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Author Topic: Hybrid Formats  (Read 32651 times)
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dmaz
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« on: September 02, 2014, 06:15:27 PM »

Coming up next week on GEMP, there is going to be an "Enhanced Towers Standard" League.

The format is like this:
Constructed Towers standard: Sets 1-6
And also: Sets 9, 14, 16

I browsed the forums a bit and didn't really find a topic that touched on this kind of "enhanced" or hybrid format, so I wanted to start a discussion related to these.

Have you experimented or played  competitively in any hybrid format before? What did you observe? What other kinds of hybrid formats do you think we could develop that would enhance the playing experience on GEMP? Could we incorporate another type of revised sealed like the movie one we have?

Personally, I'm looking forward to this league, and would like to come up with further ideas for making well-balanced hybrid formats!
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bibfortuna25
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 06:34:20 AM »

Since Reflections is included, this means Elves and Dwarves will probably be the most popular FP decks, along with the normal TT standard stuff. Dwarves take a big hit with not having Blood Runs Chill, but they can always splash Elrond/SS.
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dmaz
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 05:49:17 PM »

Since Reflections is included, this means Elves and Dwarves will probably be the most popular FP decks, along with the normal TT standard stuff. Dwarves take a big hit with not having Blood Runs Chill, but they can always splash Elrond/SS.

Having Dwarf Choke + Elf Ally support was something I thought about...you could even splash a shoulder to shoulder for added healing after a double move. Probably a pretty solid choice.

I'm trying to develop a Gandalf/Knight deck. The support for knights without King Block is very marginal, but I'm worried about how tough the Dunland decks will be. Freca + Towers block sites could really hurt! At least with Citadel of the Stars/Stone Tower you have two ways to instantly take down two of their key Dunland guys.
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dmaz
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2014, 08:11:42 PM »

Going to make a thread to discuss the Enhanced Towers Standard format, and the decks that showed up.

Feel free to keep brainstorming here about other hybrid formats!
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dmaz
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2014, 11:40:50 PM »

With the popularity of the Enhanced TS League, I wonder if you could do an Enhanced FotR League...and if so, what would it look like?

I think using the Reflections set 9 would really ruin things for it...although it would be funny to start the adventure with a different ringbearer than Frodo XD

I think Set 16 would be a great addition, and might actually help make Twilight Nazgul a viable strategy, if they could be combined...I didn't see them used at all in Enhanced TS League, probably due to the strength added to certain Towers shadows with Set 9's Freca, Host of Moria, etc.

Something that would enhance the playing experience, from a lore standpoint would be including these certain promos that appear in Set 9, without the whole set 9.
0P50 Glorfindel, Revealed in Wrath
0P51 Radagast, The Brown
0P52 Goldberry, River-daughter
0P53 Tom Bombadil, The Master

All of these characters either appeared in the book Fellowship of the Ring, were mentioned, or could reasonably be assumed to have been there. (unlike including all of set 9 with Sauron pillaging Lorien, etc).

Something I think that would also enhance the playing experience would be including the WETA 5 Card promo set:
0P56 Ghan-buri-Ghan, Chieftain of the Woses
0P57 Radagast's Staff
0P58 Anarion, Lord of Anorien
0P59 Erkenbrand, Master of Westfold
0P60 Tom Bombadil's Hat

Even though Erkenbrand is kind of out of place, he doesn't really pose an overpowered threat, as you wouldn't be able to spot another Rohan man.

My last idea would be to include 1 copy of either or each of these two alternate Balrogs
The Balrog, Terror of Flame and Shadow
The Balrog, The Terror of Khazad-dum

This way, Moria would have MORE Balrogs to choose from, without including the horrible Demon of Might, which would probably ruin the game haha.
While you could play the Set 6 Balrog for almost next to nothing in twilight, he wouldn't be fierce.
Also while the set 12 Balrog is essentially like am unloaded Durin's Bane, allowing you to splash in any deck, it might not be so bad considering the boosts the Fellowships would be getting with new strong cards.

Thoughts, ideas?

