Sméagol goes undercover 2-Wrath of Legolas
You though i was done? Make one fellowship with kjeld's combo and be done with it? Nope, here is another fellowship, 4 player this time, involving even more crazy shenanigans!
First of all, this is a repeat of the kjeld combo: wait until stinker shows up, use Desperate Alliance to give the sméagol player control over Beregond, cast The Hammer-stroke. All enemies in play are now engaged with a player that controls no heroes, so their attacks can be left undefended indefinitely.
But we are not stoping there. Those enemies have been neutralized, but there is potential for more. We can make use of them. That's when Legolas and Blade of Gondolin come in. With Forth, The Three Hunters! and Golden Belt, Legolas can hold up to 4 Blade of Gondolin, which generates 6 progress per kill on the quest. We let Legolas work his way through the enemies, and finish the game much quicker.
But wait, there's more. Because we have a 4 player fellowship, we will often reveal multiple enemies each round. With Beregond defending and the infiltrated Sméagol trapping one every round we can deal with the defense aspect, but Legolas will struggle to keep up. Beregond will need those Unexpected Courage, and Rohan Warhorse would diminish our progress generation per kill which is not fun. Instead, we'll use something more flashy: once a lot of enemies have accumulated, we cast Hour of Wrath and Fair and Perilous on Legolas (whose is boosted by Forth, The Three Hunters!) to instantly clear the table, and usually generate enough progress to win the game in one glorious round of attack.
See it in video against the seventh level
In order to pull off the combo, each deck has a specific mission to accomplish: Sméagol needs to find The Hammer-stroke, The three hunters need to stack Blade of Gondolin on legolas and flip the contract, the Beregond deck needs to find Desperate Alliance and eventually Hour of Wrath and Fair and Perilous, and accumulate the necessary resource.
Sméagol's primary mission is to play Treebeard as early as possible, in order not to get stuck if Sméagol flips early. This is accomplished by mulliganing for Treebeard+Elf-stone, Send for Aid or Timely Aid. Éowyn's ability will help complete Send for Aid or any other side quest quickly. Once Treebeard is online we can play the ents much faster. The ents will help with combat, to get Sméagol back early on, or to help Legolas kill the bigger enemies once he has his blades.
His secondary mission is to find The Hammer-stroke. For that purpose, the fellowship as a whole features massive amounts of card draw, from Deep Knowledge, Gather Information, Heed the Dream and Sméagol's ability. Any excess combo pieces can be discarded to Éowyn's ability.
His third mission is scouting: on top of having (MotK) Firyal in the fellowship, we also use Scout Ahead and Risk Some Light to control the top of the encounter deck, in order to avoid stinker when it is too early for it, or set it up once we are ready. Encounter manipulation will also help us find more enemies for Legolas to kill once we are set.
Treebeard should be in play by round 2, and start generating resource on round 3.
The three hunters:
The gameplan for the three hunters is fairly simple: give Legolas a Golden Belt and as many Blade of Gondolin as possible. War Axe will stand in for the last Blade of Gondolin until we find it. We will also give Arwen Undómiel and Erestor all the other restricted attachments in order to flip the contract quickly.
Here's some number crunching:
Legolas will start the game with one Blade of Gondolin already attached thanks to The Grey Wanderer. We want 2 restricteds on Arwen Undómiel and Erestor, 3 more restricteds on Legolas, and one Gondorian Shield on Beregond. Thats a total of 8 restricted attachments we are looking for.
The deck includes 17 restricted attachments, 20 when considering Open the Armory always provides one. With Daeron's Runes recycling itself and another card, Elven-light recycling itself at least once, and Gather Information recycling itself once completed (by grabbing an Elven-light), the deck has virtually 40 cards. On round 1 we have drawn 10 cards, on round 2 14, on round 3 18, on round 4 22.
this means the probability of playing all the 8 restricted attachments we want on round t (and therefore having the contract flipped on round t+1) are:
so we are highly likely to have the contract flipped at the start of round 4, and almost guaranteed to have it flipped at the start of round 5. With Open the Armory having a 50% chance of finding a Blade of Gondolin, and one or two being provided by Sméagol, having 3 or 4 Blade of Gondolin by that time is highly likely.
2 casts of Deep Knowledge by the table or a single Heed the Dream cast on ourselves let us see 4/5 more cards which is equivalent to seeing as many cards as on round 4, so the 99% probability can be achieved for round 4 easily.
The deck will be ready to combo on round 4
The events deck:
The third deck has for mission to play Desperate Alliance, and Hour of Wrath when the time comes. By having almost no cards (Feint being compensated by Envoy of Pelargir), we are almost guaranteed to have Beregond sitting on at least 2 resource so that he can play The Hammer-stroke. With Galadhrim Minstrel, Spare Pipe, Heed the Dream, Daeron's Runes, Deep Knowledge, Expert Treasure-hunter, and Elven-light, we have a ton of digging to find all the combo pieces we need.
The deck that eats threat:
The fourth deck in our fellowship is one i created a while ago, which is perfectly suited to help our gameplan:
Northern Trackers will handle potential location lock
This deck consistently draws all of it's cards by round 3, so Gandalf with his toys and 2 Northern Trackers should come into play around that time. On the next round the deck should play Will of the West, use Hobbit Pipe and Old Toby to draw into a fresh Smoke and Think, and use it to cast the third Keen as Lances on Beregond.
If we choose to do so, we will be ready to deliver both full combos on round 4 over 80% of the time
If r is the ratio of enemies in the encounter deck, over those 4 rounds we will reveal 16 cards therefore 16r enemies. If we use Firyal to dig for enemies we can increase that number to 20r-4r² (i can explain the maths to those interested). With 4 Blade of Gondolin, Legolas generates 6 progress per kill. In addition, Legolas will also destroy gollum during his streak, generating an additionnal 6 progress.That means that during the combat phase of the fourth round, we will generate 6x(20r-4r²+1) progress. Against a balanced encounter deck with r=1/3, that's 6x(20/3-4/9+1)=130/3=43.3 average progress generated. That's enough to complete most stages of the quest and probably win on the spot.
Most of the combo pieces can be used outside of the combo: Desperate Alliance+The Hammer-stroke is still a good play without Hour of Wrath as long as Sméagol has flipped, or if we need all of the ents to defend. Hour of Wrath can be used to defend everything with Beregond, to free up the ents and Gandalf to attack and clear up the bord. Fair and Perilous can be used on Legolas or Erestor to give us the extra damage needed to finish off an enemy.
Even without the combo, the fellowship works rather well: early questing is handled by Éowyn, Firyal, Arwen Undómiel and the hobbits, late game questing is provided by Gandalf, Northern Tracker and flipping the three hunters rapidly, early defense is handled by Beregond who with Inner Strength and Feint is the perfect quick an dirty early defender, and later on Gandalf and the ents will take over. Legolas, Gandalf with Narya, Treebeard and the army of ents handle attack. We have a lot of encounter control with Firyal, Scout Ahead, Risk Some Light and A Test of Will so we can opt to avoid flipping Sméagol entirely. The hobbits guarantee double Northern Tracker by round 3 so location lock will never be an issue for long. And of course the hobbit deck naturally makes threat irrelevant.