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

Subject: "Doomed" Deck rss

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Andy E
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As a former Magic player who loved Suicide Black, I'm pretty excited about the Doomed mechanic on player cards. I built a deck involving Doomed cards as soon as my copy of Voice of Isengard arrived, and I've been tinkering with it for a bit. I call it a "Doomed" deck because the Doomed mechanic really isn't the central point of the deck. There are only a few actual Doomed cards in the deck. The deck really tries to get as much willpower for your resources as possible, using Grima to lower the resource cost and Dain to up the willpower output.

Heroes: Threat 25
Grima
Glorfindel (Spirit)
Dain Ironfoot

Allies: 28
3 Gandalf (Core)
3 Erebor Hammersmith
3 Erebor Record Keeper
3 Ered Nimrais Prospector
3 Isengard Messenger
2 Warden of Healing
2 Arwen Undomiel
2 Kili
1 Faramir
3 Fili
3 Orthanc Guard

Attachments: 8
2 Keys of Orthanc
1 A Burning Brand
3 Light of Valinor
2 Unexpected Courage

Events: 17
3 Daeron's Runes
3 Deep Knowledge
3 Elrond's Counsel
2 Hasty Stroke
3 A Test of Will
3 Sneak Attack

I'm still tinkering with it a bit. I've only tested this against a few encounters so far, but it sets up some extremely efficient plays. E.g., playing Fili using Grima's ability with Keys of Orthanc and Isengard Messenger in play nets 5 willpower for 1 resource and 1 threat. The important thing to remember is to not go overboard using Doomed. Don't do it randomly to save a resource. Use it only if you couldn't play a card otherwise, or if you have multiple cards in play which respond to it. If you haven't used Grima's ability during Planning, use it at the beginning of the Quest phase (it applies to the next card played this round, but you still can't use it in a response window, e.g., for Test of Will). This lets you quest with your Orthanc Guards. If you need to Test of Will for 1 threat, you can ready your Guards and have them as blockers during combat. If you don't need to cancel any When Revealed effects, you can still use, for example, Sneak Attack to make use of Grima's ability and ready your Orthanc Guards in time for combat.

As a related aside, I wanted to give some quick discussion of the Doomed mechanic generally. The Doomed card pool is (obviously) fairly shallow so far, but Grima is an important card for that shallow pool. Taking full advantage of the mechanic will need a combination of triggering cards and responding cards. I feel like the best responding cards printed in VoI are Isengard Messenger and Keys of Orthanc. The best triggering card in my opinion is Deep Knowledge, but Grima turns anything into a trigger while we wait for them to print more cards. In fact, I have generally found with this deck that having only Deep Knowledge and Grima as triggers has been enough. Grima gives you lots of control over when you trigger. If you had too many cards with Doomed, you might put yourself in situations where you can't really play them anymore because your threat gets too high, whereas Grima allows you to choose.

For Doomed to really take off, I think we'll need a couple more responding cards. As soon as I saw the Doomed mechanic, my first thought was a hero card along the lines of the following:

Gandalf
Threat 1
0 Willpower
0 Attack
0 Defense
1 Hit point

Text:
"While Gandalf's highest stat is Willpower, he has the Spirit icon; Attack, then Tactics; Defense, then Lore; Hit points, then Leadership.

Response: After you raise your threat from the Doomed keyword, add 1 to any stat until the end of the game."

Thematically, Gandalf is a character who really could represent any sphere, depending on what is needed. So I like the idea of a hero version of Gandalf which switches between spheres in a way that can be controlled by the player according to their need. He also seems to get more powerful (or reveal more of his power) in the books/movies as the story progresses and Sauron's forces build, represented in this card by his stats rising in response to rising threat.

Strategically, I think this would be a very strong, but hopefully not broken, hero card. The Doomed cards that have been printed so far scale poorly (i.e., they're less efficient with more players), whereas this sort of hero would provide some counter balance to that (since other players' Doomed cards would trigger your Gandalf). FFG has already established that 1 stat point on a hero is essentially worth 1 threat, and that generally doesn't cost additional cards (which take up space in the deck and resources/time to play). Finally, I think it will be important to have a hero card which can respond to Doomed triggers so that there is less setup required to make efficient use of Doomed cards. The Fili play I mentioned above was nice, but it's not like I can always count on getting both Keys of Orthanc and Isengard Messenger in play on the first turn.
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Tony Fanchi
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Interesting deck. Are you using Grima as your primary defender (since he seems like the most likely target for Burning Brand)?

andye wrote:
E.g., playing Fili using Grima's ability with Keys of Orthanc and Isengard Messenger in play nets 5 willpower for 1 resource and 1 threat.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your combo here, but I think you'll need to have two resources in your hero's pool to pull this off. I think you have to pay the card's cost before its Doomed keyword triggers to give you a resource from the Keys, so you'll need to have two resources to play Fili, at which point you'll get one of them back.
 
