Requiem for a Dream-Chaser (#RCO)

Description

Introduction

This fellowship is a follow-up to "Putting Angmar Back to Bed" (https://ringsdb.com/fellowship/view/16351/puttingangmarbacktobedrco), but updated to take advantage of the Dream-Chaser player cards and adapted to meet the demands of the Dream-Chaser campaign (i.e. Sailing).

Disclaimer: I completely forgot to include A Test of Will in the first iteration of the Noldor deck, but then decided to roll with it for all 9 quests. Thus, if you are looking for a quick way to limit the damage of certain treacheries, that would be the first improvement to make (along with a few copies of Silver Harp to keep it in hand) :).

Note on playing two-handed: I really enjoy the added deckbuilding options and gameplay decisions that come with playing two-handed (though I enjoy playing true solo as well), but there was a time when I found the idea intimidating. For those who are unsure about taking the plunge and giving it a try with physical cards, this article: https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/a-guide-to-playing-two-handed/ is a classic. For those who find it easier to get in a game on dragncards, you can find Seastan's basic tutorial here: https://youtu.be/XNlDcmysP9k (once you get the hang of a few keyboard shortcuts, it plays very smoothly). I used dragncards for my own campaign playthrough.

"Lonely Sailors are We"

RCO - Revised Content Only

"Peace and freedom, do you say? The North would have known them little but for us...But when dark things come from the houseless hills, or creep from sunless woods, they fly from us." - Aragorn, The Fellowship of the Ring

This deck is an updated iteration of my "Lonely Men Are We" Angmar deck (https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/37443/lonelymenarewe-multiplayerrco-1.0), adapted to take advantage of the Dream-Chaser player cards and to handle the challenges of the Dream-Chaser campaign. It is designed to be played across the table from a questing deck as it is not solo viable.

Key Updates:

Amarthiúl takes the place of Beregond. This would have been my preferred build for Angmar had not Amarthiul been needed as an objective ally for several quests. His ability to easily gain access to helps the balance of the deck significantly.

New allies - Déorwine, Marksman of Lórien, Veteran of Osgiliath, and Errand-rider all make appearances here.

New attachments - Armored Destrier is incredible and Raiment of War has the flexibility to go on Aragorn or any of the warrior allies.

Heroes -

Aragorn - He's the main attacker and leader (essentially giving a +1 buff for each attack you make). Once he's got a weapon and Unexpected Courage (from across the table), he can drag multiple enemies out of staging and dispatch them with ease. This is especially powerful once you have some attacking allies out, as you can avoid the attacks of higher engagement enemies by leaving them in staging until Scorpagorn is ready to drag them down. Once your board is set up, he can facilitate engaging even a Corsair Warship (with boarding 3) and immediately send it to the depths, along with all three of the newly-engaged Corsairs. So much fun!

Halbarad - The ability to optionally engage more than one enemy is a huge key to keeping the questing deck safe, and his bonus 2 without exhausting never hurts (ship enemies tend to stick around for longer during sailing quests anyway). He can also defend in a pinch (and can hold the second Armored Destrier and/or a Sword of Númenor).

Amarthiul - Slotting in for Beregond (see above), "Marty" gives us a hero lineup capable of swinging for 8 on round 1 (before counting Aragorn's drop). He can take the first Armored Destrier to give him multiple defenses or Raiment of War if the horse is slow to appear. As if that's not enough, he can give himself a promotion to Captain of Gondor for extra power when you optionally engage an enemy (which you will).

Allies -

Most of the allies are either stout defenders (Déorwine, Guardian of Arnor) or heavy hitters (Marksman of Lórien). Angbor the Fearless and Ranger of Cardolan can contribute to questing (although the latter is mainly included for his clutch "sneak attack" ability), but combat is the name of the game here. Veteran of Osgiliath becomes a steal once threat climbs into the 40s (which it often does). Honour Guard is always useful, and his valour action can be used to save a hero (or a ship!) in a pinch. Dúnedain Hunter is clutch in sailing quests, since pulling a ship out of the deck completely bypasses the boarding keyword (nothing like just dodging 2-3 extra enemies). Faramir just continues to be one of the best in the game at boosting mid- to late-game questing and can really give the questing deck a pick-me-up for big pushes.

