Ye Olde Ranger Trap Deck

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The Seventh Level - 1 Player - 2020-12-30
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None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
It's a Trap! 2 0 1 1.0
The rangers of Ithilien ride north 12 4 1 1.0
Ye "New" Ranger Trap Deck (Peak Faramir) 176 137 27 1.0
Rangers of the South 2 0 5 1.0
It's a trap! 0 0 1 1.0
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MDuckworth83 2981

MDuckworth83 has a newer deck inspired by this one: Ye "New" Ranger Trap Deck (Peak Faramir)

This is my latest solo build of my favorite archetype to play. Basically, the main idea is enemy manipulation in staging. The focus is to either trap enemies as they come into play, or use Ithilien Archer or Mablung to bounce select enemies you engage back into traps in staging. As you are laying traps and trapping enemies, Damrod functions to both accelerate resources and fuel additional card draw. The main attack power comes from Faramir, who is boosted both by sticking enemies in staging with low threat and Ranger Spikes, as well as equipping Dagger of Westernesse.

Since this is a 52 card deck, and tends not to have a lot of 3x cards, the key to getting this deck humming is the Master of the Forge. Once you get one or two of these guys in play, you are pretty much getting a free attachment fetch every turn in this very attachment heavy build. Combined with Damrod and Mithrandir's Advice, this deck turns into a powerful card drawing machine, which is how I get can away with greater card diversity... especially amongst the attachments. Rivendell Minstrel is key to accessing tactics through Song of Battle, which is needed to play Dagger of Westernesse and Secret Vigil (for threat and staging threat reduction).

Because the idea is to keep enemies mostly in staging, less characters are needed for combat, and thus makes questing easier. This, combined with Protector of Lórien, staging threat reducers, and killing/neutralizing enemies in staging tends to ensure that I have adequate willpower for questing... something I expected to have more issues with initially.

This is a very strong build and I've used it to take down such formidable quests as Nightmare Watcher in the Water (with some tweaks to keep low engagement tentacles in staging). It's quite strong against most combat heavy scenarios, and the only weak points tend to be scenarios with too many low engagement enemies, scenarios that involve sailing/ships, or scenarios that tend to be heavy on locations and light on enemies. Luckily being Lore, there are plenty of tweaks and modifications that can address these issues.

There are tons of ways to modify this deck, and this just happens to be my most "general purpose" build.


Apr 11, 2016 Trialus 23

@mduckworth83 thanks man! Look forward to playing it!!

Apr 11, 2016 MDuckworth83 2981

@Trialus Let me know how it goes! Always open to discussion and improvement.

Apr 11, 2016 MDuckworth83 2981

Just realized that I have the wrong Gandalf Ally in there. Gandalf is supposed to be my threat reduction. Anybody know how to change that without causing a new version?

Apr 16, 2016 danithaca 49

@mduckworth83 I don't think you can change the deck without creating a new version. Looking forward to the updated deck.

Apr 16, 2016 MDuckworth83 2981

Yeah....I thought I had changed it, and it updated to version "1.1". I tried publishing the newest version from my mobile app and apparently it didn't take.

For the heck of it, I tried playing it with the "erroneous" Gandalf version....and ironically, it actually works great! Even though the intent of the deck is to keep threat low, usually by mid game, you are relying on Ranger Spikes and cards like Ithilien Archer to get enemies in staging anyway, and having a solid 4/4/4 ally hanging around answers a lot of problems, including the one of automatically engaging enemies slipping through.

Because this deck is low to mid threat by design, you can play him mid game when you aren't staying below the enemies' "threat engagement" radar anyway, and leave him in for several rounds without risking threat-out. He at the very least adds some solid willpower and might defend/destroy enemies that might otherwise give this deck problems as they engage.

This turned out to be a serendipitous mistake that might actually trigger me to post a review on this card!

Apr 20, 2016 soullos 1

This looks fun. A proper solo trap deck. :D I will need to try this out. I've been wanting try traps since they were first released, but that wasn't really viable until Damrod came around.

What's the best way to use Abmush? Ithilian Pit seems to fill that role and it seems easier to set up. I'm still not sold on Ambush yet...

Apr 20, 2016 MDuckworth83 2981

Ithilien Pit and Ambush are useful for different stages of the game. Ithilien Pit is your early game trap, and the one you like to see in your opening hand or initial draws. Not only does it allow you do light up enemies in the staging area, but it's free with Damrod, and basically equates to free card draw... which can be just as valuable as it's function.

