$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 82.66

5,507 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
34.7% of Goal | 27 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Noldor Mad Dredge, an essay about a deck to come! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Carlos Saldanha
Portugal
Loures
Lisboa
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Dredge, one of the most fun to play Magic: The Gathering decks of all time with an unique engine can be ported into The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. But there's also a bit of Madness in here...


The Power of Dredge

Dredge is fun. But also powerful, really powerful. The Dredge engine allows a player to put the draw deck in the discard pile really fast. And by achieving this said player will end the game quickly, by cheating power cards into play, combo'ing off or estabilishing a lock.

Bu the real power of Dredge is choice!
By allowing a player to have a full deck in the discard pile and with cards that can play cards from that discard pile, the engine will transform a discard pile into a sort-off extension of the playing hand. This is what really makes the engine fun. And tossing a lot of card into the "bin" too.


About Madness

Madness is another rule/engine used in M:TG that allow cards being played for a lesser cost or trigger effects when the player discards cards from hand.

It had its time back in the days when the engine came out but was never as cool as Dredge.


The LOTR port

How to make a port of these engines into LOTR?!

Well... first we don't have cards that make the same effect as the Dredge engine in M:TG. Second, we don't have that many cards that work while stuck in the discard pile... but we have some!
Last, we have some fun cards that will benefit from discard, so Madness can make its work here.

But the most important is this guy here:


This Noldor elf will make our engine run. It doesn't work in the same way as a Dredge card works but what it can achieve is pretty much the same thing, with a bonus: huge card draw!

The discard clause is our pseudo-Dredge effect, it will force us to dump an initial hand of ten'ish cards and fill our "bin" quite fast. After turn one it will fuel our hand with 4 cards per turn plus the discard madness! [pun intended]

But then they were two:


Arwen is the compulsory choice #2 of our engine.
She will cheat the Resource game letting us have up to 4 Resources per turn, also her condition works great with Erestor since they're both Noldor we can put the extra Resource on a Spirit or Lore pool.

Now, a matter of choice...


I've listed those three due to personal preference.

Círdan is plain Dredge.
Apart for giving one card draw (in theory) he's also working out our discard pile 1-card-per-turn. He can also trigger free stuff like Hidden Cache or Ered Luin Miner but I guess this deck will not need such follies.

Éowyn, aggressive questing.
Éowyn works in the same way as Arwen, using cards in hand as resources, in this case, as boosting Willpower.
I'd take her second after Círdan because I want the deck to explode and have another card that can make the same effect Éowyn brings to the table, but she can be kept in sideboard if really aggressive questing is needed, or if you'll play a more supportive role in a 2P+ game and quest is your thing.

Caldara, the game-changer.
I'll put Caldara on the end of the spectrum because she can work wonders on her own deck, mono-Spirit. On this deck she can still make her trick but only to trade with one Ally, which seems a bit short to me. But she deserves a honorable mention here because she can trade-off with any Spirit Ally in the discard pile, giving a flavour of real Dredge in LOTR.

The real advantage on Caldara is having the chance to trade 1 Hero for 2 Allies in her own deck, where she tag-teams with Círdan and Éowyn. Also, she normally trades for Prince Imrahil along with another unique Ally to be targeted by Sword-thain.
Erestor cuts the number down to just 1 ally, which is far from perfect. She can also pull the Prince trick, but not the 2-for-1 trick with Sword-thain as well. But what Erestor provides is a more faster way to dig your deck. Not optimal but faster. The rest can be worked out but IMO not as cool and good as her own deck.



So, three pieces of the puzzle. What's next?

The Bin

This engine will fuel the discard pile fast and furiously and some cards really like to be in the "bin":

Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller #6): is not the most powerful card to have in the bin but can be played from there, so it's more a discard-fuel in the early game and can be played late game.

The Evening Star and Elwing's Flight: two effects with the same conditional bonus, great for early discard and powerful in late game.