EDIT: I just remembered that in the books, it's Glorfindel that actually brings Frodo to Rivendel and not Arwen like in the movies Smiley
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 11:47:39 PM by dmaz » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2014, 03:16:24 AM »

A nice idea, but to me a possible starting Glorfindel,  might bring to a balance issue because with some exceptions a 9 Str starting companion is a really huge boots compared to other companions of fellowship block (knowing that you can just splash him to buy time and draw your other beefy companion pumped with all the possession/ condition you can)

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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 03:46:15 PM »

Yes, it was Glorfindel and not that banner-weaver elven muse!

I really like the idea of expanding the Fellowship Block format in a lore-oriented way. However, it's obvious here the Free Peoples side would be much more aided than the Shadow one: Set 14 (and 9 if is included) has very little Shadow cards, and none of them are mixable with the present Shadow cultures. Fortunately, that can be equilibrated very easily without getting out from lore; therefore I propose the inclusion of additional Shadow ones than those mentioned by Dmaz:

Sauron
The Mouth of Sauron, Lieutenant of Barad-Dur
Grishnakh, Orc Captain
Orc Patrol

Isengard
Saruman's Staff, Wizard's Device
Saruman, Of Many Colours
Throne of Isengard

Moria
Watcher in the Water, Many-Tentacled Creature
Reaching Tentacle
Strong Tentacle

Sauron: The Mouth of Sauron would discourage the use of a single tank companion, dividing the strength between many fighters. Actually, that was the role he took when was sent to talk to Kings Dain Ironfoot and Brand, both present here, forcing them to muster their armies for war at home and unabling them to aid the forces in Minas Tirith. His only possible pump would be Bill Ferny, SSF, to a maximum of 13 strength.

Grishnakh and Orc Patrol were actually present but unnamed in the FotR movie/book plot, as important part of the Trackers of Lugbúrz. They would add much needed strength to those weak Sauron Trackers, as the strength of FP would grow too much.

Isengard: Saruman's Staff would allow him to be a fighter, as should have always had the chance in Fellowship Block, picking off exhasuted little ones like Greenleaf or Son of Hamfast with ease. That would encourage a more often use of Servant of the Eye, as Keeper of Isengard would risk too much being assigned to a tank fighter or directed archery. Please note it is a 2-card combo Shadow combo, much worse than a 2-card FP combo in respect of hand clogging.

Of Many Colours might be a nice addition to widen the possibilities with Saruman, and would be a great splash minion in other cultures. Besides Gimli, BoG in Enhanced TS being the sole card to play with threats, Of Many Colours would be the only card using a game dynamic of further sets (Lurker).

Throne of Isengard isn't really necessary, but would add to the lore flavor and to the use of Saruman as a fighter (13 strength, damage +2 or +3 and fierce, for 3 cards and 6 to 8 twilight... as Lurtz more or less), and would have the big counter of aiding Gandalf too much (and Radagast if he alone or Set 9 are present). Could be used to turn any minion Fierce (Terror of Flame and Shadow, The Mouth of Sauron, Bill Ferny, Morgul Hunter... or even Lord of the Nazgul with News of Mordor!), and would make the FP player exert companions at any cost instead of assigning them to Saruman, SotE + Saruman's Staff (except they bear an Armor or Gimli's Helm), thus turning that 3-card combo into a "Grind Saruman".

Moria: I couldn't agree more with the addition of those 2 Balrogs (and the exclusion of Demon of Might); Power and Terror would be a big card in Fellowship sitepath.
Watcher In The Water and its tentacles might add different flavors to the mix... maybe Evil-Smelling Fens can be added to complete the Tentacle theme.

Just some thoughts. Those FP possible strategies must have serious opposition.

A last Thought! Include Horn of Boromir in the X-List, moreover if Reflections (ahem, Tom Bombadil) is included.
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And if you beat 'em enough, they'll die.
It's like a walk in the park from a cell.
Now you're keeping
YOUR OWN KIND in #$&*@!.
When your Great Wall rocks, blame yourself
While their arms reach out for your help
And you're out of time."


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dmaz
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2014, 07:03:22 PM »

Yes, it was Glorfindel and not that banner-weaver elven muse!

