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Subject: Who’s number one: Utility Assessment of Thunderstone Characters rss

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Jason Farris
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Thunderstone is one of those games that some people seem to “get” and others just end up confused about initially. I think this is partly due to a relatively steep initial learning curve compared to similar games, (e.g. Dominion). Also, while adequate if you know how to play, the rules have already gone through multiple revisions and can be obtuse at times. These problems have reduced the accessibility of the game to new people and have allowed experienced players to skunk the new ones. This does not always lead to new players wanting to get on the internet to learn the new rules, and/or splay the game enough to learn how to play. This is especially true if they play with different people teaching the game who have different rules interpretations.

Because of these issues, I felt it was important to start compiling strategy guides for this, in my opinion, great game. I am well aware that new players may not want to get on the internet and read strategy articles any more than they want to read rules, but you have to start somewhere. Here I will rate all the heroes and the abilities as well as suggestions for their use. Some are obviously more powerful than others and one, I think, is completely broken. Hopefully these will be helpful when making your hero choices. I’m sure some will disagree with my rankings. Feel free to comment.


Top Tier:

Lorigg:

Level 1: 2 gold, 1 light, +1 attack
Level 2: 3 gold, 1 light, +2 attack, all other players discard one card when she hits the dungeon
Level 3: 4 gold, 2 light, +2 attack, all other players discard one card when she hits the dungeon

Some may disagree with this choice as a top tier hero, but I fell you get a huge bang for your buck with this hero. This hero is never useless in town as it produces gold, eliminates the need for extra light sources beyond your basic torch and forces opponents to discard cards at higher levels. While this may not have as big an impact as the Redblade ability or the Selurian’s hero steal, it can still short a player of that 1 attack or gold needed to defeat a monster or buy something important in town. With the innate light, this hero is effectively +3 attack at level 1 (as it counteracts -2 light penalty) as compared with lightless heroes. While the +2 light of level 3 Loriggs does not compare as easily (as the extra light is often useless against a rank 1 monster), it usually allows you to get first crack at monsters deeper in the dungeon. Its average strength allows decent weapons to be equipped but don’t expect to get pole arm bonuses off of it. What makes this hero especially nice is that you don’t have to bloat your deck with some otherwise extraneous cards, but you will likely still need to purchase some weapons. Luckily Lorigg makes buying easy, can help you purchase other expensive heroes later in the game.

I think this hero is easily underestimated with new players due to the lack of raw power, but it is great for keeping your deck trimmed down while still being effective in multiple roles. It ‘s also extremely cheap which will make it easy to get right away and boost your gold production immediately.

Elf:

Level 1: +2 magic attack and 1 light
Level 2: +3 magic attack, 2 light, after defeating a monster you may return one remaining to the bottom of the deck.
Level 3: +4 magic attack, 2 light, after defeating a monster you may return one remaining to the bottom of the deck.

The elf shares some of the good things about the Lorigg hero and packs more punch. The dungeon ability is somewhat weak and is only situationally useful, but you don’t have to use it. The elf’s real power is in the strong + magic attack and the addition of light. The level 1 elf can allow you to take on monsters early without requiring the presence of a torch. From level 2 on, you get two light which will give a player a huge advantage in choosing which monsters they want to kill. Like Lorigg, this hero cuts down on cards you need in hand to effectively take on the dungeon. The weak strength makes using items difficult but they can always use the basic dagger or hatchet.

Outlands:

Level 1: +3 attack, Destroy 1 food to gain attack +3
Level 2: +5 attack, +1 attack for each monster card in your hand, destroy one food for attack +3
Level 3: +7 attack, +2 attack for each monster card in your hand

The many incarnations of the Outlands fighter are at the top for the simple reason that this hero is all about overwhelming power in a single card. If you’re willing to sacrifice one of your gold producing iron rations early in the game, your Outlands fighter can kill most monsters by himself if he has a light source (and you will probably want to do this by mid game to thin your deck). Even if you are not, his high strength makes him combine well with all weapons and after level two makes him a two card kill with a polearm. He is expensive if you buy into the higher level in late game, but his early beat down will often leave you with enough monster gold to get them or the upgrade cost to go that rout. Also, this fighter grows with you. Once you move past the level 1 hero, defeating monsters will slowly add to his attack and the level 3 fighter, will often gain multiple monster bonuses late in the game. This may not be needed if all the high powered monsters are slain, but it will still allow him to pick and choose his fights better.

