The Antlered Crown - Progression (Good win rate)


I didn't like this Quest much when we started, but the more we played it, it became more fun. I tend not to like difficult quests, and this one is difficult. We played it about 20 times, and won maybe 75-80% of the time with these decks. Even when everything was going great, it's still possible to lose right at the end if you get the wrong combination of encounter cards at the wrong time. You're never really comfortable in this quest.

Most important thing is to keep your threat low, while being able to quest, and while being able to pick off enemies in the staging area. We ended up each playing 2 Spirit heroes, because these allow the best questing possibilities. I had originally used a deck with Spirit Galadriel instead of Glorfindel, but it was too dependent on getting Nenya. In this quest, you're often punished for drawing cards, so Galadriel's ability to lower threat and draw a card is not helpful. She is useless without Nenya. Glorfindel is much better as he quests for 3, and you start with only a 21 threat, so you can absorb raising your threat by 1 until you get Light of Valinor to put on him.

Frodo is great as a last resort defender where you can raise your threat. Haldir is of course used to kill stuff in the staging area, or engaged with the other player. Bow of the Galadhrim and Rivendell Blade usually go on Haldir early in the game. Later, when your threat gets higher and enemies come out of the staging area, those are good for Legolas.

Legolas is great for adding 2 progress to the current quest when he kills things; that makes a big difference. Eowyn allows you to throw cards away when questing, which you often want to do. Dunhere is great for attacking in the staging area.

Player 1 usually mulligans for Light of Valinor and/or Asfaloth. Asfaloth is a savior here for clearing locations in the staging area.

Player 2 usually mulligans for Bow of the Galadrhim and/or Rivedell Blade.

Treebeard is useful because has can be bought with Spirit or Lore resources. So if you get Lore resources piling up but aren't drawing Lore cards, or vice versa with Spirit, then Treebeard is a great way to balance out your resources.

The Warden of Healing is a good safety blanket, but not 100% crucial to draw. But if you get him into play, he does reduce your stress considerably.

We played earlier decks where we had condition removers like Power of Orthanc and the Lore dwarf ally who removes conditions, but we ended up taking them all out except for one Power of Orthanc. Reason being, it's more important to be able to quest quickly to remove conditions by finishing the quest, rather than hope to draw a condition remover. In other words, you're better off adding another ally with 2 willpower for questing, than you are having a dwarf that only exists to remove one condition. You don't want to be stuck on any one quest card for too long.

For the same reason, we don't have too many Events, because you can't afford to carry cards in your hand, waiting to use them at the right time. The exceptions are Feint, which can be a lifesaver, and Test of Will, which can also be a lifesaver.

When we won, it was usually due to keeping our threat low enough that enemies didn't have to be engaged, and then Haldir and/or Dunhere killing them in the staging area each round. Plus getting a bunch of 2 Willpower allies into play to ramp up the questing ability. By the time the boss comes out, we had enough Willpower to quest right through the 9 quest point Location, then kill the boss with all the buffs on Haldir and Legolas. Sometimes we saved Gandalf for the end if we needed help killing the boss.

When we lost, it was usually on the last quest stage where some encounter card effects cause too many enemies to appear at once, then all need to be engaged, and we got some bad shadow cards, such as making additional attacks. Also some encounter cards or shadows can remove time counters from locations, and if you trigger a couple of them at the end when you are already stretched thin, it can defeat you.