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Subject: Monosphere decks anyone? rss

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Matt Duckworth
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I am curious to see if anyone has begun experimenting with monosphere decks yet? I have always wanted to do this but traditionally the card pool has just been too limited. However, have we now reached a point where the pool is great enough that monosphere decks are viable?

The necessity of multi-sphere decks has always been a drawback for me in this game, as I miss the distinct feel of playing different spheres like you get in M:TG or AGOT LCG.

My thoughts are yes because:

1. Before, allies were kind of limited in some spheres, specifically in leadership. Now this isn't so much the case.

2. Spheres used to be extremely 1 dimensional in strengths in a multi dimensional game. Now however, for example, tactics has "some" questing options and willpower heroes while spirit has some combat options.

3. There is a distinct bonus to mono-sphere decks in terms of the card playing curve. Being able to play a 3 cost card on the first turn with no player card trickery is a fairly wonderful thing!

4. I'm very excited to see what looks like a mono-sphere emphasis coming out in Against the Shadow.

I'm currently working through the saga sets, but once I'm done my next objective is to start building mono-sphere decks. What are everyone else's thoughts.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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In multiplayer games, I've found Monospheres to work quite well, especially if everyone is playing monosphere decks. You gain so many resources for your cards, it's easy to keep spitting them out. The fewer the players, the harder it gets since players want some of them other sphere cards...

-shnar
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Chris Fuller
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Great site, has 3 examples for ya:

http://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/deck-building-101/
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George Leoniak
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I've been experimenting with this for solo play.

So far, Eowyn Frodo, and Glorfindel have done alright. Heavy questing, character readying, treachery cancelation, location control etc.

A little weak attack to start elfehelm and a few northern trackers will help out later. No healing so I rely on Frodo to absorb most damage. I put a few Boots of Erebor him to beef up his hit points and arwen to buff his def to 3, and a couple of copies of unexpected courage. Resource generation is also slow. But with a low starting threat of 21 I can lower my threat early and hope Resourceful shows up. Card draw relies on Ancient Mathom and sometimes gandalf but he usually needs to deal damage. It's been successful on easy to moderat difficult quest, but not in the really tough ones, and I would not even bother with it on HoN.

I thought lore would be great, but I have Had little success. I start with to high a threat, and little questing power.

Tactics I have not tried in awhile, but I'm sure nothing has changed their lousey for monosphere for now.

And I have not put any effort into leadership, but they might do pretty well. High starting threat might be an issue, but gandalf sneak attack might be what saves a monosphere leadership deck.

 
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Tom Howard
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From the previews, it looks like there are some nice cards coming up in the Against the Shadow cycle that actually require you to be running mono-sphere heroes in order to play them. Once those are released, I could certainly see monosphere becoming a much more enticing option, even without 3-4 players.
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D. Chase
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shnar wrote:
In multiplayer games, I've found Monospheres to work quite well, especially if everyone is playing monosphere decks. You gain so many resources for your cards, it's easy to keep spitting them out. The fewer the players, the harder it gets since players want some of them other sphere cards...

-shnar


Agreed! I haven't had the opportunity yet, but a four player game each with mono-sphere decks seems like this is where this game would shine brightest.
 
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Matt Duckworth
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shnar wrote:
In multiplayer games, I've found Monospheres to work quite well, especially if everyone is playing monosphere decks. You gain so many resources for your cards, it's easy to keep spitting them out. The fewer the players, the harder it gets since players want some of them other sphere cards...

-shnar


I was talking about primarily solo. This game is currently dominated by decks that use the same uber cards and heroes from every sphere, and usually with a dwarf focus since that is the most intensely developed keyword at this point.

And of course these cookie cutter uber dwarf multisphere decks are necessary to face the difficulty of Heirs of Numenor scenarios. What this has developed into is a game of surprisingly little room for creativity, innovation, or thematic play. Sure there are a lot of cards, but you'll never play with most of them, they just aren't good enough to hack it against current scenarios. Yeah, there's a lot of beautifully thematically designed cards, and you might admire the art from a binder because you'll never see them in decks... you just can't afford not to make Dain Ironfoot Steward of Gondor.

What I am hoping is that playing monosphere decks might change a lot of things... first of all they take a lot of punch of of the dwarf deck since dwarves thrive on multisphere, and force you to be more innovative with your card use instead of just using the top card from every sphere. To counter being slightly weaker in card options, they are very strong in the card playing curve with all heroes contributing resources to a single sphere.

This could rejuvenate the game for a lot of players like myself that have seen it go stale.
 
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Dave D
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I tried it very briefly with 3 Lore heroes, using Elrond and Vilya to give me access to a few key off-sphere cards but like George said, the starting threat is pretty tough to deal with, and I think it only would have worked with a Stargazer/Vilya combo, and that's not reliable enough for the early game.
 
