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Author Topic: King Standard Players, What Would the Ideal Movie Block Look Like To You?  (Read 107 times)
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ket_the_jet
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« on: November 08, 2019, 11:02:03 AM »

I am starting this thread that I will likely forget about or abandon shortly based on a thought that I had about my ideal version of "Movie Block" as we begin a War of the Ring block league.

Sets 8, 9, and 10 reshaped the King Standard meta with besieging trolls, enduring Nazgul corruption, and corsairs, as well as two-exertion minion kill Knights with copious healing avenues and quick set-up Gandalf cards.

One of the major complaints with War of the Ring block was the game losing so much flavor with minion cultures uniting and shuffling site paths. At the same time, cards like Boromir, Hero of Osgiliath have amazing context and flavor and would fit the King Standard game in a newly-created Movie format.

What cards would you take from sets 8 and beyond to make your ideal movie block? I am going to keep a running list here. Feel free to chime in, but this might just be a topic for Phallen and I.

The Rules:
1. Nothing from these cultures: Evil Men Uruk-hai Orc
2. Enduring, Toil, Lurker, Hunter and other beyond-set 7 keywords do not exist. If you are going to introduce them (which is fine), you have to make it worth it.
3. Probably no need to deal with sites right now.
4. There are plenty of mostly-useless events that would be borderline unusable if not for sealed. That said, no need to disclude them.

The Running List:
The One Ring
The One Ring, The Ring of Rings
Discussion: Let's face it...signets were woefully underused. I think the best change Shadows and beyond added was the idea that companions slowly became corrupted as well. There will be limited uses without three of the four shadow cultures from beyond the pale, but this ring presents no problem in my mind.

Dwarven
Battle in Earnest
Great Day, Great Hour

Elven
Legolas, Elven Stalwart
Arwen, Echo of Luthien
Phial of Galadriel, Star-Glass

Gandalf
Let Us Not Tarry
On Your Doorstep
Shadowfax, Greatheart
Shadowfax, Unequaled Steed

Gondor
End of the Game
Boromir, Hero of Osgiliath

Raider
Easterling Pillager
Field of the Fallen

Wraith
Beyond All Darkness

Shire
Orc Armor
Pippin, Brave Decoy
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 11:45:56 AM by ket_the_jet » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 03:25:28 PM »

Here would be my wish list:
Legolas, WE
Incited
Frenzied Attack
Aragorn, WTG
Gollum, TG
Moving This Way

Probably more, but I do like those ones
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menace64
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 08:53:38 PM »

Quote from: ket_the_jet
1. Nothing from these cultures: Evil Men Uruk-hai Orc

I'm on board so far.

Quote from: ket_the_jet
2. Enduring, Toil, Lurker, Hunter and other beyond-set 7 keywords do not exist. If you are going to introduce them (which is fine), you have to make it worth it.

Hunter is easily-jettisoned since it does nothing but introduce power creep. Cases could be made for Toil and Lurker, but I'd like to petition for the inclusion of Enduring if for no better reason than a "movie block" feeling incomplete without Shelob, and - to me - Shelob and Enduring pair together about as well as Dwarf Guard and the dead pile.

Quote from: ket_the_jet
3. Probably no need to deal with sites right now.

The adventure path should be at the forefront of any discussion of game formats. The fact that sites are typically second-tier topics of concern is somewhat baffling to me. But I'll follow your lead!

Quote from: ket_the_jet
4. There are plenty of mostly-useless events that would be borderline unusable if not for sealed. That said, no need to disclude them.

Okay.

Quote from: ket_the_jet
The Running List:
The One Ring
The One Ring, The Ring of Rings
Discussion: Let's face it...signets were woefully underused. I think the best change Shadows and beyond added was the idea that companions slowly became corrupted as well. There will be limited uses without three of the four shadow cultures from beyond the pale, but this ring presents no problem in my mind.

