|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Gaffer Gamgee is insane. If you've got low threat and enough resources to keep playing him every turn, you can cancel an attack every round. In solo, this means that enemies simply never attack you. In multiplayer, this means you can ignore the biggest enemy on the table every round (provided you engage him yourself).
This deck feels busted. The Gaffer has catapulted Hobbits straight into a top-tier archetype. At the same time, it's very tricksy, and the attack cancellation playstyle feels more true to the Hobbit theme than, say, having Sam and Rosie tank a Mumak. But I'm a bit nervous that the deck is too good at circumventing a major aspect of the game. Regardless, let's get on to the deck strategy.
Mulligan for Steward of Gondor and/or Resourceful. Either card will let you start generating 2 resources per turn. Then, once you draw into either the Gaffer himself or Raise the Shire, you're set to play Gaffer again and again every turn after. We're talking about a 2-card combo where each card has effectively 6 copies in the deck, so it's incredibly easy to set up. Even more so due to Drinking Song and the fact that the combo pieces are played on the table and do not have to be in your hand at the same time.
An early-game turn might look something like this: Exhaust Steward, gain 2, play Gaffer. Quest with Sam Gamgee, Pippin, and Gaffer for 6. Engage an enemy, draw a card with Pippin, ready Sam and boost his stats. Cancel the attack with Gaffer. Kill the enemy with Sam (2) + Merry (3) + Dagger of Westernesse (2). Repeat.
The occasional turn where you get surprised with a second forced engagement or an enemy with very low threat can be handled with Feint and Sneak Attack-Gandalf. You could sneak in the Gaffer to use him twice in one round, but I prefer to save the sneaks for Gandalf.
The card draw here is just nuts with Pippin grabbing you an extra card every turn and the absurdly good Drinking Song.
The deck does have one weakness: "Immune to player card effects." This is not the deck to take up against Smaug or his kin. But if you are trying some quest where the immune enemy only shows up for a brief period, you may find that Sneak-Gandalf is enough to deal with those defenses. For example, the deck had no trouble dealing with the Mumak in The Mumakil quest. Alternatively, you may decide to swap out Feint for Hobbit Cloak so that Sam and Rosie can do their tanking business for a few turns.
For those that like the nitty-gritty details: If I open with Resourceful+Steward, I like to put Resourceful on Sam then Steward on Pippin turn 2. Then I'll put the second and third Resourceful on Pippin. Extra lore resources can always be used for readying Warden of Healing and paying full price for Gandalf.
The Fast Hitch play order is typically Merry first, so he can quest, then Rosie Cotton second (if she's out) so she can use her ability in both the quest phase and combat phase. Then Sam would be the next target so he can act as an emergency defender and still be able to attack.
For the Dagger of Westernesse, it's not super clear to me what the optimal target order is despite playing this deck many times now. I normally put dagger #1 on Merry, so he can have boosted attack for low-engagement enemies that don't ready Sam. But the nice thing about having daggers on Sam is that when he and Merry attack together, Merry readies Sam, who can attack again, getting double use out of the dagger. So normally the second dagger goes on Sam, and the third goes on Merry again. But feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.
A good partner deck for this one is probably something that can handle its own enemy per round, and provide a solution for big, immune bosses. I played the deck alongside one of Bullroarer Took's Beregond decks and we handled Mount Gundabad's Dagnir with ease. But any Beregond or Beregond deck should work. Perhaps one of these. In a multiplayer setting I also like to swap out Henamarth Riversong for Errand-rider to share excess resources with other players.
At this point, the decklist has been well-refined with many playthroughs.
It blazed through the Harad Cycle without any trouble. The highlight was Beneath the Sands, where no enemy made an attack the whole game.
I then took it against Nightmare Wastes of Eriador, just to see how far it could go. It suffered a couple quick losses before winning on the third attempt, in which the wargs made grand total of 2 attacks.