Elrond / Gandalf / Arwen Undomiel for the strongest solo dec

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Elrond / Gandalf / Arwen Undomiel for the strongest solo dec 2 2 0 2.0
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Rouxxor 1049

This is the deck I train with since many years. Based in Elrond + Vilya I'm able to play a free card each turn. I try to get the best card possible (like Beorn, Gildor of Boromir) each turn so I'm quickly able to defeat anything. But I play only a few of them so the major part of my deck can still be played very easly by the regular way: paying them.

With Gandalf hero this deck gain a lot. Not only because he can play a lot of cards from top of the deck (a lot of Card Advantage) but also because we know alway know what we put with Elrond.

The third hero is clearly the most arguable. Glorfindel take the spot during a large period but gaining ressources is too powerful. Galadriel can also be played instead but is not that great here.

With this deck I have played and success in every scenario, nightmares includes. He doesn't have any real weakness. Is most important is the threat but we play a lot of cards to maintain it under a reasonnable level. I only feel the inconvenient in "Back to Mirkwood" nightmare. The only other problematic scenario are the most difficult in the game (Dol Guldur nightmare, 5 armies nightmare).

We got a bunche of powerful attachments that you mulligan for. First of all vilya, the most important card in your deck. But light of valinor and gandalf's staff are really good too. The first one have to be play on Elrond, the staff usually give ressources in the first places then discard shadow cards in a preemptive way. Unexpected courage is particulary powerful in this deck where heroes have crazy stats (3 in each). Getting a second utilisation of Gandalf each turn and a third of Elrond is very interesting. Wizard pipe is used a few time to put back on top exepensive cards in hand but is also used to optimize an use of Gandalf (like put back a test of will or hasty stroke so we can use them on the proper phase, or do the opposite in order to play an ally from top during organisation phase so we have draw the event). Steward of Gondor is the only card that can only play from top. We only play it after long test of different way to gain ressources and we were surprised by it efficacity. It is not mean to be play on the first one but even in Mid-Game it help a lot because you are not really limited by the number of cards you can play each turn (thanks Gandalf) but more by the number of ressources avaible.

We play only a few events even if they are the best cards to see with Gandalf because there is 6 more phase were you can play events than attachments, allies or quests cards. Daeron rune is for me the best card of this game but it even more crazy when played from top: you just draw one more card for 0. Elrond's counsel is a good help to reduce threat and gain will even at the beginning of the game. A test of will are not always a key card but in some scenario you just loose if you have not a lot of them. So there is no way I play less than3 of this. Cancel the only card revealed by encounter deck for only one ressource et one card is really strong. Don't be afraid to do it on treachery who just replace themselves so there will be nothing this turn.

Allies are the most complicated part of this deck obviously. We try to play the best, but not a lot of big allies. We also want small allies to stand the ground at the beginning (quest, kill enemies or die when block). Imladris stargazer seem unrelevant since Gandalf but not at all. You even can settle a perfect turn so you play the right cards at the right phase. You alway need 3 of them. Envoy of pelargir can put ressources where we need them and 1 where we want on the turn one. Every other ally just are the best at their spot.

Thanks for reading me.

10 comments

Apr 01, 2017 scotblue 19

Just played this against "Passage Through Mirkwood" for a quick sesh. Went pear shaped quickly with Ungoliant Spawn coming out on the first turn followed by a ton of other enemies. Still this deck held out despite my first time playing any of these characters. Can't wait to try it out against the other quests!

Apr 03, 2017 The White Wizard 357

If you are only using one copy of Bilbo, maybe you should add another Wizard Pipe.

Apr 03, 2017 Rouxxor 1049

@scotblue I don't fully understand your report. It is nice if you enjoy playing this deck :). When you know how to manage it it could be boring to play against some scenario (even among the nightmare) so we can discuss what are the most difficult scenario :).

@The White Wizard In another version I do so but here with the steward of gondor tech and so many big allies it is really important to get them. And if you get bilbo after the first pipe you can discard the second one to get one ressource with Arwen.

Feb 02, 2018 Sprotte 1

@Rouxxor How do you manage attacks in the first round, like in Journey Down the Anduin against the Hill troll?

Feb 02, 2018 Rouxxor 1049

Rarely with with a Beorn, usually defending with Elrond or Gandalf, and keeping a resource for hasty stroke or using gandalf's staff to remove the shadow if can manage to do so. With warden of healing I will be able to heal Elrond and/or Gandalf by 2 point each time so I will be able to block it a long time this way. Sometime I prefer to sacrifice a envoy of pelargir so I'm able to kill in in the turn, and I can manage the +5 threat with all those galadhrim greeting and elrond's counsel.

Feb 02, 2018 Sprotte 1

Ok, but this need a good starting hand and at the Morgul Vale you have to defend Mugash and eventually another enemy. It's a good deck for sure, but against some szenarios I don't see any chances because of the threat value of 36

Feb 02, 2018 Rouxxor 1049

For Beorn of course, and this is why I say rarely ^^. But I do not need a good hand to defend with Elrond or Gandalf. I do not need a good hand to sacrifice a small ally in a particular case (two enemies on turn one for example).

