Wandering Beravor

Questlogs using this decklist
Journey Along the Anduin - 1 Player - 2020-06-11
Passage Through Mirkwood - 1 Player - 2020-06-18
Journey Along the Anduin - 1 Player - 2020-06-18
Conflict at the Carrock - 1 Player - 2020-06-20
The Hunt for Gollum - 1 Player - 2020-06-19
A Journey to Rhosgobel - 1 Player - 2020-06-21
Into the Pit - 1 Player - 2020-06-25
The Seventh Level - 1 Player - 2020-06-25
Flight from Moria - 1 Player - 2020-06-25
The Redhorn Gate - 1 Player - 2020-07-02
Road to Rivendell - 1 Player - 2020-07-02
The Hills of Emyn Muil - 1 Player - 2020-07-09
Voyage Across Belegaer - 1 Player - 2020-07-09
The Fords of Isen - 1 Player - 2020-08-06
Escape from Mount Gram - Nightmare - 1 Player - 2020-10-09
Fellowships using this decklist
None.
Derived from
Beravor, Ranger of the North 9 4 0 2.0
Inspiration for
Dúnadan of Arnor (No ALeP FAQ) 10 5 0 1.0
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Taudir 288

Taudir has a newer deck inspired by this one: Dúnadan of Arnor (No ALeP FAQ)

Another update of my Grey Wanderer deck with Beravor, this time without any allies to make it feel even more as if the player was really wandering alone in the wild and vast lands of Middle-earth, having to rely only on what is given to him or her by nature and long years of training (and to find out if I could win without good old Gandalf, of course).

About This Deck:

The Hero

I really love Beravor. Her ability, her sphere (some nice soothing green, yeah!), and her truly amazing artwork, as well as the fact that she is one of the rather few female heroes in the game. And I really love to imagine what it was like to live a lonely life in the forests of Eriador pursuing the enemies, and being pursued by them. The Grey Wanderer Contract gave me the opportunity to find it out. The Rangers are an obvious target for this contract, especially if you plan to use as few allies as possible, since they all have well-balanced stats (except maybe for Amarthiúl) and thus can be built up quite easily to become powerhouses in every aspect of this game. Not to mention they are very thematic targets for the standard Grey Wanderer attachment, Strider. I must admit that I chose Beravor just because I liked her so much and wanted to build a deck where she is not the "glue hero" who gets sacrificed to the Hummerhorns, but the shining superstar. But then, I realized that she mitigated maybe the only drawback of the new contract: While it provides readying, resource generation and healing, it does not grant any card draw. Beravor solves this issue maybe to the greatest extent possible in the game. Drawing three cards almost every round thins your deck quite rapidly. Thus, Beravor makes sure that alle the attachments you need to build her up show up in time. This helps solving the greatest problem of attachment-heavy decks like this: They take time to get going. Not so with Beravor: With a good starting hand, she becomes a combat monster within four to six rounds and takes care of the questing all by herself. Drawing two additional cards each round really accelerates the deck and is key to its working.

The Attachments

This deck is centered around three attachments: Resourceful, Blood of Númenor and Gondorian Fire. Together with readying, Beravor with this attachments (preferably gaining at least 3 resources per round) can take out even the mightiest enemy within a single round if you had the time to pile up enough resources, which you do most of the time. Readying is done by Unexpected Courage and Magic Ring, although the latter would be replaced with another Courage if I owned a third Core Set, and the contract, of course. The Signal attachments become pretty obsolete once you have got enough resources for Blood and Fire, but can be game-saving at an early stage if you have not seen enough (or even a single) Resourceful yet. While Fire and Blood give Beravor +1 stat for two resources if you only have two available, the Dúnedain Mark and Dúnedain Warning give her +2 stat for two resources and thus are a little more effective in the early game. The third signal, Dúnedain Quest, is different: There is no Blood or Fire for willpower, so you need this +1 really hard. Strider is there for willpower and action advantage, obviously. Not having to exhaust Beravor for questing also allows to hold her ability back for after the quest phase if you fear that an enemy may show up you have (or want) to engage. Then, if know enemy has been revealed, you can use her ability without having to ready her again with the contract and thus without gaining the threat increase. I have to admit that it is not completely thematic, since the only real Strider is, of course, Aragorn (or Aragorn, or Aragorn, or maybe Aragorn, or even Aragorn, Aragorn or Aragorn). But I think, if one views this card's title as a general Ranger's name in Bree rather than a specific title, it becomes thematic enough to include it in a non-Aragorn (or Aragorn or -- well, you get it) deck. The other non-thematic attachment here is Celebrían's Stone. This one has a simple reason behind it: You need willpower, and +2 is the best it can get from a single attachment without further costs. The Guarded attachments are all unthematic, too, and do not grant advantages big enough to justify the extra threat in the staging area. They are very useful for three hero decks, but not so in a Grey Wanderer deck. The only other option at this time would be Silver Circlet, which is as unthematic as the Stone, also restricted, but only attaches to a Spirit character. This would mean the inclusion of another song that would take up deck space and thus is no good choice, either. So, I sticked with the stone. Song of Hope is another willpower boost, and I would argue the best in mid to late game in this deck. With all three copies of Resourceful out, there is no problem with resources anymore (you rather have the problem of physically running out of resource tokens), and the Song gives the advantage of being able to adjust the willpower after questing. A Burning Brand cancels shadow effects, and I do not know of any published errata. Self Preservation is another card for playing later in the game. The contract provides enough healing, and damage generally is no problem in this deck as it cancels shadow effects and provides crazy amounts of defense once set up, but if you have enough resources and readying not to need the contract anymore, Self Preservation can do the healing so that you no longer need the contract and its threat increase, which can be quite useful in late game when all your threat reduction cards are gone already.

