Customizable League Cards

From LOTR-TCG Wiki
Image used by World's Apart in the lead-up to the release of Customizable League Cards.

On 11 December 2005, the Lord of the Rings Online TCG platform launched its league system for players to have the opportunity to participate in regular events, just about a year after publicly launching. The leagues were not just mirrors of their physical counterparts, however, as they incorporated gameplay mechanics that leveraged the nature of the digital platform, including the meta-path Race to Mount Doom modifiers as well as Customizable League Cards (CLCs).

Such league cards initially had a D rarity (for "Digital", not to be confused with Decipher's printed D for "DGMA Promo" rarity). Each card starts with no game text and basic stats, but as players earned League Character Points for participating in the league they signed up with, those points could be spent to upgrade the Customizable League Cards in their collection.

For instance, Arwen (shown to the right/above) could have 1 point spent to add the Ranger keyword, 3 points spent to add 1 strength or the Archer keyword, and 5 points spent to add 1 vitality. These upgrades were only usable within the league that they were upgraded in, and expired as soon as that league ran out.

The Customizable League Cards were introduced before Shadows was launched, and so the Free Peoples cards do not deal with Resistance (except Frodo). In fact, the CLCs were apparently not legal to use in War of the Ring events and were restricted to King Block and earlier[1].

Although these cards are often ridiculed by modern players who never played in the era of LOTRO, the forum posts that remain on the Wayback machine seem fairly neutral on the subject, with neither complaints nor effulgent praise being dished out. This is stark contrast to the Triumph and Menace series of cards, which have plenty of surviving complaints of their random, swingy nature.

Points[edit]

Points were earned on the following basis[2]:

  • Winning vs. a player with equal or greater League score: 3 League Character Points
  • Winning vs. a player with a lower league score: 2 League Character Points
  • Losing any game regardless of relative score: 1 League Character Point
  • Draws and Tie-breaker games: 0 League Character Points

Each character had 3 tiers of upgradable options, costing 1, 3, and 5 points apiece. Not all upgrades were at the same tier for each character, and some characters even split upgrades between multiple levels (Gimli for instance having a Strength +1 upgrade at each of the 1, 3, and 5 point levels). Originally there was also a 7-point tier, but all 7-point options were reduced to 5-point options at an unknown time[3].

Some upgrades could be purchased multiple times, most commonly Strength up to 3 times. There were also mutually exclusive upgrades, but these were limited to Signets; naturally you could only select one of the four available signets at a time.

Players could of course dump all of their points into one power card if they so chose, but they could also spread them around to multiple different characters as-needed. Any upgrades purchased for one card would apply automatically to all copies of that card in the same league, so upgrading 1 Arwen would upgrade all 4 you might have in a deck[4].


Physical Printing[edit]

Physical versions of all the Free Peoples Customizable League Cards were eventually printed as 0P62 - 0P67, albeit very toned down with only 1-6 points of upgrades applied. Each physical promo was awarded to anyone who joined online leagues for a particular month in 2005. The participation months were as follows:

These physical promos are among the most elusive to gather nowadays, considering the (relatively) limited scope of who participated. Participation was likely partially impacted by confusion among players whether the promos would ever be legal in any format (as War of the Ring was just kicking off), and a general dissatisfaction with the power level of the cards.


Rarity[edit]

There is some confusion regarding the D rarity applied to these cards within the LOTRO client. Initially this was established to mean (D)igital, but later cards physically printed by Decipher were for (D)GMA rewards, which could lead one to believe that each of these D-rarity cards were also printed. Add onto the fact that some of them were printed with a P rarity, and it's a right mess.

Later, it appears that World's Apart altered their internal naming scheme and referred to all digital-only cards with the rarity of W, presumably for (W)orld's Apart and to avoid the ambiguous D issue. This must have been done late in the platform's lifetime, however, as none of the website help articles were ever updated to reflect this information.

To be absolutely clear: none of the World's Apart D-rarity cards were ever straight printed. Also none of the fully upgraded cards were ever printed. Some barely-upgraded cards were rebranded under the P-rarity and were printed as 0P62 - 0P67 (as detailed above).


Legacy[edit]

Most digital platforms (and physical ones, naturally) have not attempted to recreate the Customizable League Cards. They are not available on GEMP. However, they are available on mLOTRO in dedicated leagues.