You are right pointing that the negative aspect of this deck (his high threat level) is also dangerous because of the enemies engagement check. But these quests are not those who afraid me the most, some "Ithilien" is most dangerous. I often don't go questing on turn one just to be sure to handle the fight.

About Morgul vale I have played it a long time ago and the most problematic part of this adventure was to be able to counter things, to avoid the last lieutenant to fully heal. There is not that much deck who can do it well and this deck is one of them. I also can bring a lot of attack very soon. I think it can compete with the other powerful decks for the most brilliant in this scenario.

About Journey Down the Anduin I ever made some stats against the nightmare version. I must admit that I was playing with Glorfindel back in this time so only with a eldrond counsel I can escape the troll. But I have still 9 win on 10 games on this adventure.

I recently made a campaign with the 20 scenario of the saga (12 of them are nightmares) , I'm on the 16 and I still haven't any defeat. So I'm more confidant than ever about this deck :)

May 12, 2018 Seastan 19347

After playing a lot with different Vilya decks, I think Éowyn is a better choice than Gandalf.

Advantage Eowyn:

  • Starting threat 28 makes Nightmare Journey along the Anduin easier (avoid Hill Troll)
  • Starting threat 28 makes Nightmare Morgul Vale easier (avoid Mugash)
  • Starting threat 28 makes Nightmare Return to Mirkwood easier (threat is often the cause of loss)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Nightmare Return to Mirkwood easier (can kill Attercop if it shows up early)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Nightmare Carn Dum easier (can clear the starting location causing battle questing)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Nightmare Battle of the 5 armies easier (allows you to make progress on the battle quest on turn 1)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes City of Corsairs easier (can kill Stormcaller on turn 1)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Nighmare Raid on the Grey Havens easier (can kill Sahir's Ravager on turn 1)
  • 10 makes Nightmare Into Ithilien easier (can clear the active location on turn 1 and avoid engagement)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Nightmare Rhosgobel easier (can kill the hunter on turn 1)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Nightmare Nin-in-Eilph much easier (kill the Marsh Dweller on turn 1, then build up for several turns with Vilya. Choose Hidden Eyot as starting location so Dweller does not come back for a while).
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Nightmare Shadow in the Past easier (kill the Black Rider on turn 1 then you can ignore hide tests until another rider appears)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Nightmare Passage of the Marshes easier (defeat Gollum on turn 1)
  • 10 on turn 1 makes Pelennor Fields easier (defeat Wraith on Wings with Eowyn+Gandalf ally, then you can build up your board with Vilya in stage 1 because your ally in the staging area no longer takes damage)
  • 10 from Eowyn makes Nightmare We Must Away, Ere Break of Day easier since she can almost kill the Troll that limits number of attackers to 1)
  • Using Eowyn instead of Gandalf means that you can put ally Gandalf in your deck to be played with Vilya

Advantage Gandalf:

  • Gandalf lets you be more confident in your Vilyas early on, which can be a big help. But I can't think of any specific quest where Gandalf has a significant and obvious advantage like the examples above.

And I think one advantage that Gandalf has can be matched by the Eowyn version just by making the deck with a high concentration of powerful allies so that Vilya works just as well in the early game.

May 15, 2018 Rouxxor 1049

Thanks to come and explain your view.

I think you focus on the positive point. Like showing how to attack but not how you block at first. You have few small allies and few ways to ready Elrond. And no Gandalf hero (a good blocker too). So as you haven't notice that Gandalf make draw (by playing cards from the deck, it is card advantage) a lot of cards. It is both useful to have many cards in play and to find the right cards. very useful, especially since Arwen make us discard cards from hand on the same time. The high concentration of allies (not all that powerful, exhaust treebear, eagle of misty mountain or northern tracker can't compare to Harad for example) lead to many game where you play your cards very slowly. I know that well because it is vilya as it where played anytime until Gandalf. You don't even play quickbeam who is as powerful as 4 cost allies.

In my version we can get stuffed really fast by using at first powerful attachment that you haven't. I get many things to do even without Vilya.

Anyway I will have to playtest Eowyn version if I want a real and complete point of view on this matter. And I can't manage to get enough time for now so this have to wait. I'm not convinced but this is making me curious :).

May 16, 2018 Seastan 19347

Defending is not a problem, since Arwen can survive a 4 attack and Elrond can survive a 6 attack. Yes, Gandalf would be a better defender for 7 enemies, but with Eowyn your threat is only 28 so you can just leave such enemies in the staging area until you are ready. Do you have an example of a quest where being able to defend for 7 is better than having only 28 threat?

I cannot think of any quests where quickly playing a powerful attachment like Steward or Gandalf's Staff and drawing a few extra cards in the first turn with Gandalf's ability provides a better benefit to the early game tempo than Eowyn.

It's pretty simple really. Eowyn surprises the encounter deck by killing 1-2 enemies in the early game. By the time the encounter deck has recovered, Vilya has flooded the board with allies. This is most obvious in the examples I listed above. In City of Corsairs it is not expected that you will be able to kill the Stormcaller on turn 1. Doing so breaks the quest. Same with Shadow of the Past, Passage of the Marshes, and many others. Even in a quest with no specific enemy that starts in play, being able to kill the first enemy that appears will give you some extra turns to use Vilya, and that's all you need.