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Author Topic: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul  (Read 20241 times)

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December 08, 2013, 08:27:27 PM
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Shelobplayer

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High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« on: December 08, 2013, 08:27:27 PM »
This is a close to finalized version of the deck idea I posted a couple of weeks ago, I'm very satisfied with it's performance after the last changes I made (ditching Elladan and Elrohir for Arwen and Gamling, adding Sudden Strike to the Shadow, changing Gandalf, Returned to MoW). Here is the list:

Ring-bearer: Galadriel, Bearer of Wisdom
Ring: The One Ring, The Binding Ring

Adventure deck:
Woody-End
Buckland Homestead
Cavern Entrance
Caras Galadhon
Mithlond
Dammed Gate-stream
Old Forest Road
The Prancing Pony
Sirannon Ruins

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
1x Arwen, She-Elf
4x Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor
1x Glorfindel, Eldarin Lord
1x Gandalf, Manager of Wizards
1x Radagast, The Brown
1x Smeagol, Always Helps
1x Aragorn, Heir to the Throne of Gondor
1x Aragorn, Thorongil
1x Gamling, Defender of the Hornburg
1x Asfaloth, Swift Blossom
2x Elven Armaments
1x Gwemegil
1x Gandalf's Hat
1x Erkenbrand's Horn
1x Aiglos
1x Galadriel's Silver Ewer
1x Gift of the Evenstar, Blessed Light
1x Nenya
1x Vilya, Ring of Air
4x Alliance Reforged
4x Forearmed
2x A Wizard Is Never Late
4x Something Slimy
1x Agility
1x Crashing Cavalry
1x Glimpse of Fate
2x Hosts of the Last Alliance
1x Into the West
1x Leaving Forever
1x Secluded Homestead
1x Songs of the Blessed Realm
1x Strength of Arms
1x Uncertain Future
1x Don't Look at Them
1x Follow Smeagol
1x Celebring, Elven-smith
1x Woodhall Elf, Exile
1x Deagol, Fateful Finder

Shadow Draw Deck:
1x Gollum, Old Villain
1x Shelob, Her Ladyship
1x Grima, Chief Counselor
1x Southron Leader
1x Bill Ferny, Swarthy Sneering Fellow
3x Morgul Squealer
3x The Witch-king, Morgul King
1x Úlairë Cantëa, Black Assassin
2x Úlairë Cantëa, Faster Than Winds
2x Úlairë Enquëa, Lieutenant of Morgul
1x Úlairë Enquëa, Sixth of the Nine Riders
3x Úlairë Lemenya, Eternally Threatening
3x Úlairë Nelya, Third of the Nine Riders
4x Úlairë Nertëa, Dark Horseman
1x Web
2x Nazgul Sword
4x Winged Mount
3x Ring of Terror
4x Captured by the Ring
2x Sudden Strike
1x All Life Flees
2x Evil-smelling Fens
2x Final Strike
2x They Feel the Precious
3x Saruman, Servant of Sauron

Bid 0, and mulligan aggressively for Gil-Galad, if you go first, start at Dammed Gate Stream and pull whatever you judge best suited for your hand (Don't Look at Them / Deagol / Something Slimy). Use Gamling's text to pull the horn, then get Celebring (primary target for him is Galadriel's Silver Ewer, whatever else you see fit if it was in starting hand), and Deagol (Woodhall Elf if you already have Deagol). I usually don't use Deagol until I see what exactly I'm playing against (to see if I need Gandalf's Hat, or can just simply go for a weapon).

The fellowship works with a lot of very strong interactions, like Gandalf, MoW + Forearmed + HKOTN, the various loops with Gil-Galad (including an infinite burden removal, infinite condition removal, and infinite draw ones) or something as simple as Always Helps + Don't Look at Them, but I still find myself finding more while playing it.

The shadow is a version of nazgul beatdown, mostly a metagame call (and also one of the few shadows that can remain consistent with a 106 cards deck), it is good at finding, reusing and protecting the most annoying nazzies (Dark Horseman mainly, og, that card is broken), or using up massive floods of twilight. I find that while it lacks in terms of sheer power sometimes, it has formidable stopping power, and hits where it hurts. The worst mathups for this shadow are choke decks with heavy focus on making the ringbearer strong (it is doing okay against Gorn/Durin defender versions, because of Dark Horseman). A corsair cycling shadow would be probably more effective, but I'm bored of them pirates :)

It is a very tall deck with it's 106 cards, but also has great cycling potential, and strong search cards, so I rarely find that an issue, and if the game goes to site 9, I'm usually still running out of cards to draw. It is probably the hardest deck, I ever piloted during my 12 years of playing the game, and I have loads of fun with it (even if not with doing the loop on Gemp...). I'd suggest it to anyone looking for a strong telepathy list, or simply just a deck that's challenging to play.

