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The Zigil Miner is the most deck defining card seen since the original core set since a whole economic engine can be constructed around it. A truly interesting addition, although I fear that it may be prove to be overpowered at the end of the day. I think it is at least in the class of steward of gondor in its ability to fundamentally alter the economics of the game to allow card spammage, but it has the potential to go way beyond.

Zigil Miner - Action Exhaust Zigil Miner and name a number to discard the top 2 cards of your deck. If at least one of those cards has a cost equal to the named number choose a hero you control. That hero adds resources to his resource pool equal to the named number.

It seems there are two ways to abuse this card:
1. Sort/peak abilities on the player deck - There are only 3 cards in the game that allow this Gildor Inglorion, Keen Eyed Took, and Gandalf's Search. I love that this card potentially puts Gandalf's Search back on the map as previously it was useless, but since it costs X, I assume it can't be named through the Zigil Miner card ability (all the more powerful if it does). Ultimately this is a weak list to build a deck around. Gildor is the only repeat option, but slow to deploy to get the engine moving, especially since it is a different sphere.
2. Primarily fill the deck with cards with the same cost. Currently, there are a lot of solid 3 cost cards to primarily fill a deck particularly coming from Lore. A Spirit/Lore or Spirit/Lore/Leadership deck with 35 or more 3 cost cards out of a tournament legal 50 is very doable. In fact there is even a vaguely useful synergy picked up (Elves - Mirkwood Tracker, Mirkwood Runner, Lorien Guide) This means guessing 3 has a rather high probability (over 90%) of hitting resulting in a total of at least 6 resources a turn income with just one Zigil Miner. With Zigil Miner only costing 2, the engine could get going as early as round one or two depending on how spirit heavy the hero selection is. Combine with Beravor and/or Bilbo and you could easily crank out two 3 cost cards a turn. The true beauty of the card is that resource balancing between spheres is not a significant concern as Zigil Miner can funnel resources to whichever hero you choose. So no songs needed unless you want to do all 4 spheres (which is kind of a shame since Rivendell Mistress is 3 cost Lore but that also makes 4 spheres all the more viable right now).

One major weakness is the 2 discards per usage. I could see burning through the deck rather rapidly. I see a place for Dwarven Tomb and Stand and Fight as a method to make use of the discard pile. Ultimately Will of the West seems requisite to ensure that card draws don't run out while still keeping a slim targeted deck. I limit myself to a single core set, so I'll likely use 1 Dwarven Tomb and 2 Will of the Wests to make it likely that I'll get at least one reshuffle. These all have the inconvenience of not matching with interesting card costs to synergize with the strategy. Hopefully there will be other deck recycling options in the future with a synergizing cost.

Another significant problem is the implicit dependency on the card itself. By my rough math, you have around a 34% chance of drawing a card that has 3 copies in a 50 card deck on the opening draw, meaning, with a mulligan, you have about a 56.5% chance of drawing a Zigil Miner in the opener. You may be pretty hosed if you don't get one after constructing your deck assuming the income which is why card drawers are necessary to recover (Bilbo and/or Beravor). If there ends up being a Dwarf search card like Mustering the Rohirim or The Eagles are coming, then it will be all the more powerful and dependable. A 3 cost deck could survive without it, just not nearly as efficiently. And certainly less efficiently than a deck that is more focused on card synergies.

Also, Zigil Miner is very fragile. There are going to be when revealed effects that result in its death. For the moment, if Zigil Miner isn't being used before questing, he should be mostly fine. Boots From Erebor is an option to mitigate the risk, but doesn't synergize well due to its cost of zero.


