested a try and see how it works out. Paying 3 cost for Gandalf by recycling Tomes is not the same as paying 1. You're also "wasting" all your Word of Commands fetching more copies. The deck you're describing sounds fully devoted to the Gandalf recycle strategy. And when a deck goes that route it can be strong but not broken (see Sneak Attack + Tome of Atanatar decks). The one I described with pre-errata Hama can be devoted to other things, making it a solid deck with an extra Gandalf/round as a cherry on top.

Pre-errata Gwaihir's Debt with Radagast would be pretty insane, true.  Using records to recycle Gwaihir's Debt doesn't take a lot of deck space, since only the records would need to be added to the cards you'd have everywhere, but paying 2-3 for core Gandalf obviously isn't as good as playing one.

But dropping the records entirely, four consecutive Gandalf plays for 1 cost is still pretty compelling to me, about a jillion times more powerful than playing Eagles Are Coming four consecutive times.  That's my main grief with the Hama nerf -- instead of targeting the recurrence of powerful events, it made it so you can't afford to use Hama on anything but recurring powerful events.

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16 hours ago, Seastan said:

And who knows? Maybe the errata is not in response to super-beregond in particular. Maybe it's about something they know, but we dont. Like maybe they want to release a 3+ defense sentinel defender in the lore sphere, something they simply can't do with the current ABB in the card pool. The last (only) sentinel lore hero we got was Loragron, back in 2012.

I see no reason why they "simply can't" release a 3+ defense sentinel defender in Lore, given that it's nearly as cheap and easy to make a Lore hero sentinel as it is to make a non-Lore sentinel become Lore.  If you release Beregond himself in Lore, it'd only save him the play of a single 1-cost neutral card compared to his brethren -- if they aren't broken, he wouldn't be either.  Unless you also gave him the Hobbit trait....

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4 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

I grant your point on Wandering Took.  Certain effects it would be possible to predict in advance that recurring the effect is problematic (e.g. Horn of Gondor), but shifting threat back and forth between players with no net loss is not one of those effects.

I like your everything costs 1.  With an assist from Elven-Light both Miruvor could be seen as permanent readying, and that card was on my four-card list of "1 per hero" if readying needed limited.  But the five one-short readying cards in the deck give you a maximum of five total readies for each run through the deck, and less than that if a Zigil Miner gets them.  Defending five attacks per turn can only be done twice in each run through the deck, defending six attacks per turn can only be done once.  I'll grant that you could easily design a deck with more of the temporary readies, but to the extent that readying is a problem, none of the temporaries have the impact that a permanent readier does in the same slot in the deck. 

You can be forgiven for not watching the hour long video of the deck. But in it, I take on 7 attacks on back to back turns with only Beregond as a defender, without putting on more than 1 miruvor at a time. And while I grant that I could probably not keep that indefinitely, my self-imposed deckbuilding restrictions prevented me from using any repeatable readying attachments (other than Miruvor).

Do you think UC + Magic Ring + Miruvor is that much harder to set up than 3 UC? That gives Beregond 4 defenses a round, with consumables like Lembas and Behind Strong Walls for turns that spike above that.

2 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

 If you release Beregond himself in Lore, it'd only save him the play of a single 1-cost neutral card compared to his brethren -- if they aren't broken, he wouldn't be either.

Correction, the finding and playing of a 1-cost neutral attachment. A Lore Beregond would free up the demands of the deck to have massive card draw, as you no longer have to play pieces in a specific order. It is possible to have a card pool in which a 2 card combo is well-balanced while the same combo reduced to 1 card is seen as overpowered. 

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10 hours ago, Seastan said:

You can be forgiven for not watching the hour long video of the deck. But in it, I take on 7 attacks on back to back turns with only Beregond as a defender, without putting on more than 1 miruvor at a time. And while I grant that I could probably not keep that indefinitely, my self-imposed deckbuilding restrictions prevented me from using any repeatable readying attachments (other than Miruvor).

Do you think UC + Magic Ring + Miruvor is that much harder to set up than 3 UC? That gives Beregond 4 defenses a round, with consumables like Lembas and Behind Strong Walls for turns that spike above that.

Correction, the finding and playing of a 1-cost neutral attachment. A Lore Beregond would free up the demands of the deck to have massive card draw, as you no longer have to play pieces in a specific order. It is possible to have a card pool in which a 2 card combo is well-balanced while the same combo reduced to 1 card is seen as overpowered. 

7 attacks back-to-back with one Miruvor is impressive, since it requires using all five consumables in the deck on consecutive turns.  No, I don't think that's sustainable.  I didn't watch the video, but I did see in the deck description "For one attempt I had a bunch of enemies engage me all in one turn, and Beregond defended five or six times, putting Unexpected Courage to shame, and next turn I just reshuffled my deck and drew into all the same readying cards and did it all again."  The first burst of defenses seems easy enough, since if you don't need the consumable readies they'll accumulate until you need them for a burst of defenses.  But I'd think drawing most (or all, for seven defenses) after a reshuffle would require either remarkable luck or a huge pile of resources to exploit Elven-Light with.  How many turns does this deck take before you've run through it four times?

If you include one copy each of UC, Magic Ring and Miruvor it's slightly easier to set up as 3x UC -- there's three cards either way, Miruvor is cheaper and Magic Ring is neutral.  If Miruvor/UC were 1 per hero you could get setup faster by including 3x of Miruvor and UC in your deck, at the cost of deck space.  But though it'd give you 3 readies, it's at a higher cost than 3x UC, since Magic Ring costs threat and Miruvor costs draw.  Still, you can get additional draw and SpBeregond can get your threat back.  4 + consumables can't be prevented.  7 defenses with just UC and Miruvor could be, if that much readying is a problem that needs to be fixed in the first place.  ABB nerf doesn't fix that -- you were just saying you took 7 back-to-back, and the only shadow cancellation is in the sideboard with only the 2x Lembas for healing.  When you can defend for 6-11, there's an awful lot of shadows that can be ignored.

It's a fair point that ABB + Song of Wisdom is a two card combo that also has to be played in the right order -- but giving sentinel to a Lore hero is a one card combo and there's two different cards that can do it (three if Elf/Dwarf), still not that common.  I think a larger problem rests with the Lore defenders themselves:

Denethor is fragile (3 hp) and has an ability that needs him ready at turn end and is most powerful in solo.

Elrond wants to use an exhaustion on Vilya.

Rossiel is fragile (3 hp) and needs setup to defend for 4 instead of 2.

Treebeard has excellent defensive stats, but his ability lets him boost willpower/attack only and he can't have restricted attachments.

And that's the entire set until Radagast comes out, who actually is a good defensive candidate at 3/4, especially since he can also quest for free and has no other exhaustion demands other than Word of Command.  Though being Istari does hurt him with the potential defensive attachments.

I suspect the lack of sentinel Lore heroes isn't because of ABB in particular, I think it has to do with stereotyping sentinel as a leadership/tactics thing.  The only three spirit/tactics sentinel are all repeat heroes that had their first version as sentinel also.  (OTOH, there's only one sentinel lore ally, and spirit has three, though Jubyar's got his own shadow protection going.)

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39 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

I think a larger problem rests with the Lore defenders themselves:

This is my point though. ABB has been such an incredible defensive card that they haven't been able to give us a dedicated lore defender. Now we might actually get one.

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