Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Deck Tech: grappling_hook.deck

Hey all, at long last, welcome to week 43 of Deck Tech. It's been much longer than it should, thanks to some real life nonsense, and the schedule might be a bit slower for a little while, but I'm back.
This week's deck is an attempt to maximize the utility of Grappling Hook. My first thought about that was Faramir, but he's too dependent on getting a lot of pieces in place to contribute value.
Ally (24)
1x  Beorn (Core)
1x  Erestor (TLD)
2x  Faramir (Core)
3x  Gandalf (Core)
2x  Gimli (ToS)
1x  Halbarad (FotW)
2x  Quickbeam
2x  Treebeard (TAC)
Instead, let's start with a hero that already starts with the ability to "quest" with his attack, Argalad. That way, Grappling Hook can be a sweet backup option for turns without any good enemy targets. And Cram or Lembas can allow Argalad to drop an enemy's threat and quest with the Grappling Hook.
Supporting Argalad's quest to become Batman, we've got Éowyn and Théodred. Eowyn is low threat, which helps, and gives us access to the tactics icon we need. And Theodred is my old standby.
Quest 1: Journey Along the Anduin
Every hero needs a good villain, right? So why not a big brute of a beast, lurking in the staging area right from the get go? This is mostly a test of speed, though not the most difficult one. Only Gandalf reduces threat in this deck, so can we get off the ground fast enough to deal with the troll?
The deck starts off strong, with Sneak Attack in hand, and a Dúnedain Mark to boost Argalad's attack to 3. That's about all he'll need for the whole quest.
Round two I draw my secret second reason for picking this quest: Goblin Sniper. Argalad chunks him down in two turns, and we develop a pretty sizable board of allies. Ghân-buri-Ghân, a Dúnedain Hunter, and a Defender of Rammas.
I follow up with a Treebeard and a Warden of Healing. And Gandalf to drop my threat. Might as well take a bit longer whittling down the troll.
Round six, I decide to pull the troll and kill it with a few of my remaining allies. Then we burst through stage two thanks to Argalad's attack counting double.
Our ambush is okay, all things considered. Some orcs, Eastern Crows, and a Wargs. Sneak Attack and Gandalf kill the wargs before they can stall me out, and Treebeard uses his resources to slaughter everything else.
Final score: 96. 7 full rounds, 36 threat, 0 damage on heroes, 10 vp.
Quest 2: Into the Pit
Let's take out some more goblins! Though this time I don't get quite such a potent start. A Dúnedain Hunter in the first round pulls a Goblin Scout, and my questing stalls, forcing me to use the Cave Torch to make progress.
I do leave the Goblin Scout engaged to reduce Halbarad's cost in round two. I've also got Ghân-buri-Ghân in hand, ready to quest for seven, thanks to our ridiculous starting location.
Of course, I get a Sudden Pitfall during staging, and Halbarad has to go. Cave Torch helps make progress again, finding another goblin for us to fight.
I make slow progress for a bit, finally making it to stage 2 in round seven. After questing with basically everyone, I use Sneak Attack with Beorn to demolish the Patrol Leader, who manages not to find a meat shield.
After that, I get Watchful Eyes in both of the following rounds, raising my threat a good amount. But the eyes don't contribute any threat, so I can push through enough progress to finish the quest thanks to Grappling Hook. Argalad was up to six attack by the end of this quest, which is quite handy.
Final score: 115. 8 full rounds, 38 threat, 1 damage on heroes, 4 vp.
Play Tips:
  1. Éowyn is your backup attacker. You can push harder than you normally might on questing or defense, because she can ready and kill nearly any enemy in the game.
  2. As mentioned before, you can't use Argalad's ability more than once in a round. But that doesn't stop him from readying with Cram or Lembas and using his ability to double quest.
  3. Ghân-buri-Ghân is a huge quester. You should definitely prioritize playing him over most of the other lore cards if you can.
Next Deck: I've got a few ideas floating around for some of the new cards in Race Across Harad, so that's probably where we'll go next.
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