Scouting in Secret

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D4rkWolf10 486

I really like Scouting Party. I've tried to build around it before, and while the concept was fun, in practice it faceplanted pretty hard. Most of the allies in the game with the Scout trait tend to be pretty expensive, and without resource generation, it's hard to pay for them. My initial dream of building up an army of Scouts that were questing for 20 by themselves, only to cast Scouting Party to make it 60 willpower fell by the wayside after several tests, and I haven't tried to the strategy since.

Legolas, however, introduced another Scout with a very strong ability to the mix, and I started thinking more along the lines of what a Scout is actually meant to represent. They don't come at you in the form of armies, but from the shadows. They gather information on the enemy, manipulate the terrain and situation to their advantage, and when necessary, strike from range to bring their foes down. With this in mind, I started thinking that a secrecy deck featuring the Scout trait might be the thing to try.

With the idea of controlling enemies, locations, and the encounter deck itself, along with a few Scouts and strong attachments to help us take off, this deck was born. Your main goal is to get Resourceful and Strider on Legolas, and Light of Valinor, Mirkwood Long-knife, and Unexpected Courage on Argalad. While Unexpected Courage is not necessary to make Argalad tick now that Legolas is in the deck, it gives you even more control over the deck, allowing you to potentially lower the threat of multiple enemies in the staging area, or ready him to attack from range. There are a few extra forms of readying in case you need a really strong round of threat removal or attack from Argalad, and each scout was added for the purpose of controlling locations as they appear out of the encounter deck. The rest of your events focus on manipulating the encounter deck or filling the holes where your heroes and allies can't get the job done.

While Peace, and Thought is the only draw in the deck, you could definitely find a place in your events for Daeron's Runes or Heed the Dream if you prefer more draw and less control of the encounter deck (Daeron's Runes is in another deck of mine at the moment so I did not include it). Resourceful is probably the most important card in your deck early on given the two hero setup, and I would probably mulligan for a combination of that and Strider or Light of Valinor.

Good luck scouting and controlling the enemy! Bring a combat deck with you to actually kill the enemies!

10 comments

Dec 16, 2016 WingfootRanger 2507

Interesting idea here. I'm a bit skeptical though, have you tried this one out yet? It looks like Resourceful is critical here, without it you are probably screwed. Not that Resourceful is the issue. Most successful secrecy decks either have aggressive card draw or other resource accelerators in addition to Resourceful (or both) as well as reliable ways to prolong secrecy mode such as Vanish from Sight. I would also add more cards that place progress on locations, I like what you had going with the mix of allies from the previous scout deck. The less progress placement you have, the more locations will fill the staging area. They'll be contributing not only their threat, but exerting effects that could be a hindrance. Getting rid of them can accomplish more than reducing enemy threat once per round. Keep it up though, I'm still keeping an eye on your builds.

Dec 16, 2016 D4rkWolf10 486

@WingfootRanger, thanks for the feedback! I have not yet tested this deck but I hope to do so soon. Resourceful is definitely the key cog in this deck and without it the deck will struggle. As I mentioned above, I aimed more towards this method because of the cost of a lot of the scouts, and resource generation to play both my allies and still have Scouting Party ready to cast never really worked out how I wanted it to. I would be very curious to see what you came up with as an adjusted build for my last concept.

Dec 18, 2016 D4rkWolf10 486

@WingfootRanger, so just for testing's sake, I tried this deck with my brother tonight while he played Outlands the Encounter at Amon Din scenario. The deck worked, but barely I would say. It's possible that it wouldn't do that bad if it had a deck across the table with decent early action advantage and some questing, but Outlands of course takes time to ramp up and so does this deck. I got lucky and my opening hand contained Resourceful, which is definitely absolutely necessary, and I quickly got a second copy in hand within the first few rounds. Manipulating the encounter deck and reducing my threat a little via Risk Some Light and Needful to Know helped us in the early game, but even so, we ended up winning the game by one villager.

All of that said, I don't find Encounter at Amon Din to be a particularly difficult scenario, but this deck had a hard time with it, which I think is telling in it's effectiveness. It did work well, but it took time and I was like to get all three copies of Resourceful out over the course of the game, which was absolutely crucial. I think I'm going to resign Scouting Party to the back of my mind for now, unless you've come up with something game breaking. Thank you so much for all the advice and collaboration. It's been great fun :) we should do it again with another strategy!

Dec 18, 2016 WingfootRanger 2507

Glad you tested it. Getting one copy of Resourceful is relatively normal in secrecy but having two early in the game is simply fortunate unless you use plenty of card draw. Encounter at Amon Din really isn't such a difficult scenario. If your deck struggled after such an optimal start, it is likely too slow. There are also plenty of quests that are more aggressive and challenging than Encounter at Am