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Alright - some revisions based on feedback from a lot of places.

First off, Glorfindel. I am more than halfway considering retracting the proposed nerf, after it has been pointed out to me in a number of places that Glorfindel is a lot less overpowered than he once was - in large part because his historical overuse has at least as much to do with the fact that there were very few viable Spirit options for a general-purpose deck until the game's 4th or 5th cycle. In Core, Eowyn is the only one - Dunhere is too specialized to splash and Eleanor is largely a multiplayer card. In Shadows of Mirkwood, Frodo is useful (but also the only Spirit hero that cycle). In Dwarrowdelf, the only other Spirit hero is Dwalin, whose ability is situational, so you can't just put him into a deck. In the Against the Shadow cycle, you get Spirit Pippin (one of the worst heroes in the game) and Caldara (good - not yet very good, that will require a few cycles - but only useful in a mono-spirit deck). In Ringmaker, you get Idraen and Galadriel, the first real splash options for Spirit for a long time (Idraen is fine and Galadriel is amazing). The Hobbit boxes brought Nori and Oin - useful in a Dwarf swarm, but not so much outside, and the first 2 LOTR Saga expansions brought only Fatty Bolger - another candidate for one of the worst heroes in the game. So...not a lot of options until much later in the cycle.

In addition, I've had some feedback that the Glorfindel nerf as proposed would kill the hero entirely for a number of players - just too much downside to be worth the low starting threat.

So here we go:

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Another option might be to give Glorfindel a positive ability as well as the harsher original nerf - something mild but useful. (Of course - the easy option is to leave him the way he is, and realize that the game's power curve has crept up enough that he's not so powerful that he warps deckbuilding space anymore - and as I've said, I'm seriously considering it.)

Asfaloth, on the other hand, probably stays nerfed (although remaining as-is is also on my mind). But nobody really liked any of the proposed ideas.

So, building on Dale's observation that one progress is not enough and two is too much, but 1 with a conditional 2 might work out, here is an idea:

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It synergizes with Noldor, but not so much that it can't be played outside the trait. And it can also - finally! - go onto ally Glorfindel.

Next - those Healing Herbs were far too powerful. I'd blame lack of sleep, but really it's probably that I didn't spend enough time to actually think deeply about what I was writing on the card when I made the last-minute change. Instead, here is another version - built along the lines of Dale's suggestion (and very similar to the pre-last-minute change version - I don't know what I was thinking, other than maybe not wanting to step on Athelas' toes).

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And there has been widespread pushback about Risk Some Light - 1 cost for scry 3 plus discard a card might actually be too cheap. And on reflection, I agree with it, although I still think that 3 is too expensive. Luckily, there is a wonderful middle ground just waiting for us.

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Finally, Heavy Stroke was generally well-received (except for 1 commenter who felt that being a niche card for non-immune boss enemies was exactly what the card should be - I'll just register my disagreement here and move on, noting also that it is not even really that useful against non-immune boss enemies), but it was felt that the proposed version of the card lost a lot thematically. Here is a proposed version built from that feedback that is more thematically useful - though I think I'm skeptical that it would be good enough to displace Khazad-Khazad as an attack boosting card.

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That's the last of the revisions to the latest set of cards. However, I did remember one card that I wanted to touch - more to resolve a lingering wording frustration than because it actually needs a boost. Rivendell Bow. Later on in the game's life, the "making a ranged attack" wording was almost completely dropped, replaced by "attack an enemy not engaged with you." So we're just updating this card (and the few other cards in the early card pool that deal with that wording) to reflect the later approach. Also - because this card not boosting Haldir's Combat Action is...not good.

We also relaxed the "printed ranged" restriction, although it really only matters for a hero given the Dunedain Cache, I suppose, and therefore could be kept as a less-wordy alternative.

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As always, feedback is appreciated very much! And - as I hope we have shown - always listened to and often worked into the project.

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3 hours ago, Onidsen said:

Next - those Healing Herbs were far too powerful. I'd blame lack of sleep, but really it's probably that I didn't spend enough time to actually think deeply about what I was writing on the card when I made the last-minute change. Instead, here is another version - built along the lines of Dale's suggestion (and very similar to the pre-last-minute change version - I don't know what I was thinking, other than maybe not wanting to step on Athelas' toes).

I guess the wording now should be "exhaust attached character"

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4 hours ago, Onidsen said:

Finally, Heavy Stroke was generally well-received (except for 1 commenter who felt that being a niche card for non-immune boss enemies was exactly what the card should be - I'll just register my disagreement here and move on, noting also that it is not even really that useful against non-immune boss enemies), but it was felt that the proposed version of the card lost a lot thematically. Here is a proposed version built from that feedback that is more thematically useful - though I think I'm skeptical that it would be good enough to displace Khazad-Khazad as an attack boosting card.

Basically it's more worth it than Khazad! Khazad against non-immune enemies with 4 Defense or more. Of those there are quite a few, for example some boss enemies like The Watcher in the Water (non-saga) a couple of versions of the Witch King and the Guardians of the Three Trials, Ship enemies, Huorns, Nameless enemies, some Trolls. Situational but so is Khazad! Khazad. I think it would definitely be worth it to sideboard in some quests.

4 hours ago, Onidsen said:

That's the last of the revisions to the latest set of cards. However, I did remember one card that I wanted to touch - more to resolve a lingering wording frustration than because it actually needs a boost. Rivendell Bow. Later on in the game's life, the "making a ranged attack" wording was almost completely dropped, replaced by "attack an enemy not engaged with you." So we're just updating this card (and the few other cards in the early card pool that deal with that wording) to reflect the later approach. Also - because this card not boosting Haldir's Combat Action is...not good.

We also relaxed the "printed ranged" restriction, although it really only matters for a hero given the Dunedain Cache, I suppose, and therefore could be kept as a less-wordy alternative.

Seems good to me, at least now we can see something different on Haldir than the usual Dunedain Mark.

4 hours ago, Onidsen said:

It synergizes with Noldor, but not so much that it can't be played outside the trait. And it can also - finally! - go onto ally Glorfindel.

Very on point.

4 hours ago, Onidsen said:

Another option might be to give Glorfindel a positive ability as well as the harsher original nerf - something mild but useful. (Of course - the easy option is to leave him the way he is, and realize that the game's power curve has crept up enough that he's not so powerful that he warps deckbuilding space anymore - and as I've said, I'm seriously considering it.)

How about something like that:

Forced: after Glorfindel commits to the quest raise your threat by 1.

Response: after questing successfully discard a card to ready Glorfindel

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I don't like the proposed change to Glorfindel to be able to discard a card. Based on his low threat he should have a definite downside (even if that was able to be mitigated).

Now that he has Noldor synergy, not only can you mitigate his downside, but you can actually turn it into an upside, which makes him better than he was before.

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3 hours ago, rees263 said:

I don't like the proposed change to Glorfindel to be able to discard a card. Based on his low threat he should have a definite downside (even if that was able to be mitigated).

Now that he has Noldor synergy, not only can you mitigate his downside, but you can actually turn it into an upside, which makes him better than he was before.

I think the difference is that Noldor decks usually give the option of discard to trigger ability, such as Arwen and ally Erestor. In this case, he can synergize with Noldor decks but struggle in non-Noldor decks. The other thing is that his ability was strengthened to include "committing" to the quest as opposed to exhausting to commit. Thus, if you are wanting to do a basic action with him that every other hero save Galadriel can do, it will cost you a card.

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If the intention is to play these cards along with a mostly-full card pool I think you can leave Glorfindel untouched, especially if you are hitting Asfaloth as well.

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Looks like the plan is to leave Glorfindel untouched now. Thanks for the feedback on that, everyone.

And the Ancient Mathoms project is back with the player cards from both Hobbit boxes! Between the two boxes, there's only 8 cards that we were wanted to touch, and a few of them we're not certain on whether they need it.

There are also multiple versions of Oin and Thror's Map, and feedback on which one is preferred by the community would be appreciated.

In addition to the cards below, we also looked at Fili and Kili - they are powerful enough as is, but we were wondering if our nerf to Leadership Dain might make it worth giving Fili and Kili a small boost (we were thinking a play-from-hand effect that boosts their willpower or attack - depending on which one you played and which one you put into play - until the end of the phase). On the other hand, they are probably good enough as is - but we'd like some community feedback on the idea.

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Oin is not a bad hero, but his resource smoothing effect is niche and the attack boost really isn't needed for Dwarves - you're almost certainly looking for ally attackers if you're running tactics in a 5-dwarf deck.

In addition, he's almost completely sidelined by the hero version of Nori.

