The biggest design problem with the Watchman is that Signals do not form their own archetype. The most popular Signals -- Dúnedain Warning, Dúnedain Mark, and Dúnedain Remedy -- are mostly used as splashable support attachments to flexibly patch needed weaknesses of any deck running leadership. There is little purpose in building a deck with the sole purpose of putting out a ton of Signals, as there is no overall synergy to these cards. At the same time, for most decks that use Signals, they are helpful to have, but not critical in the way that linchpin attachments like, for example, Vilya, Steward of Gondor, O Lórien!, or King of Dale. Those attachments merit including many ways to specifically get them on turn 1. The same is just generally not true of Signals, so the Watchman's fetch ability is helpful but not terribly valuable on its own.

Given that his ability alone cannot justify his inclusion, the Watchman needs to have strong utility in stats or traits. Unfortunately, neither is really the case. On stats, he's got a moderately useful 1 and can soak a point of archery. He can also chump, but likely won't be available to do that because he's questing. His traits, however, are where he really falls flat. He simply just doesn't fit in with the Dunedain archetype at all. His best utility would actually be in a Gondor swarm deck... if he had the Gondor trait. You could see playing the Watchman with Herald of Anórien, for example, to get an early Dúnedain Warning out on Denethor and set up A Very Good Tale search for Faramir. The Watchman would be decent with the Visionary Leadership boost, especially. But he's not Gondor, he's Dunedain. Unlike Signals, therefore, the Watchman is just not splashable and so doesn't really find his way into that many decks. As others have pointed out, he simply does too little for too much cost to justify inclusion in today's very competitive card pool.

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Thematically and mechanically it makes sense to have a card that fetches the various signals from your deck, so I see why this card was created. However I always seem to cut it long before it makes it into any Dúnedain deck. The bottom line is that I think it’s overpriced for what it is. It has no use other than retrieving a single card then chump blocking, but it costs 2. Compare this to Master of the Forge who costs the same but will fetch you an attachment — any attachment so less likely to whiff — every round. Galadhrim Minstrel is 2 cost for a one time use but as a Silvan can be expected to get a stat boost on entry and be bounced back and reused — and is much harder to justify outside a Silvan deck. This guy is just one and done with no useful stats. Yes, leadership generally has more resources than other spheres, but that can’t justify making everything overpriced.

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Agreed on all counts. Another unfavorable comparison would be to Westfold Horse-breeder, who has a similar action but digs 10 cards deep and for one less resource. —

This card may be free, but outside of the threat increase, there is another hidden cost : to the difference of Sneak Attack or Reinforcements, the allies do not come back in hand, so you loose a card in the process.

If you are playing with Vilya (or Gandalf without Wizard Pipe), this can be a solution to shuffle back an ally that you couldn't play directly. It can also save a card from Erestor forced discard (the event having 0 cost beeing easy to play), but usually you prefer to keep your cards in hand.

Of course, you can also get away with it : a free Gandalf is still worth for example.

Synergies

Saruman's Staff can mitigate the threat cost, so Saruman can use this card as a super sneak attack to ready him.

Rohan have a lot of discarding abilities that you can use without fear on a 0-cost ally (for example Háma or Helm! Helm! if you really like exclamation marks). The Horn of the Mark can also give you a card after the ally has left play. And playing Rohan is totally thematic with the card.

Horns! Horns! Horns! can also find a use in a silvan deck ; bringing a Rúmil to destroy an ennemy before bouncing it back in hand (with The Elvenking or an event like Island Amid Perils).

Other interesting allies are eagles (use Meneldor or Descendant of Thorondor to remove an ennemy or a location before readying Gwaihir and/or buffing Eagles of the Misty Mountains) or beornings (you can trigger Beorn or Giant Bear for a powered combat phase).

The effects of this card scale well in multiplayer, just remember that not everyone can play Gandalf at the same time.

246

While I love Boromir, this ally is unfortunately harder to use than I would like. The statline is pretty great, honestly. 4 resources for 1-3-1 is a pretty common statline, although expensive in tactics. And the 4 health is almost unheard of for allies unless you're an Ent.

But the abilities are of course the real bonus. The ideal turn for our friend here would be:

  1. Quest with his 1 willpower

1a. Take a point of archery damage to ready.

  1. Defend against a medium hitting enemy.

2a. Take another point of damage

  1. Repeat 2 and 2a?
  2. Clap back with that great 3 attack.

The trick is that the key parts of this strategy are 1a and 2a, and you can't really control these things. Not every scenario has direct damage. And the defend is worse considering shadow cards. Would you rather defend a 2-3 atk enemy and hope for a strong shadow card or defend a 4-5 atk enemy and hope for a harmless shadow card (assuming his defense ability triggers)? Having him accidentally die is bad but we also can't rely on him readying for an attack necessarily.

So ultimately, I think Boromir is actually best for high direct damage scenarios, where you can get several 1 willpower 3 attack turns out of him with archery. I think you can be pretty happy with that for 4 resources. But if you're hoping for more, and trying to use him to chain defenses using his readying ability, I think that's too risky to pull off and you're better off using defensive tools on heroes

19

Great stat line for a decent price. Fits perfectly into any Noldor deck that runs leadership and its ability is a great fit for the stats. It's not even unique so you could be questing for 4 or 6 and attacking for the same with just 2-3 cards on the table. Really efficient, especially with a steward/elven light combo. I'm adding 3x to my Noldor deck as soon as I can pick up the AP.

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