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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Lieutenant plot decks rss

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Kevin Manrique
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Hey guys. I am on the fence about purchasing plot decks but I am interested in getting around 3 maybe 4 of them. Which are the best/easiest ones to use. I prefer the abilities to be more general and not monster specific. I am looking into getting Baron Zachareth at least. I know you can't play him in the shadow rune campaign but I like his spells.

The reason why I am on the fence about the plot decks is, on average how many threat tokens can you get through out a campaign? It doesn't seem like a lot especially when the minimum amount of xp the overlord gets is 8 xp before the finale. So that will just be 8 threat tokens unless you trade in 1 xp for 3 threat tokens. With the purchasing and using threat tokens how can you have enough threat tokens to use these plot cards nearly every quest. I also know you get 1 threat token for killing a hero once per quest which I feel it should be 1 per encounter. Are all the abilities in the plot decks not supposed to be learned throughout the campaign?
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A number of decks have 1 card which will give you an alternative way to generate threat. For example, Valyndra has a 0-cost card (Mine All Mine) which, at the end of every encounter, you put a threat token on it for every search token left on the board. At the end of the quest, you either put the threat tokens back in the box or take the threat tokens and remove the card from the game. You also get 1 threat for winning a quest and 1 threat for playing a rumor quest.

But yes, you probably won't have enough threat to buy them all or play one every quest. Also note that almost all of them have 2 costs: 1 to buy the card to use and 1 to use the card. All of the agents cards you have to buy every time you use them. But the rest, once you buy the card it is available, you just have to pay the activation.

There's a number of other threads here on the different lieutenants, but I just looked through the ones that are currently available the past couple of days so here's my recommendations. Caveat: I haven't played through with any of these.

You can browse all of them here: http://d2edb.zbmott.net/browse/

* If you want the possibly strongest, it looks like Bol'Goreth. The Infector deck lines up extremely well with his plot deck. But it may be discouraging to the heroes to always be poisoned/diseased/infected instead of just fighting monsters. However, it means you're using the Infector OL cards instead of the Warlord, which people seem to think is the strongest (especially Reinforce).

* Alric is generally considered a strong deck. He's pretty straight-forward; he adds combat bonuses to monsters, and generally not of a fixed type and there's definitely no single focus for his deck.

* People seem to like Valyndra. I'm not that taken with it. You would have to use huge/massive monsters all the time which seems a bit cheesy to do every quest. The cards themselves are pretty decent. There are a couple of cards that are high cost to buy and low cost to activate (Guardians of the Hoard and Valyndra's Shadow) and Valyndra herself is a very nice monster. Aurium Plating and Punish the Weak are also good. But as I said, my main objection is that you're always playing large monster groups to take advantage of the deck which just seems less sporting.

* Raythen seems like fun, although he's dependent on search tokens. But if stealing and messing with the heroes treasures are what you're after, he seems like a good way to do it.

* Playing Basic I, I decided to go with Belthir. He has a good model and is a decent agent in Act II. He has a good deck to play with. You can power his deck with Trap cards instead of threat if you want. Show of Force allows you to get your threat and your OL card for knocking out a hero. Hazard Pay is a great way to quickly reinforce a small or medium monster group. It doesn't look like a super annoying deck to play against.
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One thing to pull out of the above, is that there may be stronger or weaker plot decks, but there is no definitive "best". It depends a lot on what Overlord cards you were thinking/planning on buying with your XP and what style of game you want to play.

Personally, when looking through them, I minimized the importance of their agent figure. It's the most expensive (or tied) to buy. You have to re-buy it every time. It replaces monsters which you otherwise get. And it costs 3 threat to give to the heroes. But YMMV. And for some agents like Valyndra, it may be worth it.
 
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Kevin Manrique
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I don't have any of the expansions yet. But I have already purchased SON and LOR, just waiting for it to ship together. Those lieutenants you did say do seem interesting. I am also interested in the new lieutenants in SON, like the brothers. They seem very spell oriented. But I am only looking into getting 3-4 at the moment. I think I read on this forum that Splig is the most used because his also used in the LOR campaign? So would you say Bol'Goreth is only really good at getting if I have the mini exp he comes with for the infector cards? He does seem really good but like you said annoying for heroes to test their attributes every turn for being poison/diseased.
 
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Well, there's 2 reasons people say their buy their lieutenants.

1: To replace the lieutenant token with a lieutenant miniature.
2: To add the threat/plot deck to their campaign.

If your priority is #1, Splig pops up in a number of scenarios. If your priority is #2, get whatever you like the best. Also, just because you can use Splig more often doesn't necessarily mean that he's the guy you want the most. Maybe you like the look of one of the other guys and don't care for Splig. Totally a personal choice.
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Zachary Mott
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Leeko wrote:
Which are the best/easiest ones to use. I prefer the abilities to be more general and not monster specific. I am looking into getting Baron Zachareth at least. I know you can't play him in the shadow rune campaign but I like his spells.


