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1 hour ago, Onidsen said:

If Sword that Was Broken is too powerful, then we probably need to hit Faramir as well, honestly. This is probably entirely a subjective judgement call, given my position on Dain, but I think that both Faramir and Sword that Was Broken are probably ok. Extremely powerful, yes, but not game-breakingly so. Admittedly, Dain doesn't fundamentally break the game either, but he does fundamentally warp the Dwarf trait so that it can't function without him. And it turns out that I'm much more OK with an attachment or an ally like Faramir defining a trait than I am with making a hero practically required to run a good Trait deck.

I'm not sure that STWB is too powerful -- it's just that if STWB's effect is too powerful for non-Aragorns to have for three cost, then it's just as overpowered with Aragorn and needs nerfed.  With the other Aragorn items, the main effect is *identical* except for sphere, so just switching the effects would make it conform to his other artifacts.  Reducing the main effect (if not on Aragorn) seems to me to be a straight nerf that can only be motivated by the view that STWB is too powerful.  But at three cost, it's too expensive to just boost heroes.

I think dwarf swarm is perfectly viable without Dain at the table.  Thorin/Nori/Ori is quite strong, I think (especially if you ignore the errata to WANI, etc.) The issue isn't so much that dwarves *need* Dain, as that Dain is just sooo good with a dwarven swarm, and was available before the dwarves had all their tools on the table, that he became a staple.  If you switch the release times of Spirit Dain and Leadership Dain, LeDain would be considered bonkers great, but I don't think anyone would be saying that dwarves finally became viable.

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On 5/8/2020 at 1:51 PM, dalestephenson said:

I'm not sure that STWB is too powerful -- it's just that if STWB's effect is too powerful for non-Aragorns to have for three cost, then it's just as overpowered with Aragorn and needs nerfed.  With the other Aragorn items, the main effect is *identical* except for sphere, so just switching the effects would make it conform to his other artifacts.  Reducing the main effect (if not on Aragorn) seems to me to be a straight nerf that can only be motivated by the view that STWB is too powerful.  But at three cost, it's too expensive to just boost heroes.

I think I see where you're getting at here - the way we currently are treating Sword that Was Broken is still not in line with the other Aragorn items, and to follow the pattern thoroughly would probably be too powerful. We could nerf the effect a little to make it so we could follow the pattern exactly, but I'm hesitant to do that. Do you have a suggestion? Or do you think it is not too powerful to allow on any hero?

On another topic, I have more discussion questions! The Ancient Mathoms project is approaching the Against the Shadow cycle. This means we get to address 2 elephants in the room: the mono-sphere only cards and Outlands.
On the first subject - we're thinking of relaxing the "printed" requirement for the mono-sphere only cards(edited)
 
We're also thinking about allowing some of them to interact with traits as well as spheres
 
For example, the Knight of Minas Tirith would read "While each of your heroes has the Tactics resource icon or the Gondor trait, Knight of Minas Tirith gains..."
 
We're looking for community feedback on the idea - does it break anything, do the mono-sphere only cards encourage interesting deckbuilding enough that adding the traits actually reduces deckbuilding options?
 
For reference, the specific cards under consideration are:
Mirlonde
Mithrandir's Advice
Advance Warning
Caldara
Pelargir Shipwright
Against the Shadow
Tactics Theoden
Knight of Minas Tirith
Trained for War
Strength of Arms

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I don't think SWTB is too powerful an effect.  Faramir does much the same thing and costs four, but Faramir has the following advantages:

1) He can do it to other players as well.

2) When not needed, he can be used in combat

3) He can be readied and do it more than once.

It's true that Faramir's boost is limited to a phase rather than being passively permanent, but for the most common willpower use (questing), Faramir is equivalent.

If Faramir's not broken -- and I think he's not -- then STWB isn't broken.  Powerful, yes.  But not broken.  And if it is "too strong" for any hero and should be nerfed, it should *also* be nerfed on Aragorn as well.  Aragorn doesn't need STWB to be a great hero choice; making him "too strong" when other heroes aren't allowed to seems unfair.

The one hitch isn't mechanical, but thematic -- this artifact is The Sword That Was Broken, an iconic item associated with Isildur's line only.  Thematically it should probably be limited to Dunedain -- and allowing it on any Dunedain hero might give that tribe a boost.

If the effect were reduced *and* the cost were reduced it could still be a balanced card and likely see more play, but if the effect is reduced and the cost kept the same it's a weaker card -- at 3 cost for +1 to your heroes I think it would see little play.

