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|Rohan Rises Against The Shadow (Heirs of Numenor, 3rd Cycle)|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
This is a deck that successfully took me through the whole 3rd cycle (Against the Shadow) in 2-handed play. It specializes in questing, readying and support on offense and defense, and is paired with a battle/siege Rohan deck called “Rohan Siege and Battle” that I’m publishing as well.
Concept : ready questing heroes, ranged/sentinel support
Legolas’s ability + Light of Valinor on him + Snowmane on Théoden mean that you’re going to have Legolas, Theoden + another hero of your choice questing in ready stance almost every turn (usually Éomer during battle questing, or Erkenbrand during siege questing). The deck is expected to play with Elfhelm across the table to boost the mounts, so Legolas quests for 2 with Steed of Imladris, but he’s also good at battle questing right out of the gates. You could also consider adding a copy of Mirkwood Long-knife, although I didn’t really need it during my recent plays.
The second most valuable aspect of this deck is Theoden’s sentinel keyword and Legolas’ ranged keyword. I needed a ranged , and the only other one was Lanwyn, who was good but less reliable. Legolas’ offense means that you can usually find a way to dispatch a strong enemy engaged with the other player, such as Murzag in The Morgul Vale, on turn 1.
Theoden is pretty fragile as a sentinel defender, so I usually only defend with him as a sentinel when the enemy has had its shadow card discarded by Armored Destrier. To boost him, I included 3 copies of Arwen Undómiel. She can also make Háma a sentinel defender in emergency situations, or any chump blocker really.
Still, the deck is pretty weak in combat. It expects to be protected from enemies and shadow effects by Erkenbrand from the other deck.
The allies : Gamling and massive readying with Eomund
The ally part is built around 2 cornerstones : Gamling recycling Háma or The Riddermark's Finest, and Éomund. Theoden’s cost reduction means that the Gamling / Háma combo can be repeated and if you only purchase Háma every turn, you’ll still be able to accumulate resources for other stuff.
Éomund is used with Ride to Ruin to trigger massive readying across the table on demand. The combo can be pretty hilarious. In Assault on Osgiliath, it can be easy to win turn 1 or 2 in 2-handed play, if the other deck has Rohan heroes as well. With the Ancient Harbor in the staging area, The King’s Bridge as the active location, just defend all attacks, then use Ride to Ruin to explore The King’s Bridge (you can, since it is not in the staging area), then ready all Rohan heroes and claim The Ancient Harbor by exhausting 5 of them.
Westfold Horse-breeder is also incredibly valuable, as she comes free thanks to Theoden.
Card drawing and discarding with Legolas/Eowyn
I identified 2 probable scenarios. Either you have Elven-light or you have Silver Harp. In the former case, you can keep discarding Elven-light to trigger Legolas, Eowyn and/or Steed of Imladris, and buy it back, so you could potentially draw 3 additional cards per turn. Silver Harp is there in case you don’t have Elven-light to pay for the triggers.
Theoden’s high threat has one nice side-effect : it makes Inspiring Presence good. You can use it to blow through siege/battle quest stages, or during combat. In my last play, I used it to beat The Morgul Vale in the last round, paying for its second effect with the resources of the player. It is a game-winning card that is worth holding onto.
For quests without battle/siege, it could be replaced by Astonishing Speed.
3rd cycle considerations
I included 2 side quests in this deck (+ 2 others in the other deck) to allow myself to quest normally. This can be very useful in The Siege of Cair Andros, where normal questing helps explore Battleground locations, freeing the defenders from questing duties and letting them do what they’re supposed to do.
The quest log will be published in the Fellowship containing this deck. Link : Rohan Rises Against The Shadow (Heirs of Numenor, 3rd Cycle)