Spirit Hero Poll #2 Results
The time has come to finally put the second edition of the favorite Spirit hero poll to bed. The first run of the Spirit hero poll was conducted early in the days of this blog. Which Spirit heroes have grown in popularity? Which have fallen from favor? Which of the newer heroes have endeared themselves? Let’s get some answers!
The sample size for this poll was 1,225 voters. For the second version of the Tactics poll, Legolas repeated his victory from the first version. However, the first place finisher in Spirit last time around, Glorfindel, did not repeat his domination this time. Instead, we have a Core Set staple hero winning the sphere in the form of Eowyn. The shieldmaiden of Rohan gobbled up 28.24% of the vote. Her victory this time wasn’t too surprising, as she did earn second place in the first poll (with 29.28% of the vote among a much smaller field). More importantly, Core Set heroes will always have an advantage in that every player will have experience with them, no matter how many expansions they have or their experience with the game. Eowyn happens to be the best of the Core Set heroes, and has lasted as a mainstay of decks due to her simple nature and no-nonsense willpower. The arrival of new questing alternatives might mean that she doesn’t show up quite as often as she used to, but there will always be a place for her in the game.
Glorfindel dropped to a respectable second place with 18.12% of the vote. Due to his ludicrous stats-to-starting threat ratio, it’s hard to image there will ever be a day when he isn’t in the top three of Spirit heroes. The battle for third place was perhaps the most interesting, as two relatively new heroes competed for that spot: Galadriel and Arwen. Ultimately, Galadriel took third ahead of her granddaughter, with 11.92% to Arwen’s 9.71%. Both of these heroes occupy somewhat similar positions as they fill the support role and help to provide some fundamental abilities that the Spirit sphere was previously lacking (card draw in Galadriel’s case and resource generation in Arwen’s case). I somewhat suspect that Galadriel and Arwen voters were a kind of bloc that was split, and if either was missing, the other might have had a shot at first or second place. Altogether, a strong showing from both of these heroes, and in the early months of the poll, Arwen was actually in the lead for awhile. Few can deny that these two are among the top tier of Spirit heroes and fully deserve their spot alongside Eowyn and Glorfindel.
After the top 4, the rest of the field looked like this:
5th: Cirdan – 5.22% (not present last time)
6th: Frodo – 4.16% (down from 3rd place)
7th: Eleanor – 3.18% (down from 5th place)
8th: Theoden – 2.94% (not present last time)
9th: Dunhere – 2.78% (down from 4th place)
10th: Merry – 2.61% (not present last time)
11th: Fatty – 2.53% (not present last time)
12th: Idraen – 1.88% (not present last time)
13th: Dwalin – 1.55% (down from 6th place)
14th: Lanwyn – 1.47% (not present last time)
15th: Pippin – 1.39% (not present last time)
16th: Caldara – 1.22% (not present last time)
17th: Nori – 0.73% (down from 8th place)
18th: Oin – 0.33% (down from 7th place)
There’s not much separating heroes after the top 4, but there are a few interesting observations. First is that Frodo has seen one of the biggest tumbles, falling from a top tier spot at 3rd place down to 6th place. I attribute this more to the arrival of a few very strong Spirit heroes in the form of Arwen, Galadriel, and Cirdan that have usurped his spot rather than a fall in his power. In fact, Frodo’s fall from favor is possibly unwarranted, as an argument could be made that his ability has only become more clutch as direct damage, archery, and high attack values have become a constant in the game. So if you haven’t played Frodo in a long while, give him a try against more recent scenarios.
Perhaps the craziest result of the whole poll was Caldara coming in at a dismal 16th place, capturing a mere 15 votes. Although she received a lukewarm reception upon release, in the last year or so, she has really come to the forefront of the community as the lynchpin of one of the strongest deck types in the meta. Caldara decks are easily up there with Dwarves and Boromir super builds in the top tier, so it is definitely surprising to see such a lack of love for this hero. Of course, it could just be a matter of players either not being familiar with Caldara or not having an attachment to the hero herself even if the deck type is acknowledged as powerful. Other heroes are also more versatile in terms of what decks they can fit within.
If I had to pick my own favorites (not necessarily strongest), it’s a tough call once more, but Caldara would probably be third (I’ve developed a bit of Caldara fatigue, but she’s still a blast to play), Glorfindel would earn second place (yes, I get it, he’s boring and everyone hates him, but he’s so useful and I love the character), and Arwen would be my pick for the top. She is just so amazingly useful and requires so little setup that I find myself using her in deck after deck these days.
With Spirit and Tactics out of the way, it’s time to check in on the Lore heroes. Will a Core Set hero win the day again or will a newer hero take the crown?