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Author Topic: FotS Start / Nazgul  (Read 4311 times)
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ramolnar
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Formats: Movie, Towers Block, Expanded, most others
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« on: January 24, 2015, 03:44:03 PM »

I got a request to post this deck, which gives me an opportunity to muse like an old man. I celebrated my birthday last week so it seems fitting. This isn't the best deck in Fellowship Block, nor is it the best build of this deck, but it illustrates something about tournaments. Why do I start FotS? Why is the Nazgul support mix so varied? Read on.

Ring-bearer: Frodo, Son of Drogo
Ring: The One Ring, Isildur's Bane

Adventure deck:
The Prancing Pony
Bree Streets
Ford of Bruinen
Moria Lake
The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Caras Galadhon
Anduin Wilderland
Gates of Argonath
Emyn Muil

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
3x Gimli, Son of Gloin
1x Arwen, Daughter of Elrond
3x Legolas, Greenleaf
1x Gandalf, Friend of the Shirefolk
2x Aragorn, Ranger of the North
1x Boromir, Lord of Gondor
1x Albert Dreary, Entertainer From Bree
1x Barliman Butterbur, Prancing Pony Proprietor
1x Gimli's Battle Axe
1x Gimli's Helm
3x Glamdring
1x Armor
2x Flaming Brand
1x Ranger's Sword
2x Sting
1x Narya
4x Servant of the Secret Fire
2x Sleep Caradhras

Shadow Draw Deck:
3x The Witch-king, Lord of Angmar
3x Úlairë Attëa, Keeper of Dol Guldur
3x Úlairë Cantëa, Lieutenant of Dol Guldur
2x Úlairë Enquëa, Lieutenant of Morgul
2x Úlairë Nelya, Lieutenant of Morgul
1x Úlairë Nertëa, Messenger of Dol Guldur
2x Úlairë Toldëa, Messenger of Morgul
1x Morgul Blade
2x All Blades Perish
2x Frozen by Fear
2x Morgul Gates
2x Relentless Charge
3x Black Breath
3x Blade Tip

*** Why start Fots?
Because it's a lot harder to lose to yourself. As old-timers will remember, real life tournaments didn't act like GEMP. To reach the Top 2 in a Territorial, you had to go 6-0 or 5-1 with good tiebreaks, in a tiebreaker system that punished early defeats much more harshly than losses later. There were also many mediocre decks, inferior due to strange ideas or card unavailability. The point of this build was to be strong against mediocre decks, get to 2-0 or 3-0, and then try to win 50/50 matchups. The FotS version that starts Gimli and Legolas Greenleaf has more upside because you can play stuff on Gimli immediately, and FotS jumps in at base strength 9. But that requires grabbing him. Doing a quick probability calculation, having 6 ways to get Gandalf (2 + 4 AWINL) in a 68 card deck, plus a mulligan, gives you roughly a 80% chance of having the opening Gandalf. If I want to reach a Top 8 at 5-2, that's fine, as I can not find anybody and take a Round 2 loss to something like Hobbit Hospital / cheap Moria. But to go 5-0 and win a local event, it's not.

Similarly, there are 3 Glamdring for stability. Gandalf fights! A lot! Aragorn has 3 weapons because he fights! A lot! Boromir is an extra man to hold Gondor stuff, while a higher variance deck would run something else like Ottar. There's no Aragorn's Bow to avoid double Relentless Charge; Aragorn RotN reduces the chance of stupid swarm; Nelya site-changer lets me swap site 1 to the Pony going second, instead of the potentially Damage +1 twilight version. All but one of the Nazgul have 3 vitality; there's no Lemenya because Lemenya is a "win more" card. If the Fellowship is so weak that it can't kill a 9/2, I'm already winning.

*** Why is the Nazgul support mix so varied?
Because I don't know the meta. If you have the right support, Nazgul are a Tier 1 deck. If not, you have 4-6 dead cards, and a Tier 2 option (or less). For instance, packing 4 Relentless Charge is great if someone runs archery, but not dwarves. Against dwarves I want 4 Morgul Gates. To run Their Power is in Terror requires dropping something else.

I always recommend All Blades Perish and Frozen by Fear. They always work - Frozen gets plenty of unexpected wins, and ABP stops PATHS, directed archery, and a fully extended opponent. Beyond that, you have to choose. I've tried pretty much everything, even dropping the Black Breath and Blade Tip for lots of maneuver wounding in the "I hate Elf ally archery" variant. There's always a right answer, but I have to know the right question.

Honestly, I did most of my Fellowship Block play before the release of Realms of the Elf-Lords and not much over that summer/fall. Aided substantially by Aragorn Heir to the White City and the ridiculously under-costed Gondor Bowmen, this is not the best deck on either side. I have a 70% win rate on Gemp, which feels about right.
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evergrey84
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Formats: Fellowship
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2017, 10:58:51 AM »

Hey i test your deck, and then make a review.
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evergrey84
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Formats: Fellowship
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2017, 09:16:03 AM »

I played 6 games and won 5, and make a mistake and loose gandalf. Against choke decks its hard when you have only one nazgul on your hand. I will try bill ferny , and the sauron orc where you can 2 nazgul cards events, shuffle in your deck.
Again archery fellowship with 4x Gondor bowmen, fully legolas and aragorn with bow its hard.
But it makes fun to play.
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Ringbearer
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Gemp: Ringbearer
Formats: FOTR, TS or movie
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 02:29:00 PM »

Only thing I wonder is why no 4 morgul gates, rest sounds solid.
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evergrey84
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Formats: Fellowship
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 12:43:01 AM »

@Ringbearer i changed the deck a little bit, and i thought the 4 morgul gates are better.
its fun to play, but i prefer moria swarm decks. The cycling is better than with nazgul
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