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I will try to not be overly long.

 

I think for free he is OP (by OP i mean he is VERY good utility for the card/resource cost), for X-1 he is good and playable in any deck with 3 spheres that include leadership.

 

The card i would compare him to as the most similar is Errand-rider (HoN) and Envoy of Pelargir (HoN). They have similar cost, similar reason to be included (chump, resource smoothing). As written, Distant Relative is better then both of those cards, can we agree? Both of which, at least for me, see a lot of play.

 

Comparing to squire, which is a free blocker, Distant Relative not only is free, but get his resource back immediately, while squire takes at best one turn. Distant also give you more by resource smoothing, 1wp and being a better target for leader/gondor global buffs.

 

If X-1, he role would be: Pay 1 to get a chump blocker and/or a 1wp quester (which by itself is good), smooth 2 resources, play a 2 cost card of another sphere you couldn't before. Similar play as Errand, but if you play errand in 3 sphere, he don´t let you play a 2 cost leadership card, exhaust himself and dont have 1wp. Both costing one, i can see reason to play both in the same deck or different decks.

 

Your argument about being playable with 2 spheres is reasonable and I agree. Costing 2 is too much and he does too little. But the same can be said about most of the other unity cards.

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As written, is Distant Relative better than Envoy of Pelargir in a tri-sphere deck?  Yes.  They both provide immediate resource smoothing (two any to one noble; one each concentrated to a single sphere), but net-free trumps net-1, even though Envoy has 1 attack, which relative lacks.

 

Modified to X-1, is Distant relative better than Envoy of Pelargir in a tri-sphere deck?  IMO, it is not.  They have the same net cost, and Envoy's base stats are slightly better.  Relative has the advantage of concentrating two resources at any hero, while Envoy can only add a single resource to a noble hero.  But Relative requires one resource from each hero, while Envoy can take two resources for anyone.

 

As written, is Distant Relative better than Errand-Rider in a tri-sphere deck?  No.  It is different, and with zero-cost one-time smoothing provides a different effect than Rider does -- plus it provides 1 ongoing 1-wp that Errand-Rider does not.  But I'd rather have Errand-Rider on the table, because its resource smoothing is more versatile (anyone to anybody), and because its smoothing is also repeatable.  I also like Errand-rider's two hp.

 

Modified to X-1, I would consider Errand-Rider a much better card -- same cost, repeatable, more flexible resource smoothing.  That has more value to me than a 1wp quester, which are not rare, expensive, nor particularly valuable.  It's true that Errand-rider won't be able to give you two leadership resources on the turn played, which Relative can.  But Errand-rider can give you two resources on the other heroes in that turn, and also give you two resources on any hero *in any subsequent turn*.  Way more powerful, IMO.

 

As written, is Distant relative better than Squire in a tri-sphere deck?  I think so.  It's not tied to Gondor, it has 1wp, and it provides immediate rebate instead of when destroyed.  Distant relative would completely displace Squire in tri-sphere decks, though I don't think it's often used in such decks.

 

Modified to X-1, is Distant relative better than Squire in a tri-sphere deck (with Gondor heroes)?  Used as an extra body and possible emergency chump blocker, I think so, because it has a 1 wp advantage and a more immediate smoothing effect.  Played as a near-future chump, the Squire is better, because it would be cheaper.

 

Is Distant Relative a better target for leader/gondor global buffs than any of these three cards?  No.  All four cards are Gondor and partake of Gondor buffs, and leadership global buffs will buff any ally.  Outside of a few specific treacheries or quests, it doesn't matter if adding +1 wp to a quester was done to an ally who was originally 0 wp or 1 wp.

 

I appreciate you've defined OP for 0-cost as very good for the cost/resource.  In my opinion, 0-cost cards *have* to be very good for the cost/resource to justify the deck space.  By your definition, wouldn't Daeron's Runes or Elrond's Counsel be OP?  In my analysis of 100 published decks, the 0-cost cards in general had a much lower usage rate than 1-cost or 2-cost cards.  It is not enough to be free, you also have to justify taking the spot in the deck of a more powerful card (or replace yourself with built-in card draw).

 

Are the other unity cards similarly unplayable for a two-sphere deck as written?  Let's see.

