Follow Me!

Event. Cost: 1.

Action: Take control of the first player token and draw 1 card.

"Come! I will lead you now!"
Aragorn, The Fellowship of the Ring
Ilich Henriquez

The Nîn-in-Eilph #85. Leadership.

Follow Me!

This is a card which I've always had issues with. It certainly seems to have some potential valid uses, but they've never really seemed good enough to justify including it in decks. On the one hand obviously it's 1 resource for 1 card, which in the sphere with Steward of Gondor is manageable, but there are other ways of getting that - Hidden Cache does it, Campfire Tales also draws for other players, We Are Not Idle doesn't cost anything, if you can play it then Unlikely Friendship even gives you a resource back. So if there is value to this card it has to come from the other half of the effect, which is taking control of the first player token.

There's certainly more potential in that. The question is whether it's worth a slot in your deck. So let's look at potential uses of spontaneously becoming the first player during any action window:

  • In the Encounter phase, the first player is the first to make engagement checks, so a combat focused deck which wants to engage all the enemies (e.g. a Dunedain deck) could benefit from it. This applies doubly if one or more other decks in the game specifically want to not engage enemies, either because they're particularly bad at combat or because they're using heroes such as Haldir of Lórien, Brand son of Bain or Bard the Bowman. The downside of this idea actually lies in Follow Me being a card draw effect, meaning you potentially want to use it asap whereas this engagement strategy is something you save up until you need it.
  • There can be other quest-specific effects, of which the most frequent occurrence is boss enemies which constantly engage/are considered to be engaged with the first player. This would also apply for the combat deck instance. Another similar case would be saga quests, if it matters who controls the saga hero at any given moment.
  • Finally of course there are player cards effects which specifically affect the first player - the extra draw from Bilbo Baggins and Prepare for Battle, the draw from Ancient Mathom, the resource generation of Ranger Provisions, putting an ally into play with Elf-stone, and taking control of a Defender of the West. Certainly one can imagine circumstances where those could come in handy, so maybe there's some sort of shenanigans-y deck to be built, but at this point in the card pool I feel like there are generally better means of card draw and resource generation available, while Defender of the West is itself a rather difficult card to find a use for. Which leaves Elf-stone, and certainly the need to correctly time it for when the right player is first is one of the biggest issues with Elf-stone, so maybe that one's worth trying out, but it's still not the most inspiring of ideas.

Obviously there's the potential for combining multiple of these ideas - building a deck around Elf-stones against a quest with a boss enemy which always targets the first player, for example - but it's still problematic and there are so many easier ways to achieve your end. I think I hit on my biggest problem though in the first bullet point - drawing more cards is usually something you want to do as fast as possible to give yourself more options, but all these potential uses for becoming the first player seem to be things which you have to time carefully when you do them, so the two aspects of the card work against each other. As useful as card draw is, this card might work better if the second half of the effect was something else which allowed you to pick your moment without feeling like you were mmissing out on something. Maybe then it could be brought down to cost 0 as well, that'd be nice, but obviously kind of too good with it drawing a card. As it is though, it's just really hard to justify using this card.