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|Mono Tactics Hirgon||1||0||0||2.0|
This is the third iteration of my Mono-Tactics Hirgon build. I, like a lot of people, love what Hirgon has done to the Mono-Tactics archetype.
This was initially built as a Solo Deck (and can still function that way) but I have recently paired it with a Hobbit Deck for my 2-Handed Solo Campaign (I'll post that Fellowship sometime in the future).
Hirgon, Théoden, and Éowyn can quest for 11 out the gate, so this deck can spew out its fair share of willpower. Once you quest successfully just start playing the allies that are most suitable to the situation at hand, and you're good to go.
Opening Hand and Mulligans
You're most likely going to need a defender in your opening hand (or an ally you are willing to chump). You can look for either Longbeard Sentry, Defender of Rammas, or Eagles of the Misty Mountains in your opening hand. If you don't see any of those, feel free to throw it back. If you are in a multiplayer game and know that another player will need help, then Longbeard Sentry will be an even better option than the other two. Seriously, that guy has done some work for me.
Aside from defense you're going to need some gas, since this deck is a little light on card draw. Legolas and The Eagles Are Coming! are your card draw options. Legolas is obviously a little more straightforward and helps in more multiplayer games, while The Eagles Are Coming will not only bring out all the Eagles but also thin your deck a bit, allowing you to draw into more gas. If your hand already has a smattering of valuable allies, then you may not need to worry about card draw.
Strategy and Synergies
Both the deck's strength and weakness is the variety of allies, and therein lies the strategy. A lot of the allies come in at just one or two copies a piece, allowing for a decent spread of abilities and interactions.
On the defensive front, Longbeard Sentry is slowly becoming one of my favorite allies. His stats are pretty decent, and when he has a Raiment of War on him, he can turn into a worthy defender. I've rarely felt his discarding ability cause problems, and sometimes they have fueled cards like Gwaihir.
Eagles of the Misty Mountains is another insane defender once it gets going, and if you mulliganed for The Eagles Are Coming! then your particular playthrough may take on an Eagles theme, which is totally alright once this guy is down. Aside from questing, he can quickly become the best attacker and defender around.
The usual Defender of Rammas is included and so is Winged Guardian to further strengthen the Eagle trait. A single copy of Boromir is included and I have been enjoying him almost as much as the Sentry, especially when paired with my hobbit deck.
Surprisingly, this deck is weaker on offense than defense, and so you can tweak the numbers of allies around to your liking. Eagles of the Misty Mountains, again, can get crazy, and your card draw engine Legolas can help clean up enemies as well.
The damage in this deck often comes in spurts, instead of big blowouts, with cards like Azain Silverbeard, Descendant of Thorondor, and Galadhon Archer chipping away at enemy's health. There are a decent number of ranged characters included and so Rúmil has a chance of dealing some significant damage if need be.
I won't go in to the eagles, even if they are their own strategy, since they are spread out between the above two categories. I'll just quickly cover a few more key cards.
Support of the Eagles is great for when you have questing under control and you want Théoden to become your chief attacker or defender. Or heck, throw it on a neighboring Tactics hero and let that player enjoy the stat boost. Last Stand is surprisingly useful, turning our offensive ranged characters into spikey defenders. Chump block a Marksman of Lórien and you get to pseudo "crack back" for 3 damage. It's a great card in a pinch and, is pretty flavorful.
Speaking of the Marksman of Lórien, she is great with Hirgon. At a discount of 2, you can play her, boost her attack to four, and lower an enemy's (most likely just revealed from questing) defense by 2. In most cases, this will surely kill an enemy. Knight of Minas Tirith can make use of Hirgon's ability to bring down enemies after questing and kill them instantly.
The sideboard is essentially cards I have cut for various reasons (but some still have a worthy shot in the mainboard). In a Solo Game, or appropriately paired decks, Steward of Orthanc becomes a much more reliable source of card draw. Book of Eldacar can recur your events if you feel you need it, and Golden Shield and Raven-winged Helm are included for when you absolutely need Theoden as a defender.
This is probably my current favorite deck to play. It's ability to quest for 11 out the gate is extremely helpful for multiplayer games, since my meta seems to be light on the questing power at times. And when you have that player who has a Merry, or Prince Imrahil, or Mablung, you find that you can generate a surprising amount of willpower from the tactics players.
Being able to play all these incredible allies at a discount is loads of fun and with the prevalence of the Sentinel and Ranged keywords among these allies, you take on a support role in combat as well instead of just taking all the enemies yourself.