Middle tier:

Faeyn:

Level 1: +2 attack, cannot attack rank 1, 1 light
Level 2: +3 attack, cannot attack rank 1, 1 light
Level 3: +4 attack, cannot attack rank 1, 2 light gain +1 XP if you defeat a monster in rank 3.

I think the Faeyn is a solid middle tier hero. He is decent in combat and gains an automatic light bonus that is somewhat weakened by the fact that he cannot attack rank one. The automatic light bonus cuts down on the need for extra light cards and allows him to get to the better monsters before players who have no good light source. The level two is only slightly better than the level 1, but the level three literally shines compared to the others. I wouldn’t swamp my deck with level 2 but try to get both of the threes if you can early enough. The 2 light bonus, 4 attack, and XP enhancement make it a great hero mid game. Late game, upgrades probably won’t be as important so the XP booster will fall by the wayside. Another advantage of this hero is that he is an expensive buy in for many players so it is less likely that you will lose out when upgrading to everyone else.

I think if he had +1 extra attack per level, he would move up to top tier hero, but he falls a little short.

Chalice:

Level 1: +2 attack, destroy one disease card in hand and draw a card (repeatable)
Level 2: +3 magic attack, +1 attack for each item that produces light in your hand, destroy one disease card in hand and draw a card (repeatable)
Level 3: +4 magic attack, draw one card in the dungeon before battle, Spoils (go to village and buy a card with whatever gold you have in your hand).

The chalice hero is my favorite from an art perspective, but only mediocre as a hero. It is expensive to purchase and only really shines in special circumstances. If you are facing a lot of disease monsters, it is great. Otherwise there may be better heroes. The chalice hero has solid stats but nothing spectacular. His/her bonuses are best used when you clutter your deck with items that will not always be helpful. You only need a few light sources for example. Also, his/her strength is only a little above average which allows him/her to wield most weapons but not get the super bonus from the polearm without help. So, while a strong overall hero, he/she is often dependent on the luck of the draw and what monsters are out. I think in the right situations this hero could be top tier but over all is just solid.

One important thing to note about the chalice hero: Each level is very different from the preceding one and it is important for newer players to carefully look at what each one does. It’s easy to think you can pitch diseases to the level 3 hero or gain +1 attack for light bonuses but you cannot. It’s also easy to miss the magic attack change from Level 1 to Level 2.

Dwarf:

Level 1: +1 attack, +3 attack more when an edged weapon is attached
Level 2: +2 attack, +4 attack more when an edged weapon is attached, spoils: weapon
Level 3: +3 attack, +5 attack more when an edged weapon is attached

The dwarf is basically the kid brother to the Outlands hero. As long as he has a sharp stick, he can hold his own with that top tier hero. However his weapon strength, while solid does not allow for polearm bonuses until level 3. As most weapons in the game are currently edged (the warhammer being the only exception), any weapon turns this fighter into a power house. What keeps him from being top tier is the requirement of an edged weapon in your draw. Thus, he is always a two card combo. This means you have to buy a lot of edged weapons but not too many or your end up with all weapon draws. Also, as the game progress, hopefully your deck will be filling up with monsters that will also reduce this fighter’s combination goodness. The Level two is actually more powerful, in my opinion, than the level 3. I would rather have the ability to buy a weapon while killing a monster in the dungeon than get the extra +2 offered by the level 3 hero and have to spend another turn on the village to get more weapons. This is somewhat balanced by the fact that the level 3 hero is worth VP at the end of the game while the level 2 is not.

