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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Thankless Defenders (LOTR LCG DECK)

With the release of The Lost Realm, I couldn't wait to try out a Dunedain deck! I knew I wanted both of the new Heroes: Tactics Aragorn and Halbarad. I went back and forth on who to have in my 3rd slot between Beravor and Idraen. In the end, Idraen and her 80s hair and 3 attack won out. I knew I wanted this deck to be able to dish out pain since it wanted to be engaged, and Spirit is probably my favorite sphere so Idraen became a no brainer! This deck is a work in progress. I expect it to be the core I work from as we get into the Angmar Awakened cycle.

Typically when I do a trait themed deck (in this case Dunedain) I really restrict the allies to that type. In this case, however, I am not feeling most of the Dunedain allies so I lifted the restriction, but opted to go for cards that still mostly felt at home. I have to admit, it was a struggle to give up on the obvious synergy between Mablung and Aragorn, but I wanted a thematic deck to run through The Lost Realm, so left Mablung where he belongs in the forests of Ithilien. So before I write up my justifications, and without further ado- here is the deck list!



Note: all of the card names are hyper-links!

Again, I mostly opted out of Dunedain allies with a few exceptions. Arwen is not only my favorite 2 cost spirit ally, but she's thematic with Aragorn! She's just all around fantastic. Defender of Rammas was needed to really fill a much needed defensive role. If this were a deck with Mablung I could count on a Gondorian Shield, but in this case I'll make do with the Defender. The Dunedain Hunter is one of the two exceptions I make to the Dunedain allies. Man, I just love this guy!

Errand Rider is there for his sole purpose of smoothing those resources. I just can't break away from tri-sphere! He is usually enough to ensure I'm not sitting with cards in my hand for turn after turn. Escort From Edoras helps with the push-questing. In general, especially when the Celebrian Stone is out, I find 2 spirit resources to be worth it for +4 quest points for a turn. Galadriel, while a bit pricey, is almost always worth it- with so many attachments in this deck, she rarely whiffs. Gandalf- the deck has sneak attack, what else need I say? Finally, Northern Tracker. That card is just a total crutch for me. It's expensive, but with errand rider and Celebrian Stone, it's usually never too harsh. Besides, I love it, and it's synergy with Idraen is just obvious!

A Test of Will- honestly, have you played The Lost Realm? No? Take these, you'll need them. Weather hurts. Feint- This is another no-brainer. We want to be engaged, but we don't want to die! Foe Hammer - Honestly, this card is on the chopping block for this deck. With only 3 weapons, it can be a bit unreliable... but short of Gandalf I was lacking card draw. I will re-evaluate this card as I continue defending the North. Sneak Attack- Honestly, isn't this looking like an "Events: The Greatest Hits" compilation album by now? Tighten Our Belts is so good. However, it might be a bit overkill in this deck... though a turn one drop ensures that by turn 2 you're rockin' and rollin. I'll keep it as a 3-of for now, but I may drop 1 to add a Blade of Gondolin to ensure Foe Hammer fires more. 

With such a heavy focus on heroes in this deck, there are a whole lot of attachments! Celebrian's Stone is a great card to get out ASAP. Making Aragorn quest for 4 and giving him a spirit resource really gets this deck moving. Combine with an Unexpected Courage and I'm feeling very confident. Dagger of Westernesse is really only here to let Foe Hammer fire, which I don't love. On the other hand, a +1 on our Heroes is pretty big, especially with Aragorn's ability. I keep waffling between it and Blade of Gondolin- and have used them interchangeably. In theory, having enough Blades out COULD force a situation where Idraen would get to ready again. In practice, I never saw that- but I'm willing to keep trying! In either case, the Daggers are for Idraen and Halbarad so I don't eat into Aragorn's restricted attachments! (Ed. - Blade of Gondolin all the way - Parker)

Rohan Warhorse is there for even more readying. I want the absolute most action I can get out of my heroes, and the warhorse is just for Aragorn. Sword That Was Broken is another pricey attachment, but getting it out usually marks the beginning of the end for the encounter deck. Questing for +1 per character is insane, not to mention the additional resource smoothing it provides! Warden of Anor is another one on the chopping block. It's helpful, especially when paired with Northern Tracker, but it's not an auto-include. With wanting to always be engaged, it will likely be replaced with Hasty Stroke in the near future.

Thanks for reading  guys! This deck is far from perfect- even writing this article has prompted me to fire up the deck editor and make some tweaks- perhaps I will post a V2.0 when I feel happier with it! That being said, I've made it through The Lost Realm several times now with this deck. It works, and it feels thematic!

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