A Bear on Vacation

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Beorn 3366

A viable mono-Tactics deck is a holy grail for this game. So many players have sought it, and it seems always elusive, always just around the next corner. I do not pretend that this deck is a definitive answer to a question as old as the game. Still, the integration of some newer cards does provide this deck with versatility which was not available to early incarnations of this archetype.

Most decks built around the Big Bear have some means for keeping him alive, given that healing is not an option. Another option is simply to switch him from defender to attack in the mid-game, to avoid risking any further damage. This deck definitely wants to maximize his action advantage, so Honour Guard and Vigilant Guard are included to prevent and redirect damage from our dedicated defender.

Given that none of our other heroes has the Warrior trait, Vigilant Guard is intended for one of our larger allies. Boromir is a great target for this card, but the deck is chock-full of Warrior allies, so he is not the only viable target. Many of our allies have 3 hit points, so Vigilant Guard and Raiment of War can give them a massive pool of 7 hit points, along with the ability to redirect damage that is intended for Beorn. Horn's Cry is yet another card that can help Beorn, but the single copy is better saved for the late game, when the Valour effect is much more powerful.

Another new addition to this archetype is Proud Hunters. Because it adds resources to a hero's resource pool without targeting the hero itself, it is one of the few events which can be used on Beorn. Between Mablung's ability and Proud Hunters, the deck actually has a good bit of resource acceleration. A favorite combo is to play a first turn Dúnedain Hunter to gain an extra resource, then play a powerful 4-cost ally like Legolas, Boromir or Eagles of the Misty Mountains. Card draw is provided by The Eagles Are Coming! and Legolas.

It should also be noted that Forth Eorlingas! is actually a proxy for the upcoming event Oath of Eorl, which allows us to attack before the enemy does. Again, because it changes the order of framework steps, this card can work with Beorn. Éowyn's once per game effect is a great candidate for the turn when you play Oath of Eorl - allowing you to clear out all of the enemies before they attack.

With relatively high willpower (for Tactics characters), and cards like Wait no Longer, this deck can meaningfully contribute during the quest phase. Still, the combat phase is where this deck truly excels. Thicket of Spears, Feint and Grimbold can all help avoid attacks. The aforementioned Oath also helps in this regard, so long as we can finish off enemies with our attacks.

Tactics will probably never be the most powerful mono deck (Caldara all but ensures that Spirit will always hold that title), but cards like Wait no Longer and Proud Hunters are improving Tactics decks by leaps and bounds. These events, along with attachments like Raiment of War and Vigilant Guard, are providing interesting decisions for a sphere which was originally very one-dimensional.

10 comments

May 14, 2017 Seastan 8481

Nice deck. With all that resource acceleration and little card draw outside of Legolas, I might suggest mulliganing hard for him, or, since you already have many events, you could include the new Steward of Orthanc which can simultaneously help your card draw and questing while getting your valour triggers on line.

May 15, 2017 Beorn 3366

Thanks, @Seastan. I forgot to mention what I mulligan for - but any deck I build with Legolas is hoping for him in the opening hand. Good call on Steward of Orthanc, in the solo mode of this deck that is an excellent choice for speeding up the draw.

May 16, 2017 thrilliod 1

can't wait to try this out! thanks for putting it together. what's up with the title? seems like a reference i'm not getting (surprising no one!) :)

May 16, 2017 Beorn 3366

I'm glad that you like it, @thrilliod. The title is actually not a reference to anything (that I know of). It's the first Beorn deck I've made where allies do most of the heavy lifting (and helping to keep the bear alive). When designing it, I had this silly image in my head of Beorn in swim trunks, sipping a Pina Colada and delegating while all of the allies busied themselves with his luggage. My mind is a strange place.

May 16, 2017 thrilliod 1

hopefully it won't be Weekend At Beorn's!

May 16, 2017 avexsis 1

I generally don't like Tactics but I used it for Peril in Pelargir, first attempt and beat it. Eowyn soloed the first nasty location with her skill and the eagles Vassals of the WIndlord did all the questing. With other decks I could never pass the very first round overwhelmed by enemies and lack of attack required for questing. The downside was a huge threat gain trough treacheries and no means to counter it. So I think its a great situational deck, thanks for uploading it.

May 16, 2017 Beorn 3366

Thanks, @avexsis. For quests with heavy threat gain (like Local Trouble in Peril in Pelargir), Secret Vigil and Favor of the Valar can be subbed in. I'm glad that it worked well for you, some of the forced engagement effects on enemies in that quest can be painful, but this deck has a lot of firepower to handle enemies.

Jun 11, 2017 NoSoup4you 297

Missed opportunity for a Banjo-Kazooie title.

Jun 29, 2017 WandalftheGizzard 80

@BeornWhat might be a good candidate to sub out for Steward of Orthanc?

Jun 29, 2017 Beorn 3366

Maybe Knight of Minas Tirith, Gwaihir and Horn's Cry, if you want all three copies of Steward.