|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Talk about the birds and the bees...I mean "and the bears"||0||0||0||1.0|
|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Imrahil's a fun card. Dale is a fun archetype. Combining them together has resulted in a deck that I have gotten so much joy from. I brought it to GenCon and had almost as much fun talking about it as playing it.
I think this deck is best described by taking a look at an ideal turn, also known as a Bouncy BearTM:
- Play Spare Hood and Cloak on North Realm Lookout, draw a card from Brand.
- Quest the North Realm Lookout without exhausting.
- In the combat phase, trigger Prince Imrahil, looking for Beorn.
- Defend with Beorn.
- Exhaust North Realm Lookout to transfer the Spare Hood and Cloak to Beorn and ready him.
- Trigger Beorn and attack back for 8 .
- At the end of the phase, shuffle Beorn back into your deck.
- Return Spare Hood and Cloak to your hand thanks to Bard.
- Repeat next turn.
In total, you drew a card, defended an enemy, and killed an enemy. All for 1 resource. And you can do it again every turn of the game.
But wait, there's more! Once your second or third hood hits the table you'll be able to pull off crazy things like defend 3 enemies with Beorn and a couple Redwater Sentries, then strike back with Beorn multiple times before tossing him back in your deck for later and reclaiming all your hoods. With 3 hoods in play, you can draw 3 cards and kill 3 enemies for a single resource. Every turn.
Now of course you will not be able to pull Beorn out of your deck with Imrahil every time. But there are plenty of ways you can up the odds. That brings me to the other cards in the deck.
The Other Cards
For the deck to work well, you want a high concentration of Beorns in your deck. Whenever you draw into a copy you decrease the odds of pulling one out with Imrahil. This is where Sneak Attack comes in. In this deck Sneak Attack basically acts as a 100% guaranteed Bouncy Bear, in the sense that if Beorn is in your hand you can pay 1 resource in the combat phase and he can do his regular thing with the hoods. At the end of the phase, you can choose to resolve Beorn's effect first to shuffle him back in your deck, then the end-of-phase effect on Sneak attack fizzles.
The Beorning Skin-changer provides the second way to get Beorn back in your deck. For only 2 resources you can get a Bouncy Bear by discarding the Skin-changer and putting Beorn into play from hand (or from your discard pile if you happened to discard Beorn to ready Glorfindel at some point).
In the case that you trigger Imrahil and fail to find Beorn, there are several other targets in the deck that match traits with Imrahil. I tried to choose allies that could survive an attack and still provide somewhat decent attack strength when readied, like a poor man's Beorn. These allies are Háma, Boromir, and Glorfindel. The Dale allies aren't great targets, but they do allow you to defend an attack if nothing else. Just be sure to send them a hood immediately after the exhaust to defend, so that if they die you will be able to get your hood back in hand.
You will continue to thin out your deck every time you play a hood, and the consistency of pulling out Beorn should keep increasing provided you keep shuffling back in any of the ones you draw. Once you draw out your whole deck (or if you have <5 cards left) you can trigger Miruvor in the refresh phase and put it on top of your deck, and draw it again in the next planning phase. As long as you refrain from drawing any extra cards with Brand, Beorn will stay in your deck indefinitely, and you will be able to get Bouncy Bears with 100% certainty every round thereafter, provided you keep stacking Miruvor back on top of your deck in the refresh phase.
The rest of the cards here are pretty much doing the standard Dale thing - mostly questing - as they watch Beorn bring the devastation.
Mulligan for a Spare Hood and Cloak, since that's your source of card draw. Even before you get set up with a Lookout, you can attach the hood to Bard, draw a card, and hold him back from the quest in order to ready the ally that comes in with Imrahil. As long as you don't put any more attachments on Bard, you'll be able to keep drawing with the hood each round by putting it on Bard until you find a better target. So while the full-blown Bouncy Bear is what you're building towards, the combo is still pretty effective long before you get there.
- Jubayr is another decent Imrahil target. Legolas is worse at defending but better at attacking back.
- Long Lake Trader can give you even more card draw by sending any Bow of Yew or Hauberk of Mail to the temporary ally. Once the ally leaves play, you get these attachments back and can play them all for free the next turn, drawing a card for each of course.
- To Arms! can get you an extra swing from Beorn in a pinch.
- Valiant Sacrifice is a simple combo with Imrahil for even more card draw.
- Radagast and Wizard Pipe offer another way of sending any Beorns you draw back into your deck. This might actually be the best reason to use Radagast in the current card pool, but I haven't tested this yet to see if he's worth it.
A note of warning: This is not a power deck. While it has the potential to handle some tough scenarios, it can be a little inconsistent. But that's what I like about the deck. Sometimes you'll get bad luck and whiff with Imrahil and you'll be forced to deal with some undefended attacks. Other times you'll parachute in an angry bear that wipes the board clean. It's all part of the fun.