Skip to content

Deck Spotlight: Traps of Ithilien Revisited

by on February 13, 2014


As a Lore fan and trap enthusiast, creating and using the Traps of Ithilien deck featured in a previous Deck Spotlight was both an enjoyable and a frustrating process. While the deck had success in a two-handed solo environment, where I was able to carefully control all the relevant factors (like the starting threat and composition of the other deck), it struggled in pure solo and true mutiplayer games, the former because of a lack of balance and the latter because of uneven threat levels among decks, which would end up pulling enemies out of the staging area too quickly. Still, the pure fun factor of using traps and the potential of Faramir made me unwilling to give up on either or the deck type as a whole. Thus, I’m doing something a bit different in this Deck Spotlight, as I revisit a previous deck, the Traps of Ithilien build, and provide an in-depth look at how I went about upgrading and transforming it into something more powerful.

First, let’s take a look at the changes I made to the original Traps of Ithilien decklist:


Red denotes cards that were removed for the new version.
Green denotes cards that were added for the new version.

Theme: Traps, Direct Damage, and Threat Reduction

While the original theme focused on traps, direct damage, and staging area attacks, the new version removes a bit of the direct damage, and all of the cards focused on staging area attacks (Great Yew Bow, Song of Battle, Ithilien Pit, and Hands Upon the Bow). Part of the reason for this change is of course a result of removing Tactics from the equation completely, but this was also an intentional decision based on play experience. While staging area attacks are almost always useful, the entire play strategy of trap decks generally and Faramir specifically revolves around keeping enemies in the staging area, and while this seems like the perfect set-up for sniping them, in practice it often feels a bit redundant. More importantly, I’ve replaced staging area attacks with something even more crucial: threat reduction

Spheres: Lore/Spirit (2/3 Lore and 1/3 Spirit)

The most important transformation to this deck was kicking out Tactics completely and introducing Spirit. I wanted to maintain 2 Lore heroes in order to have enough resources to pay for expensive traps and allies of that sphere, especially in the absence of resource generation. While I toyed with the idea of bringing in Leadership in order to pay for everything, Spirit was the ideal fit.

Strategy: This deck ups the ante over the original by starting with an even lower threat of 22, rather than 24. Mirlonde pays for her spot in this respect, but Spirit Glorfindel deserves most of the credit, master of the forgeas usual. Even more importantly, threat reduction in the form of The Galadhrim’s Greeting and Elrond’s Counsel can drop this deck’s threat to low levels and keep it there for the majority of a game. This is a vital part of the deck’s strategy, as it works in tandem with Ranger Spikes to keep enemies in the staging area. Not only does this feed Faramir’s attack strength, but it also allows the deck to pick off enemies through selective optional engagements (with Faramir using his boosted attack strength to good effect) and direct damage. In terms of the latter, the low threat gives time for Poisoned Stakes to deal damage to enemies or for copies of Ranger Bow to whittle them down,  all without having to engage in combat. The danger of having enemies in the staging area is that this may slow down questing, but the addition of Spirit allows for the inclusion of allies with strong willpower. A final note about the overall strategy of keeping enemies in the staging area is that this helps cover for the main weakness of the deck: the lack of a strong defender. When necessary, Faramir, with a little help from Arwen, can fill this role, as long as it doesn’t happen too often, and once strong allies are dumped into play, then the weakness becomes less glaring. I do wish I could’ve included some healing (specifically Warden of Healing), but there just wasn’t any room. Fortunately, the allies in this deck (and the heroes) tend to have large pools of hit points.

Another great advantage to including Spirit is access to readying effects. With Light of Valinor on Glorfindel and Unexpected Courage on Faramir, all three heroes can quest for a total of 7 willpower by themselves, while still having two characters available for combat (with a combined attack power of 6 between Faramir and Glorfindel). Faramir can also use his additional action to make use of Ranger Bow if no enemies are engaged or will be engaged.

