Tactics is Making Progress

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GrandSpleen 431

A multiplayer combat deck with a good amount of location control utility.

Gandalf serves as a defender with a Gondorian Shield and Shadowfax (or extra attack or willpower if the defense is not needed). His passive ability helps you draw; don't forget to use Wizard Pipe to put a card on top of your deck, rather than play it, if you were simply going to play it from hand. Playing cards off the top of your deck helps get through your deck faster. Gandalf's Staff will usually be used to give a resource.

Legolas will take a Rivendell Blade and a Blade of Gondolin. He also wants Arod. Hands Upon the Bow works as pseudo-questing if it eliminates an enemy from the staging area (and adds progress via Legolas' effect as well).

Hirgon of course gets The Red Arrow.

Now, the location goodies. Arod of course is one of them. Legolas and a Blade of Gondolin work on the active location.

As for the staging area, use Hirgon to put Meneldor in at a discount, placing progress on a location that just popped out during questing, or one that was there previously. Take him back into your hand with Flight of the Eagles. If you have Gwaihir in hand, use Meneldor as a chump blockers. Then play Gwaihir at a cost of 4 to get two more uses of Meneldor for no additional cost (and then play him again!).

If you are at 40 threat and have the Red Arrow on Hirgon, you can do that for free. Use the Wizard Pipe to put Gwaihir on top of your deck before you quest. After questing successfully, trigger the Valour response on the Red Arrow, getting Gwaihir into play for free.

I like to play a Beorning Guardian at cost 2, then use its discard ability to place progress. Then use a Beorning Skin-changer to bring him back (and do it again at need). Of course, you can just use the Skin-changer to get the Guardian into play from your hand, but it feels like I've used the card to its fullest if I fire off that ability more. Remember that the Skin-changer does not have to exhaust to use his ability! Go ahead and use him to quest, attack, or defend a weak attack even. If you use Hiron's +defense ability on the Skin-changer when you get him into play, he can tank up to 4 attack from an enemy and still swap out for the Guardian later.

The main problem this deck has is resources. You're doing many expensive things. Hirgon is a discount, and Gandalf's Staff is important, but still you end up wanting more than you have.

I took it up against Beneath the Sands two-handed. The location control aspect got shut down initially by encounter card effects, but once that got cleared up I was able to remove other locations and questing was never a problem. The deck can handle enemies, but swarming enemies (like those darn spider broodlings in that quest) can cause problems if you don't have enough defenders on the board.

We're starting to see a nice variety in terms of what tactics decks can do. The now ubiquitous lineup of Theoden, Eowyn, Hirgon brings willpower and a shell of a deck which can be fleshed out into a more traditional combat role, or which can actually handle a questing on its own. This is my first crack at a tactics location control deck--- it turned out OK, but we might see this get even stronger down the line if more support is developed for it. An Eagle discount, or a card which otherwise helps for for Eagles, would do a lot of work there (not you, Radagast).

4 comments

Nov 29, 2018 Wandalf the Gizzard 669

I would add ally Beorn, just for fun with the Skin-changers!

Nov 29, 2018 GrandSpleen 431

There is definitely some fat in the deck that could be trimmed, so Beorn would be able to find a home here. Personally I like keeping him out, because it means the skin-changers are only really useful for the guardians, so I’ll have the deck doing more of what it was intended for (placing progress)

Nov 30, 2018 eldub 261

Seems hella fun. I'd love to see a "place direct progress" deck combined with a direct-damage deck.

Nov 30, 2018 GrandSpleen 431

Had a win 2-handed against The Ring Goes South, which is location heavy. I paired it with a willpower deck but purposefully kept location control out of that deck. This deck did its part, although its location control is definitely not on par with what you would get from a typical spirit/lore location deck. It is a fun alternative though!