Skip to content

Deck Construction: Amarthiul, Lord of the Eagles

by on February 3, 2016

Note: Miika wrote this article before the errata given to Horn of Gondor in the most recent FAQ. So keep in mind that this deck and the games described use the old “leaves play” text.   -Ian

Before you get into this wall of text, a little background information about it: I started writing it and it just kept growing and growing until I added the test games to the article and it ended up being quite long. This is written in parts, first by starting with deck construction, later followed by an actual play test and then by afterthoughts and deck modification. I hope you don’t get intimidated by the comprehensiveness of this text because it’s certainly not the intention behind it! This is just a story of one deck, how it came to existence and how it ended up getting modified. And hopefully you enjoy the match reports as well! From now on I will definitely try to downsize these articles a little bit!

And most importantly, keep commenting and having a discussion about the decks, their possible pros and cons and everything! That’s what these articles are all about after all.

 

The very late part of the last year was a really interesting period for the game, not only because of many creative expansions released but also due to the announcement of the Dream- chaser Cycle and all the expansions spoiled for it so far! Of course there seemed to be some disappointments in card design (or is there any particular way to play Dori correctly?) but some of the cards really added more diversity to how the game should be played. The card I was personally most excited about in this category was definitely the hero Amarthiul and (like I mentioned in my last article about Aragorn’s) I decided to give him a try, and Eagles felt like a deck that could potentially work with him.

Amarthiúl

Before going deeper into the choice of this particular deck archetype, a bit more explanation on why Amarthiul since there are many reasons for it which might not be obvious ones. I really like many aspects of his design, first of all being that he is really nicely balanced both stat wise and in terms of the rules text. He offers utility to deck building by getting another sphere (Tactics) and more resources if you engage enemies. I really like this “getting a big reward if you trigger X”- approach since you can’t take the bonuses for granted (which would make Amarthiul too obviously good) but at the same time you don’t have to do miracles to make them happen, especially since 1. Players engage enemies constantly (so getting the Tactics sphere is constant), which makes him reasonable even without a particular theme in hero choices and 2. Amarthiul does not forget his roots because he still works better in a Dunedain themed deck (easier to gain the second bonus of an extra resource per turn). Engaging more than one enemy is suited for that archetype, so rules wise his design is both flavor-supporting and challenging in a good way.

That being said, another thing I really like about Amarthiul are his balanced statistics. Personally I prefer heroes that have obvious roles, and Amarthiul either wants to attack or defend but not quest unless he really has nothing better to do. Defense 3 is particularly great due to its relative rareness compared to the Defense value of 2, but at the same time he is not a Beregond or Dain and he only has 3 Hit Points. Overall 10 Threat seems to be reasonable for him.

And of course that Leadership/Tactics sphere support offers the possibility of using Tactics (and cards that require full Tactics like Thicket of Spears!) in small amounts when you need those but without sacrificing a hero slot for it. Best of all, Tactics cards often become more useful in combat so in this case the engagement “cost” for getting the sphere is not really a cost at all times.

And NOW for the actual deck. I decided to make an Eagle archetype deck because I like it quite a lot and Tactics decks are always great fun to construct and play, plus there can never be too many Eagle decks in my opinion. Moreover, Amarthiul potentially offers some important possibilities via the Leadership sphere while also filling the hole for mono-Tactics shenanigans when needed. Thus, Amarthiul is the first guy of the bunch.

Mablung

Since all of the Eagle cards are Tactics ones, going otherwise mono-sphere in that regard makes sense. Also, some of the Eagle cards are quite expensive, which means that extra resources come in handy, and that is exactly why I chose Mablung to be the second hero. He is everything the deck needs: versatile stats, particularly the 2 Willpower for some questing, and more importantly, more resources which are triggered nicely in the same way as Amarthiul. Another 10 Threat is also solid enough so there you are, an easy pick.

