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|Scions of Arnor 2.0|
|Defenders of the North||6||3||2||1.0|
Theme: This is a thematic combat deck built around the Dunedain trait, designed to supplement a / location control and questing deck.
In order to do this effectively, a number of defenders have been included in the deck. Amarthiúl is the primary defender, and should be given the first 2 copies of Armored Destrier, to be able to defend and cancel shadow effects. This readying and shadow cancellation is key to the deck's ability to keep functioning in the long run; the most dangerous card effects to a Dunedain combat deck are shadows. But even with Dúnedain Warnings, Amarthiúl can't always defend against the most deadly enemies in the game. Against those, the Guardian of Arnor should be employed. With only a few enemies engaged, they can easily outmatch the base defense stats of any hero, and when this deck is running on all cylinders, they can even defend boss enemies regularly.
While Amarthiúl and the Guardians of Arnor handle the large, high profile attacks, the Vigilant Dúnadan is the workhorse of the deck. Boosted by Arwen Undómiel from the companion deck, and protected by the passive effect from clearing Keep Watch, he becomes a veritable wall against all of the lesser enemies of the game. Ideally, Amarthiúl will discard the shadow cards from the enemies we plan to defend with the Dúnadan, so that his weaker defensive stats are kept more protected. Entangling Nets are also included, to completely neuter weak enemies or to bring more powerful enemies into the range where the Vigilant Dúnadan can safely defend against them.
The rest of the deck is designed either to facilitate this setup, or to take advantage of it. Between Feint and Andrath Guardsman, we have the option to cancel attacks that we can't handle, while the Dúnedain Watcher is an emergency escape valve for truly game-ending shadow effects and the Ranger of Cardolan can give an emergency defender at need. Eldahir and Dark Knowledge give us some valuable knowledge about upcoming shadow effects, letting us use the actions of the Armored Destriers to maximum effect.
Thurindir will grab Gather Information at the start of the game, and will use its card search to pick up Keep Watch. Those two quests will boost his willpower to 4, which is enough to start seriously contributing to the quest phase.
Ranger Provisions is a good card to complement the partner deck's location control - with a little bit of forethought, you can add the resources to whichever deck needs it most at any given time. This is especially useful to get expensive allies from the / deck into play quickly.
The deck is also provided with copious amounts of card draw - between Deep Knowledge, Dúnedain Pipe, Master of the Forge, and the Sarn Ford Sentries (in addition to whatever help we receive from Beravor), we should expect to draw through our entire deck in many games.
The sideboard helps tailor this deck more specifically against certain kinds of quests. Against quests with enemies that cannot be optionally engaged, Son of Arnor can be added directly to circumvent the effect. Against quests that feature prominent boss enemies, the Fornost Bowman can provide sufficient attack power on either side of the board to take them down.