|Questlogs using this decklist|
|Fellowships using this decklist|
|Starter for Dale (Single Core + Wilds of Rhovanion)||93||71||9||1.0|
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Mr. Underhill 2780
This is a variation of my Starter for Dale deck that shows how Dale can be used as a dedicated 'questing' deck while still covering other important aspects of the game. One of the interesting things about Dale is that, thanks to Brand son of Bain's passive ability, you can think of any attachment as generating 1 in addition to whatever effect the attachment gives you from its ability. This means that Dale can already hit some very solid questing numbers just by spreading those attachments out across the board.
The idea that takes this up a notch is to engage in some mild abuse of the Spare Hood and Cloak. This card is a natural fit for Dale since it is an Item and, with the release of The Withered Heath, we now have some Dale allies who are actually worth readying with it.
In this deck, I try to put the cloak on the North Realm Lookout so that he can quest for 3 without exhausting. (I also give him a Map of Rhovanion or Bow of Yew so that he can remain at 3 after passing the cloak.) Another good holder of the cloak is the Knight of Dale, who can quest for 3, ready up and then exhaust again to pass the cloak to someone else.
The two main uses for the cloak:
First, it can be passed to Faramir so that he can use his ability several times per round. (This follows Seastan's 100 willpower idea.) Multiple uses of Faramir allows you to hit some very high willpower numbers (i.e. 80+) by the end of the game. I think this is more than enough to absolutely smash the final stage of most quests you're likely to face.
- Second, the new Guardian of Esgaroth gains additional stats for each different player attachment he has. Once he has 3 attachments he can quest for 5 thanks to Brand son of Bain. This means that a good way to use him is to give him a Hauberk of Mail and a Squire's Helm so that he is 4/3/4/5 going into the quest phase. You can then pass him a Spare Hood and Cloak to make him a whopping 5/4/5/6, AND have him readied up for the combat phase!
The thing I like best about this deck is that you can have 3 of these souped-up guardians out without disrupting the overall flow of what the deck is trying to do. These guardians allow you to quest for a load and still have a couple of very strong allies ready to defend and attack whatever enemies you're forced to engage. Dale just keeps getting crazier!
The deck plays similarly to most Dale builds in that you want to play allies for cheap with King of Dale and spread attachments around relatively evenly. As a questing deck, this build is a little more focused around willpower generation and includes A Test of Will x 3 to cancel the very worst treacheries.
The main challenge for this deck lies in managing the placement of your Spare Hood and Cloak, particularly in getting it back onto the North Realm Lookout. For this purpose we have the Long Lake Trader to move it around the board. The ideal sequence is:
- Quest with lookout
- Pass cloak from lookout to ready another ally
- Use that ally's ability / combat stats
- Move cloak back to the lookout with the trader at the end of the combat phase.
Another way to get the Cloak where you need it is to use Bartering, though this not sustainable in the long run.
One difficulty I have sometimes faced is in getting out Faramir since he costs 4 and cannot be played with King of Dale. This means you might need to plan carefully and hold back a few resources on Brand son of Bain. Traffic from Dale helps a lot here, but you can also use Bartering to move Steward of Gondor from Bard to Brand so that he can gain a couple of resources and get Faramir out for a final questing push.
- Henamarth Riversong is a great target for a cloak since you can peek at the encounter card and then ready him to get knowledge of a shadow card.
- Self Preservation is there because I initially played this deck alongside Chad's Grimbeorn build (piloted by BGamerJoe) and Grimbeorn really benefits from the healing. However, the Guardian of Esgaroth would also like this attachment.
- Hasty Stroke can be subbed in to keep your Guardians safe.
- The Galadhrim's Greeting is perfect for threat-ramp quests.
- To Arms! is a decent emergency readying effect.
I've only played a few games with this deck but I'm satisfied with what I have seen so far. The current record is:
- Passage Through Mirkwood - Win round 6. Final turn = 75.
- Into Fangorn - Win round 4. Final = 43.
- Race Across Harad - Win round 7. Final = 84. (First time I've beaten this quest solo! I played it three times more and lost twice, but pulled 120 willpower on the final run. Ridiculous)
- Escape from Umbar - Win round 6.
2 Players (both games with a variant of Beorn to be Wild).
- Nightmare Intruders in Chetwood, Win round 7. Final = 49
- The Crossings of Poros, Win round 7. Final = 84.
I hope this gives you some idea of what the deck can do. Cheers.