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Subject: Deckbuilding in core set rss

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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Is it "possible"? I believe that base decks have 30 cards each. Which rules I should follow here - deckbuild within these 30, exchanging cards, or when I deckbuild, I have to go up to 50? Does it make sense to fight the last scenario (Dol Guldur) with base decks? (we've already completed first two, without much hassle, using the base Leadership / Tactics decks, but the inner deckbuilder in me is strong).

Additionally, coming from Android: Netrunner, one thing that irks me, is that, there very little drawing power in the game (there's no draw, besides the obligatory one, just like in MtG). I assume that expansion packs increase this, adding more cards that support drawing engine?
 
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Chris Schock
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rattkin wrote:

Additionally, coming from Android: Netrunner, one thing that irks me, is that, there very little drawing power in the game (there's no draw, besides the obligatory one, just like in MtG). I assume that expansion packs increase this, adding more cards that support drawing engine?


Yes, a lot of card draw is in lore. Each sphere has their own strengths.
 
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Uncle Potato
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A lot of people would recommend not worrying about that 50 card minimum until you expand your pool a bit. It's up to you, of course.

As for card draw, here's a slightly dated (September 2013) run-through of what's become available since the core set: https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/deck-buil...

Edit: naturally, this will include spoilers of several upcoming cards. Peruse at your own risk.
 
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Edward Hananto
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So what about if I combine two core set premade deck to reach 50 card minimum?

Will that dis/advantage me significantly to complete core set scenarios?
 
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Rob Rob
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Quote:
Does it make sense to fight the last scenario (Dol Guldur) with base decks

It's tough but as long as there are two or more players (or you play two frosted solo) it can be done.
cozmic0 wrote:
So what about if I combine two core set premade deck to reach 50 card minimum?

Will that dis/advantage me significantly to complete core set scenarios?

Not at all. Two core sets will get you very close to the 3 of each card limit (which is a good thing). I might recomend, rather than investing in the purchase of a second core set (much of which will be wasted) and especially rather than the purchase of a third core set (almost all of which will go to waste) you peruse the number of after market sellers on eBay. That way you can pick up the cards you need to flush out your set to the full 3 card limit as well as the 3rd and 4th player threat counters + enough tokens for a 3-4 player game for a reasonable price and less waste.
 
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The Otacon
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I think he would like to combine 2 different 30 card starter decks (aka 2-sphere deck) and not 2 core sets.

General advice for core set deck building can be found here: https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/beorns-path/
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Robrob wrote:

Not at all. Two core sets will get you very close to the 3 of each card limit (which is a good thing). I might recomend, rather than investing in the purchase of a second core set (much of which will be wasted) and especially rather than the purchase of a third core set (almost all of which will go to waste) you peruse the number of after market sellers on eBay. That way you can pick up the cards you need to flush out your set to the full 3 card limit as well as the 3rd and 4th player threat counters + enough tokens for a 3-4 player game for a reasonable price and less waste.


About that. What cards are singles in the core set? I tried to look for that information, but apparently, it's quite hard to find out.
 
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Susan F.
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rattkin wrote:
Robrob wrote:

Not at all. Two core sets will get you very close to the 3 of each card limit (which is a good thing). I might recomend, rather than investing in the purchase of a second core set (much of which will be wasted) and especially rather than the purchase of a third core set (almost all of which will go to waste) you peruse the number of after market sellers on eBay. That way you can pick up the cards you need to flush out your set to the full 3 card limit as well as the 3rd and 4th player threat counters + enough tokens for a 3-4 player game for a reasonable price and less waste.


About that. What cards are singles in the core set? I tried to look for that information, but apparently, it's quite hard to find out.


Spirit
Unexpected Courage (the main singleton you regularly wish you had three of)
Fortune and Fate (highly situational; amazing card if you lose a hero and have 5 Spirit resources to spend - but not something you're regularly going to want three copies of)
Dwarven Tomb (lets you recycle a Spirit card from your discard pile; thanks for the reminder a few posts down!)

