Sauron is getting cancelled

askelad 428


In other news, several victims have come forward, denouncing Sauron for creating a "toxic environment". A hobbit named Sméagol is suing the dark lord on grounds of harrasment, claming a "profound mental distress" and post-traumatic syndrom, after several decades of exposure to Sauron's influence. Here's Tom with the weather.

This is another Sméagol appreciation fellowship. In our previous fellowships, we have been using stinker to our advantage, leaving gollum in the enemy lines.

This time, we want to prevent relapse. By playing a fellowship that is heavy on scrying, we can remove both copies of stinker from the encounter deck before they get revealed. With his drawback removed, Sméagol is an amazing hero: he has a decent statline and ability for a measly 3 threat. That is great for building a deck that can stay in secrecy for a long time without restraining the other heroes.

Controling the encounter deck

All 4 decks have a lot of cards in common, that are all serving the same purpose. By increasing the number of those cards up to 12, we reach high consistency in finding those cards.

With Rossiel, Woodland Sentry and The Door is Closed!, we benefit a lot from adding things to the victory display. For that purpose, we have 7 copies of both Leave No Trace and None Return, 3 copies of Scout Ahead, and 12 copies of Out of the Wild. With all of those, we can quickly rid the encounter deck of all of the cards we dislike (including stinker), activate Rossiel's abilities, and make our 12 Keen as Lances cost 0.

In addition, with (MotK) Firyal, 3 A Test of Will and 6 Halfling Bounder, we have plenty of treachery cancellation.

Finally, with 12 copies of Gildor's Counsel and 6 copies of The Hidden Way, we can reduce drastically the number of cards revealed while we pick the encounter deck apart. Because we are playing 6 Northern Tracker and 3 Rhovanion Outrider, we don't mind accumulating locations in the staging area, and because of our low threat and playing of Haldir of Lórien, many enemies will be harmless to reaveal. We want to use our encounter deck control to reveal mostly harmless locations and harmless enemies.


The Grey Wanderer grabs Strider for Haldir of Lórien.

Rossiel will receive Inner Strength, Cloak of Lórien and Dúnedain Warning, which will make her into a good defender. Light of Valinor will also free up her contract to be used for readying during the combat phase. Arwen Undómiel will give her sentinel so that she can defend for other players as well.

Her deck is centered around playing the big allies: With Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale, she can cheat into play Gandalf, Treebeard, Thalion, the Northern Trackers and Rhovanion Outriders.


The Grey Wanderer grabs Nenya

Galadriel with Nenya is a perfect grey wanderer: she can use the contract during planning to use her ability on anyone to absorb their threat and make them draw, and still be ready to use Nenya during questing. Mirror of Galadriel and Silver Harp are perfect for digging for the silver bullets or key pieces we need: Light of Valinor, a copy of Leave No Trace or None Return, A Test of Will, Arwen Undómiel, Northern Tracker, Unexpected Courage or Keen as Lances.

Haldir of Lórien

The Grey Wanderer grabs Dagger of Westernesse.

Starting the game with Dagger of Westernesse lets Haldir of Lórien deal with gollum right of the bat. 75% of the time, gollum will engage another player, and haldir will be able to use his ability on him without needing to defend gollum's attack.

Otherwise, Haldir of Lórien is excellent in this fellowship because of how low our threat is, and because of how much we can control what is revealed: many enemies will either have engagment cost high enough not to engage, or HP+armor low enough that haldir one shots them (with the help of Dagger of Westernesse, Bow of the Galadhrim and Legacy Blade). Using Firyal and Scout Ahead to make sure those enemies get revealed often generates high value.

His deck runs few allies to make use of Strider and Master of the Forge to help him find his blades. Since he will be tutoring for attachments, he is also the prime provider for many of the attachments we are looking for.

Sméagol and friends

The only non-grey wanderer deck in this fellowship, this deck still has a minuscule 18 starting threat. Having 3 heroes gives us access to Scroll of Isildur, The Great Hunt and Mithrandir's Advice. Because this deck is mostly events, Expert Treasure-hunter on Mirlonde and Firyal is a great low cost draw engine.

This fellowship is the ultimate turtle strategy: low threat lets us take the time to set up, Haldir of Lórien and Northern Trackers let us deal with the staging area from safety, and we can selectively add about a third of a typical encounter deck to the victory display by the end of the game, while Woodland Sentry, A Test of Will, Halfling Bounder and The Door is Closed! lets us cancel another third. Games get very long but by the end we can truly say the encounter deck has been utterly defeated.


Apr 16, 2021 doomguard 687

nice fellowship. i would consider some little changes:

would add some Dúnedain Wanderer in the grey wanderer decks. 1. card needs no spherematch so is playable.

would consider few Song of Kings (could also be autoattachement) at rossiel. then with song and some Dúnedain Wanderer the A Very Good Tale is better, and she could use timely aid and good tale in 1 round

this fellowship with smeagol needs him more than the other. here he cannot be replaced with a better soloution, because then it would not be possible to start in secrecy.

would think about to replace galadriel with dunhere in enemy-heavy szenarios.

even if there ar no hobbits, some drinkingsong here and there could be helpful.

Apr 16, 2021 askelad 428

@doomguard: Thanks for your observations, sharp as usual.

