A Memory of Beren and Luthien

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MDuckworth83 1171

This is a thematic deck that I built specifically to take down "Raid on the Grey Havens" in solo play. It is inspired by the lay of Beren and Luthien from the first age and celebrates the ancient affinity between the lords of the Eldar and the descendents of the high men of the Edain.

RotGH is a super aggressive scenario that pretty much forces you play aggro style and both pump out a lot of willpower fast while simultaneously murdering enemies. This deck does both in spades and does it in a way that doesn't compromise theme...(no Steward of Gondors here!)

So lets get down to business. This is a deck that is largely driven off of the Noldor mechanic (discard for effect), but plays on the natural (and deliciously thematic!) synergy to be found between Dunedain and Noldor.

As is true with most Noldor decks, you will want to get the engine started by taking a mulligan for Elven-light, as this both provides consistent card draw and provides a repeatable discard to fuel Noldor effects. It's really hard to understand just "how" essential Elven-light is to a Noldor deck until you've played it, but take my word for it if you don't already know. The next card you are looking for to really get the engine going is a Silver Harp, as this allows you to recur your discards. The goal is to be able to maximize discard driven effects while minimizing the "actual" discarding of cards. Once you get this Noldor engine rolling, Arwen Undómiel provides resource acceleration and Elven-light provides the card draw. Since this deck is built to incorporate weapons, Foe-hammer is thrown in to provide alternative card draw in case you are struggling to find the above mentioned cards. This might be the first Noldor deck I have ever built that does NOT incorporate To the Sea, to the Sea!, but through playtesting I found it largely unnecessary between the low cost curve and Arwen Undómiel.

In regards to questing, it is boasting 8 potential in its hero line up and half of the allies either have or conditionally have 2 ...so usually not an issue and typically capable of ramping up with the best decks.

In regard to combat, the deck takes advantage of Aragorn's defense reducing ability combined with a Rivendell Blade (or two) on elven allies. It's amazing how quick enemies fall when stripped of 3-5 defense. If you see an early Rivendell Blade, with the 6 combined attack power of Aragorn and Glorfindel, this deck is designed to take down pretty formidable enemies from the first turn if necessary. Elven Spear is icing on the cake and makes Glorfindel positively deadly to most enemies that come off the encounter deck when combined with Rivendell Blade and Light of Valinor (due to always being ready). With Elven-lights and Silver Harps, should be able to consistently provide attack boost for 0 cost.

Defensive options are 3 fold. The first line is Aragorn, hopefully combined with Blood of Númenor...especially given that Arwen can boost up his resource pool to make this card more effective. The next line is one of my favorite cards in the game, the Ranger of Cardolan. These guys are great for popping into play, tanking an enemy with a 5 or lower attack, and then shuffling back into your deck to be drawn and played later (fully healed). The third line are the doughty Guardian of Rivendells, and by the time you can find and afford them without too much cost, they handle your "scrapper" enemies allowing the heroes to focus on the big fish.

I don't see a need to talk about all of the obligatory cards like Light of Valinor, A Test of Will, Magic Ring, or Gandalf...as they speak for themselves and just add power to the deck. I will say that the Magic Ring is particularly useful on Aragorn, as it helps pump him up as a defender by readying him, healing him, and boosting Blood of Númenor!

There are a few "special effect" cards that bear mentioning, two of which take advantage of the presence of both Dunedain and Noldor. The first is Heirs of Earendil and it is bonkers. Literally bonkers. Don't like a non location in staging? Just make it go away...enough said.

Tale of Tinúviel is a little more subtle (but powerful!) and actually took some thinking through to play well. It basically does one of two things in this deck depending on the situation. It either exchanges the action of a weak noldor to ready Aragorn (with a +1 or +2 general stat boost) or Aragorn quests "in place" of Arwen Undómiel (at a -1 disadvantage) to be readied by her with a +3 boost to stats for combat. The latter is typically preferable in a round where fighting is more important than questing. Another marginal use is to ready Glorfindel with a Ranger of Cardolan's action but it's generally a rare play.

The third might surprise some people with it's incorporation but I think it is an extremely underrated card in solo, and that is Flight to the Sea, used to play Wind from the Sea. A lot of players shy away from these type of cards because they provide a delayed and sometimes unreliable effect. That is understandable but this particular card is bonkers when it hits...and with slim encounter decks it hits more often than you think. The card effect is pretty marginal in this deck, as it typically only readies Arwen Undómiel during the quest phase. The kicker is that it doesn't surge, so it blocks an encounter card staging. Let me say that again...it BLOCKS AN ENCOUNTER CARD STAGING! In solo, this can result in a hail mary tempo swing that can (and has for me) completely turned a game around.

Well that is it. I hope you enjoy and may the star of Earendil guide you!

6 comments

Mar 06, 2018 naner 47

Thank you for this beautiful deck ! I'm eager to try it out !

Mar 07, 2018 MDuckworth83 1171

Fantastic, let me know how it goes (and what quests you beat with it)! Feel free to improve on it as well, as there are a couple of different directions I could have taken this deck but chose this one.

I actually plan on putting together a strict Noldor version with Elladan for saga campaign play.

Mar 07, 2018 D4rkWolf10 337

@mduckworth83 This is a very cool looking idea. I like how you have blended the two traits together so seamlessly. I am curious though, since you’re using this combination of traits, did you consider using Star Brooch? That is a card that seems very thematic but underused due it’s specific requirements. I just wondered if you tried it and found it lacking. I am also curious to know if you considered Fair and Perilous as an alternate way to finish off high Def/HP enemies?

Mar 07, 2018 The BGamerJoe 1316

I just ran a game against Grey Havens and won the first time! Nice work.

Mar 09, 2018 MDuckworth83 1171

@D4rkWolf10Star Brooch is actually working against what this deck wants to do. It has no shadow protection and not a lot of consistent defense early on, and is designed to try and kill enemies as they are engaged. I have used Star Brooch before but pretty much only in niche multiplayer Dunedain decks designed as quest decks.

Fair and Perilous competed for the same slot as Tale of Tinúviel since they are both doing a similar thing. With this build, Tale of Tinúviel tends to do more and plays center stage to the deck's theme! I do intend to include Fair and Perilous in the strict Noldor version I intend to create.

Mar 09, 2018 MDuckworth83 1171

@The BGamerJoe I love hearing that kind of feedback! I'm thinking next step is to see if it can handle Ithilien's aggro.