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Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:52 pm
Joined: 12 Jan 2007 Posts: 4594 Location: Beltsville, MD, USA
Here’s a very interesting little fellowship. It’s built around Pippin, Steadfast Friend and is designed to abuse his text to the fullest. But as you’ll see, it hardly ends there.

Fellowship (42 cards):

Gimli, Bearer of Grudges (w/ The One Ring, The Ring of Rings)

Companions (4 cards):

Pippin, Steadfast Friend (starting)
Gloin, Friend to Thorin (starting)
Aragorn, Strider (starting)
Uri, Dwarven Lord

Artifacts/Possessions (8 cards):

Gimli’s Battle Axe, Trusted Weapon
Axe of Khazad-dum
Anduril, Flame of the West
Hobbit Sword
Ring of Fury x2
Book of Mazarbul
Scroll of Isildur

Conditions: (30 cards):

Hornblower Leaf x4
A Dragon’s Tale x4
Scouring of the Shire x2
Lord of Moria x4
Till Durin Wakes Again x3
Thorin’s Harp x2
Aggression x2
Mines of Khazad-dum
The Faithful Stone x2
Gondor Bowmen x2
The Saga of Elendil x2
No Stranger to Shadows
Hearts Raised

Pippin’s text is simple, but awesome: he is strength +1 for each tale you can spot. No limitations on cultures or what his strength caps at, so he can become HUGE. Theoretically, with all your tales out and the Hobbit Sword on him, he is strength 22 in this deck. Gloin ain’t bad either, as he is strength +1 for each Dwarven tale...though his unfortunately caps at +4. Still, getting up to 9 strength on a 2-cost Dwarf ain’t bad at all.

Of course, it’s unlikely you’ll ever have all those tales, partly because you’ll likely be discarding some. You’ll want to keep your Dragon’s Tales in play as long as possible, but they can give you some pre-skirmish exerting if you really need it. The Hornblower Leaves don’t help with Pippin’s strength, but while he’s there, it’s more than worth it to have them in thanks to their versatility: they can discard minions when you double-move, or they can remove threats that may be added by Gimli’s text.

But Pippin, as big as he can get, can’t do it all himself. Our Dwarves do a couple things here they do well in most decks: card drawing and big damage bonuses. With all your Lords of Moria out, each of your Dwarves is damage +4, so if you win some skirmishes with them, obviously nothing is going to crawl away afterwards. Aggression is a nice bridge between even MORE damage or card drawing, which is the MAIN reason it’s in here. Your Dwarves will also be very hard to wound to death thanks to Till Durin Wakes Again and Rings of Fury, meaning that the exertions required for Thorin’s Harp and Uri’s text likely won’t affect you either.

Aragorn not only takes up the 1 left in our starting fellowship, but he allows access to tales like Gondor Bowmen, which will likely be discarded at some point along the way, and The Faithful Stone, which costs a lot to get in play, but can REALLY help out such a small fellowship after that, especially against any minions that even Pippin can’t handle. The Saga of Elendil gives him his only real pump, but it also provides another tale to play with, which is always nice. He also helps a little with Gimli’s potential threats thanks to Hearts Raised (which can also help cycle this large deck) and his two artifacts not only make him bigger, but also help out in terms of resistance for Gimli, another tale for Pippin, and in a pinch, grabbing a Ring of Fury if you’re desperate for one. Oh, and No Stranger to Shadows overrides his annoying extra 1 whenever you move.

I’ll post the Shadow side later, but it’s more or less your standard Moria swarm, with some Balrog fun thrown in for good measure.

I haven’t had a chance to actually play with the deck yet, but in a couple simulated games, it actually cycles very well (thanks to the lack of events in the FP side and the good cycling nature of Moria).

So, what do you think?
Best regards, Dáin, Vice Aftokrator of the Chosen Ones

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Anonymous Prodigy
Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:08 pm
Joined: 10 Jan 2006 Posts: 4197 Location: United States
Neat idea! Thumbs Up This looks good, but I think a well-built archery deck would tear it apart. Want to playtest against me? Twisted Evil
I had to put something here.
Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:21 pm
Joined: 01 May 2007 Posts: 2256 Location:
Can I just point that Pippin, Steadfast Friend is utterly ridiculous! I use him in a very casual tale deck, and I draw 4 cards per fellowship phase and get a Hobbit to strength 16 with surprising ease!

