The Rise of Erebor

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WingfootRanger 1612

This is a fun dwarf deck that I have been playing solo for a bit now because I wanted to try using core Gimli again. It makes me think of the aftermath of the Battle of Five Armies, and the rebuilding of Dale and Erebor after the events of The Hobbit. Dwarves are returning to the Lonely Mountain and elves have come from Mirkwood and from farther away to visit Dain and his people. Even Gandalf also pops in now and then, and Erebor is fast becoming a sustainable kingdom again.

This is a dwarf deck but not quite a swarm deck, it is much closer to the tempo style of play. It gets most of its from dwarf allies, but other cards can give temporary questing contributions such as Gandalf, Elrond, or Durin's Song. Dáin Ironfoot is here to stay ready and boost the dwarves most of the time until he defends. Gimli should eat some early damage so he can hit back hard with 5-6 attack. Bifur quests every round and his ability will be used to pay for those 2-cost dwarf allies as soon as they are drawn most of the time.

The plan for the early game is to play some dwarf allies to ramp up the and plan Dain and Gimli's purchases based on what cards are drawn. Henamarth Riversong, Orophin, and Legolas are the silvan allies included for the sake of Unlikely Friendship and they have useful abilities with the exception of Orophin typically. We Are Not Idle also gives free card draw and maybe a resource if necessary.

Be sure to get Gimli damaged early on, and Ring Mail can go on him or on Dáin Ironfoot depending on whether you may need more defense or more attack from Gimli's ability. Cram typically goes on Dain in case he is exhausted before questing or needs to defend twice, but can be great of Gimli too. Close Call is a handy card for stopping excessive damage when dealing with a hero such as Gimli who wants to risk some damage. Quick Strike is fantastically useful when Gimli can slay the enemy before Dain has to exhaust to defend, and he often will.

Ranger Spikes is another helpful card for managing enemies while aiding questing as well. Like the Sneak Attack Gandalf combo, Durin's Song is flexible and can give a temporary boost to whichever stat is most important at the time. Strider's Path can be a useful card for snatching a location with a bad travel cost, and if there is no active location when it is used it will often mean that the location will be explored that very quest phase.

This deck uses old heroes in a new deck that is a bit different from many of the standard ways of playing dwarves. With Gimli as the main offensive hitter, that much more room in the deck is open for cards that are not focused on combat specifically. I enjoy the deck's flexibility and it has had some favorable wins against Escape from Umbar, Beneath the Sands, and Foundations of Stone among other quests.

4 comments

Oct 17, 2018 The Purple Wizard 240

It seems core Gimli is a forgotten hero these days, but he's still really good. Glad to see him getting some love here! I may have to build something with him again soon myself as it's been a long time since I've seen him in action. Quick Strike is a great choice here too

Also nice to see dwarves and elves getting along! Do you find that it's easy enough to get one of the elves in play quickly enough to make Unlikely Friendship a worthwhile goal?

Lastly, you mention Ring Mail in the description but it's in your sideboard here. Did Vigilant Guard edge it out?

Oct 17, 2018 WingfootRanger 1612

I find that there are enough silvan's in the deck that it rarely if ever stays a dead card, so Unlikely Friendship is a helpful card here.

As far as Ring Mail vs Vigilant Guard, I tend to use Vigilant Guard but switch to Ring Mail depending on the quest if I would rather have more defense on Dain.

Oct 17, 2018 Goggen 14

I'm sure Quick Strike will often work great, but I don't see where it has any advantages over Feint, and in some cases in the early-game or against boss-enemies the opposite might be the case. Any reason you chose as you did?

Did you concider adding some Greenwood Archer? Granted, they're not unique, so would probably have to replace something other than the current silvans, but they have really nice synergy with both Sneak Attack and We Are Not Idle.

Oct 17, 2018 WingfootRanger 1612

Quick Strike can kill enemies before the combat phase even begins, so it can cut down on the amount of archery or other effects that happen during the combat phase. Feint also works well for stopping power, except in the cases where the boss enemy is immune. And anyway, since I was using Gimli I figured it was a good opportunity to let Quick Strike shine.

It's true that Greenwood Archer could fit well in this deck. The hard part is deciding how to make room for them, maybe remove a Durin's Song and a Strider's Path? It would require more testing.