The Morgul Vale - Progression - Katherine's Deck

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The Morgul Vale - Progression
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nttArc 146

Sorry for the delay if anyone happens to be following. It was a combination of busy with work/kids plus playing a few decently long sessions only to lose. I think we ended up losing 4 times before beating this one. The first two quest phases were always insanely easy and then we lost on the last. Being all tactics and getting a lot of threat added at the third quest phase from the Nazgul + The White Bridge + the 2 encounter reveals was too much. Then we realized that we just needed to take it slower on phase 1 and 2 to build up our boards and hands and that let us win.

We decided to try all tactics again. There are cards that penalize non-tactics or multi-spheres but I am almost certain that splashing in other spheres would work better as the punishing effect are not that many/severe. However, we just did The Stone of Erech which was willpower/spirit heavy and we took 0 tactics so I thought this was a good chance to break out a ton of tactics cards we had not been using. It turns out, yes, a 6 tactics team can win ! Instead of trying to change the questing to battle/siege, we opted to include Theoden (yay! trying new hero!) for more willpower.

As mentioned, the key for us was to take it slow on the first two phases as the transiton to phase 3 is what takes this quest from quite easy to quite hard (I wish there was more of an easy - medium - hard ramp instead).

Additionally, crucial was to just keep tokens of To The Tower. It turns out that with 6 tactics, even if you opt for more encounter cards rather than tokens on To The Tower you can often handle it just fine (especially with all the enemies).

So for the eagles deck, as always, you want The Eagles Are Coming, however, we realized that more important is Feint (especially for Lord Alcaron, but Murzag too). So ideal starting hand/mulligan has Feint and The Eagles Are Coming. Coincidentally, we did not start with Feint but did have The Eagles Are Coming and drew a Feint right before we needed it for Lord Alcaron.

Keep cycling those aforementioned cards with Hama and that should work wonders. Stall until you have built up your board and cleared the staging area. The most important is to build up multiple "incidences" of damage from cars on the board and in your hand. That's how you beat the Nazgul in the last phase. You have to have 5 separate ways to deal damage to it so you don't have to fight it (and quest) for 5 phases. Think of all the attack the staging area cards, direct damage cards and outside of regular combat attacks (i.e., Hail of Stones, Gandalf, Gondorian Spearman, Quick Strike, Hands Upon the Bow, Goblincleaver, Forth Eorlingas, the regular combat attack, et cetera).

Once you know you have 5 individual sources of damage on the board plus in hand, then go the quest phase 3 (and you will only need to willpower quest, and likely lose/increase some threat, once; you have have enough threat between you and 50 to survive one large threat increase and power through and win one the next round). You could get by with maybe 3-4 source of "instances" of damage and kill over two rounds but it depends on your baord state and staging area and whether you can survive and extra round.

We quested every single round with Thalin, Theoden and Boromir. Sometimes Bard (but not often, depending on board state and staging area) and often with Landroval or Eagles of the Misty Mountains (each playthrough we had one or the other) because willpower is precious (...my precious ?) with all tactics. Thalin was great for the bats and generally softening enemies. Beorn was great to help defend a bunch and stabalize the board (and attack back too) until more allies/chump blockers could be established. Plus if you get Landroval out, he can actually revive Beorn (designer's ruling) and you can use his health pool more liberally. Boromir is great too because you can always quest with him and if needed on a particular round you can ready him as needed. Always make sure to attack with Hama, even if not killing, so that you can get Feint back (or at least The Eagles Are Coming).

These decks are designed to primarily win with multiple sources of damage, so keep that it mind. It is critical for the Nazgul.

This was certainly a challenge, wondering how bad nightmare will be, but excited that we actually beat it with all tactics ! I feel like this scenario actually took at lot of strategy, at least trying to do it mono-tactics, so I'm sure that I forgot to mention a ton of little tis or tricks that we employed.

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