Halbarad

There aren't many heroes that are strictly oriented towards the Dunedain trait. There are certainly many that provide support for the archetype, such as the various Aragorn heros, but really only two others function exclusively through engaging enemies, Halbarad and Amarthiul. Of these two, Amarthiul is often viewed as the more attractive, both statistically and according to his abilities. This may be in part due to his battle heavy construction which makes him so valuable, particularly in the line of defense. That being said, I find it difficult to make an either/or comparison between the two, because Halbarad focuses on different aspects of the Dunedain trait than Amarthuil. Stats and planning phase benefits are what the latter bring to the table. Halbarad, meanwhile, offers abilities that are just as powerful, though a few are more unique than others. Having characters with the ability to perform multiple actions during one round is vital to the Dunedain deck. Halbarad allows one to not only use him to quest, but also have him available to defend smaller attacks, or even chip in on the offensive. Since this ability comes into play by keeping enemies engaged, it requires no more set up than any traditional Dunedain deck. In addition, his two willpower is another stat that is rare throughout the Dunedain archetype. Questing, at least in a Tactics-Leadership deck, is inherently the weakest aspect of the Dunedain trait. In an archetype oriented more towards defending, willpower can be a rare commodity. Though Halbarad's two willpower will not blow anybody away, it will definitely lighten the burden of questing, particularly at the beginning of the game. And if one can find a way to increase his willpower, such as by attaching Celebrian's Stone or Star Brooch to him, Halbarad can become a questing monster. Even further, if one is able to add a few attachments such as Sword of Numenor, he can be up and ready to be a powerful force in the combat phase. But another aspect of Halbarad's benefits to the Dunedain archetype is his ability to engage an additional enemy during the encounter phase. At first glance this may not seem like much, and if one is playing solo than it does have a greatly reduced effect on the game. But in a multiplayer situation it does allow one to have a slight control over which enemies engage which players. Oftentimes the Dunedain will be better prepared to defend than one's partner, and Halbarad allows one to swipe any threatening enemies before they reach engagement checks. Another use for the ability to optionally engage multiple enemies in one round is that it can provide a quick method of getting the Dunedain benefits up and running. This works not only at the beginning of the game, but also when one is forced to do away with a too powerful enemy, leaving the Dunedain stranded with either no enemies or just not enough of them engaged. Perhaps the biggest misconception concerning Halbarad, however, is that he is only beneficial in a deck specifically structured for the Dunedain trait. On the contrary, having enemies that unintentionally hang around through multiple rounds is a rather common occurrence, giving one that extra action quite often. Multiple actions per character are always valuable, and as stated above, Halbarad needs only a few attachments to make him truly formidable in all phases of the game.

I fully endorse Warden of Arnor's strategic review.

I wanted to add that this card is such a thematic home-run. From the artwork, quote and ability, it all speaks to the invigoration of the Dwarven spirit () by traveling to ancestral territory. Naturally, it's quest dependent and not an auto-include, but to me that makes it even more thematic! To avoid being too corny (per the card's title), all I'll say is I too feel a little sense of exhilaration when I'm able to include it in a deck (more theme win).

This is my first card review. I plan to add a few more over the course of my time playing LOTR LCG. I have been playing through the game progressively up to Treachery of Rhudaur (excluding Saga), and am just now starting to see the wondrous deckbuilding variety that is out there. This is my first card to review because, up until now, I have used this little beaut in just about every one of my decks. This card, paired with Gandalf, allows for a ton of flexibility. I have often included Born Aloft in my decks to milk Gandalf's value for all I can.

Some other strong allies I have used with Sneak Attack are Beorn and Elrond.

However, I feel like it's time to try other cards and stop relying so heavily on the same mechanic.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This card (paired with Gandalf) is probably the most powerful play in the game in my experience, but maybe newer players should push themselves to try and succeed without it and enjoy the wide variety of options this game offers.

I RATE THIS CARD - 10 out of 10

This ally is so good that I would argue he's completely and utterly broken. Allow me to explain.

First, let's assume for the moment that you always trigger his ability since, as others have pointed out, there's little reason not to. Then, to simplify analysis, we can regard him as a 2/3/1/2 ally. Normally, allies in this game are balanced around having stats:cost ratio somewhere in the range of 2:1 - 2.5:1. Allies who have less than this usually have a beneficial effect to compensate. Similarly, allies whose ratio is above this range typically have some sort of drawback. For example, Gandalf has a very high ratio of 3.2:1, but you only get him for one round. Treebeard has a whopping 3.5:1 ratio, but is unusable on the turn you played him (still OP, but that's a different story). So, how does Quickbeam measure up then? His ratio is 4:1, with no real downside other than being unique and not allowing restricted attachments. That's insane! We're talking about a 2-cost ally whose stats total matches or exceeds 29% of the heroes in the game!

Now let's look at the stat distribution, which is arguably more important that total stats. Does that tell a different story? Nope, still broken! 2 for 2 resources is as good as the best 2-cost allies in , which is the sphere that supposedly specializes in . And 3 for 2 resource is strictly better than all other 2-cost allies in the game, including all allies! We have both of these facts being simultaneously true of a single ally, and he has decent survivability with 1 and 2 .

All of the above assumed him having one damage. If you manage to heal him (easy to do in sphere, e.g. via Wellinghall Preserver), or for some reason you don't trigger his ability, then things become even more broken. Now you have a 4.5:1 ally with even more survivability whose stats total matches or exceeds 60% of heroes in the game, all for a measly 2 resources.

This analysis also only considers him in a vacuum -- his ability and Ent trait have powerful synergy with other cards like Booming Ent, Boomed and Trumpeted, Leaflock, and Ent Draught, making him even stronger in decks with those cards.

I get that Ents are cool and FFG wanted to make them feel powerful, but I feel like they just threw game balance completely out the window with this one. Needless to say, you need a pretty good reason not to include at least 1 of these in your deck if you have access to the sphere. I usually only exclude him when Ents don't make sense thematically or if I just want more of a challenge.

35

If you are using any Silvan and Dwarf combo, especially Hero Legolas with Gimli (see my Legolas review on why this is one of the best Hero pairs in game), this is a must include x3 card

Why? Because there is only upside and no downside to having 3x of this card in your deck, as long as you keep meeting the requirement of a unique Silvan and Dwarf trait character. And in early game with the aforementioned heroes, meeting the requirements is a sure thing.

Let's look at the two upsides:

(1) The card has zero cost and draws 1 card, shrinking your deck as you use/discard this for free and replace with the next card. This makes your deck effectively 3 cards smaller (47 cards instead of minimum 50), so all your other cards have a greater % chance of being drawn into your hand.

(2) The above by itself would make the card worth including x3 - but then it also adds one resource to any hero you control!

Bonus Combo: Add a readying benefit (and choose the exact timing of it) by adding that resource on a Heir of Mardil Hero.

And if you have a "perfect" 50 card deck already? Add 3x of this card anyways (if you meet the Silvan/Dwarf requirement) - it makes your deck effectively the same 50 card size, but you still gain the benefit of additional resource generation.

Multi purpose, interesting combos, free to play... this card is magnificent.