Gloin + Self Preservation creates a resource acceleration engine that rivals or even can exceed Steward of Gondor. Gloin gains a resource for each point of damage taken. Self Preservation heals 2 damage from him each turn. Many of the enemies have 2 attack in the core set. Gloin defending or even being assigned damage from undefended attacks can generate 1 – 3 resources per turn with one Self Preservation. Self Preservation doesn’t a limit per character or Restricted keyword. This means you can have multiple copies on him and generate more resources. Attachments like Citadel Plate also in the Core Set make this even easier. He then can take up to 7 damage before needing to heal. This let’s player do the healing more efficiently since there might be times when Gloin only has 1 damage but it is prudent to heal him before taking another attack considering shadows might add attack power to an enemy.
Of course there are other cards in the Core Set that can heal too. Daughter of Nimrodel is a solid alternative because it also can heal 2 damage on a hero per turn. It is just vulnerable to direct damage and ally discard effects. Lore of Imladris also works for a one time heal. It’s value is best when Gloin has a Citadel Plate or 2, and it can heal a lot of damage netting more resources than the 2 cost to play it. The Revised Core Set also has the Valor Boon card that can heal a damage when attached hero attacks. Gloin can take an undefended attack, attack the enemy, and heal 1 damage while also gaining resources!
Timing and Shadow Considerations
One thing to be aware of in using this combo is when to heal Gloin since Self Preservation, Daughter of Nimrodel, and Lore of Imladris are all actions. There are 2 action windows during an enemy attack but before damage is place you can heal. The distinction between the two is very important if he’s already damaged and what shadow effect you might face. The 6.4.1 action window is right before you reveal the shadow card and the other is right after. Right before is important if there are shadow effects that deal damage to the defending character. Direct damage on a shadow effect is placed as soon as it is revealed. If Gloin only has 1 hit point left, best to heal him before chancing that the Shadow could deal that 1 damage. If there’s attack boosts but no direct damage, a player can heal him after the Shadow is revealed in the 6.4.2 action window. This is because the 6.4.3 step is when damage is calculated from enemy’s attack + shadow + less defender’s defense and then placed.
Another consideration in using Gloin with the Core Set and Shadows of Mirkwood cycle is being careful in taking undefended attacks. It’s a great value to get resources and action advantage, but in the first cycle there’s a large risk. Many of the shadow effects are worse if the attack is undefended. Shadow cancelation like Hasty Stroke or shadow scrying with Dark Knowledge can make it safer to take those undefended attacks.