The Seventh Level with Dwarves

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This is a solo progression deck (made with two core sets) focused on dwarves for the scenario The Seventh Level in the Khazad-dum deluxe expansion.

First of all the Book of Mazarbul usually goes on Dáin Ironfoot as we want him ready and he can commit to the quest without exhausting, and we usually want his defense more than his attack.

The basic strategy is to have several dwarf allies on the board to utilize the stat boost from Dain. Another foundational principle of this deck is that Thalin should be committed to every quest in order to commit 1 damage to each enemy that comes out during staging. For one thing this will eliminate any Goblin Archers that come out. But also there are many 2 hit point enemies in the encounter deck, so if you can get a Gondorian Spearman out as well then these enemies will be destroyed before they ever have the chance of inflicting damage. I picked up this useful strategy from listening to old Cardoboard of the Rings podcasts where Mitch mentions this as a strategy against encounter decks with many 2 hit point enemies. (If you are so unlucky as to get a Goblin Archer that Thalin doesn't hit then your backup options are either Longbeard Orc Slayer or, if you must, Gandalf.)

There are 3x Undisturbed Bones in the encounter deck whose shadow effect has you discard the defending character if it is an ally. Hence we try to defend with Dain when possible. Be careful trying to defend with Bifur since several shadow cards will give a +3 attack to goblins, and this is often enough to destroy Bifur (unless he has A Burning Brand or you've managed to get a Citadel Plate onto him of course). Ideally we have either Unexpected Courage on Dain, or we have Erebor Record Keeper in play with a spare Lore resource, so that we can ready Dain after he exhausts to defend.

Generally the shadow cards are very annoying, so we'd love to get a Narvi's Belt and then Burning Brand on Dain (or just put it on Bifur if Narvi's belt hasn't shown up yet) to really strengthen defense.

Steward of Gondor can go on either Dain or Thalin, and this choice may be influenced by whether or not you have either Longbeard Orc Slayer, or a Citadel Plate in hand. But keep in mind that the Orc Slayer also goes well with Sneak Attack, and that the Plate can but put on for free if you have the opportunity to travel to the Plundered Armoury. Since I usually try to get Narvi's belt onto Dain I more often give him the Stewardship, but it all depends on the cards in hand.

For the Cave Troll (2x in the deck) we'd like to have Feint in hand. Note that if Thalin damaged the Troll when it was revealed, and we have a Gondorian Spearman in play, then we may just need to hit the Troll for 9 attack, as that will leave it with 1 hit point left, and the Spearman can take it from there on the next round. This is not too hard to get to if you can keep Dain ready. Of course there is always Gandalf to help as well. And Dain with a Burning Brand can absorb one attack from a troll in a dire situation. Until you are ready to deal with a troll try to keep your threat below 33.

Feint is also handy for the Chieftain of the Pit (1x in the deck), since he attacks for 8 on the round he is revealed (note our deck has no way to cancel When Revealed effects). He engages at threat 27 so he's hard to avoid taking damage from without Feint. Plan B would be to feed him an expendable ally. Note that we only need to muster an attack of 6 to take him down, or really just an attack of 4, since Thalin likely hit him when he came in, and the Gondorian Spearman (assuming he's in play) can finish him off in the subsequent round.

There are 2x Hidden Threat in the encounter deck and each will make you loose an attachment. We do have 3x Erebor Hammersmiths to pick them back up. If we get one of the 3x Watchful Eyes we really on Miner of the Iron Hills (3x) or using some readying effects to work around them. Note that there are only 34 cards in the encounter deck, so revealing some of these cards is inevitable.

For card draw we have Gleowine and Valiant Sacrifice. There is no healing in the deck, but I haven't found it to be necessary. I usually put the Dwarrowdelf Axes on some combination of Veteran Axehand and/or Longbeard Orc Slayer(s). Lastly Durin's Song is great once we have a way of readying a hero.


May 05, 2021 GreenWizard 160