Leading Dale to Glory

Card draw simulator
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Beorn 4733

The new Dale archetype has various interesting facets, many of which are still being discovered. King of Dale is the lynchpin of these decks, and it has two aspects in particular which a worth examining. Potentially reducing the cost all the way to 0 makes it easy to play a Dale ally for free each round, starting from the first or second turn. Additionally, not requiring a resource match means that we don't need to include heroes from different spheres, allowing for powerful mono-Sphere effects.

It is this second detail which this deck is designed to exploit. Thanks to Wilds of Rhovanion, Dale has quality allies from every sphere. I wanted to take advantage of Lord of Morthond for consistent card draw every time I use King of Dale to play a , or Dale ally. We obviously need King of Dale in play before Lord of Morthond becomes an effective form of card draw, so I've included Galadriel, Gandalf and Rod of the Steward as supplemental card draw effects. With so many excellent attachments, Galadriel is particularly effective in this deck.

Like all Dale decks, the general idea is to get King of Dale and at least two other cheap attachments on Brand son of Bain. At that point, we can easily play one Dale ally per round without worrying about sphere match or cost. In other Dale decks, I've found they can stall if you don't draw the right mix of allies and attachments. With 27 attachments, we shouldn't run out of tools for our characters, so the key will be maintaining a steady stream of allies. This is where Lord of Morthond is designed to act just like Legacy of Durin does in a Dwarf deck.

Every time we play a non-Leadership Dale ally, we draw a card. If that is another Dale ally, we can hopefully play it. If it is an attachment, we can give it to one of our Dale allies without an attachment and draw a card with Brand's response. Ideally, this allows us to draw a large number of cards and field a massive, well-equipped army of Lake-men. Because King of Dale is a Spirit attachment, we have CelebrĂ­an's Stone and Song of Travel to provide the sphere match to pay for it. Still, my favorite way of getting it in play is a first or second turn Galadriel. This also allows you to stack the top of your deck, to setup the perfect mix of allies and attachments.

One note about proxies. Brok Ironfist is a proxy for the spoiled but not yet released Wiglaf ally. Additionally, DĂșnedain Warning is a proxy for Squire's Helm. There are more tweaks to optimize the engine, but I believe the core concept has merit.

15 comments

Jul 04, 2018 IstariKnight 2

Really neat idea. I never even thought of Brand's ability to play off-sphere allies comboing with Lord of Morthond. Roheryn might be an upgrade to Song of Battle, but I could also see why you might need to tap into tactics with minimal cost.

Jul 04, 2018 Beorn 4733

Roheryn is a great choice, for the Tactics sphere. The one reason I went with the Song instead was that it can attach to Brand and help count towards King of Dale reduction. Against quests where Aragorn can kill engaging enemies, Roheryn is the superior choice.

Jul 04, 2018 IstariKnight 2

Great point regarding King of Dale. I haven't had time to craft a Dale deck yet. Still have a tough time remembering which Dale cards stipulate :Item: attachments versus those that do not. Do you have access to any other character attachments? It looks like 1-2 more would smooth out the numbers.

Jul 04, 2018 Wandalf the Gizzard 505

Wow, no events!

Jul 04, 2018 SamthemanGamgee 104

Cool deck love the new dale archetype

Jul 06, 2018 Flrbb 32

There is one event you should consider: Strength of Arms

Jul 06, 2018 Beorn 4733

I agree that Strength of Arms is a good fit for this deck, that is why I included it in the sideboard.

Jul 08, 2018 The BGamerJoe 990

I got to play a few games with your deck and I featured it on my blog: lotrdecktest.wordpress.com

You can really crank out some solid willpower numbers with Bard and Sword that was Broken when you're set up! Bringing in Faramir from the sideborad could really make this crazy!

Jul 09, 2018 Beorn 4733

Thanks, @The BGamerJoe ! It was nice to read about how it worked for you. I agree that it is not always worth all of the hassle to setup Lord of Morthond, I really built this deck as a personal challenge to try something different. Two copies of Erestor ally are definitely a great call, the only reason I left him out was to try and stay with the theme - from a strategic standpoint he is an excellent choice.

Jul 09, 2018 The Broken Meeple 1

Gave this a try the other night through the first two Rhovannian deluxe quests. The first one gave me the closest finish ever with a near dead Aragorn, 49 threat and near dead Waldan also. T'was my first pilot, but I found the relentless stream of enemies including 2 Wolf Packs and not to mention a Hill Troll early on caused me some grief as the deck didn't draw its essential cards very quickly.

Lost in Mirkwood however was a different story, couldn't have asked for better starting hand and I quickly drew into 3 Galadriels! :P In fact the only key I was missing was Lord of Morthond but I survived fine for most of the game without it. Had to bide my time for Quest 1A, but breezed through the other quests and despite sacrificing a couple of chump blockers to the Nemesis Chieftain - the swarm I had essentially dog-piled him for the win.

Observations:

(1) Don't get your key cards and ouch! However both games I found myself with a hand of junk as all the key cards are uniques. Don't think the LD sphere has an effective way of using excess cards though. . . .

(2) Denethor after setup and early game kind of loses any importance unless you are getting swarmed especially if you're quick at getting Sentries with Hauberk Mail out there.

(3) Other than Aragorn, undefended attacks are a problem as 3HP is low for the other 2.

(4) Steward of Gondor and as always Voltron Aragorn are sick! :P

All in all, I'm enjoying this as I've never usually been reliable with Leadership as a sphere, typically focusing on Spirit or Lore. Should carry me nicely through the third quest!

Jul 09, 2018 Beorn 4733

Nice writeup! Yes, the issue of duplicate uniques is a real problem. It doesn't fit the theme but I agree with @The BGamerJoe's suggestion of using ally Erestor to discard duplicates and hopefully draw into more useful cards. This deck is going to be weak against certain quests, and going mono-Leadership it will lack the versatility of the more traditional 2 and 3 sphere Dale decks. However, I believe it will excel in multiplayer as a questing deck with some combat support. That is how I plan to use it in our Austin LotR group, and I'll report back and let you guys know how it goes.

Jul 09, 2018 jtwilliams37 57

How do you find Necklace of Girion? I am curious to try it out but with my luck I feel like I'd never see it.

Jul 10, 2018 Beorn 4733

I added one copy as a test, and it hasn't really proved useful yet. I could add more copies to give myself a better chance of seeing it, but this deck already has issues when it draws too many duplicate uniques. With King of Dale and Steward of Gondor I don't really need the Necklace, so I might end up dropping it for a copy of ally Erestor.

Jul 10, 2018 The Broken Meeple 1

In the two games I've had, I've drawn that necklace but never wanted to put it out. If I draw a location I'm happy, but I'm paranoid I'll draw some rock hard enemy and then adding the staging on to that in solo mode I'm worried I'll get too may enemies to contend with and this deck is definitely a threat time bomb. Replacing it with 1 copy of ally Erestor sounds like a plan - I know that theme is compromised, but Aragorn gets on with all races so maybe it's his new companion or maybe it's just someone they meet on their travels or someone who wanted to visit Dale, I don't know. After all, I still find it humourous that in the 3rd quest prologue we get to meet Lord Brand.............errr hang on, we've been travelling with you the last two weeks, did you just forget that? :P

Jul 10, 2018 jtwilliams37 57

Yeah, that's what I worry about with the Necklace of Girion... although, since it's Guarded (Enemy or Location), maybe that could get some nasty treacheries discarded for you? Hm... something to ponder...