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Author Topic: Bilbo Choke/Moria - League Winner  (Read 6783 times)
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FYNO
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« on: April 11, 2014, 06:11:28 PM »

I've now played 100 games with this and have gone 95-5 (which includes 10-0 in an All Cards FOTR league and 5-0 in that league with a similar pre-Elf Lords deck, enabling me to win that league), so I think I may retire it and post it here. Losses were to a variety of different Shadows.

Ring-bearer: Frodo, Old Bilbo's Heir
Ring: The One Ring, Isildur's Bane

Adventure deck:
Hobbiton Party Field
Breeland Forest
Frodo's Bedroom
Mithril Mine
The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Dimrill Dale
Anduin Wilderland
Shores of Nen Hithoel
Summit of Amon Hen

Free Peoples (43):

Starting:
1x Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith
1x Merry, Friend to Sam

4x Aragorn, Heir to the White City
1x Pippin, Friend to Frodo
1x Sam, Son of Hamfast
1x Bilbo, Well-spoken Gentlehobbit
1x Bounder
1x Filibert Bolger, Wily Rascal

1x Practically Everyone Was Invited

1x Aragorn's Bow
1x Armor
1x Athelas
2x Blade of Gondor
2x Flaming Brand
2x Ranger's Sword
1x Sting
1x Frying Pan
3x Red Book of Westmarch

4x Gondor Bowmen
3x Consorting With Wizards
1x The Saga of Elendil
1x O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
3x Stone Trolls
1x There and Back Again
3x No Stranger to the Shadows
1x A Talent for Not Being Seen


Shadow(43):

4x Goblin Runner
4x Goblin Scavengers
4x Moria Scout

1x Goblin Scrabbler
1x Goblin Warrior
1x Goblin Sneak
1x Guard Commander
1x Troll's Keyward
1x Goblin Flankers

2x Cave Troll of Moria, Scourge of the Black Pit
1x The Balrog, Flame of Udun

1x Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant of Morgul
2x Ulaire Nertea, Messenger of Dol Guldur

4x Host of Thousands

4x Goblin Scimitar
1x Moria Axe

4x Goblin Armory
2x Goblin Swarms
1x Relics of Moria
3x They Are Coming


Strategy

Free Peoples:

Bid 3 to go first. You should mulligan a substantial fraction of hands that don't include at least one of Aragorn or Red Book of Westmarch. Bilbo draws lots of cards with the book (there are 16 tales in total), remove conditions and removes twilight. No Shadow side is particularly bad for you, so you could be aiming to quickly move to site 9 against anything.

Some specific card choices:

Stone Trolls: It's a tale, so against anything it can draw a card and discard a condition with Bilbo. Against Uruks, it makes your companions incredibly tough to beat. I am wavering about the third copy though (initially had two), as its twilight cost of 2 hurts the choke.
Pippin, Friend to Frodo: In here specifically to mitigate the effects of Saruman's Power (which is otherwise the worst card in the game for you). Only half your conditions are Shire Tales, but Stone Trolls in particular is very important to prevent from being discarded. Other than that, he can serve as a wound/exert soak and chump blocker.
Practically Everyone was Invited: There are only 4 non-starting hobbits, so it runs the risk of being dead or not very useful, but the primary purpose is to give a virtual second copy of Pippin (for Uruks) or Sam (for corruption).  
Single copy of Bilbo: It may seem risky given the reliance on Bilbo if you were to get outbid. I had three initially but kept cutting them, because I've found that a bid of 3 allows you to go first the overwhelming majority of the time, and those times the extra copies are quite a lot less valuable than an average card.
Single Athelas: May seem risky to not have more when Bilbo can't remove conditions attached to companions, but I've found the heal to not be particularly useful, and Bilbo can get rid of Black Breath/Blade Tip if they survive to the next fellowship phase.  

Shadow:

Fairly typical Moria swarm. If there is an original twist, it's that Runners, Scouts and Scavengers are the best orcs and are going to be your target for retrieving a majority of the time. Every other orc is a singleton, in order to ensure your discard pile will have a number of options for niche-use orcs.

