Good evening everyone. Though we’re almost halfway through April I’m still pleased to announce this month’s Hero… Boromir, a “Prince” of Gondor, son of the Steward Denethor, Brother of Faramir, and member of the Fellowship of the Ring. For this month we will be tackling the Tactics version of this beloved Hero. Since I seem to be short on time as of late, this article will serve as announcement, overview, and the in-depth analysis. I prefer to return to the older method come May, but will be doing this for the time being to get back on track. Now back to the fun stuff:
Who is Boromir? For those very few who may not know, Boromir was a mighty warrior of Gondor. Loved and respected by many for his sense of valor and strength, he was well known even outside Gondor, and some of those in Rohan, particularly Eomer, admired him for the champion that he was. After experiencing a cryptic dream along with his Brother Faramir, Boromir was ordered by his father Denethor to attend the Council of Elrond. There he would relay Gondor’s struggle with the enemy, attempt to have the dream explained, and to bring back any aid (in any form) that he could. Despite a rough introduction due to his interest in using The One Ring as a weapon for Gondor, Boromir joined the Fellowship of the Ring earning the friendship of many, especially Merry and Pippin, before falling valiantly in a battle with Uruk-hai in order to save the Hobbits. It is this Took’s opinion that Boromir is one of the more dynamic characters in the story, and I can only imagine what he could have accomplished had he survived the battle at Amon-Hen. I digress.
Thankfully, Boromir as a card is just as interesting as his character. He starts with 11 threat and his stats read 1/3/2 with 4 hitpoints. Boromir also has the traits Gondor. Noble. and Warrior. I find Boromir to be one of the best designed cards in the game, at least as far as his abilities relating to the theme of the character. Not only is this due to his appropriate stats but especially his card text which reads:
“Action. Raise your threat by 1 to ready Boromir.// Action. Discard Boromir to deal 2 damage to each enemy engaged with a single player.”
Not only is Boromir’s ability quite true to the character, but it also is a fantastic recreation of how Boromir fell in battle, slaying several Uruk-Hai to protect the Hobbits, especially Merry and Pippin.
From a strictly mechanical perspective, Boromir strikes a good balance as a card. By himself, he can be very useful, able to attack and defend repeatedly but at the cost of threat. Once you add other cards and abilities, then Boromir can turn into a mighty defender or fierce attacker (and potentially both). What I love about this is that Boromir isn’t overpowered right out of the box. You have to cater to his strengths and weaknesses with clever deckbuilding and card choices to create what some may call an “overpowered” Hero.
So what are some of these cards? If you have watched any of COTR’s twitch streams then you may have seen the following two cards: Gondorian Fire and Blood of Numenor. These two cards allow a player to use excess resources to boost the attack and defense of the hero on which these attachments are attached. Again, with clever deckbuilding one can combine various cards to ensure that Boromir has 6-9 resources on him at any given time. Click ahead to watch some of COTR’s twitch streams to see Boromir in action.
If you don’t want to get too carried away with combo-ing cards then you can go with a more straightforward route in card choices. Two of my personal favorites are Gondorian Shield and Spear of the Citadel. Although these two attachments work well on several tactics characters, Boromir may be the best suited since he can defend quite well, and then attack back. I find this preferable to simply having a wall of a defender who most likely won’t be attacking. If you watch COTR’s streams you will find these attachments on the resource driven ones mentioned above.
Boromir’s readying ability, arguably one of the best in the game, does come at the cost of 1 threat per trigger. In a tactics heavy deck, this could lead to a quick defeat as your threat climbs higher and higher towards the limit and nearly every enemy comes charging at you. What tends to be the case, however, is pairing Boromir with Spirit cards, either within the same deck or with someone else’s in multiplayer. Choosing the former and splashing spirit not only makes for fun deckbuilding but it allows you to play the previously mentioned Blood of Numenor as well as give you access to various threat reducing effects such as Galadhrim’s Greeting and Galadriel’s Handmaiden. Choosing the Hero Galadriel, which I’d argue is a fairly cool thematic choice, not only gives you a Hero with built in threat reduction to counteract Boromir’s threat gain but also the event card Elrond’s Counsel.
If Boromir wasn’t sweet enough already, his three traits grant him access to even more toy to play with. For warrior, Boromir can be given the “new” attachment Captain of Gondor. For the Noble trait, Boromir can make use of Heir of Mardil though I’d say it would cater more to the combo mentality and the Heir may be best suited to a different type of Hero. And lastly, with his Gondor trait, Boromir can play with many cards. Gondorian Shield, which I mentioned two paragraphs back, only gets better when attached to Gondorian Hero. Certain event cards, like Behind Strong Walls synergize nicely with him. With strong walls, not only does it buff Boromir’s defense (which is most likely already buffed) but it gives the Boromir player a free readying effect. This can be particularly useful if they find themselves near the limit or trying to stay below an enemy’s engagement cost.
Overall, Boromir is a fantastic card. The designers really nailed it with the Gondorian Hero, and the fact that he is still actively used today (at least on COTR) proves just how useful he still is. I can only see the card improving, especially with the recently announced keyword Valour, which offers various triggers and bonuses for being above 40 threat.
What do you think of Boromir? Do you still use him? What Heroes do you pair him with?
Keep an eye out for more articles on Boromir, as well as a deck or two before the month is out! As always, any question, comments, and suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks for reading and have a great night!
– The Secondhand Took