Supporting Saruman

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calyx 2

Saruman is an amazingly flexible hero with his great stats, amazing readying ability, and especially his access to powerful off-sphere doomed cards like Legacy of Númenor. However, it takes considerable effort to build around him and keep threat under control.

This deck uses both Beregond and Galadriel - two heroes with reliable, repeatable effects that reduce threat by 1 - to complement Saruman and overcome his intrinsic drawback. Even better, both can be used to help reduce the threat of other players if necessary. Galadriel's Handmaiden and Elfhelm can also help out with managing threat, and Firyal can help discard doomed cards from the encounter deck.

Look for Saruman's Staff to be in your opening hand to better play (or find) the powerful doomed events. Even if you can't find it, however, the threat reduction in this deck is decent enough that you can play a few doomed cards without worrying too much. Against a quest that starts with very high threat in the staging area, I would look for Nenya first.

I'm still tinkering with the balance between and in the allies, as well as the composition of events (i.e. Close Call vs The Wizards's Voice), and things may change as I play against more quests. This deck is already very strong, however, and has beaten every quest I've tried it against.

Deck highlights:

Questing is done primarily by Arwen Undómiel, Galadriel's Handmaiden, West Road Traveller, Glorfindel, and Firyal (one of the best allies in the game). Early game Saruman will be your primary quester, with Galadriel helping out if you have found Nenya. Saruman's built-in readying effect is a lifesaver here, and Far-sighted can both ready Saruman and tell you exactly how much willpower you need to commit. Against very location-heavy quests, Súlien can be an amazing late-game play.

With his 4 , Saruman is obviously an amazing attacker on his own from turn 1, and can be further boosted by Glamdring and for big enemies readied and boosted with Flame of Anor - though don't count on a huge attack boost, as the cost curve of the deck is fairly low. Allies like Glorfindel, Quickbeam, and Eryn Galen Settler pitch in for enemies that require more power to destroy.

Defense is capably handled by Beregond, who can be boosted by Arwen Undómiel and Protector of Lórien to get up to 8 if needed. Close Call and The Wizards's Voice can help get out of a really tough situation - both events are included as 1x cards, as each is better in different situations. For weaker enemies, and to discard shadows, Jubayr is amazing. Finally, Warden of Healing is always good and Waters of Nimrodel can be an amazing card if the situation calls for it.