|Card draw simulator|
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|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|My the Black Gate Opens deck - saga||1||0||0||1.0|
The sagas are incredible quests but can be very unforgiving. Upon reaching Flame of the West, I went online for some deck inspiration, and found that not a lot has been written on this expansion (unless I'm just very bad at looking). When I got to the final quest, Battle for Pelennor Fields, I looked for advice and found none. I therefore want to share this deck that I used to beat the quest, and discuss some strategy for others who get stuck. I will assume you are familiar with the quest structure in the discussion.
How to pilot the deck:
Stage 1B. For the ideal opening hand, you will have 2 allies you can cast, A very good tale, Steward of Gondor and gondorian shield. Mulligan if you don't have at least two allies and a very good tale. Resource accelelation/smoothing is nice, but hopefully not strictly necessary. If you play campaign, Eowyn will get esquire of Gondor, meaning that Wealth of Gondor can be used on all three heroes. On the first two turns, before the attack begins, you cast your two allies, then activate a very good tale, which should hopefully net you two more allies. If you get lucky and find a second very good tale, you can repeat in turn 3.
Stage 2B: Here. you will discard cards from your library until you find an ally not in play. Hopefully a beefy ally will be discarded (Gandalf, Beorn or Glorfindel) with plenty of HP to take a few attacks from Wraith on wings. Sometime in this stage, you should have a gondorian shield to give to Beregond, giving him a defense of 6 so he can take repeated attacks from Wraith on wings. Engage Wraith on Wings, take attacks with Beregond and use your ally swarm to kill it. Stay for as long as possible in this stage, to remove resources from the corsairs, allowing Aragorn to enter play as soon as possible. Don't progress until you have killed Wraith on Wings. It should be noted that several encounter cards revealed here are almost immediate resets - Black Serpent or War mumak from the onset are most often too difficult to deal with together with the wraith.
Stage 3B: Here enemies will add up fast, so be prepared to deal with them (by having lots of allies). Unexpected Courage on Beregond is nice, but as I only have one core set, it's a one-off. If threat gets too high for 5B (if you have Harad enemies coming) make it a priority to find Gandalf and play him for threat reduction (ideally with Sneak attack first of course). Otherwise, focus on clearing the staging area for the final stretch.
Stage 4B: Between Aragorn with banner of Elendil and Faramir, willpower can easily get very high. Use that to clear any remaining enemies.
Stage 5B: focus on killing the witch-king quickly and then quest. Beorn+Eowyn should take you a long way towards killing him. Block him with Beregond and a chump (ideally Glorfindel as he can be played from the discard pile). Your willpower should be sufficiently high to ignore the spawning Harad enemies in the staging area.
Some general advice for the deck: Resource smoothing/acceleration: The boost provided by Denethor is essential in playing sufficiently powerful allies. His ability to donate resources is also very efficient, especially with Steward attached. When he has Steward, use him to give a resource every round to the other two. Use Legacy of Numenor to give an inital boost, but beware of the threat increase. Use a good harvest to cast 4-5 cost allies early (or re-cast Glorfindel) and wealth of Gondor if you need the extra bump. Using the resources from Treebeard is also very efficient in casting Skinbark, but I didn't include more ents as they enter the battlefield exhausted, and are thus less optimal for A very good tale.
Blocking: Use Beregond with Shield of Gondor for blocking or Glorfindel as he can be recast. Treebeard can also take some damage.
Threat Reduction+Card advantange: Use the good ol' swiss army knife Gandalf if your threat runs high. Otherwise he is very efficient to blast enemies such as the southron champion, or net you cards. I found Legolas is also very efficient for Card draw as so many small enemies appear, and can thus easily be killed.
Condition removal: Use power of Orthanc to remove Black Darts, or Griveous Wound if that is in play.
A very good tale might land key attachments in the discard pile. When you have used all your good tales and Gandalfs, use Will of the West to reshuffle.
A final note on Song of Wisdom+Heed the dream: My initial deck had both Deep knowledge and Daeron's runes. I also played around with the idea of including strong Lore heroes such as Gildor. As these cards got removed, I realize the remaining cards are a bit reduntant. However, I still like being able to pull out any card from the deck, using 3 leadership resources from Denethor's gigantic resource pool. Also, song of wisdom is a nice target for nasty treacheries removing an attachment. I therefore kept them in the deck.
If you made it to here, I hope you liked my write-up! And I apologize if the write-up contains any rule errors - I'm still learning my way around the game. Have fun!