Yet another important element of this deck’s strategy is using card draw and Lore tricks, along with the time provided by low threat, to build up a collection of allies and attachments that can ultimately decimate anything served up by the encounter deck. The inclusion of Elf-stone allows me to bring expensive allies like Anborn, Haldir, and Damrod into play for 1 resource, and I only include 1 or 2 copies of each because I have card draw and don’t necessarily need to get all of them into play. Having a variety of unique ally targets for Elf-stone is more important than nabbing any particular one, and I avoid having my hand clogged with multiples this way as well. Speaking of card draw, Gleowine is a key card in this deck and should be put into play as soon as possible, while Master of the Forge is absolutely amazing, grabbing traps and crucial attachments (Light of Valinor, Unexpected Courage, etc.) almost every turn. Even if I don’t get the most important cards in my opening hand (which are Light of Valinor and probably A Test of Will), I can be fairly secure in getting them quickly thanks to these card draw options.


Ain’t no party like a ranger party…

How It Was Constructed: In general, one of the main things that hindered the potential of the original version of this deck was my dedication to keeping it as thematic as possible, with only limited concessions to gameplay considerations. However, for this deck, I’ve largely thrown those concerns out the window and unleashed the beast. Being able to include non-Ranger, thematically incongruous characters like Gleowine and Master of the Forge dramatically improved the strength of this deck by bringing in much-needed card draw. Being able to pull in an extra card each turn with Gleowine, while fetching attachments/traps at a much faster rate with the Master, is almost enough by itself to take this deck to another level of power.

The “renovation” process of this deck really centered around keeping those elements that were essential to the deck’s identity as a ranger trap build, and then removing the remaining cards to make room for more powerful and broadly applicable effects. At the end of the day, I settled on Anborn, Ranger Spikes, Ranger Bow, and Poisoned Stakes as the core ranger/trap cards. I cut Ithilien Pit, not because it has no use, but in order to make room for other attachments. Advance Warning was effectively supplanted with threat reduction (although certain low engagement cost enemies can sneak through). Specialized combat-minded allies like Mirkwood Runner and Silvan Tracker, which were previously included for thematic purposes (I tend to associate woodland Elves with rangers), made way for allies with core game effects, like Master of the Forge, Gleowine, and Henamarth Riversong. Removing the staging area attack cards, along with the defensive effects (Gondorian Shield and A Burning Brand), was part and parcel of a gambit to sacrifice defense for questing (Asfaloth, Arwen, West Road Traveller), readying (Light of Valinor, Unexpected Courage), and ally dumping (Elf-stone). Generally, the blitzkrieg direct damage focus, which is highly specialized and prone to stalling, has been replaced by a turtling approach. It still won’t be successful against every quest, but it does have a bit more versatility and overall balance.

Chart courtesy of CardGameDB

Chart courtesy of CardGameDB

Possible Combos:

1) Faramir + Ranger Spikes + Anborn: Ranger Spikes is perhaps the main card of this deck, and all trap decks in general. Here, it anbornprovides a triple whammy: 1) neutralizing enemy threat (and combat responsibilities) in order to facilitate questing, 2) trapping enemies in the staging area to minimize defensive duties, and 3) boosting Faramir’s attack strength through said trapping. Faramir can use his boosted attack strength from trapped enemies to kill those that do slip through, or to pull down and pick off non-trapped foes one-by-one. When the time is right, I can use Ranger Bow and/or Forest Patrol to destroy a trapped enemy, freeing up Ranger Spikes so that Anborn can retrieve it, which provides yet another use of this key attachment. In terms of cancelling enemy threat in the staging area, the Ithilien Tracker serves up a useful, temporary alternative. Just remember not to waste the Ithilien Tracker’s action if you have an unattached copy of Ranger Spikes in the staging area already, as the effect will be redundant!

