|Questlogs using this decklist|
|Into the Pit - 1 Player - 2020-11-20|
|The Seventh Level - 1 Player - 2020-11-21|
|Flight from Moria - 1 Player - 2020-11-22|
|Flight from Moria - 1 Player - 2020-11-22|
|The Redhorn Gate - 1 Player - 2020-11-28|
|Fellowships using this decklist|
|Naur an edraith ammen||0||0||1||1.0|
|Naur dan i ngaurhoth||3||1||1||2.0|
|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
When playing the “expert game” variant each player’s threat, wounds, and discard pile do not reset when setting up a new scenario.
To reset the other game elements at the beginning of a new “expert game” scenario, perform the following steps in order:
1) All non-hero cards in play and in hand are shuffled into their owner’s decks. All encounter cards are returned to their encounter sets so they are available for the next scenario, if needed. This includes cards in players’ victory display.
2) All unspent resources are discarded from the heroes’ resource pools.
3) Each player draws a new starting hand per the regular setup rules of the game. A single mulligan may be taken by each player at this time.
4) A player cannot start a scenario with a threat level that is lower than the combined threat cost of his heroes. If a player’s threat is lower than the starting threat cost of his heroes, he must increase his threat to that value.
5) Follow all setup instructions for the new scenario.
Each scenario should be scored separately, and then all the scores added together at the end of the variant.
Deck Design Aims
- Keep Starting Threat under 30 to give the Vilya engine time to start running before larger enemies engage.
- Use a wide range of Allies to avoid wasting Vilya and provide solutions to multiple challenges.
- Utilise Word of Command as a reliable way to get the key cards into play, and then as a toolbox for the wide range of Allies, Attachments and Events.
- Utilise Flame of Anor as an attack swing and readying effect, taking advantage of the high cost Allies that are already in the deck for Vilya to target.
- Add a range of readying effects, all of which can be used by Gandalf, in order to both maximise the impact of Flame of Anor and reduce the impact of Word of Command.
- Integrate solutions for an Expert Game to be played across 3 Scenarios (such as the 3 Scenarios in a Deluxe Expansion).
(MotK) Ioreth as the third Hero
- (MotK) Ioreth generates a resource that can be used for Master of the Forge and Word of Command in the early game.
- The availability of her healing ability on Turn 1 (especially in combination with Elrond’s healing boost) allows Elrond and/or Gandalf to take damage in the early game if necessary.
- The reliable source of healing removes the need for Warden of Healing, freeing up deck space.
- Being able to remove one copy of Ioreth from the deck during setup effectively reduces the deck size to 49, providing a marginal consistency gain.
- She does all of this for 1 Starting Threat, giving the deck a total Starting Threat of 28.
- There are two copies of Ioreth in the deck. The reasons for this are: to allow for confident mulliganing for Vilya with minimal chance of not leaving at least one copy in the deck for Messenger of the King to target (especially as the deck size will get smaller in later Scenarios) and; to provide a backup copy to be played as an Ally if (MotK) Ioreth is destroyed (which will also remove Messenger of the King from the game).
- Wizard Pipe makes Vilya, Gandalf and Flame of Anor more effective, and should be searched for as a second priority after Vilya.
- Imladris Stargazer sorts the top of the deck to set up Vilya, Gandalf and Flame of Anor. She is a Ally, but resources from Elrond can be used to pay for Allies of any sphere, and resources from Gandalf can be used if she is the top card of the deck.
- Unexpected Courage, Shadowfax and Magic Ring maximise the usage of Elrond and Gandalf. It is worth putting multiple readying Attachments on Gandalf in order to maximise the impact of Flame of Anor and reduce the impact of Word of Command.
- Elrond's Counsel is the deck’s main threat control but requires the sphere. Vilya will give Elrond the sphere, and Gandalf can play it from the top of the deck prior to this. A single copy of The Galadhrim's Greeting can be searched for with Word of Command if necessary,
- Beorn serves two major functions while in play: he can soak up damage and be healed by (MotK) Ioreth and; he can get a single-turn boost and go back into the deck. There are three copies because he is also the primary target to be discarded from the top of the deck to give Gandalf +6 when playing Flame of Anor.
