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Subject: A deck featuring Elrond rss

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Thanee
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So, I have been toying with Elrond a bit, and after some back and forth I came up with the following deck. I have tested it against four scenarios (Passage Through Mirkwood was no problem unsurprisingly; Journey Down the Anduin likewise was no problem; Escape from Dol Guldur was a disaster; The Massing at Osgiliath was no problem again).

The one thing that the deck does not do well is dealing damage. It takes a while to kill the tougher enemies, so that is a bit of a weak spot. Otherwise it performed rather well.

Added Beorn to the deck now, who should help a bit with the fighting.

It was quite a challenge to get the deck down to 50 cards (from initial 72 or so).

Some very useful cards that didn't make the cut are Elrond's Counsel (had 3 copies in there initially) and Peace, and Thought (which is really quite amazing, if you have so many ready-abilities for your heroes, but the reason why I left it out in the end, favoring Daeron's Runes, is that it is only helpful during mid-late game, you cannot afford to cast it during the early rounds, and that is where Daeron's Runes is the strongest). Another is Dark Knowledge, but there really isn't a hero in this deck that won't use his Willpower, so it would also hurt a bit to include it. The rest was mainly 3rd or 2nd copies of many cards included twice or once now (mainly Steward of Gondor, Gildor, Asfaloth, Hasty Stroke, A Test of Will). And Will of the West also didn't make it, while nice in theory, at the end of the day it's not really that useful.

It is, however, really important to get a deck like this to minimum deck size, because you want to get to the key cards as soon as possible. Even though, with some inexpensive card drawing abilities a slightly bigger deck size can be mitigated somewhat.

LORE/SPIRIT

Heroes (Threat 25)

Elrond
Frodo Baggins
Glorfindel

Allies (#21)

1x Henemarth Riversong
1x Gleowine
1x Gildor Inglorion
3x Warden of Healing
3x Master of the Forge
3x Northern Tracker
1x Arwen Undomiel
3x Imladris Stargazer
1x Faramir
1x Beorn
3x Gandalf (Core)

Attachments (#19)

1x Protector of Lorien
1x A Burning Brand
2x Fast Hitch
2x Asfaloth
3x Unexpected Courage
3x Light of Valinor
1x Steward of Gondor
1x Boots from Erebor
2x Resourceful
3x Vilya

Events (#10)

3x Daeron's Runes
3x The Galadhrim's Greeting
2x Hasty Stroke
2x A Test of Will

SIDEBOARD

These are some cards, that I am considering for the deck.

1x Henemarth Riversong
1x Dori
1x Gandalf (The Hobbit)
1x A Burning Brand
1x Thror's Map
3x Ancient Mathom
1x Spare Hood and Cloak
1x Hasty Stroke
1x A Test of Will
1x Stand and Fight
2x Dwarven Tomb
1x Will of the West

As requested, here are some of my thoughts that I had while building this deck.

The heroes should be pretty self-explanatory. Elrond's primary use is Vilya, but he is also great at questing and defending. Frodo is the main defender, but also nice for questing (and sometimes that 1 Attack is also useful). Glorfindel is mainly attacker, and quester (esp. once he gets Light of Valinor). He also soaks up some damage from undefended enemies, unless it is too much, in which case Frodo's special ability should be used.

First of all, you want Vilya out as fast as possible, of course, so despite its unique nature, there are 3 copies of it. In addition to that, Unexpected Courage (or Miruvor; see below) is also very welcome early on. The deck isn't completely dependent on Elrond's special ability, however, the cards are almost all playable quite well in the traditional way, too. That is why I didn't go overboard with high-cost cards. In some cases, a higher-cost card made the cut against a lower-cost one (i.e. The Galadhrim's Greeting vs. Elrond's Counsel), but they are still very much playable just as normal. It is important not to completely rely on one aspect of a deck for consistency's sake.

One note, some shadow effects can remove Attachments, so keeping an extra copy of Vilya in your hand is not such a bad idea, if you happen to have it. Don't throw it away without a second thought (i.e. for Daeron's Runes or Protector of Lorien).

