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Durins_Father

Messenger of the King targets

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Greetings all,

With a big thanks to @banania, Vision of the Palantir now has a complete list of potential targets for the new Messenger of the King contract that will be released in the fifth AP. The article will mark the first of 7 articles on the site that will go in depth on the individual contracts. The list also features a link to a folder with several alt art hero versions of some popular allies for this contract that you can print and use in your games. You can find the article here: https://visionofthepalantir.com/2020/02/24/messenger-of-the-king/

I will try and get out the article on the Fellowship contract for March, but in the meantime, if anyone has a published decklist using the Messenger of the King contract on RingsDB, then I would love to feature them in the article, so leave a link in the comments. Other people can get a taste for this contract by trying your deck and making variations on it. 

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There was lots of great discussion on this very topic in the thread that announced the preview for Land of Sorrow. One contributor even went through and rated every ally in the game right on the first page.

I'm at work and can't get to your site on the work network but I'll be sure to check it out on my own time. :)

Game changer for sure.

Edited by TheSpitfired
cleaned it up

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Still have to test these, but as a huge Eagles and Ents fan, here are my top two picks for each trait with the new hero options:

 

Secrecy tactics staging area attacking, with resources and card draw (not things you would expect in Tactics for sure):

 

https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/14638/middle-earthairstrikes-1.0

 

Or for the (almost once we get the last eagle allies) final form of Eagles decks and their summoning of Gandalf:

 

https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/14639/wizardsandeagles-1.0

 

 

Orthanc Unleashed

Saruman and Grima are a great natural pair-up but if you need someone low Threat, Ioreth is the top, and will help you with healing your strong allies.

 

https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/14672/orthancunleashed-1.0

 

 

Villains of Middle-Earth

We all know Firyal is going to be the new best Lore hero, so here is my first attempt to make Smeagol useful while keeping Threat low for Grima's resource boosting.

 

https://ringsdb.com/deck/view/195623

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13 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

New Gwaihir hero can't ready normally, so it remains to be seen if he will be "a lot better" than MotK eagles.

I believe if you pack your deck with eagle allies you will be able to ready Gwaihir a lot. Since eagles come in and out of play quite a bit, I think 2 readies for Gwaihir per round is highly likely. Theres not a chance that a blank eagle hero is gonna be better than that. 

Landroval wouldn't be good either since you basically discard a hero. Meneldor would be 7 threat, but if its low threat your worried about just run other low threat heros. I think a deck with Tactics Eowyn, Hirgon, and Gwaihir will be stellar for example. Triggering Hirgons ability with be great with Gwaihir.

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I'm very much looking forward to Gwaihir hero, and think with plenty of Born Aloft and archery pin-cushions, you can easily trigger his readying. It's luckily not only when they enter play, also when they leave play, doubling the readying. He's also our first hero to have both Sentinel and Ranged (apart from MotK Haldir of Lorien). His threat is a bit more of an issue for me, as Eagle decks don't lower their threat a lot. But I'm very much looking forward to the complete Eagle archetype.

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1 hour ago, MikeGracey said:

I believe if you pack your deck with eagle allies you will be able to ready Gwaihir a lot. Since eagles come in and out of play quite a bit, I think 2 readies for Gwaihir per round is highly likely. Theres not a chance that a blank eagle hero is gonna be better than that. 

Landroval wouldn't be good either since you basically discard a hero. Meneldor would be 7 threat, but if its low threat your worried about just run other low threat heros. I think a deck with Tactics Eowyn, Hirgon, and Gwaihir will be stellar for example. Triggering Hirgons ability with be great with Gwaihir.

Silvans go in and out of play a lot.  Eagles go in, and the cheaper ones eventually go away, but they have limited recursion and are expensive.  Typically in my Eagles decks it's just the Vassals and Guardians that go away, and they do that to buff Misty and are never seen again.

Now it may be the case (and hopefully is the case) that there's a yet-as-unrevealed card or cards to make Eagle recursion easier, or at least a cheap eagle that can easily return to hand, like Messenger Raven can do to provide action advantage for Radagast.  It's hard to see why a once-per-phase limitation is necessary otherwise.  But as it stands, you have to have an eagle coming or going for Gwaihir to even get the readying other heroes get for free, and two for him to get action advantage *at all*.

With currently revealed cards, Gwaihir would be fairly costed *without* his limitation and with his power.  Radagast readies normally and yet gets action advantage when any creature is played.  Imrahil readies normally and yet readies when any character leaves.  Gwaihir's in-built readying covers both but is also more narrow, and combined with the limitation he *needs* both in the same turn to get any action advantage at all.  And he's got tremendous threat cost.

