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This is my attempt at making a deck that can quest through most if not all quests currently out for LOTR. One of my favorite characters in Lord of the Rings is Treebeard and so I wanted to make a deck that utilized his hero form instead of the ally form.
3 advantages of Arwen that make her a staple in this deck:
- Her ability – providing either herself, Glorfindel or Treebeard after Elf-Friend is played an extra resource a round is incredibly powerful. Many of the cards in this deck rely on a consistent flow of resources and Arwen is up for the challenge!
- Willpower – starting willpower of 3 is powerful and means she will be questing essentially every round to help us progress through the quest.
- Threat – Her starting threat of 9 means she allows this deck to start below 30 threat which is key in many quests in order to avoid many enemies from engaging right away.
There are 3 advantages for having Glorfindel in this deck as noted below:
- Willpower & Attack – Glorfindel starts at 3 for both of these stats which immediately makes him one of the most powerful heroes in the game. Add on top of this he has 5 health! This means he can always be used to defend in a pinch or take some undefended attacks so he can still attack and take out some nasty enemies. Once he has Light of Valinor on him, he can quest and attack for 3 each round.
- Spirit Resource – Some of the most powerful cards in the game such as Galadhrim Greeting, A Test of Will are Spirit cards.
- Threat – He has a STARTING threat of 5. . . Yeah I know almost unfair really for the enemies in the game. His ability hinders him slightly, but there are ways to mitigate it, most notably Light of Valinor so he can quest without exhausting. Since his attack value is AS strong as his questing, you can always hold on questing with him and use him to attack until you find the Light of Valinor.
Treebeard is the heart of this deck. His starting stats are amazing, with having 3 attack, 3 armor AND 5 health. His quest power of 2 is fine, but what makes him shine is his ability. Since he can damage himself 5 times per phase, he can quest for 7 a round or attack for 8 as long as he has something to boost his health. His only downside is that he cannot hold Restricted attachments, which essentially eliminates the ability to use weapons or armor to protect him. But there are SO MANY cards that are not restricted which can be used to heal or increase health that he can become a true beast if a deck is built around him. All attachments except 2 of the (Light of Valinor and Asfalaoth) are meant to go on him in this deck to put him into beast mode. If I counted right, the most attachments he can have on him in this deck is 9! Unexpected Courage, and Self Preservation are two key attachments that we will discuss in detail below. He does have a high threat cost of 13, but the other 2 heroes allow us to stay below 30 starting threat which was my goal.
Why I built this deck around Treebeard has to do with his versatility. Need 2-3 more questing points to be able to push to the next round? Done! Need to have some more attack to take out an enemy engaged with you? Done! Need to soak a strong attack? Done! He can do it all, but he does need some good supporting characters to do so.
This is an expensive ally, no doubt. But Firyal’s ability to look at the top card of the encounter deck after she exhausts to quest is incredibly powerful in a solo game. She also has 3 willpower which is about as high as you can get for an ally that stays out on the board from round to round. If I can get Steward of Gondor on Treebeard and Firyal is in my hand, she will be coming out as soon as possible. I have never lost once she comes into play.
Gildor is another expensive character, but is one that I use for 2 things. One is for discard fodder. If I have yet to get Elven-Light in my hand, I can simply discard him to get another resource. If I have Steward of Gondor on Treebeard, or A Good Harvest card in my hand, Gildor will come out and either serve as an additional defender, or as a quester. His 3 defense is great, especially if I decide to place A Burning Brand on him instead of Treebeard (this usually only happens when not enough Unexpected Courages are on Treebeard). I think overall he is one of my weaker allies, not because he is bad but because he is an expensive Lore ally that usually gets discarded.
