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Subject: Essential cards for any deck rss

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George Leoniak
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Regardless of the deck strategy or scenario, are there certain cards that you use in just about every deck you construct?

I'm a bit new to deck building but I can't help notice that I'm finding these same cards in my deck when I'm using different spheres.

Neutral- gandalf, any of the song cards
Leadership- sneak attack, steward of gondor, celebrian's stone
Tactics- feint, horn of gondor
Spirit- unexpected courage, a test of will, strength of will, hasty stroke
Lore- A burning brand, secret paths, radaghast's cunning

I know some cards are often selected on the heros used, but not taking that into account are ther any essential cards that are foundational to any deck?
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Duke Of Lizards
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You cover many of the biggies. The one glaring omission is Northern Tracker. He's expensive, but if you get one or a few out, say goodbye to trouble from locations.
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jakub praibis
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No, I do not find many of these essential - but it may be just a result of a different game-style. It does answer your initial question though. I for one only ever play Celebrian's Stone in a deck for Aragorn - which is now hardly ever. Steward and Horn of Gondor - for one player only in a coop game. A Burning Brand, Secret Paths, Radagast's Cunning - rarely. Strength of Will - almost never. That being said, I see them all as cards with medium to high potential.

Beside the ones listed, I find the Galadhrim's Greeting one of the more potent cards. Erebor Record-keeper seems like an obvious choice to any deck with Dain and Lore. Henamarth Riversong an obvious choice for any solo play with Lore. Most of the Rohan allies to any Rohan deck. Ever Vigilant almost just as much as Sneak Attack. And Quick Strike just as much as Feint.
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Jamie Riehl
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I almost never play the songs unless a deck has a specific reason to play them. A multi-sphere deck normally should be balanced enough to not require them.

I agree that Steward is an auto-include. I tend to only play Sneak Attack if I have either card draw (to help get the combo with Gandalf) and/or other characters worth sneaking into play (Beorn, for example). CStone is very strong - 2 will for 2 resources, assuming you have a hero you know you will always commit to questing. I also play Snowbourn Scout in almost every leadership deck.

In Tactics, I think Horn of Gondor is not that great. Two creatures have to die before you come out ahead on resources, and then you have little control over it. The more players, the better, of course.

Feint is very strong, but Quick Strike is arguably better in a deck with sufficiently strong attackers. I often play both.

Spirit is the strongest sphere. Unexpected Courage, Test of Will, Hasty Stroke and Northern Tracker are all incredible. The card drawing of Ancient Mathom is also amazing, as is Galadhrim's Greeting. Because of all those great cards, Dwarven Tomb is fantastic. Strength of Will I don't normally play, I don't think 2 progress is normally worth a card.

I find myself playing West Road Traveler more and more. 2 will for 2 resources is fantastic, and the ability is often useful.

I don't find any of the Lore cards you list essential. For me, Daughter of the Nimrodel is the best Lore card. In solo play, Henamarth Riversong is essential, worth playing Lore for him alone.

 
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Richard Morris
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camipco wrote:
I almost never play the songs unless a deck has a specific reason to play them. A multi-sphere deck normally should be balanced enough to not require them.
I play songs when I have an unbalanced deck, especially one with just a splash of cards from a sphere, and no hero from that sphere.
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jakub praibis
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In 3+ player games I would argue Horn is better than Steward.
 
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In my opinion there is only one "essential" card: A Test of Will, especially with the newer APs that include "You-Insta-Lose" Treacheries.

All the rest is debatable. But your list is far too broad. Yes, they are good cards, but essential?

In my decks I happen to find these cards on a regular basis:
Sneak Attack, Unexpected Courage, Feint and Lore of Imladris.

I'm not even that much confident of Steward of Gondor. In decks that are cost intensive it's nice but in cheaper decks (like all cards cost 0-2) it just slows you down and fills your deck with 3 unique cards.
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jakub praibis
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Yeah, I would not play Spirit without A Test of Will - unless someone else had it covered (and well). Same I would not play Tactics without Feint - even if someone else had - that card just seems always useful. And I would not play Leadership without Sneak Attack. Lore has Strider's Path but that one is certainly not as generally potent as the other events. But these 1 cost cards are just easy to implement to any deck and they shall prove useful.

