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RogueSeventeen

Why isn't Saruman a Leadership Hero?

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I understand completely why Radaghast is Lore and Gandfalf is what he is.  But I can't for the life of me figure out why Saruman is Lore and not Leadership as he was the leader of the wizards, the White Council, and the White Hand.  Help me understand!

Edited by RogueSeventeen

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23 minutes ago, Felswrath said:

Because we already are getting Leadership Frodo and Gildor Inglorien this cycle

Pretty much this. I was too expecting him to be Leadership but since this is the last cycle I guess they had nowhere else to put Gildor in. Lore still makes sense for Saruman but the decision to make him Lore feels more like a constriction.

Edited by Gizlivadi

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I agree that Leadership would have been a fitting sphere for him, but Lore still works quite well thematically. He is corrupted by a thirst for power and knowledge, so I can see it going either way. I do wish he was able to change his sphere to reflect the many colors thing, and not just when playing the doomed cards.  

Mechanically, I'm guessing that things like Grima and Word of Command being in Lore made the sphere seem a good match. And yeah, the cycle sphere restriction likely pigeonholed him. I'm actually more bummed that he can't use the Palantir without that noble trait card. The threat gain would be crazy, but where's the fun in not letting Saruman use his iconic artifact? 

Edited by pmdoug

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13 minutes ago, pmdoug said:

I agree that Leadership would have been a fitting sphere for him, but Lore still works quite well thematically. He is corrupted by a thirst for power and knowledge, so I can see it going either way. I do wish he was able to change his sphere to reflect the many colors thing, and not just when playing the doomed cards.  

Mechanically, I'm guessing that things like Grima and Word of Command being in Lore made the sphere seem a good match. And yeah, the cycle sphere restriction likely pigeonholed him. I'm actually more bummed that he can't use the Palantir without that noble trait card. The threat gain would be crazy, but where's the fun in not letting Saruman use his iconic artifact? 

Lol, I don't even consider that palantir to exist. Pretty sure that we'll see new palantiri this cycle with the new Caleb-modern-design-and-balance-criteria (i.e. what was absent from the ATS cycle)

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I was hoping for neutral (the whole many colours one) but Lore makes sense as a secondary sphere as he is the go to guy for knowledge. 2/3 smartest dudes in Middle Earth are Lore (Elrond, Treebeard) and Gandalf goes to him for his knowledge more than his leadership so it makes sense for me. But seriously neutral would have been better haha. He does fit well with word of command, Grima and the awesomeness of Mono-Lore decks so there is that as well.

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I too was hoping for Saruman as a neutral hero akin to Gandalf, but I think Lore is at least as appropriate as Leadership for him. It's the dominant trait of all the Istari, and Saruman was considered their chief not because of some talent to boss them around, but because his was the greatest knowledge and power. It's stated that he knew the most about Elven rings and about the ways of the Enemy, and his mastery of machines, fires, and craft of all kinds definitely places him in the Lore sphere. He was a disciple of Aule, after all, and Curunir means 'man of skill'. He dwelt alone for most of his time in Middle Earth, and it was Gandalf who was far more active in leading the Free Peoples (or meddling with them, according to some!)

That said, I'd love to see an attachment that gives him Leadership and represents his attempt to become a Power. Am I too hopeful in thinking we may still get a Saruman's Ring or Robe of Many Colours attachment that enables some additional cross-sphere antics beyond just Doomed cards? Gandalf has Shadowfax and Narya in addition to his staff, and surely Saruman merits similar attention.

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1 hour ago, Will Anderson said:

I too was hoping for Saruman as a neutral hero akin to Gandalf, but I think Lore is at least as appropriate as Leadership for him. It's the dominant trait of all the Istari, and Saruman was considered their chief not because of some talent to boss them around, but because his was the greatest knowledge and power. It's stated that he knew the most about Elven rings and about the ways of the Enemy, and his mastery of machines, fires, and craft of all kinds definitely places him in the Lore sphere. He was a disciple of Aule, after all, and Curunir means 'man of skill'. He dwelt alone for most of his time in Middle Earth, and it was Gandalf who was far more active in leading the Free Peoples (or meddling with them, according to some!)