The main point that I wanted to make is that I think there are very good options right now to crank out a solid deck built around Zigil Miner. But more importantly, it WILL unquestionably become significantly more powerful over time as more cards become available unless FF tries very hard to limit synergies within the same card cost and doesn't provide us with any more sort/peak abilities. While a 3 cost based deck could be very effective, the strategy will work just as well if not better if there are enough 4 or 5 cost cards to fill out a deck (and assuming a Zigil Miner is drawn). Gandalf and Radagast already provide a solid non-sphere specific base at the 5 level for this and Gildor Inglorion perfectly synergizes with the strategy in a near uber-way. There are already ten 4 cost cards including great cards like Northern Tracker, Elfheim, Haldir, and the Citidel Plate. Not to mention 2 eagles. So I could see a 4 cost deck being viable as early as later in this expansion cycle. Although if there is still no Dwarf specific card draw card or other ways to search the deck, then there will be a significant chance of the deck being paralyzed by high card cost if Zigil Miner doesn't come out.

I'll give credit to early recognition of the possible power of Zigil Miner on this forum: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/718322/strongest-combo-y.... Although the focus was more on abuse of peak abilities rather than the uniform cost approach.


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Moved Thread
Moved this thread from the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game Strategy forum to the Khazad-dûm Strategy forum.
 
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compton9890 wrote:

1. Sort/peak abilities on the player deck - There are only 3 cards in the game that allow this Gildor Inglorion, Keen Eyed Took, and Gandalf's Search. I love that this card potentially puts Gandalf's Search back on the map as previously it was useless, but since it costs X, I assume it can't be named through the Zigil Miner card ability (all the more powerful if it does).


It does. Gandalf's Search has a cost of 0 when referring to its cost elsewhere. This is a standard thing for almost every such game I've ever played.
 
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compton9890 wrote:
The Zigil Miner is the most deck defining card seen since the original core set since a whole economic engine can be constructed around it. A truly interesting addition, although I fear that it may be prove to be overpowered at the end of the day. I think it is at least in the class of steward of gondor in its ability to fundamentally alter the economics of the game to allow card spammage, but it has the potential to go way beyond.

Zigil Miner - Action Exhaust Zigil Miner and name a number to discard the top 2 cards of your deck. If at least one of those cards has a cost equal to the named number choose a hero you control. That hero adds resources to his resource pool equal to the named number.

It seems there are two ways to abuse this card:
1. Sort/peak abilities on the player deck - There are only 3 cards in the game that allow this Gildor Inglorion, Keen Eyed Took, and Gandalf's Search. I love that this card potentially puts Gandalf's Search back on the map as previously it was useless, but since it costs X, I assume it can't be named through the Zigil Miner card ability (all the more powerful if it does). Ultimately this is a weak list to build a deck around. Gildor is the only repeat option, but slow to deploy to get the engine moving, especially since it is a different sphere.
2. Primarily fill the deck with cards with the same cost. Currently, there are a lot of solid 3 cost cards to primarily fill a deck particularly coming from Lore. A Spirit/Lore or Spirit/Lore/Leadership deck with 35 or more 3 cost cards out of a tournament legal 50 is very doable. In fact there is even a vaguely useful synergy picked up (Elves - Mirkwood Tracker, Mirkwood Runner, Lorien Guide) This means guessing 3 has a rather high probability (over 90%) of hitting resulting in a total of at least 6 resources a turn income with just one Zigil Miner. With Zigil Miner only costing 2, the engine could get going as early as round one or two depending on how spirit heavy the hero selection is. Combine with Beravor and/or Bilbo and you could easily crank out two 3 cost cards a turn. The true beauty of the card is that resource balancing between spheres is not a significant concern as Zigil Miner can funnel resources to whichever hero you choose. So no songs needed unless you want to do all 4 spheres (which is kind of a shame since Rivendell Mistress is 3 cost Lore but that also makes 4 spheres all the more viable right now).

One major weakness is the 2 discards per usage. I could see burning through the deck rather rapidly. I see a place for Dwarven Tomb and Stand and Fight as a method to make use of the discard pile. Ultimately Will of the West seems requisite to ensure that card draws don't run out while still keeping a slim targeted deck. I limit myself to a single core set, so I'll likely use 1 Dwarven Tomb and 2 Will of the Wests to make it likely that I'll get at least one reshuffle. These all have the inconvenience of not matching with interesting card costs to synergize with the strategy. Hopefully there will be other deck recycling options in the future with a synergizing cost.