I really like the idea of expanding the Fellowship Block format in a lore-oriented way. However, it's obvious here the Free Peoples side would be much more aided than the Shadow one: Set 14 (and 9 if is included) has very little Shadow cards, and none of them are mixable with the present Shadow cultures. Fortunately, that can be equilibrated very easily without getting out from lore; therefore I propose the inclusion of additional Shadow ones than those mentioned by Dmaz:

Sauron
The Mouth of Sauron, Lieutenant of Barad-Dur
Grishnakh, Orc Captain
Orc Patrol

Isengard
Saruman's Staff, Wizard's Device
Saruman, Of Many Colours
Throne of Isengard

Moria
Watcher in the Water, Many-Tentacled Creature
Reaching Tentacle
Strong Tentacle

Sauron: The Mouth of Sauron would discourage the use of a single tank companion, dividing the strength between many fighters. Actually, that was the role he took when was sent to talk to Kings Dain Ironfoot and Brand, both present here, forcing them to muster their armies for war at home and unabling them to aid the forces in Minas Tirith. His only possible pump would be Bill Ferny, SSF, to a maximum of 13 strength.

Grishnakh and Orc Patrol were actually present but unnamed in the FotR movie/book plot, as important part of the Trackers of Lugbúrz. They would add much needed strength to those weak Sauron Trackers, as the strength of FP would grow too much.

Isengard: Saruman's Staff would allow him to be a fighter, as should have always had the chance in Fellowship Block, picking off exhasuted little ones like Greenleaf or Son of Hamfast with ease. That would encourage a more often use of Servant of the Eye, as Keeper of Isengard would risk too much being assigned to a tank fighter or directed archery. Please note it is a 2-card combo Shadow combo, much worse than a 2-card FP combo in respect of hand clogging.

Of Many Colours might be a nice addition to widen the possibilities with Saruman, and would be a great splash minion in other cultures. Besides Gimli, BoG in Enhanced TS being the sole card to play with threats, Of Many Colours would be the only card using a game dynamic of further sets (Lurker).

Throne of Isengard isn't really necessary, but would add to the lore flavor and to the use of Saruman as a fighter (13 strength, damage +2 or +3 and fierce, for 3 cards and 6 to 8 twilight... as Lurtz more or less), and would have the big counter of aiding Gandalf too much (and Radagast if he alone or Set 9 are present). Could be used to turn any minion Fierce (Terror of Flame and Shadow, The Mouth of Sauron, Bill Ferny, Morgul Hunter... or even Lord of the Nazgul with News of Mordor!), and would make the FP player exert companions at any cost instead of assigning them to Saruman, SotE + Saruman's Staff (except they bear an Armor or Gimli's Helm), thus turning that 3-card combo into a "Grind Saruman".

Moria: I couldn't agree more with the addition of those 2 Balrogs (and the exclusion of Demon of Might); Power and Terror would be a big card in Fellowship sitepath.
Watcher In The Water and its tentacles might add different flavors to the mix... maybe Evil-Smelling Fens can be added to complete the Tentacle theme.

Just some thoughts. Those FP possible strategies must have serious opposition.

A last Thought! Include Horn of Boromir in the X-List, moreover if Reflections (ahem, Tom Bombadil) is included.

I agree that the shadow will definitely need a boost to handle stronger Fellowship strategies.

Regarding Glorfindel, I don't necessarily find him as destroying this proposed format. He IS strong, but he's not invincible, and there are many strategies that don't necessarily need to win every skirmish. Also remember that since we aren't including any other elven support like elven sword, his only possible possession is Asfaloth, which will be discarded at 4 or 5, and comes at a cost of 2.

Basically, we wouldn't be trying to preserve the exact feel of the fellowship block format. The idea is to warp and twist it a little, to fit the lore possibly. If the Fellowship ends up looking a little too strong, we can add Shadow support.

Grishnakh and Orc Patrol were two cards that I thought of as well Smiley

Fellowship block, as it stands now, sees only a few Shadows that compete really competitively and consistently, with Uruk beatdown first, and possibly one of the Moria variations in second.

Sauron gets a lot of wins, but it can get crippled easily by a strong utility fellowship, and definitely by Last Alliance decks featuring Secret Sentinels. Grishnakh and Orc Patrol will help you cycle to get more tracker conditions out, and also have the capacity for them to take down a key fellowship condition. I was also thinking about Grond, but maybe he would be unnecessary.

