100.html=|@/6@@TEXTR*ch*#t~V1 Special 100th Issue: Favorite Card Survey Results

Favorite Card Survey Results

Here are the results to the 22 questions that I asked in the survey. I cut out one, the card worth the most, for lack of responses, and your card ideas I'll be featuring in another review in the near future (we had some really good ones, too). Plus I shortened the Wizard and Nazgul questions to just being the best because of time constraints. I should point out that some of the results were very close, some even differed by only one vote, so in a few cases there really isn't much of a difference. Also, I personally didn't vote on these except in the cases of resolving ties between cards. Anyway, here's the 22 picks:

Part 1: Characters

The characters are one of the most important things to choose carefully. They are the actual executors of your plans, the minions who follow your strategies. Unless you kill your opponent's wizard you need to carefully use them and make them survive to win the game. Here are the picks in four categories of characters:

Best Overall Character: Glorfindel II (10 votes). He's the strongest character in the game, he's a fixed common, and he's worth three marshalling points. His only fault is his high mind.

Runners up: Aragorn II (9 votes), Cirdan (8 votes).

Best Character Artwork: Thorin II, by Angelo Montanni (9 votes). Perfectly captures the essence of Thorin's character, the sense of authority and strength that he had over all the other dwarves in The Hobbit (and that's why he was their leader).

Runners up: Eowyn, by Angelo Montanni (7 votes), Galadriel, by Angus McBride (6 votes). Coolest Character: Aragorn II (8 votes). He's strong, he's worth lots of marshalling points, and several cards require him. Plus he became a king in the books. Cool.

Runners up: Oops, I left them out when I originally counted this up, and now I lost the sheet. Sorry.

Best Wizard: Radagast (15 votes). A clearly good choice for the best Wizard, for both his great card draw ability (especially when combined with Shadowfax) and his corruption check bonus.

Runners up: Saruman (14 votes), Gandalf (12 votes), Alatar (7 votes), Pallando (3 votes).

Part 2: Hazards

Hazards are fun cards, in a way, because they're your one chance in Middle-Earth to be really evil. You can play huge strings of hazards to utterly destroy opponent's companies, you can annoy the @$%# out of them by making pesky little combos to destroy their strategies, and you can use them as their own way to win by destroying your opponent's Wizard.

Best Overall Hazard: The Will of Sauron (10 votes). An extremely nasty effect, allowing you to play such nasties as Snowstorm and The Balance of Things for longer than a turn. If only they had it in a resource...

Runners up: Mouth of Sauron (5 votes), Siege (4 votes).

Best Hazard Artwork: Khamul the Easterling, by Liz Danforth (9 votes). All the Nazgul are excellent, but Khamul in particular stands out as the best for art, with its stunningly good "dragon armor" and also the glowing Nazgul eyes, plus a perfect mix of color. It's cards like this that make you wish they had poster-size prints of Middle-Earth cards (hint, hint, ICE).

Runners up: The Will of Sauron, by Angus McBride (5 votes), Dragon's Desolation, by Edward Beard, Jr. (4 votes).

Coolest Hazard: The Will of Sauron (7 votes). Very nasty effect, as I said before, and also extremely evil and annoying to your opponent. Plus the whole concept is cool, as is Angus McBride's artwork for it.

Runners up: Shelob (6 votes), Balrog of Moria (4 votes). Best Nazgul: Khamul the Easterling (14 votes). The artwork is captivating, and the card itself has the highest prowess in the game AND a nice special ability, too.

Runners up: Witch-King of Angmar (6 votes), Ren the Unclean (4 votes).

Part 3: Regions

Regions are an interesting type of card to look at. They're all by the same artist, Jo Hartwig (who I must say did a great job of making a Middle-Earth map), and have very few things listed on the card. The main thing that determines their greatness is how many times you visit them, mostly because of the other sites there.

Most Visited Region: Wold and Foothills (18 votes). An obvious choice, because of Lorien. Funny that just one site could make a region so popular. The second runner up may matter more in this, because of Rivendell as well drawing people.

Runners up: Rhudaur (9 votes), Redhorn Gate (3 votes).

Least Visited Region: Udun (9 votes). The one negative category for this, Udun is an obvious choice. There's absolutely no reason to go there whatsoever, except if you're using Morannon, which is itself a rather mediocre card.

Runners up: Nurn (8 votes), Gorgoroth (5 votes).

Part 4: Resources

Resources are the things which your characters use to do all the tasks you give them. They are the actual "things" of Middle-Earth, the stuff you interact with to win. A single one of these can win you the game in a combo with a few others. Also, it contains Factions, the main source of Marshalling Points for many strategies, and Allies, the closest thing to characters other than characters themselves (who are often better than the characters).