Possible additions:
Incited + Gollum, Skulker: I'm very happy with Sudden Strike, might want to reuse it if I can.

Led Astray: would help against choke.

Shadowfax, GOTM: assembling my burden removal loop may take some time, and while if I draw/fetch Songs of the Blessed Realm, I can remove a few burdens without the combo, corruption can certainly be an issue.

Ranger's Longbow / The Last Alliance of Elves and Men / Anduril, STWB: it'd lead me to adding more 'gorns, definitely something worth considering, but finding slots for all those cards....

Gladden Homestead: I haven't played vs Ninja Gollum yet, but I can see it being a problem, and this is a great card against those decks, although, Gandalf's Hat + replaying Leaving Forever plays nicely around Deceit.

Elrond, Venerable Lord: to replace Cirdan. As the deck gets better and better, I find myself very rarely resort to use Cirdan's text (and it is not that great in this build anyway). Also if I get trainwrecked on site 2 and Arwen dies before I can play another elf companion, I can't meet the spotting requirements for any of my elves, Elrond could help there (never happened yet, but it is a possibility).

Elrond, Lord of Rivendell: more card draw...

Replay Links:

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=B0r0m1r$ggah663yys31izsd vs. Mirek2507: I ended up losing this one, but it was a great game, and I think it's a fun game to watch. Next time I'll know better and hold on to Buckland Homestead :)

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=B0r0m1r$3sutnc4xfb11l7z7 vs. SgtDraino: many mistakes were made on both sides in this one, but it's a great example on how my loop/shadow side works, I managed to take the win in the end

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=B0r0m1r$d3zyf82s15g5s2uc  vs. Plimeus: my draw is nuts here, both fellowship and shadow sides go on a rampage. You can see how the deck does at it's best in this replay.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 12:01:27 PM by Shelobplayer »

December 09, 2013, 08:25:19 AM
Reply #1

ToPaxyGourouni

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2013, 08:25:19 AM »
Don't play loophole decks. Just don't. There is open format for this. Your opponent NEVER has fun when you do this. They never want to play against this and if it were you in their position you wouldn't want to either.

Do not promote stuff that make for a bad gaming experience.

December 09, 2013, 08:47:03 AM
Reply #2

Shelobplayer

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 08:47:03 AM »
My deck is expanded legal, and the power of it's loop is nowhere close to the open loops, if you don't have fun playing against it, you have the option to request the game canceled or just concede, so as every other player. I like playing against horn filter and other various loops. You don't? Not my problem. I hate playing against choke - strike back!

Now, if you don't want to play against broken stuff, there is standard format for you, I personally love standard way more than expanded, but it has no player base on Gemp.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 08:50:55 AM by Shelobplayer »

December 09, 2013, 10:18:46 AM
Reply #3

ToPaxyGourouni

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 10:18:46 AM »
I hate choke too. Same deal. Only with choke the opponent at least gets to play something, even if something little.

Loopholes on cards that were errated but were not errated enough because the company just packed up and left should not really be played, unless they are played as single cards.

You already gor Gil Galad bringing you back events and conditions non stop. Isn't it power level enough? Do you really have to go that deep and loop?

What would happen if the company shut down before they got the chance to put errata on Elven armaments for example? Would you still be playing it?

December 09, 2013, 10:59:25 AM
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Shelobplayer

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2013, 10:59:25 AM »
I don't think this deck has the power level of say an IB/ What are they/ Madril , horn filter or Powerful Guide deck just to give some examples, it is way more vulnerable in almost every possible way, I'm playing it because I want to play something I haven't played before, and also something I find challenging to play.

To answer your question, I'd play almost any card allowed in a format (with the solo exception of LR in movie, and yet I don't mind playing against it), I'm a player with a competitive mind set, I enjoy it that way, and I enjoy like minded opponents. That said, if I think a format is unbalanced (open), I'm just simply not playing it, but expanded is in no means unbalanced by my definition.

