This card could be fixed with one simple line of text:

After you play Brok Ironfist from your hand, he loses the ally card-type and gains the hero card type.

This would take him from coaster to boaster in no time!

I did consider after he enters play, but that would mean with Sneak Attack you'd be getting an extra hero for just 1 resource, so I think having to pay 6 resources in the sphere for a hero is not too bad.

Alternatively, he could be fixed by simply reducing his cost to 4 with no other changes and then he would be an auto-include in any dwarf deck as an insurance in case you lose a hero but without being a wasted card if not.

701

This is another nice boosting card from the sphere. It is priced well at 2 resources for 2 but it doesn't need to be restricted, given it is limited 1 per hero and can only go on heroes. I get the feeling that they restricted it only because you have to pay 2 resources for 1 with The Favor of the Lady. They would have been better to errata that card and lower the cost of it, rather than restrict this one.

701

I have a love/hate relationship with this card. I love it because it is brilliant at dealing with bosses. I love it because it doesn't say 'printed ', so you can boost it to ridiculous strength if you have a lot of boosting attachments (check out my song deck using Bilbo Baggins and Fireside Song in combination with Herugrim and Nor am I a Stranger: ringsdb.com.) I love it because it turns Éowyn from solely a quester to one of the strongest attackers. I love that it belongs to the sphere as the only other weapon in this sphere is Mirkwood Long-knife, which has limited potential.

But even after all this, I equally hate it. I hate that it costs 3 resources (okay, 2 on Theoden but big whoop). No other weapon in the game costs this much - admittedly, no other weapon is arguably as good as Herugrim at dealing with tough enemies but that's the problem - it is limited to just one big attack each round and it is this that really bugs me about this card. By comparison, Gondorian Fire is free to play and with the same level of deckbuilding around it can get up to the same sort of levels of strength, if not more, but it boosts your hero's for the entire combat phase, so you can literally burn through every tough enemy in one fell swoop if you have enough readying, whereas Herugrim only allows you to hack down 1 lousy opponent and what's more because you exhaust it you can't even trigger cards like Foe-hammer or Goblin-cleaver with it. I feel like if you are going to exhaust Herugrim, its effect should at least last til the end of the phase. The other thing is because it only boosts your during an attack you can't use it to boost a hero's for battle questing (unless you are using Éomer of course), whereas the '0 cost' Gondorian Fire can be used to boost a hero's attack in any phase and is not limited to attacks.

I think this card should read 'Action: exhaust Herugrum to add attached hero's to its until the end of the phase' or 'Response: When attached hero attacks an enemy, add its to its (limit once per phase).' The former would allow the hero to make multiple high-strength attacks and help with battle-questing but at the expense of being able to exhaust the weapon to trigger cards like Foe-hammer and the latter would allow the use of said cards but mean that you'd have to do some extra planning to get extra attacks out of it. Even with these changes, I would say the cost of the card should be 2 (or 1 for Theoden)

701

It's hard to believe that the Soldier of Erebor hasn't gotten more love here. In my opinion, it's possibly the strongest and most versatile combat ally in the game.

Leadership has few truly strong, all-around combat allies, which makes the Soldier of Erebor a standout with its 3 , 3 , and 3 . Even without its ability or Dwarf trait, which we'll come to in a minute, this ally is amazing. Consider that the only other Leadership ally with 3 base is Anborn, who is unique and has an ability that generally precludes using that stat. On the defensive side things are slightly better with two non-unique competitors: the (also excellent) Warden of Helm's Deep (who adds Sentinel but only has 2 ) and the (less excellent due to its play restriction) Knight of the White Tower.

But bear in mind that the Soldier of Erebor can do BOTH attack and defense... in the same round! And here's where we come to the clincher -- that amazing self-readying ability that is virtually free. Just sack three cards from your deck into your discard pile and you get to defend with the soldier twice, or defend and then attack back, or attack twice! That is absolutely a game changer, and a steal at that activation cost.

And then consider that this ally is also a Dwarf and so can benefit from powerful cards like Dáin Ironfoot, Hardy Leadership, various Dwarf attachments (such as Armor of Erebor or Dwarrowdelf Axe) not to mention options like Raiment of War or Ancestral Armor. On top of that, the ability activation cost can actually be helpful by fueling discard pile shenanigans with Hidden Cache, Ered Luin Miner, and all sorts of options if you combine with Spirit (Stand and Fight, Reforged) or Noldor (Elven-light, Glorfindel) options. The Soldier of Erebor just keeps getting better and better as we go.

But what about the cost, you say? Well, at first glance, 5 resources might seem high. There are few allies in the game that cost more (Brok? Brok?). But remember, this is Leadership , literally the most resource-rich sphere. Plus Leadership has native access to three of the best cheat-an-ally-into-play cards in the game: Timely Aid, A Very Good Tale, and Sneak Attack (also the newer Horns! Horns! Horns!). And lastly, the kicker -- once your poor Soldier finally retires from the battlefield and winds up in the discard pile, the end has not yet come. Just bring him back with To me! O my kinsfolk! for another two actions and then put him back in your deck. So yes, the Soldier of Erebor is, in my opinion, one of the single strongest combat allies in the game, up there with Giant Bear, Jubayr, Treebeard, and even Beorn himself. As a non-unique with no strings attached, the Soldier can find its way into all sorts of decks -- Secrecy, Steward, Vilya, Ally Swarm, etc. -- as a one-dwarf combat solution. That power plus versatility earns the Soldier of Erebor its place at the very top of the ally list.

182

I'm surprised there isn't a Rosie review already.

Rosie Cotton is amazing, and an absolute auto-include in Hobbit decks because of the versatility she brings. As a 2 cost 2 ally, she is as wonderfully cost efficient as the best Spirit allies and would fit in any deck even without a Hobbit hero on that alone. Where she shines is due to her ability, and the flexibility it provides players.

Because she can add her willpower to any attribute for a Hobbit hero, she becomes the equivalent of Celebrían's Stone, or Dagger of Westernesse, or Gondorian Shield. Except you get to decide which you need in any given round, and because the ability is an action, you can make that decision after staging so you know exactly which you need. She can also boost a defender after the shadow effect is revealed if there's a nasty attack increase.
In a Hobbit deck that doesn't typically have great defensive stats, sometimes you won't engage enemies even though you want to to proc Pippin and Sam's response, because you can't defend the attack. Rosie's ability enables the defense of some of those early attacks until you can find the Hobbit Cloak. Her ability is also not dependent on threat, so she makes a good backup to the Cloak for low threat enemies, or later in the game where your threat has crept up.

Outside of a dedicated Hobbit deck, I've used her as solely as a boost for Bilbo, where he was present simply for card draw. Would also work reasonably well with Sam in a similar context.

Fast Hitch lets her contribute to questing and combat (note the ability is once per phase). Anything that increases her willpower is great, Wild Stallion, Elrond's Counsel, The Arkenstone, Sword that was Broken are some I've used with regularity.
Note Red Book of Westmarch will only increase her willpower during the quest phase, so won't apply the boost to combat.

For fun and profit, use Sword-thain and then Rosie can benefit from the myriad of willpower boosting effects that only target heroes. Fireside Song, Celebrían's Stone, Song of Hope to name a few. MOTK will work here as well, but in my playing of it I found myself really hurting for actions until the hitches showed up, so overall would rather have her as an ally.

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