Blood in the Isen 4 - Ents

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Blood, Sweat & Tears in the Isen
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This deck was designed to tackle the ALeP quest Blood in the Isen. There is more information in the description for the Blood, Sweat & Tears in the Isen Fellowship, which covers general approaches to this quest and how this series of decks was conceived.

This deck is really just an Ent deck and leans heavily on the idea that Ent allies are undercosted for their stats and therefore good tech against the quest.

Éowyn is a star in this quest, as she is in any other. Her incredibly efficient to threat ratio is a huge boon. Of course her ability is excellent too, either dealing with an early annoying enemy or making short work of Ealdwulf in the final quest stage.

Bifur is great in a dual sphere deck like this, providing much needed resource smoothing - the deck skews quite heavily into . As a bonus he's also slightly undercosted on threat.

The decision for the final hero was influenced by the performance of the deck during playtesting. Specifically the need for extra ranged attack power, so Legolas was chosen on account of his low threat and useful ability. You won't likely be doing any progress tricks with him, but you don't want to waste any time clearing quest stages so any extra help is appreciated.

Aside from the Ent allies the deck contains a number of cheap or free supporting cards to help it reach its goal of a board with 3-4 allies which can handle any enemies the encounter deck reveals. Ideally Legolas will be doing a lot of work with a Legacy Blade or two.

The deck should also do well against the direct damage that is common in the quest. One feature of the Ents is that they can gain benefits from taking damage, and the deck should also have enough healing to keep up.

This deck brings a couple of side quests, aiming for Keep Watch to turn the tide of combat in your favour.

Gildor's Counsel is also worth a mention - this event is very potent (if somewhat costly), giving the pair of decks a significant advantage over the encounter deck for a turn. That this does not count against the Fords objective is even more incentive to play it.

The deck was tested and defeated the quest using this configuration. The side board presented here shows some other cards that were tested or considered for testing.

The deck does have a couple of weaknesses. The Ent trade-off of cost for speed plays into the strategy but can also be a liability. This quest can put a lot of pressure on from the start, particularly in combat. Some effort has been made to limit this vulnerability, but ultimately playing exhausted allies can hurt a lot if the deck is already pressured.

In a similar vein, disruption from the encounter deck, such as forcing you to discard an ally, is more impactful than it would be for a lot of other decks, as it takes an extra turn to restore the board state.