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Author Topic: Elf/Goblin Archers  (Read 3257 times)

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April 04, 2017, 05:28:27 PM
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Elf/Goblin Archers
« on: April 04, 2017, 05:28:27 PM »
Ring-bearer (2):
Frodo, Son of Drogo x1
The One Ring, the Ruling Ring x1

Site (9):
Hobbiton Woods x1
Trollshaw Forest x1
Rivendell Waterfall x1
Great Chasm x1
The Bridge of Khazad-dum x1
Lothlorien Woods x1
Silverlode Banks x1
Brown Lands x1
Tol Brandir x1

Free Peoples (35):
Legolas, Son of Thranduil x1 (Starting)
Arwen, Elven Rider x1 (Starting)
Haldir, Elf of the Golden Wood x2
Orophin, Lorien Bowman x1
Rumil, Elven Protector x1
Calaglin, Elf of Lorien x1
Dinedal, Silent Scout x1
Galadriel, Lady of the Golden Wood x1
Bow of the Galadhrim x1
Long Knives of Legolas x1
Elven Bow x2
Gwemegil x2
Asfaloth x1
No Stranger To the Shadows x1
Host of the Last Alliance x3
Pathfinder x3
Gondor's Vengeance x2
Cast It Into the Fire! x1
Release the Angry Flood x1
Defiance x4
A Ranger's Versatility x1
Voice of Himrodel x3

Shadow (35):
Goblin Runner x4
Goblin Bowman x4
Goblin Pursuer x2
Goblin Marksman x4
Archer Commander x2
Goblin Archer x1
Moria Archer Troop x2
The Balrog, Flame of Udun x1
Goblin Scimitar x3
The Balrog's Sword x1
Whip of Many Thongs x1
Depths of Moria x1
Pinned Down x1
They Are Coming x2
Host of Thousands x2

This is the deck I had always wanted to play from Day 1 of the LOTR TCG. With Legolas as my favorite member of the Fellowship in the books, I loved the way archery worked in the game and how the wounds could be assigned easily if one could find a way to add to the archery total. Although I never pulled a Legolas, Greenleaf (though I might with my 3rd FOTR box this week), I really like Son of Thranduil, as it gives an automatic addition to the archery total at the correct site. I'm saddened that this version of Legolas isn't half as useful in later blocks, but that just means I can focus on him here.

I'm concerned the Free Peoples deck doesn't have enough companions, and because of that, running a version of Aragorn and Aragorn's Bow might be something to consider. I have King in Exile and Heir to the White City, though I'm not entirely sure which one I should play. I'm leaning more towards Heir if I was going to add one. Aragorn also allows another companion to have the Ranger keyword, which I'm trying to take advantage of with Arwen. I don't have Daughter of Elrond, but if I'm able to pull her, I plan on using her as well.

I'm concerned with how many copies of the possessions I should run. I have an extra copy of Bow of the Galadhrim, due to cutting it from one of my other decks.

If I end up adding Aragorn to the deck, I have a copy of Gondor Bowmen to help the archery total. I feel like I could probably add The Council of Elrond with the various tales I can add for everything.

The Shadow side wants to play lots of archers and load up wounds that way. Since I'm already running Moria, I added in Flame of Udun. I have a second Goblin Archer I can add, as well as whatever other Moria cards I pull. I think some of my support may be iffy, or maybe I should splash another Shadow culture to try and get the archery total even higher. All thoughts and ideas to explore.

Thanks for any and all advice. This is more of a skeleton deck idea, as I'm probably missing out on many other cards simply because I've yet to play a few games and see the nuances at work. My overall goal with these decks is to build a few that are fun to play against one another if some friends were to drop by.

April 05, 2017, 08:07:27 AM
Reply #1


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Re: Elf/Goblin Archers
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 08:07:27 AM »
I'm going to take the same strategy I did with your other Fellowship block deck and just provide overarching deck strategy and theory.

You are onto something with the lack of a strong companion. Worse yet, like your other deck, you seem to have forgotten about Frodo with no Sting or Hobbit Sword. Your other companions are strength 6 and max out at 8, meaning common enemies like Nazgul or the Balrog are going to do a lot of damage. If you plan on running weaker minions, you have to also plan to carry four copies of Hobbit Stealth and at least one Bounder (more, if you don't have Frodo, Old Bilbo's Heir).

You have several allies in the deck which can be helpful. Galadriel, Lady of Light would be the obvious choice if you have her, but Galadriel, Lady of the Golden Wood is a fine alternative for a little extra healing. Anduin Confluence and Anduin Wilderland are equally devastating to your strategy, so you'll want to include Pathfinder if you find the room for it.

