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Card Talk 1092
This is my version of a "true hobbit deck." One where most of the allies are hobbits. I've always loved hobbits and have never really built a successful hobbit deck, save the Black Riders version that pretty much comes out of the box. So this has been a while coming and the latest cycle adds a few cards that make this deck much more fun to play.
You'll notice off the bat that I'm missing Odo Proudfoot, a card I am really high on, and Raise the Shire, which plays off of Odo so well, but after a playtest or two, I decided that this deck doesn't go there and I, very sadly, cut those cards from the mix.
What you will notice is the highlight on Tom Cotton as the star of the show. With his 3 and 3 , it makes him the hardiest of hobbits, only next to Sam Gamgee in terms of stats. But his ability is what makes him the star of this deck. Unlike most decks that I put together, this deck has to put specific attachments of specific characters, at least for the way I play.
Instead of round by round breakdown, this deck gets a character by character breakdown.
Tom Cotton is the star of this deck. Okay, I may be over stating it, but I think is really is the grease that keeps this deck moving along. He should be the first target for a Fast Hitch, he should get the sole copy of Ring Mail, he gets a copy of Hobbit Cloak, one of the Friend of Friends, and then the only copy of Protector of Lórien. This combined with the boost that Rosie Cotton can give to Tom makes him a formidable defender that not much can touch. With Bill the Pony, Friend of Friends and Ring Mail out, he has 6 which seems to be pretty great. Give him just one copy of Fast Hitch and that allows him to take two swings from a big bad guy with out really blinking.
Bilbo Baggins was a tough include here. But his card draw, playing solo, really makes him a great add. I can handle the threat in this deck, but my instinct to start in secrecy is always overwhelming when I play hobbits. That said, his 9 is okay and its not horrible to start at 25 total especially with three copies of The Shirefolk. Bilbo should be the recipient of the Steward of Gondor and Song of Hope to help him quest. You may want to give him a Hobbit Cloak to make use of his 2 , otherwise, he remains happy just being a quester
Sam Gamgee gets one Fast Hitch, 2 Dagger of Westernesse and ! of the Friend of Friends in the deck. This makes him a formidable quester and also someone who can swing for 8 against some real nasty enemies.
Rosie Cotton! What hobbit deck is complete with out her? Her utility is well noted, but in this deck, she only really needs one Fast Hitch and that will just about set up your heros.
The other card in the deck that helps this out is Forest Snare. 3x in the deck allows you to snare an enemy that has a high engagement cost so that you can keep Tom Cotton's resource smoothing. This is really great because I have found that mid game is where I need the resources and if I haven't come across Steward of Gondor, then I can still bring out Gaffer Gamgee or Pippin. It also helps to buff the Bywater Shirriff, and at 2 resources for a 2, 2, 2, with 2 (3 with Bill the Pony) that's what you call value. And you don't have to spend resources as long as Tom Cotton is triggered. It's raining stats!!!
Of course, there is Sneak Attack, Gandalf in the deck, but I don't need to say much about that. I have really been using his draw more than anything when he comes out. I guess it's worth a mention that Pippin is a good target for Sneak Attack if you don't have a gandalf in your hand. He would have 4 and that's not horrible in the combat phase.
The only card in the deck that I feel is not all that thematic is Warden of Healing, but with all these squishy hobbits on the board, having the healing is a necessary evil. If you get desperate, the can contribute 1 to the quest and with Steward of Gondor on Bilbo Baggins, it's likely you can afford to ready him up to heal.
So that's about it. I've had some good luck running this deck and the most fun I have had was playing Across the Ettenmoors. I was able to clear EVERY side quest and kill every troll and giant in the deck. Enjoy!