They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Outlands!!

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Some Sort 1118

They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhh!

So the basic upshot is that you talk the other players at the table with you into slipping in a few extra copies of Outlands allies into their regular decks. Then, whenever they stumble across those allies, they discard them to Éowyn and you reanimate them with Stand and Fight. (Alternately, they can play the allies and then chump with them; they wind up in the discard pile either way.)

Why? Well, because it's kind of ridiculous. Here's a chart of how many Ethir Swordsman you can have, and how much combined willpower they would provide:
1 -- 2
2 -- 6
3 -- 12
4 -- 20
5 -- 30
6 -- 42
7 -- 56
8 -- 72
9 -- 90
10 -- 110
11 -- 132
12 -- 156

That... escalates quickly. And that's just the Swordsmen themselves, with no mention of what they're doing to all the other Outlands allies at your disposal.

Why would your table-mates do this for you? Well, Galadriel and Campfire Tales can easily reimburse them for the cost of a lost draw every time they pull an Outlands ally. If they need more convincing, you could always toss in three of The Galadhrim's Greetings, too. And remember that Hirluin the Fair is ranged, which makes him quite the board-clearer once you get a couple Unexpected Courages on him and a half-dozen Knights of the Swan on the table.

Merry is in the sideboard because Good Meal is phenomenal with Stand and Fight, especially with Second Breakfast to recur it afterwards. His threat reduction also lets you more easily reach secrecy, which makes Resourceful a very viable replacement for Steward of Gondor.

The problem is that you need Spirit Eowyn at the table somewhere so that everyone can discard their Outlands, and without Galadriel you just don't have enough draw to consistently hit your Stand and Fights. Plus, her Mirror is needed to continuously reshuffle and re-find those Stand and Fights after the Map of Earnil buries them at the bottom of your deck again.

But if someone else in your group brings Spirit Eowyn? Count yourself lucky and swap in Merry post-haste.


Aug 08, 2016 Beorn 3119

Congratulations on completely breaking Stand and Fight. The idea of 12 Ethir Swordsman committing 156 willpower to the quest is ridiculous.

If they decide to do anything about Stand and Fight, I wonder what it would be? If it is limited to only allies in your own discard pile that would seriously neuter the card's versatility, but with Ethir Swordsman in a 4 player game this is clearly a problem. Before all of the card draw I could see the argument that this is all theoretical. Now that we have heroes like Erestor and Galdor, along with events like Heed the Dream, I suspect that you could craft four decks to achieve some level of absurdity on a consistent basis.

Aug 08, 2016 Some Sort 1118

The problem, Beorn, is that the game simply isn't balanced for this level of coordination between decks. Sure, Stand and Fight is broken if you're collaborating like this, but if you give me 200 cards worth of design space there are really no limits to the ways I can break the game.

Like a fellowship designed to dump a dozen resources on one deck, draw half his deck, set his threat to zero, give him a Sword-thained Gildor Inglorion, and then all suicide out so he's still only revealing one card a round during staging:

Or a fellowship that turns off staging and engagement in perpetuity and lets the decks operate entirely unopposed for essentially as many rounds as they'd like:

Even without framework-breaking effects, get a four-deck fellowship where all four decks include Campfire Tales, Sneak Attack+Elrond, and Deep Knowledge. With only 12 cards worth of deck space, you've added 48 cards worth of draw for every deck at the table.

Four decks that all toss in copies of Out of the Wild and Keen as Lances will quickly find themselves facing a substantially neutered encounter deck with massive amounts of free threat reduction, card draw, or resource generation.

Or get four players running Lords of the Eldar. Or a Gondor/Rohan fellowship with global effects and Mutual Accord. Or the original, a 4-deck Dwarf fellowship with Dain somewhere at the table.

When you drill down into it, there are lots of cards that scale geometrically, and the primary balancing factor has always been the 3x limit; simply bumping that to 12x is often enough to take a good card and make it a broken-good card.

Probably the most unique aspect of Stand and Fight, (and, in my opinion, the coolest), is how easy it is to benefit from even a partial collaboration. Partner decks don't even need a resource match, since they're not actually playing the cards, which makes it super-easy to just slip the extra Outlands allies into any deck. (Keen as Lances works this way, too; if you're running a VD Manipulation deck, there's no reason why everyone else at the table shouldn't just add 3x Keen into their existing deck, too.)

The other unique aspect of Stand and Fight is the fact that it can expand design space well beyond 200 cards while still maintaining 100% consistency. The ability to pull any ally in the card pool on-demand is... kind of ridiculous. Like, super-duper ridiculous. Especially since the only "cost" is an empty seat at the table and one extra player's worth of quest setup. But that's mostly a theoretical problem-- I doubt anyone is actually going to play that deck-- and if they wanted to fix that all they need to do is change the rules so that your discard pile no longer exists once you've been eliminated.