Guarded-o-rama

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Card Talk 1032

This deck was created because of an episode of Card Talk where Grant and I discuss ways to get Guarded Cards, namely Durin's Axe into play. To see that episode, click on over to it HERE

The idea is that Éomer can attack into the staging area and, coupled with Firefoot, excess damage can be assigned to enemies engaged with you. While this isn't even remotely the "new hotness," coupled with Bilbo Baggins is a great twist.

For starters, please remember that I play solo and this deck is designed for that. While I don't see many reasons why it couldn't be used for multiplayer, please be kind and make sure that the table knows you are playing a mitt full of guarded cards.

Also, this deck isn't that versatile. I played it, albeit with great fun, against a few quests in the Dwarrowdelf cycle because of the orc swarms that are trying to kill you, but I can imagine that this deck solo has some limitations in many of the later quests. That said, it is one of the most fun decks I've played (and built!) in a long time. My recommendation is to play this against The Seventh Level. That quest is notorious for churning out enemies, even in solo. Playing this lineup has allowed me to kill three enemies multiple times even before the travel phase.

As I was building this deck, I wasn't trying to make it a Forth, The Three Hunters! deck. It just kinda happened. I got up to 30 cards in the deck and realized I didn't have any allies yet, so instead of trying to make something work, I accidently fell into a Three Hunters Deck. The only thing I changed out was Éowyn for Hirgon. I just felt it needed a little extra umphf that Éowyn can provide.

As per the usual, here's some general piloting instructions:

There isn't much that you NEED to have in your opening hand. But the general weakness of this deck is readying. So you may want to look for Magic Ring or Cram. And, shockingly, we recently did a show on Cram. But, if nothing shows, then you should, as you always want to, try to flip the contract as soon as you can.

Éomer is going to be your attacker and attachments like Durin's Axe, Firefoot, Rohan Warhorse, Golden Belt, Gúthwinë, and War Axe all fit very nicely on him and you should within a round or two build his to 5 or 7. This then triggers the time you can put guarded cards into play.

Bilbo Baggins is probably your dedicated quester. Especially with scenarios that start with enemies in the staging area, Bilbo Baggins can really neutralize that threat. And, his 1 damage helps a bunch to soften up enemies for Éomer to smush in the staging area. If you have a ready on him consider also using him as a defender. Bilbo Baggins gets attachments like Spear of the Citadel, Stone of Elostirion, Dagger of Westernesse, and Sting that help him both quest and defend.

Éowyn is interesting because she will also be a quester and defender. Early on, you'll need her , but later on after she gets Golden Shield and Spear of the Citadel, she may be your defender.

The guarded cards make this deck fun. Mariner's Compass is great for eliminating a location after you get out Mithril Shirt or the Stone of Elostirion. Bilbo's Plan also feeds right into the "Let's nuke a location" mentality. For those cards that are guarded (enemy), that's where the combo of Éomer and Bilbo Baggins do their magic.

Follow this fictitious scenario: The staging area is empty. You get an enemy and engage it, but cannot kill it because you quested with Bilbo Baggins and Éowyn, forcing you to defend with Éomer. Then you play The King's Return during combat avoiding the engagement of the guarded enemy. That gives you Sting in play. One enemy is engaged, one in the staging area. Next turn, you play Durin's Axe and now there are 2 guarded attachments with their respective enemies in play. You quest with Bilbo Baggins doing direct damage to one of the enemies, you use Éomer's ability to swing and kill the other, and, with the leftover damage because of a beefed up Éomer, you put it on the enemy engaged with you and kill that, freeing up Sting to put on Bilbo Baggins before staging even happens so he gets his bonuses. Now you have one enemy in the staging area guarding something that has two damage on it. With Magic Ring you ready Bilbo Baggins and when the other enemy engages you, you can kill it on defense because Bilbo Baggins has both Sting and a Spear of the Citadel on him.

That sounds wild, I know. But these sorts of scenarios are what happen in this deck and you know what? It's a ton of fun to play it all out.

I hope you enjoy!

4 comments

Dec 16, 2020 TritonWreck 248

Nice! I’ve tried to put together a Bilbo Eomer deck before and it didn’t quite work. I’ll have to try this one. One thought: have you considered Spear of the Mark instead of Guthwine? And who is the best target for Thorongil (since there are three options here)

Dec 17, 2020 eldub 677

@TritonWreckI'd have to think that Thorongil goes on Éowyn late game to get some extra and that it goes on Bilbo Baggins early game to get some extra draw. I don't know that you'll ever end up having the spare resources in the early game, though, so it seems like the prime candidate is, indeed, Eowyn.

Dec 17, 2020 ellipticaltable 183

This feels like it could be a solid multi-player quasi-suicide deck.

Unlike the bonkers first-turn Justice Shall Be Done decks, you aren't trying to be eliminated. For the most part, you're playing to go the distance. Except for 2 things. First, prefer attaching the fun stuff to other players. Second, take the brutal punches on the chin when necessary.

Basically, you are always pulling your own weight. You're effectively dealing with at least 1 encounter card's worth of evil per round, especially strong enemies. And if/when you finally do fall, your teammates will be that much stronger.

Dec 17, 2020 Card Talk 1032

@TritonWreck Thorongil goes on to Éowyn mainly, but can work to bring out Bilbo Baggins. Obviously, Éomer is a non-bo with a Forth, The Three Hunters! deck. It just depends on what you need.

Also, I am considering getting rid of it and Steward of Gondor in favor of a few more restricted attachments and some readying (if I can find it somehow!). That said, Thorongil is just a fun card to play. So, we'll see where the next few iterations of the deck go.