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

Subject: Single deck Solo pointers rss

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Joshua Speelman
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I have a core set and the first three Adventure Packs on the way. I will primarily be playing this solo. I want to start off playing single deck solo games (though I do intended to eventually try dual deck soloing) and was looking for some general pointers.

Not looking for specific deck builds or anything but I do have one main question: Should I make a dual-sphere deck or a mono-sphere deck? Any other general tips would also be appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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Zeb Ulon

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Joshua the Gamer wrote:
I have a core set and the first three Adventure Packs on the way. I will primarily be playing this solo. I want to start off playing single deck solo games (though I do intended to eventually try dual deck soloing) and was looking for some general pointers.

Not looking for specific deck builds or anything but I do have one main question: Should I make a dual-sphere deck or a mono-sphere deck? Any other general tips would also be appreciated.

Thanks.


Well you probably get a lot of different answers. So I can speak for myself: start with the prebuilt mono-sphere decks from the base game, and be prepared to lose a lot! However, this helped me to:
1- memorise the game sequence, which is a big plus once you start to build strategies. I was unfamiliar with card games, and it is painful when you spend as much time reading the rules as trying to find synergies.
2- get familiar with the strength and weaknesses of each spheres: roughly (very roughly!) leadership for producing resources, spirit for questing, lore for healing and advance knowledge and tactics for combat strength.
3- get familiar with the various strategies, specifically the typical combos, the specific roles of heroes and allies (e.g. Dunhere attacking the staging areas, etc), chosing a low threat strategy, etc.

Once familiarised, you will rapidly realise that monospheres are too specialised in many areas. For instance, tactics is notoriously difficult as monosphere, for its lack of questing power. Thus you will want to try mixing and balancing the spheres to compensate.
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yeah, just play the mono-spheres for a bit

you will need quite a few plays to get the rules down

you will want too anyway, cause you get kind of addicted to playing each scenario and want to beat them, but when alas you can't take anymore, try another mono-sphere

starting mono will get you familiar with the cards and each sphere of influence

I didn't start dual decking till after about 10 games. That was a wreck. After about 25 games I had a much better grasp and can handle the deck building ok now.
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Richard Morris
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Starting with mono sphere decks, to understand the spheres, makes sense. However: Don't start with Legolas and Gimli. A large proportion who know the books try to start there, and it is the hardest (aka most unbalanced) sphere to get up and running.
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Warren Zdan
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I'm in the same boat as you - just got the core set a few days ago, and have the first 3 AP's on the way. I started out playing each mono sphere deck solo against the first scenario until I'd won once with each deck, and learned the different spheres & cards. Then I made a mistake, and tried constructing 2 dual sphere 50-card decks to face the 2nd scenario with, and proceeded to get my butt kicked a dozen games in a row or so. I came to the conclusion there isn't enough deck building potential in just the core set to make two (good) legal sized decks, so I allowed myself to lower the minimum deck size for now to between 30-40 cards. Then I finally beat the Journey down the Anduin last night with the smaller decks. Looking forward to trying the third scenario tonight. Once I start playing through the AP's I'll try constructing legal sized decks with the new cards.

So I'd start with the prebuilt mono sphere decks solo just to start learning, but I think the game is more fun once you start dual decking. But if all you have is the core set, do yourself a favor, and don't try forcing yourself to jump right into 50 card decks.
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Joshua the Gamer wrote:
I have a core set and the first three Adventure Packs on the way. I will primarily be playing this solo. I want to start off playing single deck solo games (though I do intended to eventually try dual deck soloing) and was looking for some general pointers.

Not looking for specific deck builds or anything but I do have one main question: Should I make a dual-sphere deck or a mono-sphere deck? Any other general tips would also be appreciated.

Thanks.


Lots of good advice that I second:
- Play the first scenario multiple times with each mono sphere deck to get a feel for the cards.
- Don't be surprised if it's very hard to win with the Tactics deck even the intro scenario. This deck doesn't have a lot of Willpower for questing.
- Ignore the tournament deck rule for 50+ cards.
- Do a dual deck for Journey Down the Anduin.

I would only add to not get discouraged if you can't beat the third quest (Dol Guldur) whatever decks you create. You need a lot of luck to win against this quest single player with only cards from the Core Set.
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I still haven't gotten around to trying my first deck building but I am eager to.

I figure as the first time out it's not going to be a good deck and I expect to lose more than once, even against the first scenario. However it will help me get a feel for how I want to play the game (my play style) and I'm sure that through the (multiple) failures I will learn good combos and cards that I want to use, and eventually I think I'll have a great grasp on deck building for this game.

I know the core set will be limiting, and I can't wait to get my hands on the adventure packs. I've got the first 6 coming and am ecstatic!
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secoAce -
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Here's how I approached LotR and what I suggest.
Since the game already bundles 30-card monosphere decks, start there. Don't forget to add the neutral sphere Gandalf into each monosphere deck too. Gandalf has been a life saver many times for me.
I don't know why many people seem to start with the Tactics deck (red), but Tactics is the hardest sphere to play. I suggest going through the monosphere decks in the order of their card #s, which would make it: Leadership, Tactics, Spirit, Lore.

Play through the first scenario with each monosphere deck several times to get familiar with the game mechanics and flow as well as getting to know the cards and how each sphere is different with their own strengths and weaknesses. Don't worry about moving onto the next scenario at this stage. At this point, it's just get a good feel for the game and the best way to discover the different spheres is by seeing how they compare against the same scenario.

When you are ready to start mixing spheres, this is what I did to ease my way into deck construction. The tournament-legal deck size is 50 cards minimum. Since you're not playing tournaments, you don't have to stick with this deck size. You actually get better card draws with a smaller deck, but for the exercise in deck construction, aim for a 50 card deck.

This is where the 30-card preconstucted decks make this really easy to start. Take 2 decks and put them together to make 60 cards. But now you should be familiar enough with the player cards to know which cards you find essential and which cards usually sit in your hand unplayed. So it's just a matter of removing the 10 least used cards, and there you have your 50 card dual sphere deck.

That doesn't seem like much strategy, but you will come to learn which cards are needed certain encounters that will help your deck construction skills as you will learn how to fine tune your deck by removing unused cards and bringing in needed ones. This continual deck tuning is easier than trying to tackling building decks from scratch until you get to really know your cards.
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Tim Sharpe
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secoAce wrote:
So it's just a matter of removing the 10 least used cards, and there you have your 50 card dual sphere deck.


+1 to the advice in secoAce's post generally - that's how I started. But I'd add one qualification to this specific point.

If you have a two-sphere deck and three heroes then you'll have fewer resources for the sphere that only has one hero. So either choose your heroes first and then remove the majority of cards from the sphere that's going to have fewer resources. Or choose which sphere you think you can most comfortably remove the most cards from and choose your heroes based on that.
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Dan Poage
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There is some really good advice here, particularly secoAce's. I actually have a series on my blog that covers core set deck building in-depth:

http://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/beorns-path-part...

It starts with the core set, evolving a pair of decks to beat each of the core set scenarios, then runs through each of the Shadows of Mirkwood scenarios in order. Hopefully you will find it useful.

Good luck!

Beorn
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