Cards[edit]

Below you will find a table containing each of the customizable cards, their point structures, and variations. Note that the values below reflect the final versions of the cards in the most recent version of the Lord of the Rings Online TCG client, which are different from the various[11] blog[12] articles[13] posted[14] in the run-up to the League update.


Basic Unupgraded Card Available Upgrades Fully Upgraded Card Physical Promo Print Printing Point Value
1 pt:
  • Assignment: Spot an ally to make that ally participate in skirmishes and assign this minion to skirmish that ally.
  • Fierce

3 pts:

  • The fellowship archery total is -1. (up to 3 times)
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)

5 pts:

  • Each time this minion wins a skirmish, you may spot another Culture Dunland.svg Dunland Man to take control of a site and make that Man strength +6 and make that man fierce until the regroup phase.

Total points to max out: 25

❌ No printed version

1 pt:

  • Damage +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Strength +1
  • Aragorn signet or Frodo signet or Gandalf signet or Theoden signet

3 pt:

  • Gimli may bear an additional hand weapon.
  • Twilight cost -1
  • At an underground site, Gimli's twilight cost is -2.
  • While skirmishing an Orc, Gimli is strength +2.
  • Strength +1

5 pt:

  • Response: If Gimli wins a skirmish, exert him to replace an unbound companion assigned to a skirmish.
  • Strength +1

Total points to max out: 30

2 pts (Damage +1, Strength +1)

1 pt:

  • Ranger
  • Skirmish: Exert Arwen to make a minion skirmishing an Elf strength -2.
  • Aragorn signet
  • While you can spot an Elf, Arwen is twilight cost -1.

3 pt:

  • Archer
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • While skirmishing a Nazgul, Arwen is strength +3.

5 pt:

  • Fellowship" Exert an Elf to draw a card.
  • Vitality +1

Total points to max out: 29

2 pts (Ranger, Skirmish ability.)

1 pt:

  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Aragorn signet or Frodo signet or Gandalf signet or Theoden signet

3 pt:

  • Defender +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Twilight cost -1
  • Damage +1 (up to 3 times)

5 pt:

  • Skirmish: Exert Gandalf to make a companion strength +1.

Total points to max out: 28

1 pt (+1 Strength)
1 pt:
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • When you play Gollum, you may exert a Ring-bound companion.
  • When you play Gollum, you may remove a burden to add Twilight 2.svg.

3 pts:

  • Skirmish: Remove a burden to make Gollum strength +2.
  • Skirmish: Remove a burden to make Gollum damage +1.
  • Maneuver: Remove a burden to make Gollum fierce until the regroup phase.

5 pts:

  • The site number of each minion is -2.
  • Each time Gollum wins a skirmish, you may add a burden.

Total points to max out: 24

❌ No printed version

1 pt:

  • Knight
  • Ranger
  • Ring-bound
  • Aragorn signet or Frodo signet or Gandalf signet

3 pt:

  • Defender +1 (up to 2 times)
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Twilight cost -1
  • Fellowship: Add Twilight 2.svg to heal Boromir.

5 pt:

  • Boromir takes no more than 1 wound each skirmish, and he may not be overwhelmed unless his strength is tripled.

Total points to max out: 30

3 pts (Knight, Ranger, Ring-bound)
1 pt:
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Site Number -1
  • Skirmish: Exert Saruman to make him strength +1.

3 pts:

  • Fierce
  • Damage +1 (up to 3 times)

5 pts:

  • Assignment: Exert Saruman to assign him to an unbound companion.

Total points to max out: 22

❌ No printed version
1 pt:
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Site Number -1
  • Vitality +1

3 pts:

  • Archer
  • Each time this minion wins a skirmish, you may exert a companion.
  • While skirmishing an Elf or Dwarf, this minion is strength +2.
  • Vitality +1

5 pts:

  • Shadow: Discard this minion to play a (moria) minion. That minion's twilight cost is -10.
  • Vitality +1

Total points to max out: 27

❌ No printed version
1 pt:
  • Ambush Twilight 1.svg (up to 3 times)
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Site Number -1

3 pts:

  • Archer
  • Site Number -1
  • Twilight cost -1
  • At the start of a skirmish involving this minion, you may remove Twilight 3.svg to wound a character he is skirmishing.

5 pts:

  • If this minion is an archer, add 1 to the minion archery total.