Yes, I may take a minute or two at regroups, can't help it if my opponent is impatient, but if you check the replay links, I never play my loop to it's fullest because of how time consuming it would be (and I haven't built a full combo "I win" shadow side like LTTG or Mountain Troll megaswarm for the deck, that wins 90% of the time once I assemble a god hand - which I most probably could have done with very little time investment).

Can't say more than that. Haters gonna hate.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 11:07:30 AM by Shelobplayer »

December 09, 2013, 12:42:19 PM
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ToPaxyGourouni

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 12:42:19 PM »
Well suit yourself. Bear in mind though that making your opponent unhappy during the game is a bad idea of gaming. Might as well play on your own table without opponent.

Madril decks and powerful guide decks are by no means worse than what you are describing. They can be beasts in only one aspect of the game. Your deck gets to discard all conditions, draw all your cards, remove all your burdens and all your threats every single regroup phase. And if you add a copy of Ancient Blade inside, you get to kill all minions too. Every regroup. And you have your gil galad events for the skirmish.

And your point is that you are not broken because you do not play Mountain Troll Hypocrite much?

December 09, 2013, 01:27:31 PM
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Shelobplayer

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2013, 01:27:31 PM »
Don't play with me bro. Also your forum posts are making me unhappy. It is a bad idea of forum usage. Might as well post on your own forums "king of open".

December 10, 2013, 03:18:28 AM
Reply #7

ToPaxyGourouni

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 03:18:28 AM »
Sorry about that.

Man your deck is awsome! It seriously kicks arse! I love it!

There. Does that make you feel better?

December 10, 2013, 03:44:42 AM
Reply #8

sgtdraino

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 03:44:42 AM »
I've played against this deck a number of times. Yes, it can be time consuming, and it is tough to play against, but I don't think it's as bad as the Gamling horn filter, which is the only deck I truly regard to be totally unbalanced for Expanded. Gil-galad is key to this strategy, just kill him and the loop is over. This loop can do a lot, but it doesn't have healing.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 12:52:18 PM by sgtdraino »
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 10, 2013, 03:48:38 AM
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Shelobplayer

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 03:48:38 AM »
People not trying to define what's fun for the rest of their community are making me happy.

About the deck's power level I can only say that my record with it is 17-11, while my Powerful Guide deck doesn't have a single loss (you can look up the list somewhere here, I posted it like a year ago, possibly two, I don't know), I don't play horn filter or Madril on Gemp (I sometimes sleeve them up irl), but I'm pretty sure if built well, those archetypes can do much better than this as well. Yes if you look at this deck in a vacuum, it is strong, and does a lot of things other decks may not, but it is almost completely open to any wounding strategy, and takes some turns to set up, and when Gil-Galad gets killed, it is just a pile of mediocre cards. Heck, even a single shotgun Enquea is a huge threat for this.

December 10, 2013, 12:53:51 PM
Reply #10

sgtdraino

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 12:53:51 PM »
Eh, a SINGLE Enquea? Probably not. Gil-galad is the key, and you've normally got too much vitality on him for a single Enquea to take him out.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 15, 2013, 10:07:43 PM
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ramolnar

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 10:07:43 PM »
I saw this deck recently, though I was playing Trolls (not a good deck, by the way). I think Madril is better, because this deck has more weaknesses.
*It has one way to gain the necessary tokens besides conditions. I would get Gift of the Evenstar with Celebring - you need a safer token starter.
*Saurman's Power shuts things down for a site. Unlike Madril, this deck wants MoW for Forearmed, instead of being able to block with Wise Guide.
*The key card is not in the starting fellowship. 4 out of 106 can get pretty deep sometimes. I'd remove some of the side cards like Asfaloth for safety.
*Without its 1 Gandalf's Hat, it has trouble double moving. Corsairs will pitch that hat. Archery will pitch that hat.
*It discards stuff in regroup which can be too late against Greed or Rapid Reload. I'd run Gladden Homestead, like sgtdraino's Madril.
*There's more site-hate, like the mountain that stops tokens or the remove-from-game on discard sites. Madril has less site-hate because no site removes threats.

In real life, this deck is unplayable because it would time out frequently. Is it negative to play against on Gemp? Possibly but not really. Madril is NPE because it reverses the basic structure of the game - it takes something that's normally a negative and makes it a positive. This is not NPE.