  • on Dúnedain Wanderer+Song of Kings package: I'm not convinced. Grey wanderer tutorings are precious, i don't think it would be worth it to sacrifice one of those for a fringe advantage (we can just play A Very Good Tale during resource phase). Dúnedain Wanderer is not very good outside of the combo with A Very Good Tale, and even if we have those 2 cards it is not guaranteed to be relevant. It's not a bad combo, but it's just not happening often enough and with too little benefit to compensate for it being worse than Celduin Traveler or Ithilien Lookout.

  • i agree on Dúnhere. I didn't build the fellowship with sideboard but given how scenario dependant the strategy is a sideboard would be very good idea. Dúnhere over Galadriel would be an excellent start.

  • on Drinking Song, we do have a lot of card draw so the minus 1 card would not be a problem, in that case Drinking Song would be a trade off between card volume and card quality that we would happily take. Galadriel wants it because she wants her mirror fast. Rossiel wants it because she has a high curve and the 2 events are key to her strategy. I don't think Haldir of Lórien wants it because he needs to keep a certain density of attachments and his deck is low curve low draw so he'd rather keep a big hand with whatever is in it. Sméagol wants it because of the sheer amount of card draw.So what do we cut?

Apr 16, 2021 doomguard 687

at smeagol i would cut the Ithilien Lookout. the strategy is, that the deck do not need to fight, and for questing they are not very good. this deck is the one that will leave secrecy at earliest, and then the lookout are still worse.

same to galadriel (except early leaving secrecy)

Apr 16, 2021 askelad 428

@doomguard you are right on the lookouts, they are the weakest link. We should keep them in the Rossiel deck however, for A Very Good Tale and because she does the volountary engagment.

So we just need 3 more cuts in the Rossiel deck. My guess would be Gildor's Counsel, it is not a crucial card and with all her big allies to pay for she could use those 3 resource.

Apr 16, 2021 doomguard 687

i want to take a closer look at rossiels deck. i think it need adjustments. you have soo many cards she can only play at first and once in a round. i think its to much, she need either song of travel or kingdom.

if you take song of kings, you could include the steward. not necessary for her, specially if you cut goldors council, the steward can go to the fyrialdeck. then there can be played far more of Gildor's Counsel specially with the Scroll of Isildur

another idea and a little bit cheaper as gildors council, is Flight to the Sea,that could only be put in galadriels deck, but its worth it.

and think about increased chances of timely-aid and drinking song. without Song of Kings you can not play drinkingsong and timely aid after that in the same round (and perhaps a good tale afterwards), if you have additional spititcards in your hand, it will slow you down heavyly, and for that you get only +2 willpower (because you dont want to fight, the not-exhausting from strider is not much worth, and even if u need a fresh rossiel, you can use the contract)

Apr 16, 2021 pconnors 206

This is a super awesome fellowship. I feel like the games themselves may get a bit flat when you neuter them this much, but otherwise this is fantastic.

Apr 16, 2021 askelad 428

@doomguard You're on point as usual. Screw Strider. The firyal deck could defenitely use Steward of Gondor, and Song of Kings will help with consistency as well. My proposal:

that's -5 in the ally counts but on the weaker side and 19 is still enough for A Very Good Tale. We would then only have 3 Northern Trackers, 1 Rhovanion Outrider and 1 Inner Strength off-sphere which is totally maneagable.

Apr 16, 2021 askelad 428

@pconnors yep, i can confirm this fellowship was fun to build and is fun to play the first time, but it gets boring very fast and it takes ages to actually finish the game. That's why i didn't want to make a video for that one, and i'm probably never playing it again unless doomguard manages to fix that too.

Apr 16, 2021 doomguard 687

did you see my version of this kind of deck? i used no grey wanderer but all secrecy with cheap heroes:

have more replacements like eagles, rangers, tom bombadil. perhaps it will go faster including more of that.

i think your adjustments at rossiel will fasten the deck. i am not sure about the allies. perhaps are the outrider better than the tracker, because with cost of 3 they can be paid in 1 round, while the tracker are perhaps more usable for the good tale.

i would intuitively go with the outrider. and would add an #asfaloth somewhere. even without glorfindel it is good, cheaper than a outrider.

what could perhaps fasten, skip the mirror-harp at galadriel. put in drinking songs and Miruvor that can be played at her or somewhere in the fyrialdeck.

Apr 17, 2021 askelad 428

@doomguard no i hadn't seen it, i like it! The use of Tom Bombadillo! and so on is very clever. However it's not very fitting for this fellowship because no hobbits, dunedain or eagles. And Flight to the Sea's hero readying is not very relevant to this deck, so it doesn't compare well to Gildor's Counsel.

because we are 4 players using scrying and The Hidden Way, the Northern Trackers are far more powerful because they let us reveal mostly location and clear all of them simultaneously. It's really not that much about location control but more about having an entire section of the encounter deck being dealt with automatically regardless of scale. Súlien would belong in Galadriel's sideboard for that reason.

I like the mirror+harp combo because galadriel is not that strained on resource, and digging for A Test of Will, Northern Tracker and Arwen Undómiel helps a lot with consistency, which is key to the strategy.

in her deck Drinking Song would replace Ithilien Lookout. Miruvor doesn't do much for the fellowship i think.

Apr 17, 2021 doomguard 687

miruvor can swap ressources to the Firyal deck.

the eomerdeck could eperhaps use some eagles and then Flight of the Eagles. the Vassal of the Windlord and Wilyador are not expensive and it would accelerate handeling with enemys. a #wilyador here and there is never false (ranged and sentinel)

else from that i have no ideas to make it faster.