24 - The Lonely Mountain (Progression Series)
This is another fellowship continuing on in my goal to play through all of the quests in release order to learn how all (or most) of the cards interact with one another. The first fellowship for the quests in the core set can be found here, and it contains a slightly more detailed overview of what I'm going for with building these decks. As always, any feedback is appreciated so that I can continue to learn more!
Much like Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim, the randomness of this quest can cause the occasional headache with Burgle checks (though it's a lot easier here, by virtue of just trying to have a large hand of cards). Willpower shouldn't be too much of an issue with Dain and a bunch of Dwarves on the board, so I was able to go after the treasures as quickly as I wanted to on most games. I had a little bit more success just snagging 2ish treasures and dealing with the 6 threat from The Lonely Mountain in the staging area than I did with waiting to clear everything out. But, if you want access to all five treasure cards for The Battle of Five Armies, I was able to make that work once as well.
Ideally, Bard will get a Black Arrow, and two of the treasures so that he is swinging for quite a bit to put some hurt on Smaug in Stage 3 of the quest. A fully equipped Bard with Unseen Strike can put 12 damage tokens on Smaug all by himself with one ranged attack (assuming you go Burgling for Bare Patch). The deck also has Sneak Attack + Beorn and some Vassals of the Windlord, so getting the necessary damage on the dragon shouldn't be much of an issue at all.
Rider of the Mark is the MVP for defending Smaug, essentially just letting each deck chump or absorb threat from Bilbo without having to worry about Smaug getting a shadow card with a Burgle effect. Narvi's Belt, A Song of Travel, and Desperate Alliance are all included so that the Dain deck can pay the Spirit resource to be able to send the Rider back over when it is their turn to do so. Since they're the most important part of the decks, Steward should go onto Nori and there are some copies of Mustering the Rohirrim to dig for them as well.