Elven-light and Lords of the Eldar: those are the really good cards, the juicy ones!
The first is fuel+draw+fuel again. Good.
But the second... the second can recycle itself and is just bonkers. It's true that this deck can be a little short on the horizontal play (swarm, lots of allies) but pumping up your team is just great. And the conditional trigger will not harm the deck, on the opposite, it's a card that will fuel itself and then act. With Arwen's abillity it's a pump spell for 2 cost. Great!


...and the Mad

Now we'll look at the core cards, the pieces to make the engine run.

Protector of Lórien: IMO the most important card in the deck. This card works wonders on Círdan or Éowyn. I like it more on Círdan because it's not that win-more as it is with Éowyn, and Círdan can tank (defend).
This card combos' hard with Unexpected Courage. You'll commit Círdan to a quest, and as action discard the # of cards you'll need to pump him. Ready him and use him again to tank, being able to use the Protector effect again since it's a different phase of the game. If you can pull this on turn #1 since you'll see 11 cards in theory, it works bonkers. In a later stage with the draw engine running it can provide again lots of pumps as long as you'll keep your hand full.

Elven Jeweler and Guardian of Rivendell: these two are the more likely Madness cards, cards that can be cheated by discarding other cards. Well, Guardian not that much since it's conditional but his stats worth the trouble, and being a target of Lords of the Eldar make him worth the slot in the deck.

Imladris Caregiver: not much here, can be fueled to heal so it's another card to make worth the discard.

To the Sea, to the Sea!: another resource-trade card which can keep cards like Hidden Cache not needed in the deck.


More Tools please!

These are cards I think can play along with the engine:

Galdor of the Havens (ToR): good cantrip when a card is discarded, so a major tool to keep cards flowing

Lindir: great combo with To the Sea!, it will cost less and give you cards back... what to dislike?!

Galadhrim Weaver: not a big deal, it's Silvan and can put a card back into the deck, but conditional

Sailor of Lune: another conditional ally, it's Noldor so it's cool for that

Lindon Navigator: another Noldor ally with a discard cost, high maintenance and a bit of win-more in terms of questing but... I can never look back into more Noldor

Silver Harp: a recycle-machine! When you have good cards you have to discard but also like to play, the Harp let's you do it. Great tool!

Will of the West: well, this card is needed! Also, I'd play with a few Map of Earnil too just in case some bad draws happen to force discarding all the Wills of them Westes'es, so a parity of 3 and 2 seems ok to me.


Other things to consider

There are a few other cards that can be talked about, like Emery that is the most Dredg'y card in LOTR but I see her more in a Dwarf Dig build than this one. Also, the presence of Lore in this deck will make her bounce, which is not what we really want so much in this build.
Gildor Inglorion could also appear on the deck since he can provide a bit of selection as in cards to have in hand, but I think he's a bit of win-more. He's a Noldor ally and quests fine 'though.
Mithlond Sea-watcher is an ally I really consider since we can easilly trigger her pump and again being a Noldor ally and the only one that can provide a beating really worths the slot.
Trollshaw Scout and Watcher of the Bruinen are not sexy as Lindon Navigator due to their small numbers, 2 Willpower is better that 2 Attack or Defend.
Also, Treebeard (TAC) as the beatstick since this deck can't beat that much.


Final Countdown

After all this non-sense, the numbers crunched:

Card Draw
Erestor; Círdan*; Galdor; Lindir; Silver Harp; Elven-Light

Economy
Arwen; To the Sea!; "madness" elves

Questing
Éowyn*; Protector of Lórien; Elwing's Flight; Lords of the Eldar

Location Management
The Evening Star; other Lore cards that can be considered

Defending
Protector of Lórien; Lords of the Eldar

Attacking
Lords of the Eldar


So... what do you think? Can we make a deck or what?! sauron
5 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Cook
United States
Denton
Texas
flag msg tools
*beep*
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll add that Ered Nimrais Prospector is pretty good for decks like this. The card you shuffle back in doesn't have to be one of the 3 discarded, it can be an event you already played, or a card you had to discard but want to play later.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carlos Saldanha
Portugal
Loures
Lisboa
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Donkler wrote:
I'll add that Ered Nimrais Prospector is pretty good for decks like this. The card you shuffle back in doesn't have to be one of the 3 discarded, it can be an event you already played, or a card you had to discard but want to play later.