Best Overall Resource: The One Ring (13 votes). Another obvious pick. It's powerful, versatile, pretty hard to get out but easier than some things, and by dunking it in Mount Doom you can win the game. No wonder it netted more top places than any other card.

Runners up: Dwarven Ring of Durin's Tribe (6 votes), Fellowship (3 votes).

Best Resource Artwork: Wizard's River-Horses, by Rob Alexander (7 votes). Almost photo-realistic, and what a scene. Exciting, water flying around and horses running through it, and a perfect contrast between dark and light.

Runners up: Orcrist, by Audrey Corman (5 votes), The One Ring, by Angelo Montanni (4 votes).

Coolest Resource: The One Ring (11 votes). Great artwork, high value (it's a card to get excited about when you open up a pack and find it), and probably the best ability in the game. It can win you the game and it can boost one of your characters way up. Almost draws awe and respect just by playing it.

Runners up: Anduril, The Flame of the West (5 votes), Palantir of Osgilath (4 votes).

Best Supporting Resource: Muster (6 votes). This was an interesting category, of the little resources that aren't big, poweful ones, but whose little and extremely useful effects are almost necessary for play. Muster is such a resource, helping to get the big and small factions out easier.

Runners up: Fellowship (4 votes), Gates of Morning (3 votes).

Best Faction: Iron Hill Dwarves (13 votes). They're worth 4 Marshalling Points, and they're easy to get out (especially for Dain II, who gets a total of +4 to influencing them). Plus they're in a fairly safe place, and a Dwarf-hold (good for Dwarven items).

Runners up: Southrons (10 votes), Men of Dorwinion (3 votes).

Best Ally: Gollum (11 votes). High coolness value, plus one of the few offensive abilities not in a resource (discarding The One Ring) and of course with Gollum's Fate he lets you win the game more easily with The One Ring.

Runners up: Goldberry (10 votes), Shadowfax (6 votes).

Part 5: Sites

Sites are one of the least recognized cards (as the mere 3 reviews I've done of them suggest), yet also one of the most essential. They're where you get your items and factions actually out. You almost can't get Marshalling Points without going around and visiting sites. And you can't destroy The One Ring without Mount Doom.

Most Visited Site (non-haven, of course): Moria (13 votes). A fairly easy automatic attack, and huge rewards if you get past it. Also a place where you can bring Gollum into play. One of the top reasons to carry around a Dwarven Ring of Durin's Tribe - untapping this.

Runners up: Minas Tirith (5 votes), Isengard (4 votes).

Best Site Artwork: Henneth Annun, by Rob Alexander (7 votes). Another great piece by Rob Alexander. Once again, almost photo-realistic, with an enchanting little scene by a waterfall, with once again his perfect contrast of light and dark.

Runners up: Rivendell (5 votes), by Stefano Baldo, Mount Doom (4 votes), by J. Wallace Jones.

Best Haven: Lorien (38 votes). Wold and Foothills was most visited because of it, it should win too. The most landslide win of any category. It's the closest haven to 38 sites, more than half of Middle-Earth's 69 different ones.

Runners up: Rivendell (6 votes), Edhellond (2 votes).

Part 6: Overall

The best of the best. These three categories are the overall best cards in the game, the cards almost everyone wants to have and use. The most poweful and the best looking (in one category), plus the coolest. Note that I'm adding one vote for each win in another similar category.

Best Overall Card: The One Ring (13 votes + 2 wins). Wow. Certainly worthy of the best card in the game, since it lets you win it and helps tremendously while it's in play. Great art, too.

Runners up: The Will of Sauron (3 votes + 2 wins), Twilight (4 votes).

Best Card Artwork: Khamul the Easterling, by Liz Danforth (4 votes + 2 wins, counting best Nazgul as a win because art's factored in). As I said before, it's even better than the other Nazgul. Beautiful dragon armor, plus the glowing red eyes and the great colors.

Runners up: Wizard's River-Horses, by Rob Alexander (4 votes + 1 win). No distinct others.

Coolest Card: The One Ring (8 votes + 2 wins, counting Best Overall Resource as a win). Lets you win the game, and helps your strategy, plus cool art and awe from your opponent. Same reason it won coolest resource.

Runners up: Galadriel (3 votes). No distinct others.

That's all. Thanks to everyone who sent in votes. Hopefully we can do this again sometime with more voters (maybe for issue 200, with the new Dragons cards in full circulation).

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