 

Dorwinian Outwatch (3-cost lore) gives a 1/2/0/2 ranger ally with an immediate effect of 2 progress or 2 damage to staging.  The only 2 attack lore allies are Quickbeam (unique, and one of the best Lore allies in existence), and Wandering Ent (enters exhausted).  So in dual-sphere it would compete with the other 3-cost, 2-attack allies, and except for Wellinghall Preserver all the non-unique in that class also have 1 wp.  They have different abilities which may well be better for a particular quest or deck, but the Outwatch has a significant edge in that you don't need 3 Lore resources to pay for it.

 

Silverlode Tracker (3-cost spirit) gives a 2/1/0/1 silvan scout that reduces threat by 2 when played.  Compared to the similar Galadriel's Handmaiden at 2-cost, that's not very compelling, and spirit has plenty of 2-cost 2-wp questers.  The advantage of the Tracker would be getting out a 2 wp quester for only one spirit resource, so I could see this seeing use in spirit-tactics-tactics or spirit-leadership-leadership.

 

Boar Clan Reaver (3-cost tactics) gives a 0/2/2/2 warrior that does 2 damage to an enemy engaged with you.  As pointed out upthread, that's the weakest of the effects and would impact the popularity.  2 def and 2 hp isn't enough for repeatable defense against most quests, and getting 2 attack for 3-cost isn't a great deal in tactics.  Like the Tracker, the biggest advantage here would be in a tactics splash deck, getting attack out with mostly non-tactics resources.  0/2/2/2 for 3-cost isn't as bad a deal in Spirit or Lore, and unity would be the only way to get a 2-attack ally out on turn one in a spirit-spirit-tactics deck.  Still, I think a more powerful ability or a different stat line would make this more compelling.

 

I think it's important to make the cards playable in dual-sphere, not just for a wider range of applications, but also to make them playable in a tri-sphere deck with resources from only two heroes.  Uneven resources tend to pile up in such decks (in my experience), and the flexibility of being able to use two resources from one of them without a sphere match would help justify these cards in a deck.

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Normaly i don´t do my own custom cards here, but here it goes!

 

This is my try at Smeagol hero. I gave him similar stats as his in Land of Shadow, but with less hp (still one more then normal hobbits). Cos of his 2/2/2 stats, i wanted him to have a readying effect. From all faces he has, this is his guiding the hobbits moment. 

 

I wanted you to pay costly for his guidance, the more you use, the riskier the quest becomes. But when he does help you, he helps a lot (action advantage + draw). I made him cost -3 threat as bonus, so the first activation on the ability is basically "free", the second one basically cost 1, three onward is danger zone.

 

I didn´t want his ability being too easy to do and also not mirror Idraen. To play gollum, you will have to have specific cards in your deck to use his ability. So the -3 threat balance that out a little bit. Limit twice per turn as a fail safe against mass location removal (Northren Tracker i see you).

 

Being 6 cost mirrors the other hobbits, which is nice, even if gollum is stronger and tougher then the others. Also make him viable in secrecy. Him in secrecy decks, you will start in secrecy, but when you use his ability, quickly you will find yourself out of it and in the enemies hands, as gollum wants you.

 

To accompany this gollum, i will probable make one of two cards that help him trigger his ability and works well with him. Incidentally, he works well with "Search Far and Wide" by Edheliad + Leadership Sam ;)

 

How do you guys generaly make the card smaller?

 

5bcb5fb8c2.jpg

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Holy guacamole, i just did a quick pass over the cards that help deal with location. Almost all of then suck or are mediocre.

 

The best cards that deal with locations by itself that are also easy to use: Asfaloth, Explorer’s Almanac

 

The good ones, but need setup (costly, need specific heroes, require actions, need other cards to help progress or situational): West Road Traveller, Arod, Distant Stars, Expert Trackers, Greyflood Wanderer, Northern Tracker, Rhovanion Outrider, Thror's Key, Warden of Anor, Mirkwood Explorer, Mariner’s Compass

 

The rest are questionable or plain bad. Even my list have some questionable ones.

 

The only events in there are Distant Stars and Expert Trackers, both of which are very situational.

 

One of the problem with exploring non-active location is that 1-2 progress does nothing. You need a critical mass of cards that working together deal the 3-6 progress that most locations demand.

