Helm's Deep - Combat 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 combat focused of the two and brings to the table plenty of sentinel defenders, ranged attackers and weapons to arm them.

Legolas is definitely the star of the deck. Aside from his usual value as an attacker, he allows some pretty effective shenanigans with the locations in this quest which can make our lives much easier.

There are a few key cards we'd like to bring and Gimli seemed like a perfect thematic fit. We are going to be absolutely bombarded with enemies so his sentinel and his readying effect are both very welcome. On this occasion I think we're unlikely to use it on Legolas and can instead ready someone like Aragorn, or Elrond from the partner deck.

Lastly we want another hero. Mablung has a versatile stat line, a reasonable starting threat and a very useful resource generating ability, so we'll bring him along.

The overall deck plan is pretty simple - get attackers and defenders into play and help out with questing when we can. Since Haldir of Lórien is in the partner deck we'll be looking to engage the majority of the enemies. We can also manage some enemies that do end up engaged with the other deck. And speaking of Haldir, he'll want a couple of our weapons.

Let's get straight to the cards:

Derndingle Warrior - A very strong sentinel defender. With the healing in the other deck he can consistently defend all game against any enemy. Even better that he only costs two. Even better if we get him into play on our free first turn since then we skip his drawback.

Errand-rider - A nice cheap ally if we need a chump blocker but more importantly we can share the wealth from Steward. I've come to enjoy putting Steward on Aragorn, meaning we can be a little light on resources. With this guy, we can take a spare from Aragorn or Mablung quite comfortably.

Faramir - The values can get pretty insane in this quest - can easily be 20 on the first turn in 2 player. We'll need all the we can get to make sure the encounter deck doesn't put too much progress on the quest. The variability can be a useful tool as well, especially in stage 3 where it can be beneficial to allow a small amount of progress each round. Incidentally, Faramir is our #1 pick to put into play for free on turn 1 if we have him in hand, both because of his strength and the resource saving.

Gandalf - As is tradition we're pairing Gandalf with Sneak attack. The card draw is always attractive. In this quest I have found threat to sometimes be a problem, since the Deeping Wall location can cause a big jump. Gandalf is our only counter if things get dicey.

Grimbold - Great in for the cost, and doubles as an emergency Feint. Both things we could use in this quest.

Honour Guard - Our healing equivalent. There can be a lot of archery and direct damage effects in this quest, so the more we can ignore them the better. He also gives some nice assurance when we're defending and once in Valour can safely handle an undefended attack.

Marksman of Lórien - It's really valuable to have a few extra ranged attackers to let us manage the enemies a bit better. There will likely be a few times during the quest where the enemies pile up, and having powerful allies to thin the numbers is so helpful, especially when they have ranged. For the cost, these guys are amazingly strong.

Merry - A nice little questing ally - we have a few unique allies giving us the chance of some extra value. We really want the . but he's otherwise not a key piece in the deck.

Pippin - Another excellent value hobbit. Pippin has the chance to be a bit more useful since there are a few high engagement cost enemies. However, even as our threat rises he's still a decent quester.

Treebeard - This quest is one big battle and there isn't a better ally for that than Treebeard. Between him and Aragorn we can have a ridiculous number of readies in the bag. Thanks to the structure of this quest it shouldn't be too painful to skip his first turn either.

Bow of the Galadhrim - This weapon's here primarily for Haldir in the partner deck, although it goes on Legolas or a Marksman of Lorien just fine. With two weapons on Haldir, as long as one is the Bow he can one-shot any of the enemies. We want at least one weapon on our heroes though so we can trigger Foe-hammer.

King Under the Mountain - Our primary card draw engine for the deck. This is deceptively strong since we get to see two extra cards every turn, even if we only get to keep one. As an added bonus, if we hit Poisoned Counsels with this we can discard it with no effect.

Rivendell Blade - We need a few extra weapons to make sure we hit. This is almost as good as the Bow and most of the same considerations apply. The Blade isn't as good in multiples, however, as the enemies don't have that much #.

Steward of Gondor - Our resource generating powerhouse. As mentioned above, I like this on Aragorn since he can really use his ability to it's maximum potential. It also ensures we can play the sphere cards on the turn we draw them, so long as the first player token is with the right deck. If he still has spares, we can redistribute with Errand-riders.

Sword that was Broken - As with Faramir, we really want to boost our questing potential, and this is fantastic for that. Between these two cards and Banner of Elendil in the partner deck, we should have no problem in the quest phase. As an added bonus, it allows Aragorn to help pay for cards.

Feint - A reliable emergency button. There are a few reasons we might engage an enemy we can't deal with so it's nice to have a contingency plan.

Foe-hammer - We don't have that many card draw options, but this is a powerful one and we are practically guaranteed to be killing enemies.

Man the Walls - Getting a quick start is never a bad thing and we will be playing plenty of allies for combat. Both decks will appreciate the resource saving. Both are playing Ents too, which are really great with this card.

Sneak Attack - Gandalf's ever present shadow. The cheap card draw and threat reduction will both have a use for us. Several of our other allies could also make decent targets in an emergency.

Unlikely Friendship - With Gimli and Legolas there's nothing closer to an auto include. This let's us power out a Treebeard or Steward (or both) on turn one and the free card draw is just the icing on the cake.