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Favorite Sphere Poll Results

by on June 5, 2015

 

sphere cards

It’s natural that over time players grow attached to certain spheres to the point of developing favorites among them. In fact, this is part of the fun of a game like this and a major reason why spheres and factions exist. These kinds of groupings help hook players into a game by giving them something to identify with and have a sense of in-game identity. As such, it’s interesting to see which spheres inspire the most loyalty at any given moment and which aren’t as popular. Since this changes over time, I plan on conducting a favorite sphere poll every so often to check how such affiliations have changed along with the card pool.  This has been by far the longest running poll and the one with the most votes, which is no surprise since I decided to leave it up until I broke the 1,000 votes mark. With that goal achieved, let’s take a look at the results:

* 27.41% of respondents chose Lore

* 25.82% of respondents chose Leadership

* 25.62% of respondents chose Spirit

* 18.17% of respondents chose Tactics

* 1.69% of respondents chose Baggins

* 1.29% of respondents chose Fellowship

Lore has shown itself to be the most popular sphere, with 276 votes out of 1007. Of course, while it has come in first, it was not a dominating victory by any means. If this were an election, we’d probably have to have a runoff, as the percentage differences between first, second, and third place were not overwhelming by any means. Still, the green sphere temporarily rules the day, proving that Lore does indeed have a ton of fans. While it may not always factor into every deck list and while it may not have an abundance of the most powerful cards in the game, Lore certainly has some of the most interesting cards and effects in the game, and likely inspires devotion among those who enjoy neat tricks, subtlety, and fun combos.

Coming in just behind Lore are the Spirit and Leadership spheres, with 260 votes and 258 votes respectively. This margin is so slim that I think it’s justified to say that they basically share second place. I was surprised to see Leadership tally so highly, as I don’t tend to hear many people expressing passion for this sphere as I do with the other spheres. However, it appears that the purple sphere is a “silent favorite”, with apparently many players enjoying the well-balanced and well-rounded approach it takes towards the game. It also is a sphere that can work well in both solo and multiplayer, which perhaps enhances its popularity. Spirit is a less surprising contender. The blue sphere is one of the strongest in the game, with an argument to be made that is the clear winner in terms of pure power and usefulness. With strong access to treachery/shadow cancellation, threat reduction, and cheap willpower, it’s no wonder that it’s often hard to ignore Spirit. As time has gone on, it’s former weakness in the combat department has also diminished. The only true knock against the sphere is that it can sometimes feel boring or straightforward, but obviously 258 people don’t feel that way!

Finally, while the rest of the poll was close, the Tactics sphere came in last place by a convincing margin, with 183 votes, 75 fewer than the nearest competitor! I have to say that I’m absolutely shocked by this result. While Tactics has always hampered by its lack of viability in solo play, at least in its mono sphere form, it’s hard to ignore the appeal of smashing enemies and exercising pure combat prowess. With tons of fierce characters, fun weapons, and shiny armor, I would have expected Tactics to come in towards the top of the pack. If I were to speculate, I would say that Tactics can sometimes be the most expendable sphere when it comes to solo play, and this perhaps has dampened its appeal to solo players as a potential favorite sphere. Personally, I really enjoy Tactics and its perhaps my own feelings that influence my surprise.

I did include Baggins and Fellowship options for those out-of-the-box or tongue-in-cheek players and some players duly took up the banners for those specialized Saga-specific spheres. I do certainly have a fondness for the Baggins sphere, its slightly hilarious name, and that evocative pipe icon. In terms of my own favorite sphere, I have to say that I’m a man of many colors, a bit like Saruman at his moment of turning. I’ve always had a love for Lore, but recently proclaimed that Leadership was my favorite in an episode of The Grey Company podcast. Then again, this poll result has sharpened my love for Tactics and I have before shared my appreciation for the weapons and armor of the game. Spirit would perhaps be my least favorite, simply from the perspective of pure enjoyment and creativity, but I end up using it a ton!

Readers, what are your thoughts on these results? Which is your favorite sphere? Which is your least favorite? Most importantly, is Baggins really a sphere? Share your thoughts below!

 

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From → Poll Results

17 Comments
  1. Matthew D permalink

    clearly, the poll is rigged.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Heh, you should’ve set up a voting bot

  2. Steven A permalink

    Clearly the best sphere is Mastery! (Actually, I’m really not sure where I’d place my allegiances in a First Age version of this poll, as I would possibly feel differently based on the different card pool. In the actual poll I voted either Lore or Leadership and I stand by those)

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Darn, I can’t believe I completely forgot to mention Mastery! That would definitely be my personal favorite sphere if I was including First Age stuff. Walking on the dark side is fun…

  3. Erebor Record Keeper permalink

    Lore first and Tactics last does not surprise me. I play solo almost exclusively and hardly ever use Tactics. I would be interested to see a poll to gauge how many readers play solo vs
    Multiplayer, etc.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Yeah, it would definitely be interesting to gauge how many play each style. I’ll keep that in mind as a future poll.