That's a really interesting notion on Saruman's Staff...my first instinct was that it would just push Isengard from the already number 1 Shadow to ridiculously overpowered...but as you mentioned, if you played it on Keeper of Isengard, he would 1. be able to be targeted by archery and 2. be assigned to a stronger companion to lose, as he doesn't have pumps....Uruk's strength in FotR almost always comes from being fierce and being able to absorb 3 wounds, because of KoI.

I'm still a little squeamish about how it would play out with him, but in the end there's always Betrayal at Isengard as well. Beefing Saruman up might just be an enormous waste of twilight as two exertions could take him down. The only thing I don't think would be completely necessary is Of Many Colors.

I'm worried about Watcher a little bit, more just because its a set 19 card. Some set 19 cards were pretty harmless, but some were made in light of the fact that you already have an enormous pool of cards to handle the substantial strategies that are thrown at you from them. There's a wide range of cards that handles swarm in Expanded or Standard, but in Fellowship you are a little limited.
Of course, in Fellowship you have Moria Swarm, but to get them to keep playing cards from discard, you need a combination of conditions and minions to work together. With this Watcher, you can gather a formidable force at each site with just him. Something to think about though for sure as he IS a card from the FotR book.

All in all, I think the goal should be to twofold
1. Incorporate some cards that are found in the lore
2. Include some key support cards for certain fellowship strategies that more often than not lose in Fellowship block format.

It was a fun thought to be able to use the Horn with Tomb Bombadil, but a strength 18 fighter at the cost of 1 exert might be too brutal.
Also remember that Fellowship does have a decent amount of Ally control. Anduin Confluence will probably get played a LOT more. Also, Nazgul have Fear, which might make Nazgul a more attractive option than before...usually they aren't that good.
Still the abilities of Tom Bombadil and Goldberry are pretty considerable. At least it would make Demands of the Sackville-Bagginses a useful card for once!

« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 01:47:13 AM by dmaz » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2014, 11:43:10 AM »

I'm glad you liked most of those thoughts!

Anyway, I'm not against Glorfindel at all; actually I'm against Peter Jackson turning a banner-weaver muse into a warrior princess...

AND you didn't comment at all 2 points: The Mouth of Sauron, LoBD and Throne of Isengard.

The Mouth of Sauron would be a great suicide tank-companion counter, a splash minion playable in any culture for just 3 twilight (just read my previous comment, he has a strong lore weight, more if Dain and Brand are present).

Throne of Isengard would turn both versions of Saruman of Set 3 into a very heavy fighter (strength 13 dmg+2 fierce) being a 2-card combo (actually less than Lurtz + Lurtz's Sword which is strength 15 dmg+2 fierce, except for gametext and twilight cost). It has the extreme risk of turning Radagast (likely omnipresent) and Gandalf into killing Wizard beasts of strength 11 dmg+1 (more if bears his staff) and strength 12 dmg+2 (wielding Glamdring) respectively, and as you pointed out, 2 exertions of Gandalf would nullify everything except the pump to those good Wizards. As mexicans say, Nobody knows for whom it works!

No Set 3 Saruman is really splashable in other cultures, that's the idea of Saruman, Of Many Colours. His text has so much lore representativeness, as his text depicts a clever traitor waiting to deliver his blow and the demoralizing and plan-changing effects of his betrayal (do you remember Elrond and Gandalf's talk at Rivendell?). He can be a moderatly good fighter, absorb archery and his text is helpful. But the main potential relies in Throne of Isengard (with the huge risk above mentioned), being a strength 11 dmg+2 fierce Wizard and turning any minion fierce (the Witch King, LotN; The Balrog, ToFaS; Host of Moria / Goblin Patrol Troop; Morgul Hunter / Orc Pillager; even Bill Ferny).

In respect of Watcher in the Water, Many-Tentacled Creature, it might be considered as an alernative to Stupid Swarm and Moria Swarm. But there's also another option: Evil-Smelling Fens to make Keeper of Westgate viable. AND the inclusion of Reaching Tentacle and Strong Tentacle as new blood to the tentacle card pool (Foul Tentacle and Huge Tentacle). That would be a Beatdown Tentacle theme in contrast to the Swarm Tentacle theme you are trying to avoid...