The fact that signets were underused doesn't make them worthless - if anything, this merely illustrates another area wherein Decipher dropped the ball. Not getting any new signets in RotK block was a bad move IMO. #$&*@!, Resistance as a universal mechanic was mishandled too, since so few cards seemed to work around the expanded mechanic.

If I had the ability to take my choosing of cards from sets 8+ to add to an "Expanded Movie Block", here's what I'd go with:

Siege of Gondor
Gimli, Counter of Foes
Every Gollum card
(Here's where I want to petition for corsairs and enduring Gondor Wraiths, if for no better reason than deserving to be present in any comprehensive block of cards. Maybe I don't quite understand the thought-experiment here...)
Grond, Hammer of the Underworld
Unheeded

Reflections
Freca, Hungry Savage
Dwarven Rings
Ent Draught
Gollum, Dark as Darkness
Smeagol, Bearer of Great Secrets (normally I'd say No to included ARBs, but I'd make an exception for both Smeagol and Bilbo, Bearer of Things Burgled)
Scroll of Isildur
Host of Moria, Legion of the Underdeeps
Everyone Knows

Mount Doom
Every Elven Companion. Ha. Just kidding. Burn them all.
Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass
Out of the High Airs
Every Gollum card
High Vantage
Rallying Call
Seasoned Leader
Unyielding
Sauron Advance minions
The Ring is Mine!
Orc Armor
Shadowplay
Sam, Great Elf Warrior

Shadows
Legolas' Bow
Uncertain Future
The Art of Gandalf
Ease the Burden
Gandalf, Leader of the Company
Aragorn, Strider
Well-traveled
Border Patrol
Riding Like the Wind
Sword Rack
Pippin, Brave Decoy
Salt From the Shire (even though I hate it)

Black Rider
Belt of Erebor
Elrond, Witness to History
Hadafang
Gandalf's Hat
Not Alone
From Deep in Shadow
Blade of Gondor, Sword of Boromir
Gondorian Steed
Coif
Eored Warrior
The Mouth of Sauron, Lieutenant of Barad-dur
Long Live the Halflings (although it should be a Tale...)
Sudden Fury
Black Rider
Dark Approach
Sense of Obligation
The Witch-king's Beast, Fell Creature

Bloodlines
Legolas, Of the Grey Company
Return to Us
Shadowfax, Roaring Wind
Aragorn, Isildur's Heir
Guard of the White Tree
Kingsfoil
Eomer, Heir to Meduseld

The Hunters
Shepherd of the Trees
Connected By Fate
Not This Time!

The Wraith Collection
Yes

Rise of Saruman
Thorin III, Stonehelm
Gandalf, Returned
Anduril, Sword That Was Broken

Treachery & Deceit
Ship of Smoke

I might have grossly misunderstood your intent here. Anywho. Those are a bunch of cards I'd like to see added to an Expanded Movie Block format without having to take the rest of the BS those sets produced.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 08:55:49 PM by menace64 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 01:49:58 PM »

menace64, I'm taking this as "what cards could be added to King Standard without taking anything away from it." So a lot of your cards I would move to veto Wink Why use Flame of the West when you've got Sword That Was Broken, for example? In my opinion, the game is best when no card or strategy is made useless by another and King Standard does the best job of that.

Of all King Block cards, Orc Armor is perhaps the one I most wish was in set 7 (and Relics of Moria definitely shouldn't be x'd). Swarm strategies should've been more than just "throw a bunch of minions on the table and try to overwhelm Frodo every few sites," I want my other companions to mean something.

How much am I allowed to argue over certain choices? Tongue The one I'm most against is Brave Decoy, interested to hear why you think it's worth including. Obviously, I encourage lively discussion against any of my picks Wink For Enduring, I think it's already a scarce keyword so it's not the worst thing to lose, and yet it'd be a shame to exclude some cards just because of it. Properly managed, I think Shelob and Gondor Wraiths would be meaningful additions.

