When the Hammer Falls!

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Durins_Father 1590

When the hammer falls, Forging weapons for all, When the hammer falls, Songs of battle fill the halls, When the hammer flies, Lines of armored Dwarves arise, With the hammer’s roar We go marching off to war!

Sometimes you get inspired to build a deck through the strangest of things. In the case of this deck, it is this song by Clamavi De Provundis which really resonated with me for another Dwarf deck.

This deck falls a bit outside the usual archetypes, as it is not necessarily a Swarm deck, nor is it a dedicated Mining deck. The deck does have cards from both archetypes enhancing each other. For Mining, the Ziggy/Stargazer combo will generate you plenty of resources. Hidden Cache helps with this. Ring of Thrór and Dáin Ironfoot will also mine your deck, but you can use Dwarf Pipes to return cards to your deck. But you may have noticed that there are a few pieces missing for a dedicated mining deck, which I had to cut for deck space.

From the Dwarf Swarm archetype, I adopted cards like Legacy of Durin and Erebor Battle Master (you can still play him for ridiculous numbers before that FAQ hits!). These cards will help with getting out some characters for questing and having more targets for the various weapon and armour attachments in the deck.

The real reason I wanted to get this deck created, was to get a lot of Weapons and Armour attachments out on these Dwarves. To get these attachments quickly, I included Bofur and Open the Armory. I didn't go with Master of the Forge, for thematic reasons. Can't have all these Dwarves hitting their anvils, and then a pointy-eared elf show up, now can we? (Yes, I did see the Stargazer in my deck, shut it. It's real love).

The Heroes

I needed a wide selection of spheres for this deck to work. I wanted the new Dáin Ironfoot for defence, as he is a great thematic win for this deck and allows you to have a proper defender out early. Ultimately, Dáin Ironfoot should be equipped with at least one armour attachment, ideally the Armor of Erebor that was meant for him. On top of that, you can get easier readying with Ring of Thrór in case you need it. The Ring can also go on other heroes, but defence is usually the bottleneck when it comes to this game, so having a second defence ready is great. Depending on what you need, a second Armor of Erebor or Citadel Plate can be played on him, though I doubt you need it.

Gimli fulfils the role of attacker, though his 2 can also come in handy in the early game. In the late game, Gimli will do the bulk of the attacking, together with pumped up Erebor Battle Masters. To help him with this, a Citadel Plate is a great attachment for him, allowing him to tank an undefended attack early, and hitting back for a lot. Vigilant Guard will allow him to get some damage here and there if you don't want to use Dain's ability but would rather move damage to Gimli. If Gimli's attack isn't enough, a Dwarrowdelf Axe can fill the final restricted slot, but a Warrior Sword would work too.

Bifur acts as the main quester and resource manager of the deck. While the willpower in this deck is not amazing, it can still be used in quests like Seventh Level, where the threat in the staging area isn't very high if you can handle enemies properly. Bifur can receive a Song of Battle to help pay for cards like Vigilant Guard and Citadel Plate which can be rather expensive. If you happen to have too many resources on him, you can use them with the Erebor Record Keeper to ready your other heroes, which is great! The resources can also be used for Warden of Healing if you are pretty damaged up. This allows for a late game use for resources once you mined through your deck but the game isn't over yet. Having a third Dwarf hero also helps to have another character for Dwarf Pipe in case you need it.

Questing

Willpower isn't really a priority in this deck. The early game will see you using Gimli and Bifur questing until you get some allies on the table. Erebor Toymaker and the Record Keeper are your main questing allies, with Bofur joining in once you have enough attachments. You will probably rely on your fellow players for the big questing pushes, but in return, you can handle enemies quite well.

Attacking

Gimli is your main attacker, but certainly not the only one. Erebor Battle Master can also still deal a solid punch to your foes, and is a good target for the Axes and Swords in this deck. Remember to first attack with your characters that have the Swords, as that bonus is reduced if you first kill an engaged enemy with a character wielding only Dwarrowdelf Axes.

Defending

You will have an early game defender with Dain, allowing to defend most enemies without requiring any help. During the mid game, you should see some Erebor Guards and some defensive equipment for those characters. Dain can also be used multiple times per round with Erebor Record Keeper and Ring of Thrór, but remember that his ability is only 3x per phase. During the early game, you can also have Gimli absorb some damage by defending or taking the attack undefended, allowing him to fight back. There is healing in the deck to help keeping everyone alive.

Resource Generation

The standard Zigil Miner/Imladris Stargazer combo is known far and wide as a great resource engine if you can find the pieces quickly. Getting the Imladris Stargazer out before a Miner can help Bofur decide between digging for attachments or questing for 2. The Miner early can get you more resources while thinning the deck for the Stargazer. For this combo, the Hidden Cache will accelerate resources as well. This can even be done with Dáin Ironfoot in the early game if you are lucky.

Another way of saving resources is the various ways that attachment costs are reduced with the Toymaker, Ring of Thror, and the Valour effect of Open the Armoury. This helps in getting the more expensive equipment out early and saving resources for other cards. Leftover resources can be spent on Erebor Record Keeper and Warden of Healing by moving all resources to Bifur.

Card draw

Card draw is where my decks tend to stall a little, so I tried to amend it with some dedicated cards in this deck to card draw. Legacy of Durin (even with the incoming nerf) is still a great tool for Dwarf decks, allowing for a replacement card in your hand when you play an ally. I also included Daeron's Runes for obvious card draw. But it is also thematically decent, as the weapons forged can be imbued with these runes. It allows you to get rid of extra copies of uniques in your hand, which can be useful at times, though this deck is pretty light on unique cards.

Attachments

The Attachments in this deck are pretty important, as that is the main theme. The armour attachments are primarily meant for your heroes, although you can also attach defensive equipment to your Erebor Guard to make them survive longer. The Warrior Swords and Dwarrowdelf Axes can be distributed to your allies easily, making them hit harder against your enemies. Should you discard a Weapon or Armour attachment to mining, then the Erebor Hammersmith can return it. I also like Reforged, but that one wasn't available to the deck yet. Be sure to use it if you need more attachments.

To get attachments on the board early, Bofur and Open the Armory can find them in your deck quickly. To lower the cost of the cards, Erebor Toymaker and Ring of Thrór can help out.

Healing

While Dwarves are tough, they can still die if you aren't careful. This deck runs two copies of Warden of Healing that can easily be triggered again every round thanks to Bifur. The deck also has Citadel Plate and Vigilant Guard to boost hitpoints. While this mostly meant for Gimli, Dain can also use them to prevent dying from a 6+ attack.

Threat Reduction

A starting threat of 29 should keep you in the game for a long time, while also allowing you some time to set up before engaging a tough enemy. The deck can handle a big enemy early though, thanks to the easy setup from Dain and Gimli. There is no added threat reduction in the deck, as that is quite difficult to do thematically, and I needed the deck space. Keep this in mind when going up against quests that love raising threat. Add in some Gandalfs in case you need it.


Feel free to let me know what you think of the deck, and what you'd change. I will probably add Reforged to it once it is released. The deck will be best combined with a questing/location control deck for a fun 2 player experience. Feel free to log any quests you beat with this deck, looking forward to it.

When the hammer falls, Back our enemy crawls. When the hammer quakes, Orcish cowards’ bones will break, When the hammer cracks, And it beats their armies back, When the hammer’s boom, Sends the monsters to their doom,

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