Some new thoughts:

Wraith
Fell Beast
Ring of Asperity (Reflections)
Ring of Ire (Reflections)
Ring of Rancor (Reflections)
Ring of Savagery
Ring of Terror
The Pale Blade, Sword of Flame

Gollum
Gollum, Dark as Darkness
Evil-Smelling Fens

Ringwraith: Legolas killed a Fell Beast while the Fellowship was on Anduin River in the book; it would be a great addition to Twilight Nazgul. Actually was the Witch King's mount, as Frodo felt the wound on his shoulder hurting again.

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die... to make them appear over and over again! Ring of Asperity can come in handy if you play Twilight Nazgul; Ring of Rancor can help too (useful with both Twilight Witchie and Enquea, and Shotgun Enquea if you have more than 5 burdens); Ring of Terror would be a damage addition only as there wouldn't be threats here.

The Pale Blade, Sword of Flame and Ring of Ire would add nice toys to that good old Witch King; and the first is a direct way of adding burdens, usable by both Lord of Angmar and Lord of the Nazgul... if LotN bears a Fell Beast and has NED and enough twilight, you will have lots of FUN Twisted!...

Who asked for lore?

Gollum: Everyone remembers Gollum sneaking in Moria in the book/movie, and DaD represents very well that feeling of unsecurity. He would complete the combo with Lost to the Goblins or Twilight Nazzies...

Just new ideas. Please comment.

EDIT: Some correction and better explanation to the Watcher in the Water point...
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 05:51:14 PM by Durin's Heir » Logged

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And if you beat 'em enough, they'll die.
It's like a walk in the park from a cell.
Now you're keeping
YOUR OWN KIND in #$&*@!.
When your Great Wall rocks, blame yourself
While their arms reach out for your help
And you're out of time."


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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2014, 02:57:43 PM »

I'm not really against Refletions Set, except for dead characters from past ages: Isildur, Elendil, Anarion, Gil-Galad, Durin III and the Dwarven Lords; and except for those Alternative RB who just couldn't take the One Ring (Gimli, BoG), or could but were corrupted in that case (Galadriel, Smeagol, Isildur again)... leaving only Bilbo and maaaaaybe Boromir as alterative bearers. (Bilbo offered himself to take the Ring to Mount Doom, and Boromir fell to desperation after Gandalf left them, prior to that he trusted and abided Gandalf's decisions)

Without those RB and dead characters, the rest is everything present in FotR book/movie except for useless things (Huorn, Ent Draught, Freca), Rohan items (Horn of the Mark and The Red Arrow) and Dwarven Rings.

I'm not even against Sauron, The Lord of the Rings taking physical form without the One (that notion is actually Jackson's and not Tolkien's), and in absense of site control and threats he can be nearly unplayable with F Block's twilight gameplay.

All in all, I think the goal should be to twofold
1. Incorporate some cards that are found in the lore
2. Include some key support cards for certain fellowship strategies that more often than not lose in Fellowship block format.

More possible card inclusions to broaden the lore representation, and to fortify some often-losing cultures:

Gandalf
Beorning Axe
Barliman Butterbur, Red-Faced Landlord
Dasron, Merchant From Dorwinion
Erland, Dale Counselor
Librarian, Keeper of Ancient Texts
Last Stand

Dwarven
Thorin III, Stonehelm
Gloin, Son of Groin
Thrarin, Smith of Erebor
Grimir, Dwarven Emissary
Stout and Strong
Gimli, Feared Axeman

Elven
Elrond, Elven Lord
Blade of Lindon or Sword of the Fallen

Gandalf Men: I just can't like the idea of having King Brand as a possibility without weapons and his loyal people, thus becoming only a subject of Dwarves. And Grimbeorn requires an axe too!

I exclude Jarnsmid, Barding Emissary from the list as he'd be OP and there are no FP burden adding cards in F Block. Last Stand is there for pumping, and use of Dasron's ability and Librarian's text. Maybe they will need an event pump other than SotSF... in that case The Terror of His Coming, Guidance of the Istari or even For A While Less Dark can do the job.

Dwarves: In absense of the long-dead Dwarven Lords, 5 strength dwarven companions will just perish against those big monsters and tricks added to counter the FP card pool growth. Dain Ironfoot alone isn't enough addition to equilibrate the balance, period. Besides, sole dwarves are the FP culture that losses more often in F Block, being Nazgul and Uruks their strongest threats. Thus 4 big fighters are my suggestion, in replacement of those 4 Dwarf Lords. Thorin III would be very annoying with a Dwarven Axe...

