Bouncy Bear

Questlogs using this decklist
Loss - The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat - 1 Player - 2021-01-10
Loss - The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat - 1 Player - 2021-01-10
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None.
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Talk about the birds and the bees...I mean "and the bears" 0 0 0 1.0
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Seastan 27662

Preface

First off, credit to @sappidus for sparking the idea to use Bard son of Brand's response to grab back Spare Hood and Cloak from an ally brought in with Prince Imrahil. This deck is the result.

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.

Bouncy Bear

I think this deck is best described by taking a look at an ideal turn, also known as a Bouncy BearTM:

  1. Play Spare Hood and Cloak on North Realm Lookout, draw a card from Brand.
  2. Quest the North Realm Lookout without exhausting.
  3. In the combat phase, trigger Prince Imrahil, looking for Beorn.
  4. Defend with Beorn.
  5. Exhaust North Realm Lookout to transfer the Spare Hood and Cloak to Beorn and ready him.
  6. Trigger Beorn and attack back for 8 .
  7. At the end of the phase, shuffle Beorn back into your deck.
  8. Return Spare Hood and Cloak to your hand thanks to Bard.
  9. 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.

Tips

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.

The Long Lake Fisherman can be used to find any card you're lacking. I like to use him to find more hoods, but King of Dale is also worth getting early to help you set up the rest of your board.

Sideboard

  • 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.

Final Thoughts

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.

15 comments

Aug 17, 2018 SamthemanGamgee 433

I've been waiting for this list since you mentioned it at gencon! Seems so much fun!

Aug 18, 2018 sappidus 633

I definitely should have been "last off" here. What great execution of the idea!

Aug 18, 2018 jtwilliams37 112

Brilliant! Love this idea.

Aug 18, 2018 Levache 81

What a fun deck! I have a question about Long Lake Trader. I thought that his ability did not trigger a card draw since the text on Brand son of Bain reads, "After you play an attachment . . . " Am I mistaken in my interpretation of that?

Aug 18, 2018 Qwaz 366

You're right. Long Lake Trader's ability does not trigger Brand's card draw. Here the hoods are repeated draw bacause they're constantly being moved onto a character who then leaves play. they're reclaimed with Bard's response and then replayed the following round to trigger the draw.

Aug 18, 2018 Levache 81

Thanks @Qwaz The spare hood mechanic makes perfect sense. I was more asking because of @Seastan's comment in the Sideboard about using LLT to move BoY and HoM to temporary allies for more card draw. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on card draw when I trigger LLT in my Dale deck.

Aug 18, 2018 Kakita_Shiro 29

I did the same thing with a Gandalf while playing with @sappidusthe other day. Snuck him in, hoodies, murder for days.

Aug 18, 2018 Kakita_Shiro 29

Also, with only 6 Weapon/Armor attachments, how do you find Open the Armory? I tried it with Hauberk of Mail and Raiment of War and I wasn't hitting, almost at all.

Aug 18, 2018 Seastan 27662

@LevacheNo, you won't get a card if you move an attachment with Long Lake Trader. But when the ally leaves play you get he attachment back and can play it next round for free, netting you a card.

@Kakita_ShiroI've missed with it before, but I still like it because the Hauberk is just so so good. Once you have a Sentry set up with it, it means Beorn can spend his actions attacking rather than defending, which is what you want.

Aug 19, 2018 Rouxxor 1329

A clever association for two classic themes. Good job :)

Aug 20, 2018 Hellkite 41

I really like A Very Good Tale with Prince Imrahil and I think it would work well in this deck. Also, Captain's Wisdom would help speed this deck up quite a bit.

Aug 20, 2018 Rouxxor 1329

A very good tale is not good in Dale decks because allies are only strong when paired with equipment, so it is not very efficient to bring many of them naked on the board. In this version you have many powerful allies who can be put in play but you need to be lucky to find one with a different name that the one you just exhaust, and the one(s) you may already have put in play.

Dale is a perfect deck for many resources accelerator. Steward of Gondor is great (can make us draw), legacy of numenor is always powerful in multiplayer, trafic from Dale is good for adding may resources (sometime in turn 1 but often a bit later). But captain's wisdom is quite disappointing to me. I originally though it could be great in a deck able to get ready effect easily (cram, miruvor) but you draw many cards during organization so captain's wisdom will often be delay of one turn, and you have already too many powerful acceleration, so you need more drawing than resource smoothing.

Oct 20, 2018 CDavis7M 138

I was looking through the list of Heroes as the 3rd for a Dale deck and realized that Imrahil was perfect to grab more Dale allies. But, I never thought of using Beorn. Brilliant!

Dec 02, 2020 GKZhukov 18

Finally picked up a copy of Wilds of Rhovanion (2 years late, I know). Read Bard's ability and thought there must be some cool combo with Imrahil and the right Attachment. Started looking through Attachments for one that could be played/moved in the Combat Phase. Was taking too long so came to ringsdb and searched for decks with Bard and Imrahil and clicked on the Seastan one. Was not disappointed.

Dec 02, 2020 Seastan 27662

@GKZhukov Glad you found it! Enjoy Wilds!