This may be a bit overkill here, but something that can be a challenge with this deck is swarms of enemies, as Treebeard can only do so much. Here comes the Guardian of the Rivendell to the rescue! First, the 3 defense 3 health is great at soaking strong attacks from stronger enemies. Also this character is colorless, meaning there is no need to have 3 resources of the same type to bring him out. Finally, the downside of the card, can actually be a benefit depending upon what is in your hand. Discarding 2 cards from hand can be used in conjunction with Elven-Light to replenish your hand with new cards. If nothing else, he can always be an additional 2 attack to help you finish off an enemy that Treebeard or Glorfindel cannot take out on their own.
I found as I played this deck, you run out of cards in hand relatively quickly. What helped was the Elven-Light/Arwen combo, but that only allows you to draw 1 card. Including both Imladris and Guardian of the Rivendell gave me more ways to discard cards, which in-effect allowed me to draw more thanks to those Elven-Light cards. Imladris has a couple great uses, as is probably pretty obvious here. Healing 2 times a round by discarding a card can be incredibly powerful with Treebeard leading the charge. Also as terrible as it sounds, he can also be used as a meat shield, should you need to save Treebeard for an attack.
The other super powerful and unique Harad character. Another 3 armor defense, and a strong ability to discard shadow cards. Can you ask for anything more? With Arwen you will be able to play him from your hand within 2 rounds as 5 Spirit resources isn’t terrible difficult to generate. I feel that in quests with terrible shadow cards, Jubayr will shine!
If you think of Treebeard as Batman, Master of the Forge is his Robin! EACH round, yes EACH round, you can look at the top 5 cards of your deck for those precious attachments and add it to your hand. There are 3 of these in your deck for good reason! If you only find useless attachments, that is fine too! Those attachments can be used for discards, and it helps you dig through your deck as well. Just a really powerful card in this deck, and one that I do tend to forget to activate on camera. . . His stats are horrendous but who cares, it is his ability that matters!
This card is from the core set, and has always been revered as a strong ally for a spirit deck. It will take 2 rounds to bring him into play, but location lock will not be an issue once he is out on the board. His 1 questing is pretty terrible, but placing progress on ALL locations in the staging area is. . . well . . awesome? Insane? I have found that he is not nearly as powerful in a solo play just because less cards come out of the encounter deck, but then I will use his 2 attack, or his 2 armor if need be to defend. All around a great card, and totally worth the 4 Spirit resources.
What is a Treebeard deck without Quickbeam? Incomplete I say! We all know Trees are slow to anger, and slow to activate as they come into play exhausted, and Quickbeam is no exception to this. However, his ability to soak a damage to be ready in the round he is played gives him a slight edge over all other Ent cards in my opinion. His 3 attack also means that he can help kill an Orc or 2 so that Treebeard does not have to continue to damage himself to do the dirty work. Lastly, with all the healing in the deck and Wellinghall Preserver, Quickbeam can usually heal that 1 damage relatively quickly.
Although I would say Master of the Forge is MORE important than the Warden of Healing, it is not by much. The Warden allows Treebeard to exert himself without worry of death! But the Warden does not only heal Treebeard, he heals another character as well! So all of those early undefended attacks Glorfindel took, he can finally heal from them. I feel that the Warden of Healing is essentially a staple in any Treebeard deck.
A 3 questing, 2 attack, 2 armor, 3 health Ent that heals Treebeard or Quickbeam every time it refreshes? Yes he comes into play exhausted so you have to be willing to waste a round, and he costs 3 precious Lore resources which usually means it will take 2-3 rounds to bring him in but I have found that the Heroes can withstand a couple rounds until he drops by. Once the Wellinghall Preserver is in play, enemies will be hard pressed to stop us from questing and killing Treebeard!
A 2 cost attachment that can go on Gildor or Treebeard and negate ALL shadow effects! Does it get better than that?
We all know this goes on Glorfindel! Just like the its ability to whisk Frodo to safety in the book, Asfaloth can complete locations anywhere on the board. And 2 progress a round is nothing to scoff at for 2 Lore resources.