The single Goblin Sneak with no Underdeeps of Moria is perhaps the most unusual card choice. It's in there because in the event your opponent gets to site 9, you'll often run out of cards, so it can mean an extra orc or two. However, this is a pretty uncommon event, so most of the time it's not worth playing more than once.    
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 03:41:45 AM by FYNO » Logged
thetimewarptrio
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2014, 04:22:39 AM »

This is sweet, I like this deck a lot. Most decks have specific uses against certain other decks, and some people refuse to play when a deck runs a certain strategy, but I never find that to be fun or work well when playing in reality. Making a balanced deck is one of the biggest challenges, and yet as I run through this deck list I'm not finding too many weaknesses. It's good against swarm with Aragorn, Heir to the White City, and has bonuses when it runs against Uruks and Orcs.

The Shadow side is again the typical Moria swarm, which I always feel like can be beaten by a decent Elf archery deck, but all the preventative measures (Goblin Armory, Moria Scout) are in store. Personally, I don't like running too many copies of They Are Coming, because I hate discarding cards from hand, but it's necessary if you need a last ditch stop I suppose and are running out of minions.

If you're going to replace a Stone Trolls (which I probably would), I'd most likely run another Bilbo, or maybe even a Legolas, Greenleaf. Even though having another companion is a little counter-intuitive to running an efficient choke, he's a good drop and exhaust to put some wounds on, and then can take one for the team. I find this useful when dealing with swarm, or (my favorite Fellowship shadow strat) Sauron direct wounding orcs.

Might have to try creating this deck, as I have a majority of these cards in my collection. My friends that I play with might not think it too fair, but it's their own fault for not being a member of this forum.
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FYNO
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2014, 05:07:37 AM »

I don't think Greenleaf would be particularly useful here, as the deck already does pretty well against Moria and Sauron due to Bilbo, so much that Frying Pan is almost superfluous. He also makes Moria Scouts free while he's around. Against Nazgul, he's a twilight generator and can't kill anything by himself, against Uruks he's a fifth companion and doesn't do much good against Saruman.
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thetimewarptrio
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2014, 05:24:33 AM »

I did forget about Gondor Bowmen, which does make him pretty useless as far as archery. Of course, you could always just discard him with a They Are Coming, but you could also do the same thing with Stone Trolls, it would just be an emergency backup really (trying to think of cards that might be more of a use to you than a third Stone Trolls). Maybe a Not Feared in Sunlight in case of a Nazgul blitz? (aside from the Flaming Brand pumps that is). Or even a Hobbit Stealth to get out of fighting a Balrog once.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 05:26:58 AM by thetimewarptrio » Logged

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FYNO
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 05:53:01 AM »

I originally cut the 4th Consorting with Wizards for the 3rd Stone Trolls. I think the borderline cards that could be added are those that already have at least one copy in the deck - a third Brand, a second Athelas, etc. (I have previously played with those). I've toyed with Farmer Maggot, but he looks a lot better on paper than in practice.

I'm not a fan of events (or de facto events like Not Feared in Sunlight). Pretty much every event I might consider has a condition or ally that does it just as well, but can be saved up for the right time. I'd play Thrarin before Hobbit Stealth, although I think the hobbits are probably sufficient for chump blocking.  
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 05:54:50 AM by FYNO » Logged
thetimewarptrio
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2014, 07:52:30 AM »

How would you feel about Boromir's Shield, Boromir's Cloak, or Mithril Coat? They all cost the same or less than Stone trolls, and minimize archery. Mithril Coat is probably the least valuable, as Uruks are going to probably be the least of your worries. Boromir's Cloak would help against Wizard Storm, Saruman's Frost, or Saruman's Chill (not to mention it's free). And the shield would cancel bonuses from posessions and take away archery. Also, if you played Rosie Cotton, Hobbiton Lass, you could throw Sam an extra strength, and she can exert to heal him if need be (and be healed using Frodo, OBH, if your hobbit allies have full vitality).
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FYNO
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2014, 03:31:30 PM »

I've considered Mithril Coat (or even switching the ring to the Ruling Ring) because one constraint against Uruks was not Frodo dying, but absorbing a lot of wounds against fierce Uruks and being in danger of corruption.

Shield of Boromir is basically Mithril Coat minus the Frodo Armor, so I don't see it being worthwhile.

I've seen weather conditions in only a handful of games ever, so Boromir's Cloak would probably be useless most of the time.
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thetimewarptrio
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 03:34:08 AM »

I do like Rosie Cotton, Hobbiton Lass as the best possible replacement.
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 01:42:16 PM »

Could you post a replay? Smiley
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FYNO
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 03:53:49 PM »

I do like Rosie Cotton, Hobbiton Lass as the best possible replacement.