 

This card bellow is a bullet that can deal with location on its own. It explore most locations by itself. The main problems are you need a hobbit AND you cant nitpick which and when you deal with the location. You have to deal with it now or never and only the first one that shows up. If the location you really wanted to deal comes second, sorry bro, the hobbits don´t know their way through that one ;)

cab53f9b40.jpg

Edited by Edvando

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I like the "try again" mechanic for rings. But as written, that card is very hard to play with.

 

First, it has doom when it comes in. Any doom card is hard to play cos it can harm your friends decks and playing it feels bad.

 

Second, it has a 66% of doing a BIG doom. Feels very bad for you and friends.

 

Third, it only goes on Istari. Gandalf 14 threat. Even fan made Istari cost a lot of threat. So all that doom synergy poorly with that. Ally Istari are generally costly, temporary and you need to find both to work.

 

Fourth, after all that trouble, the effect is very mediocre.

 

This card need serious buffs to be playable. I have some ideas to change that card, but i will let you go with yours =D

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I mean, I think mimicking the One Ring's effect on Black Riders Frodo can be ridiculously useful. This is basically that ability, but only playable on wizards and with added doomed. I kinda wanted to hear what you said, I too suspect that the punishment for guessing wrong is way too harsh. Personally, I think the basic design is fine. I wouldn't add more stuff to it (simplicity is efficiency), but I would reduce the doomed effect of the response to 2 or 1. To give some context, the Doomed 1 and Istari restrictions are considering the other 4 Istari in the rest of my custom cards, plus a bunch of attachments, events and allies. I think it's a fine drawback, after all this is Saruman's ring, and Saruman has a Doomed theme, and I wanted this ring to be fetchable with The Seeing-Stone event. I will reduce the doomed effect in the response though.

Edited by Gizlivadi

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I like that it is doom 3 because that is a very powerful and repeatable effect.  If it was less, you'd be more inclined to use it nearly every turn with only requiring light threat mitigation.  Having it at doom 3 means you save it for the big nasty that is really going to destroy your turn, such as a treachery that will raise your threat for every character you have that isn't questing, or all allies get -1 WP and 2 damage if their WP = 0.   Other than Eleanor, our other cancels are events that are not - without lots of effort - repeatable.  And she only cancels specific things.     A repeatable cancel should have draw backs.  

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I also thought about perhaps it having to deal damage to a hero instead or just raising your own threat by that amount instead of using the doom keyword.    I can't remember, did you also make a character that lets other players ignore the doomed keyword at some point?   

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I also thought about perhaps it having to deal damage to a hero instead or just raising your own threat by that amount instead of using the doom keyword.    I can't remember, did you also make a character that lets other players ignore the doomed keyword at some point?   

 

Yes, that would be my current version of Saruman, which reads:

 

"Action: Saruman gains the printed Leadership, Spirit, Lore and Tactics resource icons. The first card played this round gains doomed 1.

 

Response: When the Doomed keyword is triggered, each other player does not raise his threat. (Limit once per round.)"

 

 

Originally this ring dealt damage to its wearer, but I'm still not sure about that.

Edited by Gizlivadi

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Completely unrelated, but what about a Saruman hero that takes a resource from a hero of your choice at the begging of the planning phase if you are the first player.

 

Or even something like: 

 

If you are first player, take 1 resource from any hero at the beginning of the planning phase.

If you are not first player, you may give the first card you play each round doom 1 to give Saruman 1 resource. 

 

Even when he is helpful, he isn't.  

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I really want to see Host of Elves in a deck that gets its threat below 10. :-P Kinda sucks that he isn't worth his cost unless you have at least 30 threat, but, he's definitely a great card in valour decks!

Armor of the Elder Days is pretty cool too because it has an interesting "negative" that can be completely avoided if you want, or even turned into a positive with Keys of Orthanc. My one wish is that it wasn't restricted to only being good on a Noldor character. How about just making the defense bonus be X where X is the same as Host of Elves? That could be interesting and would make the doomed part be helpful in making itself more powerful.

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Beorn
6 Cost in Tactics

2 Willpower

4 Attack

2 Defense

5 Hitpoints

Beorning. Warrior.

Cannot have attachments.
Response: When Beorn is dealt any amount of damage you may assign damage among enemies you are engaged with equal to the amount of damage dealt to Beorn.