Now if Eagles get something akin to Elvenking, things change, and you can mulligan for a key attachment that will make Gwaihir more attractive.  But I've played Eagles decks, and I've had plenty of turns where I neither played an eagle nor saw one leave play -- those aren't turns where I can also afford my most powerful hero not readying!

Gwaihir ally has lesser stats, and his ability is wasted; but he does ready normally, and that's worth quite a bit.  It's the same reason you might consider ally Beorn over hero Beorn -- he lacks the cool power, but lacks the significant disadvantage as well.

I don't know why you think Landroval would "basically discard a hero".  Landroval-hero would have the option of saving another hero if it gets destroyed, but choosing him certainly doesn't adversely affect other heroes.  His problem is that he's essentially just stats and the stats aren't particularly well-distributed for a hero -- sentinel with 1 defense isn't very useful (especially without restricted attachments) and he only has 1 willpower.  But the Eagle trait and 9 threat for 3 attack makes him the best option if you're just trying to enable Gwaihir's debt and want to use Meneldor for location control.

Meneldor's 7 threat, but you wouldn't run Meneldor for threat alone -- you run him with an Istari hero for Gwaihir's Debt.  Radagast, Meneldor and a Pipe can assure it always finds Gandalf, throw in Hama as the third hero and you can play Gwaihir's Debt a lot!  The biggest downside is losing Meneldor's ability, though there's a handful of quests where 2 progress placed during setup can really get you off to a good start.

Yes, Hirgon's ability synergizes well with hero Gwaihir's ability.  But you have to play an Eagle *every* turn and quest successfully *every* turn just to make up hero Gwaihir's disadvantage.  If you're doing both of those things every turn, the quest is *already* going well for you; if you're not it might not be going so well, a bad time for Gwaihir to go on vacation.

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5 hours ago, General_Grievous said:

Still have to test these, but as a huge Eagles and Ents fan, here are my top two picks for each trait with the new hero options:

 

Secrecy tactics staging area attacking, with resources and card draw (not things you would expect in Tactics for sure):

 

https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/14638/middle-earthairstrikes-1.0

 

Or for the (almost once we get the last eagle allies) final form of Eagles decks and their summoning of Gandalf:

 

https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/14639/wizardsandeagles-1.0

 

 

Orthanc Unleashed

Saruman and Grima are a great natural pair-up but if you need someone low Threat, Ioreth is the top, and will help you with healing your strong allies.

 

https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/14672/orthancunleashed-1.0

 

 

Villains of Middle-Earth

We all know Firyal is going to be the new best Lore hero, so here is my first attempt to make Smeagol useful while keeping Threat low for Grima's resource boosting.

 

https://ringsdb.com/deck/view/195623




You're either very brave, very lucky, or very crazy running only one copy of your MotK target ally in each of those decks.  :)


Should we start a Change.org petition to have Contract Set-Up timing moved back to immediately after Hero Set-Up timing?

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After quest setup (after step seven) per the ruling on Burglar's Turn/Guarded.  When FFG introduced the first contract, the news article said they happened with hero setup, which would explain why the contracts so far only reference decks and not hands.

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3 hours ago, EBerling said:




You're either very brave, very lucky, or very crazy running only one copy of your MotK target ally in each of those decks.  :)


Should we start a Change.org petition to have Contract Set-Up timing moved back to immediately after Hero Set-Up timing?

I like to live dangerously, have you seen my doomed deck or 40 Threat Gandalf/Elrond/Treebeard deck? hahaha. But yeah it's a dumb ruling where it is during setup, so we'll just play what makes sense. But there is also other unique targets in case my preferred choice doesn't make it for each deck. But yeah you kind of want a reverse mulligan in case you draw the card you don't want to have haha.

Edited by General_Grievous

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6 hours ago, EBerling said:




You're either very brave, very lucky, or very crazy running only one copy of your MotK target ally in each of those decks.  :)

 

When you factor in a mulligan, you have less than a 2% chance of drawing your one copy of the card. Not exactly super crazy or super lucky, and probably not worth the deck space for a dead card. 

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Sure, but mulliganing your opening hand 1 play in 8 to get *rid* of a card is at least a little annoying.

One exception to the dead card is if you mix Khaliel with one of his three Haradrim fellows, in that case the extra copies can be used to ready Khaliel.

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8 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

Silvans go in and out of play a lot.  Eagles go in, and the cheaper ones eventually go away, but they have limited recursion and are expensive.  Typically in my Eagles decks it's just the Vassals and Guardians that go away, and they do that to buff Misty and are never seen again.

