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I started playing LOTR since it’s initial release and even from the base box, you could tell they were trying to push an eagles deck on us. And like everyone else I tried to make numerous eagles decks and they all just fell flat. I feel like since the beginning of this game there has been this collective desire to build and play a competitive mono tactics eagles (solo) deck. Since the beginning, I’d say there has been two major issues with solo mono tactics eagles decks:
1) Not enough willpower and questing
2) Expenive eagle allies
I will say that after the release of this latest pack, I think Meneldor has single handedly made solo mono tactics eagles decks not only viable but actually very powerful. It’s triggered ability of placing two progress as he comes in or leaves play shores up one of the major weaknesses of a tactics eagles deck before. His ability is massive and shouldn’t be understated. There are many ways this deck tries to utilize his ability including things like Born Aloft, Meneldor's Flight, or even the ability of Gwaihir.
This deck also tries to account for the more expensive eagles allies as well as the desire to want to replay many of these allies over and over from a classic tactics hero Hirgon. This deck makes excellent use of his ability. There’s rarely not a turn that I’m triggering his ability which over the course of the game pays huge dividends and really makes playing and replaying these awesome eagle allies a real possibility.
To further support the overall questing and willpower of the deck we’ve got hero Éowyn. It should be no surprise she’s a rockstar in this deck as she’s widely known to be a top tier hero for tactics. Her low starting threat and 4 willpower make her a force to reckoned with.
Since the release of Grimbeorn the Old, I’ve been addicted to using him. I generally build pure solo decks and he’s an absolute monster in a solo deck as he can effectively handle both the defending and attacking phase of the game which gives me the freedom to usually focus on questing or whatever else with my other heroes. I’ve posted multiple decks with Grimbeorn the Old now so look at some of my other decks to get more comments on him. But he’s amazing and this deck tries to leverage his ability to the highest degree possible.
I’ve played this deck through 7 quests so far and it’s been dominating them. This deck has so much versatility too. I can quest successfully, see what came off the encounter deck, and depending on what i see I can pivot my strategy. Maybe I pull a location so i trigger Hirgon ability to play Meneldor to place some extra progress on that location. Or maybe i reveal an enemy so I trigger Hirgon again to put into play a Descendant of Thorondor to put extra damage on that enemy. This combined with a Bow of Yew or two on Grimbeorn the Old means he’s more often than not one-shotting enemies with his ability.
All in all it’s just an incredibly fun and powerful deck to pilot. I truly get that sense of eagles swooping in and out of play helping me out which is a blast. I like how there’s plenty of room for creative and strategic play with this deck as there’s a lot of decisions to make and timing to work out to maximize gameplay.
I have a sneaking suspicion the eagles archetype is not done and that we’ll be getting a little more love for them this cycle. So this deck will be tweaked as i see fit as more tools and options become available. But for now this is the solo mono tactics eagles deck I’ve had the most success with. And it’s a deck i truly want to keep playing because of how fun it is.
As always, let me know your thoughts and ideas about the deck. Game on