The Imladris Stargazer is used to set up the draw deck, of course, while the Master of the Forge is some extra card draw (enough Attachments in there) and, more importantly, is used to shuffle the deck, getting fresh cards with the Stargazer. The pair of them really work wonders when they are both out (hence, 3 copies each). You always want to use the Master first and the Stargazer last. Having a Stargazer out together with Vilya helps a lot during the early game. When using the Stargazer, you usually put some cheap Event card, that might be useful later on, on top (unless there are two cards you really need to play right now, of course, one with resources, the other with Vilya) and the most expensive and/or useful card at second place (to be brought into play with Vilya).

If everything works according to plan, you will usually use the Master of the Forge and then the Imladris Stargazer late during the round, and Elrond with Vilya, making him ready with Unexpected Courage, during the Planning Phase. If those cards are all on the table, the deck really takes up speed.

Gildor, while similar to the Stargazer, is mostly in there for two important reasons. One, getting cards from your hand back on top of the deck (mostly important for Steward of Gondor in this setup, since you cannot play it without using Vilya). And two, for his amazing stats.

The Warden of Healing is completely crazy with Elrond. 2x 2 points of healing (and for 2 Lore resources you can do it again). When I ventured Down the Anduin, the Wardens were keeping Elrond alive, while he was battling the Troll (using A Burning Brand to keep him at a healthy distance). You want one of those out early, if possible.

While it is also very nice with Elrond, Light of Valinor will always go to Glorfindel, because it is simply better on him (saving one Threat when he goes adventuring, also he has the highest Attack Strength). Elrond, on the other hand, will get all copies of Unexpected Courage (and Miruvor; see below).

Protector of Lorien is for Frodo (yeah, Frodo, the protector of Lorien!). He can defend quite well and has the ability to counteract some heavy damage (i.e. from a bad Shadow effect), and with the 2 copies of Fast Hitch he can also be used multiple times in a round, making the Protector of Lorien extra useful, since you only need to discard the cards once. The extra Willpower is only rarely useful, if ever. Most often, the extra Defense will be asked for. This is a good card to use those extra copies of uniques that end up in your hand eventually (but keep the above note about Vilya in mind). Of course, it could be played on Elrond alternatively, if the situation calls for it (for example, if you happen to get all three Unexpected Courage early).

Equally, Arwen will often give Frodo the Defense bonus.

The Galadhrim's Greeting should keep your Threat in check, even if you have to use Frodo a few times. It is the primary reason why it made the cut over Elrond's Counsel, that it simply reduces your Threat by more (and since you can also play it with Vilya).

The Dwarven Tomb can fetch you another Galadhrim's Greeting, if needed, or get a Hasty Stroke or A Test of Will back into the hand for added security. Note: Even though it is a very strong card, Dwarven Tomb has been removed from the deck at this point to get it down to 50 cards.

The Northern Trackers, while their special ability is, of course, very useful sometimes, are in there for their fighting power, too! Since you need multiple attackers to bring down the tougher enemies, their Attack Strength of 2 is quite welcome. Also, between them and Asfaloth, locations are really not much of a problem usually.

One of the difficulties, when playing this deck, is to decide which hero/ally to use for what, since many are good at several areas of the game (questing, defending, attacking, using their special abilities).

The rest is pretty much just the standard Lore/Spirit stuff. Card draw, healing, cards against When Revealed effects and Shadow effects (A Burning Brand is nice with Elrond and a Warden of Healing, since he can even defend Attack 6 enemies then). Resourceful is very nice, when you can get it into play for free. And 3x Gandalf (Core Set version), no real surprise here.

Bye
Thanee

P.S. if you want to try this without a 2nd or 3rd Core Set, you could make the following changes:

-1x Northern Tracker
-2x Unexpected Courage
-1x The Galadhrim's Greeting

+1x Gildor Inglorion
+2x Miruvor and/or Spare Hood and Cloak
+1x Elrond's Counsel
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Kevin J
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I really wish that people, when posting a deck idea, would post a short explanation on how their deck works, what it hopes to achieve, and what cards you should be hoping to see early or late game. As a semi-casual player of the game and a fan of theory-crafting, I'm interested to hear what neat tricks and synergies people discover. However, posting the contents of the deck alone doesn't give me that information since I haven't memorized the text of every card in the game yet, and some interactions might be subtle and can't be seen at first glance.
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Tom Howard
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I've been running a similar deck for a little while now (using Loragorn instead of Elrond). In order to help with combat, I tossed in a trio of Mirkwood Runners, and they seemed to lend a hand.

