Rohan, meet Dúnedain

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Seastan 36548

This match of two different traits might seem odd thematically, but mechanically it's perfect.

Amarthiúl, the cornerstone of the Dunedain archetype, has always had the small problem of benefiting from the "engage a lot of enemies" mechanic while doing little to actually enable it.

Thanks to the recent additions of Elfhelm and Armored Destrier, that problem is now solved.

Here's how the deck works:

Early Game

A nice opening turn is a Westfold Horse-breeder which grabs an Armored Destrier for Amarthiul. You are now questing for 7, and can defend twice with Amarthiul at 4 defense, one of which will have no shadow card. Not bad for turn 1.

Mid game

A Steed of Imladris or Snowmane on Éowyn brings her up to 5 willpower, 6 with a discard. If she readies after questing (via Snowmane or Unexpected Courage - I prefer UC so that Eowyn's restricted slots are free for Steed/Herugrim), you can have her ready to swing for 7 attack (with 1 discard, or even more in multiplayer) using Herugrim. But I wouldn't rush to set this up. It's a Dunedain deck after all - you should like to have enemies engaged with you.

Steward of Gondor goes on Eowyn of course, and she helps you get consistent card draw using Elven-light.

Silver Lamp also goes on Eowyn. Ready her before the combat phase and you get to see all the shadow cards.

This is where the combat phase becomes a really unique experience. After seeing the shadow cards, you now need to strategize and prioritize. If you've got 2 or 3 Armored Destrier in play, you're going to be able to discard some of the shadow cards. So defend the blank ones first, and get rid of the nasty effects.

Dunedain have long struggled with having so many enemies engaged because you are bound to have a game-ending shadow come up. Now, with the Destrier/Lamp combo, it's finally solved. If you've got 5 enemies engaged, all hitting for 3-5 attack, you can get through the combat phase easily. Your Guardian of Arnor will be at 6 defense, Amarthiul will defend 3 times at 4+ defense (he is generally the target of Dúnedain Warning), and even Elfhelm can defend twice for 3 if he's got a Destrier. And you will see that Sleeping Sentry coming from a mile away.

Late Game

With 4-8 enemies engaged, just keep dropping more allies for free with Heir of Valandil. Your Warden of Annúminas will be questing for a ton and your Fornost Bowman will be hitting like trucks.

I encourage giving this deck a try, even just once or twice, if you want a fresh take on combat. It's a lot of fun.

19 comments

Aug 11, 2016 TheChad 10001

I wondered if Silver Lamp would start to show up in more decks now that Armored Destrier is in the card pool. This deck looks really fun!

Aug 11, 2016 Beorn 12088

Nice deck. Dunedain Remedy seems like a great sideboard card, to help with quests that feature a lot of direct damage. Other than that, this seems to have everything covered.

Aug 11, 2016 Morgothsfoot 10

I really like these write ups. They are very helpful when trying out new cards and decks.

Aug 11, 2016 teamjimby 874

Nice deck. I've been playing with Marty and Elfhelm a lot lately and really like them paired with both Eowyn (for the lamp, Snowmane, and Horse-Breeders) and Damrod (for the traps, card draw, and Dark Knowledge). You might also consider adding a Golden Shield so Eowyn can defend for 6+ if you need her to.

I'd add another copy of Snowmane since it is so good and you can always discard the extra. I also like Stand and Fight to allow extra plays of the horse breeders.

You could also add a copy or 3 of Sarn Ford Sentry. They are a great use for Sneak Attack if you don't have (or are bored by) Gandalf. If you include the Stand and Fights, you can also discard them with Eowyn and stand them into play.

Aug 11, 2016 Lecitadin 184

Cool idea! But since I've played the game (for about 3 years now), solo decks without Lore or any other means of healing make me nervous. But I'll try this deck for sure!

Aug 11, 2016 Seastan 36548

@teamjimbyThanks for the suggestions. With this deck I actually like UC on Eowyn a lot more than Snowmane, because that way Eowyn can have both Steed of Imladris and Herugrim. Snowmane is here mainly for Elfhelm, so that he can quest then ready and defend with the third destrier. It's nice, but not necessary, hence the 1x. As for the shield, it just compounds the problem of Eowyn's limited restricted slots.

The Sarn Ford Sentries were in an early version of the deck, but I found that to sneak them in over Gandalf you'd want them to give you 4-5 cards, at which point you're already established and probably drawing consistently with Elven-light anyway.

@BeornI can see the Remedy being an amazingly powerful card. You're right that it should definitely be in the sideboard here to shuffle in against certain quests.

Aug 12, 2016 Ryson 194

Sorry it will sound like a dumb question but which card is Dunedain remedy? is it a spoiled card? thanks Really nice deck by the way :)

Aug 12, 2016 Seastan 36548

@RysonYes it's coming up in the Drowned Ruins: boardgamegeek.com

Aug 13, 2016 DnT 108

I took this deck up against the Antlered Crown. The Elven lights and Wardens were on the bottom half of my deck so I really struggled with card draw and questing. I ended up threating out, but I had no trouble with the enemies. The Silver Lamp - Destrier combo works beautifully.

Aug 19, 2016 Morgothsfoot 10

I bear Nightmare Ford's of Isen with this deck. Trying to go through the whole cycle in nightmare: this was my first success.

Aug 19, 2016 Lecitadin 184

I tried it against the second and third quests of Flame of the West... but because the deck takes some time to become efficient (and it is a good deck!), it was took too many turns for the second quest and it could not beau the 3rd quest (I ended up twice with 7 or 8 ennemies too early).

Aug 19, 2016 Seastan 36548

@Morgothsfoot Awesome! I am always happy to hear success stories with my decks.

@LecitadinHave you tried being more aggressive and killing some enemies rather than letting them hang around?

Aug 20, 2016 Lecitadin 184

It was too late, I got surrounded! ;-)

Nov 03, 2016 Trizzo134 1

@Seastan loving this deck. Pretty new to the game but trying lots of decks and so far this is my favorite. Cleared Dwarrowdelf cycle and Nightmare Watcher twice.

It's pretty consistent but struggles in top deck mode because drawing multiple mounts/breeders/heirs isn't great. Looking to put a couple more draw effects in. I agree that Sarn Ford isn't the answer but there are many choices!

Nice build man, I already took apart two others yet this remains and will for a long time I think :)

Nov 03, 2016 Trizzo134 1

@ Erestor, was considering Erestor. The deck doesn't struggle for Leadership, he can quest, chump, is another for Elven Light and at worst redunant combo cards.

Nov 03, 2016 Seastan 36548

@Trizzo134Welcome to the game! Glad you like this deck. Erestor ally is a good option for card draw. Another option is Ancient Mathom.

When I play this deck I normally use Sneak attack + Gandalf, and Elven-light + Eowyn/Steed of Imladris for card draw.

Nov 16, 2022 NERD 522

Would you consider swapping Arwen Undómiel for Éowyn? Then Snowmane and Herugrim would not work. However, those seems like they are more for fun than power.

Nov 16, 2022 Seastan 36548

@NERD You can try, but I recall relying on Herugrim to take out bigger enemies quite often.

Nov 16, 2022 NERD 522

I think that Fair and Perilous would have a similar effect. Plus, the opportunity for Tale of Tinúviel would help with final bosses.