Feared Axeman can cover the other great problem of FotR Dwarves (besides low initial strength), which is they rely too much in condition support. A single Saruman's Power can destroy a normal constructed Dwarven deck. Endurance of Dwarves could cover their low vitality in a safer way than in FotR Block. Gloin, Friend of Thorin would be aided too with that addition...

Stout and Strong is there as a way of using both Dasron and Gloin, SoG's texts.

Those dwarves aren't a great menace by themselves to any Shadow in comparison to Elrond's twin sons or Set 14 Rangers.

Elves: Elrond joins together with the band. Plain and easy. Not an OP Elrond like Venerable Lord... just Elrond as a fighter. He could use Vilya as a vitality enhancer, but it's text would be extremely expensive though useful. Those ally versions of Fellowship Block are way better as support cards. And he couldn't even be a starting companion. He could make use of Master of Healing without the use of allies.

Elves will need some generic hand weapons or they will bow towards archery abuse fellowships. Blade of Lindon seems inoffensive, and Sword of the Fallen could allow double moves more often for a high price. Elven Armaments looks nice as it discards Elven Bows, but it's bonuses might be too much here.
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"You think you got it all locked up inside
And if you beat 'em enough, they'll die.
It's like a walk in the park from a cell.
Now you're keeping
YOUR OWN KIND in #$&*@!.
When your Great Wall rocks, blame yourself
While their arms reach out for your help
And you're out of time."


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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2014, 06:50:05 PM »

Gandalf Men: I just can't like the idea of having King Brand as a possibility without weapons and his loyal people, thus becoming only a subject of Dwarves. And Grimbeorn requires an axe too!

When I suggested set 16, I think maybe you thought I was saying set 14 Wink
I don't think set 14 would be helpful, unfortunately. Grimbeorn would drastically skew the format. At least in other formats you have cards like Shelob, Her Ladyship that offset his ability to take down any minion he wants.

However, I do like the idea of giving a little bit of help to the Gandalf culture, without incorporating any elements that are introduced in outside formats, like threats, tokens, or followers (I know gimli ringbearer has the threat thing for Enhanced TS, but I think that this is very wrong...technically he should only have the option of adding 2 burdens, as threats are nonexistent in that format).

Regarding Mouth of Sauron, I do think he's a good idea! Like you mentioned, he could be assumed to be in the lore, realistically, so it would be great to add him. It would give the Sauron culture another boost that would make it a little more attractive Smiley

Regarding Throne of Isengard, I don't really see too much hard in adding it, as it's a very big double-edged sword. The throne sticks around every turn, but you aren't guaranteed to get Saruman out every turn either...so it might just end up being a big Gandalf pump, if you're not tactful Wink

Regarding Saruman, of Many Colors: the reason I think he's not necessary is because he is splashable. Fellowship block, even if it is enhanced, should continue to encourage people to focus on a shadow strategy and build around it. Rainbow shadows start to come into play in Movie block, and really shine in Expanded, but I think they best belong there.

To be honest, I wasn't considering adding very many cards to "enhance" it. We are warping the format into something new, but we really don't want it to feel like Expanded, Fellowship Site Path Format hehe. I think that would really turn a lot of people off to it.

Just my idea of what could be added so far: (a lot of which I got from you...I still hope others get interested and give their two cents as well)

Added Sets
Set 16

Additionally Valid

Dwarven Culture
Thorin III, Stonehelm
Thrarin, Smith of Erebor
Grimir, Dwarven Emissary

Elven Culture
0P50 Glorfindel, Revealed in Wrath
Elrond, Elven Lord

Gandalf Culture
Barliman Butterbur, Red-Faced Landlord
Ghan-buri-Ghan, Chieftain of the Woses
0P51 Radagast, The Brown
Radagast's Staff
Beorning Axe (Maybe)

Gondor Culture
Originally would have had Anarion from the 5 Card WETA pack here, but I don't think Gondor needs any help...Aragorn and Boromir tanks are already one of the most played and strongest options out there for fellowship. We don't need another dude you can dump last alliance on either...

