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Author Topic: What's your best Saruman shadow?  (Read 488 times)

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November 29, 2020, 05:14:18 AM
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What's your best Saruman shadow?
« on: November 29, 2020, 05:14:18 AM »
I always enjoyed various shadow sides based around Saruman and Throne of Isengard, and I played many variants over the years, namely:

[Uruk] culture mixed with Agent of the Dark Lord and Gollum. This could be built to play with resistance tricks like Frenzied Attack as well. This one I played as a real life deck once I acquired 3 copies of Throne of Isengard, so I basically just slapped them to a Shadows block uruk deck with some Gollum support. It won me a bunch of kitchen table games, but honestly, it was not optimized whatsoever. Suppressing Uruk is active in most games (SFTF and/or cannon fodder companions are used in most decks).

[Men] with Coldly Still and The Mouth of Sauron, Messenger of Mordor, GATS, Sunland Weaponmaster and various stacking possession tricks. This was fairly consistent but vulnerable to Ithilien Blade, probably could be played better, but I stopped experimenting with it. The Mouth can also be use to fetch cards like Pursuing Horde to enable Wormtongue, which is an extremely potent play in some situations (Betrayer of Rohan is also superb here though). Oath Sworn (+ Rapid Reload and Messenger's Mount) was also strong here, it enables Coldly Still nicely. Saruman with Wizard's Device + Corsair Halberd + Throne of Isengard is a massive damage +3 beast. This one could be built way more focused than my initial version was I feel.

[Isengard] with a mix of different Sarumans, including Servant of the Eye and involved assignment tricks (Lieutenant of Barad-dur is such a great underplayed card). This is a fun version, and possibly the best way to play the expanded meta as it is heavily mixed version with [Gollum] and [Wraith].

I don't like to rely much on the Deceived Wizards conditions, they are just way too easy to get rid of. I did play few copies in each version though.

One thing that took me 10+ years to realize is that you can play 4 Saruman's Staff, Wizard's Device and 4 Staff of Saruman, Fallen Istar's Stave in the same deck, as they are worded differently. Well played Decipher =D>. This makes Servant of the Eye a bit better, if you are playing a mix of differnet Sarumans.

An other thing that I like to do is playing Too Great and Terrible with various recursion tools for it (Black Shadow, Morgul King, Ring of Terror). Gandalf is an issue once you play Throne of Isengard.

Controling the assignment phase is a great way to go, as it allows a Saruman with some massive damage bonuses to grind down fellowships.

A Gollum splash is nearly mandatory for more control and recursion, or to get the right Saruman out if you play different copies (Sudden Strike, Evil-smelling Fens). It can also provide protection with Final Strike and twilight generation with Led Astray. Also you want to cripple the opposing fellowship in skirmishes so Her Ladyship can help with that (and in general just a beast of card). Incited is very good also with such deck, and I like to play a copy of Gollum, Skulker too for his lurker keyword.

Then there is Throne of the Golden Hall. Well... I don't know how to deal with that to be honest. Is there anything but Grond, HotU that gets rid of it?

It is a really interesting archetype that I doubt has been fully optimized yet (at least I never bumped into it on GEMP or GCCG). It is very challanging to build it well rounded without having a deck size of 100/100.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 06:51:31 AM by Shelobplayer »

November 30, 2020, 09:41:31 AM
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Re: What's your best Saruman shadow?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2020, 09:41:31 AM »
I will get back to this, but I currently don't have any fully-baked Saruman shadows... but I'm full of half-baked ones!

December 01, 2020, 04:51:51 AM
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Re: What's your best Saruman shadow?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2020, 04:51:51 AM »
Sites are mostly random, I've never been very good at matching sites to my deck past Movie Block.

Shadow Draw Deck: (34)
4x Saruman, Curunir
4x Goblin Runner
4x Final Triumph
4x Ugly Fellow
4x Isengard Siege Bow
4x Lurtz, SoI
3x Sentinel Uruk
3x Lurtz's Bow
4x Uruk-hai Rampage

The goal is get them wounded during the first skirmish, them use Uruk-hai Rampage to make our minions fierce. During the fierce skirmish, we hit them with Final Triumph, using things like ISB or Lurtz's Bow to give us vitality. Curunir takes care of the hunter companions by, well, making them not hunters. The only issue is how much twilight we would need, which is why I threw in the runners.