Now it may be the case (and hopefully is the case) that there's a yet-as-unrevealed card or cards to make Eagle recursion easier, or at least a cheap eagle that can easily return to hand, like Messenger Raven can do to provide action advantage for Radagast.  It's hard to see why a once-per-phase limitation is necessary otherwise.  But as it stands, you have to have an eagle coming or going for Gwaihir to even get the readying other heroes get for free, and two for him to get action advantage *at all*.

With currently revealed cards, Gwaihir would be fairly costed *without* his limitation and with his power.  Radagast readies normally and yet gets action advantage when any creature is played.  Imrahil readies normally and yet readies when any character leaves.  Gwaihir's in-built readying covers both but is also more narrow, and combined with the limitation he *needs* both in the same turn to get any action advantage at all.  And he's got tremendous threat cost.

Now if Eagles get something akin to Elvenking, things change, and you can mulligan for a key attachment that will make Gwaihir more attractive.  But I've played Eagles decks, and I've had plenty of turns where I neither played an eagle nor saw one leave play -- those aren't turns where I can also afford my most powerful hero not readying!

Gwaihir ally has lesser stats, and his ability is wasted; but he does ready normally, and that's worth quite a bit.  It's the same reason you might consider ally Beorn over hero Beorn -- he lacks the cool power, but lacks the significant disadvantage as well.

I don't know why you think Landroval would "basically discard a hero".  Landroval-hero would have the option of saving another hero if it gets destroyed, but choosing him certainly doesn't adversely affect other heroes.  His problem is that he's essentially just stats and the stats aren't particularly well-distributed for a hero -- sentinel with 1 defense isn't very useful (especially without restricted attachments) and he only has 1 willpower.  But the Eagle trait and 9 threat for 3 attack makes him the best option if you're just trying to enable Gwaihir's debt and want to use Meneldor for location control.

Meneldor's 7 threat, but you wouldn't run Meneldor for threat alone -- you run him with an Istari hero for Gwaihir's Debt.  Radagast, Meneldor and a Pipe can assure it always finds Gandalf, throw in Hama as the third hero and you can play Gwaihir's Debt a lot!  The biggest downside is losing Meneldor's ability, though there's a handful of quests where 2 progress placed during setup can really get you off to a good start.

Yes, Hirgon's ability synergizes well with hero Gwaihir's ability.  But you have to play an Eagle *every* turn and quest successfully *every* turn just to make up hero Gwaihir's disadvantage.  If you're doing both of those things every turn, the quest is *already* going well for you; if you're not it might not be going so well, a bad time for Gwaihir to go on vacation.

Yes I am really hoping that there is a new attachment to help Gwaihir. I can see situations where you really need him ready and he isn't. But the 2 eagles in this pack will be great help for Gwaihir. Both these allies function like the vassals/guardians and will help Gwaihir a lot. I think all those allies with meneldors flight and the eagles are coming will be enough to ready him every round.

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1 hour ago, MikeGracey said:

Yes I am really hoping that there is a new attachment to help Gwaihir. I can see situations where you really need him ready and he isn't. But the 2 eagles in this pack will be great help for Gwaihir. Both these allies function like the vassals/guardians and will help Gwaihir a lot. I think all those allies with meneldors flight and the eagles are coming will be enough to ready him every round.

I would anticipate the last tactics card has to be some equivalent to sneak attack for eagles. Every pack thus far in the last... idk, 6 packs?... has had a card specifically dedicated to the hero and their ability. I would anticipate that a 0- or 1-cost sneak attack in tactics specifically for eagles (if you control a unique eagle, let's say), and that basically readies Gwaihir twice... yeah, that's worth it for sure. 

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1 hour ago, player3351457 said:

I would anticipate the last tactics card has to be some equivalent to sneak attack for eagles. Every pack thus far in the last... idk, 6 packs?... has had a card specifically dedicated to the hero and their ability. I would anticipate that a 0- or 1-cost sneak attack in tactics specifically for eagles (if you control a unique eagle, let's say), and that basically readies Gwaihir twice... yeah, that's worth it for sure. 

I'm anticipating a Golden Crown attachment that's worded the same as The Elvenking but for Eagles.

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1 hour ago, General_Grievous said:

I'm anticipating a Golden Crown attachment that's worded the same as The Elvenking but for Eagles.

Elvenking readies, so that wouldn't be a good fit for hero Gwaihir!  But if it gave you a resource while returning an Eagle back to hand, that would be excellent for both hero Gwaihir and Eagles in general.