 

The third choice proved to be a much more difficult task. Tactics Allies, Eagles included, can attack for quite a lot so I really wanted to add some more versatility, particularly questing, to close the trio in some way. In fact, I always try more or less create decks that can take care of themselves as much as possible without any other deck to support them since I like to play solo quite a lot. I also know that it is sometimes really hard to succeed in those kinds of decks but I like to try to get them alone as far as possible at least. That’s why questing is a bit important. With that in mind, Legolas, Hama and Beorn are out. Hama’s ability to recycle Event cards is pretty tempting but not needed, and Beorn and particularly Legolas are great heroes (or at least Legolas is) but in this deck they offer nothing special (Legolas puts progress on the table but does not actually quest really well, and he is in fact all about attacking). Thalin and Dori are also out: Thalin is mediocre and I don’t like him unless I want to maximize direct damage or have a game with many players, and Dori is just… Dori. ‘Nuff said. Gimli is also quite mediocre here: his stats are okay but 11 threat is quite high for him and I cannot rely on taking the best advantage of his ability without fearing him dying. Considering some of the other hero choices, Boromir might be one of the best heroes in the game but I’m not certain if I can handle the threat with him. Elladan is a sad panda without his brother, but Bard was a consideration: 11 threat is not bad for his stat line, he can excel in questing, attacking or defending, and he is also useful in multiplayer games by punishing enemies really hard with his Ranged Attack, and all the cards that require the Ranged keyword become available. Bard is in fact a really good choice for the deck (Actually I also considered Brand for similar reasons just for all the negative comments he gets).

Bard-the-Bowman Beregond

In fact, in some cases even Beregond might also be worth considering. That sounds a bit weird considering that the deck wants versatility from its heroes, BUT in Siege scenarios he really shines with his Defense questing capabilities and there is always a market for heavy defender heroes no matter what, and that is where Beregond is right on top. And last but not least, he offers a great reason to pick up Equipment cards.

Aragorn

Those cards take space in the deck however, and in regular scenarios he offers nothing too fancy so not this time. For now there weren’t too many choices left for Tactics heroes but surprise, Aragorn was one of them. Yes, 12 threat, but he debuffs enemies and his ability to engage enemies when killing something synergizes nicely with the two other heroes we have. He also has a good stat line and yeah, Sword that was Broken is just tempting now when there is Leadership provided by Amarthiul. Aragorn therefore offers multiple solutions to the table instead of creating requirements – he does not require Equipment nor is there a risk of concentrating too much on attacking and taking Ranged stuff into the deck like with Bard, so I chose Aragorn to be the third hero.

 

So with 32 threat we got 3 heroes who have versatility in statistics and support each other with handling enemies and questing, and they all like engaging enemies. Time to construct the deck itself.

The numerous Eagle allies form the core of the deck so it is reasonable to start from those. All of the Eagle allies (Descendant of Thorondor, Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Vassal of the Windlord and Winged Guardian) are reasonable to take at maximum numbers since there are not a whole lot of them, excluding Landroval and Gwaihir which I take 2 each because they are unique Allies and also quite expensive. From the other Allies I chose max copies of Core Set Gandalf as usual, but I also decided to try a few copies of Faramir– he is an expensive ally for sure, but if you can pull him out he can change the efficiency of questing really quickly. I also chose a few copies of Veteran of Osgiliath– Tactics decks always seem to go quite high on Threat when I play those, and Veteran just enjoys it. Besides, once Valour is up he is very toolbox Ally that can excel in many areas of the game, making him a nice filler for the group. And since Faramir and Veterans are the only Allies that require the Leadership sphere they are hopefully possible to bring to the table without too much of an effort. Therefore the Allies currently are:

Veteran-of-Osgiliath

Ally (23):

3x Descendant of Thorondor

3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains

2x Faramir

2x Gwaihir

2x Landroval

3x Vassal of the Windlord

2x Veteran of Osgiliath

3x Winged Guardian

3x Gandalf

 

Now when Allies are chosen it is time to move to Events and Attachments. Starting with Events, the mainstay cards for Tactics were among the first ones to pick up, namely Feint and Thicket of Spears. Feint was an easy pick: I use it all the time (who doesn’t?) and always find myself in a situations where it can save a character. Thicket of Spears on the other hand is possible to use because of Amarthiul’s Tactics icon once enemies start to mess around, and it is great pleasure to play. The Eagles Are Coming! is also as obvious as cards get, but I decided to take two instead of the full three because the deck was starting to go over 50 cards, and even if one is pulled out it helps a lot. Valiant Sacrifice and Sneak Attack (+ Gandalf) added some additional card draw to the deck. And last but not least was Trained for War which enables this deck to function alone by making it huge at questing- Vassal of the Windlord’s essentially turn into  1 resource cost Allies that quest for 3, which is really awesome. Overall, the Events are a mix of combat denial, card draw and overall diversity.