With regards to your deck, firstly Aggression is X-listed in expanded play, and very rightly so. On the subject, do you know that the Book of Marzarbul only works on fellowship block sites?

Secondly, where is the Red Book of Westmarch? With so many tales, I really think you should forgo Gimli and go with Bilbo, Bearer of Things Burgled, giving you access to 4 cards per fellowship phase (without Aggression - a point I’ve raised above), and even more tales like O Elbereth Gilthoniel and Consorting With Wizards. And, you can then even do without all of your threat removal. Even if you keep Gimli, Nine Fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom is much more efficient than Hornlower Leaf, and draws you more cards if you use the Red Book.

Thirdly, I would probably replace some (if not all) of your Hornblower Leaf with some Halfling Leaf to save Pippin if you face some nasty Southrons that don’t need to win they’re fights. Oh, and where’s Tale of the Great Ring? And maybe There and Back Again for those extra huge strength boosts!

Fourthly, TAKE OUT MINES OF KHAZAD-DUM! If you really want another tale, just throw in a card that actually does something like Till Durin Wakes Again or one of the suggestions above.

Oh, and without some of the Gondor stuff (like The Faithful Stone, which seems mainly unnecessary - Shire and Dwarven have more than enough tales between them to make a deck like this work), Defending the Keep becomes an almost must. And Ever My Heart Rises - where’s that in a deck like this?

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Vote for your favourite Bilbo, Retired Adventurer(V)
Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:45 pm
Joined: 28 Dec 2006 Posts: 5468 Location: I don't know...
DáinIronfoot wrote:
Bilbo, Bearer of Things Burgled (w/ The One Ring, The Great Ring)

Companions (4 cards):

Pippin, Steadfast Friend (starting)
Gloin, Friend to Thorin (starting)
Aragorn, Strider (starting)
Gimli Condition Protector

Artifacts/Possessions (7 cards):

Gimli’s Battle Axe, Trusted Weapon
Dwarven Axe
Anduril, Sword that Was Broken
Hobbit Sword x 2
Scroll of Isildur
Seeing Stone of Orthanc

Conditions: (21 cards):

Red Book of Westmarch x 2
A Dragon’s Tale x4
Scouring of the Shire x4
Lord of Moria x4
Till Durin Wakes Again x4
Consorting with Wizards x 2
The Faithful Stone x 2

Thranduil’s dead on. I suggest a fellowship like this. 33 cards, and rocking. That’s a slim deck so you get everything you need.

I thought I used to build monster decks, but seriously, 42 CARDS?!?!?!

The only time I’d build a deck that big is Dwarf Cycle/Moria Swarm.

And that would be a stretch. Do you ever get halfway through the deck, and do you ever get any cards you need?

I cut the choke engine, Aggression, added 2x Scouring of the Shire (you’re running a tale deck WITHOUT 4 copies?).

Till Durin Wakes Again is good enough to make you drop Ring of Fury. Especially if you run some site control shadow.

Speaking of which, you need a deck that will make this deck rock. May I suggest...?

Mountain Troll x 4
Rallying Orc x 3
Cave Troll of Moria, Savage Menace x 2
Watchful Orc x 2
Horror of Harad x 2
Emboldened Orc x 4
Howling Orc x 4
Prowling Orc x 2
Shotgun Enquea x 2

Goblin Hordes x 4
Demoralized x 4

Get out Demoralized and get out Goblin Hordes. Drop a Rallying Orc and a few minions, and then discard them all with a Mountain Troll. Use Mountain Troll to chain them out again and swarm the heck out of the exhausted FP. Cave Troll throws a small wrench into the strategy, which the Dwarven Axe helps somewhat. Just enough to mess up their rhythm and start losing a couple crucial cards.

If you don’t run a cycling shadow like this one, drop a Seeing Stone and two The Faithful Stone. That’s a 30 card deck. Or keep this, 33 is pretty slim, I may drop 1 card.
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