Hero. Threat: 6. 2   1   1   2  


Each enemy in play gets +1 engagement cost for each Hobbit hero you control.

Response: After you engage an enemy with an engagement cost higher than your threat, draw a card.

"We Hobbits ought to stick together, and we will"
The Fellowship of the Ring
Alexandre Dainche

The Black Riders #4. Lore.


In contrast to his incarnation being the worst hero in the game and one of the worst card designs for the Hobbit trait, Pippin is one of the best designs for the trait. How do Hobbits work? They engage enemies with high engagement costs and gain benefits as a result, just as in the stories the Hobbits have a habit of rising to the occasion when they take on tasks most would deem too big for them. And in this regard, Pippin gives you one of the simplest benefits you could get - engage an enemy with engagement cost above your threat, draw a card. On top of that, he increases enemy engagement costs making it more likely you can trigger that card draw (incidentally, that's something which might've helped Pippin, if his ability scaled somehow depending on how many Hobbits you had instead of just only working with all Hobbits). This is simple design, and that's one of the reasons it's so good. You buy The Black Riders for the first time, open it to look at the player cards eager to see how Hobbit decks are going to work, and immediately on looking at Pippin and Sam Gamgee you can see at a glance how the whole archetype is intended to play. Those two heroes by themselves define the playstyle of the standard Hobbit deck and clearly communicate it to the player.

Of course, as I've already alluded to, one of Pippin's strengths in stark contrast to Pippin is that he still works without needing to be stuck into a dedicated Hobbit deck - even with no other Hobbits, he still increases engagement costs by 1 as well as keeping your threat low with his starting 6, meaning you stand pretty good chances of using him as a draw engine. He's a great glue hero, who you can just drop into a deck and pretty much know he's going to be useful. In addition to Hobbits he pairs well with Dunedain, since they also like engaging enemies, and Rangers (who sometimes overlap with Dunedain), since they sometimes like engaging enemies (Faramir, Mablung) and since natural if niche partner cards Take No Notice and In the Shadows count Hobbits and Rangers both.

In a Hobbit context, Pippin plays perfectly with the archetype - in fact he and Sam baically define the archetype even with no other support cards. In a non-Hobbit context, he's still likely to be incredibly useful just by himself, and can function as an excellent glue hero to make the rest of your deck run smoother.

There's not much to say about Pippin that @Warden of Arnor hasn't already stated. Pippin is far superior to his version. His ability to function in a number of deck archetypes is almost to the point of being funny. On the one hand, as the Warden states, he does an amazing job representing the Hobbit play style. He not only helps make the deck do what it does for a little bit longer with his engagement cost raising ability, but like other aspects of the Hobbit archetype, he rewards you for taking down those high engagement enemies. Even when he's by himself and his ability only grants +1 engagement cost to enemies his effect can be felt. There have been many games I've looked at an enemy, began to "sweat bullets" and get that sense of dread knowing that an enemy I hadn't planned on taking was going to come down only to realize I had one more turn to prepare, thanks to this little Hobbit on the other side of the table.

He's got low threat, does a fairly average job at questing (about the only thing he should be doing), has two wonderful abilities, and provides access to a sphere that can further abuse his strengths.

Like Mablung I have found Pippin to be a very splashable Hero (something the Warden also states). Coincidentally the two combined make for some very fun shenanigans.

He's an outstanding Hero on his own merit and is just as good when he's in a Hobbit deck. Great card.