Tactics Glorfindel – Spoiler Review

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Balrog slayer version of Glorfindel.


Glorfindel we meet in the Lord of the Rings trilogy after Frodo is stabbed by the Morgul blade. He finds Strider and the Hobbits on their way to Rivendell. He takes Frodo from them and carries him swiftly to Rivendell. When confronted by the ringwraiths at the ford, he reveals his spiritual presence to drive the wraiths into the river. Then they are swept away in the ensuing flood. Those unfamiliar with books will note this part is filled by Arwen in the Peter Jackson film adaption.

Glorfindel, however, has a much more extensive story than his cameo in Lord of the Rings. In the First Age, he is one of the captains of Gondolin, the hidden elf city. He is most well known for slaying a Blarog in single combat covering the elves’ flight from the city after it fell. After the fatal blow, the Balrog began to fall into an abyss and dragged Glorfindel down with him. Glorfindel died, but the Valar brought him back from the Halls of Waiting.

He lived in Valinor after his resurrection until coming back to Middle Earth in the Second Age. Glorfindel most likely returned to Middle Earth with the Blue Wizards. He was sent to aid King Gil-galad and Elrond in fighting Sauron. Not much is known of his deeds during the end of the second age and early third age. He did fight Sauron’s forces in Eriador. There, most notably, he gave the prophecy that the Witch-King would not fall by the hand of a man.

Card Theme

The attack bonus for attacking alone is very thematic for Glorfindel’s one on one fight with a Blarog. Each incarnation of a Balrog in the game, The Nameless Fear, Durin’s Bane, and The Balrog, are all unique as well. Glorfindel will have both bonuses while attacking them alone. The Nameless Fear and Durin’s Bane generally have low enough defense that he could fight them alone with just his 7 attack. Durin’s Bane 9 defense, however, he’ll need some additional attack boosts to go one on one with.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Attack boosts

Strength and Courage is going to be the biggest and fastest way to boost Glorfindel’s attack power. It gives +1 but exhausting the The One Ring and gaining 1 threat will boost his attack to 11! It is one better than Tactics Eowyn‘s once per game ability. It is enough to kill many boss enemies without any further boosts.

Rivendell Blade isn’t a straight attack boost since it lowers an enemy’s defense. It is rare to have an enemy without at least 2 defense basically becoming +2 attack. Although it also doesn’t work on enemies immune to player card effects. Dagger of Westernesse is another weapon that can easily be +2 attack in many situations. Especially if you are keeping threat low which is often a good idea to do anyway. War Axe is best second weapon to have since it gives +1 attack for each restricted attachment. This can be a mega boost in Forth, the Three Hunters! decks and/or with Golden Belt. There are many other in sphere weapons that boost attack by 1, but are less efficient than Rivendell Blade, Dagger of Westernesse, and War Axe.

There are a couple other attachments for boosting attack that don’t cost a restricted slot. Keeping Count is in sphere for Tactics Glorfindel. He can also become Captain of Gondor since he has the Warrior trait. Dunedain Mark as a solid option in Leadership. Lastly, there’s a few attack boosting events like Blade Mastery and Unseen Striker that can get his attack up to even greater Balrog slaying levels


While Firefoot also boosts attack, the response on it deserves its own special mention. Glorfindel with Firefoot attacking alone will have 6 attack and any excess damage can be dealt directly to a second enemy. This can be made into a even more reliable 2 enemy killing machine with the other attack boosting attachments previously mentioned. The only downside is enemies that are immune to player card effects can’t be target by Firefoot’s ability.

Light of Valinor

There’s no better value than 1 resource for 3 willpower. Typically in this game it takes 1 resource for 1 willpower if not more resources for 1 willpower. Light of Valinor is more valuable to Glorfindel’s spirit version to avoid threat raise for questing with him, but still useful to the Tactics version.

Forth, The Three Hunters!