The Events

While the attachments symbolizes the capability of the rangers in direct fights, the events rather focus on another classic ranger skill: Scouting ahead, always knowing the enemies' next steps, and always being a step ahead of them. The events thus mainly incude encounter deck control: Risk Some Light is great for secrecy decks, and Far-sighted, although raising the threat a tiny bit, serves the same purpose. Rumour from the Earth together with all the resources from Resourceful allows for infinite scrying, and Secret Paths, Strider's Path and The Hidden Way serve as location control. The Hidden Way is a great card in this deck: If you have seen a nasty card via scrying, just play The Hidden Way (preferably if there is no active location), reveal no encounter card and get an extra shuffle of the encounter deck. This card also shines when you want to focus on combat a bit ore, sonce Beravor quests for free, you do not need to worry about anything new from the encounter deck, which is always nice and gives some breathing room.

The Side Quests

Scout Ahead serves as another bit of encounter deck control and allows to take out a really unpleasant card. Gather Information helps to get your hands on key cards, depending on what you have got and what not: Need more readying? Grab an Unexpected Courage. You are waiting for A Burning Brand, but both copies decided to make themselves comfortable at the bottom of the deck? Gather Information is your friend. Double Back is for threat reduction, of course. I love that all these side quests are thematic too, and still very powerful in this deck.

The Sideboard

Athelas is for Condition attachments, and also very thematic (yay!), since the Rangers are one of the very few who know of these herbs' real potential. Thalion on the other hand serves only one purpose: Becoming a hero with the three side quests in the victory display, and then either being sacrificed to the Balrog or getting Lost and Alone, so that you do not have to lose Beravor (and lose the game).

The Deck's Strategy

  • Setup: Attach Striderto Beravor. Hope to draw at least one copy of Resourceful and maybe Blood of Númenor or Gondorian Fire. Risk Some Light is also a good card to begin with, since it can give you some extra time to find the cards you need. If you can scry and see that there is no enemy coming, or you do not need to engage it,, use Beravor to immediately draw two cards and ready her again with the contract, giving her two extra resources. This should incredibly accelerate your hand. If you know you are going to engage, you may want to hold back the readying for combat.
  • The first round: Quest with Beravor for 4. Hopefully, you can make some progress, but if you do not, do not worry. Travel to any location that sits around in the staging area, but leave enemies where they are.
  • The next rounds: Building up Beravor. Having two copies of Resourceful on her at an early point in the game can be quite helpful. If you don't get enough resources using Resourceful, use the contract. Then, start to attach the Signals to her to build her up as defender, attacker and quester. And don't forget to use her ability every round, if possible: This way you will draw your whole deck most of the time. Look for Song of Kings, so you no longer have to worry about only playing one Leadership card per turn, and concentrate on finding Blood of Númenor and Gondorian Fire. You will also most likely draw either Unexpected Courage or Magic Ring soon to get an extra action out of her. After seven or eight turns, you will have drawn half your deck and equipped her to allow her to quest, defend, attack and draw cards. If you attached A Burning Brand to her and don't care for unpublished errata, nothing will stop her.
  • How to deal with those big enemies: Leave them in the staging area until you got a bunch of resources, Blood of Númenor and Gondorian Fire. Defend them, spend a resource if needed to make Beravor a defending beast, ready her with Unexpected Courage, Magic Ring or, if you need more resources, the Contract, and smash them. Due to the low threat you can decide when to take on those enemies and you can preapre for them. When playing Journey along the Anduin, I was able to take out two Hill Trolls and Chieftan Ufthak each in one round with her. It was really satisfying to watch those beasts being crushed by a single ranger.
  • The Side Quests: Normally, after a few rounds of setup, questing should be no problem, and you can throw in one of the Side Quests whenever seems fitting. Both can be expected to be completed within one or two rounds and give great reward: Double Back helps keeping your threat low, so that you stay in secrecy for the entire game. Scout Ahead is even more powerful, allowing you to take out one nasty enemy, location or treachery and then set up the next three to four rounds. Amazing. Gather Information, on the other hand, helps to find a crucial card (e. g. Unexpected Courage). The Side Quests can also be used as buffers for the regular quest card: If the next quest card would soon force you into an unprepared fight, a Side Quest can win you one or two extra rounds of preparation as excess progress of Side Quests, unlike that of locations, will not go to the main quest.

Final Thoughts

I love the Dúnedain archetype in this game, no question about that. But I feel like it is missing something very important about the Rangers of the North: Their ability to hunt their enemies unseen, to hide in the woods and only strike when properly prepared, to always know what is coming towards them and to always find a way to solve the problems they are facing. This deck is an attempt to symbolize these abilities, and I am quite happy with how it worked out. On the one hand, it features the Rangers' incredible combat prowess, gained by their noble ancestry, on the other hand, it shows their cunning and stealth. I always enjoy playing and winning with this deck, although there is no denying that it just cannot handle certain quests (siege and battle quests in especial, not to mention Escape from Dol Guldur...).

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