If you haven’t seen my earlier post yet then let me remind you that for July our Hero of the Month will represent some uncharted territory for this curious Took. Of all the Heroes I’ve covered so far, none of them have hailed from the Lore Sphere. This month though, things shall be different, and I will be covering a new and exciting Lore Hero, Treebeard.
Now before I get all hasty and talk about cards that play well with Treebeard I will go over the actual card itself. For anyone who read the last post, please feel free to skip to the next paragraph as this will be slightly redundant information. Treebeard comes in with a whopping 13 starting threat. Thankfully, his starting threat is well justified with a very nice stat line of 2/3/3 with 5 hitpoints. As far as threat goes, he is comparable to another Lore Hero, Elrond, and actually has one extra hit point than the wielder of Vilya. In regards to his starting hitpoints, there is a surprisingly large amount of Heroes that have 5 but Treebeard has the honor of being the only one with 3 defense. But what makes Treebeard stand out, aside from his stats, is his card ability. At the cost of 1 damage dealt to Treebeard a boost of 1 Willpower and 1 Attack is given to him for the remainder of the phase. This is made even more tantalizing by our ability to use it up to 5 times per phase. In an ideal scenario we can quest with Treebeard and, assuming we have no way to grant him extra HP, can contribute a whopping 6 willpower to a quest. This however is flirting with disaster and so a consistent source of healing will be necessary. After Treebeard quests we can use a readying effect, perhaps with Unexpected Courage, to get him ready for combat. Though Treebeard will most likely be used as an attacker, again thanks to his ability, he can also be used as a reliable defender. His defense of 3 is certainly not bad and he has enough HP to soak up any damage coming through. Since we are indeed in the Lore Sphere we should have plenty of options to keep Treebeard alive. This section has grown large enough so let’s jump into some specific cards.
Mentioning Elrond earlier, he actually works quite well with Treebeard. Though he comes in at 13 threat as well, which brings our starting threat to 26 without a third Hero, he allows us to heal Treebeard more effectively. On the subject of healing, cards such as Warden of Healing, Daughter of Nimrodel, Honour Guard, and Dori are a few allies that quickly come to mind that bring their own special brand of healing to the table. There are also some attachments as well, mainly Self Preservation, that aren’t affected by Treebeard’s “Can’t have Restricted Attachments Clause.”
Other attachments that serve Treebeard quite well are the previously mentioned Unexpected Courage as well as the appropriately themed Ent Draught. The Ent Draught gives us the opportunity to use Treebeard’s ability to its fullest and thankfully, does not contain the restricted keyword. If we pair Treebeard with the upcoming Hero Erestor I actually like the idea of attaching Protector of Lorien to Treebeard. Not only can this turn Treebeard into an even better quester but we can now boost his third stat, making Treebeard adaptable to many different situations. The Dunedain attachments, Dunedain Mark and Dunedain Warning are other cheap methods of min/maxing Treebeard’s stats, all before we ever activate his ability. Ironically enough, A Burning Brand is another interesting choice, should we want to turn Treebeard into a formidable defender. If Erestor or Elrond are fighting alongside Treebeard than Lembas is not only another great method to heal Treebeard but a nice one time readying effect in the Lore Sphere.
As for events there aren’t really many that jump out and grab my attention, aside from a few that provide healing effects such as Lore of Imlradris or Beorn’s Hospitality. These are all perfectly fine but I would rather have an ally that could consistently heal than an event that is a one time only effect. Outside of healing, the only Treebeard-esque event would simply be Entmoot. This doesn’t necessarily effect Treebeard himself but the card is made better since we control an Ent character out the gate, as opposed to waiting until we play the Ally Treebeard (that’s even if we draw it).
Lastly I’ll cover a few more Heroes that I think pair well with him. I’ve already mentioned Erestor and Elrond. I personally want to try a build containing at least Treebeard and Elrond since not only does Elrond help with healing but gives us a bigger sandbox to play in when we choose allies. Two other Heroes that I’ve already been brewing with (hint hint) are Merry(Tactics) and Pippin(Lore). Though Pippin doesn’t have a direct relation he does give us more Lore resources and Merry, along with Treebeard, can create some powerful moments in combat. If we were concerned about our starting threat than Mirlonde could of course lower that slightly, though I can’t imagine anyone would be too worried about it. Galadriel may not be a bad choice. Equipped with her ring, Nenya, she can send her willpower to Treebeard (if we want to quest with him) and allow us to save his ability for combat if we so chose.
Given how unique Treebeard is not only as a character but as a player card and a Hero, there are a good amount of cards that work rather well with him. Being Lore gives any Treebeard player easy access to healing, making him all the better. The other cards mentioned, in my opinion, are just icing on top. Treebeard brings a lot to the table and I can only see him getting better as we get newer cards added to the pool.
Have you used Treebeard yet? If so what kind of decks has found himself in? If you haven’t used him then why not? Feel free to let me know below. Look for a deck list coming very soon! Until then thank you for reading!
-The Secondhand Took