Otherwise, it looks like a pretty killer deck!
 
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John Steinbach
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The only glaring omission I see is Elrond's Counsel. That card is tailor-made for a deck like this, considering you are running two Noldor heroes and will likely need several ways to counteract the threat gained through Frodo's ability.
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Tom Howard
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Yes, Elrond's Counsel would also be an excellent addition.

I also agree with Tatoolo in that I wish people would provide a description of the deck and how they play it. The only reason I felt I could comment on this deck in the first place is because I already run a similar deck, lol.
 
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Thanee
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tatoolo wrote:
I really wish that people, when posting a deck idea, would post a short explanation on how their deck works, what it hopes to achieve, and what cards you should be hoping to see early or late game. As a semi-casual player of the game and a fan of theory-crafting, I'm interested to hear what neat tricks and synergies people discover. However, posting the contents of the deck alone doesn't give me that information since I haven't memorized the text of every card in the game yet, and some interactions might be subtle and can't be seen at first glance.


Point taken. I have added some explanations above.


As for Elrond's Counsel, that was in there initially (3x), but something had to be cut. And it isn't really necessary.

Bye
Thanee
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jakub praibis
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I also prefer Light of Valinor for Glorfindel, exclusively.

A card I play in a similar deck is Word of Command. Having able to play Gandalf for the whole round will give you the chance to play Word of Command in the refresh phase, and you can fish for many an important card then - as it will also shuffle your deck, which may be helpful for the Stargazer strategy.
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Thanee
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I thought about adding it, since it can be very useful to fetch an important card, but left it out in the end, because you have to exhaust Gandalf, which makes him less useful. I might think different if I had 3 Miruvor in the deck.

Bye
Thanee
 
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jakub praibis
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Thanee wrote:
I thought about adding it, since it can be very useful to fetch an important card, but left it out in the end, because you have to exhaust Gandalf, which makes him less useful. I might think different if I had 3 Miruvor in the deck.

Bye
Thanee


But Gandalf readies in the Refresh phase - just before he leaves play at the end of the round. So no matter whether you had used him to quest or fight, he will be ready for the one phase before he leaves play, you need never worry about that. So you just need Word of Command in your hand when you play Gandalf (best via Vilya) and 1 Lore resource and you shall fetch any card from your deck.
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Thanee
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Ah, you are right there, of course. Didn't think about that small window between refresh and end of round, but it is most certainly there. Thanks!

On the plus side, I have now managed to beat Dol Guldur with the deck as well. It does require some luck, though, during the early rounds it is easy to get overwhelmed with a couple bad reveals from the encounter deck.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Per the other thread, I question whether you are able to play Steward of Gondor at all in this deck. At a minimum, Vilya is the only way to get it out which is a significant dependency. I'd be curious to know if you have been able to get it in play in time to have substantial impact on your games. Master of the Forge will definitely help to fish for Vilya, but you actually have to avoid getting Steward in your hand or else it is a dead card (or you have to spend a valuable Gildor action to get it back in the deck).

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Thanee
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compton9890 wrote:
Per the other thread, I question whether you are able to play Steward of Gondor at all in this deck. At a minimum, Vilya is the only way to get it out which is a significant dependency.


Yep, I am not 100% sure, whether it works, but I think so.

It could be replaced by Resourceful otherwise.

It is absolutely worth it, even in the mid-game.

Bye
Thanee
 
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jakub praibis
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Even after the shaft I believe Zigil is still the best resource accelerator in such a deck, at least it still works very well for me, especially as you can quicken the Gazer; and you get two resources for discarding two cards of the cost 1.
 
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Kevin J
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Thanee wrote:
Point taken. I have added some explanations above.


Thanks, it was a good read! you were very thorough! And just note that this isn't a knock against you, since most of the decks I've seen on this forum are posted without explanation.
 
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Thanee
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No problem. It certainly was a valid "complaint".

