The Tower of Cirith Ungol - Staging Attack - Specialist Deck

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The Tower of Cirith Ungol - Specialist Deck Series
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This deck is one of two that make up the Fellowship designed to beat The Tower of Cirith Ungol for my Specialist Deck Series. This deck provides attack and defense, predominantly from the heroes, as well as a good deal of questing power.

The first hero is Dúnhere, who we will want to use to kill as many enemies as possible in the staging area. We have weapons to support him and he's a good candidate for an Unexpected Courage as well. Once he's tooled up, he can defeat all of the regular enemies in one hit, with only the two uniques requiring a second attack.

Accompanying Dúnhere is Fastred. These two make a natural pair, with Dúnhere still able to attack after we use Fastred's ability. We can be punished for engaging enemies in this quest, so rather than plan to engage and defend them all, we will be judicious with the enemies we choose to engage and consider whether we need the threat reduction at the time. We have a decent starting threat as well as other threat reduction effects so our plan doesn't hinge on Fastred's ability.

Lastly, we have Mablung as our necessary hero. I don't think he's the optimal choice for a deck like this - many would go with someone like Éowyn, but in the spirit of this Series I want a greater variety in hero choices. Mablung does decent work as a more 'jack of all trades' type hero, and he can even make a decent backup defender with a Gondorian Shield.

The deck really has two sides - one is the staging attack part and all the supporting cards for that plan. The other is made up of our questing allies, as we will need a good deal of to get through.

Let's go over the cards:

Arwen Undómiel - A staple quester in any deck. Fastred isn't the strongest defender so he could really use the help, and gaining Sentinel is a nice bonus. We definitly want her early on so 3 copies.

Bilbo Baggins - One of many allies included for his questing ability. No pipe synergies this time.

Derndingle Warrior - Fastred may have trouble keeping up if there are too many enemies, so this is a great backup defender. Again, the Sentinel is very helpful as the Partner deck is not very strong in combat. On the other hand it does have Wellinghall Preservers to keep the ents in good health.

Elfhelm - Part of our game plan is to keep our threat low and minimise enemy engagements. There are a number of encounter cards that raise our threat, so Elfhelm is a helpful counter to these. He can also pull his weight in combat if necessary.

Ethir Swordsman - We need questers and they don't get any more efficient than this, topping out at 12 for 6 resources if we get all 3 in play.

Galadriel's Handmaiden - This ally pulls double duty as a quester and threat control. The threat reduction can be used for the benefit of the Partner deck too.

Gondorian Spearman - Another backup defender and more importantly part of our direct damage plan. The encounter deck can add damage to enemies so there are a few cards in the fellowship to take advantage of that. Hopefully we can engage some enemies with 1 left to destroy with the spearman. And again, another Sentinel defender.

Pippin - This is a questing ally we can pay for with resources, so he's very welcome. We do want to keep our threat low, so his ability may come in handy every now and again.

Súlien - A very strong questing ally, and her ability can come in very useful in this quest where we might find ourselves revealing a high number of locations.

West Road Traveller - Our final questing ally. This quest also provides good opportunities to benefit from her ability. For example, travelling to Winding Stairs to avoid enemy engagements, and then before questing switching it for Echoing Passage. This means we can remove a potentially high threat location from the staging area without having to deal with increased for the enemies. It also means that Winding Stairs won't be explored, meaning we can take advantage of its effect a second time. There are seriously loads of ways to use this ally in this quest, she's great.

Ancient Mathom - We want card draw and this is one of the best ways to get it in .

Dagger of Westernesse - One of the keys to this deck working is to have Dúnhere attacking for as much as possible. To that end there are 6 weapons in the deck, 3 each of Dagger and the Spear of the Mark. Our threat should stay low, so they will be functionally equivalent for Dúnhere (hopefully). One advantage of the Dagger, is that it can be played on other heroes, particularly Argalad in the Partner deck to power up his ability.

Golden Shield - Fastred isn't the most effective bearer of the shield, but we want other ways to boost up his , and this is as effective as any of the alternatives.

Gondorian Shield - As above, we want boosts for Fastred. The benefit of this card is that duplicates can be played on other heroes, most likely Mablung as he gets the great +2 boost thanks to his Gondor trait.

Spear of the Mark - Our second weapon option for Dúnhere. This is preferable for our staging attacks as it will always give +2 in that case, although the times when this beats out the Dagger will hopefully be rare. We can play extra copies on someone like Elfhelm, but that will be a minor bonus at best.

Unexpected Courage - This is a great card for our deck and we might find it hard to decide who gets these. My first choice is Dúnhere, as we might need him to keep the enemies and the in the staging area under control. Fastred, Mablung and Argalad from the Partner deck also make decent recipients and this will likely depend on the board state at the time.

A Test of Will - As ever a life saving card. Deep Shadows is a particularly good candidate for cancellation, but any of the treacheries are good choices if the situation dicatates it.

Foe-hammer - Our game plan relies on Dúnhere being equipped with weapons, so this shouldn't be a problem to trigger, and we definitely want the card draw.

Hail of Stones - Our other direct damage effect. There are several small-ish enemies who we will be able to finish off with 1-2 points of damage, and we should have the bodies available to do so. Saving ourselves an attack and a potentially nasty engagement effect is well worth it. Can be used in combination with other effects if needed.

The Galadhrim's Greeting - It's very likely that Fastred won't be able to manage our threat by himself, so these are here as backup. It's particularly nice for minimising the impact of The Two Watchers. Threat may be more of a problem for the Partner deck, so it's a great way to help out there too.

Double Back - The importance of threat management should be clear by now. This is the single most efficient card we have for that purpose. All three quest stages require something other than progress to complete them, so it should be no problem to clear a sidequest sometime during the quest.