I thought I'd start a new 'series' which will both be fun for beginners, old-timers, and also help me with inspiration for more posts. This series will be a comparison between various starter decks. If you're a new player, this could help you decide which deck to buy, if you're an old player, please comment and let me know what you think!
What could be more fitting for the first post than the first set of starter decks from the Fellowship of the Ring set?
Each starter deck has several differences: the site paths, the premium cards included (most notably your starting companions, usually), and the minions.
Today, we'll focus on the premium Aragorn, King in Exile vs the premium Gandalf, the Grey Wizard.
Off the bat, they are pretty similar. Same cost, same vitality. Aragorn wins out by one on strength.
Aragorn wins out on keywords, being a Ranger.
It's the game text that really makes a difference here.
In the starter deck alone, Aragorn's text is not very helpful. Few of the Fellowship of the Ring companions have the Aragorn signet, and the chances of getting one in your starter deck, then drawing it, and playing it are slim; all to get rid of one wound.
Similarly, Gandalf's text only comes in handy only if you've gotten a Gandalf signet companion in your starter and drawn him during the game. But when you do, saving two twilight could be a big win for your strategy.
In constructed, the story changes significantly. You can build your deck around a signet. In this instance, it really depends: are you planning to having a bloody battle on the way to Site 9? Or are you planning to choke twilight from your opponent and avoid skirmishes altogether?
Being that I've always been one to fight, and given the great Fellowship of the Ring companions with the Aragorn signet including Arwen, Daughter of Elrond, Sam, Son of Hamfast, and Merry, From O'er the Brandywine, Aragorn wins on the gamtext.
So there you have it, our first winner of the Starter Deck Vs Series is: Aragorn, King in Exile, over Gandalf, The Grey Wizard!