Firyal's Alternate Universe

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Escape from Umbar - 1 Player - 2020-02-20
The Caves of Nibin-Dûm - 1 Player - 2020-02-25
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Denison 536

We've all been there. The encounter card is revealed and it results in utter calamity. Instead of scooping, a different encounter card is flipped just to see if the player deck could prevail under another circumstance. Players refer to this as an "Alternate Universe."

So here comes the Messenger of the King contract which enables (MotK) Firyal to become one of most powerful solo heroes in the game. She functionally allows for an "Alternate Universe" every round. Don't like that encounter card? Get rid of it. She has always been powerful as an ally, but having her right from the start as a very reasonable 9 threat hero makes her perfectly reliable. Her 3 WP also puts her in the top tier for questing heroes.

Her ability is a bit watered down in multi-player with multiple encounter cards, so she might function best in solo. Throw just about any two heroes with her and you probably have a viable solo deck. The strategy with choosing Glorfindel and Grimbeorn the Old is to have a location control and combat answer respectively.

The mulligan question is answered rather simply. Asfaloth is the primary card to help deal with locations in round 2. Hopefully a Westfold Horse-breeder can lasso the mount if none were drawn. The other critical card to look for is Master of the Forge. Most attachments are 1x or 2x with the expectation that Master of the Forge will find what is needed.

While (MotK) Firyal won't need any attachments and Glorfindel gets his normal gear, most of the game is spent loading up Grimbeorn for combat. Typically I am guarded card adverse when building decks. Asfaloth, however, makes it dead simple to get a Mithril Shirt on Grimbeorn. #Glamdring on Glorfindel is worth the chance to provide some additional card draw. Grimboern needs all the armor, but no weapons. With the The One Ring and Strength and Courage Grimboern is attacking for 7 right at setup, functionally 9 with his ability. Crazy.

Threat can be an issue with Glorfindel questing and the One Ring, so hopefully Elrond's Counsel can keep things in check.

I found that resources can pile up on this tri-sphere trio. So The Free Peoples is included here for a mid- to late-game boost. The heroes have 6 traits between them. The allies are incredibly diverse and can get to 9 traits quickly. This event was the game-winner in my first game with it. A Good Harvest is also there for resource smoothing, which can allow for a first-turn Asfaloth.

But back to the main event. Firyal does more than just pass on the game-ending treacheries. She also helps keep a balanced staging area so that Asfaloth and Grmibeorn both have good targets for their abilities. And instead of feeling like a powerless schlub in 99% of my other encounter phases, Firyal allows me to feel like I have a say in my destiny. If I choose to pass on door #1, then the table-fipper card behind door #2 is more my fault. I can live with that a little easier. Firyal is an obvious choice for MotK, but I didn't realize just how much fun it would be.

5 comments

Feb 22, 2020 Sfrug 224

Why can't (MotK) Firyal have attachments? What am I missing?

(The only thing I can think of is that you're looking at where the Messenger of the King contract says "Messenger of the King is immune to card effects while attached character is in play"; but that refers to the card, not the character. They wouldn't make a hero immune to card effects, full stop!)

Feb 22, 2020 Denison 536

Thank you for the clarification! I will edit that sentence to reflect.

Feb 23, 2020 Marcelf 794

Shouldn't Firyal be in your deck?

Feb 23, 2020 Denison 536

@MarcelfYes, that is technically correct.

Mar 13, 2020 askelad 21

hero firyal is awesome, love the prince of persia vibe!