  4. GrandSpleen permalink

    I would love to have data about what kind of players visit blogs, read game forums, etc. Anytime somebody does a poll, there is a very high percentage of players who indicate ‘I primarily play solo.’ Card games are prototypically social, so it makes me wonder if “one” is legitimately the most common number of players, or if solo players simply make up a large portion of that subset of players who are engaged enough in the game to read blogs and forums. Solo players are interested enough in the game to play it by themselves — nobody saying to them ‘hey let’s go play LotR.’ So maybe the interest level is higher.

    Having said that, if it is true that solo players are more likely to read a blog, then it’s also more likely that solo players will vote on the blog’s poll. Looking from that perspective, it is unsurprising to see Tactics low on the list — more viable now in solo play, but still not cream of the crop, and many players do not have a full card pool. Tactics was very hard to use when playing solo in the Core set days.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      “Card games are prototypically social, so it makes me wonder if “one” is legitimately the most common number of players, or if solo players simply make up a large portion of that subset of players who are engaged enough in the game to read blogs and forums.”

      It’s really difficult to say. I do think that more dedicated players are obviously the ones who are going to seek out blogs, and more dedicated players are also more likely to play solo more often, as they will want to play the game as much as possible, and it’ s just easier to get more games in by yourself than with others. On the other hand, I do think the majority of the player base in general, not just the dedicated players/those who seek out blogs, tend towards solo play, simply because I think solo play is what attracts many to the game in the first place. I have no data on this, but that’s just a hunch.

      Either way, I do think you are right that polls of this type will tend to slant towards a solo player bias, and that seems to be the reason for Tactic’s poor showing.

  5. Gimli, Theodred, Eowyn, Beravor. 😉

    I noticed a small mistake: 260 for Spirit and 256 for Leadership should be the otber way around, I think?

    Cool poll, as mentioned above, like GrandSpleen I would be interested in those data and the following conclusions.

    Next time you should maybe leave fellowship and baggins out, so the people voting for those would be forced to make an honest choice. 😉

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I interpret the Fellowship/Baggins choices as “none of the above” or “I couldn’t care less”. Then again, maybe people really love yellow or orange!

  6. Josemite permalink

    I feel that the reason lore is on top and tactics on the bottom is partially due to the fact that the type of people who read in-depth strategy blogs are typically not the same people who like running around hulk-smashing with tactics 😛

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Heheh, you mean to tell me that people who like nerdy things might feel an affinity for the sphere that emphasizes knowledge and learning? The “nerd sphere”. I am shocked! 🙂

  7. Traekos77 permalink

    An interesting poll would be to ask *when playing solo, what sphere(s) do you favor (use most often) for your heroes?*

    Options would have to be 20?
    Leadership x3
    Tactics x3
    Spirit x3
    Lore x3
    Leadership x2, Tactics
    Leadership x2, Spirit
    Leadership x2, Lore
    Tactics x2, Leadership
    Tactics x2, Spirit
    Tactics x2, Lore
    Spirit x2, Leadership
    Spirit x2, Tactics
    Spirit x2, Lore
    Lore x2, Leadership
    Lore x2, Tactics
    Lore x2, Spirit
    Leadership, Tactics, Spirit
    Leadership, Tactics, Lore
    Leadership, Spirit, Lore
    Tactics, Spirit, Lore

    I’ve used them all but Spirit x2, Lore is by far my most frequently used.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Good idea! I really have no idea which one I use the most often, but I think it’s probably Spirit x2, Tactics.

    • Erebor Record Keeper permalink

      Interesting suggestion. Although I was recently playing a two hero secrecy deck in solo play. My heroes were Leadership Aragorn and Spirit Glorfindel. It was a lot of fun to play. Some would say that Spirit Glorfindel is a “broken card” or “unimaginative” or something. However, I have a very limited card pool: Core set, OH&UH, Khazad Dum, Redhorn Gate, Road to Rivendell and Foundations of stone, that’s it. So, I was trying to come up with a way to play secrecy with the cards I have available.

      • TalesfromtheCards permalink

        There’s certainly no shame in using Spirit Glorfindel with a limited card pool. I recommend Foundations of Stone as a good pack for a new player to pick up for the very reason that he provides a quick way to increase the power of what you have available. Hell, I even throw him into countless decks with all the cards at my disposal. I think he takes heat more for the fact that players wish that there were more alternatives and they wouldn’t have to rely on him so much

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