|Questlogs using this decklist|
|Fellowships using this decklist|
|The Wilds of Rhovanion & Ered Mithrin Cycle|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Disclaimer: Radagast ally is still not an amazing card. But he's fun to play here!
With Land of Sorrow out I immediately wanted to build a Gwaihir Grey Wanderer deck. I generally use the Grey Wanderer's Action quite agressively in the early game (as I explained in my Fair Ithilien deck) because you obviously need the resources, and that a 1 threat for 2 resources trade-off is totally fine in my book. Most of the time, I would miss on a second effect (because most Heroes are ready during the Planning Phase, and undamaged if they're not your main defender): this would not be the case with Gwaihir, helping you ready him if you somehow did not managed to play an Eagle ally (which is highly unlikely at some point, which is the moment you'd rather heal the poor creature).
Of course, once you've reached a certain point of comfort in the game, you can use the Grey Wanderer's readying in a more useful situation, usually during the Combat Phase, as Gwaihir's Response is capped to 1 per phase. That limit was actually a bit frightening, and an earlier version of my deck used Unexpected Courage as a means to counter that, but I found it unnecessary for most quests. Readying was just fine.
I must say that overall it's a very fun deck to play with lots of micro-decisions about:
- when readying Gwaihir with the contract,
- or by playing Gwaihir's Debt, Flight of the Eagles,
- actually paying for Wilyador, the Winged Guardians or Vassals of the Windlord effects or not,
- when doing so, are you getting back your Eagle into hand, or throwing them under an Eagles of the Misty Mountains ?
This deck never plays twice the same.
Back to deck construction. This is a standard mix of the Eagle decks of old and a Grey Wanderer deck:
- Strider obviously is your starting card (and before everyone asks: yes I don't care you're supposed to draw your starting hand before resolving side A of the contract)
- Tons of Eagle allies, Gwaihir's Debt (because we'll talk about Radagast later), The Eagles Are Coming!, Flight of the Eagles, Support of the Eagles, you know all about it,
- Timely Aid and Resourceful for your short-term and mid-term resource generation. Remember Eagles are expensive.
Ally Radagast is turned from a quite bad card into a very very decent card in that deck.
- The 5 resources are still hefty and overcosted, I know, but you can cheat him in play with Timely Aid. Heck, even at a non-Secrecy full cost you're still gaining 1 resource! If timely aid does not come to you, it's highly probable you have a couple of Resourceful to get you there. Grey Wanderer decks are turtle decks, you have time.
- You get access to his staff, so he could be netting you 3 resources a turn, with you investing only 3 resources if everything goes alright. Ok that's still a two/three-cards combo... but card draw is not an issue here.
- Once he's in play Gwaihir's Debt is legit.
- I've never used so much his staff's second ability. Having the possibility to defend twice with an Eagle of the Misty Mountains on steroids is clutch.
- Alongside the contract itself, he covers a bit of healing (an ability I never used so much also), and healing in a pinch can save the day, saving one of your ally (or your hero) from a bad shadow effect or treachery.
- He's totally legit to pay for Wilyador's maintenance cost.
- He's bringing 2 to the questing, and still able to ready a Creature ally with his staff later.
A couple notes on some timing effects, very important because it makes the Vassal of the Windlord, normally the only Eagle that is discarded without you having a choice, actually savable:
- Technically Action window after step 6.8.2. can also be used to play Born Aloft, Meneldor's Flight (which I don't use in my deck but your are free to do so) or Flight of the Eagles to prevent a Vassal of the Windlord to be discarded. This is due to the nature of the sequencing of resolving attack. In step 6.8.2. you determine STR. Then you have an Action window. At this point, your total is set in stone, and bumping the Vassal back into your hand won't change it. This is the moment to play those 3 effects I mentioned. Then step 6.8.3. you determine combat damage (using the same strength as if the Vassal was still in play). In step 6.8.4. the player attack ends, and normally, the Vassal would be discarded through its Forced effect, which is not the case, now that the card is in your hand.
- It doesn't work with the Winged Guardian during a defense sequence. However, using Meneldor's Flight during the action window between 3.4 and 3.5 cannot save and Eagle Emissary (Land of Sorrow upcoming expansion). Using the Action window after 6.4.2. (reveal and resolve shadow card) would make the attack undefended, and the Action window after 6.4.3. (determine combat damage) opens up after the Forced effect of the Winged Guardian triggers.
- This is the same for the Eagle Emissary during the quest phase. If you use the Action window after step 3.3. (staging), you lose your 2 for quest resolution which seems counter-productive (unless you're alright with that choise of course!). The Action window after 3.4. (quest resolution) happens only after the Forced effect of the Eagle Emissary triggers.
Just try it! His overcost is still daunting, but once he's hit the table, you're really glad he's there. Very useful. If he doesn't you're still probably fine (but he showed up in all my games, so I wouldn't know).
I actually tested the deck a bit on solitaire but it's not designed as such and functions better with a questing deck alongside. I will come to that later with a full Fellowship!