Death! Death! Death!

Card draw simulator
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stokesbook 1144

Death! Death! Death! or "At the Whim of the (Horse) Whifferer"

"And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City." - Return of the King

So this deck primarily sprang for an urge to get some use out of Battle-fury, and ended up evolving into a deck that had a whole slew of cards I hadn't had a chance to play with before, Dúnhere being one of these. Given that Battle-fury allows an attack during the Quest phase and Dúnhere can attack into staging right out of the box he feels like a great target for the fury.

Opening Hand:

As we're primarily a deck that revolves around having our heroes do the heavy lifting we need to focus on getting them the tools they need to do so as soon as possible. Elfhelm's global bonuses are great, allowing mounts and songs to perform double duty as a a cheap stat buff like Dúnedain Mark or Dúnedain Warning. So we're going to need to get those mounts as soon as possible. To that end Westfold Horse-breeder should be the first thing you look for in your opening hand, and unless your hand is flush with mounts, should probably be aggressively mulliganed for.

Now the Horse-Whifferer, as she's become known in certain circles of the community has a tendency to not deliver a fine mount to your hand, often regardless of how stuffed to the bit your deck is with them. So we're going to include a little insurance so we get a little more than 3 attempts at grabbing ourselves a pony.

At the Table:

Continuing me trying to use a bunch of cards I've never played with, we have Born Aloft, a little bit of a maligned card in the community as it's caused more than it's fair share of infinite whatever shenanigans and got a bunch of innocent cards errataed, but in this case nothing so exploitative. We can use Born Aloft to bounce the Horse-Whifferer back to our hand for another shot at drawing a mount, as much as we need to.

However we might get lucky and draw all the mounts we need very early, in which case Born Aloft might seem a bit of a dead card, but we have another couple of targets that can also make use of it. If we've managed to squirrel away the resources to pay full cost for Éomund, and haven't managed to push him under a rampaging Múmak, we can use Born Aloft to trigger his response "precisely when we mean to".

And as we're paraphrasing grumpy Wizards, Gandalf is another potential target, if we've had to pay full cost for Gandalf because we haven't seen sign of a Sneak Attack in a while, we can pull him back to hand rather than losing him to shadow at the end of the turn.

So the primary schtick for the deck is chucking mounts around the table, the text tool in our arsenal is letting Dúnhere charge into the staging area. Once he has a mount, ideally Rohan Warhorse, but a case can definitely be made for Windfola or Snowmane, paying the kicker for Battle-fury is going to let him attack into staging, and commit 2 (maybe even 3 with Windfola) willpower to the quest

You have a lot of flexibility with how you're assigning your mounts too. Snowmane is a great target for anyone, though probably ideal on Éowyn, Elfhelm is also great though probably better to have his 2 restricted slots as an Armored Destrier and a Golden Shield

Songs are pretty important to the deck too, we have quite a few effects where our heroes can ready, Snowmane, the Armored Destrier or Éowyn's own action etc, so the song's are going to help our (hopefully) mounted heroes get a little extra kick out of their secondary stats. As we don't have much in the way of resource acceleration, the smoothing provided by the Songs is going to be very useful too.

An upcoming pack in the Haradrim cycle has spoiled some new Song support cards, and some of those would be a great fit for this deck, particularly Burst into Song. https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2016/10/28/the-black-serpent/

Sideboard:

The sideboard is a little slim, and I think maybe given how strapped we are for resources the bigger cost allies might be little more than emergency Sneak Attack targets, so the Errand-rider in the sideboard might be a better option than Ceorl, Déorwine and Háma

Song of Kings shouldn't be necessary for resource smoothing given the low cost and number of cards but some quests may need a beefier defender and setting up Éowyn with a Golden Shield might be a better option.

One card I didn't include in the sideboard, because I think it's generally a bad card,is Terrible to Behold, if Éowynhas Snowmane AND readies after questing AND doesn't need to contribute her 2+ base attack to an attack, you COULD use Terrible to Behold to defend/cancel an enemy attack before pushing the enemy back to the staging area so Dúnherecan trample it. But again this is so situational a use for that card I don't think it even justifies the sideboard slot.

8 comments

Dec 22, 2016 TheChad 788

Now THIS is a cool Rohan themed deck!

Dec 22, 2016 speder 1

I like it - I prefer more ressource and card draw - but it has some really interesting combo's. Especially the Born Aloft / Eomund /Horse whifferer. I will build these into my Rohan Fellowhip - I'm more uncertain about Dunhere - never could make him work proper. Thanx for posting.

Dec 22, 2016 Authraw 663

Love it! Does this deck work solo?

Dec 22, 2016 stokesbook 1144

@AuthrawIt's not hugely consistent against a lot of quests first turn, so probably one to avoid for solo against more recent quests

Dec 22, 2016 Authraw 663

Ah, that makes sense. Okay, second question: Do you prefer Battle-fury to Quick Strike in this deck? Do you ever find yourself paying for the kicker?

Dec 22, 2016 stokesbook 1144

@AuthrawI mean yeah, technically Quick Strike is probably the better card overall, but the whole goal of the deck was to play cards that are just sitting in the binder that never get played. We've had, in my opinion, so many sub-par cards in recent cycles that I want to at least play them once or twice before I leave them to languish in a deck box somewhere.

I will say that as we're, hopefully, going to have a mount and song on each hero they can all quest somewhat respectably. Also Éowyn as a target means you can exhaust her for the attack from Battle-fury, ready her during the attack with her action, then if you pay the kicker she's questing AND ready for later in the turn, albeit without the +9 attack for her action. But again this only highlights perhaps how niche/corner-case some of these new cards have been

Dec 29, 2016 christottey85 53

@stokesbookdo you know of any good decks this pairs well with for two handed? Something that compliments it's flaws? I'm excited to try it, do you think there's enough cards left in the pool for a second rohan deck to accompany it to relative success?

Dec 30, 2016 stokesbook 1144

@christottey85I haven't tried it with this deck yet but here's an old Rohan themed one of mine that should work well with a few tweaks ringsdb.com you'll probably wan't to ditch the Raiment of War in exchange for Armored Destrier. The lack of Ranged between the 2 decks might be a bit of an issue though