We are approaching the end of this decade, and while we still have another month to wrap things up for the year, I wanted to start a bit earlier than that. So this will be the final regular monthly poll for this year, and I will be announcing the new poll for December at the end of this month’s results.
The question for this month was what mono-sphere lineup of heroes takes your preference. While a sphere related question had already been asked before, I imagined the data would change a little given only mono-sphere options. And so, I placed all 4 spheres against each other, and added in a mono-Neutral option as well since we technically could play such a deck if we wanted to. Thanks to the 61 people who filled in the poll, here are the results:
A surprising first place to me, but mono-Lore takes the gold with this poll. Mono-Lore is known for its control-style nature, with victory display shenanigans being very easy to pull off. Ents support the deck with good stats, and you have more than enough cards in your hand to fuel abilities. With the new Saruman hero just announced, I wonder whether a mono-Lore Istari or Isengard deck will be viable, but I am sure that people will be playing that in the near future.
In second place we find mono-Leadership, which over the course of this poll has made quite a comeback. The new cards for Leadership might have helped, pushing it more towards a Valour style deck. Mono-Leadership Gondor will also be receiving several new allies, which hopefully make this lineup of heroes even better. Mono-Leadership is also strong with other archetypes, such as Silvan and Dwarves.
Mono Spirit takes third place, though I encounter these deck the most often. It may be because of Caldara that this lineup got so popular in recent years, but Spirit has also received some great heroes during the last few cycles that fill in the combat hero slots. Heroes like Dain and Beregond are pretty common in Spirit for their defensive roles, and Spirit has helped these heroes by supplying more defensive equipment for them. The mono-sphere lineup can cover many archetypes, such as Rohan and Noldor, and makes for pretty fun decks to build with. Gondor will also be receiving some support in the Spirit sphere, so that is something to look forward to.
Despite the recent influx of mono-Tactics decks, the sphere still ended up at the bottom of the list (not counting Neutral). The expansion of the Eagle and Beorning traits have made the mono-sphere lineup strong enough to stand on its own, though it does rely on some heroes like Hirgon and Eowyn to provide cost reduction and willpower. The sphere was the worst of the bunch back in the Core Set days, and I am really happy to see it in the place it currently is, but the newer players that voted in this poll will likely have voted for the other spheres. Still, seeing as how close the spread of the results is, it goes to show that each sphere does appeal to a particular audience.
In last place, to no-one’s surprise, is the mono-Neutral setup. I added this just for laughs, and am glad some of you shared my humour. Since we only have Gandalf as a Neutral hero, the deck is possible in theory, but will likely be including some player cards with sphere that are played from the top of the deck or through Narya granting Gandalf the Leadership icon. I am curious to see how the Grey Wanderer contract will change such a deck, as I think it might actually be viable with the contract giving you the ability to get more resources and play off-sphere cards more easily. Until then, it is not likely that mono-Neutral will get much more love, as no other Neutral heroes are believed to arrive in this cycle.
Now on to the next segment of the article, which is where I usually post the question that is to be answered over the course of next month. However, much like last year, I want to do something different for the final month of the year. Instead of a standard poll where I ask a simple question and give the answers to them and you fill in the one you agree with most, I am going to do another tournament style poll for next month. Last year we found out that The Battle of Pelennor Fields is the community’s favourite quest, but I now wonder what the favourite hero is. This question has been asked before, but over the years since then, we’ve gotten many more heroes that might rival the winner of last time (most recent I could find was Sam 2015). Since then, there have been many top-tier heroes added to the cardpool that might steal the top spot from him.
The poll will be done in tournament style, with 8 rounds of random matchups between heroes. From there, the top 16 heroes move on to the final bracket-phase of the tournament. With positions seeded randomly, each hero will have to compete with the others to move on to the next round until just 2 are left. The poll closes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve (GMT+1) after which we know what hero is the community’s favourite of all time.
This poll will be kept in its own forum post on the FFG forums, as well as updates via my Twitter account, and a post in the facebook group. That way most people will be able to see the results and will see the link on which the next series of matchups can be filled in. I hope many of you will participate in this poll, and I am curious to see if your predictions in late November will match the final results at the start of 2020.
Follow this link or the link in the sidebar of the blog to vote for your matchups: https://challonge.com/LOTRLCGHero2019