Isengard Culture
Saruman's Staff, Wizard's Device
Throne of Isengard

Moria Culture
The Balrog, Terror of Flame and Shadow
The Balrog, The Terror of Khazad-dum

Wraith Culture
The Pale Blade, Sword of Flame (I think this is a great addition)
Fell Beast (a maybe here...I'll need to hear from some other on what they think this would do to the format...I forgot about that with Legolas in the book after they left Lorien. Really cool!)

Sauron Culture
The Mouth of Sauron, Lieutenant of Barad-Dur
Grishnakh, Orc Captain
Orc Patrol

Shire Culture
0P52 Goldberry, River-daughter
0P53 Tom Bombadil, The Master
Tom Bombadil's Hat

Gollum Culture
Gollum, Dark As Darkness

I think just having that solo card might be a good idea like you suggest. In Fellowship of the Ring, Gollum is just lurking in the shadows, behind the scenes. This Gollum kind of has that feel to it.

Hopefully we can get some more input from others!
Maybe the best thing to do is just to be simple and do something like include set 16 and the 5 Card weta pack...but it really would be nice to balance out the shadow cultures if possible, and also add beef to people who want to do pure dwarf or pure elf fellowships Smiley

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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2014, 09:37:09 PM »

When I suggested set 16, I think maybe you thought I was saying set 14 Wink
I don't think set 14 would be helpful, unfortunately. Grimbeorn would drastically skew the format. At least in other formats you have cards like Shelob, Her Ladyship that offset his ability to take down any minion he wants.

I understand Grimbeorn would be a problem, so he can be added to the X-list. But as for the rest, they seem good companions but nothing more. I can't see the OP condition of Brand, Dain Ironfoot, Duilin, Duinhir, Halbarad or Gildor Inglorion.

Elladan and Elrohir are a different issue as can be OP in a strong pump deck, but that remove the focus from archery and that's a GOOD thing. And they would justify the inclusion of those version of The Balrog. Saruman's Snows nullifies very well their text if doesn't get discarded...

Anyway, as for Grimbeorn, he exerts twice to do his ability and the presence of Grind or Archery Shadows will be strong I guess; he won't face Nazgul fearing Black Breath, nor Orc Soldier / Orc if he has too many wounds. In a constructed FotR environment there wouldn't be too many expendable minions with enormous base strength to feed Grimbeorn the same way that in Movie or Expanded (no Siege Troop here). Most big minion are rare and useful, thus you should ditch a Balrog or Witchie to give him great strength (and exert twice); only Host of Thousands / Foul Things, TAC or Evil Afoot / Breeding Pit can recycle minions from discard pile, there is no Evil-Smelling Fens (a good point to let it out).

So in my opinion Set 14 should be added if we exclude Grimbeorn and maybe Elladan and Elrohir.

However, I do like the idea of giving a little bit of help to the Gandalf culture, without incorporating any elements that are introduced in outside formats, like threats, tokens, or followers (I know gimli ringbearer has the threat thing for Enhanced TS, but I think that this is very wrong...technically he should only have the option of adding 2 burdens, as threats are nonexistent in that format).

I like that aproach... little to no new game dynamics, as little as possible. I just thought Of Many Colours wouldn't offend that idea too much, as Lurker only avoids him to be killed early...

Regarding Mouth of Sauron, I do think he's a good idea! Like you mentioned, he could be assumed to be in the lore, realistically, so it would be great to add him. It would give the Sauron culture another boost that would make it a little more attractive Smiley

...

Regarding Saruman, of Many Colors: the reason I think he's not necessary is because he is splashable. Fellowship block, even if it is enhanced, should continue to encourage people to focus on a shadow strategy and build around it...

Mouth of Sauron is not assumed to have talked to Brand and Dain, he did but he's not named as The Mouth by Gloin in the Council (his characteristics depicted by Gloin correspond with those descripted at the Morannon in RotK). Anyway he'd be a splash minion, as he doesn't have any possible pump except for Bill Ferny (another splash) and he doesn't require to spot Sauron cards to be played or used...

To be honest, I wasn't considering adding very many cards to "enhance" it. We are warping the format into something new, but we really don't want it to feel like Expanded, Fellowship Site Path Format hehe. I think that would really turn a lot of people off to it.

