Scout Corps of Rhovanion

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The Watch of Wilderland
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WingfootRanger 2000

Winter has come to Rhovanion. The snow falls upon Mirkwood and Dale, supplies are dwindling, and orcs and fell wolves pry for weaknesses. Man and Elf alike scout their borders to catch intruders. No sign will escape them, they will leave no acre untread. For the safety of both realms, their patrols must work together to cover ground more effectively.

This is first and foremost, a scout deck that utilizes some the best that the Scout and Silvan traits have to offer for the purpose of questing. I have previously used Scouting Party with both failure and marginal success. The biggest issue I ran into was that most scout allies are a bit expensive, especially when including . This leads to a deck that is slow to actually play a decent number of them. Then I realized that there were many Scout allies that intersected with the Silvan trait, and that got my wheels turning. This is the deck that resulted after that brainstorm.

Resource Acceleration: O Lórien!, Captain's Wisdom, A Very Good Tale

O Lórien! is a major help to this deck's economy, reducing the cost of about 70% of the allies in the deck and making Silvan ally bouncing more affordable. Captain's Wisdom is usually used on Galadriel since some of those scouts cost 3. Afterward, she can be readied for another action by Greenwood Archer. A Very Good Tale is risky in this deck with just 20 allies, but the potential payoff is immense. More scouts on the table means more questing and more location control. The allies that just entered play don't exhaust thanks to Galadriel, and could then have some actions to spare for this event.

Card Draw: Galadriel, Mirror of Galadriel, Silver Harp

Galadrel's card draw effect will be used most rounds, keeping our hand full of options. Her mirror is there to draw out specific cards From the deck such as another scout ally, A Test of Will, or Scouting Party so that you can play the deck at a clean pace without stalling for the cards you wish you had. Very nice to have, though not necessarily vital if our draws are already good. Silver Harp works all too well with the mirror, eliminating the card tax that could accidently discard the cards you don't want to lose. That is two resources you could have spent on a scout ally, but the free deck searching enabled by it can be more than enough to justify the cost.

Willpower: Celeborn, Scouting Party, Nenya, Lanwyn

Until we get 4 or more scout allies on the table, Celeborn's boosts to the Silvan allies that enter play will be a key source of willpower. With most of the allies being Silvan, this goes a long way to maintaining questing tempo with the encounter deck. Scouting party is a powerful way to rush through a whole quest stage, or even to ensure that you can actually make progress against a high threat staging area. It can more than double your willpower, thus it is a good trump card or a way to rise in tempo over the encounter deck so the active location does not remain forever unexplored. and The right time to play it is when it brings you closer to winning. Nenya is used not to provide a splash, but rather for the willpower. Galadrel's 4 can make the difference if you happen to be low on from the allies. In combination with Greenwood Archer, this becomes an easier action to take. And if there happens to be any surge in the encounter deck, Lanwyn keeps up with the extra revealed cards by boosting her willpower by 2 or by readying to help take down an enemy. Seriously, try her out against The Steward's Fear!

Location Control: Greyflood Wanderer, Hithlain, Lórien Guide, Rhovanion Outrider, Warden of Arnor, Woodland Courier

This is another main focus of the deck, decent willpower is nothing if it is blocked by the staging area. When playing Greyflood Wanderer, you will be using the doomed mass progress placement most of the time to speed up the exit of all the locations. Hithlain is wonderful for quicker exploration of target locations while building up a number of Silvan scouts. Most of the other allies place progress only on target locations, Rhovanion Outrider being a standout in my mind. Getting at least two of them in play gets you consistent progress that could even cause one location to be explored each round. What you end up with seems similar to direct-damage, only for locations, which is an interesting route to explore given that some new(ish) locations punish Northern Tracker's indescriminate placement of progress by hitting back with tough effects upon receiving progress tokens.

