Ha(lda)n Solo

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Seastan 16930

Building a solo Haldan deck was an interesting design challenge. The Haldan archetype obviously relies on cycling through a lot of locations, ideally exploring one or more each round.

But in solo, locations only come up around in 1/3 rounds or so ("Never tell me the odds!"), assuming an encounter deck that's balanced between enemies, locations, and events. In order to make full use of Haldan's ability in a solo setting, we will want to drastically skew those odds.

This brings us to the focal point of this deck's strategy: Denethor. We will stack him up with readying from Unexpected Courage and Magic Ring (with Miruvor as a backup), and he can trigger multiple times per round, milling away the encounter deck until a location appears.

With most of your encounter reveals now being locations, your deck does not need to focus too much on combat. Still, you have some solid defenders (Denethor, Treebeard, Jubayr, Gildor Inglorion) and attackers (Haldan, Treebeard, Glorfindel, Quickbeam) as well as some more well-rounded allies.

You don't need to worry much about the treacheries either, since you can discard all the nastiest ones. So no Test of Will here.

Card acceleration comes from Haldan's ability of course, but also from Ancient Mathom, Galdor of the Havens, and Master of the Forge, who you should probably mulligan for so that he can start digging out your Unexpected Courages.

Resource acceleration comes through Arwen Undómiel and Elf-stone. It's probably still not enough to keep up with the insane number of cards you'll be drawing, but that's fine. "Sometimes having a fistfull of cards is its own reward." -me

12 comments

Jan 09, 2019 The Broken Meeple 1

Solid all round - Haldan and Silvans were to be my next two decks built while Dale continues through the current cycle (still have not played all of saga or even attempted Numenor or Dunedain cycles, shocking!)

Everything here makes sense to what I would have done though I hadn't ever looked at Magic Ring twice placing little thought to it compared to everyone else, but now's a chance to see it properly in action - guess I always feared threat increases hence I never liked Grima :P) Also may have gone with Thror's Map instead of the Key, but I guess the Key has the utility of not having certain locations hose your whole strategy down.

My only query is Prince Imrahil. . . . what's his purpose? First time I've seen him used in any deck. Can't just be stats as 2/2/2 must be achievable for less, in fact another Forest Road Traveler would suffice. Do you want his hero type ability mainly as a way to get out of stook when some unexpected tragedy occurs.

How would such a deck fare against something like Fire in the Night though? I beat it "barely" with my Dale deck but that was only because I use Beregond in it. And even then I had to be careful given the dragon's high attack value and all the high ATK goblins in the deck. With 3 being the highest defence you can muster here, how would you deal with a boss you can't get rid of?

Jan 09, 2019 Seastan 16930

@The Broken MeepleImrahil is mainly just there for stats. The main reason I went for 1 copy of him rather than another traveler is because I wanted to keep the sphere-resource balance in check. The deck generates an equal number of spirit and lore resources per round, and the deck is already lore-heavy. The emergency effect on Imrahil is more of a side-benefit.

Also worth pointing out that magic ring, when not used for readying, can be used to help generate more lore resources.

For Fire of the Night I don't recommend this deck. This deck is built to avoid most combat by milling away the enemies in the deck. That strategy obviously doesn't work when you've got an indestructible dragon that starts in play attacking you every round.

Jan 09, 2019 Alonewolf87 92

Since you are going for a location-heavy approach is there a reason you didn't include the evergreen Northern Tracker (maybe by replacing Prince Imrahil)?

Jan 09, 2019 Goggen 67

Jan 09, 2019 Seastan 16930

@Alonewolf87No Northern Tracker. Haldan primarily wants location in the active spot, not so much the staging area. You won't really have a ton of locations piling up in the staging area, especially with this being a solo deck.

@GoggenNo Pathfinder. Pulling location out of the encounter deck makes it harder for Denethor to dig for them.

Jan 10, 2019 Alonewolf87 92

I was thinking that since the locations would still have to pass through the staging area softening them with the Tracker could still be useful.

Jan 10, 2019 Alonewolf87 92

Also couldn't The Hidden Way be useful?

Jan 10, 2019 Seastan 16930

@Alonewolf87Actually, since The Hidden Way must be played at the beginning of the quest phase, before you commit characters, it would turn off Haldan's ability. Hidden Way is a great card in other decks though!

Jan 10, 2019 KaiserWilly 73

Nice catch on that, A non-bo for the ages...

Jan 11, 2019 Gizlivadi 705

So great to see a Seastan take on solo Haldan. What surprises me is not even a singleton Elven-light? Anyways, great deck, if you have the time I would absolutely adore to see a generalist solo silvan with Thranduil, even if it's almost the same as some decls posted here! I think yours would be better suited for solo.

Jan 11, 2019 Seastan 16930

@GizlivadiPlay this deck once an'd you'll understand why there's no Elven-light. You already draw an insane number of cards.

Jan 22, 2019 Seastan 16930

I just realized the Leather Boots works great here on Denethor for an extra ready. Could probably swap out Imrahil for it.