Shows his wild rage while in Bear form. Anytime he is hurt he lashes out at engaged foes and damages them.
Would be a great defender and with repeatable healing would be a massive asset to any team. To try and balance him a little he remains at 6 cost and cannot have attachments. Making him immune to player cards seems too much. I would love if we got a reworked Beorn ally at some point (or even new hero version). Not that the current versions aren't cool or anything...

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That's interesting. At first, I read it as deflecting the damage, but after reading it a second time, Beorn is still taking the damage... He's just dealing it back out too. I like it, but it may be more powerful than it ought to be but the lack of attachments can certainly be an issue still and it is difficult to get him into pay and stay there without paying a hefty cost. Though it might be more fun to Sneak Attack him in and out, effectively healing him every time he goes back to hand.

I would clarify, though, that he can't deal damage back if he is destroyed by that damage. That way you can't chump block a huge enemy (8+ attack) and deal 5 damage back at the same time. It makes sense too, because you can't attack back when your dead.

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Beorn
6 Cost in Tactics

2 Willpower

4 Attack

2 Defense

5 Hitpoints

Beorning. Warrior.

Cannot have attachments.
Response: When Beorn is dealt any amount of damage and is not destroyed as a result you may assign damage among enemies you are engaged with equal to the amount of damage dealt to Beorn.

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cRyXLXf8FO8.jpg

Interesting. Fits into a few decks pretty nicely but isn't really a massive boon to any of them. Making him an orc is an interesting choice, mostly because you like the thematic value of it in relation to his first ability, I assume.

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There was a slight talk of potential friendly orcs, and I was sitting on this fitting art for a pretty long time, so I decided to finally hero-yze him. Took Nyashish as a framework. Didn't really gave it a lot of thought, to be honest, just something to get out of my chest.

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In case anyone isn't following the Trap support discussion thread, I figure I'd post some custom card ideas I've come up with over here for your input/review.

 

Sphere: Lore

Name: Expert Trapper

Type: Attachment

Trait: Skill

Cost: 2

Text: Attached to a Ranger or Dunedain hero. Action: Exhaust Expert Trapper to choose a trap in the staging area.  All traps not selected will ignore the first enemy revealed from the encounter deck this phase.  

 

OR: 

 

Sphere: Lore

Name: Expert Trapper

Type: Attachment

Trait: Skill

Cost: 0

Text: Attached to a Ranger or Dunedain hero. Quest Action: Pay X resources from the attached hero's resource pool to choose a Trap in the staging area.  That trap ignores the next X number of enemies revealed from the encounter deck this phase.  At the end of the phase, if the chosen Trap is still in play and unattached, move 1 resource to the attached hero's resource pool.

 

 

The second option would allow you to "stage" traps for multiple sets of enemies, but it thematically costs more resources to plan that far ahead to trap different enemies.

 

Both options still leave it a gamble of what enemy will get hit which with trap, which I think is important for the mechanic.

 

 

That brainstorming led to some other ideas about resource generation and how you should be able to get more than just an Interrogation event off trapped enemies.

 

Sphere: Lore

Name: Scavenge and Reuse

Type: Event

Trait: Tactic

Cost: 0

Text: Play only if you control a Ranger or Dunedain hero and there are 2 or more enemies with Trap attachments attached.  Place X resources on a Ranger or Dunedain hero of your choice for every 2 different enemies with Trap attachments attached.

 

And while thinking up that, I also came up with a new mechanic/interaction that would be really cool if implemented:

 

Sphere: Lore

Name: Trapper Man (I leave it up to you guys to come up with a better name... as long as it isn't Mablung or Damrod)

Type: Character (unique)

Trait: Ranger, Dunedain

STATS: 2, 1, 2, 3

Cost: 5

Text: Any time a Trap attaches to an enemy, the players as a group may spend 1 Tactics resource to put X-1 resources on that trap, where X is that enemy's health.  Anytime a player deals any amount of damage to that enemy, they may move one resource from the attached trap to a hero of their choice.

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Too tired to search for one of my rework project threads, so I'll post this one here:

 

0gkEqpY6Hx0.jpg

 

A scan of him was posted online, and as a result - justice has been done!

 

Also, I just realized how efficient Grima makes those "pay full cost from one hero" cards.

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