There are very few Tactics heroes with high willpower. Forth, The Three Hunters! contract fixes that weakness by letting the Tactics sphere use it vast armory of restricted attachment into willpower boosts. Still having a high willpower hero increases the maximum possible willpower for the hero line up. Light of Valinor, Unexpected Courage, or another readying effect lets Glorfindel leverage both his best stats which is key to decks using this contract since action economy is limited.

Revealed in Wrath

Credit to alonewolf87 talking about this card on the Cardboard of the Rings Discord putting it on my radar. I don’t play Noldor much and haven’t used this card yet. Still it is easy to see how combined with Glorfindel’s attack boost this can be game changing. Particularly for non-unique enemies that aren’t immune to player card effects but have other abilities that make them difficult to defeat. Enemies with Toughness or hard damage limits like the Mumaks are prime targets. Ship enemies and others like the Haradrim with engagement effects also are great to blank. Enemies stats of X can be lowered to 0 when blanked as well.

Quest Specific

There are lots of quests with big unique enemies that Glorfindel can get full benefit of his ability against. There are even some where attacking alone he doesn’t need any additional help beyond his built in abilities.

There are even a few enemies like the Fire Drake in The King’s Quest, The Black Serpent in The Flame of the West, and Tom in We Must Away Ere Break of Day that you must or encouraged to attack with 1 character.

Then of course there are many quests that are just straight up boss fights or require one to progress like Conflict at the Carrock, Watcher in the Water, Shadow and Flame, The Three Trials, City of Corsairs, Battle of Carn Dum, Fire in the Night, The Land of Sorrow, and more. While many of the boss level enemies are immune to player card effects, Glorfindel’s attack boosts target himself offering them no protection from his high attack.

Ring Rating

Card Talk uses the highly scientific yet arbitrary scale of 1 ring for the card to rule them all to 10 to be cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came. Typically in spoiler reviews the team uses a thumbs up and thumbs down rating instead.

I give Tactics Glorfindel a thumbs up and I’ll even go so far to give a preliminary 3 ring rating. I could see that going even to 2. The Tactics version definitely is huge step up from the core set Lore version, but it can’t beat the huge value of the Spirt version. Still the attack bonus abilities are very thematic and very useful. In most cases, you can count on him having attack equivalent to hero Beorn. You can easily that get much higher to rival even Tactics Eowyn’s once per game ability. On top of that, you can use Revealed in Wrath that in sphere to get around certain enemy damage limitations making them significantly easier to deal with. Lastly and one I think is easily overlooked is that he has 3 willpower in Tactics. Only 2 Tactics heroes have 3 or more willpower without any other cards in play, Eowyn and Theoden. Glorfindel is welcome addition to increasing solo viable mono-Tactics decks.

  • Dave – Thumbs up
  • Grant – Thumbs up
  • Ted – Thumbs up
  • Matt – Thumbs up and preliminary 3

Sample Decks

The Golden Liberator 1.0

This is a deck I built with a proxied Tactics Glorfindel for The Land of Sorrow. Check back on January 28th for the playthrough.

Hero (2)
Arwen Undómiel (The Dread Realm)
Dáin Ironfoot (The Ghost of Framsburg)
Glorfindel (The Glittering Caves)

Ally (22)
1x Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens)
2x Elfhelm (The Dead Marshes)
3x Ered Luin Miner (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Grimbold (The Flame of the West)
3x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Meneldor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
1x Pippin (A Shadow in the East)
3x Westfold Horse-breeder (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Wilyador (The Land of Sorrow)

Attachment (11)
2x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)
2x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
2x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Strength and Courage (The City of Ulfast)
1x The One Ring (A Shadow in the East)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
1x Windfola (A Storm on Cobas Haven)

Event (18)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
3x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
3x Quick Strike (Core Set)
3x Reforged (The Fate of Wilderland)

3 Heroes, 51 Cards

Deck built on RingsDB.

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