Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Deck Tech: Traps in the Forest

Hey all, welcome to week 42 of Deck Tech! Last week, I went back to my roots and put together a Leadership secrecy deck headed by Sam Gamgee and Denethor. Their combined low threat and huge resource potential really helped me crank out the allies and speed my way to victory.
This week, we've got a new expansion! The Mumakil is out, and I have the cards, and so I'm going to share a deck for it with you.
Ally (19)
2x  Faramir (Core)
2x  Firyal
3x  Gandalf (Core)
2x  Gimli (ToS)
2x  Jubayr
2x  Treebeard (TAC)
2x  Yazan
This time, more so than most others, I wanted to go for a thematic deck. We're playing all of the Harad characters from the last quest in the deluxe expansion, and since we're in the woods trapping Mumakil, I wanted to pack a bunch of extra traps for whatever else we could find there.
I know, I know, you can't actually use any of these player card traps on these big enemies, but there are plenty of other animals in the jungle you can trap!
Quest 1: The Mumakil
I've got Steward of Gondor and Rod of the Steward for Kahliel in my opening hand, so there's basically zero chance of a mulligan this time. Damrod also sets up some Entangling Nets in the staging area.
And, amazingly, my opening draw was an Heir of Mardil for Kahliel to ready after questing. Just about the best possible opening for this deck, since it has all the key attachments and a way to mitigate early enemies.
And I get one of those right away, in the form of a Territorial Ape. Caught in a net and with no active location, it's not a very threatening enemy.
Round two sees a Kahliel's Headdress and Yazan join the party, thanks to Daeron's Runes.
And then a little bit of annoyance thanks to a Strangling Python coming off the top of the encounter deck. I choose to let the python hit Damrod, because I don't really need his actions for the rest of the quest. Though it would be nice to find Miner of the Iron Hills and clear that problem up.
Deep Knowledge in the following round gets me two extra copies of Steward of Gondor. And I quest right into the Harad Tiger, which I'm not going to be able to deal with right away. And I've managed to discard all my traps, so there won't be any sneaky plays here.
I get out a Warden of HealingTreebeard, and Firyal over the next few rounds. And I still have to let the tiger eat Yazan before I can kill it in round six.
Then I make a dangerous mistake. Firyal reveals The Savage South, and I figure it will be safe to allow because I've seen so many of my duplicates. Unfortunately, it kills my Warden of Healing, and that's all the healing my deck can bring to bear.
After this, I quest into a Terrible Fever on Theodred, and I dig as hard as I can for a Miner of the Iron Hills to heal him. Well, I can't actually remove the damage he's already built up, but I can stop the fever from hurting him more.
Eventually I do find it, just before Theodred would die.
Round thirteen, I finally allow the Mumak to come off the top of the encounter deck, and my objective is the Poisoned Spear. The next couple of rounds are pretty straightforward, soaking up attacks and putting a bit of damage on the Mumak. I do find another Terrible Fever for Kahliel, but I've been holding on to my second Miner of the Iron Hills just in case.
And in round fifteen, I play Gandalf to drop my threat, feeling hopeful. The Mumak still has three hit points, but I think I can end the quest this round with decent odds. And I do flip a 3 threat location off the top of the encounter deck, so this Mumak is mine!
Final score: 171. 14 full rounds, 28 threat, 6 damage on heroes, 3 vp.
Quest 2: The Foundations of Stone
We're off to a similar start this time. I've got Steward of GondorSneak Attack, and Ranger Spikes in my opening hand. And my first draw is Gandalf!
I need to use Sneak Attack on Gandalf immediately to help deal with a Goblin Swordsman from setup. Amusingly enough, its shadow is a second Goblin Swordsman that gets stuck in my trap!
Next round I play out another Ranger Spikes and catch a Goblin Scout. I wouldn't have been able to engage with it anyway, but reduced threat in the encounter deck and free draws are appreciated. Treebeard and Heir of Mardil also set us up for more combat in the future when the traps run dry.
Captain's Wisdom in round three makes for an incredibly explosive turn, allowing me to play Gimli and Firyal in one round.
Yeah, with two trapped goblins in the staging area, and that kind of ally muscle out on the table, we advance pretty fast. Round six sees me all the way through to stage 4, and I haven't encountered any Nameless Things yet.
I've managed to keep my threat relatively low, so when I do find an Elder Nameless Thing, Gandalf comes in to destroy it without having to engage it. And the first regular Nameless Thing I have to engage only finds an Entangling Nets and a Rod of the Steward, making it very little threat.
(I did have a funny thought about the Nameless Things getting caught in traps from your deck, but I'm 90% sure that's not how that actually works.)
And another appearance from Gandalf and the help of Faramir allows us to not really have too much trouble with stage 5's questing restriction. I escape from Moria much faster than normal.
Final score: 109. 8 full rounds, 33 threat, 0 damage on heroes, 4 vp.
Play Tips:
  1. The Trap cards are really useful early to help make your combats smoother before you can find the Harad allies (or Treebeard).
  2. All your resources go on Kahliel, because that's how you power out the allies. Heir of Mardil also goes on him, so Steward of Gondor plus Théodred is four resources and free questing every round.
  3. Heir of Mardil and Captain's Wisdom are a great combo. Just remember you have to play Captain's Wisdom during the resource phase, so you might need to wait a round.
  4. Protect your Warden of Healing. I kept the healing very light, so if anything happens to the Warden, you could be in trouble.
  5. Firyal is the most useful of the Harad allies, by far, in a solo deck. So if you have to pick, play her first.
Next week: TBD. I know I still need to get Grappling Hook to work out, eventually, but now might not be the time.
Blog: I'm still planning on doing a visual revamp of the blog, (and it has an RSS feed if that's your thing). Once that's done, I'll start sharing other players' decks again with the occasional spotlight.
Twitter: Follow @LOTRDeckTech to get notifications whenever I post a new deck, new blog post, or something random on the twitter feed!

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