Custom Cards: The Might of Gondor

Here at the Hall of Beorn, we like to keep up with the latest happenings in the community. Between the Cardboard of the Rings podcast, great blogs like Tales From the Cards and Master of Lore, and useful (and mostly friendly) forums at FFG and Board Game Geek, there are some great resources for players of the game. For anyone who craves more Lord of the Rings LCG goodness, we invite you to check out the links on the right side of this blog, you may just discover exactly what you were looking for.

One of the best things about the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, is that so many of the great contributions to the game have come from the community itself. With that in mind, we would like to welcome readers to submit their decks, article ideas, art, recipes, and other game-related miscellany.

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For this article, we are highlighting some fantastic custom cards, by a reader named speedy. As speedy hails from one of my favorite countries, I just want to take a moment to give a big shout out to all of my readers in the Czech Republic. Not only is your country beautiful, and filled with some of the most delicious beer in the world, but you are well represented as visitors of this blog, so thanks to all my Czech readers! I had the good fortune to visit your fine country almost ten years ago, and I can’t wait to go back, so long as bears who love beer are still welcome.

Bears Drinking Beer

With salutations out of the way, let’s discuss the cards that speedy designed. With the Against the Shadow cycle winding down, many players have noticed, and commented upon, a general lack of Gondor-synergy in the player cards. Heirs of Númenor brought with it the promise of powerful new deck archetypes based on the Gondor trait. As we all know, Outlands has largely stolen the thunder from their more metropolitan comrades and Gondor remains, as of yet, a relatively under-developed trait. While it has always had some of the most powerful cards in the game (Steward of Gondor, Horn of Gondor), and has certainly been improved by some of the new cards (hello, Gondorian Shield!), Gondor as an archetype still feels unfinished. Many players, myself included, feel that the denizens of Minas Tirith deserve to be better represented.

So it came as a pleasant surprise, when speedy contacted the blog with his take on some Gondor-specific cards to fill in the gaps. Many times custom cards are overly powerful, and indeed, it is no easy task to create new cards that don’t have broken interactions with the growing card pool. Anyone that wants to criticize the designers of the game, should be required to design a set of cards first. I suspect that this would lead to more reasonable, and respectful, comments from many players about the relative strengths and weaknesses of a given player card.

In any case, the cards that speedy designed are certainly powerful, but the thing that I like best about them is how thematically cohesive they are. In order to fully realize the power of these cards, you have to play them with other Gondor heroes and player cards. What’s more, these cards have quite a bit of nuance, and require some thoughtful deck-building to truly showcase.  This is exactly the kind of trait synergy that many were hoping for, when this cycle was announced. It will be interesting to see what other players think about these cards, and everyone is welcome to comment below. Also, for anyone with their own ideas, cards, art, or just a desire to rant angrily at a bear, feel free to contact us: HallOfBeorn@gmail.com.  So without further ado, I would like to present The Might of Gondor, brought to you by speedy.

-Denethor-Front-Face -Banner-of-Stewards-Front-Face -Staff-of-Stewards-Front-Face Fountain-Guard-Front-Face Knights-of-Dol-Amroth-Front-Face Servant-of-the-Citadel-Front-Face

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12 Responses to Custom Cards: The Might of Gondor

  1. heavykaragh says:

    Nice batch of cards.
    I love both Knights of Dol Amroth and Fountain Guard! They are a bit overpowered, but the abilities are very nice, and as Beorn said, thematically are excellent. Making Knight’s and Guard’s attack 0 should make them a bit more balanced.
    What I don’t like is Denethor’s resource generation. It’s free and works from turn 1. Requiring him to exhaust should be good. Or raising his starting threat (maybe 3 or 4 points).

    • shipwreck says:

      Yeah, maybe raise Denethor’s starting threat (though I know they like to keep stats consistent between different versions of heroes). I think Fountain Guard is priced right so as not to make it too overpowered.

      Great card ideas! I should like to see some kind of love for Imrahil at some point, along with some synergy with his Knights, either from a player or FFG directly.

