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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Voice of Isengard» Forums » General

Subject: The costing of Grima rss

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Jon Ben
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I'm interested in hearing people's opinion on the costing of Grima:



His 9 threat is one more than the sum of his stats, presumably because his ability is good. However, the ability also causes you to increase your threat so it would make sense to me to at the most cost him at 8 and then if you use the ability you pay.

This is a bit extreme perhaps, but let's compare Grima to Spirit Glorfindel:



Glorfindel has stats totalling 12 and his threat is 5! Presumably because you're going to suffer threat to quest with him. Of course Light of Valinor usually gets played before too long.

Maybe Grima's power is just that amazing? It's one resource generation a round (at most), which is amazing, but paying a threat each time and starting at 9....
What am I missing?
 
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Andrew B
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JonBen wrote:
What am I missing?

The cards that benefit from the Doomed keyword, after we've seen more of them we can pass true judgement.
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Tony Fanchi
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JonBen wrote:
What am I missing?
You're missing the fact that Spirit Glorfindel is the exception to the starting threat rule. Instead of having game text, his "ability" is his low threat. Comparing his starting threat with other heroes is not a fair comparison. Instead, compare Grima to someone like Beregond. Beregond has a threat cost higher than his starting stats. There are probably two reasons for this. First, he has 4 defense, which no other hero has. And second, he can have certain attachments played on him for free. Thus the designers decided to bump up his starting threat by a point to balance him out.

Grima, meanwhile, has the ability to basically gain an extra resource every turn at the cost of a point of threat. Trading a threat point for a resource is a bargain. Consider Galadhrim's Greeting: 6 threat reduction for 3 resources. That's 2 threat per resource. So you're getting the resource for "half price". That's a pretty good deal, so the designers felt he should be costed a bit higher to account for the strength of his ability.

Also, Grima to me is an oddity in that he's a hero who is better with fewer players. Many heroes are better with more players (any hero with Ranged or Sentinel, for instance), but Grima shines best in solo play. Pair him up with Lore Aragorn, and you can use Grima's ability every turn without concern for your threat. If it gets dangerously high, just reset it.
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Jan Probst
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Having a hero who can "generate ressources" (ok, enjoy a discount, minor difference), even at a cost, is a pretty notable ability imo. Moreso in a traditionally ressource-starved sphere.
That the cost is paid in a way that can fuel beneficial synergies is a further improvement on that.
So yeah, I think its a solid power that might quite deserve a +1 price hike (having price hikes for stronger powers is not without precedent anyway).
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Casey Lent
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There has also been a slight trend among recent heroes to include ranged or sentinel as a stat point, Hirluin and Beregond as principle examples.
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Jon Ben
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Thanks for the input.

I'm still not convinced that cost 9 makes sense.

Beregond is a good example, he is likely to save you lots of resources during the game. Let's say 5-10 resources and this costs you 1 threat! That seems like quite the bargain. Of course, Grima is much more flexible since the free resources can be used to play any card. Deck customization with Beregond is perhaps higher, but Grima will need threat reduction so you do need to build around his ability. Either way, you craft a deck with synergy and in the case of Beregond you get incredible value for 1 threat, with Grima you pay 1 threat per resource plus one threat. The fact that Grima would also synergise in other decks is little consolation when using him in a specific deck.

It's a bit futile for me to argue, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to make a strong argument one way or the other even after playing with him at both values. I'm always interested when heroes are costed high or low. Although I never make too much of a fuss about justifying the abilities of those that come in at cost.
As a final thought perhaps his higher threat is thematic
 
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Jon Ben
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mistertrench wrote:
There has also been a slight trend among recent heroes to include ranged or sentinel as a stat point, Hirluin and Beregond as principle examples.

Perhaps Isengard is similar?
 
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Casey Lent
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JonBen wrote:
mistertrench wrote:
There has also been a slight trend among recent heroes to include ranged or sentinel as a stat point, Hirluin and Beregond as principle examples.

Perhaps Isengard is similar?

Do you mean by continuing the trend? Possibly. Grima and Beregond also work in a tremendous array of deck types, while other heroes with more specific abilities tend to closely obey the sum(stats)=threat rule. We won't really know until we see other heroes from the cycle, however.
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Jan Probst
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JonBen wrote:
mistertrench wrote:
There has also been a slight trend among recent heroes to include ranged or sentinel as a stat point, Hirluin and Beregond as principle examples.

Perhaps Isengard is similar?
Isendart the trait? Probably not. Also, he was talking about keywords (that actually do something), not traits (that do not, barring interactions from other cards). Don't think a trait ever was identifyable as a probable cause for a cost hike before. Also, no Isengart trait interaction in the base deluxe expansion I can see, so I'm dubious how meaningful a trait it will be.