So, just looking at 8-10 for now, here are some additional cards that I'd want to see. There are other cards in those sets I wouldn't mind seeing, and plenty of cards just didn't seem useful enough to bother with (would you use Scroll of Isildur without an alternate Ring-bearer?), but these are the cards that stood out the most:

Dwarven
Honed - Rohan took away one of the Dwarves' core competencies: obliterating minions. This at least makes the damage bonus worthwhile again
More Yet to Come - Same vein as the above, yet I wasn't so interested in Unheard of. Am I splitting hairs?
Linnar, Sindri, Uri - I'm torn because I'm not a fan of including any of the Reflections companions (I could be pursuaded for alternate RBs I guess), but Dwarves could really use some fresh blood.

Elven
Reckless We Rode - Seems useful, what's the harm?
Elven Rope, Merry's Dagger, Pippin's Dagger, Knife of the Galadhrim, Nenya, Ring of Adamant, Vilya, Ring of Air - I'm most hesitant about Knife of the Galadhrim being used with Knight or Ring-bound Ranger wounding, but honestly none of these items seem to break anything too much

Gandalf
A Fool - Might go into that "useless event" territory, but I'm a fan of how this ties up the "At sites 1 to 4/5 ..." series of cards
Leader of Men - He's not gonna outclass any other Gandalf, right? Just saves some deck space and opens up other possibilities in deckbuilding

Gondor
Every Little is a Gain - Mainly for discarding Gorgoroth Pillager
Boromir, Steward's Heir - This guy always comes to mind and I couldn't help but include him, even though he's outside of 8-10. Forego the usual game text to get a swiss army knife of keywords and access to just about every Gondor tool you might want.

As I said before I wouldn't mind seeing the Gondor wraiths, but without Swept Away or at least without Stronger and More Terrible. It should have always been a hazard to lose initiative, not a benefit to retain it. Another dropped ball in sets 8 and 10.

Rohan
Charged Headlong - Useful and well costed
Eowyn's Shield - Niche, but worthwhile for Easterling Polearm and The Pale Blade
Horn of the Mark - Speaking of signets, right?

Shire
Sting, Bane of the Eight Legs - Again super niche, I wouldn't mind dropping this if Shelob doesn't make the grade
Merry, Noble Warrior and Pippin, Guard of Minas Tirith - they're 9 strength when decked out with culturally-appropriate garb, but so is Merry, From O'er the Brandywine. Those abilities are awfully costly too, I don't see them pushing anything over the edge

Gollum
Hidden Even From Her, Slippery as Fishes - Niche, but I think there's room in KS for a Gollum-centric deck
Last Child of Ungoliant - The only version of Shelob I'm comfortable with, I think. Anybody wanna sell me on the others? Shelob, Menace is the next most palatable one for me.
Web & Larder - Dependent on Last Child of Ungoliant
Gollum, Dark as Darkness - He's most potent for Lost to the Darkness bombs, but I don't necessarily consider that a bad thing. While useful for burden strategies
Unabated in Malice - The most dangerous part of this condition is fully in hands of the FP

Isengard
Library of Orthanc, Sack of the Shire, Suffered Much Loss - Just to keep Isengard interesting

Moria
Host of Moria - This minion adds something to Moria that they didn't previously have. I wish he weren't strong enough to get to 20 strength with Moria Axe alone, but can't do anything about that

Raider
Haradwaith - Throw those little initiative wounders a bone, it's just one site
Heavy Axeman - Not certain that Easterlings need him, but he seems nice enough
Mumakil - Expands Southrons a bit, no harm that I can tell