----

Looking forward to ATS, I'm fine with relaxing "printed" requirements, though with Mirlonde's effect being at setup I don't think it matters -- we've talked about expanded her to Silvans before in this thread, I believe.

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8 hours ago, Onidsen said:

the Knight of Minas Tirith would read "While each of your heroes has the Tactics resource icon or the Gondor trait, Knight of Minas Tirith gains..."

Perhaps this in a Lothiriel/TaImrahil/let's say Mablung might be a bit too much.

8 hours ago, Onidsen said:

Tactics Theoden

This might also be too much of a buff in a 4 players Fellowship if you let it interact with a Trait (Rohan I guess). If it's still only the Tactics icon (printed or otherwise) it could be okay.

Same thing for Caldara I guess, I would be okay with no "printed" but not let's say the Gondor trait.

8 hours ago, Onidsen said:
On the first subject - we're thinking of relaxing the "printed" requirement for the mono-sphere only cards(edited)
 
We're also thinking about allowing some of them to interact with traits as well as spheres
 

Generally speaking I fell that getting rid of the "printed" clause on many of those cards would not be a problem, often times if you really wanted to play them you would still go ahead with a mono-sphere hero lineup so that you do not have to waste time with sphere granting attachments. Small exception for decks where Aragorn is outfitted with his usual set of artifacts.

8 hours ago, Onidsen said:

Strength of Arms

Perhaps this, putting it in a Dwarf Swarm deck using Narvi's Belt (let's say LeDain, Thorin, Bifur/Ori), a Gondor swarm with some Lore (Erestor, Lore Denethor), an Outlands deck (especially if you will change in the future Lord of Morthond too) might be a bit too much, especially since it's such a useful global effect.

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The "printed" clause certainly encourages starting with a monosphere deck rather than creating a monosphere deck -- it's not clear to me that this necessarily makes for more interesting deckbuilding -- if the card is important you probably wouldn't rely on sphere-adding, creating a combo which could be avoided with just going monosphere in the first place.  The one exception would be heroes that gain resource icons predictably like Oin and Amarthuil, and I think it is a shame that they are excluded from enabling "printed" cards.

In release order:

Mirthrandir's Advice -- clearly not a problem to not require "printed" Lore.  Make more heroes Lore, get more cards from a Lore card-draw event -- seems fitting.  Expanding this to Istari heroes changes little, since if Gandalf plays it with Pipe he is printed Lore and the other two Istari are already Lore.

Advance Warning -- again relaxing the "printed" requirement seems OK to me, it's an event and making more heroes Lore in order to play Advance Warning doesn't seem to be a problem to me.  I doubt it would expand its use much because an event wouldn't justify a combo.  Not sure what trait would thematically fit to expand use.

Against the Shadow -- relaxing the "printed" requirement seems OK to me -- in fact, dropping the sphere requirement *completely* makes sense to me, since all it does is make spirit characters defend with willpower instead of defense.  Drop any sphere requirement and make it *may* use willpower, and it's still not a strong card.

Trained for War -- another one that wouldn't see much usage without *any* sphere requirements.  The problem with this card has been that a deck that prefers Battle questing to Willpower questing is going to be suffering in all the turns where it *isn't* using the card, and that's still true even if you make it easier to play.

Strength of Arms -- this is by far the more useful and powerful of the four monosphere events, and with a global effect and 2-cost will generally find its way into any mono-leadership deck.  Loosening this would make it attractive to leadership/leadership/lore dwarf decks using Narvi's Belt, but dwarf decks can ready the heroes too across the board for 3-cost with Lure of Moria already.  I don't think that dropping the "printed" causes any harm -- if it's too powerful when you've gone to the trouble to provide additional sphere-fixing, it's too powerful in mono-leadership already.

As you know, I support Mirlonde's reduction of both Silvan and Lore, and would like to see -2 for being both Silvan and Lore.  Support Silvan secrecy!

Lord of Morthond is conspiciously not on the list, and as an attachment *would* be worth setting up with a combo.  If loosened it should exhaust.

Book of Eldacar and the other Records are also not on the list, but maybe they should be.  If you go to the trouble to provide sphere-fixing, granting a discount on the records doesn't seem like a game-breaking thing, and giving Oin/Amarthuil a discount on Book of Eldacar is just right.

Pelargir Shipwright would be fine with dropping the printed, since with three heroes it maxes out at 3-for-3, great value for a unique but not something that creates balance issues with sphere fixing.  I don't think expanding it to spirit/Gondor would be a problem, it's a 3-cost spirit card and wouldn't get played outside majority spirit anyways.

