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Video: Another Look at Lore Rangers and Gondor Shares

by on March 23, 2016

sfara

Check out another video production (and accompanying article) from Bork and Zim! -Ian

After an interesting showing last time with the Lore Rangers and Gondor Shares decks against Passage Through Mirkwood, I decided to make some changes to the decks. Afterward we pseudo-randomly chose a quest to take the decks against, which turned out to be Fords of Isen. This didn’t turn out so well, but it was pretty interesting. Below, you’ll see the changes made to the decks, the reasoning for each change, and below that you can watch us get destroyed by Dunlendings!

Lore Rangers 2.0 Deck Changes

The first deck we’ll look at is the Lore Rangers deck. I decided I wanted to try getting some cancellation and threat reduction into the deck, so I decided to swap in a Spirit hero, which would also help start at a lower threat level and hopefully get some good use out of Haldir.

Hero Changes

  • -1 Aragorn
  • +1 Merry

This was tough. I really liked all my heroes, but Damrod is core to the original intent of the deck and part of the reason to switch to a low-threat Spirit hero was to get more use out of Haldir, so Aragorn was the one to go, even though he is potentially the strongest threat reduction in the game. Choosing a Spirit hero to replace him wasn’t too difficult. I had yet to try Merry and his repeatable threat reduction sounded perfect. My other choice was Galadriel, but Merry has a better starting threat and, as I said, I haven’t tried him yet.

Ally Changes

  • -1 Ithilien Archer
  • -3 Ithilien Lookout
  • -1 Ithilien Tracker
  • -2 Wandering Ent
  • -2 Gandalf
  • +2 Arwen Undomiel
  • +1 Imladris Stargazer
  • +3 Minas Tirith Lampwright
  • +1 Zigil Miner

Obviously, I needed to replace some Lore cards with some Spirit cards to make this deck work, which is the primary reason for each of these changes. I removed 1 Ithilien Archer and 1 Ithilien Tracker just to thin out the Lore cards, and I removed all of the Ithilien Lookouts because I felt they were the worst of the Ithilien Rangers, though I could be wrong. I removed Wandering Ent from the deck because I wanted to keep as many Gondor characters as possible to get more use out of Visionary Leadership. I removed Gandalf because he honestly fit better in the other deck and is difficult to afford with this deck.

I added Arwen for obvious reasons: she’s amazing! I also added the Lampwright to try out his cancellation and because he’s Gondorian, so we can actually get some use out of him with Boromir/Visionary Leadership if we need to. I wasn’t sure what else to add so I threw in a copy Imladris Stargazer and Zigil Miner and hoped that I’d have enough card draw to see them and actually have a bit of resource generation in this deck.

Attachment Changes

  • -2 A Burning Brand
  • -1 Ambush
  • -2 Elf-Stone
  • -2 Forest Snare
  • -1 Ranger Bow
  • -1 Wingfoot
  • +2 Hobbit Pony
  • +2 Light of Valinor
  • +1 Song of Earendil
  • +1 Steed of Imladris
  • +2 Unexpected Courage

A Burning Brand had to go since I no longer had a worthwhile Lore defender. 1 Ambush, 1 Ranger Bow, and 1 Wingfoot mostly just got removed to make room for some more Spirit cards, though Wingfoot was also partially replaced by Light of Valinor since the only legal target is Haldir, who is the one I usually put Wingfoot on, though now Wingfoot could go on Damrod too. Elf-stone was removed because I don’t have many expensive allies and the other deck should be able to get expensive allies in just fine. I also dropped 2 Forest Snares because they’re really expensive in a deck that isn’t mono-Lore.

Hobbit Pony was brought in to try out on Merry. I would have preferred Fast Hitch, but Hobbit Pony was free, so I can’t really argue with it, though I’m thinking it’ll probably swap later. As mentioned, Light of Valinor is a cheap and reliable way to get more use out of Haldir. Song of Earendil is a card I’m testing to see if it can be used for this deck to help keep the other deck’s threat lower. Steed of Imladris is another test card because it’s hard to have too much location control. Finally, Unexpected Courage is an obvious choice here.