Another significant problem is the implicit dependency on the card itself. By my rough math, you have around a 38.5% chance of drawing a card that has 3 copies in a 50 card deck on the opening draw, meaning, with a mulligan, you have about a 62% chance of drawing a Zigil Miner in the opener. You may be pretty hosed if you don't get one after constructing your deck assuming the income which is why card drawers are necessary to recover (Bilbo and/or Beravor). If there ends up being a Dwarf search card like Mustering the Rohirim or The Eagles are coming, then it will be all the more powerful and dependable. A 3 cost deck could survive without it, just not nearly as efficiently. And certainly less efficiently than a deck that is more focused on card synergies.

Also, Zigil Miner is very fragile. There are going to be when revealed effects that result in its death. For the moment, if Zigil Miner isn't being used before questing, he should be mostly fine. Boots From Erebor is an option to mitigate the risk, but doesn't synergize well due to its cost of zero.


The main point that I wanted to make is that I think there are very good options right now to crank out a solid deck built around Zigil Miner. But more importantly, it WILL unquestionably become significantly more powerful over time as more cards become available unless FF tries very hard to limit synergies within the same card cost and doesn't provide us with any more sort/peak abilities. While a 3 cost based deck could be very effective, the strategy will work just as well if not better if there are enough 4 or 5 cost cards to fill out a deck (and assuming a Zigil Miner is drawn). Gandalf and Radagast already provide a solid non-sphere specific base at the 5 level for this and Gildor Inglorion perfectly synergizes with the strategy in a near uber-way. There are already ten 4 cost cards including great cards like Northern Tracker, Elfheim, Haldir, and the Citidel Plate. Not to mention 2 eagles. So I could see a 4 cost deck being viable as early as later in this expansion cycle. Although if there is still no Dwarf specific card draw card or other ways to search the deck, then there will be a significant chance of the deck being paralyzed by high card cost if Zigil Miner doesn't come out.

I'll give credit to early recognition of the possible power of Zigil Miner on this forum: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/718322/strongest-combo-y.... Although the focus was more on abuse of peak abilities rather than the uniform cost approach.





Very interesting thought. Have you tried a deck built around this strategy yet?
 
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One note: I read the Miner to give 3 resources if you name a 3-drop card; I'm not sure it gives 3 for each card revealed. Though realistically speaking, a 3 resource pump per round is almost as useful as 6.

The interesting thing is what to do with all those resources. As you note, you'll need lots of card draw to optimize the results, and as such will cycle through your deck pretty quickly, so Will Of The West is imperative.

I'm thinking Lore/Spirit...I'm blanking on his name (he's holding the quill, at a desk, a dwarf), but that 3-drop Lore Ally that allows you to spend a resource to increase his Willpower with no stated limit...
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doxbane wrote:
I'm thinking Lore/Spirit...I'm blanking on his name (he's holding the quill, at a desk, a dwarf), but that 3-drop Lore Ally that allows you to spend a resource to increase his Willpower with no stated limit...


Longbeard Map Maker, I think.
 
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ayuh, Longbeard Mapmaker!
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I posted a thread about the "ZiGildor" combo months before the Khazad-dum release. I felt it shall be a ruling one. I still feel the same, moreso now that other possibilities to support the deck arrise. I used to the combo into a Beravor drawing deck, now it is, naturally, in a Dwarven deck. It is harder to get the two cards, more easy to pay for them, and generally better supported in the deck.

ps: I do not think the guessing game is very efficient, even though it may be fun. I have shot in the dark a few times, and hit a few too. Yet, Gildor is the guy to go with. He is superb even if not for the combo. The other copies of his will be fuel, as can be Brok Ironfist (thus finally getting that card into a deck). Zigil is great for anything 3+, can be still worth it for a cost of 2. Once you have got the resources, he can quest for 2 with Dain, and Gildor can for 3, or fight quite well.
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doxbane wrote:
One note: I read the Miner to give 3 resources if you name a 3-drop card; I'm not sure it gives 3 for each card revealed. Though realistically speaking, a 3 resource pump per round is almost as useful as 6.

