Last night, we played the Long Dark at 4 players. Fatty Bolger cancelled 18 threat over the course of the 5 turns that mattered. Hobbits have no problem reducing threat now, so somehow this card is way less bad than wahen released. Exhausting is also less of an issue in Hobbits.

The full table was surprised of his effectiveness: can Fatty Bolger really help with 4 to 5 of willpower a turn on the tough scenarios, and defend when needed?

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I have a thing for high-statted allies, so I want to like this guy. But my problem with it is that its ability makes it look like it's meant to be a questing ally, but the amount of work you have to do to make it worth 4 resources and a deck slot is too much. Let's compare it to Ranger of Cardolan from the same cycle.

  • They have the same traits, cost and stats apart from .
  • Ranger of Cardolan's stats don't require any setup. In order to get Warden of Annúminas to have the same , you need to be engaged with 2 enemies. And in order for it to be higher, you have to be engaged with 3 enemies, which isn't easy even in a Dúnedain deck. And even then, you're spending resources/defenders on dealing with 3 enemies, while you could be using those defenders to quest instead and make up for the difference in anyway.
  • Ranger of Cardolan, being neutral, can be paid for with any resources while this has to be paid for with .
  • Ranger of Cardolan's ability is an upside that allows it to be brought into play more cheaply. Warden of Annúminas' ability is... usually a downside.

So in conclusion, if you're playing and you want a Dúnedain with good questing stats, you're better off picking Ranger of Cardolan. And if you're playing and you want a Dúnedain with good battle stats, you're better off picking... yep, Ranger of Cardolan.

PS: Warden of Annúminas even loses when you compare it to Guardian of Arnor and Fornost Bowman, which are the other Dúnedain from this cycle with a similar ability. The Guardian and Bowman each have base 1 in all of their stats, so comparing the Warden to them, you're paying 1 extra resource for 1 extra point in and , but you also get base 0 instead of 1 for the stat that its ability increases; and if you're playing an ally for its questing ability, then and aren't what you want to be paying for. If Warden of Annúminas had 3 cost, 1 and 1 , even if it still had 0 base , I would feel much better about putting it in a deck.

I know this card is basically supposed to be played on Aragorn, who can search it turn 1, use the effect twice and utilize the filtering to further fuel his title obsession.

But even ignoring Aragorn, this card is very much busted.
Let's compare it to Erestor: 4 resources for 2 willpower and a once per turn discard-one/draw-one effect.
Estel even surpasses that effect in letting us search the top few cards of the deck, all for just 1 resource.

If you happen to run any Dunedain hero and have access to the blue sphere its very much an auto-include.
I kinda wish AleP would have toned it down a bit with this one.

Some ideas to 'fix' it:

  • "... X is is the number of Traits on the attached character minus 3".
    Now it would only work if the hero is already in Andúril range, having 4 traits. It would still immediately work on Dunedain heros who have 3 traits out of the get go like most Aragorns, Amarthiúl and Idraen but even then its just the normal Erestor effect.
    Main problem with this solution is that it makes it a useless starting attachment for Aragorn. But maybe this is fine? Its way to easy to just use Aragorn as a (MotK) Erestor without having to include any other title cards in your deck.

  • "... search the top X cards of your deck for a Title attachment or an ally who shares a trait with the attached hero, then either add it to your hand or return the discarded card to your hand. X is the number of Traits on the attached character."
    Estel kinda breaks the theme of the new title cards who only work on allies who share a trait. And that's exactly the problem, Estel is way too generic. Honing down the eligible targets would also go a long way to make it much more flavourful.

I haven't played anything from AleP yet, so I can't speak from experience, but if you think this is busted, maybe try to increase the cost to 2 discards, instead of 1? —
"Let's compare it to Erestor: 4 resources for 2 willpower and a once per turn discard-one/draw-one effect." —
Woops... Anyway: Comparing it to ally Erestor seems a bit unfair. He's an ally from the K-D cycle - Back when ally cost balance was still all over the place. He's simply a bit overcosted (and you're also paying for his 3 health and 1 defense). —
Dunedain Pipe seems like a better comparison - Both require you to pay one card to draw a new one. Estel is clearly better as you get to choose between 2-4 cards, but it's also unique. And you have to shuffle your deck each turn which is a bit of a pain :P —

I recently patched together a homebrew Aragorn-voltron deck with leadership Aragorn, Arwen Undómiel, and Bilbo Baggins. I didn't really use Bilbo for his stats but for the card draw. Two cards per turn plus Arwen + Elven-light meant I had a fist full of powerful cards to play on Aragon in only a few turns. Between the 1 cost readying effect on Aragorn, and all of the nice readying attachments I placed on him I didn't need to worry about Bilbo's weak stats Aragorn did everything, but it was Bilbo who got Aragorn the tools needed. The thing that sets Bilbo apart from Beravor is that when you use Beravor instead of Bilbo for her stats.... well you can't use her ability unless you draw Unexpected Courage on turn one. So even though she has better stats if you use her card draw right away she has even more threat cost than Bilbo and she effectively has 0 for her stats because you used her ability and now she's exhausted. Sticking with the context of the Aragorn deck I'm using Bilbo for there is Sword that was Broken which now makes his willpower the same as Beravor. and because your drawign double the cards per turns, Throw in Master of the Forge and Galadriel you're sure to get the right cards ASAP. 3 copies of Elven-light Galadriel and Master of the Forge that's nearly a fifth of your deck in scrying to compliment Bilbo's innate card draw. Heck, throw in Imladris Stargazer and you've just got bonkers amount of deck scrying and card draw.

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Whynsont people just uses motk gleowine.. 3cost hero with card draw. —
But if you're using Bilbo solely for the card draw and not caring about stats, why not use Beravor to get one more card for just 1 extra threat? —

Best art of any card. By far. Not Fat enough though. Sebastian Giacobino did a wonderful job.