Feint  Sneak-Attack

 

Event (14):

2x Feint

2x Thicket of Spears

3x Sneak Attack

2x Valiant Sacrifice

2x The Eagles Are Coming!

3x Trained for War

 

And lastly the Attachments. First choices here were the resource engines- the main idea is to give Horn of Gondor and Steward of Gondor to Amarthiul, making him able to pay for all the expensive Leadership cards. Cram is also quite handy, and Support of the Eagles is a toolbox for improving the defending and attacking skills of the deck. The last two cards were Secret Vigil and Sword that was Broken. The first one being a really unique way for Tactics to reduce threat that becomes more effective the more players there is so it was almost an automatic choice for the deck, and Sword that was Broken makes questing quite ridiculous and balances the spheres by giving Aragorn the Leadership icon.

Cram  Sword-that-was-Broken

 

Attachment (15):

3x Cram

2x Support of the Eagles

3x Steward of Gondor

3x Horn of Gondor

2x Secret Vigil

2x Sword that was Broken

 

So, I ended up having a deck well over 50 cards and started to take out cards after choosing them all. The deck ended up having 52 cards and it was really hard to take anything more out so that might be it for now. Resource cards were really important so those were represented in full numbers, and support cards received a little reduction. The idea is also that cards like Feint & Thicket of Spears for combat denial and Valiant Sacrifice, Sneak Attack + Gandalf and The Eagles Are Coming! for card draw all support each other so hopefully neither one is needed to be in full numbers. Sword that was Broken might seem odd to be only in two copies and not three due to its usefulness but hopefully Trained for War, Faramir and Gandalf help the questing phase enough in the meantime. It might as well be in full numbers though. Support of the Eagles is probably the first card I’m going to drop if there is any (for example, both copies for an additional Valiant Sacrifice and Sword that was Broken to maintain the 52 card deck) but we’ll see.

Heroes (3):

1x Amarthiul

1x Mablung

1x Aragorn (Tactics)

 

Ally (23):

3x Descendant of Thorondor

3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains

2x Faramir

2x Gwaihir

2x Landroval

3x Vassal of the Windlord

2x Veteran of Osgiliath

3x Winged Guardian

3x Gandalf

 

Event (14):

2x Feint

2x Thicket of Spears

3x Sneak Attack

2x Valiant Sacrifice

2x The Eagles Are Coming!

3x Trained for War

 

Attachment (15):

3x Cram

2x Support of the Eagles

3x Steward of Gondor

3x Horn of Gondor

2x Secret Vigil

2x Sword that was Broken

 

The deck is at its finest in combat, but it also tries its best to quest alone and to reduce its threat to take care of itself as long as needed. Obviously the deck completely lacks any kind of Encounter card denial other than cancelling attacks which can be really devastating in some scenarios- a random Necromancer’s Reach, Sleeping Sentry or Blocking Wargs etc. just murders this deck, and those cards are not that rare at all. The deck also lacks healing but at least it can defend itself quite well so hopefully that drawback is not too critical. Still, it is not surprising that the deck obviously goes best with Spirit/Lore decks for Encounter card denial, healing and an extra card draw. Anyway, time to move for the actual playtest of the deck, we can worry afterwards!

Game one, fight!

So, I decided to make an easy start and pick The Road to Rivendell as a first quest- I kind of like it as a tutorial quest for decks and overall it is a very nice little walk in Middle- Earth (excluding that stupid Sleeping Sentry that everyone hates, but let’s assume for a moment that it doesn’t exist right? Besides, it adds a little more twist to the game experience).

So, my starting hand was Vassal, Cram, 2x TEAC!, Horn and Gwaihir. Hmmm if I can get Winged Guardian then I’m fine I think, otherwise the hand looks pretty decent at least- I have one resource generator and all the Eagles of the world will be in my hand to fetch the deck nicely so why not. I pulled the Encounter card and got the Barren Hills location. Time to start playing.

GAME ON!!!

Amarthiul Road to Rivendell Start

I added some resources and drew Sword. What a lovely start. I played both TEAC!’s and got one Eagles of the Misty Mountains from the first draw and Landroval and Descendant of Thorondor from the other which was decent. I played Cram on Aragorn, Horn on Amarthiul and a Vassal leaving Amarthiul on one resource and moved on to quest. I decided to quest with Arwen, Aragorn and Mablung and gave one resource to Amarthiul.

