It’s well past time that we tally the results of our last poll and see which new hero players like best. I should note that Spirit Beregond and was spoiled after this poll was started, so the only vote for him was a write-in. Similarly, The Sands of Harad was not even a mirage on the distant horizon, so Spirit Legolas and Leadership Gimli were both omitted from the ballot.
With so many heroes being released in new spheres, it will be interesting to see how many existing archetypes change to include familiar faces with new capabilities. We are already seeing some powerful combinations of these heroes, with the newer versions mixed in with familiar faces. In particular, the recent trend of ally-light decks is a nice change. Given the level of excitement when Tactics Éowyn was first spoiled, not to mention the long-held expectation within the community, it should come as no surprise that she won the most votes in a convincing fashion.
Arwen made a respectable showing in second. Her ability is at the heart of a burgeoning Noldor discard archetype, and she too works well with Aragorn, though this could be said for most heroes. Seeing these two heroines of Middle-earth win out, a bear can’t help but wonder if there is a powerful deck (or two) that features them both. It’s a shame that Arwen refuses to share with Éowyn, but they give you a powerful sphere combination and excellent stats. The design possibilities with these two are intriguing to say the least.
Seeing Treebeard in third place was a surprise as I assumed that his ally version would detract from the popularity of the hero. I’ve made several decks with the leader of the Ents (as a hero), but I find that his ally version always wins out in terms of versatility – a well-known focus of mine. Perhaps my judgement of the hero is too hasty, but the high threat does limit the heroes that you can pair with him. I will say that I very much enjoy playing Sean’s Glóin deck, which features hero Treebeard, albeit in a supporting role.
The rest of the field is rounded out by Tactics Aragorn, Leadership Denethor, Círdan the Shipwright (and transcendent hipster-level beard-enthusiast) and Erestor. The latter two are part of the Noldor archetype, which sprang seemingly from nowhere and has taken a lofty place among the most powerful decks in the game. Tactics Aragorn has a place in powerful Dúnedain decks, but can also be used to great effect in decks outside that archetype. When it comes down to it, killing everything in sight is a skill for which most decks can find a use. Last, but certainly not least, we have Leadership Denethor.
If I had to pick a favorite from the new heroes, the least likely candidate for Father of the Year would probably be my choice. His threat, stats, trait and sphere all provide maximal utility to many different flavors of Gondor deck, but it is his setup ability which I really appreciate. Almost all of the games I’ve ever lost have been lost within the first few rounds of the game (even if I didn’t realize it until after the fact). The nature of this game is such that you have a few rounds to establish yourself with critical allies and attachments to prepare for the onslaught of the encounter deck. The benefit of those two extra resources to start the game should not be underestimated.
As always, thanks to all of the readers who voted. Feel free to leave any thoughts about your favorite new hero, or why you agree or disagree with the community consensus in the comments below. Also, be sure to participate in the latest poll about where in Middle-earth you would like the next cycle to take place. From me, Mrs. Beorn, and everyone here visiting the Hall of Beorn, we want to wish you all happy and safe holidays!
|Círdan the Shipwright||30||6.19%|
|Galdor of the Havens||6||1.24%|