    • Beorn says:

      On Denethor, his first ability was originally a response that triggered after Denethor exhausted. His text was getting a bit cramped, so it was simplified. Even so, his ability is very similar to Theodred’s, but limited to Gondor heroes, and the Rohirrim’s threat is not inflated. I could see the Knights and Fountain Guard each having one less point of stats, the other thing that I was thinking about would be if they were unique. I can’t speak for speedy, but I think he wanted them to be a more thematic take on the boosting concept of Outlands. In that regard, I’d say he succeeded admirably. I think Servant of the Citadel may be my favorite of all of the cards; it is balanced, but very useful and so totally thematic. I can close my eyes and just picture Denethor summoning someone to the Citadel.

  2. Boot says:

    These cards are sweet… Actually too sweet I am now upset they are not official 😦

  3. Tiandes says:

    Nice ideas

    About the Knight Fountain/Dol Amroth, I’d cut one stats, I’d start the building stats (number of gondor heroes) at 0 so it max at 3.

    The servant got too much HP, his ability is so powerfull that he shouldn’t be able to survive treachery that inflict 1 damge. Kind like the Imladris Stargazer.

  4. Tiandes says:

    And about the staff, is it really Noble AND Gondor?

    Meaning you could only put it on Boromir, Denethor, Eleanor, Faramir or the Prince?

    Unless you got the Steward on another Noble Hero…

  5. Tiandes says:

    Yes me again…

    You should try to put it in OCTGN format…

    Just saying!

  6. speedy says:

    Thanks to Beorn, for posting my cards and helping me with design 😉

    Denethor – As Beorn said, I think that his ability isn´t so overpowered, when you compare him to Theodred. There is the limitation, that the resource can only be added to ANOTHER and GONDOR hero…
    Servant – I made him with 2 hitpoints, because Gondor allies usually have 2. Even Errand rider, Citadel guard etc. His ability will only trigger when he comes to play, so I think that it is OK.
    Fountain Guard/KoDA – I wanted to show, that these two are the best soldiers of men in the Middle-Earth. Maybe they are strong, if you play with three leadership Gondor heroes… And that was my goal. Gondor doesn´t have many strong allies (only chump blockers like pages, envoys, errand riders…).
    Staff and Banner – Actually, the leadership Denethor was added because I love monosphere and who else is worth to hold this “set of stewards”? 😉

    I wanted to create some Gondor-boosting cards, but I also wanted them to be thematic. When I first looked (as big fan of Gondor) on the Coreset Citadel guard, or the Outlands Swan knight, I was very disappointed. That same with AtS cycle. Maybe they are powerful, but in the terms of theme, I am proud of myself (even the fluff texts are chosen with love for Tolkien´s books and Gondor)

    Hope, that you will like these cards, and thanks for feedback.

  7. Wonderful cards speedy! I especially appreciate the flavor text and your comment about how you chose them with love of Tolkien’s books. The Servant of the Citadel is my favorite.

    Why did you decide to make them all Leadership? Part of the monosphere push of this cycle?

    • speedy says:

      Thanks Master! As I said, the flavour text is chosen from my favourite parts of books, and I think that it fit very well for each card. Shame, that the cards aren´t bigger, I want more flavour text :D.
      Firstly, I like monospehere and specialization (Lore Rangers, Leadership Gondor…). I know, that these decks aren´t the strongest, but I play for the feel and story, not for winning (so, no Aragorn and Denethor in the same deck. No elves and dwarfs in Gondor/Ithilien decks…)
      Secondly, I have only Leadership and Lore cards. We splitted the core set with friend. I am only 17, so funds heavily depends on parents (fortunately fans of boardgames 😀 ). I don´t even have Khazad-dum, Dwarrowdelf and Hobbit expansions, and in HoN and AtS, I am at the start (Steward´s fear). But I read every article on net (including your blog, of course) and I know the cards from AtS cycle by heart. And I prepared decks for future (like Ithilien rangers), when I will have other cards. Until then, I must play these decks on OCTGN. 😉

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