A Wild Bear came! No extra threat was really nice and since my starting threat was 32 there were no worries about engagement. A total of 6 Willpower against 2 Threat so I won by 4. I traveled to Barren Hills and decided to ignore the bear- there was no reason to engage it yet. My first turn ended.

I added resources again and drew Secret Vigil– very useful. I played the Sword on Aragorn, leaving Amarthiul at 0 resources and everyone else at 1. I quested with the same trio again, this time for 9 Willpower and I gave the resource to Amarthiul once again. I got the Ruined Road from the encounter deck- not a big deal. After 8 progress the Barren Hills was explored and I travelled to Ruined Road, readying Aragorn. I engaged the bear, giving Amarthiul Tactics and Mablung one resource. I took the immediate attack with AragornPathless Country as a Shadow card- Ouch! That hurt and Arwen is almost dead already (oh great…). Oh and Vassal died, giving one resource to Amarthiul. I took the main combat attack with AmarthiulBitter Wind as a Shadow card. Son of a *****! Just got all those resources! With that happening my turn ended after raising my threat to 34 and readying everybody.

amarthiul Road to Rivendel Pic 1 Angry BearsAngry Bears

I drew Winged Guardian which was nice, and decided to play it, leaving Amarthiul on one resource once again. This time I quested only with Mablung and Arwen thanks to the Sword and gave Amarthiul the resource. Black Uruks came and no worries, don’t have to discard anything. Total 6 WP against 2 Threat so 4 progress, leaving Ruined Road on 1. I engaged Black Uruks, gave Mablung one resource and decided to take Uruks with Guardian and Bear with Aragorn. Turbulent Waters and Goblin Gate as Shadow cards so nobody cared. I paid for keeping Guardian with Amarthiul and attacked Uruk, doing one damage thanks to Aragorn’s rules. I passed my turn.

I drew Steward of Gondor and added resources, two in fact, to Amarthiul due to his rules! Go Amarthiul! I gave Steward to Amarthiul (ready to rock babe) and used it immediately. I brought Eagles of the Misty Mountains to the table, and I also played Secret Vigil on Uruks because I wasn’t sure if there were many enemies with more threat, leaving Amarthiul with one resource. I quested with Arwen, giving the resource to Amarthiul once again, and with Aragorn and Mablung– I wanted to hasten a little bit since Arwen was already damaged. I drew an encounter card and got Mountain Warg. Okay I think I can handle that, I have Guardian after all. Total 9 against 2 so 7 progress. Closing in. I engaged Warg (a bit of traffic here), gave the resource to Mablung and dealt Shadow cards and blocked Warg with Guardian, Uruks with Amarthiul and Bear with Eagles. Warg got Goblin Spearman to the staging area and stayed engaged, Bear dealt Orc Ambush and did nothing and Uruks got Pathless Country, killing Guardian and Arwen and causing me to lose the game.

Amarthiul Road to Rivendell Game ending#Lol#You Suck#Yolo

Well, that didn’t take long. The deck actually played pretty decently without the two fateful Shadow cards. Enemies started to pile up but Cram would have enabled Aragorn to kill Uruks, lower threat and engage goblins and allowing me to get ton of resources next turn, making it possible to play a couple of Eagles next turn.

But still, it just goes to show how important denial cards are in this game- two Hasty Strokes and everything would have been okay. As you probably guessed, the presence of the Pathless Country came to me as a bit of a surprise- I simply didn’t remember that the Shadow effect was there. You lose and learn I guess.

Moreover, the question of adding more card draw is still viable- the card pool was getting lower by the end of the game and it is something to be reconsidered- like adding another Valiant Sacrifice to the deck. Also, Sword was just fantastic, little surprise. It also deserves a third spot.

 

 

It’s not over yet though! One more game to get better results huh? So, I decided to give the deck one more try in solo play before trying it in multiplayer mode or modifying it.

Game two, fight!

 

So, after the “easy” Road to Rivendell, I decided to try something different and play one of my favorite quests of all time- The Foundations of Stone. That mission is just so cool. This time random damage effects aren’t as deadly as usual, but Moria Bats concern me a little bit- there are not many Ranged characters in my deck. But I decided to try the quest anyway so here we go.

