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First Age: Mustering the Edain

by on March 31, 2016

Hador

I always get ridiculously excited when someone submits a First Age deck. The fact that people are having fun with the First Age material makes the hard work worth it! For more information on First Age, check out the First Age page and the Doom Mastered cycle page. Enjoy! -Ian

Despite the fact that fantasy settings are rife with Elves, Dwarves, and other magical beings, I have always been drawn to the human characters.  Something about humanity surviving in an age dominated by enchanted races just speaks to me; therefore, it should come as no surprise that, when I took on the First Age, my favorite deckbuild was one that focused around the Edain trait.

For those who haven’t taken the dive into the Silmarillion, the Edain are the ancestors of the Numenorians, who in turn are the ancestors of both the Dunedain and the Gondorians.

Ian has done a great job in linking these traits to their counterparts in the official expansions.  Two hallmarks common to both Gondor and Edain decks are the ability to raise a fast army, and the ability to buff that army with global stat boosts.  In the featured deck, Secret Toil and Hador will be the tools for building our army, and Finrod Felagund will provide them with a global willpower boost.

Perhaps more fascinating is that Hurin, Haleth, and the Haladin Woodsmen boast abilities that fit within the Dunedain strategy, despite that fact that the First Age set was released long before The Lost Realm and the Angmar Awakened cycle.  Does Ian possess a Palantir, and is he using it to scry on Matt and Caleb?  The answer is probably yes.

I now present, for your consideration, a deck that I’ve titled “Mustering the Edain”:

Starting Threat: 24
Total Cards: 50

Hero (3):

Hurin
Haleth
Finrod Felagund

Allies (27):

Gondolin Guard x3
Huor x2
Huan x2
Haladin Woodsman x3
Beor x3
Morwen x2
Tuor x2
Barahir x2
Hador x3
Chieftan of Men x3
Household Guard x2

Attachments (5):

Unexpected Courage x3
Oath of Friendship x2

Events (18):

Undismayed x3
Feint x2
A Test of Will x2
Hasty Stroke x3
Flame Light! Flee Night! x2
Secret Toil x2
Valiant Sacrifice x2
Leaguer x2

Sideboard:

High Kingship of the Noldor
Nimphelos

Strategy:

This deck is designed to abuse Hador’s ability as much as possible, in order to build a large army fast.  You’ll notice that this deck contains 3 copies of Hador.  If our luck holds, we’ll be able to make use of all 3 copies.  Mulligan for Flame Light! Flee Night! or Hador, and get him into play as soon as possible.

The wonderful thing about Hador is that his ability does not require him to exhaust, so he is able to contribute his stats during the round that you discard him.  He is also the perfect target for cards like Flame Light! Flee Night! or Undismayed; both of which discard the target ally at the end of the round anyways.  In a perfect round, you can chump-block with Hador, trigger Valiant Sacrifice to draw 2 cards, bring him back with Undismayed, smack the enemy in the face, and then trigger his ability to muster two more allies to the table.  It won’t happen every game, but it’s a bomb when it does.  In the absence of Hador, Secret Toil can help bolster your ranks.  If you’re lucky, you may even pull Tuor out of the deal.

Let’s not forget the heroes of the party.  Both Hurin and Haleth get stronger, in attack and willpower (or defense) respectively, for each enemy engaged with you; therefore, both would benefit from some Unexpected Courage.  You may even want to sub in Nimphelos to give Haleth some additional defense via her innate ability.

The First Age quests hit hard from all corners, so the remainder of the deck helps defend against untimely evenualities.  Household Guard and Hasty Stroke are nice to have on hand, especially for Seat of Morgoth.  Leaguer and Feint have saved my butt more than once, and the Gondolin Guards and Huan are nice to see when you’re in a bind.  Oath of Friendship is a great tool for resource smoothing, especially if your friend has the High Kingship of the Noldor.

As a final note, you’re probably wondering why the powerful cards Nimphelos and High Kingship have been relegated to the sideboard.  The answer is because I play two-handed, and I often found myself using them in my partner decks.  Feel free to sub them in as need be, though you’ll find this deck performs much better if you leave in as many allies as possible.

I hope you have as much fun with this deck as I have.  Now go grab yourself a Silmaril!
– Michael aka “WanderingTook”

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From → Custom

2 Comments
  1. Kjeld permalink

    Love the Edain, they’re like the dwarves of First Age (but not quite so OP). Looking forward to more Edain development in future adventure packs!

    Also, I’m curious what deck you generally pair this with? I’d think a Beren/Luthien deck would be good, but perhaps you need the heavy hitters like Turin, Ecthelion or Fingolfin for combat duties…

    • WanderingTook permalink

      I was never totally satisfied with the decks that I paired this with, but I learned a couple of things from my trials:
      – This deck is actually fairly flexible, being able to switch between combat and questing depending on the situation. That opens up the options for the second deck. I personally used Mustering the Edain primarily for combat.
      – Luthien is amazing, especially in Seat of Morgoth. The partner deck would do well to include her

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