Crouching Miner, Hidden Cache

Questlogs using this decklist
Mount Gundabad - 1 Player - 2019-04-21
Fellowships using this decklist
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.
Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more

Mr. Underhill 2083

With thanks to Buz Hannon (and sincere apologies to Ang Lee!) for inspiring the deck name.


Here's a solid deck that makes use of the new version of Dáin Ironfoot. As well as being arguably the best turn 1 defender, Dain is interesting because his ability allows you to use your deck as a resource by boosting stats. You can also use his ability as:

  1. A resource generator with Hidden Cache / Ered Luin Miner, and
  2. A filter for cards that you don't want to draw.

In the latter case, if you see something on top of the deck that you don't need, such as a duplicate of Treebeard or an Elven-light, you can discard it with Dain's ability while he's defending, even if you don't strictly need the boost. This will hopefully let you draw a card that is more helpful to you the next turn. This brings an interesting strategic element to deciding how and when to best use Dain's ability, depending on the board state and cards in hand.

Card Choices

The first thing you are probably thinking while looking at this decklist is: a Dain deck without Will of the West? Is this guy mad?! Well, it is in the sideboard, but the reason I don't include it in the main list is because in most games you simply don't need it! This deck can usually win before the deck runs dry. If you are expecting a longer game, throw one copy in as a 51st card, and use your Dwarf Pipe in case it gets discarded.

This deck is basically a mono spirit goodstuff build. There are lots of solid questing allies alongside Spirit staples like Unexpected Courage and A Test of Will. However, some new inclusions are the Erebor Toymaker, who works great to reduce the cost of attachments in this deck, and the Armor of Erebor, which gives Dain extra defence and lessens the need to discard cards from the deck as the games goes on.

In terms of heroes, I decided to run Gandalf with Dain because I really like having full knowledge of what will be discarded, as well as the ability to set up the deck with Wizard Pipe. There is also a very powerful interaction between Gandalf's Staff and Silver Lamp, which is a particularly good card with a Spirit defender. Arwen Undomiel is overused but I like her here because she enables plays like a Turn 1 Treebeard or an Erebor Toymaker + Gandalf's Staff.

How to Play It

The deck is simple to run but the challenge comes in deciding how best to use Dain's ability and what to prioritise given the quest at hand. The mulligan is important because the card I am looking for depends on the quest. If I am worried about treacheries, I will look for A Test of Will. If I am concerned about shadows, mulligan for Gandalf's Staff. If the quest has some nasty enemies early (like The Three Trials), I would look for Armor of Erebor.

A strong generic opening hand would be Treebeard alongside an Elven-light to get some draw going on turn 2. I also like to give Gandalf his toys as soon as possible.

Cool Combos

Depending on what cards you see, this deck has a couple of ways to get 7 resources' worth of cards out on Turn 1. Here are some examples:

  • Play Erebor Toymaker from the top of the deck, then play Gandalf's Staff for free. Discard a card to Arwen and use Gandalf's Staff to give Arwen a resource. Then, Play Unexpected Courage on Dain. You now have a 2 ally, Gandalf's Staff, and a ready on your defender.

  • Play Wizard Pipe on Gandalf, then play Zigil Miner. Move Hidden Cache to the top of your deck and use Zigil Miner's ability. Name "zero" (+3 resources), then discard Glorfindel using Arwen's ability (+1 resource) to play Treebeard. You now have Treebeard ready for turn 2 alongside a resource generating ally.


Some of the cards in the sideboard may prove useful depending on which quest you are playing. I suggest dropping the Erebor Guards in case you want to free up room.

If you are going to run Will of the West, just throw it in as a 51st card.

Testing Record (Wins/Attempts)

  • Passage Through Mirkwood 1 /1
  • Journey Along the Anduin 1/1 (Mulligan for The Galadhrim's Greeting)
  • Into the Pit 1/1 (Mulligan for any 2 willpower allies to get through East Gate)
  • The Seventh Level 1/1 (Mulligan for Gandalf's Staff to stop Goblins spawning)
  • Flight from Moria Nightmare 1/1
  • Fords of Isen 1 / 2 (Mulligan for Gandalf's Staff to control additional attack shadow effects)
  • The Three Trials 1 / 2 (Mulligan for Armor of Erebor and hope for a forgiving combination of locations / guardians)
  • Trouble in Tharbad 1/1
  • Intruders in Chetwood 1/1
  • The Treachery of Rhudaur 1/2 - Mulligan for Gandalf's Staff
  • The Fate of Numenor (Nightmare) 0/1
  • Escape from Umbar 3/3
  • Desert Crossing 1/1
  • The Mumakil 1/1
  • The Black Serpent 2/2 (Added Will of the West)
  • Journey Up the Anduin 1/3 (Added Will of the West and 2 Sidequests, drop Erebor Guards.)
  • Lost in Mirkwood 1/1
  • Roam Across Rhovanion 1/1


Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it!


Apr 13, 2019 Melkata 3

Hah! The first thing I thought after reading the decklist was, “what, no Will of the West? Is this guy mad?” Then I read the description. Hilarious. I am surprised you don’t have Imladris Stargazer, which together with hidden cache has become a staple with the new Dáin Ironfoot. Thanks for posting and love the vids!

Apr 15, 2019 doomguard 30

i play dain with stargazer and well equipped. more potential for tricky things ;)