Redblade:

Level 1: +2 attack, 1 gold
Level 2: +3 attack, 2 gold, all other players discard 1 card
Level 3: +4 atttack, 2 gold, all other players discard 1 hero or 2 cards

The Redblade is the last of what I consider to be the solid heroes. He has good attack values and is relatively cheap to purchase. He counts for gold in your hand in the village which spurs on more purchases and he can slow your opponents down at higher levels with his discard ability. The Level 3 is clearly the most desirable version with a 1-2 card advantage given to you when this hero hits the dungeon and a natural +4 attack. If he had light like Lorrig, he would be top tier as well despite his only mediocre gold production. He, like most of the middle tier heroes makes a good secondary hero for dungeon runs. In fact, it can be useful to bounce monsters you cannot defeat if you can take 1-2 card out of your opponent’s hands.

Bottom Tier:

Regian:

Level 1: +1 magic attack, destroy one disease card in the dungeon (repeatable)
Level 2: +2 magic attack, draw one card in the dungeon, destroy one disease card in the dungeon (repeatable)
Level 3: +3 magic attack, draw two cards in the dungeon, destroy one disease card in the dungeon (repeatable)

The Regian may just be the worst hero in the game. His best Attribute is that he is consistently mediocre at every level. You always know what you level up will look like. This is a hero you would only take if you needed to get rid of disease and the Chalice hero was not in the set. His attack is consistently low for a hero who has few other abilities, and his card draw effect at higher levels, is only rarely predictable. I suppose if you get the perfectly thinned deck with exactly the right balance of weapons, heroes, and light, you could use his draw to always get something good, but this will be difficult to achieve. Personally, I’d rather have a hero with slightly better stats than rely on a card draw to save me in the dungeon.

Amazon:

Level 1: +1 attack, +2 attack more in rank 2 or 3
Level 2: +2 attack, +3 attack more in rank 2 or 3
Level 3: +2 attack, +4 attack more in rank 2 or 3

I think the Amazon is the worst archer in the game and almost ties the Regian for worst hero. Without an innate light bonus this hero suffers from the fact that she is best when attacking ranks 2 or 3. All of her plusses get quickly taken down by light penalties. Thus, you really need light cards for her to work. Even then, her bonuses do not make her a very good fighter without a weapon. She is like a weak dwarf. For her to hit powerhouse level, you will need at least three cards to get the most benefit form her and likely more (one light source, the Amazon, a weapon). I don’t want to have to depend on that for my draw. I realize that both Archers are missing bow weapons and I have seen that there will be at least one bow in the expansion. These weapons may bring the Amazon into a higher tier, but now she is not the best choice.

Thyrian:

Level 1: +2 attack, destroy one food in your hand to gain +2 attack
Level 2: +4 attack, all militia gain +1 attack, destroy one food in your hand to gain +2 attack
Level 3 +4 attack, in the dungeon destroy one food to put a 2vp or less monster from the dungeon into the discard pile, all heroes other than fighter gain attack +2

Last but not least we have the Thyrian. This is a hero that really wants to be middle or top tier, but suffers from the chalice heroes schizophrenic abilities that change each level. It is considerably better than the Regian or Amazon. The Thyrian is one of the more expensive heroes to purchase initially and you only get a +2 attack with food destroying ability. Compare this to the Outlands hero who is also expensive but gives a much greater pay off. At level 2 the Thyrian outstrips most other level 2 heros’ native attack values, but gains a relatively useless ability unless you can upgrade to level two very early. Boosting militia is a losing proposition as having many of them in your deck will make it difficult to get better cards, creating bloat. I look tat The Thyrian’s bonus as making the best of a bad situation. I’d rather not be in the bad situation to begin with. Sadly, the level 3 Thyrian does not improve much on the level 2. It does give you a free low VP kill and this is decent for chucking your food cards once you no longer need them for buys in the village. But, odds are you are basically replacing the gold that food produced with an equivalent gold producing monster that will only be good for scoring at the end of the game (it does not thin your deck). It’s a very situational ability. At first glance, the +2 attack to non fighter heroes seems great, but there are only 4 non fighters in the base set of 11 heroes (not counting militia). There are good odds that you will get at least one in you 4 hero draw at the start of the game, but then you are married to getting that hero as your secondary if you want this bonus. It does work with militia, but I would ask why you still have militia in your deck by this point in the game. The only thing that the Thyrian truly excels at is strength. It is the strongest character in the base set and loves polearms.



