The Hunt For Gollum Solo

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mttrchrds 15

A solo deck capable of beating The Hunt For Gollum with regularity, using only core and Shadows of Mirkwood cycle cards.

Heroes

As always, Éowyn is mainly here for her questing ability. Attach Celebrían's Stone if it surfaces to boost her questing ability (don't prioritise this, there are more important cards early on). Also Song of Kings and Steward of Gondor would be attached to her ideally (these two are priority cards, so attach them asap).

Frodo Baggins' main responsibility is defending. Attach Fast Hitch to him as soon as possible. This enables us to both quest and defend with Frodo Baggins, or even defend twice if necessary.

Bilbo Baggins is mainly here for the card draw, but is a useful secondary defender when required. Attach a Fast Hitch to him if a second appears, but it's not a priority.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is the bulk of this scenario. Be prepared for it to take a while to finish. Our strategy for stage 1 is to avoid the extra card draw on successful questing until we have built enough willpower (allies) to power through the stage 2 in as few attempts as possible (ideally 1!). Doesn't always work out that way depending on what the encounter deck reveals, but most obstacles can be overcome. Having Henamarth Riversong is incredibly helpful if we can get him into play early enough. When we have him, we can exhaust him every round to see what the encounter deck will reveal and match the threat so we don't have to face the response on successful questing. If we can't get Henamarth Riversong out, make a judgment call on every questing phase - the objective being to match the threat revealed. Go under rather than above if you're guessing. Don't be afraid to add threat here if necessary - we have a low starting threat, and lots of cards to reduce this: 3 x Gandalf, 2 x The Galadhrim's Greeting (and a Dwarven Tomb to resurface The Galadhrim's Greeting).

Priority allies are Elfhelm (to help deal with enemies revealed) and Northern Tracker (to gradually grind down inevitable locations in the staging area). Both aren't cheap, but make our life so much easier. Obviously, getting Steward of Gondor out as early as possible helps during this process of building out our allies. Rivendell Minstrel is quite expensive (especially with only a single Lore hero) but is mainly a back up plan to get Song of Kings into play (and then Steward of Gondor) if it refuses to appear from the deck - therefore we only bring her into play if Bilbo Baggins doesn't have anything else to spend his resources on.

This is a very "location heavy" scenario, and they can flood out the staging area if not managed correctly. As mentioned, Northern Tracker is vital to help keep this under control - as are: Snowbourn Scout and Strength of Will. It is prudent to save any Secret Paths for an Old Ford in staging for late in the game. Similarly, Radagast's Cunning should be saved for a potential situation of a Hunters of Mordor in staging with 2 or 3 Clues in play.

If a Hunters from Mordor comes into play early on, we engage asap. The key to beating these enemies with this deck is getting them into combat while their attack is still 2 (i.e. before a Clue is in play). Frodo Baggins can easily soak the 2 damage and any excess shadow card damage (even if it takes multiple rounds, this is preferable to losing allies or heroes taking damage). If Clues are in play, then we need to start thinking about meat shields (Snowbourn Scout, Wandering Took or Erebor Hammersmith). Always discard Hunter from Mordor if given the option.

As a rule of thumb, we try to avoid taking a Clue into play during stage 1. If this card appears as an option upon a successful quest in stage 1, discard it. Having Clues in play early on will really hamper our progress with the damage and threat buff it gives Hunters of Mordor (remember that there are 5 of them in the encounter deck).

Don't be afraid to push on into stage 2 even if we don't have a Clue in play yet. As I mentioned earlier, if we feel we have enough willpower out to confidently get the 8 required tokens down at any point, do it.

Stage 2

We need to be wary about questing this stage if we don't yet have a Clue in play. If we have him, use Henamarth Riversong to see what the encounter card will be during staging. Once we have a Clue (or if we entered stage 2 already with one) we want to push on through this stage asap. Escort from Edoras, and a Sneak Attack with Gandalf can help getting over the line. Put everything into questing if necessary. If Frodo Baggins (and Bilbo Baggins) have Fast Hitch then they can defend anything the encounter deck throws at us.

Continue to build allies if waiting for a Clue.

Stage 3

Usually, stage 3 will be completed in a single round. If we've had enough willpower to power through stage 2, we have more than enough to power through stage 3.

Hasty Stroke and A Test of Will are crucial to this stage. Ideally we have them in our hand and the resources to play them. Evil Storm and Hunters from Mordor shadow card effect can easily send us back to the start of stage 2.

As mentioned earlier, Radagast's Cunning and Secret Paths will also help us push through this stage in a round or two - even if a Hunters from Mordor or Old Ford appear in staging.

2 comments

Jan 10, 2019 AltarofPan 4

hello. just used this deck paired with a mono leadership deck for a run through Journey Along the Anduin. final score: 210. fun deck that held its weight. the inclusion of steward of gondor just made this deck sing. ..and next time i promise to use this deck for its original intent. :)

Jan 11, 2019 mttrchrds 15

Hey @AltarofPan that's really nice feedback. So glad the deck worked out for you! Quite satisfying to get a use out of Lore Bilbo :)