Helm's Deep - Questing Deck - Specialist Deck Series

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Helm's Deep - Specialist Deck Series
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This deck is one of two that make up the Fellowship designed to beat Helm's Deep for my Specialist Deck Series. This deck is the more questing focused of the two, with some additional support for both decks.

Eleanor was the first card chosen for the deck. The quest has a couple of must cancel treacheries, especially the one that blanks our characters' text boxes. The intention is that she will always be available to use her ability and will not be defending except in emergencies.

Haldir of Lórien is really here for a bit of fun and as a hat tip to the movies. With one or two weapons generously donated by the partner deck, Haldir can take out any of the enemies in this quest using his ability. Sometimes we will bo forced to engage enemies, but there should be enough defenders between the decks to manage.

When choosing the third hero, I felt that raw stats would be important and in particular that and were things that were needed, not least because Eleanor is basically reserved for her ability only. Elrond is the hero that fit the best, and his abilities are also very useful. Since the deck was not conceived as a Vilya deck, I decided to leave it out.

Overall, the deck features a strong set of allies, mainly focused on questing with some defense. There is also some location control, of the sort that will allow us to better deal with the particular features of this quest. Finally, threat can be a big issue, so there are a couple of cards to deal with that.

On to the cards:

Arwen Undómiel - Arwen is a very valuable ally in this quest. She quests well, which we very much want. Her ability is also excellent here - we'll be facing a lot of strong enemies and the added flexibility of giving sentinel makes our defensive options even better. There are several possible targets in each deck, so we should be getting great value every turn.

Firyal - A top quality ally. Her ability is amazingly useful, even if not quite as potent in multiplayer. Depending on the board state, there are any number of cards we would rather not see from the encounter, including a couple of nasty treacheries alluded to elsewhere. This is one of the cards we want in our opening hand since we get to put an ally into play for free. This applies to all of our 4+ cost allies, so I won't repeat it for the others.

Gléowine - Earlier versions of the deck were not drawing enough cards, and Gleowine is still one of the best options for repeatable card draw available to us. The flexibility to draw cards for the partner deck is nice too.

Glorfindel - This is a quest where strong stats can really count. Our lives are significantly easier if we can quest successfully and destroy the enemies each round. Glorfindel can do both of those things each turn. He can even defend in an emergency, and his high hit point means he might even survive.

Jubayr - Our primary defending ally. The ability to defend without needing to worry about a shadow card is so strong. With Arwen's boost he's basically invincible in this quest. His ability is also strong in that we can remove the shadow from a different enemy, so we can remove the risk associated with a hero defense for example.

Quickbeam - Quickbeam has unbelievable stats for his cost and would probably make any deck better. Once again, he is very valuable due to his strength in both questing and combat.

Súlien - Primarily, she is just a strong quester. However, in this quest in particular we can get a lot of use out of her ability. There are several reasons why we might want to leave locations in the staging area, mostly due to the negative effects from exploring them. If this happens enough, she can have a big impact on questing.

Warden of Healing - When paired with Elrond, the Warden puts out an incredible amount of healing. There is a lot of archery and direct damage coming at us, and even with one Warden in play, we can all but ignore it.

Wellinghall Preserver - This is another Ent with an amazing stat line. 3 for 3 cost is the best rate available. At a push, this is also a capable ally in combat. The incidental healing on offer just pushes it over the top - just don't forget the combo with Elrond like I did! Also, this is not a bad card to play for free on Stage 1. It's not expensive as some of our other allies, but effectively skipping the turn spent exhausted can be worth it.

West Road Traveller - This is a solid questing ally that we'll always be happy to see. For Helm's Deep, we can also make good use of her ability to better control the locations in the staging area and simultaneously benefit from the bonuses of the active location and avoid some negative effects by swapping them out before questing.

Banner of Elendil - I generally anticipate including this card in every quest with Aragorn (each version). The bonus is just so good, and universally useful.

Entangling Nets - This card is almost always useful in quests with a lot of combat, so while it has no particular synergy with this quest or the rest of the deck, I find it useful all the same. If it allows Haldir to kill an enemy before it attacks, all the better.

Light of Valinor - We have a couple of Elf heroes who could use this. I think the default should be to play on Elrond, who could easily be both quester and defender. However, if we have good enough defense without him then consider playing on Haldir instead, who would otherwise be left ready to attack, to boost our .

Thrór's Key - Another card for managing the locations. This will allow us to harmlessly explore the location it is attached to, at the cost of missing out on any respective benefit. This is a small price to pay for clearing out the staging area in most cases. The best case is probably to attach to Deeping Culvert since this also reduces the to zero.

A Test of Will - Unsurprisingly in a quest where we value Eleanor, this is an important part of our deck. Depending on the exact situation, I would favour using Eleanor's ability first, with A Test of Will providing some insurance in case another bad treachery is revealed. It might be that we cannot afford to chance an extra encounter draw, in which case using this first would be prudent.

Daeron's Runes - We don't have a great deal of card draw so we'll always be happy to see this. Lots of unique cards in the deck means we'll often have something extraneous to discard.

Elrond's Counsel - There can be pressures on our threat so this is an excellent card to include. It also helps us to use Haldir's ability. The small control it gives over the quest phase can be valuable too, particularly in Stage 3 of the quest.

Heed the Dream - A powerful if sometimes expensive effect. In this fellowship there are no 100% critical cards we need to see, but there are still a good number we would like to have. If we have the resources, finding a powerful ally like Firyal or Jubayr would go a long way to helping us win. We might also need help with our threat, so we can fetch something to deal with that. In the partner deck we would always like to see Steward of Gondor, and we really want a couple of weapons too. It's obviously great to get the full search out of this card, but I think with this deck we can just spend the one resource and be happy most of the time.

The Three Hunters - As with Banner of Elendil, the power level of this card makes us want it in basically every quest where we can play it. It really gives a lot of comfort that a particular turn will go well.

Well Warned - One last inclusion to help us manage threat. As before, this is particularly useful for the deck to improve the chance of using Haldir's ability, although this card is flexible enough to use for the partner deck as well.

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