Edit: While we are on the topic of synergies though, with Key of Orthanc Grima becomes pretty ridiculous on the ressource front (we're still talking about Lore here, youguise).
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Jefferson Krogh
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How does "Gain Doomed 1" interact with cards that already have higher numbers of Doomed to start with? Do we know?
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Casey Lent
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Presumably it would be like the "gains secrecy 1" effect of the leaf brooch in that it compounds.
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Jon Ben
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mistertrench wrote:
Presumably it would be like the "gains secrecy 1" effect of the leaf brooch in that it compounds.

Yes, I certainly believe it would stack.

Regarding Isengard, I was simply trying to make sense of your comment in the context of the thread. I guess you were referring to the Doomed keyword before, but I didn't realize that.

As people have mentioned there seem to be cards in the expansion which synergize with the Doomed keyword. This seems to be the crucial thing that I was missing.
 
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Justin Davis
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Grima'a ability has potential to get ridiculous turn 1. You can now get a Steward of Gondor or an Unexpected Courage out on turn 1 instead of turn 2. This was possible before with various resource-fixing options, but required a more perfect starting hand, etc.

This is a HUGE tempo advantage.

Think about it - will you really feel it if your turn 1 threat is 28 instead of 27 (or whatever?). Probably not. But getting that extra resource is a big deal.

 
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Sam Cook
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There might be some value in using him to play the Baggins cards without having to exhaust the ring to put resources on Bilbo. Thematically, it just seems so very wrong though.
 
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Roger S.
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mistertrench wrote:
There has also been a slight trend among recent heroes to include ranged or sentinel as a stat point, Hirluin and Beregond as principle examples.
I'm pretty certain that their threat penalties are due to their abilities rather than their Ranged/Sentinel distinctions. The ability to pay for cards out of sphere is pretty strong (especially when said cards all have synergy with one another), and so is the ability to save up to 4 resources a game (and have 4 defense, which no other hero does). If you take a look at other Ranged/Sentinel heroes, most are not penalized with an additional threat point, but if you look at heroes with comparable abilities (Elrond's pay-for-out-of-sphere and Grima's resource-savings) they both do get a threat point boost.
 
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Jon Ben
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decadence20 wrote:
mistertrench wrote:
There has also been a slight trend among recent heroes to include ranged or sentinel as a stat point, Hirluin and Beregond as principle examples.
I'm pretty certain that their threat penalties are due to their abilities rather than their Ranged/Sentinel distinctions. The ability to pay for cards out of sphere is pretty strong (especially when said cards all have synergy with one another), and so is the ability to save up to 4 resources a game (and have 4 defense, which no other hero does). If you take a look at other Ranged/Sentinel heroes, most are not penalized with an additional threat point, but if you look at heroes with comparable abilities (Elrond's pay-for-out-of-sphere and Grima's resource-savings) they both do get a threat point boost.

Good points, but why "up to 4 resources"?

Now that the set is out I'm still unconvinced that Grima deserves the stat bump. I'm hoping that with the release of the rest of the player cards things will make sense. Or maybe I need to build a deck around this guy and actually learn by playing
 
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Roger S.
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JonBen wrote:

Good points, but why "up to 4 resources"?
I was referring to Beregond, since as far as I am aware, all weapon and armor attachments are restricted, and thus he could only utilize his discount twice for a maximum of 4 resource savings.
 
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Roger S.
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JonBen wrote:
Or maybe I need to build a deck around this guy and actually learn by playing :P
Definitely build a solo deck around him. You'll be impressed :)
 
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Jon Ben
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decadence20 wrote:
JonBen wrote:

Good points, but why "up to 4 resources"?
I was referring to Beregond, since as far as I am aware, all weapon and armor attachments are restricted, and thus he could only utilize his discount twice for a maximum of 4 resource savings.

Well there is the Sword of Morthond. But aside from that, you may loose some attachments you play on him... Anyway, I get your point, it will usually be 4 resources. It struck me as odd because I read it as a hard limit.
 
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Roger S.
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JonBen wrote:
Well there is the Sword of Morthond. But aside from that, you may loose some attachments you play on him... Anyway, I get your point, it will usually be 4 resources. It struck me as odd because I read it as a hard limit.
Yeah, I probably could have worded that better. Sorry for the confusion. Didn't mean to imply a hard limit of 4, just a practical limit.
 
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Roger S.
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JonBen wrote:
Well there is the Sword of Morthond.
The Sword of Morthond can only be played on allies, though, so no Beregond synergy. (I still agree with your point of over-playing / discarding attachments making use of his benefit, just wanted to point this one out, because it's something I missed when I first used/read the card).
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