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Council of Elrond • View topic - Fixing Fallen Saruman

Fixing Fallen Saruman

Where the Virtual Boyz plan their latest capers

Moderator: Virtual Card Development

Postby Bandobras Took » Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:41 pm

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Postby Jambo » Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:42 pm

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Postby Bandobras Took » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:01 am

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Postby Thorsten the Traveller » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:41 am

Well, technically speaking the original First of the Order and Lordly Presence can have their uses still in other types of decks, but it will be hard trying to balance that off against a Saruman that has to tap to use the Robes, so...but if you agree to use UEP's, there's no problem :wink:

I must say I think it's a pitty you take a bit of a narrow look at the game Bandobras. I mean, you want to enhance general competitiveness of Saruman, that's fine, but it doesn't have to stop there, nor do all cards have to be supportive just towards that goal. We've already established that your Saruman V and Forgemaster would really give him a good boost. It doesn't drain all the energy to try and think of new stuff, or does it? I just want to add flavour to the guy, you of all people as a Fallen Saruman fan should be in favor of that.

And I don't agree with your analysis of the strength of my proposal. You know there are actually other things you can play in Minas Tirith, stuff that can even help you along the way to The White Hand (factions, Keys, or heck! a palantir, nice to go with Fate o Ithil V). And if you play a sloppy half-orc at Isengard each turn, you can also untap Isengard each turn and play a ring there. Then your mp's per turn will rise sharply. No you can't start burning from turn one anywhere you like. We've already got a Balrog to do that, what fun...

Corruption problem? Saruman doesn't have to keep the rings, he can give them to his buddy's, reducing their mind and making them thralls to his new found ring-creating powers! And he's got FotO and your JwtP and WLB! In fact the plus on corruption for rings might make other people's lives difficult, not yours because you are prepared....Try to see the possibilities also of some nice plays, in stead of just thinking of ways to make Saruman better protected against the evils of cards and slow cardmanagement. I agree with your Rolled Down proposal, Saruman studied the lore of the Rings, he knows where the Ring went, it didn't roll down...

What would be cool too, is giving Saruman with stored Man of Skill the ability to make an influence check on any character with a ring in play, rather like Pallando with his Master of Doom. People came to Saruman for ring-advice, even Gandalf.

Basically I'm saying: so what? So what if he's the only FW with a mission card? Why on earth would that be an important fact? So what if Man of Skill is not the focus of his troubles, and doesn't need to be changed? You want to focus on Saruman as an Orc breeding faction gathering Free-hold burning minion? That's fine too, I like it. But there also was another site to the guy, and maybe that could be used to create something new, not just make him more competitive.
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Postby Bandobras Took » Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:10 am

And if I could stack my deck to guarantee I draw cards in the correct order, I'd be right there with you. :)

Such a card as you suggest is by definition narrow. There is one prescribed path, and that's it. Any deck like that has more problems with getting the right card at the right time than most decks, simply because it has to.

Also, as soon as you untap a site with Saruman's Machinery on it by playing a new character, Saruman's Machinery gets discarded (not to mention Fortress, but Keys can recycle that).

The whole reason I introduced the topic was to enhance the general competitiveness of Fallen Saruman. It certainly doesn't drain my energy to think of new stuff, but novelty is not a virtue on its own. Well-balanced, feasible, and worthwhile are all qualities that have to be considered.

Flavor is at best subjective. The point of Virtual Cards is to open up new strategies or shore up weak ones. Fallen Saruman already has a quest card that will take him to Dol Guldur in the form of Pass the Doors of Dol Guldur, which is worth Full MPs with Wizard's Trove. No new strategy is opened up. No underused strategy is strengthened by such a card as you have proposed.

As I have stated before, it's a minimum 5 turns to store the card you have proposed. That means you'll have about one turn to use its ability, because your opponent will call on his next turn (give or take). You're better off tapping Dol Guldur with a Hero Palantir using non-Virtual Fallen Saruman and playing Pass the Doors with Rescue Prisoners, then moving back to Isengard for a nice (and less dependent on perfect card draw) 11 MPs.

Would I like to open up play? Yes. Am in favor of new strategies and flavor? Yes. But as I've tried to communicate, I don't see how the Man of Skill you've proposed does either.

Now, the influence check on any character with a Ring sounds interesting. :) I'd still look for a way to make it a 3 or 4-turn quest rather than 5, though. Perhaps:

Man of Skill:
Saruman may tap to cancel and discard Rolled Down to the Sea before it resolves. Tap this card during a site phase where Saruman's company successfully plays a Stolen Knowledge card. Invert this card if it is tapped and Saruman's company successfully plays a Special Ring Item using Ringlore or Secrets of Their Forging. If this card is inverted, it gives 3 Marshalling Points and Saruman need not be at the same site as a character bearing a Ring Item in order to influence them.

How does that sound?
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Postby Jambo » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:32 am

I agree with Bandobras that one of the main issues with Fallen Saruman is his special cards and missions are too specific. On that note, I firmly believe that avoiding adding another "specific" mission card is paramount. To that effect I'd like to go with the idea of a burning and looting The White Hand that's not site specific.

I'd also like to go with improving Saruman's ring playing possibilities and certainly a Many Coloured Robes that helped with that would be neat. The way the original card works requiring Saruman to tap is so clearly broken in its current form. However, there is possibly one alternative to designing a direct replacement for Many Coloured Robes and that would be to design a card that actually untaps him during his end-of-phase. This would not only free up him to get a spell, it would also free him up to use the original Many Coloured Robes. With a plethora of decent Sorcery spells, this could potentially open up many new strategies. Is this an option?

With a card being thought about to allow Saruman to tap to cancel and discard Rolled Down to the Sea, maybe such effects could be combined? With Saruman more free to recycle spells this would help with dealing with FW-specific corruption (White Light Broken) and ring tests being scuppered by Blind to Wests (recycling Wizards Test).

PS I've never understood why Fallen Saruman came with an innate -1 to corruption?!
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Postby Jambo » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:52 am

E.g:

Man of Skill V:
SP: 2
Unique. Saruman specific. Place this card on Saruman if he is in play. Saruman may tap to cancel and discard Rolled Down to the Sea before it resolves. You may tap a character under Saruman's control to untap Saruman at the beginning of your end-of turn phase.

Could also be at the end of the site phase to avoid confusion with spell recycling ability.

If it is thought to be too powerful then one could just up the number of characters which need to be tapped to untap Saruman. There other ways like corruption, but I'm loathe to go down a corruption route.
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Postby Bandobras Took » Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:50 pm

The -1 was mainly there because they were expecting people to be able recycle the original First of the Order. Then they worded Many Coloured Robes the wrong way.

I'm not sure about an untapping ability such as suggested. Surely Tales of the Hunt would fulfil the same function?
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Postby Jambo » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:01 pm

Tales of the Hunt has to be played at a Border-hold and on a man, and also requires to be drawn and played during the course of a game. Man of Skill can be played as a starting stage resource. So, I would think Tales of the Hunt does not even come close to fulfilling the same role. Your mileage may vary of course.
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Postby Thorsten the Traveller » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:53 pm

Stone-age did not end because man ran out of rocks.
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Postby marcos » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:32 pm

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Postby Bandobras Took » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:03 pm

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Postby marcos » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:02 pm

can you resume your long post in a few words? lol :lol:
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Postby Bandobras Took » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:14 pm

Well, the short version is: Thorsten is wrong. Such a statement requires explanation, though. :)
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Postby Thorsten the Traveller » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:37 am

Last edited by Thorsten the Traveller on Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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