And again it shows that even though we are getting a bunch of great new cards the core set ones are still the big thing.
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Pauli Vinni
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My 2 sents...

Essentials:
A Test of Will (will save your day (when revealed effects))
Miner of the Iron hills (the only way of getting rid of Attachments)
Northern Tracker (location buster)



Nice to have in the deck:
Gandalf (can do anything)
Hasty stroke (chancel shadow effect)
Unexpected courage (and do it again...)
A Burning brand (chancel shadow effect)
The Galadhrim's Greetings (reduce treath level)
A Horn of Gondor (resources)
Steward of Gondor (resources)
Sneak Attack (and Gandalf do it again... so broken...)
Accient Mathom (card draw)
Campfire Tales (card draw)


 
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Andrei Ivanesei
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For me Forrest Snare is a must in some quests, I'm surprised no one else likes it. I actually find it quite overpowered.
 
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Richard Morris
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HolyGigi wrote:
For me Forrest Snare is a must in some quests, I'm surprised no one else likes it. I actually find it quite overpowered.
Depends on your definition of 'overpowered'. There are encounter deck cards that are more overpowered - the "if you don't have a reaction to nullify this, you lose" type.
 
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Andrei Ivanesei
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I tend to play with 2 other guys, and my deck is 2Lore 1 Spirit usually.
If I use Forrest Snare on the trolls, the biggest enemies of a quest are nullified. Also, since they have victory points on them, I know they wont come back when we re-shuffle the deck. So without the card, normal game, with it = almost impossible to lose.

This is what makes it op for me, its ability to render the biggest threat in the deck useless.
 
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Brother Leon
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There is a leadership card in the latest adventure pack which allows you to go a whole round without exhausting heroes; limit one per deck. I think it is an attachment so Second Breakfast and Erebror Hammersmith combined with this would be awesome.
 
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Duke Of Lizards
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HolyGigi wrote:
This is what makes it op for me, its ability to render the biggest threat in the deck useless.


I almost always find the biggest threats from the encounter deck are treacheries rather than enemies. Forest Snare can be pretty useful , but it's a quest-specific card for me.
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Chris Fuller
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Just want to make sure you're using this right. You can only attach it to a troll after they've engaged/attacked. Since you can only use attachments in the planning phase, the troll would have had to attacked at least once. depending on threat level, this can happen early and KO a hero quickly.
 
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Richard Morris
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spurries wrote:
Just want to make sure you're using this right. You can only attach it to a troll after they've engaged/attacked. Since you can only use attachments in the planning phase, the troll would have had to attacked at least once. depending on threat level, this can happen early and KO a hero quickly.
...unless you played the Son of Arnor in the planning phase. They you can optionally engage the Troll, and then put the snare on him, all in the planning phase. Then trollikins does not get a swing in at you.
 
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Duke Of Lizards
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...or use Elrond to put it on during engagment or pre-attack combat...
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Thanee
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Tracker1 wrote:
I'm a bit new to deck building but I can't help notice that I'm finding these same cards in my deck when I'm using different spheres.


That makes these cards very good, but not essential.

There are no truely essential cards.

Some examples of "essential" cards (which are so good, that they make pretty much every deck with that sphere better):

Spirit: Unexpected Courage, Dwarven Tomb
Lore: Daeron's Runes

Bye
Thanee
 
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Paul M.
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I used to think Test of Will was essential too, and although I still have it in every deck with Spirit, I am starting to find Lore's encounter deck manipulation cards equally helpful. Forest Snare, Expecting Mischief, and the new Ranger Spikes and Ithilien Tracker can deal with the baddies as they come out. Denethor can do his top card manipulation. Riversong and Rumor from the Earth can at least peak at the top card. Risk Some Light can reorder the top three cards.

Test of Will is great, but luckily I don't think it is as essential as it once was.
 
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