My opening hand was Sacrifice, TEAC!, Thicket, Support, Veteran and Horn. Pretty good mix of everything I think, an Ally, a bit of card draw and supporting Attachments. I decided to keep the hand. I attached Torch to Amarthiul, drew Dark and Dreadful from the Encounter deck (phew!) and started the game.

GAME ON!

Alright ready to go! I collected resources and drew Guardian– an excellent draw. I played TEAC! and got Descendant of Thorondor and another Guardian. After thinking a little bit I decided to bring Guardian to table to defend and started questing. I chose Aragorn and Mablung to quest, and drew Goblin Swordman from the deck. Total 4 Willpower to 1 Threat so 3 progress to quest 1. I engaged the goblin, gave one resource to Mablung and chose to defend with Guardian. Goblin Scout as a Shadow card so no worries, and I paid with Mablung to keep the Guardian. Amarthiul attacked and killed the goblin. I raised threat by one and ended the first turn.

I got resources and drew Secret Vigil. I played Horn to Amarthiul and a second Guardian, leaving Amarthiul on 2 resources and Mablung and Aragorn on 0 (Side- note: while editing this text now it seems like I forgot to take the resource away from Mablung when I kept the Guardian last turn). I started questing with Mablung and Aragorn like in the first turn. A draw from Encounter deck and – Crumbling Ruin. I DIDN’T want to exhaust Amarthiul and play with luck so I chose one Guardian– luckily the card talks about “characters” and not about “heroes”. I drew Feint and not only lost a valuable combat denial card but also the Guardian (big surprise). But the questing was successful at least so 4 progress and an empty staging area so quite quiet still. I played Sacrifice when Guardian left and took a resource with Amarthiul’s Horn in the process. I drew Sword and Descendant, cool! I raised threat, readied everyone and ended the turn.

Amarthiul Foundations Pic 1 Anyone out thereAnyone out there?

I collected resources and drew Faramir. I gave Aragorn the Sword that belongs to him and decided to spare resources- I could have bought Veteran but I think Sword is a more reliable choice right now. The dynamic duo quested again and the boss stood guard. Goblin Tunnels! Okay, we’re getting deep right now. Total 6 Willpower against 2 threat so 4 progress, changing the quest. I travelled to Goblin Tunnels and passed my turn.

Time for some resources and card draw and… another Faramir. Interesting. I thought really hard before buying Allies this turn- one more turn and I could get Faramir, and I decided to go for it- I want to pass this quest fast since I hate discarding cards from my deck. I chose to buy no cards at all therefore. I quested with all three heroes, leaving Guardian to guard. Watchful Eyes! Damn you Gollum or whoever you are out there. Well, I put the Eyes on Amarthiul because at least he does not “have to” quest as much as other heroes do. Oh and I discarded Trained for War and Gandalf from the top of my deck. But the quest was really successful and a straight 8 progress was made, taking Goblin Tunnels out immediately. Eyes triggered and I drew Fouled Well. I discarded a card at random and Veteran left the game. I also used Torch to put some progress on the location and Branching Paths was discarded and another turn ended.

I got resources and drew another Sword. Wow nice draws. With plenty of resources to spare I played Faramir and exhausted Torch to get rid of the Fouled Well. Goblin Scout entered the game. I played Secret Vigil on it and started questing. I quested with Aragorn, Mablung and Faramir, and another Watchful Eyes was drawn. Well, I chose Mablung this time. How irritating. A total 8 WP against 2 Threat so 6 progress was made and another Trained for War and Secret Vigil left the game. Eyes triggered and Sudden Pitfall came and I quickly discarded Faramir and Amarthiul got a resource from Horn thanks to it, ending my turn.

Time for resources and I drew Sneak Attack. Great, now I only need Gandalf. I decided to play Descendant with it to take out the goblin and reduce my threat a little bit. Besides, thanks to Sword it now quests for 2. I quested with Aragorn, Mablung and Descendant and discarded Sneak Attack and Steward from the top of my deck, and drew Burning Low from the Encounter deck. Okay that one was easy. With all 8 questing going straight through I ended part 2 of the scenario and all of a sudden the ground started to crumble under our feet! Yikes!