We've had 2 different ideas. The first idea was to open up a healing card for Dwarves specifically - they are one of the last traits without in-trait healing (others being Eagles, Woodmen, Outlands, and Beornings). This ability plays into the dwarf mining theme as well - thematically, the descriptions of the Dwarves from the hobbit films describes Oin as the healer, but that's thematically weak, to be sure.

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This version of Oin attempts to give Dwarf Mining a much-needed willpower boost. Since most Dwarf allies have lower willpower than normal to account for Dain, it's hard to do an early-game willpower ramp.

Oin can help bridge the gap with strong early-game questing.

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The only thing we did to Dwalin was to give him the warrior trait. This makes him eligible for Hauberk of Mail and Raiment of War - the premier defensive attachments for allies. It also puts him in line with the Erebor Guard.

This one we're not 100% needed to be done, but it's been a slight annoyance - Dwalin could be a fine defender, but isn't eligible for the majority of defensive attachments that could go on allies.

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Bombur is...an interesting hero. He makes it so you only need a single dwarf ally to get up to the 5-dwarf requirement to turn on Thorin, Ori, Oin, and many of the Dwarf allies.

However, he is completely useless after that. Not to mention that his stats are less-than great. So basically, his ability lets you get access to a small number of hero or ally abilities a turn earlier.

Now, it is incredibly thematic, so we didn't want to get rid of it. But we did want to give him another ability, and this one hits right at one of the most annoying parts of playing a dwarf mining deck - drawing into your Hidden Cache or Ered Luin Miner. There's a reason that Gandalf w/Wizard Pipe is so popular in a dwarf mining deck.

So his ability lets you shuffle a card from hand back into your deck and draw a card. It's not super powerful - ally Erestor is probably better, Lore Bilbo is definitely better, and Beravor, Gleowine, or Erestor are entirely in a league of their own. In addition, the more you use his ability, the more diluted your deck becomes in the future. But it does get cards you'd like in your deck back in there, so you can use Very Good Tale or Timely Aid or mining cards or something else to use them the way you wanted.

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The stealth errata to Thror's Map was...contentiously received by the community. We had actually planned on nerfing the card as part of the project, but the actual nerf went further than we had planned on going.

One of the ideas we had discussed was reducing the cost to 0 and making it discard for the effect - it's the most like the actual errata'ed card.

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A second idea involved requiring a hero exhaustion to trigger the effect. We also gave it a willpower boost to the attached Dwarf to give it some utility outside of the travel effect.

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The third idea required spending a resource from the attached hero's resource pool each time you use the map.
 
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Expecting Mischief is a fun card, but hard to use effectively - you end up playing it without knowing whether or not an enemy is coming up. It can be useful with scrying, but the theme is a little off - the title is about expecting mischief, but the effect requires you to either guess or already know that something is coming.

We made it a response to an enemy being revealed instead.
 
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Finally, ravens of the mountain. A cool idea, but in execution, less effective. Forcing you to shuffle before playing the card makes it possible for the card to do absolutely nothing, wasting the resource and the hero exhaustion you spent on it. Not worth it for the 2 or 3 progress you could get out of it. We took out that requirement.
 
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For Bard the Bowman, we just cleaned up his wording to match modern phrasing. Instead of "makes a ranged attack," instead its "attacks an enemy not engaged with you.

This is part of our larger push to get consistency on the very few early cards that point to ranged attacks when they probably should point to attacking enemies not engaged with you. For example, Rivendell Bow not working with Haldir of Lorien's Combat Action.
 
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For Great Yew Bow, we addressed the common problem that the Bow allows you to make attacks into the staging area but doesn't help you make those attacks effective. We made it a weapon that works with Dale or Esgaroth heroes.
 
As always, we'd love to hear community feedback on these! Let us know what you think!

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Super-quick turnaround, but some really good feedback from various places has put another Thror's Map version on the table:

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The consensus seems to be that a repeatable effect that ignores travel costs is just too powerful, and so keeping it discard-to-use is important. However, the idea to keep the discard-to-use but also give it +1 WP to dwarves was floated, and I like it.

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My takes:

---Oin---

Between the two abilities, I think the healing would be very useful and has a very weak thematic link to the flavor text (since fire-making is useful for healing).  But it's highly unusual to give a healing effect to spirit, especially when there's a Lore dwarf hero that you are also boosting.  The one good thing is that it would help a little bit with patching up Gloin, which is a good thematic link.

