Custom Cards: Alternate Art Core Set Heroes

Spirit Bear by Marion Rose

Beyond the rich theme and deep strategy, another thing that really makes The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game stand out is the fantastic art. It is a shame that the standard card size reduces many of these masterpieces to near postage stamp size, but there is some amazing artwork being created for this game. There is currently a thread on the FFG forums where everyone is sharing their favorite pieces of art – I want to encourage anyone who appreciates the artistic side of this game to go check it out.

As a game matures, players become familiar with the cards, particularly heroes, they they see all of the time. At a certain point, all of the extra space give to stats and rules text can almost be seen as noise that detracts from, or at least covers up, the wonderful art of these cards. This is where alternate art cards are a great idea. Not only do they showcase a new artistic interpretation of heroes that we know and love, but most of the “chrome” for stats and card text has been stripped away, leaving the artwork as the center of attention. So far the only official alternate art cards is the copy of Aragorn that came with the GenCon 2014 quest, The Old Forest, and the Fellowship event decks for Fog on the Barrow Downs.

I really like this card, and I hope that FFG continues to release alternate art cards for other heroes and beloved player cards. In the mean time, however, my bearish impatience got the better of me and I went ahead and created alternate art cards for each of the heroes in the Core Set. Having all of that extra space really allows for some dramatic art choices, so I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do. The Grey Company just might be giving these out as promotions in the near future – we’ll have to see!





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14 Responses to Custom Cards: Alternate Art Core Set Heroes

  1. The Gimli art is fantastic, especially given the card ability. Theodred also looks incredible.

  2. Ben says:

    I always loved to textless alternate art cards for MTG and have already used my copy of Aragorn’s alternate art.

    Of the ones you posted, my favorites for each sphere have to be Theodred, Legolas, Eowyn, and Beravor. Out these, I’d have to say Beravor is my favorite. The action shot of this hero is amazing. She reminds me a little of the demon hunter class from Diablo 3. Eowyn next as her encounter with the witch king is the pinnacle moment for her character in the books. Legolas third as again, love the action shot. Theodred last, only because of the lacking background, otherwise the portrait itself is amazing with great detail, very regal for the noble of Rohan!

    Thanks for these! I definitely hope FFG does more alternate cards for more fellowship events.

    • Beorn says:

      Yes, I was bummed that the image that I used for Théodred has no background, but it is otherwise perfect. The art for Éowyn is dramatic, it’s nice to have the full card to give it a greater sense of depth. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Gwaihir the Windlord says:

    These are fantastic! Where did you find the template? You’re encouraging me to make my own.

    • Beorn says:

      The promotion template is available in the latest version of Strange Eons for Windows (sadly the MacOSX version does not have this feature). Under the template tab of a hero card, click on the “promotion” button to enable this feature.

  4. These look amazing! I really like that Gloin card. You may have just inspired me to come up with an alternate art Balin! Nicely done sir.

  5. diedertk says:

    I like most of these, some are not that great, but especially Thalin, Gimli and Legolas are great imo. Don’t like the Aragorn really, a bit too surrealistic or something for me. Also, the AA Eowyn on OCTGN is great! There she is splendid, but I don’t mind this one. I know you only did Core Set heroes but Splorfindel and Tactics Boromir have been done on OCTGN too and they are just wow! The stupid aging bald old one has been replaced with a great fighting Boromir with a cool Uruk in the background.
    Anyway, I like alternate art a lot and I hope more are to be released, even of unique allies maybe. 🙂
    Thanks for the article! You inspire me more and more to take on my own blog.

  6. Susan says:

    I really like some of these Alt Arts. Gimli is amazing. For whatever reason, I find it disconcerting when characters dramatically change hair colour though. So while I love the art on Beravor, I’d rather see it on a hero who started off blonde. But that’s probably just me.

    • Beorn says:

      I agree, and I would have preferred to find art that more closely matched her appearance on the original card. However, it is not easy to find fantasy art of women that does not feature the “chainmail bikini” cliche. To say that I find that trend in fantasy art distasteful is an understatement.

  7. Susan says:

    Just realized I meant Thalin not Gimli. Though the Gimli one is great too.

  8. Glaurung says:

    I believe we need that design badly! Then heroes will be looks really different to other characters cards and this is good idea!

  9. indierockclimber says:

    Hey man! I… might need to have a high res version of these for… reasons. Do you have any by any chance you could email me?

    • Beorn says:

      Yes. I need to export them in high definition, but I will try to get them to you tomorrow night. You don’t have a Dropbox account, by any chance?

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