A Secrecy Fellowship (Rev)

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A Secrecy Fellowship 6 1 4 1.0
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Sfrug 165

The (slight) revisions since the earlier version are described below.

The idea here is threefold. It began with the thought that Eleanor could cancel Stinker, and thus prevent Sméagol from flipping. To take advantage of this, you want secrecy, which means that you want leadership (for Timely Aid); thus Frodo Baggins is a good choice, particularly since, if you have a spare resource (as you will, save early on), you can quest Eleanor and then ready her with Frodo's ability to be ready to cancel.

Second idea is obvious: turtle a few rounds, and use the generous amount of draw & secrecy cards to try to rush out allies. The cheap-ally cards are Timely Aid, Elf-stone, A Very Good Tale, and Sneak Attack to get allies to Very Good Tale with. (Remember if that you can't sneak Gandalf, another good choice to sneak in is [Glorfindel](/card/12006, since you can both use him with a Very Good Tale and then ready him with a discard in order to quest, defend (he can be played from discard, so it doesn't matter if he dies) or attack. If you do get Gandalf to sneak, use him to draw unless you've got lots of good cards already; you need the draw more than the threat reduction.) You also have a few cheap or free allies— (Ioreth is free, Henamarth Riversong costs one, and with Frodo in play Sam Gamgee costs one, too) — to help get the fellowship up, or provide a second ally to make AVGT work.

The final idea is to chump block people to get allies you want. The three cheap allies are good to get Fellowship up & running fast. But even not counting Gandalf (who is an early-game card, to be used for early draw, AVGT-ing and helping out in the early rounds if necessary), you actually have six strong allies in the deck: Firyal, Gildor Inglorion, Glorfindel, Gimli, Jubayr and Treebeard. Since you (probably) want to get them all out, you can chump block either Henamarth Riversong or Sam Gamgee. (Ioreth can't chump block, but if you have archery or direct damage it can be used to discard her; but she is also often worth keeping around so she can heal.)

But there's another possibility to consider, too: assuming you have Firyal and Gildor in play, another possible chump is Sméagol: true, he has decent stats, but if you chump him you turn Stinker into a dead card & remove the threat of Gollum entirely. Eleanor, Frodo, the six strong allies, and one of Henemarth, Ioreth & Sam should be able to handle most quests. (Although remember Ioreth can't heal without Sméagol's resource!)

Resources will pile up in later rounds. You can heal with Ioreth (if you don't chump Smeagol). You can ready Sam. And you can take archery damage on any ally you have a duplicate of in your hand, and play the replacement the next round. (If you have a leftover sneak, so they can fight after damage & before a permanent play, all the better.)

This is a deck created for quests you don't need to rush; it always takes at least two, sometimes three or four, and occasionally more rounds to set up. But it should work for quests that you can turtle.

Mulligan for Timely Aid, unless you get an otherwise strong hand.

Updates: There were only a few (fairly minor) changes. The most significant is replacing Faramir with Gimli: in this deck, it only costs a few points of willpower (which I was usually not needing), and gets you another fighting ally, which is really useful. The deck is a lot stronger with this, I find (after this change, you have three allies who can self-ready — Gimli, Glorfindel & Treebeard (some rounds), plus one readied by Frodo). Second, I have re-balanced the cheaper allies from 3x Sam Gamgee and 1x Ioreth to having 2 of each. Finally, I threw in a 51st card: 1 copy of Song of Hope. It's not really necessary, and I'm not yet sure if it plays better with or without it. But it can help make up a bit of willpower in the late game, if necessary, and also give you something to do with spare resources, which tend to pile up.

Also, I've added a sideboard. The three allies are situational: in quests which really push willpower, you might want to sub back in Faramir; in quests which really push threat, you might want to sub in Elfhelm; and in quests which themselves put sidequests out, or when playing with other players using sidequests, Thalion would be a good choice as another self-readying ally. The other three cards are ones which I wish I could fit in, to help with excess resources (or, for A Good Harvest, early resource management), but which I don't have room for.

4 comments

Sep 20, 2019 Raiderjakk 39

Nice deck!

Sep 21, 2019 Tkohl 39

Could you also use Stinker to end up with a 10 character fellowship? 9 in play, let Stinker trigger so you have 8, fellowship flips to side a. Keep Gollum around and play another ally so you're at 9 and flip to side b. Then attack Gollum so he's back to his helpful self, only with +1 everything.

The text of side b only talks about allies, so I imagine you could also do this sort of thing with Fortune or Fate or The Houses of Healing to get a 10 or possibly 11 person fellowship (though it'd definitely be a very janky deck).

Sep 22, 2019 BardLee4 29

@TkohlYou are correct. Another player could send you another ally too. Caleb has also mentioned how you could be at 8, get Fellowship Frodo and flip the contract to B and stay there after he goes to another player. Your hero thing is interesting, but I doubt someone else wants to lose 1/3 of their resources so you can get them and the +1s. Time to bust out the Jedi Mind Trick.

Nov 22, 2019 The BGamerJoe 2136

I got to play several games with this deck and I featured it on my deck test blog. lotrdecktest.com It worked well but I'm still a little nervous using Smeagol!