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Deck Feedback - multiaction heroes

Deckbuilding experimental gandalf treebeard lore spirit leadership

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18 replies to this topic

#1
MagisDragonis

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New to the site and not sure if this is the right place to put this so put me in my place if I'm out of line here. I've got a theory for a deck that revolves around minimizing the allies in play and instead relies on powerful heroes acting repeatedly. To that end, I've created a deck built around Treebeard and Gandalf, two of the highest base stat heroes available in the current cardset. The big problems I am having are starting threat (Gandalf and Treebeard are 27 alone) and early turns before I've fished up gandalf's toys and other attachments that make them so effective. Another problem, albeit not a significant one in my playthroughs so far, is resource management - the reason should be obvious here. My question is simple - can this be made to work or am I chasing a concept that's probably doomed from the start to be ineffective? I've pasted the deck below for your perusal and feedback, which would be greatly appreciated.

 

Notes:

  • I play exclusively multiplayer (usually 2) with my wife playing an Elrond-based Noldor deck.
  • The Wardens are there because of their impressive synergy with Elrond, while the self preservations are there because Treebeard likes to cut himself.
  • I hate the song of kings, but relying on gandalf to play all leadership cards has me concerned
  • Merry is the 3rd hero largely because he minimizes further pain to starting threat and provides active management later.
    • Fast Hitch would be thematic in this deck for Merry, but I didn't see where I could make room for it.
  • Card draw is provided by Master of the Forge. With 33 attachments, each one is effectively an extra card every round, with the added benefit of being able to be a little selective about which I need most. 

 

Deck Created with CardGameDB.com The Lord of the Rings Deckbuilder

 

Total Cards: (50)

 

Hero: (3)

1x Gandalf (The Road Darkens)

1x Treebeard (The Treason of Saruman)

1x Merry (The Wastes of Eriador)

 

Ally: (8)

3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)

2x Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens)

3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

 

Attachment: (33)

3x Dunedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)

3x Dunedain Quest (A Journey to Rhosgobel)

3x Dunedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)

2x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

2x Gandalf Staff (The Road Darkens)

2x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)

3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)

3x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)

3x Self Preservation (Core Set)

2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)

3x Song of Kings (The Hunt for Gollum)

2x Celebrian's Stone (Core Set)

 

Event: (9)

3x A Test of Will (Core Set)

3x Flame of Anor (The Road Darkens)

3x Word of Command (The Long Dark)

 

Side Quest: (0)

 


#2
slothgodfather

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are you and your wife using the same card pool?  what other heroes is she using?  Are you attempting to build a deck that can handle all the things? questing/attacking/defending or specializing in any of those in particular?

 

 

Which do you prefer more, Gandalf or Treebeard?   Are you open to suggestions that change the heroes?

 

 

I ask this because without Unexpected Courage, Treebeard doesn't have any multi-action use.  With out UC or Shadowfax, Gandalf doesn't have it either.

 

Idraen, Boromir (tactics), Aragorn (leadership) and Prince Imrahill each have build in action advantage - though admittedly lower stats. 



#3
MagisDragonis

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In the order you asked them:

  • We are not using the same card pool and have access to any duplicates we should require (we're each, for example, playing 3x warden of healing).
  • Her heroes are Elladan, Elrohir, and Elrond
  • The deck is intended to be a balanced approach, yes. No specialization.
  • See below analysis of your further comments for the full response to this.

I played this deck a little bit last night and learned to truly appreciate the power of Treebeard with multiple actions and sufficient healing available. attacking multiple targets for 8 before any Dunedain Marks is craziness. The deck STARTED as a Gandalf deck, based around using Gandalf and his beefy stats - Treebeard is a recent addition. That said, I think Treebeard performs the intended role (much) better.

 

I've also given a lot to your point about built-in action advantage, which speeds this deck up a lot - you're absolutely correct. Of the ones you identify, I immediately eliminated Boromir (tactics) because that's not a sphere I'm currently planning/playing and his wisdom is too low to accomplish my primary goal. I also immediately eliminated Imrahil due to the low ally count in this deck and my wife's deck being Noldor rather than Silvan so there's very little "intentional" character departure. That leaves Idraen and Leadergorn, which are both extremely good proposals.

 

I could take both of them, but that puts a starting threat of 36 without repeatable threat reduction. this seems beyond risky to me. Similarly, Idraen alone would replace Merry since I need some method of playing Leadership cards and I was mitigating the Song of Kings requirement with Gandalf's flexibility to play any sphere card - I'd be too dependent on a sphere that I need Song to do at all.

