Hit and Run the Easterlings

Questlogs using this decklist
Loss - The River Running - 1 Player - 2021-07-17
Win - The River Running - 1 Player - 2021-07-18
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kattattack22 459

My latest deck for The River Running.

General strategy

Start low enough threat to avoid engaging any enemies early in the scenario. Lowest engagement cost is the surging Easterling Outrider which has an annoying engagement ability. Either it makes an immediate attack or add a resource to Easterling Pursuit. The first isn't too bad unless another enemy is engaging at the same time which can happen easily (Outrider and many of the treacheries surge). The second can really put you behind the encounter deck. Hence why the low starting threat is a key part of the deck.

Otherwise, Eomer kill enemies in the staging area and hopefully an enemy engaged with Strength and Courage + Firefoot. Firefoot is a top priority. After that, Spear of the Mark and/or Dagger of Westernesse are best.

Ideally get Strider and Golden Shield on Herubrand. Then he can quest and be ready to defend anything the scenario throws at him. A few other defensive attachments are there in case Golden Shield isn't in opening hand and he can have some bonus and still get contract flipped reliably on turn 1.

Tip

Taking a 2 attack undefended occasionally is very doable. The contract healing will clear the damage in a couple rounds. Eomer has enough hit points to absorb even a +1 attack shadow. Raiment of War giving a couple extra hit points to Herubrand also makes this easier to get away with.

Dangers

Mostly timing of advancing to Stage 2 since it adds an enemy to the staging area. It's easy to see 2 enemies in staging, advance get another enemy, and have Easterling Pursuit put out a 4th one at end of the round.

Falling behind the encounter deck. Easterling Pursuit will add another enemy every 3 rounds and sometimes 2 rounds. Try to clear out enemies and locations ASAP and quest hard.

12 comments

Jul 20, 2021 pirinisz 29

This is a great deck, I just have a small note: I think In Service of the Steward or Steward of Gondor could be useful in order to give Herubrand the gondor trait and in adittion using the +2 defense from Gondorian Shield (instead of +1).

Jul 20, 2021 kattattack22 459

@pirinisz Not what I expected when I first saw a recommendation to include Steward of Gondor. I see most people put that on Eomer so he always has resources for his ability.

In the quest I played with this deck +1 vs +2 with Gondorian Shield wouldn't have made much difference. The enemies either have 2 or 3 attack or 5+. The low attack ones with just the Gondorian Shield are fine especially with the contract's healing. Really it's in the deck just to help flip the contract consistently and buy time to dig out Golden Shield.

I'd probably add Dúnedain Warning over Steward. Then I don't have to have it with Gondorian Shield or worry about uniqueness. Eomer can spare a resource sometimes when an enemy doesn't come out.

Jul 21, 2021 pirinisz 29

I agree with you, though you should consider Resourceful or even a guarded attachment like Orcrist or Necklace of Girion for extra resources on Éomer.

Jul 21, 2021 kattattack22 459

Nah, they'd just slow the deck down. Eomer's resources are almost exclusively for attacking the staging area. Valiant Sword can either be free with the contract or played in a round without an enemy to attack.

Guarded attachments are really not a good idea for The River Running. Easterling Pursuit keeps adding an enemy at least every 3 rounds, and it's better to try and quest through as quickly as possible. Another location or enermy to quest against just isn't worth it. Plus, many of the enemies have when revealed effects to get Easterling treacheries that boost their stats.

Jul 21, 2021 doomguard 868

i cannot see any use of secrecy, would add dunhere. cheap and additional attack in the staging.

Jul 21, 2021 kattattack22 459

@doomguard Why use Dunhere? Eomer has the same base attack as Dunhere does with his staging area attack bonus. You'd also lose the additional attack bonus from Firefoot. Strength and Courage also would only add 2 attack instead of 3. Only benefit I can think of would be Spirit access for Test of Will. The River Running doesn't really have must cancel treacheries.

The low threat is about controlling engagement. The lowest threat enemy in the scenario is at 24. You can leave them in staging for Eomer to attack reliabily for the first 2 or 3 turns.

Jul 21, 2021 doomguard 868

you understand me wrong. i would make 3 heroes out of this deck and take dunhere additional. so if one survive eomer, dunhere can clean up after him (or attack a 2. enemy).

it 26 instead of 18 thread and you get an additional attack into the staging, if you want you can threadreducing with spirit.

Jul 21, 2021 kattattack22 459

@doomguardI don't recommend adding another hero, or if you do add a dedicated defender. The deck as designed wants Herubrand to quest without exhausting with Strider's ability and then be free to defend. It loses that ability with 3 heroes.

You'll also have a lot less ability to avoid engagement. At 26 threat, you'll be forced to engage any Easterling Outriders right from turn 1. Avoiding their engagement effect of an immediate attack or add a resource to Easterling Pursuit makes a big difference early game. If you hit a threat raising treachery or use Strength and Courage, you'll be looking at engaging Easterling Raiders and Riders of Rhun with the Easterling Horse potentially before you're set up. Dunhere then isn't likely to get to attack the staging area beyond turn 1 or 2. Eomer with Firefoot's excess damage ability can usually take out any enemy that he doesn't kill in the staging area.

Jul 21, 2021 kjeld 86

Is there a reason to choose 2-hero Three Hunters over Grey Wanderer Eomer? It seems the latter might give you even more time to set up, and you could easily set up defensive allies to cover that angle when it's eventually needed (thinking Deeping Defender in particular, but also powerhouses like Soldier of Erebor that can be fished with Timely Aid or similar.

Jul 21, 2021 kattattack22 459

@kjeld I really wanted a deck that hit the ground running on turn 1. My previous attempts with a Mono Tactics deck and later a Radagast Eagle deck didn't pan out because I was always falling behind the encounter deck eventually. Either I got overwhelmed with enemies or couldn't muster enough willpower. I've played Three Hunters decks enough to know they can start strong and have plenty of combat power to handle all the enemies The River Running throws at you. Plus the contract healing would be great against all the archery.

That said, I was a bit tired of the usual questing, attacking, and defending hero lineup of Three Hunters. I played a few games a while back with grant12000 where he ran Legolas and Haldir of Lórien 2 hunters deck that attacked the staging area. I thought about using 2 heroes like he did to make it more interesting for me. Especially as I don't see many decks with just 2 heroes. I settled on Eomer and Herubrand as my 2 hereoes because I wanted to do my own spin on the deck idea. I also hadn't played Herubrand yet, and I'm just not a big fan of the Elven characters.

Jul 22, 2021 doomguard 868

the questpower is limited this way. eomer can pile up to 4 herubrand to 7. thats 11 will not be enough for many quests (with each a golden belt 2 more, but the carddraw is not high so not likely )

in solo i think it is possible to snipe out all enemys with eomer, but is starting with 6-7 and slow rise to 11 enough for many quests?

Jul 22, 2021 kattattack22 459

@doomguard Maximum willpower is 15 with Strider on Herubrand. My second game with this deck I was questing for 13 turn 2 with Strider and 3 restricted attachments on each hero.

I didn't build this deck as a general purpose deck. As mentioned in the description it's built for The River Running. 13 willpower in that quest was fine since it's a very enemy heavy quest and Eomer could keep clearing them out.