Willpower boost is a natural spirit ability, but allowing twice a round should be a boost for more than dwarven mining.  4 willpower for 8 cost is very strong, especially when the willpower can be tuned for 2-4.  Would be very popular in a dwarven mining deck.

I tried to think of what else fire-making would do in the game, and the obvious related card is A Burning Brand.  Discard for shadow cancellation or replacement would be useful and appropriate to sphere, but also overlaps too strongly with what Balin already does.

A useful ability makes Oin attractive as a splasher, and a discard ability makes Oin attractive in a mining deck.  But Oin's passive text wants to be in a dwarven swarm, and to compete with Nori in that environment he needs a larger five-dwarf boost.  Unfortunately there's already so many dwarves that synergize with swarm already that it's hard to think of a reasonably powerful effect that wouldn't substantially overlap to a hero that already exists.  Perhaps an Elfhelm-like effect for dwarven heroes would be useful enough -- give dwarf heroes at the table +1 defense if leadership, +1 hp if lore, +1 willpower if spirit, and +1 attack if tactics -- this would give Oin both attack and willpower when the threshold kicks in.  The downside is that it takes so much room that it would be the only boost he gets.

---Dwalin---

He's good value already for 1, obviously, but his stat distribution would definitely be more useful if he had the warrior trait.

---Kili and Fili---

The one change I'd like to see here is to search the deck *and discard* for their opposite number.  Two allies for three is a good deal, but not when the effect can't fire.

---Bombur---

Bombur's biggest problem is his stat distribution -- if he were 3/4 instead of 2/5 he'd have better defensive bones.  The shuffle-to-draw is both Lore-ish and mining-useful, but the heroes that want five dwarves aren't generally the dwarves that want to mine.  And the five-to-dwarves don't have a good defender.  If we can't alter the distribution, maybe we could give more incentive to invest the attachments in making Bombur a fine defender -- if he defends without taking damage, draw a card.  This would synergize with hero Dori, at least.  You could also make it easier to boost his defense, perhaps by giving him +1 defense for each attachment with Dwarf printed on it.

---Thror's Map---

Of the three versions, I like the third best.  I don't like a unique attachment being a disposable, and I do like the idea of making it useful in a Dwarf deck even without travel requirements to work around.  Making it a resource cost is not only appropriate for the money-loving dwarves, it avoids anti-synergy between the dwarf-specific willpower boost and the need to have a hero ready in order to travel safely.

---Expecting Mischief---

Two damage for a 1-cost response is very strong, I think the card is fairly priced for its current effect *if its effect fires*, which it isn't guaranteed to do.  What this card *really* needs to be is a 1-cost trap that does 2 damage when attached -- for weak enemies that'd be better than Poisoned Stakes, though not as strong against stronger enemies.

---Ravens of the Mountains--- 

The shuffle makes the progress less predictable, but optimizing for progress makes the scrying useless -- and removing the shuffle also prevents you from mixing it up when you know something bad is coming.  I think the card would be fine with the shuffle-and-scry if you had the option of discarding the encounter card or putting it back on top, so if you've got a nasty treachery you may not place progress, but you can avoid it completely.

---Great Yew Bow---

I like the change.  When it enables attacking alone, it's a hard thing to lose a Restricted slot with no benefit, and giving a benefit to Dale/Esgarath heroes is thematically appropriate.

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I think the Bombur ability would get very tedious if playing with actual cards. Whether you expect anyone to play these with actual cards determines whether you should consider this relevant. I also like the idea of doing something with his defending. What I really want him to do is to squash enemies after he defends against them, because that is funny. Ignore this suggestion.

I assume Bard has lost Ranged by accident rather than by design.

For Dwalin, did you consider making a similar adjustment as you do for Secrecy cards? Dwalin is not really playable outside dwarf swarms. But I suppose that is true of the entire archetype and probably is not worth "fixing".

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22 hours ago, Onidsen said:

The consensus seems to be that a repeatable effect that ignores travel costs is just too powerful, and so keeping it discard-to-use is important. However, the idea to keep the discard-to-use but also give it +1 WP to dwarves was floated, and I like it.

I would still keep the Travel phase limit on the Action.

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Could I also suggest that we use the "travel without paying the travel cost" or does that just absolutely nuke the Burglar contract into OP range?

 

I'm just dying for more travel cards. Striders path and ghan-buri-ghan can only be repeated so many times.

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