Attachments -

The weapons and armor are self-explanatory (don't forget that Raiment of War can trigger Foe-hammer). Cram provides an inexpensive form of emergency readying and Favor of the Valar provides tech against quests that ramp up your threat. Heir of Valandil is nice to have, but not strictly necessary.

Events -

Most of the events are self-explanatory, but don't forget that Gandalf and Ranger of Cardolan ready during the refresh phase and can then be exhausted for A Very Good Tale before they leave play (hopefully replacing themselves with two allies with a combined cost of up to 9!). I also have had some truly epic moments with Descendants of Kings readying up to four characters at once for emergency defending and/or a devastating attack (especially potent for quests with ship enemies that bring Corsairs with them). As mentioned above, it is quite satisfying to watch Aragorn drag down a Corsair Warship w/three corsairs, then play Descendants of Kings to wreak havoc. When it's humming, this deck can absolutely tear through enemies.

General Strategy -

You should be looking for ways to draw more cards in your opening hand (Gandalf or a weapon + Foe-hammer, or even Gather Information). In addition, an early defensive solution (Feint or Ranger of Cardolan is never a bad thing. Threat can sometimes be an issue (especially if you don't draw Gandalf), but Favor of the Valar acts as a nice fail-safe.

Concluding Thoughts -

When paired with an able questing deck, the Dunedain are so much fun to pilot. As mentioned above, they can absolutely slice their way through even the largest enemies, allowing for some truly epic moments against ships as well as corsairs. Give it a try and say goodbye to fleeing from nasty ship enemies; you are the hunter now :).

Storm Chasers

RCO - Revised Content Only

"With them went many Elves of the High Kindred who would no longer stay in Middle-earth" - The Return of the King

This deck, which can be constructed from currently released Revised Content, was designed to successfully take down the new Dream-Chaser campaign in tandem with a combat-focused Dunedain deck. While not as powerful as a Noldor build with a complete card pool (really missing Light of Valinor and Reforged), this deck can still ramp up the allies and willpower quickly under the right conditions.

Heroes -

Cirdan - He powers the questing side of things and then, once equipped with Narya and Unexpected Courage, he rallies your allies (and those across the table) to the cause. He will also take on the title of Steward of Gondor to super-charge the Lords of the Eldar.

Erestor - Simply put, his built-in card draw may be the most powerful hero ability in the game, and it fuels this deck's engine. Your extra cards can be converted into resources (with To the Sea, to the Sea!), healing (with Imladris Caregivers), readying (with Glorfindel), and ally support (Lindon Navigator & Elven Jeweler). His icon also provides access to Explorer's Almanac and Lembas.

Arwen - Another powerhouse, it is hard to turn down 3 , an extra resource per turn, and a reliable way to put Elven-light into the discard pile for a measly 9 threat!

Allies -

This is almost a showcase of each Noldor ally available in the Revised Content, but these Elves bring powerful stats and abilities to the table, from questing (Sailor of Lune, Lindir, Lindon Navigator) to combat (Glorfindel, Guardian of Rivendell, Veteran Sword-elf) to healing (Imladris Caregiver, Elrond). One surprisingly impactful strength of this lineup is that every single ally has at least 2 , meaning that your board cannot be wiped clean by a single direct damage treachery.

Attachments -

Círdan the Shipwright's three attachments are the most immediate priority, as you will need to play Narya -> Steward of Gondor -> Unexpected Courage to get him questing and readying allies each round. Explorer's Almanac is an underrated method of location control, allowing you to quest past troublesome locations without having to stomach their travel effects (and you will never have trouble affording it!). Lembas typically goes across the table for the healing, but you can also stick it on Cirdan in the early game if you haven't found Unexpected Courage yet. To the Sea, to the Sea! is self-explanatory :).

