Last Guardians of Arnor

Card draw simulator
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Beorn 3366

Finally, I've been able to build a pure Dúnedain deck that like enough to post. I've been trying different hero lineups, and there are many builds of this archetype which work well with non-Dúnedain heroes (e.g. Damrod with traps). While there is certainly no requirement to use only Dúnedain characters, I took it as a challenge worth pursuing.

It should come as no surprise that the key hero is Aragorn. Not only are his abilities perfect for building an "enemy engagement engine", but his artifacts provide the extra spheres we need to be able to play all of our allies. First and foremost, the goal is to get Sword that was Broken attached to Aragorn. From there, we have a multitude of options for getting our supporting allies and attachments in play. Steward of Gondor is the most direct, allowing us to pay full price for our ally support, but Heir of Valandil can work just as well, especially once we have an engaged enemy rendered harmless by one of our traps.

In a pinch, A Good Harvest can be used to help pay for an expensive card, Ranger of Cardolan and Gandalf also help in this regard, being neutral. Our Leadership and Tactics events are designed help get us out of trouble, Sneak Attack, Descendants of Kings and Feint can also provide breathing room when there are simply too many enemies. Once Amarthiúl has a Destrier and we have at least one defensive ally in play, this deck should be able to handle combat against most quests.

Don't be afraid to sacrifice an Errand-rider or Dúnedain Hunter if it means that you can trap a more troublesome enemy in a Forest Snare to reap long-term benefits. As with most Dúnedain decks, this deck can struggle against archery and/or forced effects which punish you for leaving enemies in play. This archetype is simply not appropriate for some quests.

Questing starts slow, but with Celebrían's Stone, Sword that was Broken and Warden of Annúminas it should finish very strong in the late game. With a relatively high starting threat, Gandalf is mostly used for threat reduction, though Sneak Attack can allow you to take full advantage of his versatility. Card draw is quit strong in this deck, anchored of course by Beravor. Once you have questing sorted out, she can dedicate herself to that purpose. Heed the Dream is an amazing card in the mid to late-game, making it relatively easy to shore up whatever weakness you have at the moment.

The decision to include only two copies of most cards was intentional. Not only does the level of card draw make three copies unnecessary, but with two copies we have a wider array of solutions to different problems. There is definitely a more consistent version of this deck featuring three copies of power-cards like Steward of Gondor but I sometimes feel bored with decks that are hyper-consistent but lack much variety. In this case the self-imposed limitation of a single Core Set (2x copies of Celebrian's Stone technically violates this...) forced me to branch out a bit and the result is a deck which I quite enjoy playing. In most cases, a card like Steward of Gondor will be superior to Heir of Valandil, but the exceptions are often your most entertaining games. I tried this against The Long Arm of Mordor and it performed quite well, so I am curious to hear other players' feedback.

9 comments

Jan 11, 2017 The White Wizard 271

Do you think this would work well solo? I'm still trying to figure out a good solo Dunedain build that does not rip off a Seastan deck. :)

Jan 12, 2017 Beorn 3366

It survived The Long Arm of Mordor solo, so I would say that this deck can work in solo against some quests. However, quests that require a fast start with questing or punish you for leaving enemies in play are going to be a real challenge for this deck. This is particularly the case in solo, where you cannot rely on any other deck(s) to cover your weaknesses. Sailing quests from the last cycle are an example of a bad fit for this deck - you don't have enough allies or action advantage outside of combat to handle consistently pass the sailing tests. Are there any specific quests that you had in mind?

Jan 12, 2017 The White Wizard 271

I was mainly thinking Nightmares, specifically Blood of Gondor Nightmare. I always seem to struggle with that one.

Jan 17, 2017 DazeMan 310

This deck is really cool, and thematic as well! Always look forward to your decks. Is the non-inclusion of Greenwood Archer for thematic purposes? I feel like that and Beravor were made for each other.

Jan 17, 2017 Beorn 3366

Yes, I only left out Greenwood Archer because it is not a Dunedain card. The archer pairs so well with any hero that has an exhaust effect (and other things to spend it's actions on), but I was trying to keep this deck as pure as possible (the Errand-rider was my only concession).

Apr 04, 2017 NicoDante 1

Beravor was errata'd remember, once per round only :(

Apr 04, 2017 Beorn 3366

Yes, indeed. Still, two extra cards per round is quite powerful.

Apr 05, 2017 The White Wizard 271

Finally figured it out! ringsdb.com

Apr 05, 2017 The White Wizard 271

Wrong Link. Sorry. ringsdb.com