2) Poisoned Stakes + Ranger Bow + Forest Patrol: There is still plenty of direct damage to be had in this version of the deck, with the combination of these 3 cards being able to deal 6 damage in a single turn. Of course, it does require some setting up, but the card draw in this deck makes this combo much more consistent than it was in the original build. The great thing about this combo is that it doesn’t need all three cards to function. Ranger Bow is an extremely flexible form of direct damage on its own and finds a good home on Faramir or Ithilien Tracker. Poisoned Stakes can work well on its own to wear down enemies while they sit in the staging area thanks to a low threat level. Forest Patrol does require at least one trap to function, but can speed up the process of destroying a tough enemy with Poisoned Stakes attached, or can dispatch a Ranger Spike-d enemy to free up that key trap.

3) Elf-stone + Damrod: Damrod is typically an ally that I have kept far away from my decks, due to his high cost and limited utility. Threat reduction is nice, but how many times will the staging area be filled up with enough enemies to justify discarding this ally (and using up the resources to get him on the table in the first place)? Elf-stone, however, makes all the difference, as now Damrod can be brought into play for a single resource. He provides strong stats and is capable in combat, and can also provide emergency threat reduction for the more difficult quests, with the deck’s strategy of keeping enemies in the staging area bolstering the impact of this effect.

4) Henamarth Riversong + traps: Scrying effects are a perfect complement to traps, as they allow a player to ascertain the best moment to drop a copy of Ranger Spikes or Poisoned Stakes into the staging area. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching a weak little minion fall into your valuable Spikes or Stakes, and so Henamarth Riversong can allow you to avoid this eventuality. Similarly, enemies that you don’t want to trap in the staging area, because they have archery or a harmful “while in play” effect can be strategically spared. To take the reverse case, this ally can also make sure that you are able to save your traps for those enemies that are most dangerous and should be kept at arm’s length.

Variations: The original version of this deck is of course a variation, and although I’ve been a bit hard on it here, it can still be fun and thematic to play under the right circumstances. However, as a bonus, I’ll go ahead and provide another full-fledged variation on this deck, if someone else is greedily taking up Glorfindel in multiplayer or you want to try something a bit different:

Hero (3)
Faramir (AoO) x1
Frodo Baggins (CatC) x1
Pippin (TBR) x1

Ally (21)
Anborn (TBoG) x2
Arwen Undomiel (TWitW) x2
Damrod (HON) x1
Dori (OHaUH) x2
Haldir of Lorien (AJtR) x1
Gleowine (Core) x2
Henamarth Riversong (Core) x2
Ithilien Archer (EaAD) x2
Ithilien Tracker (HON) x2
Master of the Forge (SaF) x2
West Road Traveller (RtM) x3

Attachment (21)
Elf-stone (TBR) x3
Poisoned Stakes (TBoG) x3
Ranger Bow (AoO) x2
Ranger Spikes (HON) x3
Unexpected Courage (Core) x2
Fast Hitch (TDM) x2
Good Meal (TRG) x3
Hobbit Pipe (TBR) x3

Event (8)
A Test of Will (Core) x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core) x3
Smoke Rings (TBR) x2

This version is not quite as powerful as the Glorfindel edition, but it is quite enjoyable to play. Lore Pippin helps propel the overall strategy by raising all enemy engagement costs by 2, while Frodo provides a nice defensive option when combat is necessary. The Glorfindel attachments and events (Light of Valinor, Asfaloth, Elrond’s Counsel) have been replaced with Hobbit-centric cards (Good Meal, Hobbit Pipe, Fast Hitch, and Smoke Rings). Good Meal helps lower the cost of The Galadhrim’s Greeting to an affordable 1, Fast Hitch provides additional actions, and Hobbit Pipe/Smoke Rings add threat reduction to make up for the absence of Elrond’s Counsel (in addition to card draw).

