Leadership Hero Poll Results
With 155 people voting, the poll for favorite Leadership hero has concluded. This time around there was a close race between Aragorn and Dain Ironfoot. The future King of Gondor captured the top spot with 27.1% of the vote. Despite his high threat cost of 12 and the fact that he was one of the original Core Set heroes, Leadership Aragorn still seems to be quite popular among players. I still use him quite a bit myself, as there is much to love about the son of Arathorn. His ability to quest and then ready, thus gaining two actions per turn for just one resource and without the need of attachments, is continually useful. Even better, the designers have seen fit to provide a whole array of toys for Aragorn, including the Sword that was Broken, Celebrian’s Stone, and the recently released Ring of Barahir, all of which not only give him extra abilities, but also give him access to additional spheres. While Lore Aragorn can also make use of these attachments, the Leadership version has natural access to two of them (Sword that was Broken and Celebrian’s Stone) as they come from the Leadership sphere themselves. Finally, Aragorn has well balanced stats that allow him to participate ably in questing, attack, and defense.
Coming in at the runner-up spot is Dain Ironfoot, with 22.58% of the vote. There is no secret behind the popularity of Dain, as he remains one of the most powerful heroes in the game. He is the lynchpin of Dwarven synergy, can serve as a powerful defender, and it feels oh-so-thematic when you drop King Under the Mountain onto him.
Theodred came in third with 14.19%, another respectable showing for a Core Set hero. Despite his modest stats, Theodred finds his way onto tables for a few different reasons. Most obviously, he provides one extra resource per turn. Not only that, but the resource is quite flexible, in that it can be granted to another hero, or to whatever sphere you like, with the caveat that it must be placed on a hero that has been committed to the quest. Another possible reason for his popularity is his relatively low threat cost, which allows him to find a place in a wide variety of decks. He is particularly suited as a partner for a hero or deck type that requires consistent resources to function (thus the classic Theodred-Leadership Aragorn partnership).
The rest of the results looked like this:
4th: Prince Imrahil – 9.03%
5th: Thorin Oakenshield – 7.74%
6th: Boromir – 6.45%
7th: Elrohir – 3.87%
8th: Hirluin the Fair – 3.87%
9th: Gloin – 3.23%
10th: Balin – 1.94%
As for the heroes that didn’t fare so well, Gloin is a notable example of a Core hero that hasn’t aged well. While the “Coin Gloin” perpetual healing resource machine is still a perfectly viable deck type, the opening up of other options for resource generation has dramatically lessened his popularity. Hirluin the Fair is too new to really have a fighting chance in this poll, and it’ll be interesting to see how he places in a future poll. Balin comes in at dead last, which could be attributed to his relative newness as well, but is perhaps an unfair reflection of his usefulness. At a relatively low threat cost for a Leadership hero, with an immensely useful and consistent ability (cancelling shadows for the cost of 1 resource, with the caveat that you have to replace it with another shadow), and able to benefit from Dwarven synergy, Balin should not be underestimated. However, someone had to come in last, and unfortunately it was Bilbo’s BFF who suffered that fate.
Well that’s that, it’s now time to vote for your favorite Spirit hero!