Ered Mithrin Elves, or "Galion, Fetch more Wine!" (#RCO)

Questlogs using this decklist
Journey Along the Anduin - 1 Player - 2024-06-10
Fellowships using this decklist
None.
Derived from
Solo Silvans 6 3 2 3.0
Inspiration for
Elves of Lorien 2.0 2 1 0 1.0
Los Reyes Elfos 1 0 0 1.0
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ironwill212 1020

RCO - Revised Content Only

"In the Wide World the Wood-elves lingered in the twilight of our Sun and Moon, but loved best the stars; and they wandered in the great forests that grew tall in lands that are now lost." - The Hobbit

This is an adaptation of one of my favorite Silvan decks to play, built entirely out of Revised Content cards. It is designed to combine fun and theme (hence the lack of Steward of Gondor), and yet be capable of taking down the Ered Mithrin campaign in true solo.*

*Fire in the Night is the only quest from this cycle I haven't cracked yet, but I'm anticipating that the campaign mechanics will make that an easier task (once it is released).

Note: This deck is also completely viable in multiplayer (and has a plethora of ranged characters that can really shine in that context).

Heroes

Celeborn & Galadriel (perhaps Middle-Earth's ultimate Power Couple) are self-explanatory here, providing your host of Silvan allies with action advantage and boosted stats. The Lady of Lorien will get the first Unexpected Courage so that she can use her ability every round and contribute to the quest. Celeborn will primarily contribute his 3 each round, but can attack as well when enabled by the action advantage of Naith Guide or Greenwood Archer.

Thranduil is my favorite hero in the game, and I'm excited to see him in the Revised Content. Not only does he provide a solid defensive option (enhanced by Armored Destrier and Ancestral Armor), but he allows for the inclusion of allies (and allies while you are waiting for Nenya), grants resource smoothing, and gives access to some incredibly fun combat shenanigans (more on this below :) ). Besides his horse and armor, he takes his place as The Elvenking to provide consistent action-advantage and a reliable way to bounce Silvans back to hand (especially potent with Galion!).

Questing

It is very important to get Nenya out ASAP so that Galadriel can contribute her 4 when needed and so that you have access to during the planning phase for The Tree People. Naith Guide is also a great card to see in your opening hand, as she can quest for 2 and allow Celeborn to stay ready for combat right out of the gate (chef's kiss if you see both her and O Lórien! in your opening hand). If Nenya takes awhile to show up, the deck will struggle with quests that require immediate tempo, but with Galadriel keeping your threat low and drawing an extra card each turn you still have a chance to weather the storm and eventually get rolling (being able to drop Galadriel's Handmaiden down with the O Lórien! discount certainly helps). Eventually, Host of Galadhrim will allow you to make large questing pushes while still being ready to handle enemies. Of course, getting Henamarth Riversong out to see what is coming never hurts either!

Defense

Thranduil is the main defender, though he can be a bit fragile until equipped with Ancestral Armor and Armored Destrier. By the end of the game, he can be blocking for 5 with 6 and healing twice each round (thanks to Silvan Trackers). The nastiest of enemies should be handled by a combination of Feigned Voices (hopefully recycled by your Galadhrim Weavers) and Greenwood Defenders who can defend multiple times for 3 when they enter play. Thranduil's combat action can be used in a myriad of ways depending on the needs of the moment:

I have found Quicker Than Sight to be an under-rated card as most quests will present you with a shadow effect at some point that will wreck your board state (if you think that two copies is overkill, Elf Guide is another decent option). For quests with large enemies (i.e. dragons), you will likely need to chump if Thranduil is not set up, but you can always pull back your fallen allies with Orophin.

Attack

Between Legolas, Rúmil, Marksman of Lórien, and Greenwood Archer, you should have little trouble amassing attack power. The Marksman of Lórien can essentially bring 6 to the table on the round she enters play. Don't forget that you can wait to trigger O Lórien! until the combat phase to get a discount on your heavy hitters. By the late game, even dragons will be experiencing doubts when they find themselves facing a fully boosted and ready Host of Galadhrim.

