Merry Gets Hitched

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Some Sort 1204

A massively combat-heavy Tactics / Lore deck.

Tactics Merry is the engine of the deck. Load him up with as many Fast Hitches and Rohan Warhorses as you can. Optionally engage an enemy after the quest phase, (netting you a card from Pippin), then attack and kill that enemy with Aragorn and Merry. As soon as he's killed, use Aragorn to pull another enemy to you, (drawing another card from Pippen), use Merry to ready Aragorn, use your fast hitch or Rohan Warhorse to ready Merry, and repeat until the board is clear of enemies or you are out of Hitches / Horses, whichever comes first.

When dealing with enemies whose engagement cost is lower than your threat, you can pair Merry off with Ally Legolas so you still get the card draw for the kill. Or else you can use Mablung or Take No Notice, (free since all of your heroes are hobbits or rangers), to raise their threat so Pippen/Aragorn will combo off them again. (And don't forget that Pippen raises enemy engagement by two points, too.)

For beefier enemies, the deck includes Daggers of Westernesse, (which should spend most of the game giving a +2 bonus each). Put them on Aragorn, because Merry's restricted attachment spots should be filled with Warhorses. If the daggers aren't enough, put Support of the Eagles on Merry and let him tap the Vassal of the Windlord for a 3-point attack boost. (Put it on Merry instead of Aragorn so you can also use him to defend with the Winged Guardian and then stand him back up with Fast Hitch to begin the attack shenanigans.)

As you may have noticed, this deck also includes three copies of Keeping Count. No, it's not a joke! It really works, I promise! Drop one copy of Keeping Count on Aragorn as soon as you can. After a few rounds of shenanigans, you can pretty easily get 5+ resource counters on it. (If you really want to go nuts, you can get 10 or more in larger games without breaking too much of a sweat.) Then you drop the other copy on Merry and as long as the two heroes keep attacking together, the differential remains the same; basically, a pair of 0-cost attachments gives you a permanent +5 or greater attack boost.

The deck's biggest weakness is questing; allies Quickbeam and Mablung are there mostly to help you out in that department. (Mablung's ability is obviously also bananas with these heroes.) If Pippin finds himself declared Protector of Lórien, he can easily quest for 4 or 5 a round with all of the extra cards you'll be drawing from the Aragorn/Pippin engine. Halfling Determination serves a dual purpose, (besides the obvious of fueling your Merragorn Killmachine), of giving you two cheap points of willpower.

Finally, Vassal of the Windlord isn't just fodder for Support of the Eagles; when paired with a Grappling Hook, he finds himself questing for three. How an eagle uses a grappling hook is a mystery I fear we may never know the answer to.

The Grappling Hook is also useful for any quest stages that you need to burn through in a hurry. If you deliberately set up Keeping Count before any major questing stages, you can easily find yourself with a hero (or two!) with double-digit attack values. "I quest with Merry for 17... and then ready him with a Fast Hitch" is an awfully fun thing to say.

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