Tactics
Beorn (awesome but expensive unique ally)
Horn of Gondor (very nice unique attachment)
Thicket of Spears (nice but only usable in monoTactics decks)
Swift Strike (nice card in theory - but I never have enough resources left to play it)
Stand Together (another one I forgot and was reminded about by a subsequent post; I don't think I've ever played this card)

Leadership
Brok Ironfist (not as good a Beorn, but costs as much as Beorn; also unique; not widely used)
Celebrian's Stone (very nice unique attachment)
Grim Resolve (ready all characters; great card but expensive; I've never wanted a third copy)

Lore
Henamarth Riversong (1-cost unique ally with handy ability; I can see wanting three copies of him in a deck to use as chump blocker then play another copy)
Dark Knowledge (an interesting card that you'd likely not want more than one of in play - unless maybe you stacked them on the same character)
Beorn's Hospitality (heal all damage; costs 5; nice ability but when do you ever have 5 Lore resources to spare?)

I think that's all of them. There were a couple more events that I never use that might only have one copy (A Light in the Dark, Stand Together). This post edited to add the two I missed.

I only have two core sets and the only cards I ever miss the third copy of are Unexpected Courage (often), Celebrian's Stone (occasionally) and Henamarth Riversone (occasionally). This is, in part, because I rarely play a third copy of unique cards unless they are essential to draw early.

The second core, on the other hand, is worth it to get the second copy of each of these (plus Beorn! two Beorn cards is nice; three is overkill) and the third copy of the best events (Feint, Sneak Attack, A Test of Will) and some of the best allies (Northern Tracker, Erebor Hammersmith, etc.)
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Thanks, this is very helpful.

Few other questions:

- in standard 50 card deck, how many cards you will usually draw during standard game? In other words, how big is the chance to see bottom 10-20 cards? Core decks have 30 card and even for them, the draw is minimal. When adding some draw power to these 50 decks, it would still seem to me, like you won't see the bigger half of it. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

- how do you actually approach deckbuilding vs number of cards in deck in this game? In competitive LCG, it's fine - I have a limit of cards per deck, I'm building deck for myself. But here, I'm building deck for 2 players (either myself, playing 2 hands, or the other player, if he doesn't want to deckbuild). This would potentially mean, that we might want even 6 copies of certain cards, to have the maximum 3 in both decks. Is that often the case? Or decks that rely on similar strategy/using similar cards, are usually losing with more sophisticated scenarios?
 
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Susan F.
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In my opinion, the easiest approach to making two decks (at least initially) is to assign each deck two spheres. e.g. When I made dwarf decks for my husband and I, his deck was Tactics/Spirit and mine was Leadership/Lore. Then the only card you want/need more than three of is Gandalf - and you get four of him per core set.

Once you get a bit more experienced with the cards in this game, you can come up with other complementary pairs to minimize overlap between decks. e.g. My husband's hobbit/eagles deck is Leadership/Lore/Tactics - but at least two thirds of the cards are Tactics and the whole point of the Leadership resources is to get a Steward of Gondor on the Tactics hobbit ASAP (while the Lore hobbit can pay for Elf-Stones, an alternative way to get allies of any sphere into play). When he's playing that deck, I use a Spirit/Lore deck (and since none of his Lore cards are relevant to my deck, the overlap doesn't cause any problems).

I've rarely gotten to the bottom of my deck. Even in decks with tons of card draw (able to see, for example, four cards per turn), I find that once I have 15-20 cards in hand, I'm rarely bothered about digging for more. Also, some card draw effects are along the lines of "look at the first 5 cards in your deck; take a card that is an attachment; shuffle your deck". That functions as good card draw until you've pulled most/all of the attachments into your hand then it doesn't do anything anymore.
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Susan F.
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Remember that you can play attachments (and some events) on characters from the other deck - so it's more efficient to have all three copies of the same attachment/event in one deck.
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rattkin wrote:
Is it "possible"? I believe that base decks have 30 cards each. Which rules I should follow here - deckbuild within these 30, exchanging cards, or when I deckbuild, I have to go up to 50? Does it make sense to fight the last scenario (Dol Guldur) with base decks? (we've already completed first two, without much hassle, using the base Leadership / Tactics decks, but the inner deckbuilder in me is strong).