Final Thoughts: While this updated version of the Traps of Ithilien deck makes use of all-star Glorfindel once again, as well as some typical power cards, it still is a blast to play thanks to the trap elements. There are some weaknesses to this deck. Most importantly, it is lacking a really strong defender against quests with terrifyingly strong enemies, although the unique allies and Dori can help make up for this deficiency. Also, certain scenarios may prove especially difficult: those with low engagement cost enemies, those that feature enemies with troubling effects while they remain in play (archery springs to mind), and those that involve siege questing. Still, despite those flaws, this deck can work quite well to absolutely own the encounter deck. More importantly, it has renewed my faith in Faramir. Now if we could just find a good replacement for The Most Interesting Elf In The World (a.k.a. Glorfindel)…


From → Deck Spotlight

  1. As a predominantly solo player, I’ve struggled to enjoy all the new player cards at the same time as the new quests. I remember eagerly anticipating Faramir and traps and then finding them wholly unworkable in solo in the Against the Shadow cycle (as well as illegal in the final two quests because of the encounter card Faramir). Since then, whenever an adventure pack comes out, I have to decide whether I want to try the new player cards (and pull out some older quests) or try the new quest (and pull out one of my old tried and true solo decks). I know that double-fisted solo would give me the chance to play around with more unique combos, but I still find it a bit ungainly to run two hands at once. I’m excited to try out this deck and give Faramir and his traps a run in solo play again. Thanks for the tips!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      That’s very true, I tend to have my tried-and-true power decks separated from my fun, interesting, new decks, and I’m generally using the former to beat scenarios as I come out. The experimental or unique decks are the ones I use to beat older scenarios or new ones after I’ve already kicked them good a few times.

  2. tomtomiszcze permalink

    Glorfindel makes Rangers usable, wow, that’s plain astonishing. I wonder what he could do at Winter Olympics – bring gold medal to Jamaican bobsleigh team for instance?
    Due to the lack of time I could spend on the game, I gave up on creating fun,thematic but not exactly powerful decks (deck pairs to be precise). The difference in their performance between easier quests and really hard ones is just too big. Obeying the basic principles of deckbuilding can make any theme usable, whether it is rangers, Elrond sons, or whatever one prefers, but this is not enough to compete with II or SoCA. I have pretty thematic Gondor deck pair – Rangers on one side with Boromir/Balin(or Imrahil for even more theme)/Caldara on the other. It kills the troll, slaughters Khazad-Dum orcs, manages MaO, but harder quests are out of reach. And of course it’s much better with certain Noldor character instead of fictional Gondor girl. I’m afraid the existence of Spirit Glorfindel has become bigger problem that everyone had ever expected and the designers will have trouble to create real competitor for him.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      He could not only win a medal for the Jamaican bobsleigh team; he could be the whole team himself! In all seriousness, generally I have tended to spotlight the more thematic and interesting decks I create, rather than the ones that give me the high success rates and can beat the toughest quests (unless I’m doing a strategy article). I do this because I figure that such an approach is more interesting for both me and readers. I decided to specifically break that mold here and investigate the process of how a thematic deck could be transformed into a more powerful version, which I hope is especially helpful for those players who are unfamiliar with the usual suspects of the current meta.

      Anyway, your point is right on the money, I’m afraid. As the difficulty of any particular quest increases, the range of decks that can beat that quest decreases. So it’s really a relatively small handful of decks that can beat all (or most) quests available. This may or may not be a problem, based on your own preferences. I don’t mind having to pull out the usual power gamer decks to beat Into Ithilien, and then use my more fun, experimental decks for other quests. But you do bring up a valid concern, which is that those players that don’t have a ton of time to devote to the game may end up feeling too restricted and stifled, having to maximize their time with the game by always bringing out the same types of decks and the same cards. The main hope we have as players is that the growth of the game will slowly introduce new deck types and players cards that can be in the top tier.

      • Traekos77 permalink

        Each time I beat a quest WITHOUT Spirit Glorfindel as one of the my heroes, I feel a sense of accomplishment. These days I’m playing a solo Lore deck (with a small dash of Tactics to make Bilbo an effective defender) of Bilbo, Lore Glorfindel and Mirlonde that is super enjoyable.

