Bi-monthly Poll: July 2021

After 2 months, I finally can conclude this poll. Last month I did not finish it for a few reasons, but I think that everyone now has had plenty of time to fill in their favourite archetypes. I will be slowing down these polls to just 1 per 2 months, as that will lighten the load for me and will prevent me from having to pay for this feature via Crowdsignal. So in this article, we will discuss which archetypes are the favourites in the community, and I will share what the next poll for August and September will be.

I wanted to do this poll on archetypes for a while now, but with the official content stopped, for now, it was a nice time to look back and see what sets of cards are most enjoyed by players. This could also help fan-driven creations like the “A long-extended Party” project to see what archetypes will need some help to compete with the more fleshed-out ones.

In total, this poll has received 420 votes (heh, funny number) which makes sense, as the poll had been up for twice the duration of regular polls, and I allowed people to vote on three archetypes. I think that this will be a pretty solid representation of the community, so let’s discuss the results.

It seems that the more an archetype is developed, the higher it lands on this list. The Noldor archetype takes first place, beating Hobbits with a narrow margin. Both archetypes have received a ton of support in all 4 spheres and can each bring a powerful deck to the table. The Noldor synergy got started a little later in the game, but it has such powerful effects that I can understand why it ranks so high on this list. It is fun seeing how you can use cards in your hand as extra resources to fuel your abilities and make sure that you keep a powerful boardstate. Hobbits, on the other hand, have received support a little earlier than Noldor but have gotten new cards that are staples to the archetype as late as the Vengeance of Mordor cycle, with cards like The Red Book of West-march.

Third place goes to the Dwarf archetype, which was probably the first one to be fully realized. The Dwarf archetype has 2 main synergies, with the Dwarf Swarm being the first developed. Getting to that 5-Dwarf threshold has become easier in recent expansions with the Bond of Friendship contract that allows you to start with 5 Dwarves if you have Bombur in your lineup. The other synergy, mining, is the more enjoyable, in my opinion, as you get to discard cards from your deck as fuel for many abilities. As long as you bring enough recursion, this archetype can get crazy good, with free allies and resources if you get lucky. It is also an archetype that doesn’t mind having a ton of cards in the deck, since you will end up discarding half to your abilities.

My favourite archetype, the Silvans, are in fourth place. They are a lot of fun to play with, as you have a very dynamic boardstate with allies popping in and out of play. The archetype is also large enough to span all four spheres, each focusing on a different aspect of the game. Ideally, you will want to play with all the spheres, which is where more recent Silvan cards like Thranduil come in. I think the reason why this archetype falls short of the podium is their limited ability to defend attacks. Direct damage can kill a Silvan host pretty quickly, as they generally don’t have many hitpoints.

Example of how AleP will expand the Trap-mechanic

The first non-racial trait on the top of this list is the Ranger/Trap archetype. This archetype will look to place enemies in traps, removing them as a threat from the game. This archetype has been pretty well fleshed-out since the Against the Shadow cycle but has received some new cards with more Tactics traps and the Emyn Arnen Ranger. This archetype will be even more powerful if you are playing with the AleP expansions, as a part of the Children of Eorl Deluxe box focuses on the Trap mechanic, making it even more versatile.

The Eagle deck is up next, having received some new cards in the latest cycle, including its first hero! I personally really enjoy the Eagle archetype and often run Gwaihir alongside Radagast. It’s a pretty versatile archetype, though much like Silvans, you don’t need to get attached to many of your allies, as they will leave play every other turn or so. I also enjoy the fact that we have gotten a cheap neutral ally with Wilyador. He will allow players to get Gwaihir’s Debt going a lot faster.

It seems that the majority of decks these days run one of the eight contracts that have been released officially. I know that I often turn to these contracts during my deckbuilding process. They add unique abilities to your deck, and while some come at a cost, that cost is usually overshadowed by the benefit of the contract. I would almost suggest new players pick up the Vengeance of Mordor cycle early for these contracts, but then I remember that the quests are probably going to be difficult to complete. I am looking forward to seeing how the community builds on the contracts and how they will design their own in the future!

I could continue to praise each of the following archetypes, but we are slowly starting to reach the part of the list where certain traits are liked by a few people, and others put them as their third pick. I like that we have gotten so many more actual archetypes to add to this list, and that some have reached pretty high on the list. A pre-Saruman hero Doomed deck would not have gotten far for example. Other decks like the One Ring are completely new, though the One Ring is usually an add-on to boost one hero, not something you put much more thought into.

The bottom of the list is reserved for archetypes that haven’t really gotten a proper identity yet. The Beorning deck is fun to play, but I am still missing a lot of synergy with the cards. The Skinchanger was a step in the right direction, but I will need some more cards in order to justify playing the Beorning Beekeeper. The Harad trait has also remained untouched for 2 cycles now, and while it is more complete than the Beorning archetype, I would still like to see some events for the archetype and maybe add some more allies to the mix.

And at the very bottom, we find the Scout archetype. While the development of this trait in the actual game isn’t that far, the trait has luckily gotten an update in the first AP of the Rohirrim cycle from AleP. This includes a new Scout hero and a few cards that should help the archetype some more. It won’t be as well developed as other traits, but hopefully, that will change its ranking on this list a little, as it currently has not received any votes.

With that, the 2-month poll has concluded, and I get to introduce you all to the next topic that I will be polling. It again has to do with the collectable alt art cards, but this time I’m not asking what your favourites are. No, I would like to know how many of the alt arts you own, and whether or not you are looking to expand that collection. I myself am just 2 alt arts away from a complete collection, but with it being Celeborn and Gimli, I don’t have high hopes of ever completing that part of my collection. I could be wrong though, as I said the same about my playmats and I now own the entire set. So I would like to chart out what my competition is and whether or not people actually own all of the alt art cards. So for the next 2 months, please keep an eye on the poll in the side-bar.

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