Three Armies, Eagles, and a Giant Bear: a thematic Bo5A deck

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The Battle of Five Armies
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Men, Elves, Dwarves, Eagles and Beorn - Battle of 5 Armies # 0 0 0 1.0
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Estel Edain 188

This deck was designed to accompany Thorin and Company for the conclusion to my thematic playthrough of The Hobbit quests. Since Thorin's deck has all the treasures, I could afford some unconventional choices for the sake of theme. I also decided to limit my options while playing.

Specifically, this deck included 6 allies for each of the three armies that were present at the start of the battle: Dwarves (Veteran of Nanduhirion, Longbeard Orc Slayer, Veteran Axehand), Elves (Mirkwood Runner, Galadhon Archer, Defender of the Naith), and Men (Ravenhill Scout, DĂșnedain Watcher, Beorning Beekeeper). I don't allow myself to play any Eagles until I've put into play at least one ally from each army. Similarly, I don't allow myself to play Beorn until I have Eagles in play. (I also wait to use Eagles and Beorn if they enter play early through A Very Good Tale or the encounter deck.) These restrictions make the beginning of the game a bit more challenging, but they give a sense of progression to the battle (like the excellent Battle of Five Armies boardgame).

I have Thorin's deck start as the first player, and Bilbo Baggins immediately fetches Bilbo's Magic Ring and then either Orcrist or Glamdring for Legolas. With Orcrist's resources and The Arkenstone on Bard, it's not difficult to play the allies drawn by Glamdring and Foehammer. Siege questing can be a bit tricky, but the cheap events (especially A Very Good Tale) help the deck to snowball. I try to ensure that Beorn gets the final blow on Bolg.

Thematically, Legolas is filling in for Thranduil. It makes sense for him to have Orcrist, since the Elvenking confiscated it when Thorin was a prisoner. It mostly makes sense for him to have Glamdring, since Gandalf fought close to the Elvenking during the battle. Since Dale and Esgaroth are not developed traits (and I don't want too many off-sphere cards), the human allies are a bit of a stretch. The singleton allies are included because they fit well thematically (the Veteran's flavour text, a Mirkwood elf, and a Dale ally). Similarly, the singleton events are each connected to a different "army" (counting the Eagles as an army) or to the thief in the night who helped to unify the armies.