Miscellaneous Strategy

With no Steward of Gondor, resource generation runs based on O Lórien! and the constant smoothing ability of Thranduil. The Tree People is another key piece to this engine, hopefully allowing you to pull back a 1-cost ally (or Galion) to bring out someone more expensive. Galion is such a great card that I can see the argument for running multiple of him (I often grab him with Gather Information if I already have Nenya). Once Thranduil has The Elvenking, he can bounce Galion back into hand for repeated boosting (if the drunken elf is not darting back to your hand to cancel attacks or shadow effects). Note: In my head canon, this represents Thranduil renewing his energy by repeatedly sending his steward to fetch more wine from the cellar :).

Card draw is accomplished through Galadriel, Galadhrim Minstrel, Legolas, and The Tree People. The Minstrel is especially important to dig out the return to hand events that keep your engine going. Gather Information provides an extra way to dig out Nenya or whatever other tool you need (often Galion). The other side quest, Double Back, can give you several extra rounds to get your host mustered and provides a hard counter to quests that ramp up your threat.

Healing is accomplished via Silvan Trackers. It is quite satisfying to be able to soak and heal archery or other direct damage continually from admittedly squishy Silvan allies and from your primary defender.

Sideboard

  • Steward of Gondor would immediately make this deck more powerful, as would the addition of a third Host of Galadhrim and a third Galadhrim Weaver to recur it. They are not in the current deck due to theme and personal playstyle, but feel free to slot them in if you want more consistent success.
  • Galadhon Archer can be subbed in for Marksman of Lórien if you want a cheaper alternative (and the quest is lighter on high enemies) or for quests that involve Dragon Scales.
  • Hithlain and/or Woodland Courier can serve as tech against location-heavy quests.
  • Lembas is a solid toolbox card, but the fact that it is unplayable until Nenya grants access makes it a sideboard card for me.
  • Elf Guide is a useful card, but I find that it is usually just on the outside looking in when I narrow my deck down.
  • Necklace of Girion is a fun way to help with resource generation, but I've found that when your board state is poor you aren't going to add another card to staging, and when you can afford to add another card to staging, you probably don't need the necklace (the classic Guarded cards dilemma). It can be fun to slot in for The King's Quest to take advantage of the Dragon Hoard location.

Quest-Specific Strategy (SPOILERS!!!)

Journey Up the Anduin - Early side quests are a great way to minimize the number of Evil Creatures that come into play, since they allow you to avoid placing progress on the main quest. Otherwise, take your time and build up an army on stage 1 (it's okay if you under-quest and take some threat in the process). When you are ready, try to finish stage 1 in one fell swoop and then you should be able to fight through stages 2 and 3.

Lost in Mirkwood - This quest is long and quite variable in how it plays, so these notes are more general. Try to get through stage 1 quickly, so as to enable your threat control to work again. If you struggle with locations, the addition of Hithlain and/or Woodland Courier can help alleviate those issues. The only other recommendation would be to try and advance to 4C instead of 4A (repeated attacks from an increasingly-powerful Chieftain Ufthak presents a significant challenge to this deck). Regardless, of which stage 4 you end up at, you want to be prepared to make a massive push (Host of Galadhrim) and get out of Dodge...err...Mirkwood as quickly as possible.

The King's Quest - Very challenging in solo play (might be a good quest to attempt two-handed if you get frustrated), but can be beaten with the right combination of opening hand and a mild first few rounds. The primary key is to get early questing off the ground (Nenya and either Galadriel's Handmaiden or Naith Guide) so that you can clear locations from the cave deck as they come (Frozen Lake is great to see early as it can be an absolute nightmare for Silvans, completely shutting down Host of Galadhrim). Double Back is another great card to see early as the threat reduction makes it easier to avoid getting location-locked in stage 1.

