Denethor's Devious Dale

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Fellowships using this decklist
None.
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.

jtwilliams37 57

Overview: Surprisingly didn't find this hero lineup in any of the current Dale decks, so I present to you Denethor's Devious Dale! I feel like Dale at the moment can be slow to start so we bring Denethor along to give us a leg up on our first turn. I included Steward because I wanted to hold nothing back for our Dale boys, but the deck operates really well without it. If you choose, remove it and Rod of the Steward and add 1x Traffic from Dale and 3x Captain's Wisdom for more resources.

With Brand son of Bain you'll be drawing a ton of cards. Get your Long Lake Trader out so that you can swap around your attachments to the right characters, drawing a card everytime an attachment lands on a Dale character without an attachment. Don't be afraid in the early game to play things on your heroes just for the 1 bonus, because you can move things later with Long Lake Traders.

Bard son of Brand gets your Steward of Gondor, King of Dale, Rod of the Steward and anything else that's spare. With this, you'll be able to pump out a free Dale ally every turn and possibly pay for 1 other ally and still have money left for attachments.

Mulligan For: King of Dale > Steward of Gondor. Your ideal starting hand will have both, along with a mix of allies and attachments. You want to aggressively mulligan for King of Dale or else you risk stalling out. A recovery is possible though, fear not! You'll draw so many cards with Brand son of Bain that it's highly unlikely you'll go lacking for long.

Attack: Attacking is covered by a mix of allies and heroes. Warrior of Dale is your obvious strong attacker, with a Bow of Yew he's hitting for 3 at ranged, with the ability to throw 1 past any defenses. With a Raiment of War he's able to hit for 4 at ranged as well, all on the cheap. Ideally, with King of Dale you'll play your warrior for free, and then Yew bow will be free, and the raiment only costing you 1.

Defense: Your best defender will be Denethor, throw on a Hauberk of Mail, a Gondorian Shield and give him the Arwen Undómiel bonus for a beefy 7 with 4 (since he gains sentinel with Arwen Undómiel he will have the 4 until the end of the round, meaning a partner deck can get him healed if he took 3 if you're quick. Your other strong defender is the Redwater Sentry with a Hauberk of Mail. He'll be a respectable 4 with 4.

Questing: The best man for the job here is your North Realm Lookout. With an item on, ideally a Spare Hood and Cloak or Map of Rhovanion he's questing for 3 without exhausting. One great trick with him is the Spare Hood and Cloak, he can quest for 3, then ready up one of your combat characters in the combat phase. Then you can pass that Spare Hood and Cloak back to him after combat with a Long Lake Trader, setting you up to do it all again next turn! Faramir is a good sideboard option for tough demanding quests that you can play relatively easily with 2 heroes.

Many of the other allies/heroes are in the 2-3 range as well when they have attachments thanks to Brand son of Bain's bonuses.

Resource Acceleration: King of Dale is your big one, once Bard son of Brand is equipped, all of your allies will be free of charge. Steward of Gondor helps since it's another attachment, but it is far from necessary. Traffic from Dale is a great card, easily netting you 5-8 resources consistently. These can be used to hard-cast a Gandalf if you find yourself needing him and without any sneak attacks.

Card Draw: Use your Brand son of Bain ability to your advantage. Send your Spare Hood and Cloak to a Gandalf so that when he leaves play you get your Spare Hood and Cloak back into your hand with Bard son of Brand's ability. Play that Spare Hood and Cloak again next turn for more cards. Rod of the Steward serves as a resource dump for late game resource buildup, use it for even more cards. If all else fails, Sneak Attack a Gandalf for some cards.

Healing: Dúnedain Remedy can bounce between your heroes as needed. This also helps activate the bonus without having to spend any resources. Your heroes health pools are all 3, keep them topped off.

Threat Reduction: 3x Gandalf with 3x Sneak Attack should hopefully be all you need to finish up a game.

Shadow Cancellation: None, Hasty Stroke could be added from the sideboard for quests that are particularly punishing for shadow cards. Looking at you, Peril at Pelegir.

Treachery Cancellation: 2x A Test of Will for cancellation, but many of your allies are fairly meaty so they can weather a moderate storm.

Location Control: Map of Rhovanion helps push down active locations, and Rhovanion Outriders can knock out ones with nasty travel effects in staging.

Misc/Combos: A great combo that I find myself using is with North Realm Lookout/Spare Hood and Cloak and a Gandalf. Mid to Late game, you'll have a lot of resources to throw around, and you've probably used your Sneak Attacks. Pay the full cost for a Gandalf, quest with him, then ready him in the combat phase with your North Realm Lookout/Spare Hood and Cloak so you can get the most out of his 4, 4, 4. Do that as many times as you have cloaks. Then, when Gandalf leaves play, you get those cloaks back into your hand and can play them for free next turn, earning you some extra card draw! I love Gandalf in this deck!

Fellowship: A good partner deck would be one with a strong early game in case you don't get a King of Dale early on and stall for a bit. Extra healing helps. This deck is fairly self-sufficient though so anything works really. You'll probably have extra resources with Steward of Gondor and Traffic from Dale, squeezing in a Errand-rider wouldn't be a bad idea so you can share the wealth. With the right attachments, you have a lot of Sentinel and Ranged so you make a pretty good partner.

Conclusion: So far, Dale seems to perform quite well! I hope you guys get a chance to try out Dale. I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the cycle and seeing what other tricks we'll get for these guys.

4 comments

Jul 11, 2018 Valdemart 1

Awesome idea and very well written. Two quick things in the description: Bow of Yew is restricted, so you can't put it on a character with Raiment of War and you mention readying Gandalf with Steed of the North which you don't run (and Gandalf is not eligible for the Steed anyway).

Was there a ruling about the Long Lake Trader and Brand son of Bain? FFG are notorious about their 'per word differences' with text and right now Brand says 'play' while the Trader says 'move'. I would assume that the draw engine you describe is not possible (The Remedy says 'attach' and not 'play' as well). You can still use the Trader to move attachments around so a Dale character may have 0 attachments again and trigger Brand.

Jul 11, 2018 jtwilliams37 57

Oops, I meant North Realm Lookout instead of steed of the north, that autofill... North Realm Lookout/Spare Hood and Cloak, passing that to Gandalf. And yeah, they either take 1-2 Bows or 1 raiment.

That's a good point on the long lake trader. I'll do some digging to see if there has been an official ruling but I doubt they have yet.

Jul 11, 2018 SamthemanGamgee 104

As of now, playing is putting into play, where as moving it has to already be in play. So moving doesnt count as playing it on a character, as it isnt entering play if that makes sense

Jul 11, 2018 jtwilliams37 57

Yeah, you guys are right, I corrected the deck description up there.