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ArtAngel 113


I've decided to share some of the decks me and my friend group play with for particular cycles. This is Deck #1 in a 2-player fellowship, given to a friend of mine, while myself I'm playing the other deck. For more in-depth overhaul regarding structure and thought behind those decks please check out the fellowship description! (e.g. no shared cards in Decks #1, sticking strictly to the theme).

The second cycle in the game basically warrants using Dwarves for theme, so it was no-brainer to introduce newer players to these archetype early on. It's also very intuitive and one of the easiest in my opinion to learn. Not saying that playing Dwarves is completely mindless but comparing to other traits in the game the strategy tends to be rather simplistic: swarm the board with allies, the more the better. Since most Dwarf allies are rather costly and you need to have at least some of them to gain various benefits, first turn playing this deck might be uneventful, where you won't be able to pay for anything at all. It's not that big of a setback though, since this hero lineup can hold on its own at the beginning of the game.

General strategy

Since you want to get your Dwarf synergy online as soon as possible, mulligan for a number of allies in your hand. Not just any though: if you can play two allies (so 5 Dwarves total) by the second round you should be fine. Getting this result in round one can be tricky since it can only be accomplished with both Erebor Record Keeper and Dwarven Sellsword. Good card to see is also Fili since with one card you can have two allies on second round. Apart from that some accelaration cards like Legacy of Durin, Narvi's Belt and A Very Good Tale are welcome to see.

Dáin Ironfoot provides global boost to all your Dwarves whenever he is ready and with good defensive statline he should be naturaly used only to defend. Since he also provides while ready, when facing some big enemy you can throw one ally under the bus instead and attack with everyone else for huge amount of damage.

Ori makes for a good early game quester (3 with Dáin Ironfoot) but can also provide some attack on the board. His greatest asset is his ability though, which you should as mentioned above try to get online really quickly. Drawing two cards per round for basically free is a really good deal.

Thorin Oakenshield with very good statline, boosted even more with Dáin Ironfoot, can both quest well and attack. In the early game I tend to quest with him, then when having a lot of allies you can back him for attacking. With resource accelaration you should give him Narvi's Belt to either pay for those Erebor Battle Master or more cards.

General tips

Since the most important thing to strive for is kickstarting 5-Dwarf synergy, most of the allies you can play for either 1 or 2 cost and allies for 3-4 cost, making it possible to have 5 Dwarves second round. The best outcome is to put first round both Erebor Record Keeper and Dwarven Sellsword, pay remaining resource for the latter guy, and you can start getting those bonuses immediately on round two. On the topic, Dwarven Sellsword should be only kept for a few rounds since after a while he becomes overcosted. But not only numbers make an army, abilities of those allies are quite useful. Miner of the Iron Hills can get rid of those Watchful Eyes, Erebor Hammersmith being one of the oldest allies in the game yet having great cos-stat ratio and useful ability and even Erebor Record Keeper who with good planning can make use of your heroes several times. Longbeard Elder doesn't have that useful of an ability, so I mostly didn't trigger it, but with Henamarth Riversong on the other side it can work quite nicely. Erebor Battle Master has to be payed with either Narvi's Belt or put into play by A Very Good Tale but those guys can be your attackers basically by themselves, even after numerous erratas - very useful against Balrog. Longbeard Orc Slayer turned out to be suprisingly handy, even though arguably overcosted, with all those resoucres laying around it's not a big deal. With his ability he can get rid of those Goblin Archers or whatnot and weaken more beefier enemies for Haldir of Lórien to snipe. All the unique Dwarves have some useful abilities that mostly benefit from 5-Dwarf synergy. Gandalf makes an appereance too mostly for some end-game situations.

As mentioned above, Legacy of Durin and Narvi's Belt make Dwarf-engine start even easier. Cram should go either on Dáin Ironfoot to make him defend more/get that boost or on Thorin Oakenshield to make use of both his questing and attacking. The Arkenstone being Guarded attachment can be quite iffy to put into play but with Henamarth Riversong you can discard some nasty treachery with it or make sure it doesn't go on something bad.

Events in this deck are quite self-explanatory, more boosting, drawing, Dwarf-ing. Lure of Moria was the choice for some great end-game scenario.


That pretty much covers the basics of this deck. Please keep in mind it is designed to play with the other deck in a fellowship and for a particular cylce in a game. This decks is meant to represent most powerful combination of cards in a given archetype, but feel free to leave a comment regarding them, as even after some years of using them I change them slightly after some thought :) Feel free to try them, even with new players as I did!