Once you arrive at stage 2, save A Test of Will for Dragon Breath and aim to get Thranduil prepared to defend (hopefully, you can grab Ancestral Armor with Lost Armory) so that you can take repeated hits from the Fire-drake without losing too many allies. If all goes well, you will arrive at stage 3 with a sizable army (a great time for Host of Galadhrim :) ) capable of questing through Dragon Hoard and taking down the beast. Engage Fire-drake and avoid traveling to locations (if possible) to avoid the forced attack, and don't forget that you can use Feigned Voices to cancel its normal attacks (another fun trick is to leave a copy of those pesky Black Bats engaged with you to enable Armored Destrier to take out the Fire-drake's shadow card each round).

The Withered Heath - The key to this quest is patience, especially on stage 1. It is critical to locate both Dragon Signs before advancing (even if that means keeping the last enemy guarding one alive longer than preferable). If at all possible, delay traveling to any Creature Dens until stage 3 (when finding Dragon Sign quickly becomes critical). The more of the Caves deck you can get through, the better you will be set up for success in the end-game (and, as mentioned above, most of the Cave locations become increasingly nasty as your board state improves).

Ideally, you will have enough high ranged allies to put the limit of 6 damage on the Cold-drake each round. Then, it's an all-out race to find the third Dragon Sign ASAP on stage 3 (hopefully by traveling to a Creature Den). If Thranduil is fully equipped, he can defend the Cold-drake's attacks on stage 4 (remember to activate The Elvenking before flipping over the shadow card to avoid getting hit by the dragon's forced effect). If not, chump the drake until you can take it down. If you are able to time everything just right, it is possible to finish stage 2 by questing (Cold-drake at 18/18 damage) -> travel to Creature Den to queue up the third Dragon Sign (round ends with Cold-drake at 15/18 damage) -> drop Host of Galadhrim to quest through Creature Den (grabbing the third Dragon Sign) and stage 3 -> drop the final three damage on Cold-drake during combat at stage 4!

Roam Across Rhovanion - There's not too much especially noteworthy about this quest in terms of strategy. The deck has enough tools to deal with each of the challenges presented by the various Stage 2's. Try to hold onto Host of Galadhrim until the final Stage 3 push.

Fire in the Night - As mentioned above, this is the one quest I haven't been able to beat with this deck in solo play (turtling really doesn't work with all those side quests coming out, and the deck struggles to block repeated attacks by massive enemies). Hopefully, the release of campaign mode will help, but this may be another quest to try two-handed in the meantime (or slot in Steward of Gondor and other power cards to try and brute force your way to victory).

The Ghost of Framsburg - This one is just a slog, which can range from frustratingly to excruciatingly long depending on how reticent the Loot is to show itself. My advice is to bring an alternate form of entertainment in case you get stuck waiting for that last artifact to show up (I scooped one game on round 32 with every ally on the table and my threat level at 0 because I wasn't going to spend another 15 rounds going through the deck). Basically, use whatever means necessary to grab Loot as it comes up (only travel to Forgotten Crypts when you know there is Loot in the discard pile, etc.).

Mount Gundabad - This is my favorite quest of the cycle (and one of my favorites in the entire game!). Go after the deep locations aggressively to find Throat of the Mountain and The First Forge. Always try to keep a chump ally ready in case Dagnir makes an immediate attack due to treachery (you want to save A Test of Will to cancel Dragon Breath). The nice thing about this quest is that it ramps up slowly enough for you to get your board set up and be ready for Dagnir (unlike Fire in the Night, which hits you from round 1). Don't forget the bonus from Wormsbane (especially once it is reforged), which makes Celeborn no slouch in combat.

The Fate of Wilderland - The final quest of the cycle is a noticeable change of pace and quite the challenge for this deck, but if you get Nenya out right away (you do NOT want to be questing unsuccessfully) and get a semi-friendly opening round from the encounter deck, you have a fighting chance. One of the more hidden strengths of this deck is the ability to muster power as needed during the combat phase with your ranged allies, and enemy swarms give you a chance to take full advantage of this. The keys are to quest successfully (also allows you to take advantage of your side quests) and to delay the encounter deck as much as possible at each stage:

  • Stage 1: Engage as many enemies as you can take to keep them out of the staging area. When enemies give you a choice between placing a progress on The Goblins' Assault or another nasty effect, choose the latter every time. The longer you can hold out, the more chance you have to kill enemies, set up your board, and avoid the extra enemy that the next stage will spit out at you. If you can manage to complete Double Back here, all the better.