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Ian Martin
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mjd83 wrote:

What I am hoping is that playing monosphere decks might change a lot of things... first of all they take a lot of punch of of the dwarf deck since dwarves thrive on multisphere, and force you to be more innovative with your card use instead of just using the top card from every sphere. To counter being slightly weaker in card options, they are very strong in the card playing curve with all heroes contributing resources to a single sphere.

This could rejuvenate the game for a lot of players like myself that have seen it go stale.


This has been my experience in creating and playing with the mono-sphere decks linked above. It felt very refreshing to play with something different than the usual power decks and still have success, and it encourages the use of cards that might not get used otherwise. With the current card pool, I would say that mono-sphere is definitely feasible, and can be quite effective, and this will only become more true as this new cycle progresses. I should say that I do tend to play two-handed with paired mono-sphere decks. For pure solo, my experience has been that a mono-Leadership deck perhaps works best out of the available spheres, mainly because it is so balanced and you are able to include a variety of effects (card draw, shadow-cancellation, willpower boosting, etc.), while being able to do well in both questing and combat. Obviously, resources are no object either.
 
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Brother Leon
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i use 3 tactics heroes + song of kings. It is not a high win rate but i find it an exciting way to play solo.

Resource acceleration is the best thing about monosphere i.e. you have 3 of the same resource each turn.
 
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Brendon Russell
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Mono-Spirit has worked pretty well for me so far. At the moment I usually use Glorfindel/Frodo/Dunhere. Zigil Miner (yes, post-errata) works well for a bit of resource acceleration, since you have Imladris Stargazer and a plethora of useful 2-cost allies and other 2-cost cards. Just over 50% of the cards in my mono-Spirit deck cost 2.

I found mono-Lore to be a very interesting deck to build and play, since you can focus on things like encounter deck scrying and various ways to avoid normal interaction with the encounter deck cards. (e.g. Radagast's Cunning/Secret Paths to ignore staging area threat, Ranger Spikes/Forest Snare to avoid engagement/combat.)
 
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Matt Duckworth
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Wow, that is encouraging to hear 1 response from each sphere in the last 4 posts, and the lore guy was the only one not happy with his experience!


My initial thoughts were that a Spirit deck would be the initial king of mono-sphere (except for Numenor where Tactics would be the king) and the first to really take off. Without having tried it hear are my thoughts.

1. Willpower and questing is the single most important aspect to winning this game (outside of HoN). Quite simply, the better your heroes are able to inspire and push through adversity, the less of the encounter deck you are going to see and have to deal with (a thematic touch I've always loved in this game).

2. Spirit has treachery, shadow cancellation and threat reduction.. nuff said.

3. Spirit has gained some great options to make up for it's glaring weakness: combat... the greatest being Glorfindel. I could see cards like Northern Trackers coming back as well not only for their location attack but also for their much in demand combat stats in spirit.

Wow, I'm getting excited just thinking about it. Perhaps I may have to finish out this saga series with a mono-sphere deck rather than thematic one?
 
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Matt Duckworth
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scwont wrote:
Mono-Spirit has worked pretty well for me so far. At the moment I usually use Glorfindel/Frodo/Dunhere. Zigil Miner (yes, post-errata) works well for a bit of resource acceleration, since you have Imladris Stargazer and a plethora of useful 2-cost allies and other 2-cost cards. Just over 50% of the cards in my mono-Spirit deck cost 2.

I found mono-Lore to be a very interesting deck to build and play, since you can focus on things like encounter deck scrying and various ways to avoid normal interaction with the encounter deck cards. (e.g. Radagast's Cunning/Secret Paths to ignore staging area threat, Ranger Spikes/Forest Snare to avoid engagement/combat.)


That is a good point I didn't think of. Before, I never really fully experimented with Lore's encounter deck manipulation because I simply didn't have room for the cards in the tri-sphere deck. Now, however, with a lore focused deck, it might be feasible to actually test this playstyle of controlling encounter deck and taking out the "worst" cards. This is the type of thing I'm excited about, being able to better learn the unique identities and capabilities of each sphere to deal with various encounter decks.

Nothing but good can come from this, the Against the Shadow player cards can't come quick enough.

 
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mjd83 wrote:
shnar wrote:
In multiplayer games, I've found Monospheres to work quite well, especially if everyone is playing monosphere decks. You gain so many resources for your cards, easy to keep spitting them out. The fewer the players, the harder it gets since players want some of them other sphere cards...

-shnar


I was talking about primarily solo. This game is currently dominated by decks that use the same uber cards and heroes from every sphere, and usually with a dwarf focus since that is the most intensely developed keyword at this point.


Imho, if monosphere solo starts being powerful, that might kill the game formultiplayers. Why? Because solo decks are jack of all trades. Hence to have powerful momonosphere deck, you need each color to start being able to do everything. Might as well do away with the spheres altogether.

