The Drúadan Forest - Progression
We just got a new Outlands card with this pack but we played Outlands in the last scenario so we decided against it two times in a row.
I could foresee brutal outcomes in this scenario but for us it wasn't so bad. We didn't get a free win (we had one turn with like 8 archery damage and the location that became 6 threat because it was the highest archery damage followed by a 6 archery round or something like that) yet I felt in control the entire playthrough.
As long as you stabilize in the first round or two, you should be able to surmount this encounter deck. The entire purpose of this encounter deck is to starve you of resources and then punish you if you don't have any. The old 1 - 2 - punch. And of course archery damage.
Starving you of resources and penalizing you for not having them, how to design around that ? A Vilya deck. (Also resource gaining effects like Steward of Gondor, Theodred, et cetera. Also you could consider taking Gloin for infinite resources from archery then healing with Warden)
Vilya is a powerful deck that is good in just about any scenario so we try not to use it much and make everything feel the same (the last time we used it was The Battle of Laketown). It seemed appropriate here, however, because if you don't have much resources you can stabilize by getting high cost allies out for free.
- Mulligan for Vilya and Unexpected Courage and Light of Valinor. In this rare case I would go for Unexpected Courage over Light of Valinor as Unexpected Courage is amazing on Elrond. - Get Vilya on Elrond as soon as possible. Once you have stabilized or get unexpected courage on Elrond you should use him every turn with Vilya. - Use Imladris Stargazer to optimize the card you get for free with Vilya. - There will be tons of archery damage so get Warden of Healing out early to mitigate it. Warden + Elrond passive will keep up with the archery damage handily. - Once you stabilize, lean heavily on allies cheated out by Vilya to keep you going and spend less resources. Once you have several built up, start spending again. Especially make sure you have enough resources to match the number of attachments you control. For us, Elrond ended up having Vilya, Unexpected Courage, A Burning Brand and Steward of Gondor so we made sure to always keep at least 4 resources on that side of the board. - Elrond with A Burning Brand and Beregond are great defenders so you should be able to build up a board and not lose allies even when archery damage must go on allies. - Erebor Hammersmith, Northern Tracker, et cetera are great not only for their stats and abilities but also because they have 3 health to soak some archery without dying. - Beravor and Ithilien Tracker are rangers so if you don't use them for another action, they easily slash through the Overgrown Trails.
Because we had a successful playthrough, my thoughts on this one are positive but I bet if I played again I would get frustrated when losing too much resources to do anything.