Hero. Threat: 12. 0   5   1   10  

Beorning. Warrior.

Sentinel. Cannot have attachments.

Immune to player card effects.

Beorn does not exhaust to defend.

The roar of his voice was like drums and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like straws and feathers.
The Hobbit
Emrah Elmasli

Over Hill and Under Hill #5. Tactics.


Beorn is both one of my favourite heroes, and one I feel is sorely under-rated. I picked him out for both those qualities in the wrap-up post for the Against the Shadow cycle in The Line Unbroken.

So let's talk a bit about Beorn. Now, to be sure, there are other ways you can get 5 on a hero these days, and those heroes can then be boosted further with other attachments that Beorn can never have. And then there are other effective Sentinel defenders, with more and who can actually be healed when they take damage. But how many heroes can have 5 right at the start of the game? Gimli, Lore Faramir and Éomer can do it, but those are all conditional, and I can't think of any others. Beorn is always 5 with no conditions to fulfil. Even if you ignore his ability to defend without exhausting, you could simply use him for that 5 and 10 as an archery sink. but then if you do use his ability to defend without exhausting? Sure, there's a time limit on how long he can do it, but the early-game is the hardest part of this game. Let your initially weaker heroes and allies hide behind the bear as he tanks absolutely everything for the first couple of rounds and kills things with his giant claws, then let other characters take over defensive duties and Beorn can continue to tear through enemies. Start solid and you're likely to continue that way.

All of the above considers Beorn purely in a vacuum, but this need not be the case. If you build around him you can mitigate some of the problems. Landroval can be used as a reset button, as obviously can Fortune or Fate. Expensive to be sure, but they bring back the bear with all or almost all of his again to continue tanking literally everything on the board. Add in the ability to redirect damage to Dori (who unlike Beorn, can be healed), simply cancel the damage with Close Call or Honour Guard, or reduce enemy attack with effects like Horn's Cry and you can keep your friendly neighbourhood skin-changer alive and well and covering all your defensive needs potentially all game long. And don't forget that things like Sheltered Valley or Make Camp can heal Beorn since they're encounter card effects, not player card effects! Not to mention the occasional cry in my games of "Oh, everyone's text boxes are blanked. QUICK! HEAL THE BEAR!"

Overall, merely as a massive early-game boost Beorn is a beast, and when you actually include cards which support him he can get truly monstrous, not to mention the fun factor. I also consider Beorn the #1 hero in the game for pure unadulterated fun factor. A couple of decks using this hero:

Is he actually able to be revived from the discard pile? I'm inclined to believe that his passive "Immune to player card effects" would still apply even in the discard pile/ — ThimYorke 44
"Q: Can I use Fortune or Fate (CORE 54) to put Beorn (OHUH 5) into play from a player's discard pile, even though he is immune to player card effects? A: Yes. A hero's ability is only active while it is in play. Therefore, Beorn is not immune to player card effects (such as Fortune or Fate) while he is in the discard pile." Got that directly from the FaQ. — GreenWizard 309
Don't know how I missed that one! — ThimYorke 44
Can he have condition attachments? — Gandalf’sHat 1
@Gandalf"sHat no attachments whatsoever. — nelloianiro 987
The side quest keep watch is great with him too. — Wandering Ranger 21

Beorn is certainly a unique hero, and one of my favorites. One interesting thing about him is that he has stats that total WAY more than his starting threat (he should be at 16!!!) so all you Glorfindel fans should appreciate this. I think he is an amazingly powerful hero, and one that can be so SO clutch in the early game, especially for quests that hit you hard early on. I think Beorn's value also goes up in multiplayer, where he can handle multiple attacks early on, and then kill an enemy without needing any weapons or attack boosts. His favorite enemies to kill are obviously goblins, because he can handle their swarms and swat then down. I love the thought of Beorn, a giant bear, charging into battle, taking on swarms of enemies and surviving, clawing them to death!!! I think the artwork and the text on this hero is just perfect. Yes, he has drawbacks, and is a different sort of defender that Beregond, but one that is, in my opinion, more fun to play. Sadly, with many enemies having bigger and bigger attacks stats (4's and 5's) Beorn sed less and less use, which breaks my heart, because he is one of my favorite tactics heroes to play. But for some quests (The Battle of 5 armies comes to mind--very thematically appropriate!!) Beorn just shines.