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Trouble in Tharbad: Attachments Review

by on September 5, 2014

trouble

With so many allies in the Trouble in Tharbad Adventure Pack, this means there is a relative famine when it comes to attachments. However, Silvan fans in particular will have plenty to feast on, both figuratively with the magnificent O Lorien! and quite literally with the sumptuous Lembas. Both attachments are exciting for quite different reasons. O Lorien! is the card I’ve been anticipating since the focus on the Silvan trait was announced, not necessarily in terms of its exact effect, but for its role as the heart of the deck type. Lembas, by contrast, is great because it taps into my love for the lore and the books, thinking about those small details that Tolkien interwove into the world of Middle-earth to give it life, including that handy waybread that allowed Sam and Frodo to survive for so long. I always wanted to try it myself as a young reader, and now this is perhaps as close as I will ever get! (Disclaimer: Actually consuming the Lembas card is not recommended).

ATTACHMENTS

* O Lorien! (Leadership Attachment, 1 cost):

O-Lórien

O Lorien indeed! This is the card that Silvan deck builders have been waiting for, the missing piece of the puzzle that can make Silvan decks truly hum. All good traits and deck types have key attachments that form the core of those respective builds, whether it’s Visionary Leadership for Gondor, Legacy of Durin for Dwarves, or Lord of Morthond for Outlands. All of these cards function a bit differently and provide different advantages, but all look to ramp up the power and speed at which a given deck type can operate. O Lorien! does this through reducing the cost of Silvan allies:

Attach to a hero.

Action: Exhaust O Lorien! to lower the cost of the next Silvan ally played this phase by 1 (to a minimum of 1).

This becomes a de facto form of resource generation by freeing up a resource to spend elsewhere, whether on an attachment or event or on another ally. Such help in paying for Silvan allies is helpful since Silvan decks tend to be tri-sphere, which automatically puts a strain on resources, and several of the allies tend to fall in the 3 or 4-cost range. Even more importantly, the whole strategy of the Silvan deck type revolves around returning allies to hand and paying to put them back into play, which can be quite expensive. O Lorien! helps to make this strategy more feasible. Suddenly, a key 2-cost Silvan ally like Naith Guide, which has a useful action advantage ability, can be paid for with a single Leadership resource. This means that in a tri-sphere deck, the 1 Leadership hero can always pay for a Naith Guide each round as long as O Lorien! is in play. Useful but fairly expensive 3-cost Silvan allies, like Silvan Tracker and Mirkwood Runner, now become amazing values at 2-cost, while 4-cost uniques like Haldir and Rumil become far easier to play earlier and more consistently. All of this makes O Lorien! extremely valuable.

Of course, there are a few limiting factors for this attachment. One is that only 1 Silvan ally per turn can benefit from this cost reduction, which means you must choose carefully who the best target is each round. The second limitation is that the cost can only be reduced to a minimum of 1, which means a Silvan Refugee or Henamarth Riversong cannot be played for free. Both of these restrictions are actually a positive in my opinion, as it reflects the more considered and balanced approach to card design that has marked the Ring-maker cycle. While previous “trait engines” like Legacy of Durin and Lord of Morthond can reach absurd levels of power, O Lorien! gives Silvan needed help, but is not overpowered. Eventually, players may find that Silvan are unable to reach the heights of the Dwarves and Outlands at their peak because of these built-in limitations, but ultimately I don’t think this is a bad thing at all, as a fun, playable, but not overpowered Silvan trait should be the ideal. One final weakness of O Lorien! that is worth considering is that 2 Silvan decks in multiplayer will have to fight over who gets the discount each turn. On the other hand, it’s great that this attachment has the flexibility to provide help to another player in the first place, as a card like Legacy of Durin only applies to the owner. In addition, since most of these trait attachments tend to be unique anyway, O Lorien! is not alone in its multiplayer limitations.

When it all comes down to it, the verdict on O Lorien! is really quite simple. If you are playing a Silvan deck, then O Lorien! goes straight into your deck without question. If you are not using Silvan, then there’s really no point to including O Lorien!, unless you are using some kind of hybrid deck with non-Silvan heroes and a bunch of Silvan allies. I’ve been waiting on building a Silvan deck, as the first two Adventure Packs didn’t give me enough cards to really feel like I could build something worthwhile, but once I saw O Lorien!, I knew the time had come. I still hope that we get a few more pieces, and I’m confident that we will, but O Lorien! is really the centerpiece of a really entertaining deck type and the time to build Silvan is now!