Additionally, coming from Android: Netrunner, one thing that irks me, is that, there very little drawing power in the game (there's no draw, besides the obligatory one, just like in MtG). I assume that expansion packs increase this, adding more cards that support drawing engine?
hey, welcome to the game. good to see you venturing over here

anyway, yes, there is little tutoring and card draw in Lord of the Rings compared to netrunner

a big reason i think is that you aren't supposed to be able to make a 4 or 5 card combo and break the game (some exist, but even given that they do exist, you won't always get them every game)

that said, here are most if not all of the cards that allow you to draw more cards

here are some engines you can build if you'd like:

Berevor (core): exhaust to draw 2 cards (once per round). combine with Unexpected Courage or some other readying effect so that you can quest, attack, or defend with her in any round and draw some extra at the end. you can still only draw two extra cards, but it's a lot easier to justify the card draw if you can use her for other actions in the round

Gleowine (core): exhaust to draw 1 card. amazing ally. only use him for drawing. also save the card draw for later in the round so he doesn't take damage for being exhausted during questing

Bilbo Baggins (first pack of first cycle): first player draws an extra card per turn
he has a bit high threat for his stats, and it's only one player, so save him mainly for solo games

Ori (hobbit box 2): if you control more than 5 dwarves, draw an extra card per turn
combine with Bombur (counts as two dwarves), and you can do this as early as turn 2
combine with cards like Legacy of Durin and Bifur ally for even more card draw
also have a look at Dain Ironfoot if you're going with the dwarf theme.


Lord of Morthond: place this on Hirluin the Fair in an outlands themed deck. any time you play a Hunter of Lamedon, Knights of the Swan, Ethir Swordsman, or Anfalas Herdsman, draw a card. outlands decks are probably on the level of Astrotrain in terms of 'this is really just super broken, and you're a bad player for playing this'
i have also seen many people say 'i consider myself a good player and can't get an outlands deck to even work', so take that with a grain of salt

Hobbit Pipes: this one is a bit difficult to pull off. i've tried a monospirit deck with Smoke Rings, [url=http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/The-Galadhrim's-Greeting-Core]Galadhrim's Greeting[/url], and even Dwarven Tomb and Map of Earnil for recursion, but it's difficult.
anyway, the crux is getting all of your pipes out as soon as possible and drawing 3 extra cards per turn if you play an event that lowers your threat. getting the pipes is easier now with the Bilbo Baggins ally, however.

Foe-hammer + Hama (Foe-Hama): my absolute favourite card draw combo. kill something with Hama, exhaust a weapon attached to draw cards with Foe-hammer.
when you attack with Hama again, get Foe-hammer out of your discard to play it again. it's hard to pull off in monotactics because there isn't much card draw inherently in the sphere, but one version of Bofur ally lets you search your deck for more weapon attachments at least. i usually combine with lore for extra inherent card draw or Gandalf ally

rattkin wrote:
Robrob wrote:

Not at all. Two core sets will get you very close to the 3 of each card limit (which is a good thing). I might recomend, rather than investing in the purchase of a second core set (much of which will be wasted) and especially rather than the purchase of a third core set (almost all of which will go to waste) you peruse the number of after market sellers on eBay. That way you can pick up the cards you need to flush out your set to the full 3 card limit as well as the 3rd and 4th player threat counters + enough tokens for a 3-4 player game for a reasonable price and less waste.


About that. What cards are singles in the core set? I tried to look for that information, but apparently, it's quite hard to find out.
i agree with this. while getting another Horn of Gondor is very useful, you will also have a lot of completely useless extra copies of encounter cards that will never be of any good use.

cardgamedb does list quantity, but you'd have to look through every page

along with that, here's a small addendum to the above list:

Spirit
Dwarven Tomb (get any spirit card from your discard)

Tactics
Stand Together (allows you to block with more than one character for one attack. extremely situational)
Thicket of Spears there are 2 copies of this card




rattkin wrote:
Thanks, this is very helpful.