 

This lead me to the natural conclusion that swapping Gandalf for Leadergorn was the best option. Here's my analysis of that scenario:

 

  • Gandalf
    • Pros
      • Character-specific readiness options in Shadowfax and Flame of Anor
      • low effort resource diversity
      • His toys are diverse and powerful (staff, shadowfax)
      • he augments card draw by being able to play the top card of the deck
      • 1 more will, 1 more defense
      • Burning Brand target-able without significant difficulty
    • Cons
      • No out-of-the-box readiness effect
      • 2 more threat
      • Have to "work for it" to use his resources, specifically for leadership sphere.
      • a lot of cards are dedicated to bringing him to full effect (2x shadowfax, 2xstaff, 2x pipe, 3x flame, 2x Bilbo = 11)
  • Aragorn
    • Pros
      • Built in action advantage
      • Sentinel
      • 2 less threat
      • Leadership sphere from the beginning
      • Toys lead to resource diversity (Ring of Barahir and Celebrian's stone would each grant access to all three spheres represented in the deck)
      • Fewer cards to maximize effectiveness (2x ring of barahir, maybe some sword that was broken? Not enough allies to really make this effective)
    • Cons
      • 1 less defense, 1 less willpower
      • "banned" in some scenarios due to fellowship requirements (this really hurts. Was playing this deck in campaign mode)
      • needs Ring of Barahir to be a valid Burning Brand target
      • If I want the flexibility ranged offers, I need to include Dunedaen Cache or some similar card (shadowfax is silly)


#4
MagisDragonis

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Here's what I've come up with for an Aragorn version:

 

Deck Created with CardGameDB.com The Lord of the Rings Deckbuilder

 

Total Cards: (50)

 

Hero: (3)

1x Treebeard (The Treason of Saruman)

1x Merry (The Wastes of Eriador)

1x Aragorn (Core Set)

 

Ally: (9)

3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)

3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

3x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)

 

Attachment: (38)

3x Dunedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)

3x Dunedain Quest (A Journey to Rhosgobel)

3x Dunedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)

3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)

3x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)

3x Self Preservation (Core Set)

2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)

2x Celebrian's Stone (Core Set)

2x Ring of Barahir (The Steward's Fear)

3x Dunedain Cache (The Dead Marshes)

3x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)

3x Miruvor (Shadow and Flame)

2x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor's Secret)

 

Event: (3)

3x A Test of Will (Core Set)

 

Side Quest: (0)

 


#5
slothgodfather

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As you have noted, Treebeard is a champion to begin with and is then a complete beast once you get UC and Self Preservation on him.  I was toying around in the deck builder as well and I had also chosen to keep Treebeard and ditch Gandalf.  My end result is slightly different than yours though.   

 

I went with Arwen instead of Merry.  This allows you to get Steward of Gondor or Unexpected Courage out first turn with her resource acceleration.  It also opens the use of Elven-Light for card draw and Elrond's Counsel for minor threat reduction.  And it allows the use of Lembas - arguably the best healing card in the game and works double time on Treebeard since it heals and readies him!

 

I toyed with various allies - such as Errand Rider - but between Arwen, Celebrain's Stone and Ring of Barahir, you should not have issues with resource matching.   End result was just 3x Wardens of Healing and 3x Master of the Forge.

 

Our attachment line-up is very similar except I didn't use any Dunedain Quest, Dunedain Cache or Miruvor and used lower quantities of Self Preservation and Heir.  Instead I included 3x ranger Provisions and 1x The Day is Rising and 1xSword of Numenor.  The goal there was to further the resource acceleration to make sure I can get out whatever cards as soon as I drew them though getting Treebeard Ranged is likely more useful than Day is Rising and Sword of Numenor - so I can see swapping those for two Caches.  Drop a single Ranger Provisions for the third Cache if you really want to make sure you get it.

 

The extra benefit of Arwen is that she can also be used to give your wife's heroes a resource any time you are squared away on your own.  Which would likely be a pretty big boon considering how many resources the brothers can eat up and the fact that she is playing tri-sphere.  Also, Arwen giving Aragorn a resource while he has Heir of Mardil on is a free readying effect.  



#6
MagisDragonis

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Great feedback, and terrific ideas. I completely forgot about Arwen since I had a mental "hands off Noldor" block going on - my wife's using the ally version - but I might be able to talk her into testing the theory of doing without if it results in her getting more resources :D

 

Lembas was definitely a card I considered but rejected because I wasn't the one playing elves. Miruvor is there for the additional readying effect specifically because I couldn't get lembas to provide the same.

 

Ranger Provisions is great resource acceleration but very unpredictable - particularly when we end up playing 3 player. Day's Rising is a great suggestion, and I can see Sword but aragorn's primary role will be blocker and I'm leaving Treebeard free to do the attacking.

 

Out of curiosity, why no Erebor Hammersmiths? Plays well off of Cram and Lembas both, and he gives you a contingency for the nasty shadow cards that like to force attachment discard we seem to be seeing so much of lately.

 

Was your reason for ditching the Dunedaen quest cards the cost/willpower ratio? I found them to be tough to play and justify in playtesting, but a permanent stat bump (given the theme here) was still pretty tough to abandon. I did give serious consideration to a single Sword that Was Broken - one more cost for a minimum of 2 more willpower, and potentially a lot more.



#7
slothgodfather

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Well the Sword that was Broken really only shines if you are running allies that will be around for questing. Though with your current setup it is basically a 3 cost attachment for +3 WP, so it isn't terrible. But space is rather tight.   I had given up on the Dunedain Quest simply because of the 2 for 1 ratio and wanting to include other cards that offer more efficiency like Elven-Light and the likelihood of having 2 resources and willing to put them towards that attachment rather than any other card in my hand seemed low.  

