A Pint of Dale

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Bard Lee's 2019 GenCon of Suffering
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BardLee4 29

More of a tournament report than a deck guide.

I played this a few times at GenCon 2019. Some turned out better than others. It's fairly standard Dale things happening in the deck, but doesn't go for the popular souped-up Guardian of Esgaroth which provides a fun deck, but not the kind that I like. In my tries, I found myself struggling at times because it relied heavily on one ally. Most of this deck plays as a standard Dale ally spam, but the card that I've included to help comes in the form of Drinking Song because it can fix the times when you end up with the wrong mix of cards.

I ran this in a comp game of Moria with Chad when he ran Radagast, Elrond, and Merry. We absolutely crushed the other team as our decks ran pretty much perfectly while our encounter deck synergized really well. A key moment in our game came early when I had Steward of Gondor and King of Dale on Bard with a North Realm Lookout with an attachment. The rest of my hand was marginal at best (I had such a random assortment of attachments) so I used Drinking Song for like 7 or 8 cards and mulliganed into a perfect hand. We both ended up with healers on the table as well and cruised to victory.

I attempted to run this in a 2p game of the 1 quest in the new deluxe, Shadow of the (B)East, and it did not work. Chad ran a hobbit deck with Smeagol who got Turn 1 Stinkered. The deck was too slow for the onslaught of enemies and we lost within 3 turns. Probably just a bad choice of deck types. Note that I swapped out the 2 Knight of Dale for Rhovanion Outrider because I find myself rarely wanting to play the Knight.

As soon as we finished, another player wanted to try it (his discord handle starts with an L, I know, very specific). He ran a combat focused deck of Gandalf, Dáin Ironfoot, and Thranduil. I will confess to not totally understanding what he was doing; he was fixing his top card a lot and doing Gandalf stuff. His deck really carried us through the early part of the quest (most of the quest if I'm being honest). He did Well-Equipped into an Unexpected Courage during combat like turn one which proved clutch. My deck kind of worked and kind of didn't. I had to carry the questing load because he went for 2-4 WP for the majority of the game, but I struggled to get going. I had 1 of every ally, but I really needed the WP allies. I had another turn where I did Drinking Song on a really bad hand with dupes of uniques and the wrong attachments and allies. I think I went for like 11 cards and improved my hand. I also did the Bartering trick to move basically draw a card by removing and playing a 0 Cost attachment. Not ideal, but 1 card is 1 card and can be huge in a Dale deck. I like removing a Squire's Helm or Hauberk of Mail to play a Map of Rhovanion or Raiment of War as well as using it to help fix the location of attachments on allies.

Overall pleased with the performance of the deck. Not too shocking, it's Dale, it's good. Drinking Song performed admirably for me which was nice as it really bailed me out in a couple of games and ramped my deck up. I might drop Raiment of War when I run the version with Outrider over Knight. That's a quest dependent call imo.