A final hero to discuss and a rant:


Selurian:

Level 1: +2 magic attack, and Fireball/items gain =1 to magic attack
Level 2: +2 magic attack, totaled magic attack for your hand x2
level 3: magic attack +2, totaled magic attack for your hand x2, each player discards a hero and you can take one to use in your battle

The Selurian is hands down the most powerful hero in the game. There are only 4 monsters that can seriously slow him down in the base set.. One is magic immune, one destroys all wizards involved in the battle, and two reduce hero strength and destroy heroes with 0 strength. These are all high point monsters that will be difficult for other players to kill, so the Selurian can beat up all the monsters around them while waiting for back up or disposable heroes to take them on.

The level one hero is decent as he adds a magic attack to all normal items when you go to the dungeon. This gives you a quick power burst early in the game which allows you to start taking on the baddies immediately. Once you can start destroying your own militia, he really comes into his own.

However, the level 2 and level 3 Heroes are, in my opinion simply broken. Each multiplies you magic attack total by 2. That means if you have 2 level 2 heroes in your hand they are effectively a 16 magic attack, 2+2 magic attack = 4x2x2 =16. Even without light, they can take out most monsters by themselves without taking into account the other 4 cards in your hand. The level 3 is more powerful still as it essentially forces all players to discard a hero (which damages their own dungeon raiding chances) and allows the player with the Selurian to use one of them in the current battle (and it can even be selected for destruction effects of monsters). Sure, you can get lucky and toss a militia, but realistically, you will have few of them left when the level 3 Selurian starts his rampage. Some may argue that the high price tag and the fact that the Selurian never gets above +2 magic, balances out these heroes. But. when one factors in that the level 2 and 3 Selurians always get x2 magic attack, they are, by themselves +4 magic attack, and cost is ignored when following the XP upgrade path instead of buying directly.

Games I have played with the Selurian devolve rapidly into a race to get as many of the level 2 and 3 heroes as possible while dumping militia. Most other cards are unnecessary and just clutter your deck. Who ever gets more, in my experience, will win. The rest of the game is essentially meaningless. This favors those who get a great gold draw early and screws those who do not. I learned in the early days of Magic that putting a multiplier on a card was an instant trip to the restricted list (only one of a card allowed in a deck) due to the problems of multiple multipliers. Apparently this lesson was not learned in Thunderstone.

Also, the Selurian can be a run away leader card. It helps you kill big monsters faster which give you more gold and XP while fueling your purchasing more Selurians to do the same and denying them to others. The level 3 Selurian increases your dungeon fighting while decreasing that of other players. Sure, your deck will bloat with monsters eventually, but odds are the player with more Selurians has already clinched the game by cherry picking the high VP ones.

While it is the best hero in the game, I think the Selurian destroys much of the fun of a game of Thunderstone. It reduces options, reduces the need for getting other cards, and emphasizes the luck of the draw early in the game, reverting to luck winning out over any strategy. My recommendation is not to use this hero in your dungeon set ups, but if you do, grab him like hotcakes before someone else does.


Summary:

In summary, you will notice that my ratings reflect a philosophy of trying to grind you opponents into the dust and trash the dungeon as quickly as possible. Always look for heroes that can do multiple duties and will not require you to have more cards in your deck to combo well. The thinnest deck possible will allow you to redraw the same good cards over and over. Also, look for Heroes who are self-sufficient, such as the Outlands hero who can kill things on his own. The best hands are ones where you can use every card in it. Some heroes can directly thin your deck such as clerics that not only get rid of bad cards but draw new ones for you. In this, Thunderstone is very like dominion. Some cards are suboptimal and should probably be left out of your deck While it may be cool to pull off that 4 card combo for the uber-kill, you are much more likely to pull the more modest but equally effective two card combo.