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦♦♦

Lembas (Lore Attachment, 1 cost):

Lembas

Ever since Cram, that relatively tasteless and unappetizing Dwarven bread, was released into the card pool, it seemed almost a given that we would one day see Lembas. But when would that tasty Elven waybread appear? Would it show up in a Saga Expansion or a cycle set in Lorien? No, indeed, Lembas has instead appeared in the middle of the Ring-maker cycle quite unannounced, but its arrival does make sense given the focus on the Silvan trait in this cycle and this pack in particular. While Cram was a 0-cost Leadership attachment providing a one-time readying effect, Lembas pairs a one-time readying with healing:

Play only if you control a Noldor or Silvan hero. Attach to a hero.

Action: Discard Lembas to ready attached hero and heal 3 damage from it.

Lembas and Cram are equivalent in readying the attached hero once before they are discarded. However, for 1 additional resource, Lembas adds the ability to heal 3 damage from the hero as well. So one question that might come up when comparing these two similar attachments is whether healing 3 damage is worth having to pay 1 resource rather than none. The clear answer if we’re talking about straight value for money is yes, as 1 resource to heal 3 damage far outpaces similar effects, such as Lore Glorfindel’s 1 resource to heal 1 damage or Lore of Imladris’ 2 resources to heal all damage on a character, which would likely be somewhere around 3 damage, given that most characters max out at 5 hit points. It also practically renders Healing Herbs irrelevant, as although that Lore attachment is free and heals all damage on a character, it requires the exhaustion of the attached character and can only be played on a Lore character. By contrast, Lembas can only be played if you have a Noldor/Silvan hero, but can be attached to any hero, and provides readying rather than requiring exhaustion. This last bit, giving action advantage rather than taking it away, is the key distinction that in my mind now practically relegates the Herbs to the dustbin if I’m using a Noldor or Silvan hero (that caveat is important, as non-Elf decks can still make use of Healing Herbs).

Still, the real question is whether or not you want the healing in the first place, as it’s possible that readying is your only concern, and healing is sometimes a luxury that you don’t necessarily need to include in a deck. In this case, then perhaps a 0-cost Cram might actually be more worthwhile, not to mention permanent readying effects like Unexpected Courage. However, this ignores one important piece of context for Lembas, which is that one of Lore’s main weaknesses currently is a lack of readying effects. Simply on this basis, as a Lore fan and someone who has played mono-Lore quite a bit, I find Lembas to be a great tool in those situations where you don’t have access to Spirit or Leadership for readying (for that matter, even Tactics has more readying options than Lore when you consider Rohan Warhorse). Lembas thus gives some much-needed action advantage to Lore, and the healing can almost be viewed as simply a nice bonus. Of course, when facing off against certain quests that feature plenty of archery and/or direct damage, healing can definitely be a necessity, and there is something to be said for having readying and healing combined in one card. In fact, “two for one” cards that provide two effects at once can often be underrated and more valuable than they seem simply for allowing players to cover multiple areas of the game with minimal impact on deck space. An important disclaimer in this discussion of Lembas as action advantage for Lore is the impending arrival of Wingfoot in this cycle, which will provide another option in this department. Still, having a couple of options in the sphere, rather than just one, is still welcome. Ultimately, we’ll have to see if Wingfoot makes Lembas redundant in actual practice, rather than just theory.

All this doesn’t mean that Lembas is an automatic include in decks with a Noldor or Silvan hero. It really depends upon how much you need readying in your deck, which is in turn dependent on your hero choice and the sphere composition. The necessity for healing is also important to factor in, as a deck that has other healing available or has strong defensive options that make damage unlikely might not be able to justify taking up deck space for Lembas. Still, this attachment does play into the Silvan deck as it is developing, as Silvan decks tend to be light on defense and emphasize healing and extra hit points over defensive strength, as seen with cards like Silvan Tracker or Elven Mail. Lembas continues this trend and can be considered an important addition to Silvan from this perspective, as not simply a healing effect, but actually a way to bolster defense.

