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The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: The Balrog, Terror of Flame and Shadow rss

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Mark Farr
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The Balrog, Terror of Flame and Shadow, found in the Ents of Fangorn set, includes the following game text:

The twilight cost of The Balrog is -3 if you can spot a Moria (symbol) minion.

Now, Ents of Fangorn is in the Tower block, along with The Two Towers and Battle of Helm's Deep. Across all three sets, there is only one other Moria culture card: Durin's Tower, a condition, also in Ents of Fangorn.

Okay, so you can see where I'm going. If you are not supposed to mix cards from different blocks, then this card text is redundant, as the only Moria culture minion in the block is the Balrog and, as it is unique, it cannot ever benefit from another instance of itself. It is therefore impossible to ever benefit from this text.

Is this an anomaly, or is it common with this game? Is it that badly designed? I liked the game, the few times I played it, but then I played it very little. I am given to understand that the first 3 blocks are the "best", so finding issues like this is disconcerting. I very much want this game to work, to be clear and logical (because I'm coding AI for it). This card defeats that aim somewhat. Was it perhaps banned from play at some point? That would make it easy. Perhaps I will just exclude it, but it seems a shame to exclude such a card (it looks great).

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Matt Olmstead
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There are several different types of play including block (as you described) and open where you can use all cards (this may have changed after set 10, but up until set 10 you could use any cards).

You can use Moria minions from the first 3 sets along with the Balrog from set 6. The official rules would be that you then needed to use the adventure path from either the tower block or the king block.
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Andrew Rice
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There are a number of "Flashback" Cards such as this one. The Balrog (Moria Culture) shows up again in Ages End, for instance. Saruman (Isengard Culture) pops in a couple times in the Shadows and Hunters Blocks.

They were designed to be used primarily with previous blocks.
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Zach S
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The most widely supported tournament format of the game was Standard Format--in Standard, you used cards from any of the six most recent sets.

So, when Ents of Fangorn came out, EVERY set was still "in rotation." Meaning, yes--you could play cards from Fellowship, Mines, Realms, Tower, Helm's Deep and Ents, all in one deck.

As people have said, you could also play block format, and if you did that, then, yes--the Balrog's cost-reduction text would be kinda pointless. But the DGMA (Decipher Game Management Authority) ran most of their big tournaments in Standard Format, which meant you could mix cards from various blocks.
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Chris Long
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Alazzar wrote:
The most widely supported tournament format of the game was Standard Format--in Standard, you used cards from any of the six most recent sets.


I think you mean 9 sets.
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Zach S
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I think you are CORRECT in thinking what you think!
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Mark Farr
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Thanks, guys. I really like the idea of using the first 9 sets. It seems the simplest solution and allows for greater variety in deck construction, of course.

So, if playing with more than one block, always use only site cards from the most recent included block? Is that the "proper" thing to do?
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Zach S
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Tobold wrote:
So, if playing with more than one block, always use only site cards from the most recent included block? Is that the "proper" thing to do?


Yep, you've got it!
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Mark Farr
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Thanks, Zach.
 
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