Gandalf, Balin and the Silvan cycling machine pure purple v.

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Archol 70

Did you ever think to yourself "well Core Gandalf is great and all, but what if I could (put him into) play some more"?

No?

Well now you can.

And you can remain somewhat thematic with an accompanying Silvan deck too.

To accomplish the "Gandalfing", we have a mono deck, which allows us access to Reinforcements and cheap Tomes of Atanatar. Reasoning for included cards:

Heroes

Balin:

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

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.

Thranduil

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.

Allies

Greenwood Defender, proxied through Defender of the Naith: Just a nice solid defending ally. Especially on the turn it enters play.

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.

Haldir of Lórien: Solid all-around stats (though we will probably need him primarily as a quester), Ranged, Sentinel.

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.

Attachments

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.

Events

Elf Guide, proxied through Children of the Sea: We get to take one of those Silvans back. And we get a resource for it. While this deck (due to the exclusion of O Lorien) doesn't get to do this quite as cost-efficient as "traditional" Silvan decks, the ability to take back Silvans at will still is nice. Seems worth including.

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.

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.

The Tree People: Allows us to take back one of our Silvans we di

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 extra oomph.

Galadhrim Healer: See Silvan Tracker.

(more)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.

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.

This is the pure purple () version.

It doesn't use any songs, but instead uses cards from the (as of yet) unreleased Mount Gundabad Adventure Pack.

As saidabove , Children of the Sea is the proxy for Elf Guide and Defender of the Naith should be replaced by Greenwood Defender (probably).

Shamelessly stolen link, so that you may see the cards.

Link to blue version. (Which uses Song of Travel, to play Quicker Than Sight and A Test of Will to cancel these nasty "When Revealed" and Shadow effects.

Link to green version. (Which uses Song of Wisdom, to play The Tree People to hopefully get a better permanent board.)

Discussions, questions and Insights welcome!

13 comments

Mar 15, 2019 doomguard 29

why no lord of morthond?

Mar 15, 2019 doomguard 29

and, for this deck the never used silverload archer is really an option: ringsdb.com

Mar 15, 2019 Archol 70

Because I didn't think of it. ^^.

Honestly though, while Lord of Morthond might work in this deck, it's another one of these things, that you need to setup. And I generally feel, that this deck has enough card draw already.

Mar 15, 2019 Archol 70

And there's a lot of other Silvans I'd rather include than Silverlode Archer. If you're unhappy with a specific ally and want to swap, take a look at the sideboard. :)

Mar 15, 2019 Marcelf 259

Did you consider King Under the Mountain ? With Orophin you take back in your hand an ally you discarded with King Under the Mountain. And you can do it every turn with The Elvenking.

Mar 15, 2019 Archol 70

I did. While King of the Mountain's extra card draw would be good, I don't really know what to cut for it. Might be possible to include either King Under the Mountain or Lord of Morthond and sideline Valiant Sacrifice?

And King under the Mountain's 2 cost is also not completely insignificant. I think this deck really benefits from being able to play the more expensive events (Reinforcements, Strength of Arms) as early as possible.

And I think the deck has enough drawing as is. Orophin will in most situations also probably be able to fetch out one of the unfortonate souls, who had to be used as chump-blockers.

And this deck doesn't run The Elvenking

Mar 15, 2019 Wandalf the Gizzard 828

I'd say both KUtM and Lord of Morthond are worth cutting Valiant Sacrifice for.

Mar 15, 2019 Goggen 67

Might be time to point out that Lord of Morthond requires Gondor or Outlands hero.... Not that swapping out Balin for someone (like Denethor or Prince Imrahil) is impossible.

Mar 15, 2019 Archol 70

I might try out Lord of Morthond instead of Valiant Sacrifice. I'm still really sceptical about King Under the Mountain.

Steward of Gondor gives the Gondor trait, which makes Lord of Morthond playable in this deck.

I don't think Denethor or Prince Imrahil are particulary good swaps for Balin, as you lose both Unlikely Friendship and the (unreliable but still) Shadow replacement of Balin. And with Denethor you sure are playing Multiplayer and better hope, the other player(s) have questing down.

Especially in this version, which doesn't have any other way to deal with Shadows.

Mar 15, 2019 Goggen 67

Well yeah there is off course Steward of Gondor, but that seems a bit unreliable to me, creating a dependancy that might lead to Lord of Morthond becoming a dead-draw when you pull it. I think I would still swap heroes if you go for Lord of Morthond.

Prince Imrahil especially looks good to me. Nice synergy with Sneak Attack+Gandalf in the quest-phase.

You can allways add Dúnedain Watcher and/or Armored Destrier for the Unlikely Friendship to get some shadow-defence back.

Mar 15, 2019 Archol 70

Well you're probably mulliganing for Steward anyway.

And if you remove Unlikely Friendship than you lose card draw (or more accurately deck shrinking) again. This deck also isn't really setup to use a hero as a primary blocker (for Armored Destrier).

Of course, you could include more attachments and try to make Thranduil one, but were looking at a very different deck at that point.

I also want to reiterate, that I think the deck has enough card draw already. The "looks" might be a bit deceptive, while the deck hasn't that many draw/shrinking cards (Gandalf, Valiant Sacrifice, Unlikely Friendship), it also has Galadhrim Minstrel, which can speed up the drawing of this deck quite a bit.

Mar 16, 2019 Goggen 67

Guess it comes down to what standard you want for consistency. Even if you do muligan hard for only Steward of Gondor it's not more than about 50-50 chance to get it in your opening hand. Personally I would prefer not to be to reliant on that.

Loosing Unlikely Friendship is most deffinetly a loss (it's an auto-include when playable), but I would say that a well-functioning Lord of Morthond is one of the things that's actually worth it.

As for a blocker I would say that you don't really need much more than Thranduil + Silvan Tracker to make Armored Destrier a nice option. More defence-attachments are possible, but not really required imo.


If you like the deck as it is (with card-draw from Gandalf, Valiant Sacrifice, Unlikely Friendship and Galadhrim Mistrel that is off course fair enough, but if you do go for Lord of Morthond I would reconsider the heroes.

Mar 17, 2019 Archol 70

Roughly 60% actually due to Unlikely Friendship effectively shrinking the deck down to 47 cards.

In this variant Lord of Morthond can actually only ever draw 1 card per turn.

I don't know about you, but I'd want more than 3 , 4 out of a hero who you regularly want to defend with. (And with Armored Destrier you'll still need to brave one attack without shadow protection per turn.)

But if you come up with something similar to this deck, let me know, genuinely interested in your approach (especially if you think it improves the deck.