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Author Topic: King Standard Sample Decks  (Read 34 times)

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November 23, 2022, 07:48:14 PM
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Phallen Cassidy

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King Standard Sample Decks
« on: November 23, 2022, 07:48:14 PM »
In light of the PC's tool for easy proxy printing, I decided to make King Standard decks that I could print out and use for introductory matches. Unlike Decipher's starters I didn't shrink away from any mechanics of the game, and I tried not to pull punches if possible. Most of the lists are sanitized versions of my own decks and all of them I would run on Gemp (though there'd need to be some meta adjustments). I restricted these decks to be King Standard legal and 35/35 cards (44/44 for the Moria deck, for reasons explained) so that with the 9 sites, Frodo, and Ring, they would print on a whole number of 9x9 sheets. The Gondor decks and The Shire could perhaps go for some extra cycling, but otherwise I don't think the inflated deck size will be a problem.

I also wanted each deck to have a theme, because 1) it's more fun that way and 2) the IP is the only real way I expect to draw anyone in. Obviously there's a lot of room with this and I don't have everybody covered, so if the need arises I'll add some more. Still, unless I create set of starters with a different theme, a ton of decks I just won't make in this fashion -- even important ones such as the standard Elf+Man build. For now though, I'm satisfied with what I've got here. The perfect outcome would be that they're worth playing and make people think about how some cards in one deck would go well in another. They're still basically starters, after all.

Edoras (Rohan / Isengard Men) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gRWRvcmFz
Fangorn (Ents / Isengard Orcs) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gRmFuZ29ybg%3D%3D
Helm's Deep (Elf Archery / Uruk-hai Archery) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gSGVsbSdzIERlZXA%3D
Ithilien (Ring-bound Rangers / Mumaks) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gSXRoaWxpZW4%3D
Minas Tirith (Noble Leaders / Besiegers) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gTWluYXMgVGlyaXRo
Moria (Dwarves / Moria Swarm) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gTW9yaWE%3D
Osgiliath (Knights / Morgul Orcs) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gT3NnaWxpYXRo
The Black Gate (Frodo Sam Smeagol / Easterlings) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gVGhlIEJsYWNrIEdhdGU%3D
The Shire (Hobbits / Nazgul) - https://play.lotrtcgpc.net/share/deck?id=UGhhbGxlbnxTdGFydGVyIC0gVGhlIFNoaXJl

The matchups should be mostly balanced and I've compared decklists for a rough idea of how they'll fare. I made some adjustments with these specific matchups in mind so that there are hopefully no blowout matches. Dwarves are in the greatest need of attention, in the end I probably need to lean on their card drawing and just have them go second and choke, falling apart after the second sanctuary. Gonna try this more balanced approach first. Anyway, here's how I think these games could go. Obviously when it comes to the cards I added to counter a particular matchup there's a lot to say for whether these cards are drawn at the start or the end. I tried to add 2 copies when I felt the card was crucial to mitigate that concern, which may mean I've overdone it in some instances. If anyone cares to offer their thoughts I'd love to hear it, otherwise I don't plan on pretesting any further than this. If I ever actually print and play these decks I'll make other adjustments as needed.

Edoras vs Fangorn - Both FP have and advantage over the Shadow sides. Ents probably come out on top since they need less to trample through the Isenmen. Unferth can mean a lot of exerting though, which may let Enquea pick off two companions when he's played instead of just one.
Edoras vs Helm's Deep - Rohan is great at skirmishing and has to figure out how to make it through anything else. Might be able to outrun the bomb here but I want this to be a challenging match for them. Aragorn will be shut down by Leechcraft and Wounded. Should be pretty fair both ways.
Edoras vs Ithilien - Southrons may be in some trouble, if the FP can build up their support area and kill the biggies. Rohan is likely to run afoul of Southron Captain though, when I play a similar Southron deck site 5 tends to be the most important. Men Will Fall is useless here, but the other parts of the deck work great: no condition removal, reliance on weak companions will provoke Enquea, and both versions of Saruman will cause trouble. Unferth makes it hard to rely on using bow wounding. Thinking Rohan has a slight advantage.