As a final note, I appreciate the difference between Cram and Lembas not only from a mechanics perspective, but from a thematic one as well. Cram was said to be a bread that could sustain and give energy, but not much else. On the other hand, Lembas was noted for its taste and its ability to rejuvenate those who consumed it. This is conveyed by the respective card effects, and the fact that only decks with Elves in it can access the Lembas is quite thematic as well. Still, despite that restriction, it’s important to remember that the bread can freely be given to any hero, not just Elves, and this gives it some flexibility, such as helping to facilitate a Coin Gloin build, for example (readying and healing are both handy for Gloin). Unlike healing characters and events, though, since Lembas heals the attached hero, it must be attached in advance to the person who will need it, so this limits your flexibility to adapt to a given situation. Therefore, sometimes it is actually advantageous to hold onto a copy of Lembas, until you know for sure who you want to put it on and who will benefit from it most. There is something to be said, though, for having a disposable attachment of this nature around when facing attachment hate effects, as they make for easy discard options compared to more permanent attachments. With all this in mind, I give Lembas a thumbs up, especially for mono-Lore or Silvan decks, although whether or not it makes the cut definitively depends upon the rest of your deck.

Versatility: ♦♦◊◊◊

Efficiency: ♦♦♦♦◊

Uniqueness: ♦♦♦◊◊

Conclusion

The Silvan deck continues to round out as we sit roughly at the midway point of the cycle, with three packs down and three to go. As we soon move to look at the events of the Trouble in Tharbad pack, we’ll see exactly how it is shaping up and whether the events provide any help to the trait. Although there were only 2 attachments to be had in this pack, both are notable, with O Lorien! being the real standout with staying power. This is an attachment that will likely be popping up in Silvan decks over and over until the end of the game’s life, and I look forward to including Trouble in Tharbad as a must-have expansion for Silvan lovers in the next TftC Buying Guide update.

Readers, what are your thoughts on Lembas and O Lorien!? Is Lembas worth including in a deck? Is it better than Cram and its nearest competitors? More importantly, what do you think the nearest real-world equivalents to Cram and Lembas are in terms of food items? I’ve always imagined Cram as the most tasteless biscuit imaginable with no salt and flavoring added. On the other hand, I always pictured Lembas as being a kind of sweet shortbread type. What are your thoughts, both silly and real, on these cards?

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23 Comments
  1. Gwaihir the Windlord permalink

    Attachments, I think, are really some of the more game-changing cards. In this cycle, only six have been released so far, but Lembas is definitely a favorite of mine. Although I have only found use of its readying effect, I am eager youse it on Celeborn, as he is usually a back-up defender in the late game. Also, he is the one of two Silvan heroes who (without boosts to hit points) can make use of Lembas.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Celeborn is definitely a good choice. I’ve been interested in making Celeborn a defender in my Silvan decks, as he is the best choice, and Lembas helps in that regard. He just needs some action advantage so he can quest and defend and a bit of defensive help, with Dunedain Warning being perhaps the best choice right now.

  2. diedertk permalink

    I always think of Cram being one of those digestive biscuits.. Not tasty at all, but hey, they fill the belly. Lembas is something you just wanna eat, like bread that comes out of the oven and you just get the smell of all those herbs and stuff you put in there: jammy!

    For the attachments, I can only agree with you. O Lorién is a real nice one, 1 resource makes a complete difference in tri-sphere! And discounts are never bad. 😉 As a said above, Lembas is really great. Nice thematic way that you need to control an Elfhero, for they did not share Lembas that often with strangers. (almost never, except for the Fellowship that we really know of) And it is indeed fitting that is has healing ability.
    Great attachments, can’t wait for the events review!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Having Lembas only be playable if you control an Elf was definitely a nice thematic choice.

  3. Tony F. permalink

    I love how the flavor text of Lembas says “‘it is more pleasant than cram, by all accounts,'” since the card is to me much more useful than Cram. It’s a particularly good fit with Elrond, who allows you to play it and to heal 4 damage when you use it, which can completely heal any hero in the game (well, with the exception of Beorn, who can’t be healed anyway). Not to mention that action advantage is huge on Elrond himself, since has such great stats and has Vilya that requires him to exhaust. Recycling Lembas with the Erebor Hammersmith (which I guess means he’s also a baker) can net you even more uses, and I always like to run lots of attachments in Lore decks thanks to the Master of the Forge. Lembas is also an excellent fit for one of my favorite decks, the ally-light deck of Lore Aragorn, Spirit Glorfindel (who allows Lembas to be played), and Tactics Boromir. Lembas allows me to drop the Wardens of Healing from this deck and still have some healing, as well as additional action advantage.

    One thing that’s nice to note about O Lorien! is that it is a Song, so it can be fetched by a Rivendell Minstrel. If you’re running a Leadership/Lore Silvan deck (which, considering the new Galadhrim Minstrel, seems like a must), you really only need to play one copy of O Lorien! and can use Rivendell Minstrels and/or Masters of the Forge to get it into hand quickly.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Great point about O Lorien! being a song and able to be fetched by Rivendell Minstrell.That’s definitely a point in its favor, as it makes it a lot more consistent and easier to get out more quickly. I just wish the Rivendell Minstrel was Silvan for even more synergy, but I suppose we can’t have everything!