Cancellation: A Test of Will, Feigned Voices

Unless you have switched in Dwarven Tomb from the sideboard, A Test of Will won't be recurrable. So save it for those treacheries that really will end this deck or its combat companion. Feigned Voices protects you or your combat partner from attacks you likely wouldn't take otherwise, and is a great card to use with Woodland Courier or Hithlain to bring about that rapid location exploration and the Celeborn boost. Silvan bouncing is a process that accomplishes several things at once after all.

Threat Reduction: Galadriel, Island Amid Perils

Threat won't be much of an issue, it will largely stay the same because of Galadriel reducing it nearly every round. Island Amid Perils compensates for the doomed effect of the wanderer and provides another way to bounce your Silvans. This way, most enemies will avoid you with your low threat threshold anyway and gravitate toward the higher threat combat deck.

Combat: Greenwood Archer, Lanwyn

This deck is able to fight and kill some weak enemies, assisted mainly by the archer, and perhaps Lanwyn or other allies with leftover actions because of Galadriel. Despite being able to somewhat defend itself, it is still not a combat deck, and would do well to work along with a combat deck that can heal.

So far I have tested this deck out against The Steward's Fear and Murder at the Prancing Pony, two quests that abound with things questing decks don't like: high threat locations and lots of irritating enemies. Both times I was pleased with how it played. Those quests have a tendency to send extra encounter cards into the staging area, but this scout deck navigated it with some wise location management. Scouting party was invaluable in the end game, boosting my willpower from the teens to the thirties to close out the two-handed games I played. It seems I generally got to play it at least twice per game, and those were exciting moments.

If you are looking for something different, give this deck a whirl. Most other combat decks that can utilize Silvan attackers that benefit from Celeborn are compatible with this deck, which is sure to be a wide array. I enjoy this deck a fair bit, yet I will also be patiently waiting for the scout trait to develop further in the future. They can be puzzling to build sometimes from what I have seen. I got to know, will we one day see some more love for Ravenhill Scout?


Dec 25, 2016 D4rkWolf10 368

Nenya is strong indeed... xD

Dec 25, 2016 Authraw 2586

Love your description of the deck--your first paragraph really sets the scene for the deck well, and I always appreciate a little thematic set-dressing. I might steal that idea for the next cycle of my Thematic Nightmare series.

I really like the idea of combining the Silvan and Dale traits, I never noticed that they intersect over the Scout trait and really compliment one another.

Dec 26, 2016 WingfootRanger 2000

Thank you, glad you enjoyed the thematic intro. Sometimes finding fitting quotes from the books is difficult, though I like it when I do. This time, I decided to tell the story of the deck in my own words, and I could see myself doing it again for other decks.

I think it would go well with your approach to nightmares on your blog, a good number of them do seem to tell a story. Dwarrowdelf might be a challenge because of its loose connection to the rest of the timeline. Despite some heroes exploring Moria, people missed the news about Balin's Colony. And if the heroes actually perished without passing word on, would Elrond not find that suspicious? That cycle may even be an alternate universe.

I like that the Silvan, Dale, and Scout traits support each other well. It makes sense since they are neighbors after all. I think that the Scout trait is just in its infancy right now, but I sense some parallels to how Rohan questing plays out yet with better location control.

Dec 26, 2016 D4rkWolf10 368

It's unfortunate that we have as yet to see Thranduil as any kind of card type, unless he is mentioned as an encounter deck ally in either of the Hobbit sagas, which I have not yet tackled. The Silvan trait is one of my favorite to work with, and actually my first deck ever on this site was a Leadership Spirit Silvan support deck. I do hope in the future Thranduil gets his day in the sun.

Feb 09, 2018 MikeGruz 43

This deck is really fun to play - thanks for creating it!

I've only done one test run, but I had a pretty good time pairing this up with my Secrecy Traps and Snipes deck - between the staging area location control of the Rhovanion Scouts, Haldir's sniping and traps, the two pair up for a pretty thematic quest.

Very cool deck!

Feb 10, 2018 WingfootRanger 2000

@MikeGruzI'm glad you enjoy it! That sounds like a nice idea, pairing it with a trap/combat control deck.

Depending on what sorts of cards are released in the upcoming Rhovanion cycle, I may revisit this deck sometime this year.