This being said, part of the genius of Thunderstone is making an effective deck with what you get. There may be times you get the lightstone (3 light and 3 gold) item which can take care of your light needs, so you don’t want a hero that produces light. You may end up with the Regian as the only cleric in game filled with undead monsters that cause disease. At these times the relative value of heroes will change dramatically and a bottom tier hero suddenly becomes a top tier hero. So, no matter what I say in this strategy article, you really need to take the time to assess the environment and choose heroes that will be able to take out the monsters efficiently no matter if they are top tier or not.
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Brian M
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Interesting assessment. I agree with most of it, though I find the Lorigg weak, the Feayn awful, and the Thyrian very good (especially if you don't have a way of getting rid of militia, but his specials are mostly just icing on his high attack and strength).
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Jimmy Okolica
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Nice summary! I agree with most of what you said with two exceptions...

Personally I would put the Thyrian as a Top Tier hero. Starting out with two of them in your deck along with one or two weapons means you can beat most weak to medium monsters. Beat a couple of these to upgrade to one or two level 2 Thyrian and you've got your deck. At this point each militia is +2 or +3 if he shows up with a Thyrian so you don't need to purchase more weapons. You can basically get away with making three or four purchases over the course of the game and only buying more in unusual situations. The biggest downside to the Thyrian is that he is expensive and can be hard to get a hold of but if I get a good early gold draw, I'll definitely pick him up.

As far as the Selurian, the card specifically says that borrowed heroes are returned at the end of the turn so you can't destroy them. In addition, while it would be a house rule, I think that to avoid the Selurian being broken, you have to say that if you have more than one Selurian in your hand, you can only use one multiplier.

Just my two cents...
 
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Jason Farris
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StormKnight wrote:
and the Thyrian very good (especially if you don't have a way of getting rid of militia, but his specials are mostly just icing on his high attack and strength).


I agree that he is much better when you are stuck with militia, it's one of those times that he shines.

I think lorigg is strong as she is essentially a torch with an attack value and discard ability. Also, she is one of the few ways to get 4 gold in the game.
 
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Jason Farris
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Butterfly0038 wrote:

As far as the Selurian, the card specifically says that borrowed heroes are returned at the end of the turn so you can't destroy them.


Page 22 of the version 1.4 rules says you can. It makes him that much worse. yuk

I'll toy around with the Thyrian a little more, but I hate keeping militia due to their 0 gold output. If it works as well as you say, I'll bump him up.
 
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Cyril Ronseaux
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For me selurian and Outlands are both broken. Outland because his raw power is strong AND he can carry anything AND dead-weight vp are no longer dead-weight.

Thyrian is middle tier. He is good when you are stuck with militia, especially if you force yourself into investing your 2 first xp points into making your first theryan level 1 into level 2 as early as you can.

Lorrig is nice, I wouldn't put him top tier however. He is a torch with attack power, and then a discard ability. I tend to ignore level 3, especially regarding gold, since by the time you get level 3 heroes, your deck is already rolling and you rarelly want to go to town.

Last, for me the Faeyn hunter quite sucks. Especially the more player in the game. He is just an elf wizard with +1 strength and "you monster choice is reduced", especially since your opponents will kill monsters at rank 1, you have to count on "luck" so that at your turn good monsters have not already felt in rank 1, or that a good monster just popped in 3. He is probably better than a regian and most probably better than an amazon but not much . As for the +1 xp at rank 3, by the time I have a level 3 hero, I usually no longer need xp or so few. To level a hero you need to go to town, so you need to :
- have a bad hand, else you would kill getting vps.
- have a hero in hand, and despite that still have a bad hand.
- have a hero you still can level (depends how many players, at 4-5 it's often that you can't level your 1 because all 2 are gone leveled or bought)

The level 1 of heroes determines how early you can get early xp (very important if no trainer in village). The level 2 determine how effective your deck will be midgame, that is at his pick, before your deck power drop (due to vp clogging up). The level 3... you'll have one in your deck max at mid game. The vp is nice, but you usually can get better buy going to dungeon.