  • Stage 2: Leave as many enemies in staging as possible (as long as you can quest over them), but when you can take an enemy and one-shot it (or cancel its attack) take full advantage. Use Feigned Voices to avoid as many attacks as possible (then recycle with Galadhrim Weaver for maximal effect).

  • Stage 3: Engage and kill enemies as quickly as possible. You should have enough power to take Urdug out as soon as you have killed the requisite five enemies (and stomached his attack).

Concluding Thoughts

Silvans are my favorite archetype to play in this game, especially with Thranduil enabling bouncy shenanigans. It's gratifying to be able to put this together with only Revised Content and I look forward to running it through the campaign when it is released this summer!

9 comments

Jun 06, 2024 Mormegil 3989

Very cool deck!

Jun 06, 2024 ironwill212 1020

@Mormegil Thanks! I can still remember how happy I was when I picked up Fire in the Night and built my first Thranduil deck. Years later, he's still my favorite :).

Jun 06, 2024 Daprodge 3

Thanks for sharing the deck, it's awesome! Do you think it's viable for harder cycles, such as Angmar or the Saga?

Jun 06, 2024 ironwill212 1020

@Daprodge Happy people are finding it helpful :). I would say this deck, while not in the upper echelon of power, is perfectly viable for most of the sagas and for most of Angmar in true solo. It will struggle against quests that push you to get set up quickly (especially if you don't find Nenya early), but it will give you a fighting chance against the vast majority of quests in those campaigns (especially if you add in Steward of Gondor and some additional power cards like Sneak Attack + Gandalf, A Very Good Tale, etc.).

I ran a saga campaign with a non-RCO version of this deck years ago that beat Journey in the Dark, Helm's Deep, and even Pelennor Fields (not on the first try!), but Journey to the Cross-roads, The Black Gate Opens, or Battle of Carn Dum would both probably be too much. However, for quests that are a challenge in true solo, Silvans make for an excellent multiplayer deck b/c you can amass large amounts of ranged to support a companion deck that focuses more on and .

Overall, as long as you feel the freedom to tweak and sideboard as needed, I think you could get a lot of mileage out of these heroes in both campaigns :).

Jun 06, 2024 Daprodge 3

@ironwill212Thanks! I should definetly give it a try. The deck is fun to play whereas pretty powerful, too. I'm a sylvan fan myself, but I used to go with Haldir of Lórien, since Thranduil wasn't reprinted yet, but oh man, what a huge difference...

Jun 10, 2024 Calaquendi 1

For true solo what do you tend to drop for Steward x2 and perhaps A Very Good Tale x 1/2? Anything else you like to bring into the thinking for true solo, non-RCO fine.

Jun 10, 2024 ironwill212 1020

@Calaquendi Good question! It would probably depend in part on the scenario, but here are the first four cards I would probably cut:

  • O Lórien! x1 (not as necessary with Steward)
  • Double Back x1 (nice to have, but probably not strictly necessary against quests that don't reward side-questing or ramp up your threat.
  • Quicker Than Sight x1 (I like having 2 copies, but most games you can get away with 1 (and you can use Galadhrim Weaver to re-use it).
  • Gather Information x1 (if you can draw Nenya quickly, this can be superfluous).

For a non-RCO card pool, I would also likely sub in Light of Valinor for one of the Unexpected Courages and I would consider Cloak of Lórien for extra defense (maybe in place of 1x The Elvenking). But, again, a lot of that would depend upon the particular quest.

For reference, I have an earlier version of this deck that uses some of these cards (and uses Tighten Our Belts instead of Steward of Gondor) here: ringsdb.com

Jun 10, 2024 Louise 1

This was a very fun deck to play! Excellent notes on it too.

Jun 10, 2024 ironwill212 1020

@Louise Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you are enjoying the deck :).