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|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Gandalf’s Industrial Empire||4||2||0||3.0|
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.