And multiplayer thrives on the difference between each color. Picking complementary decks often means picking complementary colors.
 
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Tony Fanchi
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I've been playing off-and-on with a mono-Tactics deck of Hama, Legolas, and Beregond. The idea behind the deck is to use the spoiled card Trained for War to make the quests Battle (so you quest with attack strength), and recycle that card with Hama so that you can play it many times. The deck has had moderate success on the few quests I've tried it against (mostly Mirkwood quests), but its big weaknesses are dealing with locations and threat reduction (the only reducer in the deck is Core Gandalf). Even though it's not that powerful, it's still a fun deck to play. I've been thinking about swapping in Theoden for Beregond, but haven't had the chance to try it yet.
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Brendon Russell
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Ksempac wrote:
Imho, if monosphere solo starts being powerful, that might kill the game formultiplayers. Why? Because solo decks are jack of all trades. Hence to have powerful momonosphere deck, you need each color to start being able to do everything. Might as well do away with the spheres altogether.

And multiplayer thrives on the difference between each color. Picking complementary decks often means picking complementary colors.
I definitely agree that the spheres need to remain distinct, but from what we've seen so far I don't think that's likely to happen, nor will multiplayer suffer. Cards like Trained for War may help solo Tactics decks plug a gap, but they'll probably be a suboptimal choice in multiplayer where you can rely more on the other decks to offset the weaknesses of your own.
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Brendon Russell
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mjd83 wrote:
scwont wrote:
I found mono-Lore to be a very interesting deck to build and play, since you can focus on things like encounter deck scrying and various ways to avoid normal interaction with the encounter deck cards. (e.g. Radagast's Cunning/Secret Paths to ignore staging area threat, Ranger Spikes/Forest Snare to avoid engagement/combat.)


That is a good point I didn't think of. Before, I never really fully experimented with Lore's encounter deck manipulation because I simply didn't have room for the cards in the tri-sphere deck. Now, however, with a lore focused deck, it might be feasible to actually test this playstyle of controlling encounter deck and taking out the "worst" cards.
Yep, and encounter deck manipulation is most effective in solo, single-deck play.

mjd83 wrote:
This is the type of thing I'm excited about, being able to better learn the unique identities and capabilities of each sphere to deal with various encounter decks.

For that reason I found mono-Leadership to be the least interesting of the mono-sphere decks I built, because it tends to be a jack-of-all-trades sphere. Admittedly I didn't put too much effort into building this one compared to some of the others.

mjd83 wrote:
Nothing but good can come from this, the Against the Shadow player cards can't come quick enough.
As long as they don't keep nerfing good mono-sphere tools when we've barely had a chance to use them (i.e. Master of Lore) angry
 
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jakub praibis
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This is an interesting coincidence, last night I have decided to make mono-sphere decks, being inspired by the talk of the designers. I think they won't be that good now but they could really get a boost in the upcoming cycle. I will mostly play them for 2-player coop but I'm going to try some (probably the Spirit, wonder, wonder) today solo.
 
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Joe Field
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I've tried a mono-Tactics deck, that did ok when paired with a Spirit-Lore deck. It's definitely something that I can see becoming more common.

I'd be interested in seeing a mono-Lore deck.
 
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Thanee
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Spirit definitely works well as mono-sphere, even solo.

The rest, not so sure.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Thanee
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Here, I have posted a few mono-sphere multiplayer decks.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Joe Field
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Good stuff. Subscribed.
 
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Matt Duckworth
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I think I am going to give mono lore a shot. Lore traditionally has been my favorite sphere though I've never played it solo. I think it's feasible, but maybe takes some skill to play. Lore has a ton of tricks, just have to learn how to balance and use them to the most efficiency. The healing and card draw might also be enough to off set somewhat mediocre allies and heroes as far as combat stats are concerned.


I want to give an "encounter deck manipulation" deck a try and see how it pans out.
 
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jakub praibis
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mjd83 wrote:
I think I am going to give mono lore a shot. Lore traditionally has been my favorite sphere though I've never played it solo. I think it's feasible, but maybe takes some skill to play. Lore has a ton of tricks, just have to learn how to balance and use them to the most efficiency. The healing and card draw might also be enough to off set somewhat mediocre allies and heroes as far as combat stats are concerned.


I want to give an "encounter deck manipulation" deck a try and see how it pans out.


Pairing up Stider and Denethor means you access two strength of Spirit, threat reduction and avoiding treachery. The problem with that is that Denethor will only get one chance at that as there is no way to ready him within Lore (that I can think of).

You want quest for much early on, the opening will be hard. If you get it going though, the chances are you trample over many a quest.
 
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Matt Duckworth
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I am seeing the challenge of mono-lore is that the heroes I want to use are way to expensive...and the cheap ones are dwarves or not very useful in solo play (Bifur)

Denethor is a must, Loragorn too for threat reduction, havn't settled on a third
 
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