        • TalesfromtheCards permalink

          You know what, I’ve actually had great success and fun using Lore Glorfindel in a mono-Lore deck. While the Spirit version is obviously superior, Lorfindel isn’t as bad as many players think. He has those great stats, and his ability can be useful, although admittedly a bit “meh”, given the current healing options. Still, 3 willpower and 3 attack is quite useful for Lore.

          • Thaddeus permalink

            He also has the benefit of being an icon match with Asfalof. It’s just that his starting threat is so high that it feels hard to justify playing him. Of course, I’ll play other high threat heroes, like Faramir, and end up mostly using them to quest.

  3. I have been very preempted in my comment on the deck regarding a certain elf. He does enable any other sub par elements work but then so would playing on easy mode so I may well just do that …

    Very good post from tomtomiszcze!

    The hobbit version looks fun!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      The hobbit version is indeed fun. Sam/Lore Pippin/Faramir is also a great combination, but I’ve seen a ton of players use that trio, so I decided to use a different Hobbit/Ranger alliance instead.

      Ah, the the ethics of Spirit Glorfindel. The part of me that loves good discussion would love to set up an epic debate on the morality of using him in this game (I’m only partly joking). I tend to disagree with you in the sense that there is a difference between playing easy mode and using an available tool that has been provided by the designers against standard (or Nightmare) mode. Of course, an astute reader could point out that I very specifically avoid Outlands (which is also a tool) and probably have called it “easy mode” myself, and may be contradicting myself here, but the difference I see is that Outlands takes up most of the space in your deck, making it a very one-dimensional play-style, whereas Spirit Glorfindel takes up minimal space and can allow everything else you do to function better. So basically he leaves room for other interesting stuff to occur.

      Does he show up in too many decks? Probably. But the power gamer part of me can’t argue with players using the available tools they have to give them the best chance against scenarios, which was part of the purpose/point of the article.

  4. Tracker1 permalink

    Cool to see you revisit the old deck, and adapt it for solo play. I pretty much only play solo one handed (although it is tough to shuffle that way, ha ha), and spirit Glorfindel is in too many decks to count. He just makes every deck stronger, and cman fit in every where. One thing that turns me away from 2 handed play is building decks that rely on other decks for cards. For instance if I have a deck with Spirit Glorfindel and no lore heroes, and the other deck is running a lore hero then i can put Asfaloth in that deck.. Yeah this provides some great synergy between 2 decks, but then the decks by themselves are not nearly as efficient. This is the challenge i like about solo deck building. How am I going to make this deck work and get the cards I want in just those 50 cards with the heores spheres i have selected. It is much harder to do, and generally I think 2 handed play is easier under these curcumstances, but i don’t have a problem with it, it’s just not for me.

    Okay sorry for that long winded comment, as for the deck. As you mentioned, not having a main defender could be a problem, starting threat at 22 means you can get into trouble real fast with a couple of low engagment cost enimies early on. Faramir then takes on the role of defender, and you lose him for his attack ability. With no healing, other than Dori ability, things can get dicey. Do you run into this problem?

    Also Glorfindel seems like he wil be a little stretched for resources. Saving up for TGG while trying to get a number on 2 cost spirit cads in play seem like it could be a difficult process. How does it work in practice?

    I agree about Ithillien Pit. I have yet to destroy an enemy with it attached, well ar least while it is in the staging area. Maybe more useful in multiplayer game.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Building for two-handed solo and pure solo is almost like building for two different games. I may be exaggerating a bit here, but not much. I tend to prefer two-handed play mostly because it allows me to build very specialized decks and synergies, and allows me to test out more cards than I would if I only played one deck. Still, I spent a good chunk of time when I first got the game playing only pure solo, and I’ve returned to that recently because I missed the unique challenge of building the balanced decks you need with only one deck available (now I probably play 60% two-handed, 40% pure solo).

