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Deck Spotlight: Elven Alliance

by on September 9, 2014

 

Silvan Tracker

There is something uniquely attractive about Elves as depicted in Tolkien’s works, modern fantasy literature, movies and countless video games. While other fantasy races tend to bash their foes in the face in the most straightforward way possible, Elves are all about stealth and finesse. This is mightily difficult to represent in an abstract card game like LOTR LCG that has an equally abstract combat system based around numbers, but the designers found a magnificent solution with the Silvan archetype. By creating Silvan cards that provide benefits for returning allies of that trait to hand, as well as positive effects for entering play in the first place, players can get the sense of Elves flying into play, ambushing enemies, and then falling back into the trees. While this is mechanically similar to Rohan, it is not the same in terms of theme and how it plays, as that trait is all about sacrifice in order to gain benefits, which matches the Rohirrim’s role at the Battle of Pelennor Fields (as well as Helm’s Deep). Silvan, by contrast, is not about discarding allies, but returning them to hand and playing them as often as possible, which actually feels much different. With the release of O Lorien! in Trouble in Tharbad, I finally felt that it was time to build Silvan decks in earnest. After creating a build around Haldir, Celeborn, and Legolas, as well as Haldir, Celeborn, and Spirit Glorfindel, I started venturing out into other intriguing combinations. Here, I will share a deck focused around an alliance between Noldor and Silvan, seeking out the synergy between the two, all in the service of ultimately uplifting the Silvan archetype.


Deck List:

Hero (3)
1x Celeborn
1x Mirlonde
1x Elrond

Ally (24)
3x Galadhrim Minstrel
1x Gildor Inglorion
1x Haldir of Lórien
2x Henamarth Riversong
3x Mirkwood Runner
3x Silvan Tracker
2x Rivendell Minstrel
3x Naith Guide
2x Silverlode Archer
1x Arwen Undómiel
3x Imladris Stargazer
1x Rumil

Attachment (14)
2x A Burning Brand
3x Lembas
2x Celebrían’s Stone
2x O Lórien!
3x Vilya
2x Light of Valinor

Event (15)
3x The Tree People
3x Daeron’s Runes
3x Valiant Sacrifice
3x Feigned Voices
2x The White Council

Total Deck Size: 53

Expansions Needed (14): 2nd Core Set, The Dunland Trap, The Druadan Forest, Shadow and Flame, Trouble in Tharbad, The Hills of Emyn Muil, A Journey to Rhosgobel, Return to Mirkwood, The Dead Marshes, The Hunt for Gollum, The Watcher in the Water, Foundations of Stone, The Three Trials, Conflict at the Carrock

Theme: Ally Dumping, Ally Retrieval, Healing

Spheres: Lore/Leadership with a Spirit splash and a drop of Tactics

Strategy: The main focus of this deck is the typical Silvan approach of moving allies between the board and hand, with an assist from the Elrond and Vilya combination. Generally, the key cards to draw early are O Lorien! and Vilya. The former allows Silvan allies to be played much more easily and quickly, with one of the best options being for Celeborn to play the Naith Guide for only 1 resource. Fortunately, O Lorien! is a song, so I’ve included Rivendell Minstrell to help fetch it, and with 2 copies of each card in my deck, this works out to effectively 4 copies of O Lorien!. Vilya helps to get allies and key attachments into play, especially the more expensive uniques, such as Haldir and Gildor. In order to get the most out of Elrond, as well as the versatile Celeborn, action advantage is key, and there are quite a few choices in this department: Naith Guide, Light of Valinor (which can be paid for once Elrond has Vilya and a Spirit icon), Lembas, and The White Council. I feel that the latter card is thematically appropriate since both Celeborn and Elrond were members of the Council. Naith Guide is the main target for Silvan cards such as The Tree People and Feigned Voices, as I find her enters play ability, which allows one hero to quest without exhausting, to be greatly useful. Imladris Stargazer, of course, is always key in a deck with Elrond/Vilya, but it also provides a way to check before playing The Tree People whether there are any worthwhile Silvan allies in the top 5 cards.