Knight of Minas Tirith would be more interesting with dropping the printed.  What about Gondor?  As it's still a three-cost tactics card I don't see a problem -- it does open up shenanigans with Sneak Attack or Lothiriel, but I see that as a *good* thing, if Lothiriel is going to use her ability just for the engagement and free attack on a 0 wp ally, that seems fine to me.

Poor errata-ed Caldara would be fine without the printed requirement, adding sphere fixing to Sword-Thain and Imrahil ally to improve her yield is not overpowered, but yet one more combo piece to fetch would not be widely used, I think.  Maybe in an Erestor deck that would draw into Song of Wisdom sooner rather than later, but I don't see expanding the Caldara lineups to non-spirit discarders as a bad thing.  What about Gondor trait?  Being able to bring them back for Gondor and/or get spirit/Gondor out of discard would make her more interesting and expand the scope of her builds without dramatically increasing her power.

Tactics Theoden absolutely should not have "printed", he should automatically boost Oin and Amarthuil (not that the latter is likely to quest), and making Songs of Battle be +1 willpower for 1 cost if Theoden is at the table seems sensible to me.  Tactics Theoden's ability currently isn't that powerful, especially since his threat cost includes his benefit to himself.  What about with boosting Rohan?  It's a fantastic thematic match -- Theoden *should* inspire all Rohirrim just by being at the table.  But is it overpowered?  It benefits primarily Grima, SpEowyn, Lothiriel with Eomer, LeEomer, Theodred and maybe Elfhelm, the other non-tactics Rohirrim generally aren't questing.  You could add more with I am Not a Stranger, but having a *reason* to play that card would be a good thing.  Looking at that list of heroes I have to say again -- that's a *fantastic* thematic match.  If he boosted all Rohan *characters* it might be a bit much (hi Dain!) but I don't see boosting all Rohan heroes as being too much even in a four player game, especially when he's overcosted by one.

 

 

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I think it depends on each individual card. For example, Caldara is plenty powerful and should probably stay as written (errata version of course) but a card like the knight of Minas Tirith, as you suggested could be changed.

Some cards I think should just get an extra benefit if your playing mono sphere. For example, the Knight of Minas Tirith could be able to trigger his ability in any deck, but if all your heros have the tactics resource icon, you get to deal 1 damage to the enemy as well.

Heros like Mirlonde need a creative twist, whether that means making her interact with  Silvans or just increasing her set-up ability. For example you could draw 1 additional card for each lore hero you control at the start of the game.

I always felt that her -1 threat cost would have been so much better on hero Faramir (lore) instead. If he could start at 8 that would help him a lot...

Sorry to jump ahead a little, I know it will be a little bit before you get to this cycle

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I dont think tactics theoden with the text "each tactics or rohan hero gets +1 willpower" is OP. Its a nice benefit, encourages trait sharing of heroes and you are paying a hefty threat cost for an out-the-gate questing boost. 

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5 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

The "printed" clause certainly encourages starting with a monosphere deck rather than creating a monosphere deck -- it's not clear to me that this necessarily makes for more interesting deckbuilding -- if the card is important you probably wouldn't rely on sphere-adding, creating a combo which could be avoided with just going monosphere in the first place.  The one exception would be heroes that gain resource icons predictably like Oin and Amarthuil, and I think it is a shame that they are excluded from enabling "printed" cards.

In release order:

Mirthrandir's Advice -- clearly not a problem to not require "printed" Lore.  Make more heroes Lore, get more cards from a Lore card-draw event -- seems fitting.  Expanding this to Istari heroes changes little, since if Gandalf plays it with Pipe he is printed Lore and the other two Istari are already Lore.

Advance Warning -- again relaxing the "printed" requirement seems OK to me, it's an event and making more heroes Lore in order to play Advance Warning doesn't seem to be a problem to me.  I doubt it would expand its use much because an event wouldn't justify a combo.  Not sure what trait would thematically fit to expand use.

Against the Shadow -- relaxing the "printed" requirement seems OK to me -- in fact, dropping the sphere requirement *completely* makes sense to me, since all it does is make spirit characters defend with willpower instead of defense.  Drop any sphere requirement and make it *may* use willpower, and it's still not a strong card.

Trained for War -- another one that wouldn't see much usage without *any* sphere requirements.  The problem with this card has been that a deck that prefers Battle questing to Willpower questing is going to be suffering in all the turns where it *isn't* using the card, and that's still true even if you make it easier to play.