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Jason Farris
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I will admit that I have a bias toward card reduction on my reviews. Thus, heroes that produce light are desirable over those who do not, all things being equal. I had a hard time with the Faeyn because he has a light bonuses but must attack the second or third rank. I may not have been clear in my initial assessment, but I see him as more of a support hero. You buy into a few of him while buying heavily into something else. I do think he is the least powerful middle tier hero, but I couldn't just dump him on the bottom.

Certainly a high point monster could get into the front rank and the Faeyn has no chance of killing it, but The advantage of the Faeyn is that you are generally striking monsters before they hit the front rank and are easy pickings for others. My goal is always being able to hit the rank 3 monsters , that way, I can cherry pick while others are waiting for them to get easier to defeat.

Although many of you do not see Lorigg as top tier, whenever I've played with her my deck seems to go into turbo mode. I get better buys earlier, never have to buy light, and she can carry middle of the road weapons. She also helps early to mid game to slow my opponents down.

The Outlander is an interesting hero. Yes, he suffers less from monster bloat in your deck and has high attack and strength, but He generally takes longer to develop, in my experience, than the Selurian. The Selurian is crazy because it is huge power very quickly with very little need of any other support. The Outlander stills need to combo until he gets to higher levels. He is still top tier in my opinion.

The nice thing is that it appears, we are only off by one tier max in our opinions of all these Heroes, it may be best to look at the controversial ones as fitting in between. It's difficult to cut off the line between one tier and another. For example, I am thinking the Thyrian has too good an attack value to be bottom tier even if I haven't been able to capitalize on the militia buffing yet.
 
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Craig Hebert
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You are completely right about the Selurian - had my ass handed to me as my opponent who knew the goodies and I did not, simply slew everything once he has level 2s and 3s. He is certainly one of those don't include in the 1st introductory game for new players - lest they walk away feeling beaten and betrayed at the same time -

Overall, great game though - lots of fun even if it's a bit solitaire like and redundant.
 
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Paul Smith
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bprevas wrote:
You failed to mention Regian's Warhammer ability.


The warhammer has a weight of 5. The lvl 1 Regian strength is 4. I think it gets to 5 strength at lvl 3. So even if the monster decks are perfect, he still might not be able to use his ability unless you have some cards that change the strength.
 
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Roberta Taylor
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Smilinbrax wrote:
Butterfly0038 wrote:

As far as the Selurian, the card specifically says that borrowed heroes are returned at the end of the turn so you can't destroy them.


Page 22 of the version 1.4 rules says you can. It makes him that much worse. yuk

I'll toy around with the Thyrian a little more, but I hate keeping militia due to their 0 gold output. If it works as well as you say, I'll bump him up.


You should also remember that the version 1.4 rules also state (p 19) "If a card ever violates or overrides a rule written in this book, the card takes precedence."
 
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Ben Hawks
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RobertaTaylor wrote:
Smilinbrax wrote:
Butterfly0038 wrote:

As far as the Selurian, the card specifically says that borrowed heroes are returned at the end of the turn so you can't destroy them.


Page 22 of the version 1.4 rules says you can. It makes him that much worse. yuk

I'll toy around with the Thyrian a little more, but I hate keeping militia due to their 0 gold output. If it works as well as you say, I'll bump him up.


You should also remember that the version 1.4 rules also state (p 19) "If a card ever violates or overrides a rule written in this book, the card takes precedence."


But the rule in question is a clarification on how that specific card works. For all intents and purposes, it is the card.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Quote:
The level one hero is decent as he adds a magic attack to all normal items when you go to the dungeon.