I don't really see the point when Sam is a singleton chump blocker.

Quote
Could you post a replay?

Site 9 against Nazgul
Site 9 against Uruks

« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 03:55:50 PM by FYNO » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2014, 06:18:48 AM »

I just like the idea of making it harder to bump Sam via overwhelming (in the case that Frodo somehow bites it, and you have a backup ringbearer who is more than a meat shield), and the fact that if you're in burden trouble, having Rosie around can give you an extra removal from SoH's game text. Or, if you drop the frying pan on him, it's an extra wound you can inflict on an orc. I think dropping that in makes Sam more multi dimensional, rather than a bullet sponge.
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2014, 09:47:47 PM »

I just like the idea of making it harder to bump Sam via overwhelming (in the case that Frodo somehow bites it, and you have a backup ringbearer who is more than a meat shield), and the fact that if you're in burden trouble, having Rosie around can give you an extra removal from SoH's game text. Or, if you drop the frying pan on him, it's an extra wound you can inflict on an orc. I think dropping that in makes Sam more multi dimensional, rather than a bullet sponge.

She's not useless, but the important criteria is whether she's better than an alternative. Compare her instead to say, Farmer Maggot. Farmer Maggot gets two heals, of a starting companion (Merry) with a good exert ability, and potentially Pippin too. And yet I think he probably isn't worth a space.
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2019, 06:58:55 PM »

2019 Update:


Ring-bearer: Frodo, Old Bilbo's Heir
Ring: The One Ring, Isildur's Bane

Adventure deck:
Hobbiton Party Field
Breeland Forest
Frodo's Bedroom
Mithril Mine
The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Dimrill Dale
Anduin Wilderland
Shores of Nen Hithoel
Summit of Amon Hen

Free Peoples (42):

Starting:
1x Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith
1x Merry, Friend to Sam

4x Aragorn, Heir to the White City
1x Pippin, Friend to Frodo
1x Sam, Son of Hamfast
1x Bilbo, Well-spoken Gentlehobbit
1x Bounder
1x Filibert Bolger, Wily Rascal

1x Practically Everyone Was Invited

1x Aragorn's Bow
1x Armor
1x Athelas
2x Blade of Gondor
2x Flaming Brand
2x Ranger's Sword
1x Sting
1x Frying Pan
3x Red Book of Westmarch
1x Thror's Map

4x Gondor Bowmen
3x Consorting With Wizards
1x The Saga of Elendil
1x O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
2x Stone Trolls
1x There and Back Again
2x No Stranger to the Shadows
1x A Talent for Not Being Seen


Shadow(42):

4x Goblin Runner
4x Goblin Scavengers
4x Moria Scout

1x Goblin Scrabbler
1x Goblin Warrior
1x Guard Commander
1x Troll's Keyward
1x Goblin Flankers

3x Cave Troll of Moria, Scourge of the Black Pit
1x The Balrog, Flame of Udun

1x Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant of Morgul
1x Ulaire Nertea, Messenger of Dol Guldur

4x Host of Thousands

4x Goblin Scimitar
1x Moria Axe

4x Goblin Armory
2x Goblin Swarms
1x Relics of Moria
3x They Are Coming


Changes since last time:
-1 No Stranger To The Shadows
-1 Stone Trolls
+1 Thror's Map

-1 Goblin Sneak
-1 Ulaire Nertea
+1 Cave Troll


Stats got reset, but I've played well over 1000 games with a winrate around 91-92%.

Thror's Map is especially good for avoiding Slopes of Amon Hen against Uruks, which can create game-winning Saruman-backed swarms even against fairly strong fellowships. Other good uses are avoiding Ford of Brunien against Nazgul, or just helping your Shadow side with an underground site 4, or Dimrill Dale at 6, or avoiding archery at 7.

I think Cave Trolls are really essential in Moria for the damage and stopping power they provide.

----

I humbly think this may be the optimal (or very close to) ~42 card Moria shadow. I've seen other Moria decks running cards like Goblin Wallcrawler and Goblin Backstabber and I think they're making a mistake. They're just watering down your deck away from the better orcs (Runner/Scout/Scavengers). Especially if you're not running 4 Host of Thousands for some reason.

I think an element of beatdown (in Trolls/Balrog/Axe etc) is a lot better than a straight swarm. Unless you get a perfect hand, pure swarm will too often allow easy doubles without doing any damage.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 07:00:27 PM by FYNO_ » Logged
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