Side Order of Dunedain

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stokesbook 2099

Side Order of Dúnedain

Opening Hand:

This deck has a lot of the usual Dúnedain engagement tricks, but we're slanting heavily towards the new side quest support rolling out in The Haradrim cycle. One of the primary downfalls of the side quest cards is that they don't do anything until a side quest is in the victory display, so they clog up your early hand. Thurindir is going to give us a side quest for free on setup, but we need to keep that ball rolling. So our ideal opening hand should have The Road Goes Ever On and an Heir of Valandil.

Your choice of opening side quest is going to probably boil down to The Storm Comes or Prepare for Battle. The Storm Comes is great for Dunedain who have a lot of good allies across multiple spheres. The Lore cost curved of the deck is very low so being able to use his excess resources for allies is a godsend in the early game. In the late game with Heir of Valandil and you're engaged with 2 or more enemies you can drop 2 very high cost allies in the planning phase.

At the Table:

It's a slow burning deck to be sure, your opening WP for questing will probably be around 4 which isn't great for solo but should do the trick 2-handed or multiplayer. One of the primary issues with the deck is that you often have excess attack power as you won't want to kill your engaged enemies. A few early turns of an extra resource on Amarthiúl can really set you up for the late game, especially with Thurindir's resources being mostly idle.

Three is your sweet spot for enemies in the start of the combat phase and killing at least one so you have two still engaged when your next planning phase rolls around. But sometimes the enemies you have are too strong to be defended indefinitely, so you should be engaging an enemy every turn if possible, and Halbarad's ability to optional engage an additional enemy will help you cherry pick some weaker enemies to hold engaged with you while you bring your attack power to bear on the tougher foes.

Sneak Attack is primarily here for some hefty card draw with Sarn Ford Sentry, if we've engaged with 2+ enemies, you should have no trouble paying for her regularly with Thurindir's resources slowly building, The Storm Comes and Heir of Valandil, but the Sneak Attack will give you an extra burst of card draw. East Road Ranger is also a decent target, as ideally you'll do the bulk of your side questing in the first few turns and you may not be setup to pay full cost for her in the early stages of the game, so Sneak Attacking her in during the Quest Phase can give you a boost to WP to help you get over that side quest hump.

Vigilant Dúnadan is a fantastic card, once your first side quest hits the victory display, and another compelling reason for The Storm Comes to be your first side quest to ensure you can afford to play him early. Being able to cover all your weaker enemy defenses wth a single character is a huge boon and still having his 3 attack to help 'thin the herd' is great value from a single ally.

Often you'll have attack power idling in the combat phase because you don't want to kill all the enemies engaged with you, and your only ranged damage is the Fornost Bowman so unless your partner deck has some way of granting you ranged, you're likely to have a few characters left idling at the end of the turn. So depending on the quest you could probably sub in A Very Good Tale or Peace, and Thought for some extra card draw.

Sideboard:

I don't usually proxy any cards very often, but I'd been pretty negative on the side quest cards up till and during the the release of this cycles preview articles. So as this cycle seemed to be attempting to reinvigorate what I felt was a 'shaky' archetype, I proxied in many cards that had been spoiled in the articles. Now that Race Across Harad has been released the only card missing to 'finish' off the deck is Legacy Blade, which doesn't drop until pack 5, The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat, once that pack comes out I'd drop the Dúnedain Mark for 3x Legacy Blade.

Legacy Blade and Steed of the North can turn Thurindir into a beast, allowing him to quest for ideally 4+ and then attack for as much as 5 on his own as long as you engage an enemy, which this deck has no trouble doing. However if you don't see the Steed early then Halbarad is also a good target for the blade as after the first turn he should always be questing without exhausting.

Aside from the changes above, the sideboard cards for the most part completely change the make-up of the deck, for when the scenario is very side quest unfriendly, and you might only manage to complete 1 over the course of the game. We're going to push the signal mechanic a little more subbing in Rune-master. Dour Handed is almost certainly a dead card in this scenario, so maybe find some room for the extra weaponry with Sword of Númenor to fuel Goblin-cleaver if you want to keep some hand direct damage in your back pocket to finish off a troublesome enemy that's engaged with you, maybe even before you need to defend it.

6 comments

Apr 04, 2017 Kilie 34

Nice deck, but why not 3 copys of the side quest that you dont pull whit Thurindir at setup. Thiy way you have a much bigger chance to get it. And whit The Road Goes Ever On, you can search for the limit 1 card per deck cards.

Apr 04, 2017 stokesbook 2099

@Kilie Thanks very much. I think it's better to mulligan for one of the 3x The Road Goes Ever On to make sure you get 2 side quests early than packing 3 of each and letting the 'dead'copies clog your deck/hand. If you really struggle to draw extra side quests you can dig for them with Heed the Dream. The problem with side quests is still that they are dead cards until they've been completed, so rather than waste a draw later in the game drawing a side quest you don't have time to complete or worse still already completed, it's probably more efficient to fish for the single copies. Hope that helps

Apr 07, 2017 OKTarg 146

While I appreciate the idea of using Dour-Handed, I feel like Feint is so strong in an Amarthiul deck. You may also consider Grappling Hook for some extra quest power since, as you say, you have extra attack power usually laying around.

Apr 07, 2017 stokesbook 2099

@OKTargyep I put it in just because it's tied to the sidequest stuff. While I still think it's a pretty bad card when it's showed up it's helped. But yeah Feint and Grappling Hook both stellar choices to replace it

Jul 19, 2017 Patterick 1

Awesome I really want to try something like this. You think this could Solo a few scenarios or is it 2 player only?

Jul 20, 2017 stokesbook 2099

@Patterickthanks! It doesn't really work too great in solo to be honest, especially against more recent quests. Taking more than 1 or 2 turns to clear your first sidequest would probably put you behind the 8 ball too much. The early game willpower of the deck is a little low, and leadership and lore don't have a great deal of 2+ willpower allies you can drop on the first turn to help you over that early hump