I was SO glad to see good ol' Bill appear in my favourite game, I almost cried. I always thought that he was very amusing in the book and he was always a bit of a beloved character. It is so nice to see that he is actually good and functions very well with his hobbit brosky and the rest of the hobbits.

Looking at the stats themselves, 1, 1 and 2 lines up exactly to what an ally that costs two resources should add up to. It would have been nicer to have the point in as an extra , but...you can't have everything. So, looking at the stats to resource spent ratio, I would consider them to be a fairly decent deal.

And then you look at the abilities of the pony, and you realize that he has a whicked set of them. For starters, built into his card is a way to get him into play for cheaper than usual. The trigger to get him in easier works only for Sam Gamgee, but not only the hero but also the ally Sam Gamgee. This leaves you with many options for decks as the decks could have the hero Frodo Baggins, which in turn gives the ally Sam Gamgee in easier which lets Bill the Pony enter play for free. The fact that Sam almost always appears in the hobbit archetype deck is very thematic and synergizes well with Sam.

His primary ability is perfect for hobbits as they notoriously have a very low amount of and they tend to squishy lads which is why Bill works so well with them. It helps them defend, if they need to in an emergency, and soak up archery and treachery damage. The health buff also doesn't only limit to hobbits you control, but also applies to other players at the table. This can encourage two or more players to play hobbit decks, which is what I have done frequently.

The fact that you can play attachments on Bill doesn't affect much because I rarely play attachments on allies anyway(unless in a Dale deck) and I'm not sure why I would want to play it on the pony anyways.

This is a card that works well in almost any deck, well... except attachment heavy or ally heavy decks. Most decks will have a mostly equal amount of allies, attachments, and events so chances are you'll be triggering his ability at least once every couple of rounds.

I think the cost is very much worth the ally. Even just for the 2 itself, three cost is not bad. Also, the fact that it is a neutral card is great because it is not limited to any one sphere of deck, but can be paid with any resource. That helps weaker questing decks a lot as it gives them a reliable quester.

Now the ability is what really makes this ally shine. The ability to draw cards outside of is incredible considering it can be difficult to find some in , , and , at time. True, the ability gives a doomed 1, but then you have the whole Gríma dilemma if you have a problem with that. You could also combo it with Keys of Orthanc, to provide resources. That would cover a lot of the problems in any deck. This card smoothes over two major problems in some decks, card draw and .

A great card that I have had a lot of success with, even in multiplayer.

Finally, the Bee Boy has had some new life breathed into him. There are so many ways now to get him in for cheaper now like Mablung and Hirgon, but there is also one specifically made for beornings, that's right the Beorning Skin-changer. This Skin changer allows us to play him in for two resources cheaper than before, making him viable. Also, the fact that his ability discards him rather than shuffles him back into your deck(like core Beorn and the new Giant Bear) allows the beekeeper to be brought back to life from the discard. The Beorning Skin-changer can target a beorning from your hand or discard pile which lets us play him again if we so choose.

His ability is actually quite good, just too expensive for four resources. I would consider him worth it with the skin changer to use his ability. One thing to consider is that you don't have to use his ability as soon as he enters play, you can use him for a few rounds to attack or defend or quest and then use his ability when a group of enemies appears. Also, he can work quite well with Thalin who does direct damage to the staging area and with Argalad who also damages enemies in the staging area to pick some off. His ability works much better in multiplayer because more enemies will appear in the staging area like that. If there happens to be three or four enemies in the staging area at one time(can happen quite often in a multiplayer game), then you would be doing 3-4 damage with him. That's not a bad deal, four resources for three or four damage. A lot of scenarios will bring in many enemies at once, so you can easily find a great time to trigger his ability.

His stats are quite bad for four resources though. Four resources for 2, not a great deal. But, if brought in for cheaper with the Beorning Skin-changer, then it would be good money spent as the skin changer only costs two resources. You could also use his health as a archery soak which can come in useful and even 1 is good in the sphere, anything helps there.

Basically, if you are going to use him, you are probably want to use him in a beorning deck to make the best use out of him.

Very cool card and it works very well in the sphere because tactics tends to be lacking in the questing/location control department. It is great because it is kind of like questing so that the other players won’t feel like they are carrying the questing as much, that is if you’re playing a weak or location control weak deck.

It is also a great deal for the amount that you are paying for it. 3 for the resources is what I would consider to be a great deal, it doesn’t really get much better than that. On top of that, you also get an incredible ability for your money. Money well spent, I’d say.

One thing about the ability that you might overlook is that the power can be used on ANY location. That’s incredible. You can clear up the threat in the staging area from the locations. It’s kinda like a two for one deal in my opinion because first you’re taking an enemy, reducing the total in the staging area, and getting rid of a weaker location in the staging area which also gets rid of some of the total . I could see him working well with a Northern Tracker or something similar for location control.

He also works quite well with the Beorning Skin-changer as, unlike core Beorn and the Giant Bear who are shuffled back into the deck after the use of their abilities, he is discarded with the use of his ability. The Beorning Skin-changer can transform into beornings in your hand and discard so they work quite well together. This effectively gives you another target for transforming.

I’ve had a lot of success with this bad boy in a beorning deck. I would consider him to be the second best if not best target for a Beorning Skin-changer to transform into, the other target being core Beorn. You save 3 bucks and get a beast of an ally(no pun intended).

Even just to pay for this guy for the five resources would be worth it. You get a four attack ally which is very high for an ally and a great defender too.

He is also very eligible for a Sneak Attack or A Very Good Tale to just stay in for a phase trigger his ability and leave. He can be used similarly to core Gandalf in that way.

He is very tough to take down.

There are also many options in the sphere to pay for this guy for cheaper such as Hirgon, who lets you also give him a boost to and you want, there is also Mablung which works great because you will be triggering his ability consistently in a combat heavy deck like the beorning archetype.

He could also be included in any deck lacking in attack power such as the hobbit decks or scout decks or quest/location control decks.

All in all, this is not an ally to overlook when making a deck.