Strength of Arms -- this is by far the more useful and powerful of the four monosphere events, and with a global effect and 2-cost will generally find its way into any mono-leadership deck.  Loosening this would make it attractive to leadership/leadership/lore dwarf decks using Narvi's Belt, but dwarf decks can ready the heroes too across the board for 3-cost with Lure of Moria already.  I don't think that dropping the "printed" causes any harm -- if it's too powerful when you've gone to the trouble to provide additional sphere-fixing, it's too powerful in mono-leadership already.

I actually wasn't thinking of adding traits to the events, but it might not be a bad idea. Advance warning could be Lore or Ranger heroes, Trained for War could be Tactics or Warrior. Strength of Arms and Against the Shadow would be more difficult to figure out.

And certainly, both Against the Shadow and Trained for War will need additional help beyond just relaxing the "printed" requirement. Trained for War was actually one of the first cards I put together for the Ancient Mathoms project - we'll see if my initial design still holds up now that we're actually getting to Heirs of Numenor. "Play only if each hero you control has the Tactics resource icon (or Warrior trait?). Until the end of the phase, characters you control quest using attack instead of willpower."

Doesn't do much for the card in solo play, but it turns it into a card that can let a combat deck help with a big questing push in multiplayer, and I think that's worth having in the pool.

Strength of Arms is also the only one I'm worried about - it is an extremely powerful effect. On the other hand, it can take quite a bit of setup to actually get the sphere fixing card out of your deck and on the table.

5 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

Lord of Morthond is conspiciously not on the list, and as an attachment *would* be worth setting up with a combo.  If loosened it should exhaust.

Book of Eldacar and the other Records are also not on the list, but maybe they should be.  If you go to the trouble to provide sphere-fixing, granting a discount on the records doesn't seem like a game-breaking thing, and giving Oin/Amarthuil a discount on Book of Eldacar is just right.

Lord of Morthond is an oversight, and I agree completely about both loosening and making it exhaust.

The Records were originally on the list, but a couple deckbuilders in the Discord pointed out that that would just make it *easier* to set up the few remaining infinite-recursion combos left in the game (all or almost all of which involve the Records). Another option, however, might be to change the records so that they just play the event from your discard pile and do not put it back on the bottom of the deck? Then reducing the cost doesn't lower the barrier to entry for infinite recursion (and even prevents much of the infinite recursion). And it doesn't hurt the general playstyle too much - with attachment recursion like the Erebor Hammersmith and Second Breakfast, you can still get a *lot* of event recursion, and it even makes the general case easier to use, because the event stays in your discard pile when you use it. (The poor Tactics Record attachment is still invalidated by Hama, but at least it has a place outside of the Hama deck).

5 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

Pelargir Shipwright would be fine with dropping the printed, since with three heroes it maxes out at 3-for-3, great value for a unique but not something that creates balance issues with sphere fixing.  I don't think expanding it to spirit/Gondor would be a problem, it's a 3-cost spirit card and wouldn't get played outside majority spirit anyways.

Knight of Minas Tirith would be more interesting with dropping the printed.  What about Gondor?  As it's still a three-cost tactics card I don't see a problem -- it does open up shenanigans with Sneak Attack or Lothiriel, but I see that as a *good* thing, if Lothiriel is going to use her ability just for the engagement and free attack on a 0 wp ally, that seems fine to me.

Poor errata-ed Caldara would be fine without the printed requirement, adding sphere fixing to Sword-Thain and Imrahil ally to improve her yield is not overpowered, but yet one more combo piece to fetch would not be widely used, I think.  Maybe in an Erestor deck that would draw into Song of Wisdom sooner rather than later, but I don't see expanding the Caldara lineups to non-spirit discarders as a bad thing.  What about Gondor trait?  Being able to bring them back for Gondor and/or get spirit/Gondor out of discard would make her more interesting and expand the scope of her builds without dramatically increasing her power.

Tactics Theoden absolutely should not have "printed", he should automatically boost Oin and Amarthuil (not that the latter is likely to quest), and making Songs of Battle be +1 willpower for 1 cost if Theoden is at the table seems sensible to me.  Tactics Theoden's ability currently isn't that powerful, especially since his threat cost includes his benefit to himself.  What about with boosting Rohan?  It's a fantastic thematic match -- Theoden *should* inspire all Rohirrim just by being at the table.  But is it overpowered?  It benefits primarily Grima, SpEowyn, Lothiriel with Eomer, LeEomer, Theodred and maybe Elfhelm, the other non-tactics Rohirrim generally aren't questing.  You could add more with I am Not a Stranger, but having a *reason* to play that card would be a good thing.  Looking at that list of heroes I have to say again -- that's a *fantastic* thematic match.  If he boosted all Rohan *characters* it might be a bit much (hi Dain!) but I don't see boosting all Rohan heroes as being too much even in a four player game, especially when he's overcosted by one.