Few other questions:

- in standard 50 card deck, how many cards you will usually draw during standard game? In other words, how big is the chance to see bottom 10-20 cards? Core decks have 30 card and even for them, the draw is minimal. When adding some draw power to these 50 decks, it would still seem to me, like you won't see the bigger half of it. Correct me if I'm wrong here.[/url]most games end in roughly about 5 turns in my experience, so even with a lot of increased card draw (of about 1 extra card per turn), you're only seeing half of your deck

[url]- how do you actually approach deckbuilding vs number of cards in deck in this game? In competitive LCG, it's fine - I have a limit of cards per deck, I'm building deck for myself. But here, I'm building deck for 2 players (either myself, playing 2 hands, or the other player, if he doesn't want to deckbuild). This would potentially mean, that we might want even 6 copies of certain cards, to have the maximum 3 in both decks. Is that often the case? Or decks that rely on similar strategy/using similar cards, are usually losing with more sophisticated scenarios?
yes, having 6 copies of a card among two decks can be a very solid strategy, but it may not always be the case.

i usually game with my partner, and we just share one pool of cards (with two core sets), so we don't often do this, but we also game with two other people on mondays. at first, we originally planned to have as many Horn of Gondor and Steward of Gondor so that we could get them out as quickly as possible. however, after a few weeks, my partner took Steward of Gondor out of her deck completely. it's a unique card, and as soon as one person has it out, it's a dead draw. having 3 in your deck, it can be really problematic.

there's also very good strategies of putting cards in your deck that you would never use yourself (or can't) to be played on another player. here's an example:
a deck with Lore resources uses Asfaloth, which is a mount attachment that can be placed on any Noldor or Silvan hero. it adds 1 progress to any location every turn. if it's attached to Glorfindel, it can add 2

another deck uses Glorfindel (incidentally, one of the most powerful heroes in the game) but has no lore sphere. this Glorfindel would be the recipient of Asfaloth, and can even play Renewed Friendship, rewarding the giving player a chance to lower threat, draw a card, or ready a hero.


another example, i often play a monotactics deck for my four player nights and a good combo for me is Beregond + Gondorian Shield, which pumps him up to 6 defense and sentinel, which is quite beefy.
I have one other gondorian hero, but my last hero is Hama for that amazing Foe-Hama combo, and he's Rohan and only gets 1 extra defense from the shield (i also want to be attacking with him anyway). so i often play extra copies on another player's Eleanor, who is often sitting around doing nothing by the end of the round if no treacheries needed to be cancelled.



another point to make is that there are a lot of global effects. some cards say 'all characters', such as Grim Resolve, readying not only the player who played the card, but every other player as well.

this has some interesting combo possibilities. playing Mutual Accord (makes all Rohan and Gondor allies share both traits) is great for a tandem Spirit Rohan and Leadership Gondor deck, for example.

after playing Mutual Accord, the leadership player could play For Gondor!, which gives all characters +1 attack and all Gondor characters +1 defense, would now benefit all of the Rohirrim characters as well

after Mutual accord, the spirit player could send Eomund to his death defending against a great enemy. Eomund is a card that readies all Rohan characters after leaving play, and with Mutual Accord, would ready all Gondor characters as well.



anyway, i think that's enough to think about for now

welcome again to the game and enjoy



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Edward Hananto
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TheOtacon wrote:
I think he would like to combine 2 different 30 card starter decks (aka 2-sphere deck) and not 2 core sets.

General advice for core set deck building can be found here: https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/beorns-path/



Yes, that's what I meant

So, say I combined Spirit/Lore decks to reach the 50-card minimum, will that make the core set scenarios harder or easier to complete? What if I add one more player and combined Leader/Tactic? I wondered about this as I frequently read that the third scenario is close to impossible....

Cheers
 
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Susan F.
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cozmic0 wrote:
TheOtacon wrote:
I think he would like to combine 2 different 30 card starter decks (aka 2-sphere deck) and not 2 core sets.

General advice for core set deck building can be found here: https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/beorns-path/



Yes, that's what I meant

So, say I combined Spirit/Lore decks to reach the 50-card minimum, will that make the core set scenarios harder or easier to complete? What if I add one more player and combined Leader/Tactic? I wondered about this as I frequently read that the third scenario is close to impossible....