Pathfinder also means that Arwen needs to stay alive, as she is your only ranger companion. That can be quite a bit of pressure on your other companions, particularly if Ulaire Cantea, Lieutenant of Dol Guldur strips your weapons. Also consider that most of your cards have a relatively high twilight cost (the allies cost [2] or more, Host of the Last Alliance also costs [2]). No Stranger to the Shadows is not going to counteract this twilight generation. You should probably consider Aragorn, Heir to the White City when you inevitably add him.

Your shadow side is a bit stronger than the free peoples. Goblin Archer is a waste of [5]; wouldn't you rather play both a Goblin Bowman and a Goblin Marksman? A fourth Goblin Scimitar will help with cycling, and as you build your collection, cards like Relics of Moria, Goblin Swarms, and Goblin Armory will keep the engine churning; Goblin Scavengers can replay the hand weapons as well. I would consider adding a few copies of Orc Assassin or Orc Ambusher to take advantage of Tol Brandir, potentially surprising your opponent with a minor swarm at site nine. They can easily be discarded earlier in the game with They Are Coming while their roaming penalty makes them less apt to play.

Depths of Moria has limited utility. I've never been a fan of this one, but Goblin Domain has more application in an archery deck than outside of one.

The Balrog's Sword and Whip of Many Thongs are fun cards, but keep in mind that they can be a bit of a hand clog. You want your shadow side to play fast, particularly since your free peoples side is so event-heavy. Don't be afraid to discard things with Gwemegil as well.

Interested to see the changes you make in both this deck and your other.


April 07, 2017, 04:41:07 AM
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Re: Elf/Goblin Archers
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 04:41:07 AM »
I ran some testing with this deck vs Gandalf based on some initial changes. I'm not yet entirely happy with the decklists, so I don't want to post them quite yet, but a few pieces of strategy were clear.

First, I had added Aragorn, King in Exile to this build, as I needed a strong companion, per your suggestion. My goal was to use Arwen, Daughter of Elrond and rock an Aragorn signet Fellowship, but after opening 3 booster boxes, I still haven't gotten one. There's a little bit of frustration, but having a playset of Hate and Savagry to Match Their Numbers helps offset that. What I noticed about adding 2 copies of Aragorn was that I still had no way to get him out of the deck. I'm thinking that means swapping site 1 for The Prancing Pony. That would also mean I would want to bid high, and I know a common suggestion for that is Sam, Son of Hamfast. The trick would be figuring out what slots to use for him.

I'm also thinking to add Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith, as that gets me yet another ranger and Aragorn signet companion. It can also help me use Gondor Bowmen, which I had added to the intial build once I decided to splash Gondor.

Site control seems like it's extremely necessary, as things like Brown Lands completely shut down a major part of my strategy. I'm debating upping Pathfinder to 4 copies.

Is Hobbit Stealth an auto-include in Fellowship decks? You've mentioned it a few times, and I'm wondering if I'm supposed to be starting each deck running 4. I've seen its use, and think a few copies are needed. I'm giving up on Voice of Nimrodel. Seems to be a bit situational, and due to it being a skirmish event, it doesn't want to be tutored with The Council of Elrond (when I included it).

My Shadow side is running very well. Goblin Scimitar and Goblin Scavengers remind me of the original Gandalf FOTR Starter, and it's nice to play them. They're probably one of my favorite little Moria interactions. I would definitely want another Archer Commander if I can pull one.

I was also looking up some of the card strategies in the database and noticed you posted the Towers Pipes decklist for Old Toby and Longbottom Leaf. I'm extremely humbled by your help. Glad to get advice from somebody who really knows their stuff!

April 07, 2017, 06:40:33 AM
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Re: Elf/Goblin Archers
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 06:40:33 AM »
Glad to help, mate. To be honest, the nostalgia is worth it alone.

If you scan the boards, you will find that the strongest deck through King Standard (1-7) is an [Elven]/[Gondor] archery-based free peoples. Elrond, Herald to Gil-Galad can heal your companions and, with Vilya, remove pesky conditions from play. Arwen and Aragorn can tank whatever minions are left after Legolas, Greenleaf and Gondor Bowmen do their work. And Boromir (later, Faramir, Son of Denethor) serve as a backup companion of sorts.

As for the edits you have suggested, I think that four copies of Pathfinder is overkill. Two copies, maximum, should be fine; I would not exceed one--you can decide if Silverlode Banks or Brown Lands is more important to you.

