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|None. Self-made deck here.|
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Did you ever think to yourself "well Core Gandalf is great and all, but what if I could (put him into) play some more"?
Well now you can.
And you can remain somewhat thematic with an accompanying Silvan deck too.
Reasoning for included cards:
Balin is... Our third hero and basically taken, because we don't really have a lot of options of heroes for this slot, that would work well with this deck. Balin at least is a dwarf (which gives us access to Unlikely Friendship and his ability allows us to at least attempt to get rid of a dangerous shadow effect (to which this deck is quite vulnerable).
Celeborn is here, to give the various Silvans, who will be (hopefully) entering the game at a steady pace +1 everything in the round they arrive. While this Deck doesn't take as much advantage from this compared to "Standard" Silvan decks, the bonus is still pretty nice.
Is the hero that largely makes the deck work. Thranduil allows us to play out of sphere Silvan allies (albeit only in the Combat Phase). This allows us to take advantage of the effects of these allies, which would otherwise totally rely on Sneak Attack and Reinforcements to put into play. Oh and he also might be able to block 1-2 attacks, while we are sill trying to get set up.
Galadhrim Minstrel: Is here to allow us to get our events quicker into our hand (and increase the chance of allies to go along with them through regular drawing due to drawing them out.)
Galadhrim Weaver: Shuffles back those Sneak Attacks / Reinforcements / Silvan events so we may play them again. Only 2x, while shuffling back in useful cards is good, getting these into hand too early, can slow down our deck. Also without our Song, it might not be possible to play them down in the combat phase, as we may need a fighter or chumper.
Gandalf: Taking advantage of Gandalf's (semi-)regular appearance is kinda the point of the deck. While we have some other forms of card draw, to get started we usually want to draw the first 1-2 times we put Gandalf into play. Later we use his abilities as needed.
Greenwood Archer: Has the Ranged trait, that combos with Rumil (and is useful in multiplayer). Additionally it lets us ready one of our (usually exhausted from questing) heroes, which while not amazing in this deck (our heroes most likely to quest have kind middling combat stats), is still a nice effect.
Legolas: Ranged trait, additional card draw, high attack.
Marksman of Lórien: Also Ranged, high attack, weakens enemies when it enters play.
Naith Guide: Similar to Greenwood Archer, allows one of our heroes to quest without exhausting.
Orophin: All around decent stats, can bring back Silvans that needed to be sacrificed (chump-blocked) for the greater good.
Rúmil: To possibly take advantage of his ability for a few extra damage? Outside of Gandalf-bombs this deck sometimes struggles, to deal a good amount of damage, to get those pesky enemies of the board, and Rumil helps a bit. Probably. (Honestly probably one of the more questionable inclusions)
Silvan Tracker: To let our Silvan heroes and to some extent our Silvan Allies rejuvenate a bit every round. One of the cards you want to remain on the board. Could (should?) probably be switched against Galadhrim Healer, when we anticipate a lot of damage, which we aren't allowed to assign, to go around. Could be switched against one of the other sideboard options, if we don't anticipate healing being very useful in our given quest.
Song of Travel: See description of deck variants below.
Steward of Gondor: Resources. While Silvan would also have access to O Lórien!, especially in the beginning, we would like to play a lot of events, to get setup. While possibly annoying deckbuidliong-fasionistas (and probably the other players in multiplayer) it is questionable, whether the deck would work nearly as well without.
Tome of Atanatar: To reuse some of our events. Probably Sneak Attack or Reinforcements (though it might also be necessary to play Feigned Voices with this once in a while). Only 2x, while they will really help us cycle our events, once we have cards in hand (and hopefully a few bodies on the board), it does very little if we get these into our hands early.
A Test of Will: Because a lot of "When Revealed" effects are bad mkay. Only 2x, because we need a bit of setup to get to the point where we can actually play it. And including more risks delaying that setup. Probably.
Feigned Voices: Don't get attacked more than necessary. And we might even want to take those guys (and gals) back to our hand anyway.
Quicker Than Sight: Shadow effects are one of the things, which can really destroy this deck. While we often will be fine with losing allies, the accompanying shadow effects can be disastrous to us. In a quest without dangerous shadows, should probably be switched with Island Amid Perils or Elf-Guide (once Mount Gundabad is out).
Reinforcements: Allows us to hopefully bring out Gandalf. And a Silvan friend. Yay.
Sneak Attack: Brings out Gandalf (hopefully). Yay. Alternatively one of the bigger Silvan allies. Alternatively a cheap chump blocker, if necessary.
Strength of Arms: Probably best reserved for rounds, in which we lay down a few allies, as we need to quest push. Or rounds where you hard-cast Gandalf, want to quest with him and have resources left over. Alternatively could be useful to get a second attack out of our allies in the Combat Phase.
Unlikely Friendship: Replaces itself and we get a Resource. 'Nuff said.
Valiant Sacrifice: Our allies will be leaving the table pretty commonly (due to various reasons). And card draw is good.
Sideboard end exclusions
Galadhon Archer: An option for the Adventures, where we just need that tiny little bit of an extra oomph.
Galadhrim Healer: See Silvan Tracker.
Haldir of Lórien: If we want an Allrounder ally, who can do everything decently (but nothing particularly well).
Woodland Courier: If we fear location-lock becoming a big issue. Or lots of forest locations. Though this will still not make this deck particularly good at location control.
Island Amid Perils: Probably an option, if there are none/few Shadow effects, which are particularly dangerous to our deck and/or we need a lot of threat reduction for our quest. (Though Gandalf should usually have this covered, if/when necessary). One advantage of Island Amid Perils over Quicker Than Sight is, that we may trigger it at will, rather than only after a shadow effect.
O Lórien!: Is surprisingly weak in this deck. It doesn't really help us setup to how we want our deck to function, and while it would be very good in later stages of the game, getting the deck setup in the early stages of a quest is generally the hardest part, so it is excluded.
The Elvenking: Similar to O Lórien! this doesn't help much in the beginning of a quest. Additionally, while we can benefit quite a bit, from getting to play our allies out again, a non insignificant part of them is "temporary" anyways.
If you can find deck space for one of these, The Elvenking seems to be the bitter fit.
Different Variants of this Deck
There currently is only one Silvan event in the cardpool at the moment (though Elf-Guide will add a second one with the Mound Gundabad Adventure Pack very recently).
To still get some mileage and access to these Silvan events, we have decided here, to include songs, to allow us to play the out-of-sphere events.
This leads to various versions, where we try to take advantage of one out of sphere Silvan event. Because the Songs are necessary for these decks to even play these events, they are included as seperate decklists, rather than sideboards, to avoid confusion.
Link to pure purple version. (Which doesn't use Song, but does use cards from the as of yet unreleased Mount Gundabad Pack)
Discussions, questions and Insights welcome!