The interesting thing is what to do with all those resources. As you note, you'll need lots of card draw to optimize the results, and as such will cycle through your deck pretty quickly, so Will Of The West is imperative.



I should clarify. The 6 per turn was adding the 3 you get during the resource phase to the 3 you get from Zigil Miner. Regarding what you do with all of those resources? Buy more cards!! Remember, the deck is heavy in expensive cards (3 cost cards) of which you can only buy 2 a turn with an income of 6. But 3 cost cards are generally reasonably high impact. Plus you need some amount of card draws to keep up. Beravor and Lorien's Wealth (a card I have traditionally hated) are golden here. You are right though, the deck will be cycled quickly

jpraibis wrote:
I posted a thread about the "ZiGildor" combo months before the Khazad-dum release. I felt it shall be a ruling one. I still feel the same, moreso now that other possibilities to support the deck arrise. I used to the combo into a Beravor drawing deck, now it is, naturally, in a Dwarven deck. It is harder to get the two cards, more easy to pay for them, and generally better supported in the deck.

ps: I do not think the guessing game is very efficient, even though it may be fun. I have shot in the dark a few times, and hit a few too. Yet, Gildor is the guy to go with. He is superb even if not for the combo. The other copies of his will be fuel, as can be Brok Ironfist (thus finally getting that card into a deck). Zigil is great for anything 3+, can be still worth it for a cost of 2. Once you have got the resources, he can quest for 2 with Dain, and Gildor can for 3, or fight quite well.


I did a fair amount of searching to see if this topic was previously covered. Please note that I did credit your thread in my original post. I fundamentally disagree with the statement that the guessing game is not efficient. It is easy to achieve an 80-90% hit rate using the approach I describe above - with the noted limitation of sacrificing some focus on card synergies. I certainly agree with the combined power of Gildor, but it requires a lot of investment to get going. I sometimes find that the encounter deck is not kind enough to let me sink nearly all of my resources into my economy for 3 turns (need 7 resources for Zigil and Gildor and neither are helping you in battle or questing after that point unless you sacrifice the income). So I don't view it as a viable early strategy. Mid game it is doable, late game it is studly if not unnecessary. Zigil Miner with a cost oriented deck can deliver on turn 1 or as soon as Zigil Miner is drawn, and at a rock bottom price of 2 resources.
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polychrotid wrote:



Very interesting thought. Have you tried a deck built around this strategy yet?


Yes. My initial pass was mostly using leftovers from optimizing a couple of dwarf decks (no map maker and fewer Daughters) using Eowyn, Beravor, and Theodred. I tend to view Zigil Miner as a massive waste if you aren't utilizing his ability which is why I pulled it to make a deck with 36 3 cost cards with the aforementioned key fillers + Gildor x3, Haldir x1, and Elfhelm x1. Once a Zigil Miner gets out, the deck spammed impressively and hence handled things well. If Zigil Miner doesn't come out quick, the deck is a tad flimsy even with Theodred pushing resourcing along. Plus horrible things can happen as there is nothing to handle cards like Gollum's bite or Hummerhorns which means auto-death to a hero - although there is solid threat reduction so Hummerhorms is mitigated a bit.

Working through this thread has had me rethinking deck construction a bit. I am not huge into uber decks, but I am itching to take this deck to the next step. And I'll soon post my semi-uber version of the deck that I've come up with and likely start playing.
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Here is my semi-uber (using only 1 core set) take at how I am constructing a probability based Zigil Miner deck.