I think it only boosts items/spells that have magic attack (i.e. flaming sword). At least that's how I read it...
 
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Robin Goodall
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cferejohn wrote:
Quote:
The level one hero is decent as he adds a magic attack to all normal items when you go to the dungeon.

I think it only boosts items/spells that have magic attack (i.e. flaming sword). At least that's how I read it...

Actually, the 1.4 glossary says:
Quote:
Selurin: Each Spell with a Magic Attack bonus gains a Magic Attack bonus of +1. Each Item (with the Item keyword), regardless of whether it has an Attack bonus or not, gains a Magic Attack bonus of +1.

So normal items gain a bonus too.
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Ben Hawks
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Also, Flaming Swords are not items, they're weapons, so they don't gain the bonus. In fact, there are no cards with the item keyword in the base game that provide magic attack.
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John Stonebraker

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See my spreadsheet in the downloads area. I have it set up with auto-filtering and all keywords to make it easy to answer questions like this. Auto-filter for "y" entries in the "item" column, and everything that comes up gets a +1 bonus. (Feast, Goodberries, Iron Rations, Lantern, Lightstone, and Torch are currently the only ones.) Filter for "y" on the "spell" column and look for "MAGIC ATTACK" in the card text field. At the moment, Fireball is the only one.
 
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Robin Goodall
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banjothulu wrote:
Also, Flaming Swords are not items, they're weapons,

That's interesting, I don't have the actual card in front of me but the picture of the flaming sword card on page 5 of the 1.4 rules has "Item - Edged". I guess this is an image from a prototype.
 
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firewizard wrote:
banjothulu wrote:
Also, Flaming Swords are not items, they're weapons,

That's interesting, I don't have the actual card in front of me but the picture of the flaming sword card on page 5 of the 1.4 rules has "Item - Edged". I guess this is an image from a prototype.


Yeah, I checked this after I made my post (good reportage!). I believe that the food and light sources are all "items", which still equals a pretty decent boost.

And yeah, after a couple games with the guy, I kind of have to agree that he's pretty broken. I mean, I know there's no real *point* to having a magic attack of 40+, but it starts to get silly when I have it routinely. The fact that it's also the only card in the game that could let you kill one of your opponent's heroes is just gravy really.
 
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John Stonebraker

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With the base set, the ITEMS are Feast, Goodberries, Iron Rations, Lantern, Lightstone, and Torch.

The only SPELL with +MAGIC ATTACK is Fireball.
 
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cronseaux wrote:
For me selurian and Outlands are both broken. Outland because his raw power is strong AND he can carry anything AND dead-weight vp are no longer dead-weight.


I fully agree. While not as outrageously 'broken' as the Selurians, I think the Outland heroes are still far too powerful for what they cost — so much so that they unbalance the game. I'd love to know what others think.
 
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Darren Eskandari
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Sure, the Selurian is obviously the most over-powered...
But to be frank, it's not that big a deal, because they are equally available to every player in the game. Once you've seen them played for the first time, you know not to let anyone else horde them uncontested. It's just the mindset of "balance" that I think some players have a tough time overcoming. Not all cards need to be created equal... the balance lies in the fact that EVERY player has just as good a chance to get them as every other player. Balance.

The other part of the equation is that the overkill doesn't actually give that much of a real in game benefit. Having two 2nd level Outlands or Dwarves armed with daggers are just as capable of killing pretty much any monster on the board just as proficiently as a pair of 2nd level Selurians. Practically speaking, other than in the absolute rarest of cases, having 16 attack is not any more effective than 12... it just looks crazy and causes people to over-react.

I will however concede that the Theurge's power, forcing every player to discard a hero, then potentially 'borrowing' an opponent's 3rd level hero and feeding it to a monster which will destroy it is pretty gruesome and unbalanced... specially if you manage to kill off the only other Theurge and monopolize that already exclusive power.


Anyhow, here's how I tier the Heros:

Elite Tier:
These are best of the best. Battle for control of these if you want to win.
Selurian - Powerful, Magical, Evil.
Outlands - Tough from the get go, and an excellent late game finisher (specially if you have good weapons).

