Positively-Oriented, Piecewise-Smooth, Simple Closed Curve

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BeestThouNotInHaste 139

Positively-Oriented, Piecewise-Smooth, Simple Closed Curve

When I just had the core set, one of my greatest annoyances was a lack of combat power in the sphere. To reconcile this, one of the first purchases I made after the core set was the Three Trials. Idraen quickly became one of my favorite heroes, given how she embodies so many of my favorite aspects of the game:

  • She is a dunedain, one of my favorite cultures of Middle Earth
  • She interacts with locations, one of my favorite aspects of the game
  • She has built-in readying, so I need't rely on ally swarming

However, Idraen has a flaw: I play solo most of the time, and so locations are a lot less common than in multiplayer. This deck aims to make Idraen usable, if not powerful, in solo.

Strategy

The overall goal of the deck is to manipulate the encounter deck into revealing locations as frequently as possible, avoiding enemies until the deck is ready for combat. Key cards for this strategy include Denethor, Ithilien Lookout, and Shadow of the Past.

Questing

The deck utilizes location control in lieu of massive willpower. While this deck can struggle a little bit when it comes to questing for a lot, its control over the encounter deck means the encounter deck will usually reveal locations, which Lórien Guide, Northern Tracker, and Warden of Arnor can quickly get rid of. Strider's Path allows Idraen to ready in case you are engaged with an enemy, but have no active location. The Riddermark's Finest gives the deck point-and-click readying for Idraen in case of emergencies.

Defending

The deck tends to struggle with huge enemies, relying on chumping to defend against them, or trampling them with Ride Them Down before they can engage you. Denethor can block enemies with 5 or less thanks to A Burning Brand. Protector of Lórien allows you to boost Denethor's so he can block larger enemies, but I've found this deck's lack of consistent card draw makes it difficult to use Protector effectively.

Attacking

Idraen is almost always ready come the combat phase, and her 3 paired with either a Wandering Ent or Treebeard is enough to dispatch most enemies in my two cycles. Larger enemies can take some time to build up to, but a Burning Brand makes it more or less safe to stay engaged with an enemy for multiple turns.

Resource Management

This deck does tend to struggle with paying for cards, as I don't really have any resource acceleration cards in or (outside of Grima). Song of Wisdom goes on Idraen, allowing you to pay for cards just a little bit easier. While it does take a couple turns for this deck to save up for some of its cards, the control it exerts over the encounter deck makes it a bit easier to wait.

Card Draw

Ancient Mathom is very potent in a location control deck such as this. This deck doesn't need to dig for specific cards in order to work, so the sub-par amount of card draw doesn't hurt it that much.

Sideboard

As with all of my decks, the sideboard consists mostly of cards I have yet to test with the deck. The exceptions are Power of Orthanc, which is used for quests with nasty condition attachments, and Waters of Nimrodel, for quests with absurd amounts of direct damage. Elfhelm is a good option for quests with lots of threat raising, such as Emyn Muil or the Dead Marshes.

Multiplayer / Solo swapping

This deck works pretty well in both solo and multiplayer, but there are a couple tweaks you can make based on which mode you're playing:

SoloMultiplayerwhy
[The Favor of the Lady](/card/01055)[Blue Mountain Trader](/card/08006)Favor won't get sniped by damaging treacheries, but the Trader is very useful for resource smoothing in multiplayer
[Daughter of the Nimrodel](/card/01058) x2Daughter or the Nimrodel x3I've found I need more healing in multiplayer
[Wingfoot](/card/08092) x2 & Warden of Arnor x1Wingfoot x1 & Warden of Arnor x2Warden is a lot more likely to hit in multiplayer, whereas Wingfoot is good for dodging damaging treacheries in solo

Conclusion

This deck was quite fun to build and test, especially against the Shadows of Mirkwood Cycle. It still has a few things to clean up, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on a solo Idraen deck: Is it viable? I know Haldan pairs up really well with Idraen, but my limited collection prevents me from using a Woodsman deck (well, I do have Mirkwood Pioneer...).

2 comments

Aug 01, 2020 Alonewolf87 613

Have you thought about using The Hidden Way? Also if you want to peek at the top card of the encounter deck consider Henamarth Riversong or Cautious Halfling

Aug 01, 2020 BeestThouNotInHaste 139

@Alonewolf87 The only one of those cards I have is Henamarth, who I had in the deck at one point. I chose to remove Henny and Rumour from the Earth mostly because I ran out of deck space, and scrying isn't one of the primary abilities I'm focusing on for the deck. Denethor is there for the encounter deck manipulation, chuck non-locations to the bottom. But yeah, your suggestions are good, but I ran out of room for Lore cards in the deck. Dunedain Pathfinder could also work.