      I haven’t run into the defending problem as often as I thought I would, other than against the toughest quests with big, nasty enemies. The deck relies on allies a lot for defending, and Faramir can both defend and attack one he gets his Unexpected Courage. For the truly combat-heavy quests, a player would have to make some tweaks to this build to include healing and probably remove Asfaloth for A Burning Brand.

      I was concerned about Glorfindel’s ability to pay for things, but it didn’t turn out to be an issue in many games, mostly because the deck provides time to turtle and Glorfindel can leisurely save up money to pay for things. I toyed with the idea of sticking Resourceful in here, which could be payed for outside of Secrecy, or many times I might be able to get the discount because my threat would drop to 20 or below. I just couldn’t find room for it because of my desire to keep some of the more ranger-y elements, although Forest Patrol is probably the least important, and might be worth cutting for something like Resourceful (or A Burning Brand in those combat quests). Interestingly, the hobbit version is better in terms of both Spirit resources (because of Good Meal) and defending (because of Frodo), but loses out on some basic stats and combat/questing ability.

  5. Damn you and updating your traps deck. I really really want to make a trap deck that works solidly and I tried your Lore with a splash of Tactics in there but it just seemed either too slow or just never got to the point where I was happy. I do like your new take on it (even if Glrofindel is in there) and I think it’ll be interesting addition to the overall deck lists.

    My problem right now is that I’m a 2 handed solo player whose decks don’t have enough punch to break through most of the time in quests. It just feels like they don’t have enough long lasting energy or I’m not using the ‘optimum’ cards simply because I would get tired of playing the same deck over and over again just to beat quests. 😉

    I am probably going to start looking at running just single solo decks and see how that goes for a while. Actually, I may take the idea of the Progression series and just run through the quests with just the cards that were out at that time to help with the deck process.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Definitely experimenting with different styles of play (including pure solo) is a good idea, to see what you prefer, as everyone has different preferences. Interestingly, one of the reasons why I prefer two-handed solo is because I feel that I’m actually less restricted and can create more specialized decks, since each deck doesn’t have to do it all. But pure solo deck building is a unique and fun challenge in and of itself.

      I definitely recommend going through and playing quests with just the cards available at the time. When I took an involuntary break from the game for much of the Dwarrowdelf cycle, I did exactly that, and it is the best way to see the card pool development for yourself and get to try out a bunch of cards that you might not otherwirse.

    • tomtomiszcze permalink

      Chris, don’ give up on two handed soloing, especially when you’re short on time. Ian is right – building for pure solo is very different animal, especially when it comes to discipline yourself and cut the cards that seem like a must have for the first time. I tried some of Tracker’s decks (just because he’s very good at building them) in pure solo and it was definitely fun experience, but on the other hand the fact of drawing just one encounter card every turn seemed like playing different game. You can pair Rangers with Boromir based Gondor deck: Boromir’s ability + lots of resources from leadership = lots of fun (mostly).

  6. Tonskillitis permalink

    FAQ 1.7. Glorfindel card text should read: Raise your threat by 1 when Glorfindel exhausts to commit to a quest. Forced: When Light of Valinor enters play, discard Glorfindel.

    Props on the hobbit ranger deck: Faramir is a hero pretty high on the fun factor rating which means a lot to me. Hobbit pipes may be a bit of a combo card but they are also strangely compelling to exhaust. Ah the profound insight gained from inhaling the hobbit’s leaf…

    • Heh… I kind of like the idea for Glorfindel. Actually, it should read “Raise your threat by 3 when Glorfindel exhausts for a quest. Go through your deck and remove Light of Valinor from play.”

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Haha, I think the design of Glorfindel without LIght of Valinor is fair. He starts with low threat, but boosts you up quickly if you use him to quest, which makes sense thematically and in terms of gameplay. Perhaps LoV was a step too far though.