I agree on the remaining allies and heroes - I couldn't see broken interactions (and even the Knight of Minas Tirith isn't exceptionally good in a mono-Tactics deck, and is hardly worth playing outside of one). Thanks for that hero analysis on TaTheoden - I had been planning on putting together the full list of Rohan heroes that could benefit, but I woke up this morning to see that you had already done it. I think that looking at the list makes it clear that the power doesn't get out of control (especially since I don't plan on giving him a +1 willpower for tactics *and* +1 willpower for Rohan - just +1 willpower for each tactics *or* Rohan hero.)

On Caldara - in addition to relaxing printed sphere and adding some Gondor utility, I want to see if I can find a better way to approach that errata. Unlike Hama - who legitimately had options that could break the game (regardless of how easy it turned out to be in practice), Caldara doesn't break anything, she was just extraordinarily powerful. If she hadn't been errata'ed, the Ancient Mathoms project would probably have added her to the short list of superpowered cards that needed a nerf. The problem is that I haven't seen any good alternatives to how she could have been handled. (The only idea I've seen would be reversing a ruling about ally Imrahil, so that his ability didn't kick in until Caldara had already triggered - you could still use him as a replacement hero, but you couldn't use him to get an extra ally out of each Caldara use.)

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Posted (edited)

In other news, here are the adjusted cards from Watcher in the Water and Long Dark, based on feedback received here and elsewhere:

Short Cut has been changed to trigger off of a location being revealed, to avoid being able to break the game during setup by getting rid of a setup location. (Angmar battlefield in Carn Dum, Rhosgobel, the Carrock, etc)

U3RsN2v.jpg

Love of Tales now cantrips when it enters play, and also has the Song trait, so it can be found with a Rivendell Minstrel.

r0xPWNv.jpg

Sword that was Broken now fully conforms to the other Aragorn attachments, but can only be played on a Dunedain hero. There are few splashable Dunedain heroes other than Aragorn - Beravor and Thurindir are the easiest, and they are out of sphere (although you could run a 2-leadership hero + beravor deck and pretty reliably get it into play, but I think that's a risk I'll have to take). If you're playing Amarthiul or Halbarad, you're likely playing a dedicated dunedain deck, and those could use the willpower boost.

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Grave Cairn readies a hero and gives a rather large boost to all stats for the whole round. This makes it significantly better than Durin's Song or Halfling Determination, but the cost of losing an ally probably makes it closer to an even trade.

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Watcher of the Bruinen will get a point of willpower and can defend while exhausted. The forced card discard is already a hefty cost, and we want a stellar effect to make it worthwhile.

xC2RvmG.jpg

Finally, Ever My Heart Rises has been made unique - it's effectively Light of Valinor plus threat reduction, it probably deserves it.

R2459Uv.jpg

Edited by Onidsen

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Great job on these Onidsen, lots of these cards would see play Im sure.

Like the unique symbol on Ever my heart rises. That card is a little ridiculous in the right quest. I love it, but having three out was just too OP... 

Also like your loves of tales card. I fear many people would include it just for the cantrip though (like they do with WANI). An interesting point that Im not sure was mentioned or not, but love of tales came in a pack with no neutral card and 3 lore cards. It really feels like it should be a neutral card just like the songs are.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, MikeGracey said:

Great job on these Onidsen, lots of these cards would see play Im sure.

Like the unique symbol on Ever my heart rises. That card is a little ridiculous in the right quest. I love it, but having three out was just too OP... 

Also like your loves of tales card. I fear many people would include it just for the cantrip though (like they do with WANI). An interesting point that Im not sure was mentioned or not, but love of tales came in a pack with no neutral card and 3 lore cards. It really feels like it should be a neutral card just like the songs are.

Thanks.

Good point on Love of Tales. Luckily, it is easily mended, using suggestions from up-thread:

eYTFoK1.jpg

Edited by Onidsen

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When you play Love Of Tales on another player's hero, is the intention for you or for the other player to search for the song?

Rules timing question: does the second ability trigger off itself? I can't immediately think of another card with the same structure to compare with.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, NathanH said:

When you play Love Of Tales on another player's hero, is the intention for you or for the other player to search for the song?

Rules timing question: does the second ability trigger off itself? I can't immediately think of another card with the same structure to compare with.

On the first point - it's intended for you to search for the song. The confusion can be easily remedied by another slight wording change:

YfS3TDm.jpg

On the second point, the second ability does not trigger. I take that from the interaction between Grima and the Isengard Messenger. You can use Grima to reduce the cost of the Messenger by giving it Doomed 1. However, that Doomed 1 does not trigger the Isengard Messenger's own ability to increase his willpower - by the time he's in play, the Doomed has already come and gone. I would rule Love of Tales the same way.

Edited by Onidsen

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Could we make it search the top ten instead of top 5?  Even in a dedicated songs deck top five is iffy, and it's no longer tempting in a low song deck.  Upthread we talked about searching the deck for a song, which would make Love of Tales useful in a low-song deck.  But if Love of Tales can fetch itself, 3x Love of Tales with no songs would be extracted from the deck in one go and generate three cards in draw to go with it.  Perhaps search the deck for a Song not in play, which would prevent Love of Tales from fetching itself?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MikeGracey said:

I like it! You sure you still want it to be a lore card rather than neutral? 

I think so. It is one of the very few resource acceleration cards in Lore, and I like that. I feel like a case could be made theme-wise either way, but I'm going to go with the option that result in the smaller change to the card. We actually haven't changed the sphere of any card we've touched yet, and for this project, that might be a little bit too far. (If you'd like to play with it as neutral though, I'd love to hear a play report and see how it goes!)

53 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

Could we make it search the top ten instead of top 5?  Even in a dedicated songs deck top five is iffy, and it's no longer tempting in a low song deck.  Upthread we talked about searching the deck for a song, which would make Love of Tales useful in a low-song deck.  But if Love of Tales can fetch itself, 3x Love of Tales with no songs would be extracted from the deck in one go and generate three cards in draw to go with it.  Perhaps search the deck for a Song not in play, which would prevent Love of Tales from fetching itself?

Sure. Top 10 is probably a better call. Searching the whole deck might step on the Rivendell Minstrel's toes (and I'd love keep her and Love of Tales relevant in a song deck). But 10 is a good middle ground, I think. If it searched the whole deck, I'd agree that it would have to be a song not in play. But with just the top 10, I'm ok with finding another copy of Love of tales with the enters play response.

q8dSjVT.jpg

------------------------------------------------

It's been a week since the last set of Ancient Mathoms cards dropped, and I think between all the feedback, we've gotten to a good place with them. Of course, only playtesting will reveal that for sure, but we've gotten as far as theorycrafting can get.

So, of course, that means that it's time to wrap up Season 2 of the Ancient Mathoms project with the cards from the Foundations of Stone and Shadow and Flame APs!

We are reaching the end of our (very short) nerf list for the Ancient Mathoms project. After this, there's only 2 cards left, and probably everyone can guess what they are! (Actually, I think that it's upthread, so I'll just note it here - Blood of Numenor and Gondorian Fire)

But before that, there are 3 more cards from this cycle to get the nerf.

Spirit Glorfindel, of course, is the poster child for overpowered heroes. 5 threat for 3 willpower and 3 attack is incredible. However, the real problem with Glorfindel is not his low threat - his negative ability balances that out. The problem is that he came in a pack with an attachment that allows you to completely negate the negative ability with no downside. Our solution is to not let the ability be turned off. He's still ridiculously good, but you have to deal with his ability instead of just playing Light of Valinor and forgetting about it.

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Asfaloth is an extremely powerful card. Repeatable 2 progress on any location is an incredible ability - in fact, Caleb has mentioned in an interview that he feels it's more overpowered than the Northern Tracker, because it can clear a 4-quest point location in a single round (using Asfaloth a second time in the refresh phase). We have 2 options to tone it down. The first is to drop it down to just a single progress - taking the non-Glorfindel ability and making it universal. To compensate, we give the attached hero +1 willpower.

The other option is to keep the 2 progress and spread it across multiple locations.

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Finally, the king of overpowered cards. Vilya. There's a good reason that Vilya decks are the most powerful in the game - free cards regardless of cost can build up a board state incredibly rapidly. The problem is that there isn't a good nerf available without completely rewriting the card. Our solution was to make it cost a resource when you put the card into play - it at least makes it cost a little more when you put that 5-cost ally into play. Still totally worth it for 1 resource, but now you have to weigh keeping the resource on Elrond to use it.

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Now lets get on to the main attractions - cards newly minted to give them fresh relevance in the modern card pool.

First up, the Lore attachment Healing Herbs. Exhausting a hero is not worth it to get one-time healing, even if it is to full. (Except perhaps in an emergency). We added an ability to exhaust the card to heal 1 point of damage. For a free card, it's still quite good, even if it's not in the same class as warden of healing or daughter of the nimrodel (our version, of course).

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Next is the Trollshaw Scout. We gave him a willpower, boosted his attack to 3, and gave him the ability to attack while exhausted, paralleling the Watcher of the Bruinen (and the later Lindon Navigator).

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We Are Not Idle got hit hard with the nerf bat. We pulled back a little on that - letting you exhaust any character but limiting the total amount to 3 resources. We also limited the card draw to triggering if you actually exhaust a character, to pull back from the auto-include outside of Dwarf decks just for the thinning.

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Next are 2 events that got our standard secrecy treatment. Both were waaay overcosted outside of secrecy, but decent inside secrecy. We brought the cost down enough to hopefully make them worth playing (at least situationally) outside of secrecy. The real question is if the effects are worth it even for free. But I think they are.

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Finally, we have Heavy Stroke. It's...not a good card. You have to do 4 damage through an enemy's defense to make it better than Khazad Khazad, and there are very few enemies with more than 7 hit points. And really, to be more cost-effective than Khazad Khazad, you need to be doing much more than that. But it only works on a single Dwarf character, and since the nerf of the Erebor Battle Master there aren't any Dwarfs that can even get up to enough attack to make it even close to worth it, and even fewer enemies where it makes sense to use the event anyways. So we moved a different direction, more like Firefoot instead. Dealing damage to another enemy engaged with you is a much better use of the resource, and fills a niche that currently is only filled by Firefoot. It's probably a more powerful effect than Firefoot, but it's not repeatable, so I'm ok with that.

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So - what do y'all think?

There are 3 cards from the cycle that we didn't touch but that might be worth touching. Path of Need is really expensive, but really powerful. Longbeard Elder is a fine 3 cost for 2 willpower and 2 hit points, with an interesting ability (that gets really good with scrying). And the Erebor Battle Master is still good value at 3 cost (for 5 attack - 6 when boosted by Dain!), but might be overshadowed in a Dain deck just by swarming cheaper allies (like Veteran Axehand). Like I said - what do y'all think? Do any of these 3 need extra help, or do they all have enough of a place in decks on their own?

Edited by Onidsen

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I never understood why vilya prompted to put on the bottom of your deck instead of discard. He's noldor. In nonbos with Elven light. I like your payment on it but I think to fit with the archetype better it ought to give the option to discard the card or put it into play.

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2 minutes ago, player3351457 said:

I never understood why vilya prompted to put on the bottom of your deck instead of discard. He's noldor. In nonbos with Elven light. I like your payment on it but I think to fit with the archetype better it ought to give the option to discard the card or put it into play.

 

Just now, player3351457 said:

You might also consider the option for glorfindel too -- "after glorfindel commits to the quest, either raise your threat by one or discard a card from your hand." I don't like nerfing my boy too badly 

Both of these are very good ideas - I'll mull them over

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Posted (edited)

My takes:

SpGlorfindel isn't nearly as ubiquitous as he once was, but forcing the quest raise makes Light of Valinor less automatic on him and makes him more interesting, I think.  But I do like giving him the discard option as an alternative to threat raising.

Asfaloth I'm not sure -- the first version is clearly better for solo and the second version is clearly better for multiplayer.  The problem as I see it is that two is considered too much, but one is not enough.  If only there was a way to do one and a half, that would be just about right.  I can think of two ways to slow Asfaloth down a bit:

The first would be to exhaust Asfaloth to place one progress on a location and an additional progress if at least two progress are still needed.  That way Asfaloth can still make a substantial contribution against deeper location, but would require three exhaustions to clear a four-progress location and could not clear a two-progress location in one turn.

The second would be to make Asfaloth's exhaustion a Planning Action, so it could still clear rapidly, but could not nuke newly revealed locations quickly.

The idea of synergizing Vilya with Noldor archtype by having revealed cards discarded if unplayed or unplayable is an interesting one -- in one sense I'm horrified by the idea of A Test of Will ending up in my discard instead of in my deck, but in the other sense it's usually easier to get at cards in discard than the bottom of your deck.  Another way to synergize with Noldor is to give him a choice between paying a resource or discarding a card to put the card in play.

On to improved cards.  I like Trollshaw Scout, the one willpower and improved attack makes his ability useful instead of straight cost.  WANI is what the errata *should* have been in the first place.  I think the secrecy cards with reduced cost are fine.

