|Questlogs using this decklist|
|Fellowships using this decklist|
|Have Fun Storming the Castle!|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
"Whoo-tu-poo, look who knows so much, eh. Well it just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead." -- Miracle Max, The Princess Bride
One half of my 2-player Fellowship that won against Fortress of Nurn. This description will contain spoilers for cards in that scenario.
Hero choice was informed by the need for high attack power in order to deal with trolls and Khamul when those come out of the encounter deck. Turn 1 strategy is to let Gimli take an undefended attack from the 4-strength enemy who begins the game engaged with you. Balin is there as insurance that he can do that and survive, and then his ability just remains extremely useful while on stage 1 of this quest. Even if Gimli can't survive that attack, the undefended damage can be placed on Beorn and you can keep going.
Balin quests every round.
Other choices here are driven by the needs of the deck as I played and re-played the quest.
One of the Power of Mordor cards in the scenario raises your threat each time you draw a card, so this deck actually purposefully avoids card draw. It does have a very small amount in Legolas, who I would probably not trigger if that threat-raising card were in play, and King Under the Mountain, which actually would not draw you deck. But actually the strategy of the deck is to construct it so that you are solid even if you are top-decking for the whole game. Gimli actually is fine with either a Citadel Plate or Vigilant Guard, and doesn't really need both. Allies can back up him for attack as needed, or combo with Beorn for the big guys. There is no resource acceleration, but even so you will most likely empty your hand at some point in the game.
There is a Castle side quest which deals one damage to all characters when it is revealed. To endure that, this deck does not include allies who have 1 hit point. That is why Fornost Bowman and Marksman of Lórien are here instead of Galadhon Archer and Northern Bowmaster, who are in earlier iterations of the deck. That card would wipe them out. You also should not keep Gimli at 1 HP away from defeat, or at least give him a heal before you select an unknown Castle side quest first, or have a ready Honour Guard. Once that side quest's effect has triggered, Gimli is safe to stay at 1 HP from defeat ("mostly dead") for the remainder of the game, there are no effects which will damage him if his only role is as attacker.
If you get set up properly, it is possible to treat Gimli as a defensive engine as well. Heal him fully each turn and then take undefended attacks. Since both decks in this fellowship have purposefully poor card draw, that's just a nice side-strategy that you might luck into.
There are a few willpower allies in here as well: Angbor the Fearless, Rosie Cotton, Pippin. Each of them are here just for 2 willpower each at low cost. The other half of this fellowship was not really able to handle all the willpower needs of the fellowship independently, among all of the myriad other things it needed to do (heal, control locations, control threat).
Then, threat control from Gandalf and Secret Vigil. There is no Sneak Attack here because setting up combos is not very practical with this deck and scenario. Favor of the Valar works if you don't get the Power of Mordor card which limits your threat reduction to 1 per round. There is a possible setup for this scenario in which you have to take that card (this would be if it ends up the one that gets revealed when you move to stage 2). That represents 20% of possible setups. In that case, Favor of the Valar is useless, so consider swapping with something else that lowers threat. The only real option I can imagine is expensive though: Keen as Lances.
If you are brave, another possibility for this deck is to swap Balin for Frodo Baggins. His ability would control threat and add willpower (Gimli could quest), at the cost of greater need for healing (Frodo is more vulnerable to the direct damage card in this scenario than Balin is) and a more dangerous combat phase. Triggering his ability would also be more expensive than Balin, who is only triggered occasionally. If you swap in Frodo, I would find space for Steward of Gondor. It was in earlier versions of the deck, but I found it unnecessary and removed it. You want to see a useful card getting drawn every turn of the game, so extra uniques are also not so great to see.