I use the stunty in my Dwarf Dig deck. I really think he has no place here, sure he can put cards in the bin and retrieve one but those cards will not pass through your hand and that's what you'll want, to use cards as resources or fuel for effects. So he would accel one thing and decel the other.

ENP acts like a Galadhrim Weaver with a better choice over cards in the discard but he's out-of-faction and his numbers aren't that impressive.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Bustos
Chile
Santiago
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
oDESGOSTO wrote:
Círdan is plain Dredge.
Apart for giving one card draw (in theory) he's also working out our discard pile 1-card-per-turn. He can also trigger free stuff like Hidden Cache or Ered Luin Miner but I guess this deck will not need such follies.


Hidden Cache and Ered Luin Miner abilities only work if they are discarded from your deck, not from your hand.

Thus, Círdan doesn't trigger them.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Cook
United States
Denton
Texas
flag msg tools
*beep*
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
oDESGOSTO wrote:
Donkler wrote:
I'll add that Ered Nimrais Prospector is pretty good for decks like this. The card you shuffle back in doesn't have to be one of the 3 discarded, it can be an event you already played, or a card you had to discard but want to play later.


I use the stunty in my Dwarf Dig deck. I really think he has no place here, sure he can put cards in the bin and retrieve one but those cards will not pass through your hand and that's what you'll want, to use cards as resources or fuel for effects. So he would accel one thing and decel the other.

ENP acts like a Galadhrim Weaver with a better choice over cards in the discard but he's out-of-faction and his numbers aren't that impressive.


All I can say is that I really appreciated having him in there when I ran a deck like this! He's not quite as good as Map of Earnil, but has the same cost and can be used chump block.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ira Fay
United States
New Haven
CT
flag msg tools
designer
:-)
badge
Fay Games logo
mbmbmbmbmb
Francisco is right about the lack of Círdan combo withe Hidden Cache.

But, Círdan does combo with Erestor's ability, so you'll draw 5, discard 1.

I think it's worth seriously considering Galdor of the Havens hero. The mulligan at the beginning is quite significant, and the +6 cards drawn during the game is great. With all the ways to spend your cards, you won't have trouble running out on a turn mid-game.

You have plenty of good hero choices, though. The deck will certainly be able to quest convincingly. Are you thinking about this just for theme, or for solo or 2 handed play? If you're optimizing for solo play and you're interested in sacrificing a little theme, then there are obvious good cards to add in Lore and Spirit, like Elrond's Council, Hennamarth, Glorfindel, Scout Ahead, etc.

Consider also Will of the West, since you'll be able to burn through a 50 card deck pretty fast.

Seems fun!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carlos Saldanha
Portugal
Loures
Lisboa
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Donkler wrote:
oDESGOSTO wrote:
Donkler wrote:
I'll add that Ered Nimrais Prospector is pretty good for decks like this. The card you shuffle back in doesn't have to be one of the 3 discarded, it can be an event you already played, or a card you had to discard but want to play later.


I use the stunty in my Dwarf Dig deck. I really think he has no place here, sure he can put cards in the bin and retrieve one but those cards will not pass through your hand and that's what you'll want, to use cards as resources or fuel for effects. So he would accel one thing and decel the other.

ENP acts like a Galadhrim Weaver with a better choice over cards in the discard but he's out-of-faction and his numbers aren't that impressive.


All I can say is that I really appreciated having him in there when I ran a deck like this! He's not quite as good as Map of Earnil, but has the same cost and can be used chump block.