Edoras vs Minas Tirith - Hard to say, Besiegers have a lot going for them if they can get a site but it can be tough to get to that point. I'd guess Great Siege Tower will be the deciding factor, Rohan will probably not be able to discard very many conditions if any thanks to Orc Patrol. Isenmen will have all their tools going for them here, unlikely to get a surprise kill but should keep the Noble Leaders on their toes.
Edoras vs Moria - Merry is a focal point in the deck specifically for this matchup. Simbelmyne pulls Merry's Armor (no overwhelm) and Eowyn keeps his vitality safe should the Shadow player go for him over Frodo. With Enquea and few companions, I'm hoping Goblin Swarms is a factor in this matchup as a result. Fortress Never Fallen is still hard to play around, but one copy vs 3 of Swarms together with the natural tension of FNF should be interesting.  I'm hopeful about Dwarves chances against Isenmen too, Make Light of Burdens and Slaked Thirsts are the cards to get. Maybe balanced?
Edoras vs Osgiliath - Morcs have real potential here, they've got both swarm and beatdown capabilities. Cantea can knock out some possessions too. Isenmen should once again be pretty balanced against Gondor. Balanced?
Edoras vs The Black Gate - One of the troublesome matchups, and the only reason Rohan gets to keep Son of Hamfast. If this matchup doesn't stress Rohan enough I'm swapping him out for another Sam, probably Resolute Halfling. The flip side is more of a wildcard, no Men Will Fall again but Desertion will either make Sam dependent on pumps to skirmish or really lay the burdens on thick depending on who they're played on. I expect both FP to struggle.
Edoras vs The Shire - I suspect Fortress Never Fallen is going to be the primary factor here, whether the FP is able to get rid of conditions before losing companions. I've seen Nazgul both stomp and crumble against this straightforward sort of Rohan, we'll see. Isenmen have an advantage, the FP is going to need to navigate There and Back Again carefully. Dagger Strike can take out a minion though, which makes thise one of the few games in which The Shire has hopes of clearing the board and doubling. I'm unsure, which I guess means good.
Fangorn vs Helm's Deep - Greed makes this one of the more thoughtful match for Ents, can't just mindlessly play everything. There's still the vitality to make it through without much question, but leaning on the IsenOrcs is always a risk. Although, if Isengard Smith can break through, this could be a very favorable matchup for them. Might be the most balanced match for the Fangorn deck.
Fangorn vs Ithilien - Ents will be able to survive even the biggest baddy (Host of Haradrim with spear and mumak), and kill off companions when needed to mitigate Southron Captain. Gonna be a lot of threats to clear in all likelihood, and it's never clear at site 5 how much the wounds will matter at site 8 or 9. Trapped and Alone will help the Isenorcs tremendously, once again I think Isengard Smith will have much to say about how the game goes. Saruman's Power and Servant of the Eye are probably enough to take away roaming by the latter sites. If that matters.
Fangorn vs Minas Tirith - Crack Into Rubble will be great for Ents. Still taking a lot of wounds but not caring much. Noble Leaders is going to wipe out Isenorcs all day and The Shards of Narsil will be tucking them away for after Saruman's Power hits. Another one where both FP are looking good. Both sides of Minas Tirith will be more successful overall, but I'm not sure that's enough to beat the Ents.
Fangorn vs Moria - Fangorn is favored here, no doubt. Guard Commander can hope to stack some guys? Dwarves should be able to survive fine, though they'll need to make dangerous doubles in all likelihood to have a shot. One of the rare instances when Here Is Good Rock's damage bonus comes into play, and Slaked Thirsts is an alternate way to get rid of menacing vitality.
Fangorn vs Osgiliath - Morcs are going to be able to do exactly what they want, but will it matter? Saruman's Power is always going to have an impact, but knights should be able to just spend their forts to overwhelm and double. Might be the rare matchup where Ents have to keep up.