Cheers


For the most part, I would say it would make the scenarios easier to complete (compared to just using two starter decks). As you'll have noticed by now, there are some very weak/overpriced cards in each of the starter decks. By combining two starter decks, you get 60 cards - which means you get to remove ten of the weakest cards from each deck. It also means you have access to the "power cards" from all four spheres if you're playing two such decks - which can prove very helpful.

It's often recommended that if you're just building with one core set, you make your multisphere decks with 40 cards instead of 50 (and work up to 50 cards once you add a few expansions or a second core set).
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My wife and I stay mono decks and rarely deckbuild. As it is our game, we never worry about "tournament" decks, but always have at least 30 cards...but as we have added expansions, we are now at the 50-60 size decks. Anything after 60 cards, we begin to weed out something. But per rules, we never have more than 3 of one card, keep unique cards unique, and always play with 3 Gandalfs in her deck and 3 in my deck...but again, respecting his unique key word.

It stands to reason that the lower your deck count, the more likely you will get some of the card draws you are expecting. But again, we tend to be more at the 50 card level. And we have upgraded to have 3 cards of all Core set cards.

As I said, we tend to play mono decks, but she will use either Spirit or Lore, and I will use either Tactics or Leadership. That way, she can concentrate on Questing or Healing while I concentrate on Combat. It doesn't work all the time, but we are successful more than 50% of the time. We have the core set scenarios and the Mirkwood Adventure Pack scenarios behind us. However, we still have not learned the trick at Dol Goldur. That one still eludes us. Our next stop...Khazad Dum.

Have fun with this game. It is simply the best Middle Earth card game out there, giving hours upon hours of fun to scope out the numerous scenarios of the expansions. Great game!
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Rusty567 wrote:
Remember that you can play attachments (and some events) on characters from the other deck - so it's more efficient to have all three copies of the same attachment/event in one deck.


Hmm. I can? I was wondering about that during our games. It felt natural, but then I looked into the rules, and it reads:

"After a player plays an ally or attachment card from his hand, he places it faceup and ready in his play area."

Was that ever FAQd? Or is this just an unfortunate wording (meaning that you cannot play ally and give it to other player, but you can play attachment on any character in the play, unless stated otherwise).

Update: disregard that. I've just noticed the appropriate section in Ownership and Control. It's weird that rules about that same, and relatively basic thing are at the beginning and end of the rulebook :)
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Thanks for a great posts, all, this is much appreciated. It seems that I will go for 2 cores. I see 6 gandalfs as a must, I will live with few cards in 2 copies. There's still the dillemma of having 6 cards, 3 in each deck, but obviously, that would be coreset overkill, given the expansions. I can also imagine that designers create further scenarios with this in mind, and these scenarios encourage clever interactions between different spheres.

For now, I got all expansions until the end of Ringmaker cycle :) Will leave saga expansions for now, as I'd like to have a sense of continuity.
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You could always print off proxies of the cards you need (assuming your cards are sleeved). This can be as simple as placing a small piece of paper in the sleeve stating the cost, sphere, name, and what it does.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Geez, never! I abhor proxies.
 
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rattkin wrote:
Is it "possible"? I believe that base decks have 30 cards each. Which rules I should follow here - deckbuild within these 30, exchanging cards, or when I deckbuild, I have to go up to 50? Does it make sense to fight the last scenario (Dol Guldur) with base decks? (we've already completed first two, without much hassle, using the base Leadership / Tactics decks, but the inner deckbuilder in me is strong).

Additionally, coming from Android: Netrunner, one thing that irks me, is that, there very little drawing power in the game (there's no draw, besides the obligatory one, just like in MtG). I assume that expansion packs increase this, adding more cards that support drawing engine?


Here are all of the cards in the game with card-drawing effects:

http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Search?Category=Card+Draw

Beyond the Core Set, you will find that the card draw effects in this game are actually quite powerful. This is particularly true in a heavy-Lore deck. Mithrandir's Advice in a mono-Lore deck is fantastic for 1 resource, and Daeron's Runes is a staple in almost all decks that include Lore.
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Card draw in this game with the expansions is more than servicable and with no hand limit it can actually get out of control ie drawing your entire deck in just a few turns.
 
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