December 16, 2013, 03:41:57 AM
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Shelobplayer

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2013, 03:41:57 AM »
I saw this deck recently, though I was playing Trolls (not a good deck, by the way). I think Madril is better, because this deck has more weaknesses.
*It has one way to gain the necessary tokens besides conditions. I would get Gift of the Evenstar with Celebring - you need a safer token starter.
*Saurman's Power shuts things down for a site. Unlike Madril, this deck wants MoW for Forearmed, instead of being able to block with Wise Guide.
*The key card is not in the starting fellowship. 4 out of 106 can get pretty deep sometimes. I'd remove some of the side cards like Asfaloth for safety.
*Without its 1 Gandalf's Hat, it has trouble double moving. Corsairs will pitch that hat. Archery will pitch that hat.
*It discards stuff in regroup which can be too late against Greed or Rapid Reload. I'd run Gladden Homestead, like sgtdraino's Madril.
*There's more site-hate, like the mountain that stops tokens or the remove-from-game on discard sites. Madril has less site-hate because no site removes threats.

In real life, this deck is unplayable because it would time out frequently. Is it negative to play against on Gemp? Possibly but not really. Madril is NPE because it reverses the basic structure of the game - it takes something that's normally a negative and makes it a positive. This is not NPE.

Thank you.
That's about what I was trying to explain, but didn't go in to details. I play this deck, because I have fun with it, not because it is so strong. It is not in the same tier as Madril, Powerful Guide or Horn.

Edit: I'd like to add that I'm playing this fellowship to support the shadow side as it makes it easier to find the silver bullets against a lot of popular strategies. Right now my win ratio is around 65% which includes the games I played with the very first version of this deck, and the vast majority of my wins are shadow wins (22-13 over all, 7-2 with the latest version - since I ditched the elven brothers).
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 04:55:17 AM by Shelobplayer »

December 16, 2013, 01:11:27 PM
Reply #13

sgtdraino

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2013, 01:11:27 PM »
I've played against this deck a number of times. Yes, it can be time consuming, and it is tough to play against, but I don't think it's as bad as the Gamling horn filter, which is the only deck I truly regard to be totally unbalanced for Expanded. Gil-galad is key to this strategy, just kill him and the loop is over. This loop can do a lot, but it doesn't have healing.

Ya know, I'm starting to rethink this a bit. I still think it's a perfectly legitimate deck, but (based on my experiences so far) may be stronger than I initially gave credit. If you're careful, it really is very difficult to kill Gil-galad, and so long as he's in play, the strategy remains pretty strong no matter who else gets killed. Lately it's been easier to beat the Gamling Horn Filter than this deck, maybe because I've just figured out the best way to play against them. If this deck were to incorporate substantial healing capabilities, I think it has the potential to be one of the strongest things out there.

Yes if you look at this deck in a vacuum, it is strong, and does a lot of things other decks may not, but it is almost completely open to any wounding strategy, and takes some turns to set up, and when Gil-Galad gets killed, it is just a pile of mediocre cards. Heck, even a single shotgun Enquea is a huge threat for this.

I feel like you should be able to incorporate some decent healing capabilities into this design. I still think you'd be better off with Nenya, Ring of Adamant rather than the original Nenya. I don't really see what original Nenya gets you, since you already have as much card drawing in Regroup as you want. With Ring of Adamant and Hosts of the Last Alliance, Aiglos, and Vilya, it seems highly unlikely to me that Gil-galad could get killed.

I would consider putting in multiple copies of Celebring, keep killing my fellowship off down to 5 with Celebring on a guy, then using Gamling to pull out another Celebring to get another artifact. I'd also put in multiple hats, just to make sure I can keep getting it.

*It has one way to gain the necessary tokens besides conditions. I would get Gift of the Evenstar with Celebring - you need a safer token starter.

I agree. It seems to me that Gift of the Evenstar, Blessed Light is also the biggest key to being able to reset the loop if your conditions get discarded. And once it's out, it's basically impossible to get rid of, unless the opponent has Grond.

*Saurman's Power shuts things down for a site. Unlike Madril, this deck wants MoW for Forearmed, instead of being able to block with Wise Guide.

