Hosts Of Galadhrim (A Silvan Combo Deck)

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Loss - Raid on the Grey Havens - 1 Player - 2020-06-06
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The Mormegil 1172

“In winter here no heart could mourn for summer or for spring. No blemish or sickness or deformity could be seen in anything that grew upon the earth. On the land of Lórien, there was no stain.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Beginning Notes

First of all, thanks to all the people who helped me in the creation of the deck. Dominik gave me the idea to play a Dwarf in a Silvan deck for Unlikely Friendship. Jban and Rouxxor, my deckbuilding buddies, for helping me refine the deck and for the discussions we had where I slowly started to recognize the potential of Host of Galadhrim not just as a good endgame-recycle option (which we already used in our Silvan decks in the later rounds) but as an aggressive comboing centrepiece from round two onwards.

This deck is not very easy to play and requires good knowledge of its specific synergies and quite a bit of practice to play to its full potential!

It is a Silvan deck, but connects the Silvan synergy with some combopieces to make this already really strong archetype even stronger. It is built for solo, but can be played in multiplayer, however than you should be aware of some things and might have to make some changes (see below under Mulitplayer Compatibility).

The Gameplan

It is probably apparent by the title of the deck, the whole deck and combo is revolving around the newly released Host of Galadhrim. Your game plan is to cycle through your deck as quickly as possible, getting your allies on the table and playing Host of Galadhrim every round beginning with round 2. By round 2 you should have 4-6 Silvan allies in play (sometimes more, sometimes less), which makes playing Host already worthwhile. By round 3, round 4 at the latest if you had a bad start or the scenario hit you hard, you should have most if not all Silvan allies on the table and have very few remaining cards in your deck. This sounds difficult, but with a bit of practice it is actually very consistent. You can now do the following:

  • Quest for 30+ with your allies without needing to exhaust for the rest of the game with the effects of Celeborn+Galadriel+Host of Galadhrim+All your allies
  • Cancel at least one When Revealed effect each round for the rest of the game with A Test of Will
  • Prevent at least one attack each round for the rest of the game (so you basically have a faint-lock going) with Feigned Voices
  • Attack with enough to kill basically any enemy each round for the rest of the game with the effect of Celeborn+All your allies and heroes
  • Reduce your threat by 4 each round for the rest of the game with Galadriel and her Handmaidens which re-enter play every round due to Host
  • Chump-Block with some ally and bring it back next turn anyways each round for the rest of the game with Orophins effect when he enters play due to Host
  • Look at the top card of the encounter deck before staging and after staging each round for the rest of the game with Henamarth Riversong; He is in play at the beginning of the round, you use him. He gets returned to your hand and enters play again because you play Host so he is ready and can quest, you know which card will be revealed. After you quest you can use him again to see what card comes next, very useful for scrying shadow cards or cards being discarded for tests. This is absolutely awesome in solo and still very useful in MP
  • Healing quite a bit of damage each round for the rest of the game, with your allies all getting healed by playing Host (2 for Haldir of Lórien and 1 for Orophin) and by playing Galadhrim Healer again every round with Host
  • Place a little bit of Progress on some locations each round for the rest of the game by playing Woodland Courier every round with Host

If you can do these things, it goes without saying that you should be able to win most quests from that point onward.

Strategy

Your strategy should be the following: You aggressively play the events in your deck that allow you to draw cards and gain resources, of course all the Doomed cards and We Are Not Idle, Unlikely Friendship, Daeron's Runes and Peace, and Thought. Through all the Doomed stuff you will get to a high threat quickly, but don’t worry, once the combo is going you can reduce it by 4 every turn. You also use The Tree People to get hold of your Silvan allies much quicker, as well as O Lórien! and Steward of Gondor for resource advantage. You then play your Silvan allies to do fancy stuff and you play Host of Galadhrim to do that fancy stuff all over again. Card draw and resource acceleration enable the combo and make it consistent (as is the case for every combo).

But how do you ensure that you play Host of Galadhrim every turn over and over again? Well, you use Galadhrim Weaver to recycle it. Say you have most of your allies on the table and almost all of your deck drawn, which should be the case in turn 3 or 4. You use Host of Galadhrim on all your allies and a lot of cool stuff happens. It then becomes the top card of your discard pile. The following round, you play the next Host of Galadhrim, and a Weaver (who will be in play by that point) will shuffle the first Host back into your deck deu to it re-entering play, where your Galadhrim Minstrels (who also re-enter play because of Host) should then be able to find it with their triggers from the Host that you just played. Next round, you play the first Host again, returning the second to your deck (and your hand afterwards) and so on and so forth, you keep the cycle going indefinitely with just one Weaver.

Of course, you need to watch out that no other cards enter your discard pile during the rounds if you have just one Weaver. But you do actually have three Weavers (and three Minstrels), so that means you can recycle three cards every turn. And what better two cards to recycle than Test of Will (which then gives you a cancel each turn) and Feigned Voices (which prevents an enemy attacking every round)? For that combo you need 5 resources every round (4 for Host, 1 for ToW, Feigned Voices+Galion is free). You gain exactly 5 resources each round with your heroes and Steward of Gondor. If you have not all your allies on the table at that point, no worries. If you use Weaver instead of Galion for Feigned Voices, you get to recycle 4 cards. You can than integrate Legacy of Númenor in your cycle and you should be able to play the remaining cards with the additional resources.

Now, I said you will begin playing Host every round in round 2. Your deck ist at that point usually not small enough to ensure the above scenario where you find everything again with the Minstrels (or you might not have all your Minstrels yet), which is why you should be very careful with how you play your Weavers!!! That is the key of the deck, because if two of Hosts become buried in the discard pile, your combo is broken. Therefore, while playing the first one or two or in the absolute worst case three Hosts without a very small remaining deck, keep in mind that you always need access to two Hosts later on (one of these two can of course be in the top cards of your Discard Pile, it just needs to be reachable with the Weavers you have). I often just keep my Weavers in hand until after I play my first Host, and then immediatly use it to regain that Host.

In short you will usually be able to play Host from round 2 onwards, however with cycling ToW and Feigned Voices you will probably have to wait another one or two rounds.

With the eventual game plan set, your way of playing during the first two rounds, where you only have parts of the combo available, is absolutely crucial! Your priorities are protecting your combopieces to have them available later one (not burying more than one Host in your discard pile as outlined above, not burying both your copies of Feigned Voices/Test of Will in your discard pile unless there is no other way possible etc.), protecting your heroes (if one or two allies die it is not that problematic, you can get them back later with Orophin, just do not lose Orophin or your heroes) and setting up the combo and your board with lots of draw and resources. Make as much use as possible of the Galadhrim Minstrel during these turns! He gets you the pieces you need quickly! For example I often opt to play Tree People on him instead of Galion or Weaver just to use his effect another time. Be careful and play smart early on! If you play suboptimal during the first rounds, you can find yourself in a lot of trouble! If need be, you can always also stall and not play your Doomed stuff to avoid engaging enemies until you are better set up.

Heroes

Celeborn and Galadriel are self-explanatory; they have just fantastic synergy with the Silvan archetype as a whole. Bifur enables you to play Unlikely Friendship (and can get you resources through We Are Not Idle) which are both fantastic cards, especially when you try to draw through your deck quickly. His effect is (in solo at least) not that powerful, but is still useful from time to time.

Opening Hand

In your opening hand you want card draw and resource acceleration. Having a lot of allies or Host is not that important, you will see them soon enough. I always like Steward (which mostly goes on Bifur) plus a way to play it round 1 (Unlikely Friendship or Legacy). Peace, and Thought is also extremely valuable to play round 1! I sometimes play Peace, and Thought even on round 1 and 2, always depending on how well you are set up already of course.

Stuff on Specific Cards

  • Galadhrim Minstrel and Weaver: I said it before, but let me repeat: Managing these two allies correctly is the key to your success with this deck!!!
  • Why only 15 allies? Trust me, anything more (for this deck at least) is win more, they are more than enough to ensure your victory. Adding more allies would maybe include in a bigger victory but it would decrease the consistency of the combo. And a deck which is victorious more often is better than a deck which wins less, no matter how “big“ the victory is if you ask me
  • Why only 2x ToW and Feigned Voices? When you have the combo going, one copy is all you really need and before that, you are not likely to play more than one copy
  • Why no A Very Good Tale, it combos nice with Host? Yes it does, but it is not very consistent when you just run 15 allies and it endangers you of burying your combo pieces in the discard pile

Multiplayer Compatibility

This deck is primarily built for solo but it can be played in MP as well and it should also work in MP as well. The thing that you of course need to watch out for in MP is threat. You usually go up to 40 or 45 threat by round 3 or 4 with this deck and then start to drastically reduce your threat each round from that point on. In solo, -4 threat every round in solo should keep you alive easily, however in MP it is not that simple. Your threat-lowering effects can be applied to other players, but they do not scale with other players. So especially when playing a scenario that taxes you on threat, your partners probably need to be able to reduce threat quite heavily as well. That or you do a bit of sideboarding. Assuming you have the threat aspect covered, the deck is actually a great deck for MP. Celeborns effect is global, Galadriel can be used on other players and your Doomed events can help the other players as well. Other cards like ToW, Feigned Voices, Galadhrim Healer, O Lorien, Woodland Courier or Haldir are also mulitplayer-friendly!

Sideboard

I will cover the sideboard just very briefly, it should mostly be self-explanatory.

  • You can run some other heroes instead of Bifur. They each have their benefits (the Hobbits grant you Drinking Song, MOTK Bombur a -3 starting threat, Gríma can add his ability, Aragorn with Desperate Alliance is very nice for MP) but I overall found Bifur the most versatile and useful during testing, at least in solo
  • The 4 Silvan allies in the sideboard can be subbed in for the 1x allies I run in the deck. I liked the allies in the deck more, which is why I run them in the deck ;)
  • Keys of Orthanc I would include if I include Gríma
  • The One Ring (The Master Ring would be your mastery card) is not worth its downside in this deck after the latest ruling which has its effect take place only after setup
  • The Elvenking can be a nice combo-saver with Weaver since you can return Weaver without a card entering your discard pile. The same goes for The White Council, it can also save an otherwise "lost" combopiece. I would only run them if I would run AVGT to be honest
  • Quicker Than Sight is very useful for quests in which you have enemies that are immune to Feigned Voices
  • Double Back is here for MP only
  • 1x of ToW, The Seeing-stone and Feigned Voices are here if you find your two copies are not sufficient

Conclusion

So, this is the deck. It should be able, with a little bit of practice, to beat most quests in standard and NM mode. Of course, it can struggle especially against the quests that combo decks just usually tend to struggle against, like the “prison” quests where you lose part of your deck or your heroes. However it has a lot benefits compared to the more traditional Silvan decks and I think it generally performs better (at least in solo) than a more conventional build because it is really quick and in a lot of ways much more robust (due to allies not exhausting during the quest each round or the recycling of ToW and Feigned Voices).

Anyways, props to you if you are still reading, I hope you excuse my poor English as a non-native speaker. Have fun with the deck, stay safe, healthy and, as always,

ENJOY!!!

5 comments

May 29, 2020 Alonewolf87 511

Awesome deck, amazing work!

May 29, 2020 The Mormegil 1172

@Alonewolf87Thank you :)

May 29, 2020 doomguard 185

that´s optimizing i would say ^^. nice work. seems not so multiplayer-able with this much doomed, but for solo sure one of the best. did u make Card dum yet? would be interesting to what winrate it manage that. (if you survive the first 3 rounds with all heroes you have it i think)

May 31, 2020 doomguard 185

it seems to me, that host of galadrim will be nerfed to once per round or phase.

to zhe probabilities it seems to me, that ioreth, swordthain, bartering and mithrandirs advice within the first 10 cards is still very unusual. even if you have an average of 1 runes and 1 deep knowledge lets make it 14 cards. seems not very "save" to me.

May 31, 2020 doomguard 185

wrong window, plz delete this post it was the text for the suicide-deck....