  4. elrohirthehasty permalink

    You didn’t mentioned that O Lorien is a song, and thus can be fetched by the Rivendell Minstrel.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Good point about O Lorien being a song. Definitely makes Rivendell Minstrel a great choice for Silvan decks.

  5. Neil permalink

    O Lorien provides just the right amount of synergy for me to be very very excited about a mono-green ‘Love of Tales’ powered Sylvan deck, especially with Haldir and Mirlonde taking two slots straight up. I’m not sure it’ll be fast enough sadly, but the spoiled silvan abilities to fetch allies quickly may just be enough to make this old mono-green archetype come to life again.

    • Neil permalink

      Sorry to double post. But in this instance, you can very reliably fetch all three in your deck, chuck them down for cash back, and then reduce your allies to basically 1 resource each. My fave new deck type of this cycle so far IMO.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Interesting. I’ve tended to think of Silvan just in terms of tri-sphere or dual-sphere, to combine Leadership and Lore at least, but your mono-Lore “Love of Tales” build sounds interesting. It might be worth it to find ways to splash in some of the other off-sphere Silvan cards.

      • Neil permalink

        I’ll mail a deck list once it’s up. So far I’m thinking Elrond makes a powerful third hero in the build as he starts with two very useful abilities for the idea.

    • Fouilloux permalink

      Hum, I did not get it. Which spoiled ability are you talking about?

  6. gaudyls permalink

    O Lorien is unique so you can’t have the 3 in the table.

  7. Stoian permalink

    Sorry because I write in this topic!
    With the last article FFG practicle said that Aragorn is an unique ally in The Road Darkens.Andruil say that you need to ,,Attach to an NOBLE hero or Aragorn”,but Aragorn is already NOBLE so we will gain one Aragorn ally and probably one Boromir ally.I created some versions based (U=unique,A=attack,W=willpower,D=defense,HP=hit points,C=cost):
    C:6
    U ,Leadrship Aragorn
    W:2
    A:3
    D:2
    HP:5
    Dunedain.Noble.Ranger.Fellowship.
    Lower Aragorn cost by 1 for each Fellowship or Leadership character you control.Rise Aragorn cost by 1 for each non- Fellowship non-Leadership hero in play.
    As long Aragorn is in play he loses the ally type an gains the hero type.
    Aragorn collects 2 resources at the Resource Phase instead of 1.
    If Aragorn has Andruil attached he also gain +2A.
    As long you control non-Fellowship heroes Aragorn gains ,,Time 3.Forced:When the last time counter is remove,discard Aragorn”.

    C:6
    U ,Leadrship Aragorn
    W:2
    A:3
    D:2
    HP:5
    Dunedain.Noble.Ranger.Fellowship.
    Lower Aragorn cost by 1 for each Fellowship or Leadership character you control.Rise Aragorn cost by 1 for each non- Fellowship non-Leadership hero in play.
    As long Aragorn is in play he loses the ally type an gains the hero type.
    If Aragorn has Andruil attached he also gain +X A when he attaks alone one enemy,where X is that enemy D.
    As long you control non-Fellowship heroes Aragorn gains ,,Time 3.Forced:When the last time counter is remove,discard Aragorn”.

    C:6
    U ,Leadrship Aragorn
    W:2
    A:3
    D:2
    HP:5
    Dunedain.Noble.Ranger.
    As long Aragorn is in play he loses the ally type an gains the hero type.
    You can move attachments from others characters to Aragorn.
    Aragorn can have any numbers of restricted attachments.

    C:5
    U,Tactics Boromir
    W:1
    A:3
    D:2
    HP:5
    Gondor.Noble.Warrior.Fellowship.
    Lower Aragorn cost by 1 for each Fellowship or Tactics character you control.Rise Boromir cost by 1 for each non- Fellowship non-Tactics hero in play.
    Each time Boromir enters in play put on him one progress token.Do not discard progress tokens when Boromir is returned to your hand.
    Boromir gains +1 A for eah progress token on him.
    Action:Return Boromir to your hand to deal 1 damage to one enemy in play.