@Ziggy: I have tried them in another deck, but prefer Steward, if it is an option.

Bye
Thanee
 
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jakub praibis
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Just so there is no misunderstanding, I also think Steward is by far a better card for making money - it is just a bit tricky if you do not run a Leadership hero... and Zigil is no longer that great but still pairs up nicely with the Gazer.
 
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Thanee
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Ok.

Well, what I can say is, that with 2x Steward in the deck and between the Stargazers and Gildor it never was a problem to get it on the table.

As for the Word of Command, I have now removed a few double unique cards (Faramir, Gildor, Asfaloth, as well as the second A Burning Brand) to add 3x Word of Command and 1x Rivendell Blade in order to give it a try and see how it goes. Oh, and I also replaced 1x Steward of Gondor with 1x Resourceful, for similar reasons (and because those two stack, unlike 2x Steward).

Bye
Thanee
 
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jakub praibis
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Hope it outperforms the expectations. Enjoy!
 
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Thanee
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I realised that Beorn is so much better than a Rivendell Blade. If I can play it (which is only when using Vilya), I could also play Beorn (who is just plain better, when both cost the same ). And I can also play him from my hand, if needed, and the resources are there.

After two test games, I removed the Word of Command (maybe I will get one copy back in later), and re-added a second Gildor and Asfaloth, which seemed to work better overall. It's mostly the fact, that the card is completely dead, unless you also have Gandalf, which otherwise is only true for the Steward of Gondor (which is only one card in the deck now).

I also altered a few cards to increase Resourceful to two copies. It's really neat, if you can play it for free, and it is even possible to play it for 1 with an early Galadhrim's Greeting.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Martin Hoefer
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Thank you very much for explaining your deck in such minute detail. Great help and highly appreciated!

Thanee wrote:
Resourceful is very nice, when you can play it for free.


Doesn't it still have a cost of 1? Cost of 4 - Secrecy 3?

Edit: I believe you mean to bring it into play for free using Vilya?
 
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Thanee
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Yeah, sorry, I meant Vilya there, of course (and "play" being the wrong term as you noted).

Bye
Thanee
 
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Brendon Russell
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Great explanation of the deck - infinitely better than the original post with just a decklist! With a decklist only it seemed like a strong, but not overly interesting deck concept: play all the best cards in the 2 best spheres, plus a splash of off-sphere cards. Providing all the additional information on card choices, strategy etc really brought the deck to life and highlighted some subtleties that weren't immediately obvious to me.
 
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Thanee
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Thank you!


Deck is now updated with pretty colors (thanks to Stephan for the nice idea).

Bye
Thanee
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Eric Weidus
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Played a 2 player game against the first Hobbit quest with a deck similar to this. My first impression after seeing its strength is that it needed Beorn as well.

I didn't play any stewards or any other resource getting cards. Gildor and Vilya made resources some what obsolete. By the time we won, I think I had 15-20 cards left in my deck. Stupid treachery cards that got rid of all attachments hurt a bit.

My only problem was trying to set Frodo as my tank, he usually ended up just questing, but I guess that's what happens when you got your partner playing a tank heavy dwarf deck.

Also had a nice master of the forge/miruvor combo keeping elrond readied. Worked so nicely, I'm thinking of adding a 2nd miruvor. Probably going to try a ziggy miner as well.
 
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J P
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You deck looks very interesting. I run a deck that shares a lot of the cards, but runs Denethor instead Elrond and Eowyn instead of Frodo.
The initial idea was to abuse Stargazer/Zigil Miner, but then, after breezing through nearly every scenario, I found out that Zigil Miners took the nerfbat. It still works, but of course is not as fantastic as before. I might give your variant a try, but I'd go for some minor modifications:

-Replace Greetings by Elrond's Counsel or maybe go 1/2 depending on how my economy goes. In my deck I liked the Counsel for potentially reducing my threat to 19 on the first round and then playing Resourceful.
-Replace 1 cancel shadow by one cancel "when revealed". After the Canceltorch is out, the cancel shadow effects rarely do anything.
-Put in a Zigil Miner or two for a warden? It's still a good card and with Elrond out I'm sure that three wardens is a bit overkill.

 
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