In my personal opinion, Seeds of Betrayal is the most powerful. It's not especially good at winning quests, but it's excellent at preventing the heroes from becoming powerful enough to win the finale. Also, the Zachareth agent is one of the strongest in the game. I reported on my experience with it here.

Leeko wrote:
The reason why I am on the fence about the plot decks is, on average how many threat tokens can you get through out a campaign? It doesn't seem like a lot especially when the minimum amount of xp the overlord gets is 8 xp before the finale.


Don't worry about not being able to generate enough threat. I've played about a campaign and a half with plot decks, and I think the threat generation mechanic is just about right. I always have to carefully consider when I want to spend my threat, but I don't think I've ever found myself in a situation where I didn't have enough threat to do something I wanted to do. The key is to knock down 2-3 different heroes per quest and to choose to gain threat instead of drawing an Overlord card when you do.

Leeko wrote:
With the purchasing and using threat tokens how can you have enough threat tokens to use these plot cards nearly every quest. Are all the abilities in the plot decks not supposed to be learned throughout the campaign?


The idea isn't to purchase every ability and use them in every quest. You won't have enough threat to do that. Purchase the abilities that complement your strategy, and use them carefully to help yourself win a quest. Most of the time, my strategy is to focus on gaining threat and purchasing plot cards in act one, and then to trigger my plot cards more often in act two.
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Kevin Manrique
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Thanks for your input Zachary as the rest of you before him. I am definitely buying the seeds of betrayal plot deck because of the same reasons you listed. It helps the overlord player in general and doesn't have to rely on any other situation to happen most of the time. I got $20 I am willing to spend on plot decks and they are going for $5.99 on coolstuffinc.com. So right now I got in my cart Seeds of Betrayal and the 2 new lieutenants Rylan and Tristayne Olliven. Though it may be risky getting the 2 new ones if I may not like them.
 
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Zachary Mott
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Leeko wrote:
So right now I got in my cart Seeds of Betrayal and the 2 new lieutenants Rylan and Tristayne Olliven. Though it may be risky getting the 2 new ones if I may not like them.


If you're really concerned about getting the lieutenants you're most interested in, Rylan and Tristayne are risky choices. There just isn't that much public information about them. However, they're expected to arrive at retailers on March 28, which means that I should have them up on D2eDB by the beginning of April. So if you can wait about a week and a half, you'll be able to make a much more educated choice about the lieutenants you're getting.
 
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Kevin Manrique
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Yeah, I got no problem in waiting.
 
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Florian Flumontanus
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Question: Is it balanced that the heroes then get the "used" threat tokens? I'm about to start a new campaign and the advantages the heroes get for usedtokens seem quite good?! So I'm concerned as well if the plot deck and it's cards are actually worth it?! So me personally would just put used tokens back in the box instead of giving them to the heroes. .. Anyone has some experience?
 
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Rafal Areinu
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Giving threat tokens to heroes is alright. It creates interesting decision making and stops you from using the abilities when it's meaningless. If you look trough all the plot decks you'll find some cards not really worth using, and many worth under certain circumstances. It's up to you to decide whenever risk from giving heroes fortune is worth using the card.

For example Ariad has basic card that has this text:
Quote:
Exhaust this card when a monster performs an attack that is a miss. Reroll the attack die.
If that monster has the Cursed monster trait, you may also reroll 1 power die.
If that attack deals at least 1 Heart (after the defense roll), the monster that performed the attack may move 1 space.

So you're basically trading 1 reroll for 1 reroll, since it's what heroes will use it for.
But you can use it for deciding hit that will change the flow of the game. You can use it on any monster you have. It even gets a bit more powerful with Cursed monsters.
They have to decide who gets the token right after you used your ability, and they can't predict who will roll bad. Thus they have only 1/4th chance that it goes to someone who will need it. And if it's near the end of the game they won't have much time to get chance to use it.

Or there's Ariad card that costs 2 threat to use:
Quote:
Exhaust this card at the start of your turn to choose 1 monster. Each hero in that monster's line of sight tests Willpower. If that monster has the Cursed monster trait, add 1 Shield to the results of each test. You may move each hero who fails 2 spaces.

That's... REALLY powerful ability. It can basically break some quests. Sure, heroes do get 2 tokens, so they might get an item afterwards(but they lost the quest) or might try using those tokens to reroll a die on test. But you might have something on yout hand to force them to reroll again even if they succeed There are many quests where good placement is key to victory. Often by blocking corridors. Uh, oh... That won't work with this card in play!

Because you have to manage threat carefully and think about potential benefit versus what fortune tokens will do the decks are very interesting. And it's pretty good and balanced system. If you were to stop giving Fortune to heroes it would be COMPLETELY unbalanced.

And remember no hero can have 2 threat tokens before each hero has at least one. That means they won't be getting additional actions quickly.
 
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