The Door is Closed! (secrecy edition)

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Magic and Mayhem (v2)
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The Door is Closed! 2 0 0 1.0
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RidderMarc 42

I came up with this deck after struggling to get a full staging area control deck going with Rossiel. This iteration drops Argalad and Eleanor in favor of hobbits, which gives up some threat and treachery control while adding Secrecy. This turns out to be a smart tradeoff, as Secrecy dramatically improves the playability of Out of the Wild, which greatly accelerates Rossiel's boosts.

This deck is paired with a high-combat deck, which is responsible for defeating all enemies. Therefore, this deck focuses on managing the staging area and contributing most of the questing. See the Fellowship description for cross-deck synergies and session reports.

The goal for early rounds is to stay in secrecy while you get Rossiel buffed up. Light of Valinor is obviously important for her, but you probably shouldn't mulligan for it if you have Resourceful(s) and a couple other key cards. Obviously this is a victory display deck, so getting Out of the Wild in your opening hand and playing it in secrecy makes for a great start. Generally I pick a location first, but consider picking a treachery or enemy if you've also got Leave No Trace in hand. Risk Some Light is also a great card early when you can play it for free, as you'll know when to time Merry's ability, which is key for staying in secrecy until you can combo Arwen Undómiel with Elrond's Counsel.

Merry and Pippin are here mostly because of their low , and of course Merry's ability. They rarely get any attachments other than Resourcefuls and an occasional Leaf Brooch. The Unexpected Courages are for heroes from the other deck. A Fast Hitch on Merry would be nice to always allow him to trigger his ability, but I find it isn't worth the deck space.

If everything goes well, by the start of turn 3's questing phase, Rossiel will quest for 4 and sentinel defend with A Burning Brand for 5 (thanks to Arwen + LoV). It isn't as hard to pull off as it sounds, and at that point you're probably in good shape for whatever the quest is going to throw at you.

By mid-game, it is not uncommon to have a turn or two when you can cancel the entire staging step, with some combo of A Test of Will and The Door is Closed!. You won't pull it off every game, but it is super satisfying to do it, especially if you see it coming with Risk Some Light. (If you really love this move, you may want to bring along Dwarven Tombs to recycle AToW.)

Once you get control of the staging area, this deck can be a ton of fun and you'll be zipping through quest cards! That being said, the set-up is a little draw dependent and you'll have relatively low for the first couple turns no matter what. Therefore, it struggles significantly against quests that require heavy questing in turns 1-2. (The Mirkwood Explorers can help make up some ground mid-game, but by that time it may be too late.) Also, since the deck is overall light on allies and hitpoints, direct damage quests are problematic, even when additional healing is brought along. (See sidebar for my preferred healing, though those cards will water down the rest of the deck. Dúnedain Remedy from the other deck can be quite useful later in the game, if there's extra resources.)

Card draw is OK early with Daeron's Runes (or Heed the Dream) and is downright silly later with Keen as Lances. Also, you will want to trigger Pippin's card draw once Rossiel is buffed enough to optionally engage enemies. Therefore, the 54 card count is OK IMO. Leaf Brooch is probably the first thing I'd cut to get closer to 50, though I'm not sure what else. If the quest is unlikely to enable you to stay in secrecy for very long, the usefulness of Risk Some Light and even Elrond's Counsel go way down, so don't hesitate to ditch those cards in favor of the sideboards, if you know the quest is going to make secrecy irrelevant after a turn or two. Noiseless Movement may look unnecessary, but the other deck can quickly get bogged down with enemies, so I wouldn't cut it.