Secret Dwarves are Fun Dwarves

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emorlecallor 827

Looking back through my paper decklists that I used in the dark ages before the dawn of RingsDB, I found this Dwarf deck. At the top of the paper was written: "Fun Dwarves- A Two-Hero Dwarf Deck Without We Are Not Idle or Modern Allies."

Now this title may seem strange, but you have to understand that I believe that aside from Dain Ironfoot, We Are Not Idle is the most broken dwarf card out there. Its near limitless resource gain combined with Lure of Moria makes it incredibly broken, so much so that even Seastan had to fall back on it in his newest discovery in how to break the game.

The other self-imposed limitation that I put on the deck other than omitting We Are Not Idle was forcing myself to work with a limited card pool. All of the decks I have published here so far have been using the entire card pool, but this does not necessarily reflect the card pool of everyone that plays the game. As many know, this game can eat your wallet with ease, and so not everyone is inclined to buy all the expansions as soon as they are released. Therefore, this deck uses cards from one core set, the first two cycles, and the two Hobbit boxes. That's it. I found it refreshing to work with such a limited card pool, as it opens up uses for cards like Boots from Erebor and To me! O my kinsfolk! that are often not used in modern decks, but are still quite good and are just waiting for a good opportunity to be brought back into relevance.

So with that out of the way, this is my take on a secrecy dwarf deck. Normally, such a thing would be considered counterproductive, as the magic 5 dwarf threshold is much harder to establish early on. However, this is mitigated by the fact that there are only 5 cards in the deck that need 5 Dwarves to be special, which is less than 10% of the deck. The deck instead focuses on using Nori's ability to keep threat down, allowing Secrecy to be active for the first few rounds. And with Timely Aid fetching allies from the deck and Resourceful providing a very cheap resource accelerator, the two-hero build starts looking more like an advantage than a constraint.

The deck has three "cornerstones" it uses: Song of Wisdom, Resourceful, and King Under the Mountain. However, most of these cards are not what you want to see in your opening hand. The best cards to mulligan for are Resourceful and Timely Aid, since their secrecy discounts can be used in turn one to help get the deck up and running from turn one. Once Resourceful is down, it should be very easy to begin playing Dwarves, allowing for you to stall nearly forever thanks to Nori's ability. Then, Song of Wisdom can be played to help play all of the dwarves in the deck, while King Under the Mountain helps to find more Dwarves to play down.

Other cards in the deck are just Dwarf allies or events. The most notable among these is likely Longbeard Map-Maker. He can be played once Song of Wisdom is down (or be cheated into play with Timely Aid or A Very Good Tale) and is useful for using excess resources left on Dain and Nori after the deck has been drawn through and all Dwarves have been played, which happens more often than you might think considering the fact that this is a turtle deck.

I took this deck up five times against Journey Along the Anduin and won all five times. I killed a Marsh Adder four times, Ufthak three times, and encountered the Double Troll situation all five times. My turtle strategy is partly to blame for this, but it's still pretty good. As another note, I did finish in Secrecy three of the five games, which I felt was decent considering the copies of Pursued by Shadow that always seemed to show up when I had an army of Dwarves and no resources to use Test of Will.

Enjoy the deck!


Dec 22, 2016 Gerrymander 104

Very cool. This gives me some ideas on how to run a dwarf/Strider deck! Thanks for sharing!

Dec 22, 2016 WingfootRanger 1327

Very interesting take on dwarves. I actually feel like trying this, since the more classic dwarf swarm decks have a "been there, done that" feeling for me.

Dec 22, 2016 emorlecallor 827

@Gerrymander Thank you! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

@WingfootRanger Thanks! I will say that you probably shouldn't get your hopes up that it won't swarm. It does, it just does so slowly and likes to take its sweet time drawing large amounts of Dwarves, unless you get a copy of Legacy of Durin. The deck is rather more focused on staying in Secrecy, allowing for the discounts on Timely Aid and Resourceful. If you want to focus in on Secrecy more, you can add in Leaf Brooch and Swift and Silent to get more long-term Secrecy benefits, but since I was working with a limited card pool I could not include them.

Dec 23, 2016 BenoitPoulin 3

I just love it! I really enjoy the 2 limitations you choose to put on yourself! Especially the 1 core set... :D

Dec 23, 2016 emorlecallor 827

@BenoitPoulin Thanks!

Dec 26, 2016 BenoitPoulin 3

Did you ever try to play through the Hobbit Saga (the whole 6 scenarios) with these decks?

Dec 28, 2016 emorlecallor 827

No, I did not. I imagine it would have trouble with Over the Misty Mountains Grim that start off with high threat cards in the staging area that quickly ramp up the deck's threat. You may want to use a companion deck.