Sauron
Called Away - I think this card has potential, but is it just too weird? Decipher probably had the same discussion
Gorgoroth Agitator, Gorgoroth Breaker, Gorgoroth Looter, Gorgoroth Patrol, Gorgoroth Stormer - Not really needed, but I think they each add something without taking anything away. I don't play besiegers, thoughts?
Their Marching Companies - Doesn't do anything new, just in a different way
Siege Troop - Strong, sure, but so is Host of Udun. Engines offer a cheaper way to get sites anyway, right?
Advance Captain, Advance Marauder, Advance Regular, Advance Scout - I appreciate the direction they're going
Barren Land - I wish Hollowing of Isengard were more useable, and this does that for me
Orc Ravager - Seems reasonable enough, right?
Rank and File - Even without Sauron Uruk-hai, it's good for the Advance fellows and maybe some bi-culturalism
The Ring is Mine! - Doesn't feel too strong, even if it's just going to be used with Wraith corruption and Morgul Skulker

Wraith
Black Flail - It'll be a conscious choice to use this over The Pale Blade, so I say throw it in
Morgul Squealer - I know I've seen him used, but he seems too expensive to be of much harm
Streaming to the Field - Without Morgul Lurker, I don't see this being abusive
Unhindered - It's just a usable version of Feel His Blade, though there's still not much point
Winged Mount - Again, conscious choice to pick this over Black Steed, especially with all the plains going around
Ring of Asperity, Ring of Ire, Ring of Rancor - Eh. Ring of Rancor I'm a fan of for enabling Shotgun Enquea to do his job. Can't think up a real reason to exclude the others, especially since Nazgul already have to deal with hand clog
Black Marshal - Without enduring Nazgul I don't see the trouble
The set 10 Wraith Orcs, Gorbag's Sword - Nothing too powerful, but I'd try them out in my Wraith Orc decks
Stooping to the Kill - Should this be mutually exclusive with Streaming to the Field? Nazgul have some interesting ways of grabbing initiative, I'd want there to be a reward somewhere along the way

[groups]
At His Command, Straining Towards Us, No Living Man - If you're gonna include Let Us Not Tarry, may as well throw these in too.
I really want to bring in the set 13 Free Peoples mounts for Free Peoples cultures (mainly Arod, Rohirrim Steed and Bill the Pony, Dearly-loved, since those cultures don't have access to mounts already) for some Rohan decks, but with the token manipulation they don't really fit in. Thoughts?
On a related note, what about set 8's tri-cultural token conditions (A Path Appointed, Not the First Halfling, etc)?
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2019, 02:15:43 PM »

My viewpoint when producing my list last night was, generally, "Is this theme, character, or scene otherwise represented in the pool of cards from sets 1-7?" From there, I asked myself, "Yeah, but is this card dumb or broken?" Followed by, "Is this card neat?"

I wouldn't presume one way or the other regarding the meta-qualities of any card grafted into an Expanded Movie Block format (I'm gonna keep calling it that since it seems to be what you're going for - accurate?). That would require games to be played and we don't seem to be at that stage yet. I'm not imagining far beyond flavorfulness - sort of typical for me  LOL!

I must re-cast my vote for Gandalf, Returned for purely selfish reasons. I love that guy so much and it pains me that he's in the objectively-worst block in the entire game. I wish like #$&*@! he was valid in older/less-insane formats.
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2019, 05:27:08 PM »

Faramir's Sword and Denethor's Sword are the main ones for me, though the latter could've been better written.

Maybe also For Gondor! and Armor of the White City?

I like Lurker and wish it had been made a rule sooner. Skulker and Of Many Colours could be interesting.

I like Eldarin Lord as a more cost-balanced version of Glorfindel, though he hard-counters Isengard Warg-Riders.
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2019, 07:16:29 PM »

Yeah I almost listed Eldarin Lord but I'm generally leery of any set18 cards.

As for Denethor's Sword, I would've liked it more if it encouraged Denethor not to fight.

So maybe:

1 Denethor's Sword Gondor
Possession • Hand Weapon
Strength +2
Bearer must be Denethor (or Boromir or Faramir if Denethor is in the dead pile).
Each time bearer is assigned to a skirmish, add a threat.
At the start of the regroup phase, if no Gondor companion lost a skirmish this turn, you may exert bearer to remove a threat (or 2 threats if bearer is Denethor).
"'But if doom denies this to me, then I will have naught: neither life diminished, nor love halved, nor honour abated.'"