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Andy E
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AdmiralACF wrote:
Interesting deck. Are you using Grima as your primary defender (since he seems like the most likely target for Burning Brand)?

The Burning Brand goes on Grima if I happen to draw it, but I usually quest with Grima and block with Dain. In all honesty, there are certain cards that I'm so used to auto-including because of how powerful they can be in certain quests that I sometimes find it hard to cut them. Burning Brand is probably unnecessary in this deck, but I feel like there's no real reason not to include a copy just in case I draw it and want it.

AdmiralACF wrote:
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your combo here, but I think you'll need to have two resources in your hero's pool to pull this off. I think you have to pay the card's cost before its Doomed keyword triggers to give you a resource from the Keys, so you'll need to have two resources to play Fili, at which point you'll get one of them back.

Yes, you pay 2 resources and 1 threat, and then you get 1 resource back. I suppose it's also worth pointing out that I usually put the Keys of Orthanc on Grima, so I spend 2 Leadership resources and get back 1 Lore resource.
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George Leoniak
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Interesting hero line up. I was trying to use Grima with dwarves when I first got him. I paired him up with Nori for the 1 threat reduction when a dwarf came into play. It worked real nice, but early attack strength was weak, but with Dain as the other hero his attack boost helped out.

Overall, i am kind of warming up to doomed, my first decks were a bit tentative and trying to include a spirit hero to slow this down the racing threat, but now I am just going willy nilly with doomed, and pairing Grima with Aragorn lore as the only threat reduction. I am having a lot more fun with that approach.

The Seeing Stone is another great card for digging out Deep Knowledge and the deck I created also has Legacy or Numenor, so grabbing either of those can be a game changer especially LoN.

 
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Andy E
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Tracker1 wrote:
[...]but now I am just going willy nilly with doomed, and pairing Grima with Aragorn lore as the only threat reduction. I am having a lot more fun with that approach.

The Seeing Stone is another great card for digging out Deep Knowledge and the deck I created also has Legacy or Numenor, so grabbing either of those can be a game changer especially LoN.

How has that been working out for you? I didn't bother including Seeing Stones in my deck, since the only thing they could search for is Deep Knowledge. That scenario doesn't look too promising to me. Deep Knowledge on its own nets +2 threat and +1 card, while using the Seeing Stone for Deep Knowledge nets +3 threat and +0 cards. It sort of thins the deck by getting a Seeing Stone and Deep Knowledge out of the way, but it hardly seems worth it. Seeing Stone for Legacy of Numenor nets +5 threat, +3 resources, and -1 card in hand. Stalling for a turn gets you +1 threat, +3 resources, +1 card. So what's the situation in which Seeing Stone -> Legacy of Numenor is preferable?

I liked Seeing Stone initially, because I often wish they would print more search cards (again, former Magic player). But two things about search cards in Magic (which I think probably translate to LotR LCG):

1) Searching is not card draw. The cost of a card is already a pretty high cost. If Seeing Stone was Doomed 2 and could get any card, I think that would be worth it.

2) Search cards are slightly less powerful than the cards they search for, because they add their own costs to those cards. As in the example above, using The Seeing Stone to get Deep Knowledge seems like you're getting a powerful card, but you sort of negate the value of Deep Knowledge because of the additional costs of playing The Seeing Stone first.

I certainly can't say that I would never play The Seeing Stone. But they would have to print something pretty powerful. For example, if they print a strong ally that costs 0 resources and has Doomed, I could see including The Seeing Stone in order to have a higher chance of a free ally on the first turn.
 
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George Leoniak
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Here is the deck is set up. Its been taking on some difficult scenarios, but it is risky to play.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1132816/deck-hirluin-the-doo...

Seeing stone is great in this deck. The ability to get one of the 2 other key doomed cards in the deck is awesome and can turn a game around espesially with Legacy of Numenor. On first turn I could play Gandalf if I needed to.
 
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