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|Scions of Arnor 2.0|
|Hunters of Eriador||5||2||0||1.0|
Theme: This is a Dunedain deck with a Noldor sub-theme focused strongly around location control and questing, with a little bit of cancellation included. It is designed to support a Dunedain combat deck by offering early-game willpower, staging area control, and some flexible combat assistance as needed.
Strategy: This deck is designed to be able to handle both questing and to hold its own in combat. On most turns, both Idraen and Glorfindel will be ready for combat after questing, which means that the deck can offer 6 attack to wield against an enemy that engages it, which is enough to kill most small-to-mid-level enemies.
As a result, this deck can be an effective pressure release for its partner, if that deck ends up engaged with too many enemies to handle. Defense is handled by the other deck, but Idraen, a Northern Tracker, or even Súlien can provide assistance as needed - especially if given the boost from Arwen Undómiel. In the mid-to-late game, however, that boost will be primarily targeted at the Vigilant Dúnadan in the companion deck, boosting defense and giving it the all-important Sentinel keyword. Finally, in a pinch, the Dunedain Lookout is a serviceable chump blocker.
Most of the allies either aid in location control, questing, or both. Of particular note is the Dunedain Pathfinder, whose negative ability is almost completely negated by this deck.
Most of the deck is fairly obvious to play. The attachments are largely standard for this sort of deck, and many of the events are staples as well. There are enough location attachments to make South Away! a superior inclusion over even such staple threat reduction events as Elrond's Counsel or Well Warned, which we have the necessary traits to play.
The most interesting cards, however, are the ones deliberately designed to take advantage of Idraen's incredible action advantage. If enough locations are available, she can easily ready 3 times in a turn - once after committing characters to the quest (and thus triggering the progress-placing abilities of the Northern Tracker and Rhovanion Outrider), once after clearing the active location, and a third time using Asfaloth to clear a third location (likely softened up by the Trackers. The first of these is, of course, Athelas. The biggest issue with this card as a healing effect is the requirement to exhaust a Dunedain character, and Idraen trivializes that. Beyond the healing, it is nice to have condition removal in the body of the deck itself, instead of just as a sideboard card.
Quick Ears is another underused card that shines in this deck. If you can clear a location during the quest phase, but before staging (easy to do with Northern Trackers and Rhovanion Outriders), Idraen will be available to exhaust to pay the cost if necessary, and then will ready again if you clear the active location (if any). In exchange, we get the opportunity to cancel an enemy with surge, one of the big enemies that has come out too early for us to handle, or an enemy with a debilitating When Revealed effect. The most useful place for this card, though, is to prevent the companion deck from becoming overwhelmed with enemies. Until Vigilant Dúnadan is in play, the other deck can easily find itself engaged with too many enemies to deal with - a common failure mode of Dunedain combat decks. Quick Ears makes it much easier to walk the fine line between enough enemies to enable the stat boosts you need on your allies and the cost reduction of Heir of Valandil, and having your whole combat phase fall apart because you were one defense short of what you needed.
Guarded Ceaselessly is the last of these cards, and it essentially lets Idraen double-quest, lending her willpower to the quest and reducing the threat of the attached location at the same time. It also acts as an additional card to trigger South Away!, and you can use it to cancel the threat of a location with an annoying travel cost until you can afford to travel to it or otherwise bypass the cost.
The sideboard is general tech against specific types of quests. Against quests that feature heavy direct-damage complements, 3 copies of Athelas are not going to be sufficient, and so replacing the attachment with 3 copies of Warden of Healing to handle the load is a viable alternative. Against quests which feature condition attachments which attach to the quest or to enemies or locations in play, Athelas again has no power, and so the Power of Orthanc is a sideboard card to deal with those. In addition, some quests have locations with insanely high amounts of quest points as well as obnoxious effects that mean you can't just leave them to be cleared by the progress-placing allies. Against those, Woodmen's Path is a superior card to Guarded Ceaselessly, since it lets you clear them quickly without clogging up the staging area behind them.
The most interesting of the sideboard cards is Distant Stars. It can be used to find objective locations quickly, searching the entire encounter deck and discard pile for them. It can also be used to bring back a beneficial (or at least benign!) location from the discard pile to the active location slot. But its most effective use is against quests that feature locations with annoying travel effects combined with the dreaded 'Immune to player card effects' line. These can be pulled out of the encounter deck and cleared immediately without resolving the travel effect. One of the most effective examples of this technique can be seen against the Siege of Gondor scenario, where you can use Distant Stars to dig a Ship location out of the encounter deck during the quest phase and then clear it before it harmfull effects have a chance to trigger. The action needed to trigger the effect is another way to use Idraen readying.