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Author Topic: Friend of the Shirefolk/Burden intensive shadow  (Read 5133 times)

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January 17, 2013, 08:04:53 AM
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Friend of the Shirefolk/Burden intensive shadow
« on: January 17, 2013, 08:04:53 AM »
1x •Frodo, Old Bilbo's Heir (Starting)
1x •The one Ring, Isildur's Bane (starting)
1x The Prancing Pony
1x Weathertop
1x Ford of Bruinen
1x Eregion Hills
1x The Bridge of Khazad Dum
1x Caras Galadhon
1x Anduin Confluence
1x Shores of Nen Hithoel
1x Emyn Muil
Fellowship (34)
1x •Gimli, Son of Gloin (Starting)
1x •Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood (Starting)
4x •Gandalf, Friend of the Shirefolk
2x •Aragorn, Heir to the White City
1x •Elrond, Lord of Rivendell
1x •Barliman Butterbur, Prancing Pony Proprietor
1x •Gimli's Battle Axe
1x •Gimli's Helm
1x •Bow of the Galadhrim
1x •Long Knives of Legolas
1x •Glamdring
1x •Aragorn's Bow
1x Armor
1x Flaming Brand
1x •Ranger's Sword
1x •Sting
1x •Gandalf's Staff
1x •Narya
2x Delving
2x Deep in Thought
3x Servant of the Secret Fire
2x Shoulder to Shoulder
2x Trust Me as You Once Did
1x •The Saga of Elendil
Shadow (34)
3x Band of the Eye
4x Morgul Hunter
3x •The Witch King, Lord of the Nazgul
2x •Ulaire Attea, The Easterling
3x •Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant of Morgul
4x •Ulaire Nelya, Ringwraith in Twilight
1x •Ulaire Toldea, Messenger of Morgul
3x Enduring Evil
3x It wants to be Found
2x Relentless Charge
3x Desperate Defense of the Ring
2x Thin and Stretched
1x Helpless

This is my first post on this forum, so I decided to upload this deck I created that has roughly 2/3 win rate on Gemp.  The Fellowship is rather straightforward: bid 1 to start (if they bid more, they'll often really feel the pain from the Shadow) and make sure you get Gandalf.  It works wonders against plenty of shadow strategies, particularly Nazgul Beatdown and Orc Bowmen.  Any Shadows that rely on conditions will fall to the hideously powerful Shoulder to Shoulder and Deep in thought combo.  Those that need to win skirmishes hate the potential +6 boost TMaYOD can provide the already strong Gandalf and Aragorn (and Legolas vs Nazgul).  Moria can cause trouble if you don't get in a Deep in thought to wipe out their Goblin Armories before the swarm hits, but if you do, it's basically game over.  Bow of the Galadhrim and Gimli's Battle Axe help out there, too.  In theory Uruks should prove problematic for this deck by discarding your conditions, but I find that they can easily be controlled if you use Sting or Glamdring to know what pumps might come your way.

The Shadow can be great fun!  It works solely on burdens.  I designed it to try to counter the very boring Greenleaf, Arwen, Daughter of Elrond start with Aragorn coming at site 1 build.  If they bid 2 to start, and add a burden to pull Aragorn, just one It Wants to be Found will cause 5 burdens when they move to site 4.  Then Enquea can come out and have some fun.  Enduring Evil is fantastic for getting a very big surprise overwhelm on any big companion.  I once put all 3 Desperate Defense of the Rings on a Gloin, saw 5 burdens and assigned Toldea to him twice.  With 5 cards in his hand that was game even though Toldea lost the skirmishes.  Some Fellowships do shut this Shadow down, with Sam, Son of Hamfasst coming immediately to mind.  He's not so bad if he comes out site 1: they'll normally have put in a high bid which compensates the removal of 2 or 3 burdens and you can try to cycle through to find HelplessHelpless also stops people sacking Frodo when they get to 5 burdens to essentially deny all your hard work.  Choke is very frustrating to play against, but normally my Fellowship can run against any Shadow that pairs with the choke.