Something like that would've been neat.
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2019, 01:16:48 PM »

I was going to try to go through and respond to everything, but this one lost me here.
-wtk
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2019, 01:54:55 PM »

A few thoughts on some other picks here:

- Freca, Hungry Savage
I think that I like this card...but I might be a bit jaded. For whatever reason, I feel like the, "Here's the benefit you immediately get because you happened to have this card in hand" feels overpowered, especially since I liked the balance and chicanery of other Dunland site control plays (I just played Wulf from hand during skirmish, and will activate his response to take a site!)

- Shadowplay
Few cards are more NPE than a response action support area condition that activates multiple times in a single phase based on an opponent's play, particularly on Gemp. Shadowplay feels like the missing piece to rainbow wounding decks, and that is enough of a reason for me to dislike it. Having to wait in every sealed Movie league because people automatically pick set 10 packs to try to get this one tells me everything else I need to know about it.

- Alternate ring-bearers, and other Dwarven characters:
Okay, so I get it. Wulf is actually the name of a character who precedes the LotR part of the legendarium. So does Freca (who happens to be Wulf's father). But there is no reason that a Dunlander cannot be renamed after their leaders of old. On the other hand, Gimli and Samwise Gamgee teaming up with Isildur, Bearer of Heirlooms or Durin III or other long-dead characters is lore-breaking to me. Guys like Sindri and Uri make Dwarves more playable, maybe, but why can't we look at porting in some of the later Dwarven companions, like Grimir, Dwarven Emissary, Gloin, Son of Groin, or even Dain Ironfoot, King Under the Mountain?

- Suffered Much Loss
There has to be a better way to make sites battle grounds in King, right? How are Pelennor Fields and Dagorlad not battlegrounds? That said, I don't buy Suffered Much Loss being the right answer. Something about that felt off and I can't describe what it is.

- [Nazgul] Rings
For what it is worth, the Nazgul didn't even have their own rings. Sauron kept them and used them to control the Nazgul. Use that information how you wish...but it might be mildly lore-breaking to have them readily available for battle.

I'll add more thoughts later.
-wtk
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2019, 02:57:08 PM »

I was going to try to go through and respond to everything, but this one lost me here.
-wtk

Again - to reiterate - my selections are based on what is present in the movies and should be represented in the card game, first and foremost. Grond should be in a "movie format", to say nothing of whether or not it requires errata. Does that make sense?
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2019, 03:01:52 PM »

- Alternate ring-bearers, and other Dwarven characters:
Okay, so I get it. Wulf is actually the name of a character who precedes the LotR part of the legendarium. So does Freca (who happens to be Wulf's father). But there is no reason that a Dunlander cannot be renamed after their leaders of old. On the other hand, Gimli and Samwise Gamgee teaming up with Isildur, Bearer of Heirlooms or Durin III or other long-dead characters is lore-breaking to me. Guys like Sindri and Uri make Dwarves more playable, maybe, but why can't we look at porting in some of the later Dwarven companions, like Grimir, Dwarven Emissary, Gloin, Son of Groin, or even Dain Ironfoot, King Under the Mountain?

I also find it odd that Second Age characters showed up as companions. If anything, they should've been allies with, like, an Ancestor keyword or something to help distinguish them as being part of the past, and unable to directly influence the course of the Quest.
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2019, 03:31:13 PM »

Again - to reiterate - my selections are based on what is present in the movies and should be represented in the card game, first and foremost. Grond should be in a "movie format", to say nothing of whether or not it requires errata. Does that make sense?[/quote]
That's fair. I might have been unclear about the purpose of this. I am not trying to errata cards; I am trying to create a balanced version of "Movie Block" using the cards that exist without breaking the general balance of the game from the set 7 point.
-wtk
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2019, 03:34:16 PM »

Yup yup. I was pretty certain from the start that my answers weren't quite what you were looking for. If balance is the only priority, by all means give Grond the boot.
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