Event and Side Quest Changes

  • -2 In the Shadows
  • -3 Mithrandir’s Advice
  • +3 A Test of Will
  • +1 Double Back

I removed In the Shadows because you tend to not want to engage because you have practically no defense and Haldir works better when you don’t engage. I was also concerned about trying to keep my threat low enough to trigger it. Mithrandir’s Advice is gone now that the deck isn’t mono-Lore and has lost some capability. Added A Test of Will and Double Back for obvious reasons. I wish I had room for Hasty Stroke.

Gondor Shares 2.0 Deck Changes

This deck didn’t swap a hero out, let alone have that hero be a different sphere, so the changes are less dramatic, but still considerable. The primary issue I found before was that we wanted to use A Very Good Tale and Faramir very liberally, but had very few allies that costed enough to really make it worthwhile.

Hero Changes

Nothing here. I still wanted to make this the deck that engages enemies, so I kept Faramir to make better use of the strong allies and Mablung for so more good use of those engaged enemies.

Ally Changes

  • -1 Errand Rider
  • -3 Herald of Anorien
  • -2 Dunedain Hunter
  • -2 Gondorian Spearman
  • -3 Squire of the Citadel
  • +1 Citadel Custodian
  • +1 Denethor
  • +2 Erestor
  • +1 Ingold
  • +1 Veteran of Osgiliath
  • +2 Defender of Rammas
  • +2 Henneth Annun Guard
  • +2 Gandalf

There are actually more ally changes in this deck than in the other deck! Primarily, we’re just trying to get rid of cheap allies and bring in more expensive strong allies while also primarily sticking to the Gondor trait. Erestor is different; we really just needed some more card draw, though it wasn’t very helpful against Dunlandings. Gandalf is a similar story, except we also took him out of the other deck because this deck has Sneak Attack, which will make Gandalf easier to play as well as allow him to help get expensive allies out with A Very Good Tale. The only other odd swap may be the Gondorian Spearman versus Defender of Rammas. The last game showed us that we really lack strong defenders, and other than allies with the same name as our heroes, we’re pretty limited on sturdy defending allies.

Attachment Changes

  • -1 Steward of Gondor
  • -2 Sword that was Broken
  • -1 Visionary Leadership
  • -2 Captain of Gondor
  • -2 Horn of Gondor
  • +2 Arod
  • +2 Bow of the Galadhrim
  • +2 Secret Vigil

First of all, I wanted to see how well the decks would do without relying on Steward of Gondor and Visionary Leadership so much. Sword that was Broken was removed simply because Aragorn is no longer a member of the party. Captain of Gondor was out because I added more good defenders and because I wanted more attack, so it was replaced with the Bow of the Galadhrim, which will make Haldir amazing. Horn of Gondor was removed partially because the Squires and Dunedain Hunters are no longer there, but mostly because of the errata not allowing it to be used with Sneak Attack.

Arod was added for more location control and Secret Vigil will hopefully help prevent the biggest problem we had in the first game.

Event Changes

  • -2 Legacy of Numenor
  • +2 Sneak Attack
  • +2 Wealth of Gondor

Legacy of Numenor proved to be too “expensive” in the first game, so I added the much weaker Wealth of Gondor to replace it, which will hopefully be enough to help the other deck out a tiny bit. I may swap this for Tighten Our Belts. Sneak Attack was added for Gandalf or just to pop any old expensive ally into play just to be exhausted with A Very Good Tale.

The Results

While making the decks, I thought I was making a lot of good choices, but now there are some that I’d take back. I tried to have a lot of 1x and 2x cards in order to experiment with the consistency and also to be able to fit more experimental cards in. Sadly, there are a lot of different cards I just wasn’t able to see because of this. So, first of all, I wish I could make the decks more consistent. I also wish I could really pick a single strategy and focus harder on it: there should be more traps and there should be more allies. Also, I should just commit to the ally mustering deck and go mono-Leadership so I can use Strength of Arms and Reinforcements and such. In the end, I think this was a relatively failed experiment, but I completely give up, I want to try a solo deck that essentially combines these decks into one deck. I found the deck on the forums.

As for how these 2 decks fared… well, take a look:

YOUTUBE VIDEO:

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