The Wood of the Greenleaves - Silvan Fusion

Description

"In the North also there had been war and evil. The realm of Thranduil was invaded, and there was long battle under the trees and great ruin of fire; but in the end Thranduil had the victory. And on the day of the New Year of the Elves, Celeborn and Thranduil met in the midst of the forest; and they renamed Mirkwood Eryn Lasgalen, The Wood of the Greenleaves." - The Return of the King, Appendix B

This fellowship is dually inspired by this moment in the War of the Ring when the victorious Elves of Lorien and Mirkwood met in the middle of Mirkwood and renamed it, and by my love of playing Silvans (what's more fun than playing a Silvan deck? Two Silvan decks!).

Lothlorien Marches to War

Questing

It is very important to get Nenya out ASAP so that Galadriel can contribute her 4 when needed and can help pay for cards. If Nenya takes awhile to show up, the deck can stall, but with Galadriel keeping your threat low and drawing an extra card each turn you should be able to weather the storm and eventually get going. In a pinch, deck two can help dig for it with Heed the Dream. (Note: You could also include Mirror of Galadriel for one more way to fetch Nenya, but I personally don't love dealing with the random discard). Celeborn will contribute his 3 from turn 1, and should be able to stay ready for other uses via Naith Guide and Light of Valinor (though this can also be tossed across the table to Argalad). Eventually, Host of Galadhrim will allow you to make large questing pushes. Wingfoot can also go on Haldir of Lórien to allow him to quest and ready if an enemy shows up.

Defense

Ideally, you won't be forced to engage too many enemies, but a combination of Feigned Voices (pull back the Galadhrim Weaver to constantly recur this), Defender of the Naith, and Celeborn can serve in a pinch. Because your allies aren't exhausting to quest on their first round, you often will have at least one option if you are forced to chump.

Attack

Haldir of Lórien can snipe into the staging area, particularly once he is powered up with weapons from deck two. Otherwise, you will be largely depending upon the army of ranged archers from deck two to take down enemies. Mirkwood Runner can also drop three damage on any non-immune enemy on the round he enters play.

Miscellaneous Strategy

Unexpected Courage will go on Galadriel so that she can fuel card draw, threat reduction, and questing. Healing is provided by Silvan Tracker, and the lone copy of Lembas can save Galadriel if she starts taking archery or direct damage. Galadhrim Minstrel plus The Tree People is another key piece to your engine, hopefully allowing you to pull back a 1-cost ally (or Galion) to bring out someone more expensive again and again. Galion is such a great card that I can see the argument for running multiple of him, but one copy of Silvan Refugee works almost as well and prevents the build-up of dead cards in hand. Don't forget to always target the Silvan Refugee for return to hand events!!!

Woodland Courier can bounce in and out to help with location control (and adding in Hithlain can double her impact if you run up against a location-heavy quest). Quicker Than Sight is an under-rated card imho that stands in nicely for Hasty Stroke (remember that you can trigger it to cancel a shadow across the table :) ).

Sideboard

Archers of Eryn Lasgalen

Questing

Other than Argalad's ability, this deck is not focused on contributing (although Gandalf and Host of Galadhrim give you the option for crucial moments). Naith Guide should typically target Argalad so that he can double his impact (and also soften up targets for Haldir of Lórien).

Defense

Thranduil and Greenwood Defender handle the defensive duties. Once Thranduil has Elven Mail, Armored Destrier, and Cloak of Lórien, he can defend across the table multiple times and then heal up with help from the Silvan Trackers. Feigned Voices provides an extra level of protection against particularly nasty enemies. Greenwood Defender is clutch against enemy swarms, as he can defend repeatedly for 3 when he hits the table (boosted by Celeborn) until goblin hordes just bounce off of him.

Attack

As befits the name, ranged is no problem for this deck, which sports 11 different ranged characters (including two in your starting fellowship). I know that (MotK) Legolas was not technically present during the battle for Mirkwood, but as the son of The Elvenking he still fits the theme relatively well (and it's not like there are all that many extra Silvan heroes to choose from). I opted for Messenger of the King to have card draw on the table right away, but core Legolas could be subbed in if you prefer. This deck will not struggle to amass power and can also drop in Rúmil late to great effect. If you prefer more direct damage (or if the quest demands it) the sideboard is full of options to tailor the deck in that direction.

The priority for most of the weapons should be Haldir of Lórien, but (MotK) Legolas, Argalad, or any of your ranged allies could benefit from any extra copies that show up.

Miscellaneous Strategy

Heed the Dream should be used to assist deck one in digging for Nenya if necessary, but then can grab whatever you need (Host of Galadhrim, Silvan Tracker, The Tree People, Armored Destrier, etc.). I have been trying to get away from using Steward of Gondor in every deck, so resources are generated by Tighten Our Belts (helped by the smoothing ability of Thranduil's combat action). Sneak Attack + Gandalf needs no explanation.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! I enjoy running this fellowship two-handed, especially against challenging quests that feature forests (Return to Mirkwood, The Three Trials, etc.). Deck two also pairs quite nicely with the recommended Elves of Lorien deck in the starter pack :). If I were to optimize them for power (at the expense of theme), I would definitely include Arwen Undómiel, Steward of Gondor, and Faramir in deck one to provide: quicker access to sentinel for Thranduil, more resource-generation (probably for Galadriel), and more questing support respectively. Hopefully you enjoy taking Silvans out for a spin!

2 comments

Jun 12, 2022 Marctimmins89 24

These decks look like so much fun to play. My collection is nowhere near big enough to field two Silvan decks, but you've made me look into The Drowned Ruins for Argalad and the Woodland Couriers. Thanks for sharing.

Jun 12, 2022 ironwill212 120

Thanks for the kind words! I don't quite have a full collection yet, but I love the Silvan archetype so much that I specifically targeted packs that had Silvan cards rather than going in chronological order (articles like this one: visionofthepalantir.com really helped).

After the Ring-Maker cycle packs, the two APs that most helped me were Drowned Ruins (that one comes with Marksman of Lórien too!) and Fire in the Night (for Thranduil, Galion, The Elvenking, and Quicker Than Sight). Then, once the starter decks were released, I had enough to go two-handed. Silvans aren't the most powerful, but they are indeed so much fun :).