Healing Herbs is nuts though -- almost, but not quite as good as Honour Guard for *free*.  And they're non-unique.  I'm putting three of those in every Lore deck with that power, repeatable healing of one point for zero cost is probably the best value in lore.  I love Dunedain Remedy and I'm really looking forward to Song of Healing, but this is strictly better than either.

Here's an idea -- keep the discard/exhaustion to heal all, but allow it to be put on heroes *or Healers*.  That's a thematic fit, and exhausting a Warden to heal a lot of damage (or for Ioreth to heal a lot for free) is less painful than exhausting a hero.  This does step on the toes of the 1-cost Athelas a bit, but that allows the much larger pool of Dunedain to exhaust, and can also discard conditions.  Having Athelas and Healing Herbs be similar is thematically appropriate, anyways.

For Heavy Stroke, TaGimli can get to insane attack values, but the bigger your attack the less likely you need Heavy Stroke -- non immune bosses is essentially the only use case for them.  This one is more useful.

EBM getting 5 or 6 attack as part of attack for a dwarven swarm is good value; but the trouble is that if you have a Dain-fueled dwarven swarm you probably have plenty of attack available already.  I question the need for the cap in the first place simply because the more dwarves you have, the less having massive attack values actually matters, especially when as a 3-cost tactics dwarf he's most playable in majority-tactics decks anyway.

I'm not sure what I would actually like for EBM.  Maybe +1 for each tactics dwarf you control, including himself and heroes so he's minimum 2 attack and could be immediate 4 with two dwarven tactics hero.  I'm not entirely happy with that but I think he needs *something* different.  Longbeard Elder and Path of Need I think already justify their existence.

 

Edited by dalestephenson

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I agree about lore needing some resource generation, thats a good point.

I really like the new cards. 

Wani is very good, I like that you need to exhaust a character if you want the draw too. I think its kinda lame to see it in decks that have nothing to do with dwarves just because it cantrips.

Vilya I have always liked and Elrond and his ring really should be quite powerful... However I think your version is totally fair. I like it.

Healing herbs is a lot better, I still play the old version but only if im running a weak lore hero like Bilbo whos stats are kinda useless. This version is better.

For Asfaloth I think I like the point of willpower with 1 progress, that seems balanced. Also the benefit to Glorifindel is still present which I like.

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Spirit Glorifindel Im kinda torn on... I don't like that the only ability on this powerful Elven lord is a negative one... Of course that 5 threat is really good and needs balance too. I wish he had something positive in his textbox along with the threat raise.

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6 hours ago, Onidsen said:

Finally, the king of overpowered cards. Vilya. There's a good reason that Vilya decks are the most powerful in the game - free cards regardless of cost can build up a board state incredibly rapidly. The problem is that there isn't a good nerf available without completely rewriting the card. Our solution was to make it cost a resource when you put the card into play - it at least makes it cost a little more when you put that 5-cost ally into play. Still totally worth it for 1 resource, but now you have to weigh keeping the resource on Elrond to use it.

Perhaps another fix would have been to make the player shuffle the deck while exhausting Elrond and Vilya. Playing a card for free is indeed extremely powerful, but what I think makes Vilya decks really powerful is the ability to play for free a card of your choice (Stargazer, Wizard Pipe, Gildor Inglorion and so forth).

6 hours ago, Onidsen said:

First up, the Lore attachment Healing Herbs. Exhausting a hero is not worth it to get one-time healing, even if it is to full. (Except perhaps in an emergency). We added an ability to exhaust the card to heal 1 point of damage. For a free card, it's still quite good, even if it's not in the same class as warden of healing or daughter of the nimrodel (our version, of course).

Wont repeatable targeted healing for free (1-2 points depending if you have Elrond around) each round be too much? I would perhaps make this able to attach only to healer characters.

 

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7 hours ago, Alonewolf87 said:

Perhaps another fix would have been to make the player shuffle the deck while exhausting Elrond and Vilya. Playing a card for free is indeed extremely powerful, but what I think makes Vilya decks really powerful is the ability to play for free a card of your choice (Stargazer, Wizard Pipe, Gildor Inglorion and so forth).

Wont repeatable targeted healing for free (1-2 points depending if you have Elrond around) each round be too much? I would perhaps make this able to attach only to healer characters.

 

Thats a great point about Vilya. Having to shuffle the deck would certainly balance it more. Of course a deck with all big allies would still benefit but at least your not stacking your deck too. 

About the healing its true; one must always consider Elrond when examining a healing card. Without him healing herbs would probably be ok but with him around its too good.

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