Hello and Happy January everyone! I know we’re nearly halfway through the month but the show must go on! This month I’ve decided to cover Aragorn, Heir to the Kingdom of Gondor and Chieftain of the Dunedain but more importantly, stalwart member of the Fellowship of the Ring. Since it’s the start of the new year I wanted to treat this Hero of the Month a little differently and so, I’m going to take a crack at all three versions of Aragorn!
To date, Aragorn is the only Hero to represent three different spheres. Given the path he’s gone down so far, it seems almost inevitable that we will find him representing the Spirit Sphere at some point. For now however, we get a Leadership, Lore, and Tactics version of one of the most prominent characters in the novels.
Aragorn is a fascinating character. Having been hunted since his childhood from forces that would like to see him perish, Aragorn is one of the best survivalists, and trackers, of the Third Age. Before the Hobbits meet him in the Fellowship of the Ring, he is the Chieftan of the Dunedain, protecting the peoples of Eriador from orcs and other nasty creatures. Throughout the stories we learn he is well learned in the history of the world, an expert tracker, a fine leader, a mighty warrior and a fierce companion. If any Hero has the justification to represent all of the Spheres in the game, it’s Aragorn.
Let’s start with the Leadership version. Being the first iteration and the first player card in the entire card pool, it had to make a decent impression. Even today, I’d say that holds true. He has a high threat of 12, appropriate given his pursuers always looking for him. He has 2 willpower, 3 attack, 2 defense and a whopping 5 Hit Points. Certainly not a bad stat line. To add to his hit points he has the Sentinel keyword and an ability that reads:
“Response: After Aragorn commits to a quest spend one resource to ready him.”
If there is one thing that defines Aragorn is that he’s a character who’s ready for anything. Throughout the novels (and in the films) his character is always focused on the task at hand and yet, time and time again, he arrives to help others in need. It’s a simple readying effect and it does have it’s limitations but it serves its purpose as far as theme goes. On the side of gameplay I think it’s a great card to introduce to new players, especially in a game that plays great with a friend or two. It brings to mind simple card combinations without getting overbearing with other complicated mechanics.
Ahh, LorAgorn, the Lore Version of Aragorn. He is one of the most interesting Heroes so far, having an ability that is probably one of the most unique. This version of Aragorn, as indicated by the art, represents his Strider persona; The ranger of the wilds who was trying to pursue his own goals and hunt down his enemies while others still were nipping at his heels. At times he would have to slip away into darkness, biding his time until he could come back out and fight for the noble cause. This is evident by his ability which reads:
“Refresh Action: Reduce your threat to your starting threat level. (Limit once per game.)”
Aside from the threat reducing effect this card is near identical to the Leadership version. It does however, lack the noble trait which I find thematically appropriate and very awesome!
Tactics Aragorn, or Scorpigorn as he’s better known, ties for my favorite with the Lore version. I started out a tactics lover, but felt that the sphere could only do so much. Though this combat heavy Aragorn still wants to faceroll over his enemies, he packs some clever tricks up his sleeve that can turn the game around. Again, here is a card quite representative of the character, a fierce warrior sure, but far more than that. His stats are the same but his card effect is vastly different from the others and far more confrontational:
“Each enemy engaged with you gets -1 Def// Response: After Aragorn participates in an attack that destroys an enemy, choose an enemy not engaged with you and engage that enemy.”
One thing that is easy to spot is that Tactics Aragorn loses his Sentinel keyword. I imagine this being because this is the Aragorn we see in The Two Towers, pursuing his friends’ captors without little thought of his own wellbeing. His lack of the noble trait is remedied by the addition of the warrior trait, appropriate, and he provides a pretty wide ranging debuff to all enemies he brings his way. On top of that when he helps destroy an enemy he’s ready for another, and can pull them to him (hence the Scorpion nickname). Not as straightforward as Sentinel but still providing a useful aid to those around him.
Each Aragorn is very unique and exciting and each offers a whole different approach to playing the game. I’ve had some practice with the Lore version, a good bit with the Tactics one, but hardly any with the Leadership iteration. I’m looking forward to what comes out of building these next three decks. The first deck will cover the Lore version and I hope to have it out a few days from now.
If you have any thoughts or comments on Aragorn or would like to showcase a deckbuild or clever card combination you use with him feel free to let me know in the comments or via e-mail! Thanks again, sorry for the delay in posts, and thanks for reading!
-The Secondhand Took