Light of the Caliquendi

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The Firstborn of Illuvatar
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MDuckworth83 3054

This is the "questing" deck to compliment my "Fury of the Moriquendi" deck in my "Firstborn of Illuvatar" fellowship. The Caliquendi were the "Elves of the Light" who beheld the light of Valinor before the Noldor returned to Middle Earth in search of the Silmarils.

Thematically fitting then, that the key piece for getting the Noldor deck engine going is Elven-light. When used in combo with Arwen Undómiel, it can be discarded for a resource and then recurred for card draw...and then itself discarded again. In effect, you are drawing one card but getting two to be fed into the Noldor discard engine. You can discard 2 Elven-lights, spend 2 resources, and draw two cards while recurring both Elven-lights for a total of 4 "potential" discards for effect. It kind of allows you to prioritize what the engine needs most... resources or cards/discards... and adjust accordingly. The other piece to the engine is To the Sea, to the Sea!, but for once I actually think the standard "ally cost reducer" is secondary in it's role.

My hat is off to the developers on this one, as I believe this to be the most thematic and brilliant archetype engine mechanic to date.

Even the initial setup with this deck involves interesting decisions. Thanks to Galdor of the Havens, we have a more effective alternative to the mulligan... which I treat in great detail in my card review and thus won't repeat here. Basically, the idea is to try and discard to hopefully draw an Elven-light or To the Sea, to the Sea!, or even an Elven Jeweler in a pinch since this is one of the best "weenie" allies in the game and the cost can be paid purely in discarding (before To the Sea, to the Sea! shows up). The beauty of this "discard for redraw" during setup is that cards like Glorfindel, Lords of the Eldar, The Evening Star, and Elwing's Flight all are effective from the discard you are actually gaining by discarding them and should probably automatically discard from your setup hand for use later from your discard pile.

Once you get the engine going, the deck is pretty much all about getting big Noldor allies out and managing card draw/discard effects. If the engine stalls, the Mirror of Galadriel might show up to fetch what you need to get it going, and of course Galdor of the Havens has his once per game yet powerful card draw effect once you empty your hand...which should be easy to do with all the discard effects in play. Also, Galadriel supports the engine as well providing card draw as well as resource smoothing once Nenya is equipt. Once you have 1 or 2 Silver Harps in play, the discard engine is pretty much self sustaining and really allows you to open the throttle.

The deck's primary role is to quest and take enemies for the silvan deck to kill with range/direct damage. The average is fairly high in this deck and beefy allies are capable of accomplishing both. Galadriel brings a lot of questing flexibility once Nenya is attached. Quest conservatively, if you fall short use Nenya. If not, use Galadriel's action instead. That's the great part about her timing, it allows you to wait and see what the staging phase brings. Steed of Imladris and The Evening Star help to smooth out unforeseen location bumps.

Defense will primarily rely on chump blocking until you get Gildor Inglorion, Glorfindel, and/or Guardian of Rivendell into play, which can happen pretty quickly with this deck on a good initial draw. I've put Glorfindel into play on the first turn on several occasions with To the Sea, to the Sea! and discard/draw effects! Imladris Caregiver is one of the best healers in the game...especially in this deck... and patches up the damage extending the defensive capability of these cards.

Finally, the penultimate moment of most games is knowing when to drop Lords of the Eldar from the discard pile. Don't forget that the effects of this event last the entire round, and if played once your board state is well established, can absolutely singlehandedly dominate for a single round. Cool fact about Lords of the Eldar.... it goes facedown to the bottom of your draw deck. As far as I understand, once you mow through your draw deck, you can play Lords of the Eldar from discard pile and put it face down as the draw deck. You can then keep drawing it, discarding, playing, and drawing as long as you have the resources and the capability to discard it. I have actually won games with this trick!

As I mentioned, this deck is designed to pair with a good direct damage/ranged attack deck, but would likely hold it's own in solo play as well. Enjoy!