2nd Tier:
Even in games with elite tier heroes, you'll want these if they're available.
Chalice - Solid attack plus great utility and flexibility.
Elf Mage - Decent attack plus fantastic utility and abilities.

3rd Tier:
This is the solid middle tier, the bread and butter of most games. Everyone of these heroes is playable, but none of them is a must have.
Dwarf - Tremendous damage output with the right card combinations.
Lorig - Low cost low damage. Amazing utility and versatility.
Thyrian - Nothing over the top, just good consistent damage plus some utility.
Redblade - Decent damage output. Good utility. Strong denial ability.
Amazon - Pricy for inconsistent damage output. But it's redeemed by its power in ranks 2-3.

4th Tier:
In rare cases, when the stars align these can be very solid heroes, but in most games there is a better option available.
Regian - Not much power. Some utility. Potentially useful given lots of disease monsters.
Faeyn - High cost for decent damage with only limited usefulness. Doesn't even provide its light vs 1st rank monsters.
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The Faeyn lv3 seems too little too late. Perhaps make every 2 or 3 XP you have at the end of the game worth 1 VP? Thrown out a bit hastily, as I have yet to try this hero, but I agree with the comments about the XP gain appear to be spot-on.

I assume we're assuming everyone will often have good hands? That could be with good players. However, Any effect that forces others to discard seems a bit wasted when other people will have crap hands from time to time.
 
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Hi! Was just wondering any plans for an update that would incorporate the Wrath of the Elements heroes to the mix. Their tier placing and thoughts on them, comparisons to base ones?
 
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Will M. Baker
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Typhon wrote:
cronseaux wrote:
For me selurian and Outlands are both broken. Outland because his raw power is strong AND he can carry anything AND dead-weight vp are no longer dead-weight.


I fully agree. While not as outrageously 'broken' as the Selurians, I think the Outland heroes are still far too powerful for what they cost — so much so that they unbalance the game. I'd love to know what others think.


A lot of my two-player games are very close, some even being decided by the Thunderstone tie-breaker; thus every point counts. So something I find overpowered about the Outlands is that on top of all his other awesomeness, his Level 3 is also worth 3 VP! That distinction is otherwise reserved for more middle-weight heroes: Blind, Deep, Half-Orc, Lurker, Nightblade, and Clan.

Might have been better to give the Outlands only 1 VP, like the following excellent heroes: Lorigg, Selurin, Gohlen, Verdan, Flame, Phalanx, and Isri (I don't think Gangland and Magehunter belong in this category).
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Smilinbrax wrote:
Last but not least we have the Thyrian... At first glance, the +2 attack to non fighter heroes seems great, but there are only 4 non fighters in the base set of 11 heroes (not counting militia). There are good odds that you will get at least one in you 4 hero draw at the start of the game, but then you are married to getting that hero as your secondary if you want this bonus. It does work with militia, but I would ask why you still have militia in your deck by this point in the game. The only thing that the Thyrian truly excels at is strength. It is the strongest character in the base set and loves polearms.


Revisiting this years later. It's interesting how a hero's power can be relative to the mix of cards.

On the one hand, Thyrian's Level 3 bonus will now benefit 33/63 other heroes (52%) instead of just 4/11 (36%). On the other hand, if playing with ToR, the lack of Militia and Food in the starting decks severely nerf's the Thyrian's two lower levels, making him basically "Strong Guy".

Assuming ToR isn't in the mix, the Thyrian's Level 3 bonus will benefit 24/52 other heroes (46%). I will prioritize him as an early buy, even in a village clogged with fighters, because he allows me to prune the Iron Rations from my deck, has a solid Level 2 dungeon presence, and helps to compensate for any Militia still in my deck at that point. As you say, by mid-game the Militia had better be gone from my deck, and at that time I can evaluate whether it makes sense to increase the Thyrian to Level 3.
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