As the month concludes, we round out the monthly poll as well. This month’s poll concerned the Guarded (X) attachments from the Ered Mithrin cycle. I pitted the attachments against each other and gave all visitors to the site 2 votes to decide what two Guarded (X) attachments are the best in their opinion. I had a few ideas on how this poll would end up looking, but I didn’t know for certain that this is the way the community feels about the attachments.
Before the poll starts, I’d like to say that none of these attachments are bad by any means. Some might be less flashy than others, but they are still great compared to regular attachments of the same cost. For an overview of the Guarded (X) attachments, check out this article on the archetype. For a more in depth look into the individual Guarded (X) attachments, check out Card Talk’s content for this month, where they went ahead and covered all 7 of the attachments.
This month’s poll saw a total of 113 votes. All 7 attachments got at least a few votes, but the difference between them is quite significant. Significant enough even to give you this poll’s results on what Guarded cards the community likes best!
With quite a margin, our first Guarded (X) that we ever got takes the top spot. The Necklace of Girion is a fan-favourite and I have been trying to use it instead of Resourceful and Steward of Gondor in my decks. The attachment combines the resource granting ability of Resourceful with a nice +2 willpower boost as can be found on Celebrian’s Stone or 2 Dunedain Quests. The Necklace just combines all of these buffs into one attachment, which is a great value to put onto your quester. The downside of this attachment is that should you need more resources on your attacker or defender, the +2 willpower won’t do as much for you. But even then, it is a 1 cost Resourceful in exchange for an encounter card, which is good value.
The second place goes to Sting, which is a bit of a surprise to me, as it is one of the trait-restricted attachments in this group. Still, the community really likes getting +1 stats on their otherwise weak Hobbits. You are also gonna see a lot of these stats being used, since Hobbits can ready quite easily through Fast Hitch, Sam, and Elevenses. The added damage dealt to the attacking or defending enemy is a nice bonus, and gives the trait some early punching power against tougher enemies. My favourite target for this attachment is Tom Cotton, as I have gotten a lot of good uses out of him with Sting. But with the trait seeing new cards in recent APs, there are plenty of targets for this excellent attachment. Being a free Weapon in Tactics also helps, and the synergy with the new Bilbo is a nice thematic win.
The third place goes to the other trait-restricted attachment, Ring of Thror. Dwarf decks have gotten some more love in this past cycle, and this Ring is something that Dwarves really needed, a readying effect. While you might just see this Ring as an easy readying effect for your strong Dwarf heroes, it actually does a bit more than that. The Ring will discard the top card of your deck when you ready the hero, causing you to perhaps discard a Hidden Cache or an Ered Luin Miner to get some more resources or a free ally for your board. Discarding an attachment with this Ring will allow you to play the attachment for free. This is a great bonus if you can manage to stack your deck with Imladris Stargazers so that you know exactly what you are discarding. A free Ancestral Armour is more than worth it in this deck, but playing free attachments outside of the planning phase in general is amazing (look at Reforged). Sure, you get a little less control over the attachment, but you also get the cheap readying effect and mining ability in the same attachment. My personal favourite hero for this attachment is either copy of Dain Ironfoot, but especially the Leadership version. This way, you can ready him after defending with him, allowing you to get your buffs on all Dwarves again. Other targets like Thorin Oakenshield is also great, since he can both quest and attack very well. Leadership heroes are likely targets thanks to Dwarves having many Leadership attachments to boost their synergy.
Near the bottom of the list, we encounter Glamdring and Orcrist, who are both tied for second-to-last place. The two weapons are very similar as they both cost 1 resource, can be guarded by both enemies and locations, and will provide a +2 attack boost when attached to a hero. When the attached hero defeats an enemy with either weapon, they can get either a resource (Orcrist) or a card (Glamdring). This ability is unlimited, which makes the weapons very powerful combined with readying effects. They also don’t have to exhaust for anything, leaving them open for effects like Foe-Hammer and Goblin-cleaver (thematic wins!). The downside is that these attachments are restricted, filling one of 2 slots (1 of 3 with the Forth, the Three Hunters contract). But this is a very low cost to pay for a constant +2 attack buff, which is pretty rare without any trait restrictions or conditions.
At the bottom of the poll we find Mithril Shirt. This wasn’t much of a surprise, as many players have voiced their dissappointment with this attachment already. The Shirt’s ability is good, but the fact that it only has one ability and no stat buffs makes it fall short compared to the other attachments. Even if the shirt was granted a small boost to defence and/or hitpoints, I feel that it would be more worth it in the eyes of the community. Still, being able to ignore the first damage token that the attached character is dealt, is a powerful effect for your defender. The fact that it doesn’t have to exhaust for this puts it above Raven-winged Helm, but in most other aspects, it is pretty similar to that attachment. Not being Restricted is nice, since it can attach to any tower defender and make it better. I like that it is not trait restricted to Hobbits and Dwarves (with the size and all), so that humans and elves can also wear this piece of armor. It is not a terrible attachment, but just a bit…meh.
For October, I plan to poll the community’s thoughts on the Ered Mithrin cycle scenarios. We’ve all gotten enough time now to play all the scenarios and for an opinion on each of them. Like with the other cycles, you will get 2 votes for quests of the cycle. I hope to see some conclusive results, and have some thoughts on what quest will end up at the bottom of the list. This will be another poll to determine a cycle’s favourite quest. I will likely repeat this for other cycles throughout the coming year. This can result in a follow up poll where all nine (including Vengeance of Mordor) cycles’ best quests are compared to each other for the ultimate victory for the cycle scenarios!