Grimbeorn’s Path

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Beorn 8176

Note: you can find the alternate art cards created for this deck on the Hall of Beorn Blog.

I took this deck through the full Lord of the Rings saga. The only changes I made were subbing in sideboard cards for a few quests, but the deck is consistent even without changes. Like any The Hunters deck, the goal is to get to 2 restricted attachments per hero as quickly as possible. Obviously this task is made a bit more difficult in the saga quests with the addition of a Fellowship hero. Fortunately, attachments like Celebrían's Stone, Gondorian Shield, and Round Shield can be played on any hero.

Setting aside the early game strategy of getting restricted attachments into play as quickly as possible, there is an ideal load of attachment for each hero:

Strider belongs on either of the questing heroes, preferably whichever one has Light of Valinor when there are quests which request a hero to exhaust to make tests. Another valuable addition is Steed of Imladris as some locations have forced effects when they are explored and it can be beneficial to trigger these before staging. Elven Spear is mostly included because it is 0-cost, but attached to Gildor (along with readying or Light of Valinor), it did prove useful to help supplement the Bear's combat prowess.

Speaking of which, Grimbeorn the Old does serious work in this deck. Thanks to readying and resource acceleration, he single-handledly killed every enemy in sight in all but a few quests. His ability to immediately counter-attack is especially helpful in quests with enemies which attack from the staging area or immediately upon engagement. Once you have 6 or 7 resources on him, there are not many generic enemies in the saga quests which can withstand the bear. Boss enemies like the Nazgul and Shelob require a bit more strength, but you should be able to save resources to help deal with them. Also, the +3 or +4 bonus from War Axe does an excellent job of supplementing your attack power. Grimbeorn already boasts 3 defense and 5 hit points, but Gondorian Shield (with the Gondor trait granted by Steward) and Blood of Númenor should make the bear nigh on invincible. Also, don't forget the healing granted by the B side of our contract, that is essential for quests with archery and direct damage treacheries.

Contract decks are not necessarily easy to play, but this one is made easier by a few critical factors. Gildor Inglorion has built-in card draw, as does Arwen Undómiel once you find Elven-light. On the resource acceleration front, Arwen and Steward of Gondor are two the best in the game, there are enough duplicate copies of cards like Celebrían's Stone and Silver Circlet that you should always have something to discard to Arwen, even if you haven't yet found Elven-light. Last but not least, Open the Armory is can be a life-saver; helping you find the War Axe or Gondorian Shield that you desperately need. Don't worry too much about where attachments like Elven Spear and Round Shield go, there are included in plenty to help you flip to the B side of the contract as quickly as possible.

Most of the time the sideboard sat untouched, but a few of the saga scenarios pose unique challenges. For example, stage 2A of The Battle of Pelennor Fields will mill your entire deck if you don't have allies, so you are best advised to mulligan and/or draw your way into a copy of Will of the West. In a similar vein, Silver Harp helps avoid the nasty discard effects littered throughout The Road to Isengard. Lastly, the Aragorn-specific attachments are here for the quests where he joins your party as a Fellowship hero. Don't forget that Celebrían's Stone is a great attachment for him, or that Arwen Undómiel can give him additional resources with her ability. I hope that you all have as much fun playing this deck as I did. Happy adventures in Middle-earth!

23 comments

Apr 29, 2020 Some Sort 2367

Love the Grimbeorn / Armored Destrier combo. It’s like two readies in one.

Also love the idea of Grimbeorn in a three hunters deck given how flush they tend to be in resources anyway.

Apr 29, 2020 wehehe 837

Nice choice of heroes. I really like Grimbeorn in Forth, The Three Hunters! decks, as it can cover by himself almost all attack and deffense of the deck. Also is a hero which needs lots of attachments to shine, so it fits perfectly in these decks.

Your heroes roster was one of my possibilites when I build a deck with Grimbeorn the Old and Forth, The Three Hunters!, but I ended using him paired with Elfhelm for some extra stats boost, and Éowyn, I really like how the Willpower boost of the contract interacts with Rohan attachments, such as Herugrim or Golden Shield

About Grimbeorn the Old attachments... in my experience, I found that the best gear for it is (also with a Golden Belt) , to have a Raiment of War, an Armored Destrier and a War Axe (in addition to any other non restricted goodness), For me, Raiment of War has been great because some enemies attacking by 7-8 could defeat Grimbeorn. Those 2 extra heal points are so great to survive those great attacks. I guess that with "Gondorian" attachments, you have not many troubles with that. (I am not using steward of Gondor, so I can't use them)

About your other heroes... when you have to kill some high Heal bosses (like, for example, the Balrog in the Saga quests), have you found that Grimbeorn's attack is enough? With the Willpower bonus from Forth, The Three Hunters!, Gildor Inglorion and a Fair and Perilous can be a good attacking support. (Assuming that Arwen Undómiel can handle the quest by herself.

PS: Hope you and all your peolpe are healthy with all the COVID mad issue. Best regards !

Apr 29, 2020 Beorn 8176

Gondorian Fire was necessary to defeat the Balrog, and Blood of Númenor was necessary to handle defense. Other than boss enemies, I rarely had to use Blood for bonus defense however. Between Gondorian Shield’s +2 and the permanent +1 from the Tireless Ranger boon, at most I might take 1 damage which is healed immediately by the B-side of the contract. I also quite like Éowyn and Elfhelm paired with Grimbeorn, as you can see from my All The Pretty Horses deck. This deck was built specifically for the saga and the low character count as well as the choice of heroes felt thematic.

Apr 29, 2020 Fingolfin 1

An excellent deck. DId you give any thought to adding either Heir of Mardil or Orcrist? Heir of Mardil works very nicely with Orcrist and Steward of Gondor (if you wait until the Combat phase to trigger) on Grimbeorn the Old.

Apr 29, 2020 Beorn 8176

Orcrist was definitely considered though in the easier quests it was unnecessary and in the more difficult quests I tend to avoid guarded cards on general principle. Unfortunately Heir of Mardil can only be attached to Noble heroes. While I like to think of Beornings as a Noble people, the designers sadly disagree.

Apr 29, 2020 Beorn 8176

@wehehe we’re doing well (as well as can be expected) and thank you for asking. We send our regards to you and your friends and loved ones, and hope that all is well in Spain.

Apr 29, 2020 Fingolfin 1

Do'h! I forgot all about the Noble requirement for Heir of Mardil and understandable about guarded cards.

Apr 29, 2020 deceasedhorse 40

How did you handle Journey in the Dark anyway?

Apr 29, 2020 Beorn 8176

Steward + Gondorian Fire + Blood of Númenor + Readying (Armored Destrier and Unexpected Courage) allows Grimbeorn to handle the Balrog. The other trick is to quest as quickly through that as possible, so that you don’t have to face too many rounds with the Balrog in play. Saving up money on Grimbeorn is not too difficult as the other enemies in that quest are relatively manageable.

Apr 30, 2020 Tegyrius 89

I just slimmed the deck by adding 3x we are not idle and removing one each of fire, blood and light. Great deck! For my games, Grimbeorn has been swimming in money, but I don't think there is a card for him to share his wealth.

Apr 30, 2020 Beorn 8176

Yes, this is a solo deck, so sharing was less of a priority. Feel free to add Rod of the Steward from the sideboard to give the bear something to spend his money on. The goal with this deck is consistency, so I left out many fun tricks that I would ordinarily include. Your inclusion of We Are Not Idle is a nice improvement as it will only make the deck more consistent.

May 01, 2020 SrPomelo 1

Thanks for the deck, @Beorn. I haven't the rulebook right now, but when you say two Armored Destrier... can a single character have two Mounts?

May 01, 2020 Beorn 8176

Yes. Unless an attachment says “Limit 1 per character/hero/ally” (for example Gondorian Shield) then you can attach multiple to the same target. With restricted attachments you usually only attach 2 to a given target but the Three Hunters contract lets you attach a third restricted attachment per hero. Also, the Golden Belt lets you attach a fourth restricted attachment on the hero with the belt.

May 02, 2020 SrPomelo 1

Thank you @Beorn. I've searching for this rule and just finded a couple of comments at forums and you're right. I'm a thematic player after all who hates "unreal" combos. Maybe my mind holds the rule of V:TES that says "a minion can have only one Vehicle" ;) Regards.

May 02, 2020 CT1992 1

@SrPomelo If you were on a long journey you might take multiple horses so you can switch horses and keep riding, letting the other rest.

May 16, 2020 wlk 1

Gondorian Fire and Blood of Númenor are completly broken... and this is even more obvious in this deck.

May 30, 2020 wlk 1

@Beorn Who did you assigned as a captive in the Uruk-Hai ? And how did you manage the lack of resource for that sphere ? I don't see any songs in the sideboard.

May 30, 2020 wlk 1

ok, I guess this is Arwen Undómiel and Celebrían's Stone on Aragorn.

Jul 30, 2020 jimthechin 2

Been loving this deck-any tips for Mount Doom? Been struggling with that one!

Jul 30, 2020 doomguard 192

struggeling with mount doom? why? no allies that means only +3 thread per round. all heroes have much willpower, the additional checks should not be soo much of a Problem, or do u have to few Actions early in the game? then you can improve with cram and miruvor.

Jul 30, 2020 Beorn 8176

The key is getting Light of Valinor and then at least one of Strider, Celebrían’s Stone, or Silver Circlet on Gildor or Arwen as quickly as possible. Also, make sure that Grimbeorn always has at least as many attachments as Arwen, so the attachment hate condition hits him first. A copy of Unexpected Courage on whichever Noldor has the most willpower will help with tests. You may want to sideboard in an extra copy of Light of Valinor. Also, Miruvor is an excellent addition for this quest.

Jul 30, 2020 jimthechin 2

Thanks for the dooms @doomguardand `@Beorn! Matching Grimbeorn's attachments with Arwen's makes a lot of sense. It took me a couple of tries, but it got there! Boarding in the extra Light of valinor and Miruvors (I took out Gondorian Fire and Blood of Numenor for Mt. Doom) finally got them there!

Jul 30, 2020 Beorn 8176

Excellent. Congratulations on completing your adventure through the saga quests!