Heirs of Numenor & Against the Shadow Cycle

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Description

It is now time to enter the true narrative of this game which will take us down the road of 7 cycles, up to the Vengeance of Mordor.

Contents

For our complete run-through, see:

  1. The Hobbit Saga Saga
  2. Core Set & Shadow of Mirkwood Cycle
  3. Khazad-Dûm & Dwarrowdelf Cycle
  4. Heirs of Nùmenor & Against the Shadow Cycle
  5. The Voice of Isengard & Ring-Maker Cycle

The Decks

Since the cycle was all about punishing multi-sphere decks, we will be using:

Piloting "Fair Ithilien"

See the deck description

Piloting "Defenders of Ecthelion".

Two cases:

From there it's your classical Gondor swarm deck. Manage intelligently your resources, spreading the love with Denethor who usually gets Steward of Gondor, keeping always a resource on some heroes like Boromir and its Visionary Leadership & Heir of Mardil, or managing the spreading to get the full effect of Ingold or pay for a Knight of the White Tower.

If you can Valour play Doom Hangs Still, just do it. Skipping a whole Quest Phase made the difference in a lot of quests. You really don't mind taking the two threats, and your buddy neither since they start so low in threat.

Events are straightforward supporting that archetype: global readying with Strength of Arms, global YOLO boosts with For Gondor!, Campfire Tales & Valiant Sacrifice to draw.

Runthrough

  • The Stone of Erech: 1/4 (we played it here as a prolog to the cycle) We honestly did well each time we played it, always losing to Midnight coming a bit too quickly, or bad shadows (and they aren't so many of them) - Considered sideboard: none.
  • Peril in Pelargir: 1/2: a slight adjustement in strategy (meaning the Defenders of Ecthelion not being too fast reaching the 40 threshold and it was all good). Two Ranger Bow are very good at getting rid of those Zealous Traitors - Considered sideboard: none.
  • Into Ithilien: 1/3: Nothing fancy here, it was just a matter of reaching quest 2B with Celador alive, survive to Archery and find a well timed Arrows from the Trees to get to 4B with basically just a damaged Mumak standing, which we handled well - Considered sideboard: Arrows from the Trees and Song of Battle for quest 2B.
  • The Siege of Cair Andros: 1/4: there again, luck was required. We got some. We beat it. - Considered sideboard: a Gondorian Shield in lieu of Strider as the starting attachment to get more siege questing power at the beginning. Keep Strider in your deck though (just add the shield).
  • The Steward's Fear: 1/2: Same as Peril in Pelargir, actually. First time, I got in valour mode too fast. I changed strategy and it was alright. - Considered sideboard: none.
  • The Drúadan Forest: 1/2: Just what this scenario can be. On the first try we piles Archery 127 (LOL). On the second try, it was much more manageable somehow, so we made it fairly easily. - Considered sideboard: Waters of Nimrodel, although we finally did not use the card...
  • Encounter at Amon-dîn: 1/1: Nothing noticeable, being one of the easiest scenarios in the game - Considered sideboard: none.
  • The Massing at Osgiliath (we played it immediately before Assault on Osgiliath to show the loss of the city): 1/2 I was amazed at how low the difficulty seems with a modern card pool - Considered sideboard: none.
  • Assault on Osgiliath: 1/4 this was a tough nut to crack, since we were lacking combat, but we finally had some luck with a very well timed Power of Mordor, that removed all the locations we had in play to replace them with those easily-fetchable "if you destroy an enemy" Ruined Square Osgiliath location. One Combat Phase later, we won. - Considered sideboard: none.
  • The Blood of Gondor 1/1 but was played alongside a Gondor deck to help with this heavy-combat quests (very conveniently my friend Valiko was piloting during one of our gaming afternoon). We switched Mablung for a copy of Entangling Nets - Considered sideboard: Prince Imrahil instead of Faramir
  • The Morgul Vale 1/3 we finally beat it with just the deck, keeping your threat low while slowly killing Murzag and building your boardstate is simple too amazing. Also probably easier in solo. Granted, we lost the first two times because of a Power of Mordor that made me shuffle Murzag in the encounter deck... which shouldn't have happened since he can only leave play by being killed (I knew that from the quest card of course, but didn't realize it applied to Power of Mordor, and encounter effect in general. Dumb of me). Without the 10 turns we spend looking for Murzag in the encounter deck, we would have won, I'm pretty sure about it.
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