Ambush falls more in the same category with the Forest Snare (which I include more for "insurance" reasons), and is more of a mid to late game card. You eventually reach a point in the game where your threat gets high enough that it gets tough to keep enemies in staging. Ambush is made for the enemies that you know are going to engage you, and allows you to take them out before you have to defend against them...hopefully with a Faramir that has a couple enemies in Ranger Spikes and maybe a high engagement enemy in staging to boost him. Even though it is restricted to the combat phase, it still allows you to attack an enemy as an action BEFORE the enemy gets an opportunity to attack you. Hopefully between Faramir and an Ithilien archer, you should be able to destroy most "slip through" enemies.

Another point worth mentioning is that I tend to tweak this deck quite a bit based on the relative engagement cost of the enemies in a scenario I'm playing.. In a scenario like Nightmare Watcher in the Water (which I came 3 Watcher hit points away from beating with this deck), where almost all of the enemies have a low engagement cost, I might get rid of my Ithilien Pits altogether and double down on Ambushs and Forest Snares. I usually also include some form of staging area fixing, like Advance Warning.

If a deck tends to feature mostly high engagement cost enemies, I might get rid of my Ambushs and Forest Snares and replace them with another Ranger Bow or something. I'm realizing now that publishing a sideboard for this deck might have been helpful.

Hope that helps.

Apr 21, 2016 soullos 1

Oh, that makes sense. I didn't think of using Ambush as a mid to late game tactic. Once you have Faramir set up, I can see the merit of ambush being useful in that advance stage of the game. Thank you for the detailed response. :D

Apr 21, 2016 MDuckworth83 2981

One of the primary goals of this deck is to avoid having to use your characters for combat, so that they can quest. You either catch enemies with Ranger Spikes; take them down in staging with Ithilien Pit, Poisoned Stakes, and/or Ranger Bow (usually in combo); catch them in a Forest Snare if they engage, or as a last resort Ambush them... at which point you are hoping you only have to use Faramir to one shot an enemy before it can attack (and thus require a defender).

Because there are no "major" willpower tricks, the deck relies on using nearly all of your characters for straight up questing. It actually works quite well once you figure it out... well enough that I can run up against quite a few nightmare scenarios and have a decent shot at winning.

May 13, 2016 lumos 1

Nice job: you clearly spent much time tweaking this deck with multiple plays. I'm curious how this deck looked before Damrod and The Land of Shadow were released.

May 14, 2016 MDuckworth83 2981

@lumos Thank you! I have probably played dozens of versions of this deck because I love messing around with mono lore in general and Rangers/Traps in particular. I'm currently considering posting a "spirit splashed" version that emphasizes keeping threat low and doing more direct damage in staging.

Prior to Damrod, this was a fun thematic deck that was best against the less difficult scenarios and a good "easy mode" play for the more difficult ones. With Damrod, it's a serious contender for taking down even some of the more difficult scenarios. Like I've mentioned, I came very close to beating Watcher in the Water Nightmare with it, and that scenario is no picnic. Could probably do it with a couple of tries.

It's amazing how much the slight resource acceleration/card draw boost that comes with Damrod really made this archetype a serious player. The "free" Ithilien pits that draw cards are amazing!

Sure, it's not quite up to Boromir Aggro deck level power, but those decks are boring to play anyway. That's why I refer to Tactics Boromir as "Boring"mere ;).

Jun 11, 2016 Ryson 194

Nice deck that I will definitively try. One quest

Jun 11, 2016 Ryson 194

sorry submit button pushed too quickly... One question, does Mirkwood Pioneer pull his weight?

Jun 12, 2016 MDuckworth83 2981

@Ryson I've actually been surprised at how effective the Mirkwood Pioneer is in this deck because he addresses two potential weak points.

Because the point of the deck is to fix enemies in staging and deal with them there, staging threat can occasionally be a problem. MP provides a way to neutralize the highest threat card in staging, and has often been just the bump I need to clear an active location at a critical moment. If there is a 4 threat location for example, he is basically the equivalent of a +4 WP boost the round he comes in!

Once he's in, he also provides for the other weakness of this archetype, chumping the occasional enemy that slips through your tricks and traps and engages. Often his chump is enough to allow Faramir to wipe the enemy unharmed.

He can sometimes be a double clutch play in the same round. I wrote up a pretty extensive review on this card I'd encourage you to check out.

Love the Mirkwood Pioneer.