    C:5
    U,Tactics Boromir
    W:1
    A:3
    D:2
    HP:5
    Gondor.Noble.Warrior.Fellowship.
    Lower Boromir cost by 1 for each Fellowship or Tactics character you control.Rise Boromir cost by 1 for each non- Fellowship non-Tactics hero in play.
    Action:Boromir gains +3 A ,+3 D and ,,Boromir does not exhaust to attack or defend”. At the end of the round in witch you trigger this action,remove from the play all copies of Boromir in play,players hands ,players decks and players discard piles and ,if you play Campaign Mode add Boromir to Fallen Heroes List.

    C:5
    U,Tactics Boromir
    W:1
    A:3
    D:2
    HP:5
    Gondor.Noble.Warrior.
    Response:After Boromir leaves play ,remove from the play all copies of Boromir in play,players hands ,players decks and players discard piles (if you play Campaign Mode ,add Boromir to Fallen Heroes List) and discard Horn of Gondor to look at the top 10 cards and put in play all allies.Then,shuffle your deck.

    The first 2 versions of each ally comes with an errata:All copies of Aragorn,Boromir,Gandalf,Legolas,Gimli ,Merry,Pippin,Sam Gamgee,Frodo Baggins. gains the Fellowship trait.
    Thank you for reading and I hope you like my versions(even if there are very complex and possibly over-powered ). Please you can put this on FFG forum,beause I don’t have account.

    THANK YOU!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I like the idea of allies with the Fellowship trait and reduced costs the more you have in play. I also really love the idea of an ally that can become a hero, even if only temporarily, and Aragorn would certainly fit the bill.

  8. Stoian permalink

    C:5
    U,Tactics Boromir
    W:1
    A:3
    D:2
    HP:5
    Gondor.Noble.Warrior.
    Response:After Boromir leaves play ,remove from the play all copies of Boromir in play,players hands ,players decks and players discard piles (if you play Campaign Mode ,add Boromir to Fallen Heroes List) and discard Horn of Gondor to look at the top 10 cards of your deck and put in play all allies.Then,shuffle the remaining cards in your deck.
    Sorry for ,,beause”.I wanted to say ,,because”.

    • Gwaihir the Windlord permalink

      Hmm . . . very interesting, Stoian! I hate to contradict you, but Lore Aragorn (a.k.a. Strider) is NOT a Noble hero (his traits are just Dunedain and Ranger), and thus Anduril would have to mention his name for it to be attached to him. Therefore, we might not be getting an ally version in The Road Darkens. The fact that two other hero versions of Aragorn have been spoiled (Tactics and Fellowship) make this even more unlikely. But the ally Boromir is a great idea, and maybe for some of the other members of the Fellowship . . . FFG, read Stoian’s post and act upon it!

  9. Stoian permalink

    Thank you to both!

  10. Stoian permalink

    Hello!Another unique ally that we can have in The Road Darkens is Galadriel!I created also one card for she:
    Cost:6
    Unique Galadriel
    Leadership(she is the leader of Galadhrims,so it is a good sphere for she)
    Noldor.Noble.
    Willpower:4
    Attack:0
    Defense:0
    Hit Points:4
    Galadriel cannot commit to a quest,attack or defend.
    Forced:When Galadriel enters play,put 4 progress tokens on she.
    Action:Exhaust Galadriel to look at the top card of your deck.Then,you may choose to discard one progress token from she and the top card of your deck to lower your threat by X,when X is top card’s cost.
    Forced:If Galadriel ever has 0 resource tokens,discard she.
    I hope you like my new ard.

  11. Stoian permalink

    Hello!Another unique ally that we can have in The Road Darkens is Galadriel!I created also one card for she:
    Cost:6
    Unique Galadriel
    Leadership(she is the leader of Galadhrims,so it is a good sphere for she)
    Noldor.Noble.
    Willpower:4
    Attack:0
    Defense:0
    Hit Points:4
    Galadriel cannot commit to a quest,attack or defend.
    Forced:When Galadriel enters play,put 4 progress tokens on she.
    Action:Exhaust Galadriel to look at the top card of your deck.Then,you may choose to discard one progress token from she and the top card of your deck to lower your threat by X,when X is top card’s cost.
    Forced:If Galadriel ever has 0 progress* tokens,discard she.
    I hope you like my new card*.

  12. sweetnesswhachacha permalink

    Yeah, my first thought for lembas was Gloin, defend, ready and heal, defend again. Good old coin gloin! I find healing herbs exhaust a character cost to be too much to bear, so this is a welcome attachment.

    And O lorien is absolutely awesome in a trisphere silva deck!

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