Events -

Elrond's Counsel ensures that your threat is never an issue (and that the Dunedain draw far more of the enemy's attention), Elven-light is an integral part of your card-engine, Stand and Fight allows you to play the final Veteran Sword-elf from your discard pile to take advantage of her buffed-up stats, and Will of the West recycles your cards. I have found that one re-shuffle is typically sufficient for a game, so I tend to let the first Will of the West go and play the second one. Once your deck empties all the way, you should have Círdan the Shipwright equipped with enough allies that you can recur Lords of the Eldar each round until you have powered through the quest.

General Strategy -

As with most Erestor decks, the opening hand is the most critical factor in the success of a quest, since you will be seeing 10 cards with the potential to gain a foothold against the encounter deck. Narya and To the Sea, to the Sea! are the most critical cards to mulligan for, but Steward of Gondor is excellent provided you find Narya first. Ideally, you would be able to give Círdan the Shipwright his ring for the access -> use Arwen Undómiel to get him a second resource -> play Steward of Gondor and immediately exhaust it for two more resources -> play To the Sea, to the Sea! -> drop in an ally at a discounted rate with your extra cards. Elven Jewelers are also a welcome sight to fully utilize that large opening hand.

Subsequent rounds should be spent getting Elven-light into your discard pile, searching for Unexpected Courage to allow Círdan the Shipwright to quest and use Narya, and play more allies. Once you are set up, you should be able to quest over the encounter deck and even handle some enemies that slip past your partner combat deck. Eventually, you should have enough of an army built up that you can cruise to the end of the quest by emptying your deck and playing Lords of the Eldar repeatedly until Sauron's forces limp back into the shadows.

Concluding Thoughts -

Although designed to pair with a combat deck, these Elves are viable in solo play in quests that are heavier on questing than fighting. I'd encourage you to give them a try and experience the card-draw firepower of a fully armed and operational Noldor deck :).

Campaign Notes (SPOILERS!!!)

General Notes - I used the Naralenya as the ship for the Noldor deck (even with the new ship options, it's really hard to beat that cost-reduction). I focused my XP mainly on upgrading both ships, but I also "downgraded" encounter cards for Raid on the Grey Havens and Temple of the Deceived.

Voyage Across Belegaer - The main key to this quest is to avoid failing sailing tests, and so my recommendation is to give Deck 2 (Noldor) the Dream-Chaser, so that you can commit it to sailing tests from round 1. Explorer's Almanac is a great way to get around having to go off-course to clear the opening Rolling Seas. In general, the Noldor have an easier time mustering characters for sailing (Lindon Navigator anyone?), so it is possible to "catch up" if you fall too far off-course with a big push. As long as you stay on-course, you can use Aragorn to pull down ships after enemy attacks are over and then take out the boarding corsairs before they have the chance to attack you.

The Fate of Numenor - The treacheries in this quest can be annoying, but they are typically not debilitating. The Dunedain deck has very few low cost allies (and Honour Guard can provide protection if needed) and the Noldor allies all have at least 2 and can survive a hit from Curse of the Downfallen. Halbarad is completely unfazed by Throngs of the Unfaithful and so you can just tank their 2 and keep them around to give bonuses to the Dunedain.

Raid on the Grey Havens - The main key to this quest is the ability to destroy the opening Sahir's Ravager ASAP, and the Dunedain are well-equipped to do just that. Explorer's Almanac is a great way to manipulate which locations you have to travel to (but watch out for Mithlond Harbor!). In my campaign playthrough, I chose to spend XP to "upgrade" The Havens Burn for this quest, which eased the pressure, but these decks are strong enough to handle the full quest if you want to upgrade other things.

Flight of the Stormcaller - This fellowship has enough questing power to catch up to the Stormcaller, but also enough firepower to win by destroying it. Much like Voyage Across Belegaer, focus on staying on-course and use either a big Lords of the Eldar-fueled push or some strategic rounds of combat based on your desired path to victory.

