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Friday, November 14, 2014

LOTR LCG: Gems of the Core Set pt I- Allies

Hello again travelers! As you may have heard in episode 1 of the WWPD Fellowship Podcast, we really want to try to cater to new players who are just getting into the Lord of the Rings LCG. As part of that commitment, I wanted to address a question I am asked all the time: "Is the core set outdated with the growing card pool"? It's a valid concern. It can be very intimidating jumping into an established LCG as a new player. (as an aside- it's why I support FFG's recently announced Rotation policy).

That's why I'm going to look at cards in the Core Set that continue to be staples of solid decks, or, in many cases have become much better than they were back in the old days! Make no mistake; there are a whole lot of cards that are really great in the current card pool, but a lot of those still come from the core set! So let's jump in with allies first.

All card images from the fantastic Hall of Beorn.

As quick note, after looking over this article after having written it, I realize this is most of the allies in the core set! 
Beorn is a beast, but one of (if not THE) most expensive ally in the game. But look at that stat line! Out of box he was prohibitively expensive. Playing with only core set cards makes Beorn less than attractive... now days, however, cards like Elf-stone, Vilya/Elrond, and possibly even A Very Good Tale have made getting Beorn into play easier. Having him on the table is a very, very good thing.

 This card was solid even before the Dwarf Trait became uber! 2 cost for 6 points worth of stats is a good buy even without his attachment-recycling ability!

 Faramir is expensive, but he belongs to a sphere that has no problem generating resources. Unfortunately, you do pay a lot for his abilities but most of the time all you really care about is his ability. In a multiplayer setup, Faramir can be a major game changer.

 Gleowine provides consistent card draw for any player. What else needs to be said? Card draw is always welcome.

Love this guy. Dealing 1 damage to a big bad guy who has one HP left is a very gratifying experience. With the Gondor trait, lots of abilities can boost him up to be quite flexible for low cost.

Out of the box the Guard is pretty so-so. With Leadership Boromir or Visionary Leadership, though, he becomes a cheap ally that is more than capable.

 Hennamarth! Maybe my Core Set MVP. His ability is RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME for solo play, and still quite helpful for multiplayer. PLUS, he's a cheap Silvan ally which has seen all sorts of new love with the most current cards.

A card that benefits from the robust dwarf synergy AND gets rid of a condition? Sign me up. The Miner is one of only a handful of cards that remove conditions, making him welcome in many quests.

Northern Tracker is expensive, but since day one he's been the primary card for managing location heavy quests. If the quest doesn't feature a lot of locations, this Ranger's stats are fantastic for combat.

Snowbouwn Scout. The ultimate chump. This guy has one purpose: place a progress token, take a nasty attack from an enemy. I love cards that are singular in their use- and thus economical. One resource for all that? Sign me up!

Just a solid tactics ally that benefits from a lot of Dwarf synergy.

Finally, it's everyone's favorite Grey Wizard. Being neutral and having so many great abilities, Gandalf still finds himself in many decks- particularly decks that lack card draw, direct damage, and/or threat management. Combine with Sneak Attack for the ultimate Grey Wizard experience.

Thank you for taking a look! Next, we'll take a look at Attachments from the core set.

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