Scouting in Secret

Card draw simulator
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D4rkWolf10 266

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 378

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 266

@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 266

@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 378

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 Amon Din. Any of us can theorize all we want, but it's through actual play that we learn what truly works.

I have enjoyed this collaboration too! It would be great to work on other strategies with you. However, I am not giving up on Scouting Party yet, I HAVE used it effectively before. My most recent comments on your other scout deck's page indicate my next plan, have you read them yet? Did you ever consider trying hero Elfhelm? Anyways, I think I will have the new scout deck tested and posted by Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest. As far as other strategies we could do D4rkWolf10, I'll get back to you after Christmas and when I get to see what's all in the upcoming The Mumakil ap. I also want to look at your other decks to see what you have experience in building. Feel free to look at my decks to see what I've done before if it helps you generate ideas. Until then keep an eye out for ringsdb.com which is only an unpublished prototype at the moment.

Dec 18, 2016 WingfootRanger 378

Hmmm, try this link ringsdb.com

Dec 20, 2016 D4rkWolf10 266

No way to post on that deck since it's not published, so I'll post here. I think what you have there will definitely better than pretty much anything you could come up with using Elfhelm, even though you only have one scout hero. I did think of Elfhelm after I posted that there were no Leadership scout heroes, but I don't think the fact that he's a scout makes up for the fact that he provides nothing for a deck like that. Using his ability would require mounts, which I think is diverting too much from the strategy. At least with the Silvan undertones of your deck, you have some useful strenghts, such as the questing bonus from Celeborn (the round you play 4 allies and drop Scouting Party will be epic) and the fact that your allies can still stand for combat afterwards if necessary really rounds out their abilities.

The only thing I can think of that I'd do different is I'd consider finding a place to slot Nenya in. While you might not need the Lore resource icon (unless you want to get a little janky and use it to power out some lore scouts you really like), you can still use her willpower to add it to Lanwyn during questing. Galadriel can't actually quest herself, just add her willpower to another hero, so it'd be a nice boost to push you over the top in some situations and just make Scouting Party all that much stronger, and it won't mess up casting Scouting Party since she's not actually questing. In the ideal situation, Lanwyn quests for 2 on her own, gets her ability to trigger twice for 4 more willpower, 4 more from Galadriel, and 2 more from Scouting Party?? 12 willpower on one person? Yes please.

Really nice deck man. Better than anything I've thought up so far, well done! You are welcome to add me on Skype, same username, if that's easier to come up with decks or if you want to ever playtest decks over Skype. My brother and I do that quite frequently. Let me know how this works, and what strategy you'd like to work through next!

Dec 22, 2016 WingfootRanger 378

Well, too much was happening the past couple of days for me to post the deck, but I got some testing done. I'll take your suggestion for Nenya, it does help the deck avoid falling short in questing until there is a pretty good force of scouts. It's an interesting deck, a little different than questing decks I've played before. It explores some of the locations in the staging area and after there is a good 5+ scout allies in play Scouting Party becomes a game winner. It seems a bit more aggressive than the usual willpower buildup + Northern Tracker approach. I do think A Very Good Tale might be worth trying in this deck, some of the scouts are still a little costly and the more are played the better. The deck also loves it when its combat partner plays Greenwood Archer as well so that Galadrel can get more actions for Nenya or Captain's Wisdom.

I'll try to post it by Friday. Skype would be great! I'll be fairly new to it, but it would be a great way to talk about decks or play some games. I thought I would have ideas for us after Christmas, but I saw your ranger trap deck and got to thinking about it again. I think if it had some alterations it would work so well with my recent fellowship ringsdb.com The interaction a trap deck could have with a palantir deck could be amazing, where it could tell you what trap to play next or whether to play Interrogation! These two decks already work well together, but your trap deck could be a deck that is compatible without being absolutely necessary. That way the fellowship could be played with 2 or 3 players without any changes to the decks themselves. Let me know what you think about all this, I'd love to test this idea with you.

Dec 22, 2016 D4rkWolf10 266

I designed a deck to complement this one ad a combat deck. It can be found here: ringsdb.com

I tried to get as much value as I could out of the fact that you're using Celeborn as a hero. Main focus would be to kill any enemies that somehow get to you and some heavy hitting components like Rúmil and Black Arrow. Let me know if you think it would work across from your deck!

Also, I'd be honored to collaborate with you on making my Ranger deck fit into your fellowship. I've been thinking of a listing that goes into the leadership lore spheres instead of straight lore, as it was fun but didn't work as well as intended, and I don't think it would go with your combat deck that well. I understood after testing it with my brother that it often is counterintuitive if you have a combat deck opposite the trap deck when the whole point of the trap deck was to avoid fighting as much as possible. It left the combat deck with not much to do lol. However your scrying in combination with my traps sounds Iike a fun time indeed :). Let me know what you're thinking and we can Skype or message more on that subject. I'm very interested in it!

Dec 24, 2016 WingfootRanger 378

I'm not able to see the deck, have you enabled 'share my decks' on your account? Sounds like it would work well with it. I partnered it with a silvan lore/tactics deck that did healing, combat, and Keen as Lances stuff. A leadership/lore ranger deck sounds interesting. With Amarthiúl you could play Secret Vigil. Ranger Provisions would also be a great play. It sounds like it would be best for it to use the traps to help optimize combat rather than to control all combat. Could it use other means of encounter deck control as well? Maybe Ravens of the Mountain in case the palantir foresees something awful. We can talk more about it over skype. Also, I just altered the palantir-combat deck a little, made it even better, adding Marksman of Lórien and Winged Guardian. Take a look here ringsdb.com

Dec 24, 2016 D4rkWolf10 266

I didn't realize there was a share decks option my apologies. Try here ringsdb.com

Sure let me look at your lists and do some editing and let's see what we can come up with. Should be fun :) add me on Skype and we can hook up to chat or test sometime