Eowyn, Beravor, and Frodo

Ally:
Eomund x3
Daughter of the Nimrodel x3
Longbeard Map-Maker x3
Lorien Guide x3
Mirkwood Runner x3
Rivendell Minstrel x3
Silvan Tracker x3
Zigil Miner x3
Gildor Inglorion x3
Haldir of Lorien x1
Northern Tracker x2
Elfhelm x1
Gandalf x1

Attachment:
Forest Snare x2
Unexpected Courage x1
Fast Hitch x3

Events:
Gildor's Counsel x2
Lorien's Wealth x2
Galadhrim's Greeting x2
Dwarven Tomb x1
Stand and Fight x3
Will of the West x2

Comments:
Usage of a Zigil Miner on this deck with a predicted cost of 3 results in an 82.36% success rate. While the deck is actually Lore card heavy, the critical cards in the deck are almost all Spirit. Additionally, 2 Spirit heroes allows for a devastating 1st turn Zigil Miner play. Once a Zigil Miner gets out you can start cranking out elves. If Zigil Miner isn't available early, a second turn Elfhelm or Northern Tracker, first turn Unexpected Courage, or a fast hitch on Frodo should have proportionally high early impact to survive until one is located. Frodo is a solid quester and an incredible defender. I love getting a fast hitch on him so he can do both. Also his special ability is an ace in the hole against numerous disasters. I think there is a solid argument for Denethor instead of Frodo for deck control, but I think it is more vulnerable early as there are fewer quick start options (no fast hitch on Frodo). Of course true uber-deckers would probably drop the fast hitch for 2 more Unexpected Courage and a 3rd Galadhrim's Greeting along with finding a place for a 3rd Northern Tracker - but as stated, I prefer to limit to a single core set. My actual usage will probably swap some of the Daughters and Map-Makers for another Gildor's Counsel, a Fortune or Fate, and 2 Astonishing Speeds as Daughters and Map-Makers are critical to another deck.
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[/q]

I should clarify. The 6 per turn was adding the 3 you get during the resource phase to the 3 you get from Zigil Miner. Regarding what you do with all of those resources? Buy more cards!! Remember, the deck is heavy in expensive cards (3 cost cards) of which you can only buy 2 a turn with an income of 6. But 3 cost cards are generally reasonably high impact. Plus you need some amount of card draws to keep up. Beravor and Lorien's Wealth (a card I have traditionally hated) are golden here. You are right though, the deck will be cycled quickly

jpraibis wrote:
I posted a thread about the "ZiGildor" combo months before the Khazad-dum release. I felt it shall be a ruling one. I still feel the same, moreso now that other possibilities to support the deck arrise. I used to the combo into a Beravor drawing deck, now it is, naturally, in a Dwarven deck. It is harder to get the two cards, more easy to pay for them, and generally better supported in the deck.

ps: I do not think the guessing game is very efficient, even though it may be fun. I have shot in the dark a few times, and hit a few too. Yet, Gildor is the guy to go with. He is superb even if not for the combo. The other copies of his will be fuel, as can be Brok Ironfist (thus finally getting that card into a deck). Zigil is great for anything 3+, can be still worth it for a cost of 2. Once you have got the resources, he can quest for 2 with Dain, and Gildor can for 3, or fight quite well.


I did a fair amount of searching to see if this topic was previously covered. Please note that I did credit your thread in my original post. I fundamentally disagree with the statement that the guessing game is not efficient. It is easy to achieve an 80-90% hit rate using the approach I describe above - with the noted limitation of sacrificing some focus on card synergies. I certainly agree with the combined power of Gildor, but it requires a lot of investment to get going. I sometimes find that the encounter deck is not kind enough to let me sink nearly all of my resources into my economy for 3 turns (need 7 resources for Zigil and Gildor and neither are helping you in battle or questing after that point unless you sacrifice the income). So I don't view it as a viable early strategy. Mid game it is doable, late game it is studly if not unnecessary. Zigil Miner with a cost oriented deck can deliver on turn 1 or as soon as Zigil Miner is drawn, and at a rock bottom price of 2 resources.[/q]

Please, do not get me wrong, I was not asking for credit, but I thank you still for giving it. And I appologize for not paying enough attention to see it in your post. I very often do not read as thoroughly as I perhaps should.

