- Card Talk Season 1 Episode 13
- The Hobbit Saga
- On the Doorstep
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The mandatory hero for The Hobbit: On the Doorstep Saga expansion.
Bilbo once a respectable Hobbit from a respectable family that didn’t go off having adventures, went on an adventure to burgle treasure from a dragon. Along the way, he won or found a magic ring (depending on the telling) that would change the course of Middle-Earth. That however is another story. Bilbo aided by the magic ring, verbally sparred with a dragon in trying to burgle some treasures. In so doing provoked the dragon to attack a nearby town leading to its demise and liberation of a Dwarven ancestral home and its treasures. Elves, Men, and Dwarves afterwards nearly came to war over the liberated treasures until the host of goblins, orcs, and wargs arrived. Bilbo was soon knocked out in the fighting but survived to take a nice stash of treasure home to retire on.
This version of Bilbo is meant to represent him in the second half of The Hobbit. He has to be included for those 3 The Hobbit: On the Doorstep quests. The theme comes in a couple of ways. The low willpower, attack, and defense represents his lack of experience at this point. Then there is his ability to pull out a treasure card from the player’s deck. It is a very burglar ability to just suddenly come up with this valuable object. It could also represent him just pulling his magic ring out of his pocket when needed.
Card Synergies and Interactions
Burglar Baggins and The Lucky Number
There are only 2 non-hero Baggins sphere cards. Burglar Baggins could boost Bilbo’s stats. The Lucky Number could boost another character’s stats. There used to be an infinite willpower combo with The Lucky Number and Galadriel hero. The Lucky Number being able to boost another character’s stats by Bilbo’s could feed into Nenya adding Galadriel’s willpower to another character. When targeting Bilbo, it used to create an infinite loop because Bilbo’s willpower would update and that would recalculate Galadriel’s and so on.
FAQ 1.55 on lasting effects killed the loop. Basically, 1.55 said the effect for player cards that last until the phase or round has to be calculated when triggered. Before 1.55 and still true for encounter cards, you would recalculate if something else in the game would affect the total. Now for player cards, it doesn’t update if there is a change. Under 1.55 Bilbo adds his 1 willpower to Galadriel. Then with Nenya, she adds her 5 willpower Bilbo. It doesn’t update to add Bilbo’s 6 willpower to Galadriel.
The treasure cards that can be earned in The Hobbit Saga all have useful effects. Sting, Glamdring, and Orcrist earned in Over Hill and Under Hill more so than The Lonely Mountain ones. Bilbo can help find them and get them into play. Bilbo’s Magic Ring in particular should be the first one found to gain more Baggins resources and cancel attacks.
The lack of Baggins sphere cards doesn’t mean that Bilbo’s resource are useless. Neutral cards don’t need any specific sphere resources to be played. Thematically, that let’s Bilbo get Gandalf into play. This also can help open up more possibilities with Bilbo’s resources with the songs that can grant Bilbo additional sphere icons. A Good Harvest can also change Baggins resources to another sphere for a phase.
Bilbo can’t gain resources from player effects eliminating Steward of Gondor, Legacy of Numenor, etc. Moving resources to him is still allowed. Errand-rider and Parting Gifts are great ways to take advantage of Steward to build up more Baggins resources.
Something to keep in mind with Baggins sphere Bilbo is that you will need his resources for encounter effects as well. Most commonly in On the Doorstep, is paying to travel to different locations. In The Lonely Mountain scenario, they are very important. The Lonely Mountain location lets Baggins resources be spent to help succeed a Burgle attempt. If the player discards a card from their deck they don’t have a match for in their hand, then the resources let the player have a redo and draw card. Baggins resource sin The Battle of Five Armies can get the players are an Eagle ally with hero level stats.
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.
I have to rate this version of Bilbo a 9. It really isn’t fair to rate this hero like a regular player card given the massive restriction on his play. He can’t be put into a deck outside On the Doorstep per the rules. He’s then limited to 3 scenarios and is more akin to an objective hero or ally. He also has a sphere with only 2 non-hero player cards in it. He’s fine in the scenarios he’s allowed to play in. That is because he’s a free hero, Baggins resources are required to mitigate encounter effects, and he’ll get the powerful Treasures out of the deck. Otherwise, the 1/1/1 stat line adds about as much as a low cost ally. Overall, he doesn’t do much without Baggins resources and extremely niche given the few scenarios he’s playable in.
- Dave – 3
- Grant – 3
- Ted – TBR
- Matt – 9
It’s Not a Sphere! by kattattack22
An April Fools joke deck using On the Doorstep Bilbo with the Grey Wanderer contract.
It’s Not a Sphere!
Bilbo Baggins (On the Doorstep)
1x The Grey Wanderer (Challenge of the Wainriders)
1x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
1x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
1x Farmer Maggot (The Black Riders)
1x Gaffer Gamgee (Mount Gundabad)
3x Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Halfast Gamgee (The Crossings of Poros)
3x Halfling Bounder (The Sands of Harad)
3x Keen-eyed Took (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Rosie Cotton (The Mountain of Fire)
1x Sam Gamgee (The Thing in the Depths)
1x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
1x Hobbit Cloak (The Black Riders)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
1x Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes)
1x Song of Kings (The Hunt for Gollum)
1x Sting (Mount Gundabad)
1x Strider (The Drowned Ruins)
1x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)
3x Burglar Baggins (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Dúnedain Message (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Halfling Determination (The Black Riders)
3x The Lucky Number (On the Doorstep)
3x The Shirefolk (Mount Gundabad)
3x Timely Aid (The Redhorn Gate)
Player Side Quest (3)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)
1x Send for Aid (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
1x The Storm Comes (The Sands of Harad)
1 Hero, 50 Cards
Cards up to Challenge of the Wainriders
Decklist built and published on RingsDB.