The problem is that, and call me perfectionist, he will burn two cards of your deck.

With a config of Erestor+Círdan, you'll see 5x cards per turn. Turn #1 is 11 cards. Turn #2 is 5.
On a 50 card deck, that means 3 cycles of 5. You go to turn #3 for your 4th cycle, meaning you'll have +6 turns more of draw until a Will of the West is played.

With ENP, playing let's see two of them, is -4 cards which means -1 cycle. So without resets by Will of the West, that would mean something like one turn less until depleting the deck.

And I'm not even considering the amount of draw/redraw the deck generates.

And speaking of draw, even if I play a card that can draw tons of cards and burn my deck faster I really don't mind since those cards will pass through my hand ence discard-fodder to ProLórien, To the Sea! and all those shenanigans.

ira212 wrote:
Francisco is right about the lack of Círdan combo withe Hidden Cache.

But, Círdan does combo with Erestor's ability, so you'll draw 5, discard 1.

I think it's worth seriously considering Galdor of the Havens hero. The mulligan at the beginning is quite significant, and the +6 cards drawn during the game is great. With all the ways to spend your cards, you won't have trouble running out on a turn mid-game.

You have plenty of good hero choices, though. The deck will certainly be able to quest convincingly. Are you thinking about this just for theme, or for solo or 2 handed play? If you're optimizing for solo play and you're interested in sacrificing a little theme, then there are obvious good cards to add in Lore and Spirit, like Elrond's Council, Hennamarth, Glorfindel, Scout Ahead, etc.

Consider also Will of the West, since you'll be able to burn through a 50 card deck pretty fast.

Seems fun!


I guess that's right... I was into the FAQs to check if the cards were really in hand or considered from the deck since the discard is from those cards meaning they're not in the hand yet. But that wouldn't make much sense since the wording of Círdan is also "draw" meaning the card goes into the hand and the discard will come from there.

Apart from that, yes, the abillities stack so that's why I think pairing Erestor and Círdan is great.

Galdor Hero... humm... dunno.
First you'd be trading the Hero for the Ally and I think the Ally is way better in a discard shell. In my decktech I have 2x Galdor allies, the only unique I have not being a 1-off.
Second, yeah, his abillity is cool but a one-time. I don't see the muligan being that important since you'll get 10 cards in your first turn. That's 1/5th of the deck. With Círdan you'll see 11 cards first turn.
The draw abillity is the only thing that would make him worthy, but then... it's 6 cards one time. You'd be sacrificing that for a permanent +1 card per draw step for you to choose from. Dunno, doesn't make my clogs spin so hard when I have Círdan in place.

The deck quests really hard. With ProLórien it defends hard as well. The only defect I see is beating up, that's why Valar is a good card since I can turn my allies into beaters with a Voltron'ish ProLórien+Courage'd Hero. Also, I break theme with the addition of 1x Treebeard ally. I really need him to push that beatdown.

I tend to deckbuild for solo deck, solo hand. Then I add some support if I have the slots. For this one I'm building solo only, of course in a multi-hand/deck game I would take the Questing by myself leaving the beats to others.
As for your recommendations:
Counsel, I don't need the +WillPow that much only the Threat reduction can come in handy, but there are better cards for that in Spirit
Henamarth Riversong, good ally but since I can pump up WillPow after the Encounter Step, I don't think the slot to see the next card is worth be spent on IMO
Scout Ahead, same as above; the only thing this deck is afraid of is enemy spam. I can deal with location spam pretty well but enemy engaging left and right can be a problem. So Scout Ahead is really niche when compared with other options from Lore, like Forest Snare or Entangling Net.
Glorfindel, of course. I mentioned him above!
Will of the West, the same! 3x + 2x Maps if any of the remaining hit the bin.

One card I've forgot to mention is this:


Not too shaby but can make the work when you want to retrieve that unique ally from the bin that you could not play early game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.