At the end of the day, I built this as a fun deck and was socked to see how well it performs (99 wins out of 150 on Gemp). There are other cards that could be considered (such as Bounder: I only use Old Bilbo's Heir for the Gandalf signet or Thrarin, Dwarven Smith to remove a wound from Legolas or Gimli each turn using Shoulder to Shoulder as well as taking a hit from a swarm or big minion, but as I have 34 cards already I don't want to be adding in new ones.  The Fellowship does not work without Gandalf, so I want to keep the deck small enough to draw him consistently in the first hand (with or without a Mulligan).  I'd be interested to see what people think of this deck.  I enjoy using it, regardless!

January 17, 2013, 08:46:13 AM
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Re: Friend of the Shirefolk/Burden intensive shadow
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 08:46:13 AM »
Just curious, isnt it better to replace Prince of Mirkwood with GReenleaf; and as such HTTWC with Ranger of the North? I find the archery and defensive +multiple better than the nagzul bonus and twilight removal. Especially since you play Deep in thought. Also it can defnitely use a 4th Servant, and skip on the Delvings.

January 17, 2013, 09:37:44 AM
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Re: Friend of the Shirefolk/Burden intensive shadow
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 09:37:44 AM »
I have considered Greenleaf and Ranger of the North, but I find that HttWC is just so good- I'm always giving at least 2 twilight every Fellowship phase.  Plus, I'm not really sure how much I'd use the Defender bonus: once you're set up, Moria doesn't cause any problem.  I also don't like Greenleaf muchdue to Relentless Charge and Hate being quite common (though Shoulder to Shoulder helps out here).  Deal the extra wound from Legolas when you win a skirmish with his Bow.  If you play just Gandalf and Aragorn site 1, you've given 16 twilight for Weathertop if they play Nazgul, and often you'll give out more.  Prince of Mirkwood's ability to help the fellowship survive sites 2 and 3 is invaluable here.

I like Delving as it really helps you cycle.  The exertion is basically for free, as I don't mind a wound on Gimli or Legolas so Shoulder to Shoulder doesn't add one for me.  Barliman really acts as a 4th SotSF, but doesn't clog your hand, and can retrieve Deep in Thought if necessary as well.

January 18, 2013, 09:12:13 AM
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Re: Friend of the Shirefolk/Burden intensive shadow
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 09:12:13 AM »
For starters, I'd cut the extra Gandalf copies (I don't think you're counting on them for healing, just to get him early) and play 3 copies of A Wizard is Never Late, as it can get Barlimann as well, while reducing your deck size a little when played, since it pulls another card from it. Also, while this Legolas is cool and all, I'd cut it for Greenleaf, the diminished returns of a 9-strength companion against Nazgul is nothing compared with how much having two pin-point archers can wreck a shadow side. With changing Legolas, you'd be able to drop his weapons and play either more copies of the weapons of the more important companions (Glamdring and Aragorn's Bow come to mind), or some Frodo support (O Elbereth and Mithril Coat). As for the Shadow side, It Wants to be Found must be a 4-of. You could probably consider a few copies of Morgul Skulker as well, and MAYBE 1-2 Gleaming in the Snow.

January 18, 2013, 10:22:01 AM
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Re: Friend of the Shirefolk/Burden intensive shadow
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 10:22:01 AM »
Gleaming in the Snow is a nice idea!  I had totally overlooked it, but now I'll be adding that one in.  4 It wants to be found is a lot, especially considering over half my minions are not Twilight Nazgul: it'll really clog my hand.  The trouble with Greenleaf is his Frodo signet.  That'll really hurt TMaYOD, which is also the reason why I don't play AWiNL: Gandalf exerts a lot in this deck, and has no other forms of healing.  As for Frodo protection, I'd probably put in a Bounder if anything: I find O Elbereth Gilthoniel! too overpowered against Nazgul, so don't like to use it.  However, I often find TMaYOD is plenty of Frodo support.

On Ringbearer's advice about Delving, I cut both for an extra Elrond and Ottar, Man of Laketown.  They provide better cycling abilities.