- Firyal is the other unique Ally with three copies in the deck. This is because her ability to look at and discard the top card of the encounter deck is incredibly powerful against some of the more unforgiving quests.
- Boromir, Elfhelm, Faramir, Gildor Inglorion, Jubayr, Northern Tracker, Treebeard and Yazan present a range of cost 4-5 Allies to be brought into play with Vilya or discarded from the top of the deck when playing Flame of Anor. Some are stronger than others, but keeping them at one card each avoids uniqueness issues and allows for a customised approach to each quest thanks to Word of Command.
- A Test of Will is a standard defence card. Some care needs to be taken that Vilya is not wasted by leaving A Test of Will at the top of the deck, but this should not be problematic in this deck.
- Flame of Anor allows Gandalf to Quest+Attack, Defend+Attack or Attack+Attack with both Attacks having the Flame of Anor bonus. This is achieved by exhausting Gandalf to Attack an Enemy in Attack step 6.8b, then playing Flame of Anor in the Action Window between steps 6.8.1. and 6.8.2. Then, in step 6.8.4., Gandalf will be ready, so the process loops to step 6.8. to begin another Attack. If Gandalf also has Unexpected Courage, Shadowfax and/or Magic Ring ready, he could continue to declare Attacks in the same phase, all with the Flame of Anor bonus.
- Gandalf's Staff is a toolbox card that can be kept at one copy thanks to Word of Command.
- Fortune or Fate is in the deck to bring back Elrond or Gandalf if they are destroyed, as they will not automatically be brought back between Scenarios. It cannot be used to bring back (MotK) Ioreth as she becomes Ally Ioreth in the discard pile while Messenger of the King is removed from the game when (MotK) Ioreth is destroyed.
- Will of the West is a one-use card to shuffle the discard pile back into the deck. The use of this card needs to be timed carefully to recover key cards, usually towards the end of the second Scenario or at the beginning of the third Scenario.
How to Play
- Mulligan for Vilya, or a way to find it (Master of the Forge or Word of Command depending on the circumstances). In the unlikely situation where your second (mulliganed) Starting Hand contains both copies of Ioreth, you will have to either: play that Scenario with only two Heroes or; choose another unique Ally to become a Hero for this Scenario (though be careful of your threat level if choosing this option).
- Turn 1 is about finding Vilya and surviving. If you don’t have Vilya, play some combination of Master of the Forge and Word of Command. Quest enough to avoid threat increase. Defend if necessary though don’t be afraid of a small undefended Enemy Attack.
- Utilise (MotK) Ioreth to heal damage when needed, though it is best to do this at the end of the Combat Phase. This avoids her being killed by effects that damage exhausted characters and still allows her to be readied in the Refresh Phase.
- Play other exhausting effects at the end of the Combat Phase unless you absolutely need to use them before. This maximises your options during the prior phases and still allows the exhausted characters to ready during the Refresh Phase.
- Once Vilya is in play, start bringing in the high cost Allies and support cards. In general, use Vilya for the high cost Allies while using resources for low cost Allies and support cards.
- Play Elrond's Counsel and The Galadhrim's Greeting sparingly and only as much necessary for the current Scenario (you cannot carry over a low threat level between Scenarios).
- Unlike a single-Scenario deck where we would aim to thin the deck quickly, cards are a finite resource in the Expert Game. Be careful which card you discard for Glorfindel if you use his readying ability. If you are forced to discard Attachments, consider your strategy for replacing or recovering lost Attachments. Vilya and Wizard Pipe have multiple copies, but other Attachments will rely on Will of the West to get back into the deck.
- Flame of Anor automatically goes back into the deck between Scenarios because it is in the Victory Display, but the card that it burns from the top of the deck when being played is discarded, so plan carefully which cards you can afford to lose this way.
I would welcome any feedback or comments.