Fangorn vs The Black Gate - This is why there are 4x Brace of Coney in the Ent deck. They can probably outrun the burdens, but I'm hoping it'll be tight. There are extra Hobbit tools at the Ents' disposal too, like Good Work... Maybe I can use them to encourage Ents to slow down. Saruman's Power will have perhaps the greatest impact here out of all matches, but unless the Shadow player can win that turn I think the FP only needs one copy of A Promise to stay afloat. Don't Follow the Lights is a great bit of insurance. If the Shadow player overextends on wounding (discarding minions) this FP can easily stroll to the end as well. Favoring Fangorn as always, but it's a better balance.
Fangorn vs The Shire - A tricky one for the Ents, and not just because Enquea will be around all the time. Manageable of course, but not straightforward. Isenorcs are well matched, they'll be very successful at wounding and the FP will be very successful at undoing those wounds. Another tossup, probably depends on Ents keeping an exhausted Enquea around for the double.
Helm's Deep vs Ithilien - Ithilien has some healing, if Banner is drawn soon it there may be no other needs. Southrons will need to manage wounds but I think they have the tools to do it, should be a fun one.
Helm's Deep vs Minas Tirith - Once again, how quickly Besiegers get sites (and whether doing so means openin the door for a double) determines whether they can get around the bows in time. Minas Tirith deck has plenty of healing, but taking full advantage of it would mean going slower. I think I favor Helm's Deep.
Helm's Deep vs Moria - The reason I'm willing to try Goblin Archer for the first time ever. Thinking about going for Unfamiliar Territory instead, maybe net some surprise overwhelms with the bigger guys to open the door for swarm after whittling the numbers down? I don't play straight archery FPs either and it is *also* very swingy, so I really have no idea what might happen here haha. I don't want it to just depend on draws, anybody have any tips? I can't decide if Dwarves are in trouble or going to breeze through. Slaked Thirsts can sap some vitality, Dwarven Heart + Axe of Erebor is a fun healing loop, and there's enough condition discarding here to completely disable the entire token part of the deck. If any of those things can get drawn in time. And yet, on paper this matchup should never go the Dwarves' way, right?
Helm's Deep vs Osgiliath - Morcs are looking fine, plenty of vitality to soak up archery hits. They won't win many skirmishes by default though, which will mean tokens for Aragorn and Fereveldir. This matchup might lead to more Frodo support of some sort, maybe a Sam. Ingold and Aragorn are healing machines, plus First Level + Alcarin, and the berserkers won't have much ability to break through. Osgiliath has the upper hand.
Helm's Deep vs The Black Gate - I'm expecting the archery wounds to dampen the burden potential quite a bit, and Aragorn / Lorien Swordsmen to overwhelm Gollum without much trouble. No burden removal whatever though, so once there's a foothold it may be too late. The Shire Countryside will just laugh at archery wounds, and Smeagol won't have any trouble with the berserkers. Possible for Black Gate to double, if the Shadow player exerts carelessly.
Helm's Deep vs The Shire - Elves are in for a bruising, though Lorien Swordsman will prove competent with sword and an event and he's replaceable. Still, uphill I expect. The Shire will do well, although bersekers could easily overwhelm Pippin and then the archers' abilities takes out Merry. If The Shire does too well I'll add a copy of Berserk Rager, which could drastically tip the scales the other way.
Ithilien vs Minas Tirith - The Banners are going to be 2 sites liberated, it's just a matter of when and how important that will be. Orc Patrol reducing site number could be decisive, especially after taking out a copy of Ancient Roads. I have had big Mumaks die to Noble Leaders decks many a time, but I still think they have stopping power here. Minas Tirith probably has an edge, but I'd guess it's a match about the Shadow sides.
Ithilien vs Moria - Moria has a great shot here and in every Gondor matchup since they won't be discarding any conditions. At the same time, the Gondor decks can all win every skirmish and slow stacking considerably. I added PATHS for this, curious to see where the balance lands. I'm hoping I built these Dwarves to choke enough that the biggest baddies aren't seen until later, and if Gimli or Gloin can set up by then they should be able to take 'em down. Or at least take the hits.
