Slippery... Eagles?

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Card Talk 543

Many in the community know that I am a fan of the Silvan Archetype because they bounce in and out of play and get all sorts of bonuses when doing so. With the release of the Final AP (for now) it seems that Gwaihir may be a challenge to use unless you can have his eagle allies also slide in and out of play, making a sort of Slippery Eagle deck. But in this case, you slide eagles in and out of play mainly to either 1) ready Gwaihir or 2) take advantage of the eagle allies like Meneldor or Descendant of Thorondor. But none of those interactions should surprise you.

I have seen many Gwaihir decks, but none seem to look like this line up. I have tried using Éomer with Silvans, and it just seems to fall short because his ability is limited to once per round, and Silvans can slide several times per round, making it a waste to have him as a hero. So in comes Gwaihir! In general, those eagle allies are only going to be leaving once (or maybe twice) per round, but that is enough to make Éomer a formidable attacker. I have tested this out against a few scenarios and feel confident that will be fun to play and is pretty powerful.

The best part of this deck is Frodo Baggins and his response. The only time you won't want to trigger it is the first (maybe second) turn so that you can get Steward of Gondor on him. If you don't have Steward of Gondor in your opening hand, it's not the end of the world. But it will help do the heavy lifting of the deck. And that's a little unfortunate because I don't love decks that rely on the Steward of Gondor to get online.

So, instead of a round by round description, I think it's better to talk about where the cards should go.

Let's start with Frodo Baggins. I know it's going to be weird with so few cards in , but he should get Steward of Gondor. It will help him use his response and, once you draw the Rod of the Steward, you will get major card draw from it. If, in early game, it looks like you aren't going to get Steward of Gondor, you can always use the Necklace of Girion on him to get the resource, but you may pay for it later when you want to draw cards. Other than that, Frodo Baggins is in this deck to keep Gwaihir ready.

Éomer gets The One Ring and, then, in turn, will obviously get Strength and Courage. This makes him a HUGE attacker right out of the gate with 7 and then if an eagle leaves play, he's at 9. That's enough to kill most enemies you see early game. Attach the Rohan Warhorse for readies, and Support of the Eagles for a really crazy buffed up hero. Obviously Gúthwinë is in the deck to also give Eomer a buff just in case you need it. There aren't any Rohan allies to recur, but it may not be a bad idea to side board Grimbold in case you need an emergency button.

Gwaihir gets the Necklace of Girion to increase resources and questing. He also gets Support of the Eagles to buff him out. It's quest dependent whether you want to put the Support of the Eagles on both Éomer or Gwaihir first, or if you want to put them both on one hero in case you have a need to buff the heck out of that target.

At this point, it's just a matter of bouncing your Eagles in and out of play just a few at a time. With Radagast in play, Steward of Gondor and the Necklace of Girion both out, you are likely able to pull out any eagle that you want by turn 4 or 5.

Other considerations: I did not include Radagast's Staff in this deck because it creates a two card combo that may not be seen. There is enough card draw to get turbo charge for your late game push, but I found that at that point, I didn't even need Radagast except for his healing, let alone his staff.

I also had 3x Cram in the deck for emergency readies on Gwaihir, but during the 4 or 5 games I played, I only ever used it once. Maybe it's a consideration for the sideboard, but that's about it.

Also, I know that Eagle of the North is a strange include for a solo deck, but I find that I am cycling through the encounter deck because this deck doesn't have that "YOLO" quest push ability. It really is good at controlling the encounter deck in terms of enemies and locations, but can get slow when you play a game that requires lots of progress on the quest card. So, to get an Eagle of the North out of the encounter deck is a lot of fun and gets a ready out of Gwaihir.

Enjoy!

3 comments

Oct 18, 2020 Uruk-guy 58

I like how the "slippery" trend continues! The only consideration I would offer is Firefoot over Guthwine seeing it can give you lots of utility for the same attack boost and price. But I can see why it would make sense to add the Leadership tool instead for Frodo using SoG.

Oct 18, 2020 The Purple Wizard 822

If the plan is to chump eagles regularly, then Horn of Gondor might be a useful card here too, to prevent the full reliance on Steward's arrival. Not sure if that's where you're going here or not.

Oct 19, 2020 doomguard 400

i see gwahir either as grey wanderer or together with an istari so u can play gwaihirs debt from the start.

can imagine some more combinations where u have 3 eagle-usuable-res from the start, but with less then 3 eagleusable (or 2 + radagast staff) res, i see no valid eagledeck.