The Thing in the Depths - The Dunedain are well-equipped to handle the opening stage of battle against the corsairs, so feel free to turtle here for a few rounds until you are ready to engage Sahir and Na'asiyah (don't forget to check the number of events in your hand!). Your goal should be to have Círdan the Shipwright ready to go (Narya and Unexpected Courage) before advancing so that you can handle the tentacles. Explorer's Almanac can also be clutch for keeping locations under control.

Temple of the Deceived - I chose to upgrade Gate Key to make it simpler to find Starla and to avoid the Recurring Nightmares. Otherwise, this quest is not the most challenging, and so you should be able to just focus on making sure that the Noldor deck gets access to Starla :).

The Drowned Ruins - The Noldor deck has more than enough willpower to push through the underwater locations in one go once it gets set up, so be sure to take your time before choosing to flip a location. The enemies should not be too much of a problem (don't forget to leave a defender ready for Sahir's "unexpected" betrayal).

A Storm on Cobas Haven - This is my favorite quest of the cycle (and one of my favorites in the entire game!). Start with Seaward Tower (those extra two cards on sailing tests are invaluable). Prioritize sailing over questing and hang out at stage 1 for as long as possible (this will allow you to take advantage of the direct damage bonus for engaging enemy ships while on-course and will give you time to set up your board). Because you want to engage enemies one at a time (and then drag others down with Aragorn so that you can attack first), threat will be more of an issue for the Dunedain, so use Gandalf aggressively to stay below 37 (avoiding the Light Cruiser). Take full advantage of any friendly locations (Cobas Haven, Belfalas Islet) and try to grab as many objectives as you can. Ideally, you will be able to gain control of at least one more of these objectives before you advance.

Much like in Flight of the Stormcaller, you have multiple pathways to victory. The Elves are more than capable of questing all the way through stage 3, but you can also choose to take down the Flagship if you can build up enough of an armada (using the Beacon and/or taking control of Corsair Skirmishers). A fun trick is to use an ally boosted by Narya to attain the 3 needed to grab a Skirmisher. Regardless of whether you choose the combat or questing route, this fellowship has enough power to break through the fleet and pursue Sahir.

The City of Corsairs - This one posed the greatest challenge by far to me, as the beefed up Stormcaller is a formidable foe to start with. My early attempts had the Dunedain deck as the first player (as I did throughout the campaign) to try and advance by killing the Stormcaller. I was able to succeed at this once, but not before taking on far too much damage to survive long at stage 3 (though I'm confident that with the right combination of opening hand and early encounter cards, I could have won the quest this way). I had much more success when I decided to have the Noldor deck be the first player to go all-out on the opening sailing test with its extra allies. This allowed me to advance by questing in two rounds with almost no damage at all.

Once you get to the "land" part of the quest, you have a chance to catch your breath and get set up. The Dunedain are more than capable of dispatching the corsair enemies and once you build up an army of Elves, you are ready to withstand the constant attacks of Captain Sahir on the final round.

Conclusion

I quite enjoyed putting these decks together and taking them through the Dream-Chaser Campaign. They may not dominate every individual quest, but they can go toe-to-toe with the toughest challenges the campaign has to offer and emerge victorious while staying within the confines of the Revised card pool. I am pleased to offer them as another contribution to the #RCO project. Happy questing!

4 comments

Feb 02, 2024 mrhorseshoe 14

Took your fellowship for a spin after constantly failing with my own #RCO decks on the core campaign (+ Dark of Mirkwood). It pretty much demolished every quest except for EfDG (which I beat by the skin of my teeth). Piloting the Storm Chasers deck was pretty fun as well!

Feb 02, 2024 ironwill212 629

@mrhorseshoe That's awesome to hear! I really enjoy the change of pace that a Noldor build (especially w/Erestor) brings, and it's never boring when you get to see all new cards each round.

I'm glad that you're enjoying the decks :)

Feb 04, 2024 Zangaxx 1

Thanks a lot man for your efforts! I hope that you know that it is greatly appreciated, and not taken for granted! cheers mate! :)

Feb 04, 2024 ironwill212 629

@Zangaxx I appreciate the kind words! I enjoy putting these decks together, and it's truly gratifying to hear when they are helpful. You are most welcome. :)