The-Tree-People

In my other Silvan decks, defense has traditionally been a concern and a weak point of the trait. I’ve introduced a few elements here that help to shore up that area. First, is Elrond himself, with 3 defense and access to A Burning Brand. Second is an added focus on healing, which is the normal Silvan response to defense, basically substituting hit points and regeneration for high defense values. Silvan Tracker plays a key role in this, and while Elrond is in play, each Silvan character can heal an amazing 2 hit points when they ready during the refresh phase. This is great fun in practice, as you watch your Silvan characters shed damage like stray water drops. When this works well, Celeborn can actually serve as a great defender, as he can soak up damage and heal it at the end of the round. Arwen is as useful as ever, and represents another key Noldor character in this Elven Alliance deck, as she can boost the defense of either Elrond or Celeborn, depending on who will defend in a given turn. Having this added flexibility is great, as I can often use Celeborn to both quest and defend, as he is the usual target of Light of Valinor, while Elrond remains free to use Vilya or defend, as needed based on the situation. With the help of Naith Guide, Lembas, and The White Council, Elrond can also participate in questing as well. The only marked weakness of this hero lineup is a lack of attack power, but fortunately allies like Mirkwood Runner and Silverlode Archer, especially when benefiting from Celeborn’s stat boosts, can make up the difference, especially since each hero has at least 2 attack strength.

In order to make all this work, I wanted to include at least 2 different card draw effects. Daeron’s Runes is often a no-brainer in many decks and so it is here. I then was tempted to include Mithrandir’s Advice, which would provide 2 cards for 1 resource in this deck, but I decided to opt for Valiant Sacrifice in order to make more use of the Leadership resources, as there is definitely a greater slant towards Lore in this deck. Valiant Sacrifice can also give 2 cards for 1 resource, although it is keyed to an ally leaving play. Still, with allies leaving play often due to the Silvan events, the synergy seemed too good to pass up. Finally, The White Council is a flexible card that can draw a card and “thin” the deck, if all else fails.

How It Was Constructed: Although I quite enjoyed the more exclusively Silvan decks that I built, I was searching for something a little different that could key in on some of the natural strengths of the trait and compensate for some of the weaknesses. I wanted to do this without completely disregarding theme, so while I was interested in trying out Grima, in order to make use of his discount combined with O Lorien! to drop in 3-cost Silvan allies for 1, I ultimately was drawn to Elrond. Both Silvan peoples in Middle-earth were ruled by non-Silvan leaders, and there seemed to be much cooperation between the various Elven strands in the Third Age (the same could not be said of the First Age!) and so a deck focused on an alliance between Silvan and Noldor seemed thematically appropriate. Beyond theme, Elrond brings some key points of synergy to a Silvan build. First, he strengthens healing effects, which makes Silvan Tracker into a magnificent healing force in a Silven deck. Second, he can pay for allies of any sphere. Previously, I was really tied into the idea of Silvan as a tri-sphere deck, as while Leadership and Lore seemed the key spheres, there were also cards in Spirit and Tactics that helped the trait function better. Including Elrond, as well as the Spirit icon from Vilya, allowed for easy splashing of some crucial Spirit cards in a dual-sphere build, as well as Rumil from Tactics. Finally, since Silvan strategy is all about being able to play allies easily and repeatedly, Vilya seemed to provide yet another way of accomplishing this goal. After deciding to include Elrond, his high threat meant that Mirlonde became the easy choice for second Lore hero, as Haldir would place my starting threat at 33 (Celeborn was a given for the stat boost he provides in a Silvan deck), wheareas this version clocks in at 30. It was a shame to leave out Haldir, as I do love this new hero, but it did open up the opportunity to include the ally version. Once the hero selection was complete, the few key other Noldor elements (Arwen, Rivendell Minstrel, Gildor, and Imladris Stargazer) all suggested themselves rather quickly. Even a card like Celebrian’s Stone, which might seem like an odd fit at first, actually represents the theme of this deck perfectly, as Celebrian was the wife of Elrond and daughter of Celeborn, known as both a Lady of Lothlorien and Lady of Rivendell, just as this deck represents a blending of those two regions and peoples.

