Welcome to Eleventy One Minutes, a new monthly installment for The Secondhand Took. With these articles I hope to continually interview Brandon about the best Hero known to all, so good that he has even found his way into other card games where he taking the respective metas by storm. I speak of course of the legendary tactics hero, and the card that keeps the LOTR: LCG alive (not to mention put the game on the map), Boromir. So sit back, relax, and prepare for a read that is sure to take you roughly 2 hours that will delve into the mind of Brandon T. from Cardboard of the Rings and why he loves Boromir so much, and why you should also!
Okay, so I am mostly kidding. Eleventy One Minutes isn’t going to be a new installment on the blog, though I like the title, and hopefully this article will not take that amount of time to get through. This article has been in draft mode for the past couple of days and after having listened to COTR’s most recent episode, I felt the need to follow the spirit of Brandon/Boromir and take things a little over the top, if only for a short while. But seriously, Brandon’s insight into the Tactics version of Boromir I think is sound, despite what bias we fans may think Brandon has for the Hero and I really like some of the points he makes. Enjoy!
Let’s get the easy one out of the way, What do you like about Boromir?
Oh man, easy but not short! First of all I love the character of Boromir outside the card game, he is so fascinating. You have a guy that is a bit of a victim of his own success, and you can tell he isn’t totally comfortable with it, not totally. He plays the part well but there is evidence that much of his action isn’t motivated internally but externally. When he talks to Faramir, when he regrets cornering Frodo, you see that he isn’t dealing with all the pressure well. Even bringing the ring back to Gondor, I’m not fully convinced that he thought that was a good idea, but was more operating as an agent of Denethor and doing what he thought his dad would feel best. His true character came out in defense of the hobbits, that is the legit Boromir to me. A brave and capable guy that wants to do the right thing but having to navigate the political waters is tricky.
Ok, so I liked Boromir before I play the game and then, BAM, he is the most awesome card ever made. He is tactics, which is my favourite sphere and he likes to attack, so I’m all in. Then you have the fact that he hold such a huge number of attachments unlike any other hero because his action advantage is so so high. People get giddy when Prince Imrahil or another hero readies… big deal! There is no other hero that can be so clutch during that combat phase as Boromir, especially when he has attachments. With “infinite” blocking and attacking you are going to be in a good position. He can even quest for 1 in a pinch and be there to battle. I know people probably think my praise for Boromir is pure hyperbole but it is only partly so. I legit think that when all factors are considered, when we are thinking about the “general” case of the game, he is the single most powerful hero printed to this point. When we do Twitch streams it is the Boromir moments that stand out, when he takes an unwinnable game and gets you right back into it.
Have you always used Boromir? If not what lead you to playing the card?
Well I used him for a long time and then got a bit side tracked in trying to use more current cards, which has a lot to do with being on the podcast. I felt like I should be trying to focus on the most recent content for the purposes of the podcast and more so for when we were playing on Twitch. So after a long period of Boromir decks I moved away from him. Then I saw a post from Beorn of the Halls of Beorn (Note: Just one Hall – 2HT) blog where he had used Boromir and the Beorn hero in a deck and it looked really interesting to me. So I built his deck and it was like finding that lost love, it was so great to be playing with Boromir again. I hadn’t been loving the decks I had been playing and I think it was because they weren’t the decks I WANTED to play they were more the ones I felt like I should be playing, but I didn’t enjoy it as much. After the reunion with Boromir I decided that people would have to accept his constant presence and now I play with current cards WITH Boromir. Like the addition of Galadriel, her and Boromir were made for each other!
What’s one aspect of the card you think could be improved?
Is this a trick question, he is perfect! I kid, I kid. I have a deck called “Get Boromir To Do It” and the concept is that Boromir will do absolutely everything in the quest. But the one thing he can’t do is quest. I feel like if he could lose say a defense or a hit point and pick up ONE more willpower that would make him a legit quester, for some reason 2 seems much more than double from one in this game. And I know people gonna be all like “oh he gave in to temptation, he has no willpower” but I disagree! Given the immense pressure from really all of Gondor on him, it is a miracle of willpower alone that he didn’t try and take the ring earlier or through some act of great violence.
