Monday, May 2, 2011

Lord of the Rings LCG - Blondes Have More Fun!

I've now gotten several solo games of the Lord of the Rings card game under my belt with each of the starter decks and can now say that I have a firm standout favorite of the four. I won my very first game with Aragorn, Theodred, and Gloin and thought Leadership might be right for me. I didn't figure out until after a few more play-throughs that it was actually the awesome Aragorn-Theodred combo combined with Steward of Gondor that really shined, and although I like the sphere, it's not my favorite. Tactics, specifically Legolas, had grabbed my eye right away since they're the real combat monster deck. While they're fun to play, in solo they need a ton more options, specifically to take care of locations, to be playable right now. Glorfindel's my favorite LotR character ever, and so I had a lot of fun playing him, Denethor, and Beravor as they are extremely defensive and have a ton of staying power (not to mention how useful all three of the hero powers are), but I just couldn't get too far in questing.

If you've played the game, you know which sphere is left - and which blonde I'm referring to. Spirit was actually the deck I was least thrilled by from all the previews, but Eowyn is the master quester and when you combine her with Dunhere who is actually a great combat hero and Eleanor who, while her power is conditional, can defend pretty well on her own, the Spirit deck is a great balance between questing, location clearing, and combat.

Beyond the balance, my favorite thing about Spirit is that it manipulates my favorite mechanical aspect of the game - Threat. Threat is what makes monsters attack you, and the bigger a threat you are, the quicker they attack. Spirit is the lowest starting threat of all four decks which helps keep the monsters away. What's better is that the Spirit deck let's you manipulate your threat score and reduce it even further (or just keep from it getting too much out of hand).

I mentioned Dunhere above, but he really is one of my favorite heroes. I don't think there's any other hero that really meshes so well with the core strength of a sphere like Dunhere does. A 3 attack against a creature in the staging area is awesome and can kill almost anything in a few turns. What's great about both him and Eowyn is that they do really well in both solo and cooperative game play. I can't wait until we see a new hero and what other player cards we're going to see for Spirit in future releases! I'm really curious to see which other characters are going to be tapped for the sphere (not to mention the others as well!).

On a side note, I borrowed the images for these cards from CardgameDB which not only has all the known cards pictured and spoiled, but put them all in a database with an easy-to-use deck building tool as well. If you're looking to get more information on the game and take a look at the cards, this is probably the best resource on the web.


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