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3 hours ago, dalestephenson said:

Elvenking readies, so that wouldn't be a good fit for hero Gwaihir!  But if it gave you a resource while returning an Eagle back to hand, that would be excellent for both hero Gwaihir and Eagles in general.

Fair point, I was thinking more of the exhaust to return to your hand aspect of the card but completely forgot the readying aspect. A resource would be great and the key thing Eagles are missing.

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14 hours ago, General_Grievous said:

I'm anticipating a Golden Crown attachment that's worded the same as The Elvenking but for Eagles.

The reason I am anticipating an event is that we already have two attachments, neither of which are guarded, and with only two left to spoil (tactics and leadership) and only one event currently, I would guess we have a guarded leadership (to help round out the guarding this cycle), and that would force the last card to be an event.

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20 hours ago, player3351457 said:

When you factor in a mulligan, you have less than a 2% chance of drawing your one copy of the card. Not exactly super crazy or super lucky, and probably not worth the deck space for a dead card. 

 
I suppose not, but having to mulligan away an otherwise desirable hand because you drew your starting hero-ally will have some decrease to overall deck performance (and forget about running hero Galdor with this contract, as his alt-mulligan ability is a big liability if you've only got a single copy of the Messenger).  Is that decrease likely to be greater than the decrease resulting from having a "dead" spare copy of the card in the deck?  I dunno, but I'm inclined to think running double copies of the desired messenger will lead to better long term deck performance than being forced to mulligan away hands because of the Messenger.

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1 hour ago, player3351457 said:

The reason I am anticipating an event is that we already have two attachments, neither of which are guarded, and with only two left to spoil (tactics and leadership) and only one event currently, I would guess we have a guarded leadership (to help round out the guarding this cycle), and that would force the last card to be an event.


My money is on a Guarded Spirit weapon in the final AP (possibly even Anduril, since Aragorn), as that would give us a guarded item in half the packs this cycle (1st, 4th, 6th).


I'm hoping for either an Golden Crown item attachment or a Wind-Lord title attachment.  Preferably with one of two effects:

(1) Eagle Return -- Action: Exhaust Golden Crown / Wind-Lord and return an Eagle ally you control to your hand to draw a card.  The card draw portion would be pure gravely (but would make it akin to something like Horn of the Mark), as merely having a permanent FotE/M'sF style action would be really useful, both for straightening Gwaihir and for maximizing the effect of Descendants of Thorondor and Meneldor, both of whom can be a bit tricky to trigger at the right times.  It would also synergize with Wilyador, since returning him to your hand and playing him again next round costs the same as paying to keep him in play, but instead gives two readying opportunities to Gwaihir instead of none.  Could also let any Eagle join the flock or "heal" by leaving, shedding damage, and returning to play.

(2) Flock Buff -- Response: After an Eagle character leaves play, you may attach that character face-down to the Golden Crown / Wind-Lord.  Gwaihir gets +1 [Atk] and +1 [Def] for each facedown card attached to the Golden Crown / Wind-Lord.  While this is in direct competition with the Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Gwaihir's Ranged+Sentinel+ReadyingPotential means you'd rather bulk up his own stats to make him your go-to combat bruiser, rather than building up an Eagles of the Misty Mountains ally who will be competing with Gwaihir as your combatant.  Given his lack of access to Restricted attachments, there aren't a lot of convenient ways to buff up Gwaihir's stats to really make use of his Ranged+Sentinel+Readying suite, outside of things like Signals (tough sphere to use) and Support of the Eagles (overcosted, even in a dedicated Eagles deck, in my opinion).


Of course, even gaining access to the Leadership sphere with Gwaihir would be useful, since it would facilitate Sneak Attack, which is an amazing card with either Gandalf, Desendant of Thorondor, or Meneldor.

Of course, even an event/attachment that more generally benefited creatures and Beornings would be nice (since both archetypes could benefit from a little more development).  Something like "Full of Froth and Rage" or "Nature's Fury" or something.



Basically, there's a lot of potent and interesting things that last Tactics card might do, but I sort of fear like Eagle Emissary and Wilyador might be seen as the dedicated support cards for the hero of this pack.

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2 hours ago, player3351457 said:

The reason I am anticipating an event is that we already have two attachments, neither of which are guarded, and with only two left to spoil (tactics and leadership) and only one event currently, I would guess we have a guarded leadership (to help round out the guarding this cycle), and that would force the last card to be an event.

Why would having a guarded leadership attachment (likely the Orthanc-stone) force the last card to be an event? I haven't noticed that the packs follow rules about ally/event/attachment distribution.

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