      I do think the Pipes/Rings are generally too dependent to work well consistently, but I just can’t resist their allure…

  7. I see you combined some of the best of both worlds for the new deck (with your previously mentioned Faramir Traps and your Spirit Palantir decks). I am not surprised at all, as I have found playing 2-player with my own versions of the Eleanor/Eowyn/Glorfy Spirit w/ Palantir and the Faramir/Denethor/Mirlonde Ranger Traps deck has performed extremely well and can be a real blast to play!

    Thanks so much for the great deck suggestions!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Awesome to hear! I’m glad the decks were helpful!

  8. Thaddeus permalink

    I’ve been trying (with mostly limited success) to get a successful ranger/trap deck going. I’ll try out your revised deck when I get a chance.

  9. NIce, i noticed some not so good things in the first version, and i built some changes. Now, let’s try your own updated!

  10. Valimagdon permalink

    I’m a big fan of your blog, and have been having a lot of fun success with this deck build. Thanks! However, I made some changes

    Spirit Glorfindel
    Bilbo – let’s me replace Gleowine and Master of the Forge.
    I experimented with Beravor at first for the theme, but Bilbo’s passive ability scores me more cards, and he has a lower threat.

    Player Cards:
    3 West Road Traveller
    2 Arwen Undomiel
    3 Ithilien Tracker – good for questing, and synergizes with Ranger Bow
    2 Henamarth Riversong
    3 Erebor Hammersmith – Gets my traps back, cheap, AND has amazing stats? Yes please. Replaces Master of the Forge
    2 Warden of Healing – cheap healz, and more versatile than Dori
    2 Ithilien Archer
    2 Anborn – Even if I can play him, I’d still rather play my Hammersmith and the retrieved trap.
    1 Haldir

    3 Light of Valinor
    2 Unexpected Courage
    3 Ranger Spikes
    3 Poisoned Spikes
    3 Ranger Bow – really helps with dealing damage. Works best when there are two out, so I need three copies.
    2 Asfaloth
    1 Ithilien Pit – synergizes with Forest Patrol, and is a 1-cost trap.
    1 Burning Brand – for Defender Bilbo
    1 Fast Hitch – for Defender Bilbo!

    3 Elrond’s Council
    3 Test of Will
    2 Gladrim’s Greeting
    3 Daerons Runes (putting me @ 53 cards.) – No Lore deck should ever be without Daeron’s Runes! Eats my extra Lights and Asfaloths.
    2 Forest Patrol

    I dropped Damrod b/c he’s too expensive, and the Elf-stones b/c I don’t have them. I’ve found this deck is pretty sweet both solo and 2-player. However, it is a bit short on questing and fails at most location heavy quests. For this reason, I swap out enemy specific cards like Ranger Bow, Ithilien Pit, Poisoned Spikes, Archer, Tracker, Forest Patrol etc, for another Asfaloth and a couple Secret Paths and Strider’s Paths. Does much better.

    Thanks for reading and I’d like to hear what you think!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog, and it looks like you’ve got a good deck there! It’s always nice to see old Bilbo get some action. The changes you made make perfect sense. Damrod is really only there because of the Elf-stones, so without them, he becomes expendable. Erebor Hammersmith is one of the best allies in the game in terms of raw value, but in my particular build I wanted very specific attachment draw from Master of the Forge to fetch not so much the traps but the Light of Valinor and Asfaloth for Glorfindel (with the traps being a nice bonus). I like the inclusion of Warden of Healing (best healing option around), but went with Dori in my own build as an emergency back-up for my heroes when they are defending, since I left out A Burning Brand and defense boosts, which puts heroes potentially in danger of getting killed by shadow boosts (in your deck, you have Bilbo with Fast HItch and Burning Brand, which negates this need, maybe Protector of Lorien might be in order?). Thanks for sharing your deck, as it’s a good variation on this theme!

  11. Phate999 permalink

    Here has been my recent take on a Trap-based deck:

    Traps of Doom!

