So, it's taken me a couple of days to figure out what to say about Gimli, other than he's pretty much been done before. He's basically been played out. Everyone knows how to slap Citadel Plate on him, give him some damage, and let him swing for a ton of attack. Perhaps that's why his popularity has waned over the years, especially when there is a fairly fresh and still shiny Ally Gimli with a more interesting ability. So, I decided to challenge myself to make the Son of Glóin a little more interesting by trying to see just how much attack power I can get core set Gimli to swing for in one hit! Can I do 20? 30?! Dare I shoot for 40?!?! Naturally, I went and built a "Make Gimli Ridiculous" deck around this idea, which can be seen at ringsdb.com I use a ton of non-restricted attachments on Gimli, so after putting 2 Citadel Plates on him, everything else can somehow still fit. So, between maxing out on hit points and taking on damage, putting resources on Keeping CountCount and making judicious use of Support of the Eagles, soon our favorite dwarf can be back to his old self again, and actually, better than ever. My challenge to you, then, is for you to do the same and see just how ridiculous you can make Gimli with the current card pool!!! Bring out your best deck building skills, put up your decks on this site, and feel free to post your results in the comments below!!!!
Dwarf. Noble. Warrior.
Gimli gets +1 for each damage token on him.
Core Set #4. Tactics.
Bold statement time: if you deckbuild for him, Gimli's not an offensive hero, but a defensive one.
Let me explain; due to his ability, you want to stack damage on him, and, due to said ability, it's actually better to give him boosts than boosts via attachments. So, you use the painfully obvious combo every Core Set player's done and put Citadel Plate on him. But it's outside of the Core Set that I'd argue Gimli reaches his greatest level of power, if you stack him with (I will admit, typically expensive) boosts, and some healing.
Everyone knows how defending works; you deal an attacking enemy a shadow card, exhaust a character to declare them as a defender, then look at the shadow card and resolve the attack. But Gimli with Citadel Plate dramatically changes this, especially once healing's in play. "Oh, the Temple Guardian's hitting 6 ? Meh, undefended on Gimli anyway." Simply put, Gimli plus Citadel Plate (and especially the second one, if you can find it) dramatically changes the game. You go from blocking with Defender of Rammas to just absorbing an attack undefended, even from the Host of Angmar. 's healing and even Dark Knowledge make Gimli even more insane. You'll be taking multiple attacks without exhausting, the shadow scrying of Dark Knowledge or Silver Lamp allowing you to see nasty shadows so you can respond properly. Gimli plus boosts plus healing I'd argue is even more absurd than Beregond with a Gondorian Shield, Raven-winged Helm, and plenty of Honour Guards for backup. Sure, Beregond can defend for infinity against an enemy-but only one. Gimli can eat multiple attacks, even from high enemies if you have healing, and still be ready to counterattack.
And can he counterattack; once you get some damage stacked on him, Gimli effectively has X , where X is the total bulk of the bulkiest enemy in the encounter deck. For example, with 2 Citadel Plates and maxed out damage, Gimli can one-shot any enemy with less than 14 total bulk. Not only does that mean that the Eastern Crows definitely aren't getting up again, it means that you effectively have an ideal boss-killer; not only one who can most likely one-shot them, but one who can defend against them, too. But even damage up to his maximum printed still gives him 6 , the typical magic number for destroying enemies.
Another nice thing about Gimli defensively is how he dodges restrictions on declaring defenders. Witch-king's anti-chump/Beregond "no declaring characters with less than 2 as defenders against the Witch-king" getting you down? Just take it undefended on Gimli. Uruk of Mordor's inability to be defended against by Defender of Rammas or Snowbourn Scout getting old? Defenderless Gimli. Druadan Warrior attacking when you're out of resources? Just dump it on Gimli. Sure, that's minor, but it's minor like Power of Orthanc; not that useful in most quests, but downright absurd in the few it has use in. And all this is ignoring Vigilant Guard.
Overall, Gimli may be an oldie, but he's still a goodie; sure, he requires a lot of support, but if you give him that support, if you build your deck around him, you'll find yourself blinking at the sheer amount of defenderless attacks you're tanking. Word of warning, though; many are the times you'll scream at an enemy, "You couldn't get +1 , could you?" Gimli may require a lot of support, but he's well worth the deck space and resources it takes.
(Also, Grappling Hook is way too fun with Gimli; it's fun sending a character on the quest with more than the Outlands player.)
I saw a post on Discord about the uptick in Card Reviews and figured I'd go through some of the earlier cards, throw in some of my 2 cents in the hopes that it will help newer players. I'll admit I didn't use Gimli too much after I started to build up my card pool. Like the other reviewer, "Averygoodtale," mentions, the Gimli strategy is a pretty well established one - although it has fallen out of grace as the card pool grew and other strategies emerged. While I never stuck with him long enough to slap Citadel Plate's on him, I did immediately think of him after "A Storm on Cobas Haven" was released during the Dreamchaser Cycle. Simply put, the addition of Vigilant Guard to the card pool (which pictures Gimli) breathed some new life into this old dwarf. With vigilant guard you no longer have to worry about taking an undefended attack or giving Gimli action advantage so he can attack AND defend. Now you can slap Vigilant Guard on him (and maybe a Citadel Plate if you are so inclined) and let another defender do the work. If a damage creeps through, Gimli can help mitigate the damage a la vigilant guard and STILL be ready for attacking. Not only that, but Vigilant Guard helps mitigate archery damage and other direct damage effects, expanding Gimli's uses beyond the combat phase. All of this isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, but it's a strategy that feels better and looks more enjoyable to me and one I'm happy to bring to the table in today's meta.
One thing is for sure: Gimli can be a tank. If you boost him properly and you're able to control the damage, he can kill Nazgul with one hand and hill troll with another. Stats are also good and the threat is high enough accordingly. However i don't play him much mostly 'cause he's in sphere. I just started buying the first AP cycle and simply put, the cards for aren't so good as the others. But I think he will shine thematically in Dwarrowdelf cycle. Very nice artwork. Verdict: 4/5.