Gandalf’s Industrial Empire

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Gandalf’s Industrial Empire 11 8 0 3.0
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tigormiti 671

tigormiti has a newer deck inspired by this one: Gandalf’s Industrial Empire

There is a secret that is taboo in Middle-Earth: Gandalf is a very wealthy man, and his main source of income is from exploiting dwarves whom he pays with cheap pipeweed. He calls himself an Expert Treasure-hunter, but he’s really just a power-hungry capitalist only rivaled by Sauron.

He primarily associates with inferior races, dwarves and hobbits, for obvious reasons. He was shrewd enough to surround himself with puppet dwarves who have lost all contact with reality : a library rat (the “treasurer”), and a party drinker (a clown to keep the guys’ mood up).

The lowest rung on the ladder is the poor Zigil Miner. His only goal in life is to toil away. The waste of his labour is smoked with Dwarf Pipes. To keep them happy, Gandalf can throw them a bone (Hidden Cache) with his own pipe which Bilbo Baggins (ever the compliant errand boy) fetches for him. With a maximum of 5 pipes in play, Smoke Rings becomes a very efficient rebellion tamer, err, I mean, threat reducer.

Gandalf exports the product of the Zigil Miner to finance his army of Harbor Masters, proud bearers of A Burning Brand. Gandalf's Staff and Bifur buff their defense to a minimum of 2 . But when Narya, Miruvor and the Zigil Miner enter the picture, they become the ultimate wall in the game, at 5+ and totally immune to shadow effects.

Morale of the story : If you're not put off by dwarf swarm and if you like to manage card effects and triggers all over the place, this is a deck for you. This is a deck that can overwhelm both the encounter deck and the player. Dwarf decks are notoriously messy, but with Gandalf in town, we’re reaching new territory.

The comboing of Gandalf and Expert Treasure-hunter is incredible (hands-down best card draw in the game), and so is the combination of Gandalf with Zigil Miner and Hidden Cache (+2 for Harbor Master every time it hits). Note that even Expert Treasure-hunter can hit Hidden Cache. Dwarf Pipe is great for recycling Hidden Cache and avoid losing good cards to the discard. With Master of the Forge, the cards you move to the bottom of the deck can quickly resurface. Interestingly, since you will go so fast through your deck, you’ll have opportunities to end up with Hidden Cache as the only cards of your deck. You can then loop by activating your Zigil Miners and recycling Hidden Cache with Dwarf Pipe. That adds up to a lot of on Harbor Master.

Once established, the deck is quasi invincible because of the wall of burning brands, the constant recycling of Smoke Rings and A Test of Will by Will of the West, and the overabundance of resources buffing the willpower of Longbeard Map-Maker beyond reason (why isn’t he erratae’d?). In fact, the deck feels too short, because by the end of the game, Will of the West only recycles a few event cards, and there's too much card draw from Expert Treasure-hunter for the now dwarfed deck (sorry for the pun), and too many resources lying around to the point where you won’t even bother optimizing your Zigil Miner triggers.

Starting hand : Look for Zigil Miner, Wizard Pipe, Gandalf's Staff, Expert Treasure-hunter, and readying for Gandalf. Try not to have Hidden Cache or Ered Luin Miner in your hand.


Sep 10, 2018 carlosm88 46

This deck seems fun! Gonna try it out. Love the theme!

Sep 10, 2018 TheChad 4523

Great description! Lol this is fantastic.

Sep 10, 2018 jtwilliams37 112

You weren't kidding it's a lot to keep track of, but very fun and powerful! Thanks for sharing.

Sep 10, 2018 Jelius 66

Nori is my favorite dwarf!!!

Sep 11, 2018 MadaoMadao 71

Would you play this deck without Narya, Dwarf Pipe and Ered Luin Miner? This seems fun as hell but i'm unsure whether they're crucial or not

Sep 11, 2018 tigormiti 671

Hello @MadaoMadao

Narya is mostly to defend multiple times with the buffed-up Harbor Master with A Burning Brand, so in a lot of cases, you’re good with only 1 Harbor Master in play. In bad situations, Narya stands dwarves to sacrifice (it’s actually a good thing, because you’ll get more out of Will of the West, Nori and other triggers). It has been quite useful to me, but only in the mid- to late-game.

Dwarf Pipe is essential. It limits accidental loss of all your copies of Will of the West (the only other way to fix this is Ered Nimrais Prospector). Since the deck empties itself quickly, losing all your Will of the West means death. Also, it is important for setting up the bottom of the deck with Hidden Cache. When you have only a few cards remaining in your deck, you are in a state where you can milk Hidden Cache with Zigil Miner and Dwarf Pipe and rack up an indecent amount of resources, buffing both Harbor Master and Longbeard Map-Maker.

Ered Luin Miner is basically free, a good chump-blocker, and indirect buff for Erebor Battle Master. Without him, it would be quite harder for the latter to reach indecent numbers.

Sep 12, 2018 Zukin 112

Do you think this could run well with Dáin Ironfoot over Bifur? possibly with Narvi's Belt. Or is that too much setup off the bat? I feel Dáin Ironfoots global boost is hard to ignore.

Sep 12, 2018 tigormiti 671

Yes I think it would take too much time to setup. Dáin Ironfoot would be great in a companion deck, however.

Sep 12, 2018 MadaoMadao 71

@tigormitithanks for the feedback, i guess i'll wait to play this deck for a while. Ered Luin Miner doesn't buff Erebor Battle master though - he only gets buffed by heroes in his errated/reprinted version, so erebor master will always have 2 atk in this deck.

Sep 12, 2018 tigormiti 671

@MadaoMadao Actually it's the reverse, Erebor Battle Master is buffed by allies. Ringsdb has the erratae'd text. Before the errata, you counted heroes + allies.

Sep 12, 2018 MadaoMadao 71

@tigormitioh wow. that's a big derp on my side. So i've been playing him wrong for a year or so because of one misread. Wow.

Sep 18, 2018 FolcoBoffin 148

Nice deck. Looks great!