 

Hammersmith is awesome for all the reasons you state, but space is limited and I felt we had enough copies of everything that having 3x Forge Masters was more important.  He definitely could find a place though.  Especially with Cram and Lembas but also with Provisions.  

 

Provisions is an excellent card, but I understand your concern about consistency.  However, I tend to play it so my companion gets resources about as often as I do for myself to collect them.  Since your wife is running Leadership (and especially because she is using the brothers and you already have Steward), I'd suggest she run them too.  That way you can coordinate and share them depending on who needs them more.  



#8
LoneElfRanger

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If access to Song of Kings is troubling, then consider playing Rivendell Minstrel to fetch them at need.

#9
slothgodfather

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I forgot to mention, I'd also find space for a copy of the side quest Gathering Information. It's just too powerful to not include, even if you go to 51 or 52 cards.  



#10
MagisDragonis

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Yeah, I always give serious consideration to that one. It Sideboards because of the pain some sidequests can induce on quest completion - sometimes delays are killer. I'm going to do some playtesting this weekend. I'll post the deck when I'm done. Any great scenarios you prefer to see results from? I own them all and can take a sampling.



#11
slothgodfather

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no quests really come to mind for testing.  I hear that Journey Down the Anduin offers a solid balance of questing, combat, locations & treacheries.  But other than that I'd test it out against encounters that you enjoy.



#12
OKTarg

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In my tree beard deck, lembas is essential. Healing and readying is amazing. I play mine with hammer smiths to get them back from the discard. Maybe your wife will slot a few of these and even elf-friend with some silvan trackers.
  • slothgodfather likes this

#13
MagisDragonis

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Her deck's pretty well tuned, but it's a pretty traditional Noldor discard since that archetype became available (Spears, protectors, elven light, Gildor/Stargazers to power Vilya). I think the hammersmith/lembas combo will be delicious, though I'm probably over-slotting healing... we'll see. Can't wait to try it. Will definitely give Journey Down the Anduin a shot, I've heard the same about it being nice and balanced.



#14
slothgodfather

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Considering you want to use Treebeard for questing and attacking, possible multiple attacks - healing is going to be key to keeping him running at max capacity.   



#15
OKTarg

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Journey is a fun quest but very punishing to start if your deck is high threat. So, don't be discouraged if it's not a fit for you.

Intruders in Chetwood is a nice solid new one as well.

#16
MagisDragonis

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Brief playtesting report: Deck looks like this pre-playtesting - 

 


 
 
Total Cards: (50)
 
Hero: (3)
 
Ally: (9)
 
Attachment: (35)
 
Event: (6)
 
Side Quest: (0)
 
Results are a clear indicator that I need more card draw. Never short on resources to play basically everything but always seem to be down to 1 or 2 cards. Core mechanics are working well per the provided suggestions. I didn't get as much time to do the exhaustive testing I wanted, so I'll be doing more over the next couple weeks. First modification will be to eject the Erebor Hammersmiths for 3x Elven Light. Hammersmiths will remain in sideboard to address scenarios with a lot of attachment hate.

 



#17
slothgodfather

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Yea, draw is always a limiting factor in LotR.  Elven light will help by being able to eat up your extra resources to draw a card.  Some draw cards to consider beyond Elvin Light:

 

Allies:

Gleowine

Lindir

 

Attachments:

Ancient Mathom

The Long Defeat

 

Events:

Daeron's Runes



#18
OKTarg

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Deep Knowledge is also super good, and Sneak Attack/Gandalf is basically six cards or -10 Threat. Always a crowd pleaser :)

 

Ally Galadriel is also an option, perhaps, since it searches for attachments. Gather Information might also be a good shout, especially if you go with a combo-oriented draw like Sneak/Gandalf.



#19
MagisDragonis

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OKTarg -

 

Deep Knowledge: having threat problems already, so Deep Knowledge (while very powerful) is probably too dangerous.

SA/Gandalf: 6 cards is pretty rough to squeeze in. Already having to use a crowbar to get everything in that I'd like.

Galadriel: Solid choice. Noted for testing.

Gather Information: Might be an even better choice. Exhausting heroes is what this deck does, so the cost is mitigated.

 

Sloth - 

Gleowine: Thought about him already. He's on the list for testing as well

Lindir: Situational. Since I have access to Lore I'm thinking Gleowine would be better.

Long Defeat: Noted for testing. Lots of cool support options here, and as an attachment I can fish it up with Master of the Forge.

Ancient Mathom: Same hangup as Ranger provisions.

Daeron's Runes: also solid, but I've got resources to blow so the major advantage (0 cost) is diminished.

 

Will let you guys know how it goes. Elven Light last night was extremely good and mostly kept my hand flowing, but only 3 cards meant the second game I didn't see a single one (I still won though, so not sure here).







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Deckbuilding, experimental, gandalf, treebeard, lore, spirit, leadership