Note that Boromir, Lord of Gondor has the Aragorn signet, not Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith. Both are rangers and both can make use of Gondor Bowmen.

I would not say that four copies of Hobbit Stealth are automatic includes, but I work at least two into every Fellowship block deck. At worst, you can cancel a few early skirmishes or dump them late in the game. At best, you cancel both skirmishes with the Balrog and double move to the sanctuary, discarding the menace and holding fast at a sanctuary.

You are correct in your assessment of Voice of Nimrodel. Even in your deck build, it is not going to provide much assistance and the minions are still going to be around to prevent the double move.


April 07, 2017, 11:13:58 AM
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Re: Elf/Goblin Archers
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 11:13:58 AM »
What I noticed about adding 2 copies of Aragorn was that I still had no way to get him out of the deck. I'm thinking that means swapping site 1 for The Prancing Pony. That would also mean I would want to bid high, and I know a common suggestion for that is Sam, Son of Hamfast.
Don't use Sam, use Hobbit Farmer. With the Prancing Pony, each copy means an extra copy of Aragorn to play sooner. That way you'll only need 1 burden to use the site, whether you go first or not.

Sam is a good kamikaze after removing burdens, but he can bloat your fellowship and help your opponent to trigger Greed, Savagery to Match Their Numbers or Enquea LoM (a.k.a. "Shotgun Enquea" ;)). Boromir can use that place much better, and each of the 3 versions is simply superb. Son of Denethor is not a ranger but gives Frodo awesome protection against surprises, swarms and tanks (and you have Aragorn and Arwen to play the ranger tricks). Any version is worthy of some deck slots (in a [Gondor], [Shire] or [Elven] deck, at least). If you go with Defender of Minas Tirith, pack 1x Armor and 1x Coat of Mail (give Aragorn the Armor as he's already hard to overwhelm, while Boromir would bear the Coat and ditch the wounds at the next turn).

Moreover, Sam will add [1] when moving (as any other companion), but what you want is less twilight (with Aragorn HttWC). That also maintains Legolas and Arwen as the starting fellowship.

For the Shadow side, Moria Archer Troop should be 3x. He's very costly, but Goblin Runner (and Goblin Armory + Scavengers/Relics, if you have it) helps with that. If you have Moria Axe, don't hesitate to add it, as makes the Archer Troops and the Archer Commander terrific fighters and gives them much better survival chances to prevent double moves (and helps them to go to Goblin Swarms instead of the discard pile, if you can add 1 or 2 copies of the condition). But don't remove Scimitars to do so, 4x gives your deck cycling to set up sooner and hit harder.

Your deck may need some crowd control. 2x Shotgun Enquea is really good doing that, and he can also benefit in archery decks from the burdens your opponent will try to add instead of wounds.

Hope this helps. And welcome to the forums!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 11:35:24 AM by Durin's Heir »

April 07, 2017, 06:20:57 PM
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Re: Elf/Goblin Archers
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 06:20:57 PM »
"Many statements"
Hope this helps. And welcome to the forums!

Thanks so much! You make a lot of good points, and I will address them in order. :)

1. I have been studying Hobbit Farmer for some time, and you're right, that's a great addition and allows me to not worry about the bidding process of going first. With much of the strategy of the deck, I initially thought that I didn't want to go first, just to be at a forest/river and force the opponent to play my site path so that Legolas could get me the bonus archery wound. Not sure it will be THAT potent, but I like thinking about these things and seeing if they really pay off.

I also get what you mean about Sam just being another body in the Fellowship. I'm working on a Hobbit/Isengard deck I have yet to post, and I feel like Pippin is just an extra twilight addition each turn, or a speed bump.

2. I can definitely up the Troop, as they fit the strategy wonderfully. I would love to add all those other cards, except after 3 Fellowship boxes (and some random packs), all I have among them is one copy of Goblin Swarms. No Moria Axe and no Goblin Armory. So frustrating....

Lastly, the Boromir I was using in this deck was Boromir, Lord of Gondor. Correct Aragorn signet, wrong name. Apologies for that.

Thanks again for the warm welcome. I posted a Gandalf signet deck in the casual section (before being told I could post here), so feel free to check that one out too. I have Hobbits/Isengard and Dwarves/Sauron I've been working on, but wanted to get a chance to apply the suggestions here for strategy before I post. I also wouldn't mind creating some sort of Nazgul deck, but am still trying to figure that one out.