Possible Combos:

med_silvan-tracker-tdm

1) Naith Guide + The Tree People/Feigned Voices: Naith Guide has perhaps the best enters play effect of Silvan allies, and thus she is the main target for The Tree People and Feigned Voices. Generally, she enters play, quests for 2 (with Celeborn’s boost), and also allows either Celeborn or Elrond to quest without exhausting. This is a base willpower of 5 for the quest phase with only 1 character exhausted. Then, I can return her to hand to either cancel an attack or bring another Silvan ally into play for the combat phase. This means she is in hand to be played next turn for the whole process to be repeated again.

2) Imladris Stargazer/Gildor Inglorion + Elrond/Vilya: There’s nothing new here and this is a tried and true combination by now, but Imladris helps Elrond to dump Silvan allies into play exactly when they are needed, and makes sure that the right Silvan for the job is available. Gildor’s ability to switch a card from hand to the top of the player deck is also more useful than usual here, as you could move a Silvan ally that has been returned to hand to the top of the deck just in time for Vilya to put it into play again for free!

3) Silvan Tracker + Elrond: The Silvan Tracker heals 1 damage from a Silvan character when they ready during the refresh phase. Elrond bumps this up to 2. This means that someone like Celeborn can take 2 damage from a 5 attack enemy, then heal during the refresh phase and be ready to defend again next round!

4) Rumil + Silverlode Archer + Vilya: Elrond can drop Rumil into play either with Vilya or using his ability to pay for allies of any sphere. Although none of the heroes have ranged, if you can get 1 or 2 copies of Silverlode Archer into play, then Rumil can make use of his ability to deal 2 or 3 damage.

Variations: It’s possible to cut out the 2 copies of The White Council to trim this deck down to a lean 51 cards. However, The White Council does provide some flexibility in terms of resource transfer, deck thinning, and, most importantly, readying. I’d even consider using it to try to recycle one of the key Silvan events back into my deck, although this would be a bit of a gamble and only if I was feeling either completely desperate or assured of my position. The most obvious variation on this deck, though, would be to eliminate Elrond and Vilya and go for a more straightforward Silvan build. Haldir, Legolas, and Celeborn can be quite an enjoyable deck, as it introduces Tactics cards into the mix in a big way. This means that Haldir can benefit from a Rivendell Blade, while Rumil can enter the fray with a consistent total of at least 3 ranged characters on the board. This is definitely a more combat-focused variation that does better overall in multiplayer than solo. It is a nice option for those that have used Elrond/Vilya too much in the past, and want to use more of the available Silvan cards. The other variation on this theme that I’ve used is Haldir, Celeborn, and Glorfindel. This trades out Tactics for Spirit, which means that Haldir doesn’t have access to weapons, but this is compensated for by a lower threat. Glorfindel doesn’t quite fit the Silvan theme, and is more overused than thrice-eaten Cram, but he does make a good fit for the deck, with high willpower and high attack to contribute. More importantly, Spirit brings in the Silvan Refugee, who is a fantastic candidate for triggering cards like The Tree People and Feigned Voices, and quests for 3 during the first turn it enters play. I also love the opportunity to bring in Children of the Sea, which boosts up the Refugee to 5 willpower during its first turn.

Final Thoughts: While I was initially hesitant to bring in Elrond and Vilya for fear of diluting the Silvan theme and strategy, I find that the Silvan and Noldor elements actually complement each other rather well. Celeborn and Elrond are a dynamic duo with high stats and can fill in for every role. Mirlonde quite understandably doesn’t get as much attention here, but plays a valuable role in lowering the starting threat and has 2 willpower and 2 attack to contribute. Overall, while the Elrond/Vilya combination still plays an important part in the deck, I find myself still able to enjoy all the Silvan shenanigans. This deck can work well in both solo play and multiplayer and has the balance to face off against a variety of quests.

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38 Comments
  1. William O'Brien permalink

    I’ve tried it both ways, and I think Celeborn/Haldir/Mirlonde is a better lineup than Celeborn/Elrond/Mirlonde. Losing Vilya hurts, but the spirit allies weren’t much of a loss and SoG and Elf-stone provide ways to force out Gildor and such. I just always felt under a lot more pressure with the Elrond deck, as nasty enemies can come out before you’ve had a chance to set up. Haldir gives more time and an ability to deal with some problem enemies.

    I think in general the quality of the Silvan allies is still pretty low. Galadhrim Minstrel and Naith Guide are both good, but the former can whiff a fair amount and the latter can feel kind of win-more since my non-Haldir heroes pretty much only quest anyway. Silvan Tracker really rescues things by giving some staying power.

    • kidohearts permalink

      I really like Elrond for a couple of reasons. Great questing, solid D, and for me the most important is the double heal off Tracker. Also I really like the allies, I’ve had many turns that I drop in Runner and he kills a 3 HP enemy who had a 2-3 D, or pick off a bigger guy in a couple of turns. The Minstrel can whiff, but then she’s a 2 quester or a chump or a return to try again. What I’m really enjoying is that Silvans can do a little bit of everything well, Jack of all trades if you will. And they have tricks that make them repeatable.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Yeah, this is an interesting one that I think may come down to playstyle and preference. I enjoy the Haldir version, mainly because I do love that hero, but found the Elrond version more solid against the more difficult quests. Lower threat Silvan decks definitely give more time to build up, but I like the defensive options of this deck (the spotlighted one) and the overall power. Still, I don’t think there’s a necessarily a right answer here, as I think the pure Silvan build will become better as the cycle continues.

  2. kidohearts permalink

    Awesome, with all the talk being Silvan lately, I had been commenting that I believe Silvan was very good even before Tharbad. Which of course pushed it to new heights and I believe the finish of the cycle will only bring rise to the elves. I actually built a deck with the same 3 heroes many moons ago and then tweaked as packs have been released. This will be the first time I’ve shared a deck publicly(only been playing since Mayish) and the was my first team deck as it’s built to go with my wife’s Beregond, Legolas, and Spirit Glorfindel deck course I think it would team nicely with almost any deck with all of its tricks:

    Silvan

    Hero: (3)
    1x Celeborn (The Dunland Trap)
    1x Mirlonde (The Drúadan Forest)
    1x Elrond (Shadow and Flame)

    Ally: (26)
    2x Haldir of Lorien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
    3x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
    3x Mirkwood Runner (Return to Mirkwood)
    3x Naith Guide (The Dunland Trap)
    3x Silvan Refugee (The Drúadan Forest)
    3x Silvan Tracker (The Dead Marshes)
    3x Gandalf (Core Set)
    3x Warden of Healing
    3x Galadhrim Minstrel

    Attachment: (7)
    3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
    2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
    2x Asfaloth

    Event: (18)
    3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
    3x Feigned Voices (The Three Trials)
    3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
    3x The Tree People (The Dunland Trap)
    3x Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear)
    3x Deep Knowledge

    There it is, have at it, lol.

    • Daeron’s Runes, Mithrandir’s Advice AND Deep Knowledge? Somebody loves their card draw.

      • kidohearts permalink

        When I’m not pairing it with the wife’s deck I take out Knowledge, lol.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Thanks for sharing your deck! It’s always interesting to see how different players approach a deck type. I really wanted to fit in Silvan Refugee into my build but didn’t quite make the cut. What I’m really looking forward to in terms of Spirit is Island Amid Perils, which gives some threat reduction to Silvan specifically.

    • When i’m just playing(not sure of partner’s deck) I usually drop Deep Knowledge and Asfaloth and go with some form of Dunedain Warning, Gleowine, We are not Idle. But I may put in some O-Lorien. Not sure what I think of Lembas yet. I can heal with Warden and it helps other people’s charcters. Course I do enjoy the readying effect. In an early version of the deck I used 3x Cram.

  3. Using Vilya to bring bring Rumil into play sadly doesn’t trigger his ability. I’m not sure why his ability isn’t worded the same as the other new Silvan allies.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Mu guess is that the main reason was to stop Sneak Attack and the like from allowing you to abuse the damage possibilities. Fortunately, Elrond can pay for him conventionally!

      • Obviously, but I wouldn’t say that his ability is THAT much more powerful than the other Silvan enters-play abilities. I guess, it really could become pretty powerful though; Of you start with 3 ranged heroes, he’s just as powerful as Gandalf’s direct damage ability and there are plenty of other ranged characters to bring into play. Rumil’s ability only hits enemies that are engaged, though, so you have to go through a combat phase with the enemy before Rumil can touch it.

        • TalesfromtheCards permalink

          It could be argued that other deck types (i.e. Outlands/Dwarves) have more powerful options and therefore Rumil with enters play language could be justified. I think, however, this choice reflects the more careful approach of the current designers in trying to avoid overpowered effects.

  4. HawkRose permalink

    Out of curiosity, what’s your regimen for testing new decks? You say that the featured build fared better against the “more difficult quests.” What quests do you find most helpful in gauging the overall power of a deck?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      That’s a really great question! In fact, it would make a nice article at some point, so thanks for that. I would love to say that I have a more tight and consistent regimen for testing decks than I do at present. Since testing against all or even most scenarios is not feasible, I would like to devise a list of quests that test a different aspect, and these 5 or 6 scenarios could be used to test decks against on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the free time to come up with such a list, so at present my testing is a bit more haphazard than I would like it to be.

      What I try to do is test against quests that are on the harder end of difficulty without necessarily being the most difficult. I also eliminate those quests that are so specialized that they won’t tell me much (A Journey to Rhosgobel is a good example, but even specific boss fights like Shadow and Flame and Battle of Lake-town aren’t great for testing, in my opinion). Then, I try to think about quests that will test a certain part of the game, whether it’s dealing with an enemy swarm, questing quickly, etc..

      For example, all of my Silvan builds tore through Trouble in Tharbad, but that quest is on the easier side and has a unique mechanic of lowering threat, so I find it doesn’t actually tells me much. I like Three Trials as a test, even though it is fairly unique, because it gives an idea of how quickly a deck can build up a solid defensive setup. Steward’s Fear is a good test of a solo deck because it requires strong willpower and location control while still having to deal with enemies. Journey Along the Anduin is still great for testing because it requires a little bit of everything. If I want to try a deck against battle/siege quests, then Battle of Five Armies is a good option because you have to do it all. If I want to see how a deck fares against truly tough quests, I will throw it into the fray against Into Ithilien, the Gen Con quests, or start it out against Nightmare Passage and see how it goes from there.

      Note that when testing, I’m not just looking at win/loss ratio. I’m actually just as much interested in looking at things like how the first few turns play out each time, consistency, how much of an issue threat is, etc. I hope all of this is helpful (and not too longwinded)!

      • HawkRose permalink

        That’s actually super helpful! I’m still catching up from the Dwarrowdelf cycle, so I don’t have a great sense of what some of the more recent quests have to offer (though OCTGN, the Grey Company, and CBotR are bringing me more up to date). I’m glad to hear that you think Journey Down the Anduin is a good touchstone: it’s been my default testing scenario, but since it can torpedo a lot of decks with such delights as an early Brown Lands or Pursued by Shadow, I wondered whether the demands it made were a little too harsh to be broadly applicable.

        • TalesfromtheCards permalink

          Journey is a little more swingy than I would like for a testing scenario (the more recent quests tend to be a bit more consistent), but I like the balance between fighting and questing and it is fairly straightforward in some ways.

  5. Sean permalink

    Why valinor? Only method I can see to really cast it is via vilya…. Also arwen is awesome, but is she really needed… Seems to me like both of these bases are really already covered, and this is really sort of a combo deck… So in my mind you need to go as low as possible… I dropped those 3 cards to go to 50 (nothing against 52 concepts but don’t think it is good for this deck)… Also, I actually think the white council is good in it as it lets you put your tree people back into the deck for g. Minstrel shenanigans.
    Think the core is very sound, bit kind of question elrond and the Vilya combo… Also sometimes the mold or elements can hose up some of the silvan search… But again think this is a deck waiting on a few more cards to really come into its own, so I get why you used elrond…
    Any chance you could post the list for the variants? I like the idea of rumil recursion a lot (especially if the archery was improved and some more resource acceleration/reduction made him cheaper to replay from hand)…. Smacking stuff around for 4ish a turn for effectively 2 tactics resources would be awesome.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Hi Sean. Thanks for the comments! Valinor and Arwen are both included to address some very specific weaknesses that I found in the Silvan build, and so I would be very reluctant to get rid of either. Valinor helps with action advantage, which this deck needs in order to make use of Celeborn and Elrond’s awesome stats and meet the extra demand of Vilya. Keep in mind that Vilya gives a Spirit icon to Elrond, so once he gets Vilya, it’s relatively simple to play Valinor once I get it in hand. Arwen, on the other hand, helps address defensive issues, and using her to bump up Celeborn to 3 defense is so good, especially since it often allows Elrond to use his ring rather than defend, that she’s actually pretty invaluable to the deck design. You could get rid of her for easier quests, but otherwise she’s a definite keeper.

      I do think that introducing the Noldor elements hampers the Silvan fetch effects, moreso than in my pure Silvan decks. This specifically applies to The Tree People. To my mind, this is unfortunate, but the price you pay for adding Vilya, and Imladris helps a bit to at least let you check before you play The Tree People.

      • Sean permalink

        Ah yes forgot about that part of Vilya…. Uhm still feels very hard to cast valinor at times… But I get what you are saying…

        • As klunky as the valinors feel… Yeah it needs them… I ended up cutting rumil and the 2 white councils to get to 50… Played down the anduin twice today and went 50-50…. With an early overload and troll problems resulting in a quick threat loss… Then a long game that I controlled until I finished with 48 threat… With the wipeout of the remaining piled up archers….

  6. Sean permalink

    Also, did you try master of lore or a very good tale in the deck builds? Looking at celeborn, legolas and haldir…. But the resource match restrictions start to get a little severe with the lore overload of good silvan cards.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I’ll go ahead and post my deck builds for the variants. You’re right about the Lore overload throwing the balance off, especially in tri-sphere decks. I do have A Very Good Tale included in at least one of the builds (or possibly both) to help with that a bit. I originally had Errand-rider to help with resource fixing, but eventually cut him. You could run the Minstrel and try to use songs as well for another option.

  7. Yeah the songs with minstrel fetch was all I could really think of too… But it feels so kludgy like that.
    I would like to see the variants… As this will most likely end up being a potent deck archetype soon.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Here’s the Haldir/Legolas/Celeborn version:

      Hero
      1x Celeborn
      1x Haldir of Lórien
      1x Legolas

      Ally
      2x Galadhrim Minstrel
      1x Gildor Inglorion
      2x Henamarth Riversong
      2x Mirkwood Runner
      2x Silvan Tracker
      1x Erestor
      3x Naith Guide
      3x Silverlode Archer
      1x Rúmil
      3x Defender of the Naith
      1x Beorn

      Attachment
      3x O Lórien!
      2x Elf-stone
      3x Lembas
      3x Rivendell Blade
      2x Celebrían’s Stone
      2x Dúnedain Warning

      Event
      3x Daeron’s Runes
      3x The Tree People
      3x Feigned Voices
      2x Feint
      2x Peace, and Thought
      2x The White Council

      I could see fitting in A Very Good Tale here, maybe even cutting Elf-stone and some of the big unique allies for it, although I liked the flavor of those.

  8. Interesting.., will try it.

  9. One other version was running around my head… Replace celeborn with haldir in the first version… Increase minstrels and add the leadership song…. Add the 3rd o’loren…. Really don’t think it is worth it overall for the better rumil, 3 threat reduction and the easier lore plays vs harder leadership (losing them celeborn boost hurts too)… But might be worth a thought in some scenarios (thinking trolls – as I always test against anduin).

  10. I suppose with mirlonde, haldir and elrond you could just drop the two stones for the minstrel and song, then switch valiant out for the better mithrandirs advice. Maybe reduce another guide by one and switch out the archers for something (but the hurting rumil again). Master of the forge… But again noldor vs silvan issue there… Master of lore wouldn’t be horrible but not Theamatic.
    Any thoughts on that sort of mono lore version w elrond and a song for leadership/spirit?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I think it could work, as most of the best Silvan stuff is in Lore and Elrond definitely provides some splashing opportunity.

  11. Sean permalink

    Seems like this deck is one of the few that would pair well with a deck supporting gandalf hero… I was thinking of a secrecy deck for him… With a 6 pt hobbit. Staff and resourceful might pay off on resources… Sadly, I think it needs to be spirit rather than knowledge for threat reduction… But really like the idea of knowledge based deck.
    Have you started working with the new cards?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Yeah, I’ve been using Gandalf and his toys a ton, but mostly in a not very creative Core Aragorn/Spirit Glorfindel/Gandalf build. I’m now wanting to move into different territory now (I’ve also tried him with Elrond/vilya and it’s pretty ridiculous). I like the idea of pairing Gandalf with 1 or 2 Hobbits, maybe a Sam/Lore Pippin/Gandalf deck, for example. I also want to investigate using Gandalf with Tactics heroes to see whether he can make a “mono-Tactics” build be powerful for solo play.

  12. Ichthys permalink

    Can you play Rúmil from your hand even if there isn’t any tactics printed icon?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Normally, no, but Elrond has the ability to pay for allies of any sphere, which lets him pay for Rumil here.

      • Ichthys permalink

        For what i understand from the rule book you can pay but not play unless you have another hero with tactics icon on it.
        I am considering this rule at page 12: “Cards with a cost of zero do not require a resource to be spent in order to pay their cost, but they do require at least one hero under that player’s control to have a resource icon that matches the card’s sphere.”
        Also if i read hero Gandalf it say play and not “only” pay.
        What do you think?

        • TalesfromtheCards permalink

          I see what you’re saying, but that rule is basically meant to tell players that they need a resource match to play a card from a sphere. In Gandalf’s case, his ability gives him a resource icon when he plays a card from the top of the deck. In Elrond’s case, his ability specifically says that he can pay for allies from those spheres, which overrides the rulebook.

          • Ichthys permalink

            So what for Vilya give him spirit resource icon? :-/
            I don’t want to argue with you 🙂 i just want to understand clearly…
            The game is so beautiful but why the rules are left so free to interpretation…?

            • TalesfromtheCards permalink

              No worries. Vilya gives the Spirit icon so Elrond can pay for Spirit attachments and events, not just allies.

  13. Kostas permalink

    Now that Celebrimbor’s Secret has been released, I believe Orophin is strictly better and can replace Silverlode Archer.

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