As for the combo, I find it much harder to actually get the cards, though I naturally put three a piece into the deck. When I get them, it is easy, at least it has proven so, to play it on round three. By the time, you get 9 resources (and I play Dain, Dwalin, Bifur), Bifur can have up to six, Dwalin three, so yes, you have got only two other resources to use in the round one and two - one Spirit and one Leadership or Lore. I find that not a big restriction because once you pull the combo, you can have money right away, and I think (I am not sure) I have never lost a game when I achieved this on round three.

And I was wrong to criticize the guessing stuff because I have never tried it enough to have evidence. I have tried the above combo, and I totally stand by it. It gets even better when you have Theodred or someone with Horn or Steward of Gondor in the other player's possession.
 
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I wonder if we will witness the first "ban" in a cooperative LCG? I just watched the "proof of concept" video that was posted and I must say it's a sickly broken combo. Of course, everyone is free to play with whatever cards they bought (Or not) but I believe most of us who want to be challenged by whatever FFG throws our way will probably want to know the designer's official stance on this.
 
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Instead of a ban, they could limit the number of resources you get. For example you could get only 1 resource if you guess right. Or you could get 2 resources but only be able to play it once per turn.

Edit: Kudos to jpraibis and compton9890 for spotting this so quickly.
 
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I don't think it's worthy of a ban, or even FAQ comment/change. Sure, generating a ton of resources is great but you really have to fine-tune a deck to take advantage of this: lots of card draw, recycling your discard deck, and of course factoring in most cards being of the same cost. Then you have to find a use for all those resources; I've lost many a game while being deluged with resources and nothing to do with them.

At the same time, there are lots of encounter deck cards that can easily wipe out an ally...
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As much as I (still) think (as I ever have) it is the best combo yet, I will only consider not playing certain card or cards after I beat every quest every time. And right now I am far, far away from that, and I will strongly doubt that anyone is much nearer.
 
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jpraibis wrote:
As much as I (still) think (as I ever have) it is the best combo yet, I will only consider not playing certain card or cards after I beat every quest every time. And right now I am far, far away from that, and I will strongly doubt that anyone is much nearer.

I think that all it takes for a card or combo to be broken is to have it significantly improve your winning percentage when compared to all other deck types. There was an active debate over the question of whether Eowyn was broken in this respect.

Even with this yardstick, I agree that the jury is still out on whether Zigil Miner is actually broken or not. I think a lot of people are going to have a lot of fun trying to find out.
 
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As with any deck, a Zigil Miner deck can fall apart if you don't draw the cards you need, which is why I suspect we will not be getting a "Mustering the Rohirrim" type card for Dwarves.
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Agree above, and above. Same as I think there will not be "Dwarven Tomb" for Leadership cards (to get Sneak Attack again being too powerful).

I think Zigildor combo is not silver bullet for quests where you need be super quick - like Osgiliath or Rhosgobel.
 
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There is no need for a ban. An expansion pack with a couple baddies that target allies with "resource" on their card text, or a similar, but less ham handed fix can reduce the effectiveness of ziggy without needing a band.

Thats IF it proves to be overpowered rather than merely just strong.
 
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Funny thing - I just checked out FFG's website and saw one of the villains in the next expansion pack being previewed. Great unnamed thing, or a similar title. Its' ability? The attack and hit points are X, where X is equal to the combined cost of the top 3 cards of your deck.

A direct Ziggy nerf card....
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Sorry to necro this, but the FAQ version 1.3 seriously gimped Zigil Miner.

Zigil Miner KD 9 Should read: “Action: Exhaust Zigil Miner and name a number to discard the top 2 cards of your deck. If at least one of those cards has cost equal to the named number, choose a hero you control. For each card that matches the named number, add 1 resource to that hero’s resource pool.”

IMO it's still a viable engine with stargazer out, but you can no longer mine Gandalf for 5 resources.
It has certain advantages over Steward of Gondor, but I'd say it's still mostly inferior. Advantages of the miners are that you can have multiples, you can choose which hero the resources go to and that they can quest and contribute to attacks. Miners can be brought back via tomb and stand and fight. SoG is easier to find (Master of the Forge) and can be brought back via one of the core set dwarfs. Resources are guaranteed. Also the two are affected by different sets of encounter cards.
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