Total points to max out: 25

❌ No printed version

1 pt:

  • Valiant
  • Damage +1
  • At the start of each turn, you may heal a Culture Rohan.svg Rohan ally.
  • While you can spot a Culture Rohan.svg Rohan man, Éomer is twilight cost -1.
  • Aragorn signet or Frodo signet or Gandalf signet or Theoden signet

3 pt:

  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Twilight cost -1
  • Fellowship: Exert Éomer to play a mount on him from your draw deck.

5 pt:

  • Vitality +1
  • Éomer is strength +2 for each wound on each minion he is skirmishing.

Total points to max out: 30

6 pts (Twilight cost -1, Valiant, Damage +1, Twilight cost ability)
1 pt:
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • The site number of each Culture Sauron.svg Sauron Orc is -1. (up to 3 times)
  • Besieger
  • Tracker

3 pts:

  • Skirmish: Exert this minion to wound a character it is skirmishing.
  • Fierce

5 pts:

  • Regroup: Exert this minion to make the Free Peoples player exert X companions, where X is the number of burdens you spot.
  • Each time this minion wins a skirmish you may spot another Orc and exert this minion to take control of a site.

Total points to max out: 24

❌ No printed version

1 pt:

  • The twilight cost of each artifact, possession, and Culture Shire.svg Shire tale played on Frodo is -1.
  • Aragorn signet or Frodo signet or Gandalf signet

3 pt:

  • Resistance +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Vitality +1 (up to 2 times)

5 pt:

  • Skirmish: Exert Frodo to make him strength +1.
  • Each Hobbit companion's twilight cost is -1.

Total points to max out: 27

2 pts (Gandalf signet, Item Twilight cost discount)
1 pt:
  • Strength +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Twilight
  • Each time Úlairë Toldëa wins a skirmish, you may exert him to wound the Ring-bearer.

3 pts:

  • Fierce
  • Damage +1 (up to 3 times)
  • Twilight cost -1
  • Each time Úlairë Toldëa wins a skirmish, you may exert him to add a burden.

5 pts:

  • Regroup: Exert Úlairë Toldëa and discard him to discard a companion (except the Ring-bearer).

Total points to max out: 28

❌ No printed version


References[edit]

  1. Fellow forum member clarifying the scope of CLCs in WOTR events: http://web.archive.org/web/20050304070427/http://lotrtcg.decipher.com:80/forum/viewtopic.php?p=35059&amp
  2. World's Apart help article breaking down Leagues: http://web.archive.org/web/20050206175214/http://lotrtcg.decipher.com/help/leaguecards.shtml
  3. Early fan forum post consolidating all then-known spoilers, including some 7-point tier options: http://web.archive.org/web/20050304123913/http://lotrtcg.decipher.com:80/forum/viewtopic.php?p=33713&amp
  4. World's Apart employee Nakano clarifying that all upgrades for a given card apply to all copies of that card: http://web.archive.org/web/20050118220206/http://lotrtcg.decipher.com:80/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4682&amp
  5. http://web.archive.org/web/20050314204041/http://lotronline.decipher.com/newsletters/2005_01_06.html
  6. http://web.archive.org/web/20050314204045/http://lotronline.decipher.com/newsletters/2005_02_04.html
  7. http://web.archive.org/web/20050314204049/http://lotronline.decipher.com/newsletters/2005_02_25.html
  8. http://web.archive.org/web/20050401233912/http://lotronline.decipher.com:80/
  9. http://web.archive.org/web/20050507080211/http://lotronline.decipher.com:80/
  10. http://web.archive.org/web/20050603235822/http://lotronline.decipher.com:80/
  11. League Announcement with Eomer spoiler:: http://web.archive.org/web/20090721170402/http://lotrtcg.decipher.com/notes/leagues_are_coming.shtml
  12. Gandalf/Saruman League spoiler: http://web.archive.org/web/20090721170357/http://lotrtcg.decipher.com:80/notes/league_wizard_spoiler.shtml
  13. Morgul Patrol League spoiler: http://web.archive.org/web/20061024180146/http://lotrtcg.decipher.com/notes/league_orc_spoiler.shtml
  14. Arwen League spoiler: http://web.archive.org/web/20050128023525/http://lotrtcg.decipher.com:80/notes/league_arwen_spoiler.shtml


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