You are right, it should remain Fellowship centered... The 'Additionally Valid' list shouldn't grow too much, haha. And we can shorten it if Set 9 is included, excluding dead companions and all alternative RB except Bilbo. That way Tom Bombadil, Goldberry, Gollum, DaD, Radagast and Glorfindel would be inside the format and outside the Additional Valid list.

Elendil, Isildur, Gil Galad, Durin III, Linnar, Uri, Sindri should be added to the X-list, and either add to the X-list Gimli, BoG, Galadriel, BoW, Boromir, BoC and Smeagol, BoGS or allow only Frodo to be the RB and allow those comps to be played as regular ones (those versions of Bilbo and Boromir are very useful).

Just my idea of what could be added so far: (a lot of which I got from you...I still hope others get interested and give their two cents as well)

I too hope other folks will add their ideas and knowledge.


If there's no Beorning Axe, Barliman will be a 4 strength companion with no pumps... or 5 if Brand is included.

Gondor Culture
Originally would have had Anarion from the 5 Card WETA pack here, but I don't think Gondor needs any help...Aragorn and Boromir tanks are already one of the most played and strongest options out there for fellowship. We don't need another dude you can dump last alliance on either...

I'd really like to see those small guys of Set 14 using some Ranger tricks of Fellowship format. They would need a generic weapon, or rely on Flaming Brand instead.

Hopefully we can get some more input from others!
Maybe the best thing to do is just to be simple and do something like include set 16 and the 5 Card weta pack...but it really would be nice to balance out the shadow cultures if possible, and also add beef to people who want to do pure dwarf or pure elf fellowships Smiley

I like the additions you mentioned. I'm just trying to broaden a little that enhancement, and Set 9 with the mentioned exclusions seems fair to me. Pure dwarves and pure elves are weak culures in F Block... that Gimli, Feared Axeman can reverse much of that problem.
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2014, 09:53:15 PM »

If there's no Beorning Axe, Barliman will be a 4 strength companion with no pumps... or 5 if Brand is included.

You make a good point. If someone wanted to build a deck that centered around Gandalf and his merry men, it would be decent to have some support. Looking at it from a cost/benefit standpoint, because the axe costs two, you are paying 4 twilight for a companion who is strength 6/vitality 4. That's pretty fair Smiley

It would be fun to see Barliman setting off from the Prancing Pony with an Axe and Flaming Brand: "The Pony is under new management. Let's go boys!"
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2014, 08:42:33 PM »

You make a good point. If someone wanted to build a deck that centered around Gandalf and his merry men, it would be decent to have some support. Looking at it from a cost/benefit standpoint, because the axe costs two, you are paying 4 twilight for a companion who is strength 6/vitality 4. That's pretty fair Smiley

And with Brand he would be strength 7 vit 4, a 3 card combo with no possible pumps excluding SotSF and TMAYOD. The only troublesome additions of Set 14 would be Grimbeorn, maybe Elladan and Elrohir. And those can be included in the X-list. Even allowing either Elladan or Elrohir, but not both, would remove the OP condition from the remaining one...

It would be fun to see Barliman setting off from the Prancing Pony with an Axe and Flaming Brand: "The Pony is under new management. Let's go boys!"

Actually Aragorn incited him to do that, except for the exact mentioned weapons! Hahaha!

EDIT: Some interesting argumentation in support of Brand and Set 14.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 09:04:37 PM by Durin's Heir » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2014, 11:36:27 AM »

When I suggested set 16, I think maybe you thought I was saying set 14 Wink...

However, I do like the idea of giving a little bit of help to the Gandalf culture, without incorporating any elements that are introduced in outside formats, like threats, tokens, or followers (I know gimli ringbearer has the threat thing for Enhanced TS, but I think that this is very wrong...technically he should only have the option of adding 2 burdens, as threats are nonexistent in that format).

Actually every Set 16 card has a loaded keyword which belongs to Set 8 and onwards: Enduring.

Barrow-Wight Stalker
Candle Corpses
Covetous Wisp
Dead Faces
Spirit of Dread
Undead of Angmar

I don't think a single Lurker card, Of Many Colours, would do more harm to the format than 6 Enduring cards...
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While their arms reach out for your help
And you're out of time."


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