That said, I'd love to see an attachment that gives him Leadership and represents his attempt to become a Power. Am I too hopeful in thinking we may still get a Saruman's Ring or Robe of Many Colours attachment that enables some additional cross-sphere antics beyond just Doomed cards? Gandalf has Shadowfax and Narya in addition to his staff, and surely Saruman merits similar attention.

I second every word of this post.

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I've honestly been blown away by how well this cycle is delivering(fixing doom cards for multiplayer, fixing guarded attachments, fleshing out valour responses as a theme, etc.) so I could see a Saruman of many colors situation etc. there is a clear love for both the lore and the mechanics of the game shining through this cycle. 

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Yes, the Orthanc-stone would be great too; I think I tend to forget about the Palantiri since the generic and underwhelming one we got in Against the Shadow. Hopefully Gizlivadi's right and we'll see them expanded/re-imagined at some point. An attempt at recovering the two lost in Forochel would make a brilliant PoD quest. And the more items the better for Saruman, as he clearly was a bit of a hoarder: there's that interesting bit in Unfinished Tales where Aragorn and Gimli uncover the Elendilmir, Isildur's chain, Eorl's jewels, etc. all squirreled away in Orthanc. I'd love to take Saruman ring-hunting in the Gladden Fields someday.

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I dont think we will be getting anything else to support Saruman (especially attachments) otherwise it would be in the pack with him. Theres 1 spirit event I believe unspoiled which may be doomed but otherwise there prob wont be anything more. Which is totally fine, because with his staff and all those other events there is lots to 'fill' a deck with.

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You have all helped me understand, thank you.  I have changed my position.

There is an unspoiled Lore card in the Wainriders set, so possibly a guarded Palantir of Orthanc?  I'm assuming Ulfast has an unspoiled guarded spirit weapon that gives +2 attack and a Response that lowers threat by 1 when you destroy an enemy, so a guarded lore item in the next set would make sense.

Edited by RogueSeventeen

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11 hours ago, Wandalf the Gizzard said:

I think Saruman could legitimately be any sphere and still be thematically strong.

I think Spirit Saruman would be the most incongruous option. It could represent Saruman the White before his corruption and decline, but even then Lore and Leadership are far more appropriate. There's no hard and fast rule about what makes for a Spirit hero, but Saruman's vibe seems so at odds with the what makes the sphere distinct.  I'm all for expanding the spheres beyond their original clear cut roles, but I do think some characters can be thematically miscast. 

That all being said, I'd still love to see a pitch for Spirit Saruman. I'd play that card, even if it left me scratching my head. 

 

Edited by pmdoug

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4 hours ago, RogueSeventeen said:

You have all helped me understand, thank you.  I have changed my position.

There is an unspoiled Lore card in the Wainriders set, so possibly a guarded Palantir of Orthanc?  I'm assuming Ulfast has an unspoiled guarded spirit weapon that gives +2 attack and a Response that lowers threat by 1 when you destroy an enemy, so a guarded lore item in the next set would make sense.

The other lore card is an ally. It costs two resources and has a 2,2,2,2 stat line. With these stats, the card is going to have to have a negative effect in order to avoid an insane level of power creep. I suspect it will be some sort of Isengard guard with the Doomed x keyword. You can see it in the spread where Golden Belt is revealed.

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Yeah, I really hope the rest of the doomed-related cards in the cycle (hoping there's more) actually deal with doomed as a theme or around Saruman and the arts of the enemy instead of generic "good guy sounding horn" events. A doomed attachment palantir would be just perfect.

Edited by Gizlivadi

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1 hour ago, Gizlivadi said:

Yeah, I really hope the rest of the doomed-related cards in the cycle (hoping there's more) actually deal with doomed as a theme or around Saruman and the arts of the enemy instead of generic "good guy sounding horn" events. A doomed attachment palantir would be just perfect.

Yeah, that would be nice, but Horns! Horns! Horns! is very thematic from the game perspective. Threat seems to mainly represent the attention you are bringing to yourselves. Sounding  a horn is likely not going to help you sneak around, but it will alert your allies to your need... and possibly some enemies as well!

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