Amarthiul Foundations Pic 2 Empty Wash Right NowEmptiest of Washes

 

Everything disappeared (goodbye Watchful Eyes!) and I ended up landing in…

 

Old One Lair. Oh well! Time to get my hands dirty and go straight to business I guess. Come on you monsters!

xiacy

Four more than exciting draws and I got:

Dark and Dreadful, Burning Low, Lost and Alone and Deep Deep Dark

Followed by Deep Deep Dark

Followed by… Moria Bats

Amarthiul Foundations Pic 3 Like the worst hangover everWorst hangover morning ever

Now this is interesting. I decided to shuffle Amarthiul into the deck- I get resources with Mablung and the Leadership sphere with Aragorn so hopefully that is enough. Besides Aragorn has his Sword. By the way, why the heck can’t the Winged Guardian defend against Bats? That is just ridiculous.

I chose to take the bats with Aragorn since he has more Hit Points and… Goblin Scout as a Shadow card. Just 1 point of damage, nothing special. I also got the 1 resource for Mablung. My turn ended, Descendant got back into hand and… I cannot damage Bats since it’s not in the staging area. Nothing to comment now really. Turn passed.

I took resources and drew Horn of Gondor. Now I decided to go autopilot and try to finish the quest as fast as possible. I played the Horn on Aragorn and put Descendant on table. I quested with everyone except for Guardian and drew Goblin Swordsman. Not too bad actually. Total 8 Willpower against that miserable 1 Threat so 7 progress and that job was done. Moving on to the final quest.

I added the Encounter card to staging area and it was Elder Nameless Thing! Holy **** this is getting close now. Fortunately my threat is still 37 so it’s not yet going to engage me but that stupid 4 threat is going to be a bit problematic. I engaged Goblin, got a resource with Mablung and blocked the Goblin with Guardian and the Attack 2 Bat with Mablung while praying for him not to die. Drowned Treasury and Nameless Thing as Shadow cards so no worries for now. I paid to keep the Guardian, he has been my greatest hero in this match. I passed my turn after moving my threat to 38.

Amarthiul Foundations Pic 4 Its getting close now“What are you guys doing in my kitchen?”

I drew Horn of Gondor so I still don’t have any answer to those Bats. After thinking a little bit I decided to buy another Descendant– I need to get rid of that Nameless Thing now. Two damage done, two more to go. I went questing and quested with Aragorn and Mablung. Time to draw and… Deep Deep Dark, followed by Deep Deep Dark, followed by Moria Bats and raising my Threat to 40, bringing more problematic Bats to the table which now attack a lot while enabling that Elder Nameless Thing to engage me.

At this point I just wanted to go to the nearest corner of my room and start crying.

Well, 6 Willpower against 5 Threat so 1 progress but it didn’t matter. The damage was already done. All the enemies engaged me and everything got killed. Descendants cannot damage anyone when leaving the table since that stupid rule only works on staging area, so my game was finished.

Amarthiul Foundations Pic 5 Not that great endingNot the best ending ever

I checked it out and interestingly no Shadow effects would have been drawn but Bats cannot be defended against and each of them attacks for 4 so there was really no reason to continue to even pretend to be interested about the actual combat. Even Thicket of Spears could not have been played since there was no third hero to pay for it! Amarthiul damn you, you failed!

 

Well folks, watch and learn: how to make decks that suck and lose your games with them. But to be honest, this was also not an easy call. I somehow felt that the deck could not get the best out of itself but ignoring those Bats was pretty brutal still. Vassals were the only Allies that could have actually defended or attacked against them and none of those appeared. Oh and the direct damage from Gandalf who also didn’t appear.

I just realized it while playing but seriously: why indeed don’t all Eagles have Ranged or Sentinel? Would that be too broken?

But, the deck also needs some fixing if it wants to stand alone, or at least more playtesting. Some ideas to modify the deck afterwards:

Adding:

+1 Sword that was Broken – Because in reality it is still broken

+1 Valiant Sacrifice – More card draw is more card draw

+1 Feint – It was much missed against all problematic enemies

+1 The Eagles Are Coming! – The card advantage this card gives is just too huge to be ignored

+1 Support of the Eagles – This card balances the deck since many characters were often busy questing, making the characters who can attack more powerful. Also really handy in scenarios where heavy defenders are needed

 

While dropping:

2x Thicket of Spears – They are okay sometimes but most of the time Feint is just fine

3x Cram – Didn’t miss it or need it that much, although these might actually replace Support of the Eagles– cards for cheap flexibility

Of the other cards, Veterans of Osgiliath were a bit of a mystery for now: they didn’t yet get themselves to table but they don’t seem to be too bad if only being a bit expensive, but they also need more playtesting.

What I really liked though was that the deck quested quite well and Trained for War was not even needed for that. As for the heroes, I kind of liked Aragorn in this deck but he can be replaced with Bard for example, although it probably modifies the deck quite a bit. But Amarthiul and Mablung did what was intended or at least most of it.

 

So in conclusion, this is where I ended up with the deck for now:

Heroes (3):

1x Amarthiul

1x Mablung

1x Aragorn (Tactics)

 

Main deck (52 cards)

Ally (23):

3x Descendant of Thorondor

3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains

2x Faramir

2x Gwaihir

2x Landroval

3x Vassal of the Windlord

2x Veteran of Osgiliath

3x Winged Guardian

3x Gandalf

 

Event (15):

3x Feint

3x Sneak Attack

3x Valiant Sacrifice

3x The Eagles Are Coming!

3x Trained for War

 

Attachment (14):

3x Support of the Eagles

3x Steward of Gondor

3x Horn of Gondor

2x Secret Vigil

3x Sword that was Broken

 

All things said, if you had the patience to read this whole wall of text, I really appreciate you! And finally: I do not think that I know everything about this game although it is apparent that I have strong opinions and I like to explain the choices I make for the deck, but after all I’m still a rookie in this game and trying to learn it and there are probably many things in this deck and in its playtest that could have been done differently.

What do you guys think about this deck or its overall archetype? What would you have done differently or do these hero choices stand out in a long run and in some more recent and harder quests? Is there any particular direction in deck construction that would make the deck more appealing? Or does Gwaihir still make for a better Lord of the Eagles in Middle- Earth? Have your say!

 

Miika

Advertisements

From → Deck Spotlight

15 Comments
  1. Hi! I have not read all article yet, but the first part of Amarthuil passive ability is considered like printed tactics resource icon?

  2. Thicket doesn’t require icons, just that you spend resources from 3 different heroes.

    • Ertai permalink

      But Trained for War does; would that work with these heroes?

  3. Fouilloux permalink

    Hi, I did not had the time tout read the article, juste the introduction, but what is the new rule for horn of Gordon?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      New rule is that Horn of Gondor generates a resource when a character is “destroyed” instead of just “leaves play”.

      • Fouilloux permalink

        Ho, damn, that really makes this cards weaker. When was this errata made?

        • lcgmikke permalink

          It indeed does! It seems like the development team wanted to edit it to make it play more like a “Tactics card” while also nerfing it… but some interactions definitely made it quite a good card before the errata.

  4. Ertai permalink

    Hello,

    Just wondering if Trained for War would work in this case? Does the extra Tactics count as a “printed” one?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      No, unfortunately it wouldn’t. Amarthiul follows the same rules as Oin, whose case was clarified in the FAQ. A printed icon only refers to the icon actually in the sphere section of the card.

  5. TalesfromtheCards permalink

    I just wanted to add my two cents that I enjoyed this one! Trying to go solo with mostly Tactics is a gutsy move and you actually had a fair shot in both games it looked like. There’s plenty to be learned from even games that are lost and decks that aren’t perfect. Sometimes there’s more to be learned actually.

    • Fouilloux permalink

      just read the article, and I agree with that

  6. xophnog permalink

    A good read. You’ve made me think about replacing Sam with Amarthiul in my Eagles deck. It would help smooth resources and stop from building a big pile on Sam that I can’t use.

    • lcgmikke permalink

      Yeah go for it, you won’t be disappointed! Sam is a great choice too.

  7. lcgmikke permalink

    Thanks for all the commentary everyone! It’s a bit unfortunate that Trained for War does not indeed work for Amarthiul due to lack of printed icon, but on the other hand it might not be that fatal for the deck actually- questing was not that problematic during the test run and since TfW can’t be played then there is no need to worry about it as a necessary card and therefore it can be replaced for something else, opening some new possibilities. Besides, it didn’t even show up in test games earlier.

    In the end, there is probably not going to be any final version of this deck since it depends quite heavily on the hero choices which can be altered as well as about personal interests in deckbuilding, and overall the later modifications will only be minor details in entirety (although Cram might make a comeback and Horn’s Cry also looks like a pretty cool card, as well as the third Secret Vigil– maybe something along those lines).

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Deck Construction: Mono Lore Secrecy Victory Display Part 2 | Tales from the Cards

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: