Radagast Jones and the Temple of Doom

Card draw simulator
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Some Sort 1133

The coolest combo in the entire game involves Expert Treasure-hunter, Wizard Pipe, and Hidden Cache. You draw a Cache, use the Wizard Pipe to put it on top of your deck, quest successfully, and name "event". Because of the way Expert Treasure Hunter is worded, the Cache is first discarded from the top of your deck, (netting you two resources), then put back into your hand, ready for you to do it all over again next round.

Obviously this combo is janky as all get-out. But when you manage to get the pieces together, it's kind of incredible. Those three cards combine to give you one extra card, (which you grabbed when Wizard-Piping), and two extra resources, (from discarding your Cache)... every single round. And unlike the other two-resources-a-round card, (Steward of Gondor), the Pipe/Hunter/Cache combo lets you put those resources on any hero you want. And none of the pieces are unique, which is great in multiplayer when someone will already be running Steward, anyway.

The huge, monumental problem with the whole combo is that the Wizard Pipe has to be attached to an Istari, which largely means Hero Gandalf. Core Gandalf doesn't stick around longer than a round, and Hobbit Gandalf is viable, but then you'll need to devote a lot of deck space to threat reduction, too. There's also Saruman, but he shares the same problem as Core Gandalf.

But there's one other sneaky target for those Wizard Pipes. Poor, overpriced, underused Radagast also possesses the Istari trait, and he persists between rounds, and he doesn't jack our threat up. I bet you never knew that, outside of Hero Gandalf, Radagast was the best archeologist / adventurer / treasure hunter in the game. Well, he is!

(Also of note: Gildor Inglorion can serve as a stand-in for Radagast and a Wizard Pipe. Or he can be combined with Radagast and a Pipe- the Pipe buries a hidden cache one card deep, Gildor buries a second copy two cards deep, you attach two Expert Treasure Hunters, and suddenly you're netting four resources a round!)

If we're going to be generating boatloads of resources, we need something to use them on. Enter Gondorian Fire, the easiest way to ensure that extra resources never go to waste. This means we need a Gondor or Dunedain hero, too; I opted for Beravor, who improves the consistency of our janky Treasure Hunter combo and is just overall kind of a cool / underused target for the Fire.

In the interest of keeping threat low, I grabbed Tactics Merry, who is phenomenal with Support of the Eagles and Fast Hitch, and can turn our Gondorian-Fired Beravor into a board-clearer. For the final hero spot, I wanted someone who would always be questing to attach Expert Treasure Hunter to. There aren't many tactics heroes who fit that particular bill, but Thalin is certainly one of them.

There is a second, slightly different version of this deck you can build where you replace Beravor and the Gondorian Fires with Elrond and Vilya. He plays really nicely with the Wizard Pipe, he helps get your expensive allies and attachments into play quicker, and he doubles Radagast's eagle-healing. If you go that route, drop a Sword-thain on Landroval or Gwaihir, toss on a few Songs of Mocking, and turn your Eagle Hero into a damage sponge. Also, while Support of the Eagles is most effective on Merry, you can earn major style points by dropping one on a Sword-thained Gwaihir, too!

That version is ludicrously cool when it comes together, but it's also a lot less consistent; when building around a four-card combo, there are few heroes who will help you get set up more than Beravor.

2 comments

Jun 09, 2016 Authraw 905

I've been using Radagast in hero Gandalf decks for a while now to hold an extra Wizard Pipe for me. I never thought he could be the star of his own deck! I love it!

Is Elf-friend just so you can use Rivendell Bow to give Beravor ranged?

Have you considered using hero Galdor to help you find your combo pieces? I always think of him as the janky combo hero myself. Might require a shuffle of your heroes, though.

Does this deck work solo, or is it just a multiplayer deck?

Jun 10, 2016 Some Sort 1133

Yes, Elf-friend is just for the Rivendell bows. They can go on Beravor if she has her Fire up and running, but Merry is usually going to be a higher-value target. In most quests, there will only be one or two enemies that you need a huge attack total to stomp, and you can just optionally engage those guys to bring them into Beravor's range. But a Fast Hitched Merry with ranged can really help every other player wipe their own engaged enemies with prejudice- especially if Merry has Support of the Eagles, too. Also: it lets him go ranging across the board with Ally Legolas, which means more card draw.

Galdor's perhaps the best hero in the game if there's a particular card you absolutely, positively must have in your opening hand, and he'll zoom you into your 2-card combos, but for a 4-card combo like this I generally find that drawing three a round is more important than the controlled mulligan. Plus, as I mentioned, Beravor is a natural target for Gondorian Fire; without her, you'd need a Gondor or Dunedain Tactics hero, which means either losing your dedicated quester in Thalin, or losing your low-threat board-clearer in Merry.

The deck won't play very well solo, I'm afraid. The entire resource generation engine is predicated on questing successfully, and you really need another deck to do that heavy lifting for you. Your heroes have just five combined willpower, and the only ally with any willpower who costs fewer than five resources is Legolas... who costs four, (and has one willpower).