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This must be my 5th interaction with Traps... I've tried them all, with Victory Display, with Rangers, with Silvans... I also tried to get out of Traps and build a cool Silvan mono- deck based on The Tree People but there aren't any good Silvan allies to exploit... so mono- is Traps! And a Hobbit!
Bilbo Baggins must be the weakest link in the Hero pool. I need Rangers or Hobbits for this deck, so let's see who else we could get:
Thurindir is a Ranger and has +1 and -1 than Bilbo Baggins. He also can have conditional boost to his and fetches a Side Quest (Scout Ahead is a good target). As a Hero he's better than Bilbo Baggins no questions asked but... he doesn't provide the card draw.
Faramir would seem the Hero to go with since he's a Ranger and everyone uses him but 11 starting is steep and he provides no help to the plan I want to develop.
Aragorn is another steep fella with not much to give besides a reset. Not part of the plan.
Last, Beravor. Now she is something! For one more she has much better stats than Bilbo Baggins and also can provide card draw, good card draw. She is my fourth Hero and I'm trying out one and other. Bilbo Baggins just stays because he provides unconditional draw but... dunno, maybe she'll get into the deck in the future.
Is simple: draw cards, do not relly much on Traps, avoid enemies, draw cards, kill enemies with shenanigans and/or Haldir of Lórien, draw cards.
And why cards are relevant?! Well, we need a good amount of Traps or shenanigans to avoid enemies and gain tempo for Haldir of Lórien to do his work.
I only play 9 Traps, full playset of Ranger Spikes, Entangling Nets and Ithilien Pit. Ranger Spikes is the most important Trap in the deck, it will avoid us nasty business on our side and keep enemies in the staging area. Entangling Nets is a Trap that can provide tempo, reducing is something really good while Haldir of Lórien is not equiped or could keep an enemy at hand with a smoother . The Ithilien Pit is just because it's a cheap Trap that can provide other bonuses.
I once played with a set of Ranger allies. I dislike them. Not having is just too bad for me. And most of them provided some effects that cards could also provide. That's why the draw is important because I want to keep my allies doing different things Rangers didn't and allowing space for cards to be played.
From the previous deck, Anborn and Henamarth Riversong are auto-includes. With Henamarth Riversong comes also Wingfoot, nerfed but still a good combo. Trigger Henamarth Riversong at the end phase, after combat, so you can see what's the next card in the Encounter deck and avoid Treachery shenanigans like damaging exausted characters.
Trap decks lacks strenght and are crap against location-clog. So I'd have to work on those aspects. Firyal is pure and can also provide Encounter management. Elf-stone can help us get this guy into play. And to boost Elf-stone, and deal with locations I went recruiting some local taskforce, Mirkwood Explorer are just what this deck needed so a mulligan for those to appear in our first hand would be thoughtful.
18 events, all matter, and Scroll of Isildur to repeat them.
I've talked about card draw with Mithrandir's Advice, I've talked about damaging enemies with shenanigans like Expecting Mischief and Forest Patrol (which is the main target for our Scrolls to work) or finishing out a troublesome enemy with Infighting, manipulating the Encounter deck with Interrogation but most important is to avoid enemies and for that I'm using 6 cards, Take No Notice and Advance Warning (and that's why I need mono- and Hobbits/Rangers).
This deck lacks reduction and management. Within I don't see many good options besides Needful to Know. Another option is to play Gandalf through Elf-stone. Also, Gandalf can defend or attack really well the turn he comes in, or, with the help of Mirkwood Explorer abillity, can even Quest if we can put him in play at the proper time.
I've tried Arrows from the Trees and I was not convinced. Sometimes it's a great card while other times is just a dead draw. That's why I left it out of the deck. Also, Secret Paths was the same, it was a tool to minimize location-clog but didn't resolved it, only avoided it for a turn. And I also tried Thror's Map as well, it's a bit better since I could select and pinpoint locations to work with Elf-stone but then I was building a different engine (which I will try to explore later).
As for allies, besides Gandalf as mentioned I'm also testing Elrond but since I'm not engaging that much damage is not a problem, and Gildor Inglorion which is a sweet target for Elf-stone, a great questing ally and his abillity is a bit irrelevant here.
This is my approach on Trap decks. I know most people like to play Rangers and Ranger Bow and go back and forth... but Questing is a thing that kind of decks wouldn't do particulary well and then rises and engagement checks are made and lots of problems start to happen... so I tried to balance the deck as much as I can so I can deal with different aspects of the game and still manage the tempo of the Encounter deck.