Ithilien vs Osgiliath - Forts aren't going to go very far against Mumaks so I added a copy of Fall Back. Morcs and Rangers should be well matched though.
Ithilen vs The Black Gate - Hardest matchup for Easterlings by far, but I'd hate to change the Frodo. I could add some more burden-adding tools to the Free Peoples though, maybe lose a ranger for Smeagol, Poor Creature. In theory, Small Hope keeps Gollum to at least 7 strength and makes him hard to kill for consistent burden pressure. Mumaks and Discovered will be tough on our trio, but there's a real twilight problem that will make it hard to ever play an ideal hand. Ithilien has the advantage.
Ithilien vs The Shire - Shadow favored both ways, so the Hobbit choke will be a big factor. Bill Ferny is extremely high impact, but Ranger's Bow can wound him regardless of roaming status so he often shouldn't be assigned. If he's too harsh I can add a copy of Ruins of Osgiliath, which is how I handle him in my decks anyway.
Minas Tirith vs Moria - Unique Frodo protection with Boromir, but fewer companions than other Gondor decks. Should be good fightin'. Dwarves have potential but no way to directly combat the besieger's core strategy, conditions and site control. Once there's a site it's only a matter of time until Gorgoroth Troop makes Troop Tower insurmountable. With clever moves I think Dwarves can make this happen?
Minas Tirith vs Osgiliath - I like this matchup, all sides should have the tools they need to do what they want.
Minas Tirith vs The Black Gate - I like this one too, I think Sam and Faramir make this doable but there are still plenty of opportunities for Easterlings to make moves. Don't Follow the Lights makes it hard to use Gorgoroth Troop very well at all, and while besiegers can have all the sites they want, playing 4 minions for a hope at overwhelming Frodo or Sam is more twilight than available for most of the game.
Minas Tirith vs The Shire - Minas Tirith is a clear favorite here. Shire can make some moves here and there but I think once Pippin dies the deck has 2 sites left to win before Frodo and Sam are gone.
Moria vs Osgiliath - Basically the same as the Ithilien matchup for Moria Orcs. Dwraves will have a tough time.
Moria vs The Black Gate - I've played a similar FP against Moria swarm and they hold their own. Goblin Swarms is the big question mark, once a Scavengers gets stacked things get dicey but there are enough tools at the FP's disposal to work something out for a while. Slaked Thirsts and a fighting Frodo will help keep burdens down, and only this deck and Edoras can deal enough wounds to kill Gollum in a skirmish. Both Shadows probably do better than the FPs, so I think it'll depend on who can get by with less for their FP to cycle for good Shadow hands.
Moria vs The Shire - I don't expect these Hobbits to fare nearly as well against Moria, in spite of the condition discarding. I played a similar deck in Fellowship block that does fine, but I'm betting that no Frying Pan in particular more than offsets the loss of Relics for this deck. Still, Three Monstrous Trolls will give the Hobbit Hospital an outlet for all that vitality that won't be needed for healing. If drawn soon enough, maybe it'll surprise me. Nazgul will stomp on the Dwarves, in the end it'll be similar to The Black Gate: who can survive with less while making moves for the Shadow kill.
Osgiliath vs The Black Gate - Turgon and First Level are great for preventing burdens, and Gollum is overwhelm-able without much difficulty. Forts are limited though. Morcs won't make much impact, but they're also going to intimidate doubles. A good match by my count.
Osgiliath vs The Shire - Similar to above. The Hobbits will fare a little worse, Nazgul will fair much better. Advantage goes to The Shire, but site 5 is gonna be rough.
The Black Gate vs The Shire - Nearly a mirror match. The Shire can't remove burdens, but will prevent a ton. While there's no risk of corruption unless Sam dies, there will be 2 burdens before long and then Easterling Captain is going to be trouble. This is the matchup that makes Slinker seem OP -- taking down The Witch-king. Regardless, it's still a lot of strength to overcome or else lose out on any decent Shadow hands. The Black Gate might have the edge.