Ithilien Ambuscade

Card draw simulator
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WingfootRanger 1339

This hybrid trap and side quest deck has proven excellent in my recent two-handed games for the additional control it provides to lockdown enemies or burn them with direct damage. Enemies are one of the most dangerous aspects of the game, but dealing with them is this deck's strength, in addition to the extra questing power it provides.

Thurindir is a unique throw-in in this deck and he serves to provide everyone with a first round Gather Information, which will not only enable deck searches and a willpower boost to Thurindir but also boosts up Legacy Blade so that Argalad or any other hero for that matter can have an attack boost.

Typically Damrod and Thurindir quest while Argalad stays behind to take a shot at an enemy in the staging area. Enemies are dealt with in two ways: by the traps and also by direct damage. There are many traps in the deck already and Damrod combos with them for card draw, so it is a good idea to search for a Ranger Bow or a cheap ranger ally to wield it when considering Gather Information's deck search. That way the direct damage engine can get set up faster.

The direct damage accumulates from Argalad and any ranger with a Ranger Bow, but if it is not quite enough to preemptively kill an enemy there's the options of Forest Patrol to finish it off if it has a trap attached or Noiseless Movement to doom it to another round of damage in the staging area. Infighting is also especially useful, just stack damage for later on an enemy contained by Ranger Spikes or Forest Snare then move it onto a different enemy for an instant kill.

This deck has high consistency thanks to the boatload of card draw from not only the traps but also Open the Armory for weapon attachment fetching and Mithrandir's Advice and the option to recur it with Scroll of Isildur. The deck should be able to draw into a decent number of tricks without much trouble, the puzzle then is deciding what cards to play based on the board state.

6 comments

Jun 12, 2018 Alonewolf87 23

@WingfootRanger you might even consider putting a second and/or third side quest (maybe fetching that with Gather Information) to maximize their effects, perhaps Scout Ahead for encounter deck manipulation and The Storm Comes if the other deck needs some resource smoothing.

Jun 12, 2018 Wandalf the Gizzard 491

Does this deck well handle the Trap deck's problem of having no hard stats?

Jun 12, 2018 WingfootRanger 1339

@Alonewolf87That's true, some other decks might benefit from other side quests. I just hadn't got around to adding them to the sideboard.

Jun 12, 2018 WingfootRanger 1339

@Wandalf the GizzardCompared to other decks, it provides more control than hard stats. However, in a recent play through of Escape from Umbar, this trap deck was questing for 7-12, which it achieved by the midgame. With a Legacy Blade or two on Argalad and Anborn in play, it can deliver a hit of 6-7 attack.

So it does help with questing, but it is best for the other deck (s) to provide most of the willpower and some combat just in case. This deck primarily makes the enemies easier to manage and decreases the chances of being swarmed by them, and killing enemies in the staging area before quest resolution still indirectly helps create more progress.

Jun 19, 2018 ajax013 1

I love the look of this deck and have been trying to make these three heroes work in solo play, but never seem to be able to get it to make it. I'm curious, what changes, if any, would you make if you were to try this in solo? Would you change up the hero make-up?

Jun 20, 2018 WingfootRanger 1339

@ajax013Adapting this deck to solo play would be a real challenge, since it was designed for multiplayer. I would recommend just building a solo deck. These three heroes could possibly work in solo, but defense would be a significant hurdle since enemies will still engage you occasionally. I would look at good defensive allies like Treebeard and Guardian of Rivendell which are playable in mono-. Another option is changing out Argalad for Amarthiúl which is a hero that can work well in trap decks.