What’s your favorite Hero combination to use with Boromir?
Tough question. Boromir is a ladies man and he has a tough time picking between Eowyn and Galadriel. Because most Boromir decks are combo decks where you are trying to get him powered up you end up with lots of unneeded duplicate cards in hand, which Eowyn can use to her benefit. She is also a native 4 willpower quester and like I said, questing is a bit of a weak point for him. So he plays super well with Eowyn. Then Galadriel shows up. She can use mirror to go get combo pieces, she lowers threat, draws cards, man, what a compliment to Boromir. Her problem is she can’t straight up quest. Then you get Nenya on her but that means no more card draw and threat reduction. So ideally he has both his ladies, but I guess if it came right down to it the flexibility of Galadriel puts her over the top.
Though this is about the tactics version, do you enjoy the Leadership version of Boromir at all?
Yes I do. No one is going to argue that the art on leadership Boromir is LEAGUES above the tactics Boromir. Actually I may have to ask Tom (of OCTGN and general awesomeness fame) to make a tactics Boromir with the leadership art for Twitch. Art aside I do like leadership Boromir but I find it kind of boring compared to the tactics version. I think the active use of tactics Boromir’s ability is another thing I like so much about him, it is like that moment where you are like threat be damned and keep using him. Leadership is a passive ability, so it has a higher yawn factor for me. I like to flashiness and big glory moments in this game, and leadership Boromir can’t hold a candle (or torch) to tactics Boromir. No disrespect.
Would you say Boromir is the best Hero in the game, or are there others?
No, no others on his level, he is the best. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of other good heroes, but to name them would be an insult to tactics Boromir.
If you could come up with a different ability for Boromir what would it be?
I always thought it would be so super super sweet if his second ability read something like “Action: Boromir gains indestructible until the end of the combat phase. At the end of the combat phase deal 2 damage to each enemy engaged with a player and remove Boromir from the game”. So you could LOAD huge amounts of damage on him, like imagine 20 or 30 and THEN he goes out with a bang. I get that is too powerful, but it would be epic and it would add to that whole vibe where he got shot up with like 30 arrows or however many it was and then still killed 3 orcs before deciding to die.
Is Boromir your favorite character from the books? If not who is?
He is certainly among my favourites but I can’t pin it down to one, I just feel too strongly about huge number of characters from the books. My favourites are Boromir, of course, Denethor, Grima Wormtongue, Saruman, Galadriel and Elrond. Those characters are all just so intensely compelling to me I can’t say one is better than the others. I also like Faramir but he isn’t on the level of the aforementioned.
How would you feel if Boromir was erratad?
This may come as a surprise to some people but NOT GOOD, NOT GOOD AT ALL! I know that will never happen though because the designers understand that the loss of sales would mean their jobs, and no one wants to put themselves out of work.
Are we going to be seeing more of Bonniemir on future streams?
There has been lots of interest in Bonniemir, no question about that. I’d like to think it is her fashion forward tiara or her skills that make her so popular but I have to be real and it is basically because she is a stone cold hotty. So to answer the question, yeah she will be back. CotR has stuck around for so long because we always give the listeners and viewers what they want, and they want Bonniemir!
Any last thoughts/words on Boromir?
First of all it has been refreshing to be encouraged to talk about Boromir, the other guys at Cardboard of the Rings do everything they can to suppress my enthusiasm. Especially Etienne who most people would be surprised to hear is an off air bully, so thanks for this opportunity 2HT. My final thought is what Boromir teaches us about life: don’t worry about your threat, just keep readying and being epic because then even if you “lose”, you’ve won! Make the most of it folks!
So there you have it folks! Thank you so much Brandon for your contribution and all you had to say about Boromir. I’m glad you enjoyed talking about him and I hope you readers enjoyed Brandon’s viewpoints. Boromir is truly an awesome Hero.
Despite my best efforts, April has been an increasingly busy month for me. I will, however, be putting up at least one additional deck on Boromir before we move into May. If you see a deck (or have one of your own) containing Tactics Boromir that you’d like me to showcase, I’d be more than happy to give it a look. And be sure to go over to COTR and let Brandon know how right he is about Boromir 🙂
Have a great day, All!
-The Secondhand Took