    Hero (3)
    Gríma (VOI)
    Aragorn (TWitW)
    Mirlonde (TDF)

    Ally (26)
    Saruman (VOI) x3
    Gandalf (OHaUH) x3
    Henamarth Riversong (Core) x3
    Anborn (TBoG) x2
    Ithilien Archer (EaAD) x3
    Ithilien Tracker (HON) x3
    Warden of Healing (TLD) x3
    Erebor Hammersmith (Core) x3
    Gildor Inglorion (THoEM) x1
    Haldir of Lorien (AJtR) x1
    Dori (OHaUH) x1

    Attachment (15)
    Keys of Orthanc (VOI) x3
    Ranger Spikes (HON) x3
    Poisoned Stakes (TBoG) x3
    Forest Snare (Core) x3
    Self Preservation (Core) x3

    Event (9)
    Rumour from the Earth (RtM) x3
    Daeron’s Runes (FoS) x3
    Mithrandir’s Advice (TSF) x3

    Essentially what this deck does is uses:

    1.) Grima + Keys of Orthanc – to get some good resource generation going by reducing cost and adding an extra resource every turn, netting +2 resources like SoG.

    2.) Hobbit Gandalf + Self Preservation – makes Gandalf almost invincible.

    3.) Saruman – he helps kill a tough foe when needed and also makes questing easier by taking an enemy/location out of play for a round to get some breathing space.

    4.) Henamarth Riversong + Rumor from the Earth – this is like the glue that makes this deck function. A location is coming? Send everything we got on the quest! An enemy is coming? Throw out that trap and/or use Ithilien Tracker’s ability. How much willpower do I need to devote to the quest to break even so that I can finish off this engaged enemy (or barely finish the quest to move to the next card)? I know exactly how much now. Treachery coming? Now I know and can make the best of the situation. So powerful these cards are in solo, one-hand play. Makes up for the weakness of low willpower.

    5.) Loragorn – He is the vehicle that drives this threat increasing fiasco. Will not work without him, unless the quest is really short.

    6.) Traps + Erebor Hammersmith + Anborn – Traps are really cool at CC’ing the enemies. I don’t find that I need to retrieve the traps a whole lot, but this combo makes it possible.

    7.) Daeron’s Runes + Mithrandir’s Advice – Powerful card draw needed since I don’t have a hero/ally that does this ability.

    8.) You could take out Warden of Healing and add Expecting Mischief, Master of Lore, or something else. I like having some healing, around just in case, and the Warden can be used for 1 Willpower or even a chump blocker (pretty much all of these in Lore cost 2 besides the 1 cost Outlands ally). So, I elected to go with the Warden.

    I don’t like Ranger Bow for this build because your threat gets too high (and because I just think it’s a flawed card without much use). You could do a combo of something like Ithilien Archer (to push the enemy back to the staging area) and then have 2 Rangers with Bows to do 2 damage to it. But I find this tedious and not that useful when I could just use the same Rangers to add their 1 or 2 attack power. This is useful, however, against some of the high threat mobs like the Drummers that just stay in the staging area to buff enemies. As such I’d probably add some direct damage stuff in for this situation. Overall this is a fun and high risk, high reward type of deck!

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I love the idea of using Grima along with a trap deck, but haven’t had a chance yet. Thanks for sharing your build!

  12. sweetnesswhachacha permalink

    Cool deck! Thanks for the article! I’m really enjoying trap decks, but they definitely aren’t the strongest deck archetype. It does seem tempting to take an idea that seems cool and sprinkle it over some of the stronger game elements, such as stick glorfindel into a trap deck. It’s actually pretty interesting to see how branching out and trying new decks in most ways can never be near the power level of the best cards that go in any deck. Last article you discussed secrecy and that is a great example of this same thing where the strong hobbit deck simply gets secrecy sprinkled, rather than a deck that is at it’s core a secrecy deck

    Thanks again!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Community News – February 2014 | Hall of Beorn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: