Controlled Discard

Card draw simulator
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D4rkWolf10 105

An updated version of my most recent Noldor test deck. I'd like to thank @Authraw and his play group for contributing some very sage advice in terms of improving my last list, and also give a shout out to his blog darklingdoor.wordpress.com, which features thematic decks taking on nightmare difficulty scenarios!

This version of the deck has been pared down from 60 to 50 cards. My initial thoughts with my first iteration of the deck were that since the intent was discard a lot of cards, I would be able to get through 60 cards without a problem. While a good idea in theory, when you have a lot of ways to discard cards, but not many to draw them, it creates problems :). This version features more draw options, two hero changes, which should improve both resource generation and the ability to cycle through the deck quickly, and the removal of some expensive allies and events that I ended up drawing a lot in playtesting and never wanting to see.

Also, no side quests. If the deck functions like you want it to, Elrond's Counsel will get recycled multiple times in the course of a game, giving you a lot of threat reduction, and (again) since your whole goal is to discard your deck as quickly as possible to fuel the cheap play of strong allies, having a side quest which searches for one specific card seems like a poor choice when you could just draw your entire deck instead.

Please note in the comments of any ideas for improving the deck! Again, thanks to @Authraw and his play group for the help with this deck! The first version, while rather unwieldy, was very fun and I anticipate this deck to be the same!

UPDATE 12/17/16: Removed Guardian of Rivendell x3, added Master of the Forge x3.

7 comments

Dec 21, 2016 Authraw 255

Looks more consistent to me! How does it play?

Some assorted thoughts, in no particular order:

  • Now that you have Arwen Undómiel, it would probably be easier to pay for Elven-light, which can help to fuel discard shenanigans.
  • Do you find you get to use Elf-stone often enough to justify 3 copies? My gut says that Vilya and To the Sea, to the Sea! should be enough to get your expensive allies out.
  • Your heroes are much more specialized than in your original version; you might not need to devote so much deck space (7 cards between Light of Valinor, Miruvor, and Unexpected Courage) to readying now.
  • You're doing a lot less discard shenanigans now, so it feels more like a thematic Vilya deck. There's nothing wrong with a thematic Vilya deck, but just for fun, you might consider adding some cards that like to live in your discard pile. The Evening Star tends to be pretty good, and I've had some fun with Veteran Sword-elf lately. I've had mixed results with Elwing's Flight, but you could give it a try, perhaps in place of some of your other readying cards. Maybe even a single copy of Lords of the Eldar for the end game; it's too expensive for the early game, but it can be a useful closer.
  • My gut tells me you could use just a few more allies. I'm quite partial to Sailor of Lune. Erestor is another decent option.
  • I'm often surprised by how many decks don't actually need Will of the West. Play through a few different quests and see if you actually end up running through your whole deck or if you can do without it.

Take all of my advice of that with a grain of salt, though! Nothing beats playtesting to tell you what a deck needs or doesn't need.

Dec 22, 2016 D4rkWolf10 105

@Authraw, thanks for your advice and reviews! They've been very helpful. A few questions, if I may:

1) Why is it that you feel I need less readying effects? Wouldn't the fact that my heroes are more specific in their focus make it more crucial to have readying so they can still quest?

2) I am definitely trying to stay in the discard shenanigans arena, not the Vilya deck arena. Could you elaborate on how you feel I've strayed from the discard theme and how you feel I could get back to it? I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks for taking time to review the deck with me. Merry Christmas!!

Dec 22, 2016 Authraw 255

@D4rkWolf10, you're very welcome! I will elaborate.

1) Well, your heroes have less well-rounded stats now than they used to, so you get less benefit out of readying. Arwen Undómiel has 2 , but doesn't really make a serviceable defender with only 3 hit points. Galdor of the Havens has 2 , which you could get some use out of with readying, but you can just as easily put in allies to attack for you instead.

Elrond, of course, has stats worth readying, what with 3 and needing to exhaust to use Vilya, but how often do you need him to quest, defend, and use Vilya all in one round? Is it worth 7 cards to you (14% of your deck)? Maybe it's personal preference, but I feel like hero readying hits diminishing returns at some point, especially since those readying cards were chosen to the exclusion of other cards.

2) Well, upon a second look through the deck list you do have a handful of ways to discard cards for benefits (Imladris Caregiver, Glorfindel, Arwen Undómiel, To the Sea, to the Sea!) so it will probably still have the discard feel to it.

I think what I was keying off of the first time I read through it, though, was that the Noldor have two kinds of cards: cards that let you discard cards for benefits, and cards that you actually want in your discard pile. You have a nice balance of the former here, but almost none of the latter. That's not a problem, if you like it that way.

I hope that clears some of my thoughts up. :) Let us know how it plays!

Dec 22, 2016 D4rkWolf10 105

@Authraw, I'm planning to actually test drive this deck within the next day or two, as I'm finally off work from now until the 3rd! A couple final things to run by you:

1) If you feel the cards devoted to readying are overkill, are there any you would keep? I do like Miruvor for the versatility of it, but Light of Valinor is also extremely reliable, though I'd only be able to have one copy in play.

2) I see now the difference in the discard shenanigans you were looking for and what this particular deck is doing. The Evening Star and Elwing's Flight do seem like they could function well in a deck like this.

3) Lastly, if I were to remove several readying effects and Elf-stone, is there something you think would be best to include? More allies? More discard heavy events?

Once I hear your suggestions I'll make some final adjustments and take it for a spin. Thank you sir!

Dec 22, 2016 Authraw 255

If I were tweaking this deck myself (and your tastes may differ) I would cut:

And I would probably add in a few more Noldor Allies, Elven-light, and possibly some of the "for every copy in your discard pile" cards.

Dec 22, 2016 D4rkWolf10 105

I'll take your suggestions for a spin and see what it does! Thanks! If it doesn't work or needs tweaking I'll send my updated list your way :)

Jan 11, 2017 D4rkWolf10 105

@Authraw, finally getting back to you on this. My apologies for taking so long, life has been a bit crazy. I just finished taking this deck against Assault on Osgiliath and it performed quite admirably. I had Glorfindel, Gildor Inglorion, and Gandalf cast by about the 4th or 5th turn and continued to power out allies from there. To the Sea, to the Sea! makes it so easy to cast a powerful ally right away. I even survived a round against a really strong Orc (whose name escapes me) that prevented me from using any resources while he was in the staging area and managed to kill him prior to the next round, and that's when the deck really took off. I'm going to take it against the Blood of Gondor tomorrow, but so far looking good! Thanks again for your help! If your partner has not tried this tell her it's a lot of fun!