To strengthen the Outlands

With the recent cycle many traits got buffed. A very old trait got no love. The Outlands. One could argue that with the current meta that trait does not need to be strengthened more. Partways, I have to disagree. While using them in a mixed deck (like my Drinking Outlands deck) they are strong, if not to say overpowered and very easy to play at the same time, but not in a somewhat all purple deck. Even within the original cycle where they appeared first was Lord of Morthond, a card that was ment to fix a downside (card draw) of a pure purple Outlands deck, but at no time of the game that card was somewhat powerfull. So, in conclusion, Lord of Morthond never had its place in an Outlands deck.

This beeing said, I think that playing all purple Outlands today would result in a weak deck and could use some buffs to be on par with todays meta. I had the idea to explore the Outlands trait a bit and design cards to strengthen them, but especially with all-purple-heroes in mind.

I neither want to create overpowered cards nor want to mix up the overall meta of the game. In conclusion, the designed cards have to be balanced and have to be tailored down to be usefull in an all-purple-Outlands deck, but have to have almost no use in any other deck. These cards should minimise the drawbacks of a said all-purple-Outlands deck. Obvious downsides which sprung to my mind are card draw, healing, cancelation and location contol.

There are 8 different outlandish cards for a deck in the game. 4 Allies (Forlong (unique), those 4 outlands everyone thinks of when talking about Outlands and Hunter of Lamedon). 3 Attachments (Lord of Morthond, Prince of Dol Amroth and Sword of Morthond). 1 Event (Men of the West). That summs up to 24 cards, if each of those is in the deck 3 times. And there are allready some good cards which would fit also in an all-purple Outlands deck: Sneak Attack, Gandalf, Valiant Sacrifice, A Very Good Tale, A Good Harvest, Strength of Arms, Reinforcements and maybe even Armored Destrier or The Storm Comes and of course the all-to-go Steward of Gondor. (Probably I should also name Gaining Strength and Captain’s Wisdom here.) Therefore I do not have to design like 9 other Outlands cards, which is nice.

First, a thought on heroes. Currently there are Hirluin, Ally Forlong (with MotK) and Prince Imrahil (with his attachment Prince of Dol Amroth). This would allready be a set of three purple Outlands heroes, but I want to do something new. My idea is to keep the starting threat at a mid- but reasonable level. Imrahil and Hirluin do not have an up-to-date willpower (in spite of Leadership sphere) and I think a sentinel defender (as a counterpart to hirluin might be interesting), also currently Hirlin suffers from not having any special way for resource acceleration. Golasgil is what I came up with.

On Vision of the Palantir is an old article, which features 3 self-made Outland allies. Besides that Angbor now has its own, official card in the game (with which I do not want to interfere), these unique allies would be a target for MotK, so I do not want to create such unique Outlands.

I want to strengthen Lord of Morthond, so I need to design off-sphere allies. As those will also gain the usual boni it would be way to overpowered, if these bring boni to outlands, too. Even when they stay in the game (like the unique allies from Vision of the Palantir) it would result in way to much questing power and so on. Mostly with (purple) Prince Imrahil and Sneak Attack in mind I borrowed that „at the end of the round, discard from play“ from core Gandalf. The following cards are what I came up with.

These 3 allies cover cancellation, card draw and location control with some gambling risk (useable only in the round the entered play), but can be brought back with Men of the West – which is nice.

I had no good idea for any attachments, but here are some nice ideas for events. Adding the Outlands trait to them also strengthen that currently odd Hunter of Lamedon.