Treebeard an elf friend? Don’t mind if I do! Thanks Arwen for the resource! 3 are in the deck so that it is likely at some point in the quest we will get additional resources on Treebeard even if Steward of Gondor is staying elusive.
The most important attachment for Treebeard. This allows him to use his 5 health for damage, and still have 2 left so he doesn’t die. If you are lucky enough to get 2 of these, but the second on Glorfindel. You will thank me later
Also for Glorfindel so his one downside is negated. PLUS he can use both of his 3 attack and 3 willpwer a round.
Although this is not as important as Ent Draught or Unexpected Courage, this card can be a life saver. It is not a limited card, so putting both on Treebeard means he can essentially add 4 attack or 4 quest for no cost! Pretty amazing.
2 free resources a round? Why the heck not! You will ALMOST always want to put this on Treebeard, so you can play the more expensive Lore cards, but you will need a Good Harvest in your hand to do so. Harder to pull of, certainly not needed, but it will make the deck run faster for certain.
The 2nd most important attachment for Treebeard. Pull all of them on him and he can do everything, quest, defend and attack.
At first I just have this card in my deck for Steward of Gondor, but then I realize it works well if I need to get Gildor, or a Northern Tracker, or a Master of the Forge first round out on the board. It is just a great versatile card with lots of potential. I am never unhappy when I draw it.
I feel like in any Spirit Deck you need to run this, and 3 of them for certain. Being able to cancel those terrible When Revealed effect for one resource is worth it EVERY TIME in my book.
Drawing 2 more cards and discarding any card? What is not to like, this is a great card in any Lore deck that allows for acceleration of your deck. If you have an Elven-Light in your hand, it is a free 2 additional cards!
I try and have this card in my starting hand each game. It give you drawing ability, resource generation thanks to Arwen, healing thanks to Imladris Caregiver, and allows you to play Guardian of the Rivendell for less of a cost. Truly a staple in any deck that uses discarding from hand as a resource.
Basic threat reduction, and for solo it is strong. 3 Spirit resources which can be generated in one round and reduces threat by 6! Saved me more times than I can remember.
The strategy for the deck is simple, get as many attachments on Treebeard as possible, I think in this deck the max is 9?
In your starting hand, try and have one Elven-light so you can start drawing cards with Arwen Undómiel. If you are lucky and get Steward of Gondor and A Good Harvest in your opening hand, things will go well for you quickly!
Glorfindel is in here for his amazing stat line and low threat value. Starting under 30 in a solo game is key so those peskier enemies don't engage right away and you have time to find the attachments to make Treebeard unstoppable.
Master of the Forge is a workhorse in this deck, as you are primarily looking for your strong attachments. Ent Draught, Unexpected Courage, Self Preservation and Light of Valinor are must-have's if you can. The other attachments are nice, but certainly not needed.
Lore resources will be the biggest challenge, hence Elf-friend is in here. Once you make Treebeard a Noldor, Arwen can give him resources.
My only threat reduction is 3 The Galadhrim's Greeting, not sure if that will be enough but so far it has been working. Guardian of Rivendell is in here for a stout defender, and discards in case you have multiple Elven-Lights in your hand.
I am planning on doing as many quests as I can on my YouTube channel: One Stop Co-op Shop, and will update the Notes with links to the plays of the game. So far I have recorded 4 quests and all have ended in successes so that is good!
Limited Edition Core
The Oath Quest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccLj__EmuHc&t=45s
The Caves of Nim-Dun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtwNlKisMWM
Shadows of Mirkwood Cycle
The Hunt for Gollum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRI17tHxzI8&t=12s
Conflict at the Carrock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6tvQ9HrOeg&t=1633s
A Journey to Rhosgobel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5XyvJNDd3U&t=26s
The Hills of Emyn Muil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9j5D0OA2eY&t=238s
The Dead Marshes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itPl6Tl_xLI&t=177s
Return to Mirkwood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWfAb9haMBA
Any feedback is appreciated