I agree here too. If I were you, I would swap out MoW for Wise Guide, and forget about telepathy for Forearmed. Once Smeagol is set up with Don't Look at Them, you can kill literally anything. Whatever's left over, you can probably deal with using the tokens on your conditions.

*The key card is not in the starting fellowship. 4 out of 106 can get pretty deep sometimes. I'd remove some of the side cards like Asfaloth for safety.

That's a good point. And yet, so far he's gotten Gil-galad sufficiently fast every time I've played him.

*Without its 1 Gandalf's Hat, it has trouble double moving. Corsairs will pitch that hat. Archery will pitch that hat.

Good points (although how does archery pitch the hat?). I'd add more copies of Gandalf's Hat, or have some way to get it back. The hat is key to the double.

*It discards stuff in regroup which can be too late against Greed or Rapid Reload. I'd run Gladden Homestead, like sgtdraino's Madril.

What about Namarie instead? Aragorn will put one token on it, which you can then reinforce.

*There's more site-hate, like the mountain that stops tokens or the remove-from-game on discard sites. Madril has less site-hate because no site removes threats.

Well, he's got Follow Smeagol, so he should be able to avoid most of those site hate problems. I think he can generally make it through a bad site or two.

In real life, this deck is unplayable because it would time out frequently. Is it negative to play against on Gemp? Possibly but not really.

I think he's said that it's actually faster for him when he plays it in real life, though that is difficult for me to imagine doing. All those interactions make my head spin.

Madril is NPE because it reverses the basic structure of the game - it takes something that's normally a negative and makes it a positive. This is not NPE.

I've never found Madril to be NPE, because it's pretty easy to prepare for, with a simple Ships of Great Draught. I do think this deck does drift a bit in that direction, because it can get pretty tedious waiting for the loooooooong Regroup phases to complete. However, I still think it is within the realm of legitimate strategy.

I'd like to add that I'm playing this fellowship to support the shadow side as it makes it easier to find the silver bullets against a lot of popular strategies.

In that way, it is a bit similar to the filter properties of a Horn Deck: Gives good Shadow setup, but does leave the Fellowship somewhat vulnerable... particularly to archery.

Right now my win ratio is around 65% which includes the games I played with the very first version of this deck, and the vast majority of my wins are shadow wins (22-13 over all, 7-2 with the latest version - since I ditched the elven brothers).

I think you can make it better. I totally think you can improve your Fellowship side even more.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 16, 2013, 01:52:19 PM
Reply #14

Shelobplayer

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Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2013, 01:52:19 PM »
I've been thinking of pitching the 1st Celebring to Erkenbrand's Horn then the next turn Gamling could fetch a Brego (then transfer it after it healed him) and find a 2nd Celebring, that sounds more reasonable than killing companions. That said, I do hate when he survives site 2. This could be done a 2nd time with a Coif, but leaving Gamling alive for 2-3 turns could REALLY hurt.

I disagree on that Gandalf's Hat is essential to the strategy, if I plan to double I can just get rid of conditions with Leaving Forever for a grand total of 0 twilight, and then do the full loop at the 2nd regroup. It is a nice addition when it is out, and often it makes my opponent misplay by going after Gandalf. I'm also not playing Ancient Blade in the later versions, because I didn't find it necessary at all for doing doubles: if I can get to skirmish without sustaining major damage in maneuver/archery I can usually kill the key minions, then get rid of conditions, move again, then loop, and if I do lose a companion (Gil-Galad) to maneuver/arhry tricks, I wouldn't double anyway in most cases. The primary use of my loop is cycling, I only have to do it once a turn, the rest is there because it costs very few card slots.

If I'd purely want to improve my win ratio I'd play it with Mountain Troll. Imagine what that shadow can do with a grip of 8 cards of your choice + a completely stuffed discard pile after I do the loop. However I do agree that the freeps can still be improved, I had very little experience playing elves compared to other cultures prior to this deck so I keep experimenting.

Namarie requires a hunter elf to use - I do have another version with hunters, but I'm hesitant to even try it.

Edit:
@SgtDraino: I think you are giving my deck some extra credit because of the shadow side, not because of the freeps. Your fellowship is vulnerable to many of the "silver bullets" I'm playing, and my deck's base concept is to always find the right minion to hurt the opposing freeps side the most. You are running 9 companions of 4 cultures with threats always maxed out, an give a lot of twilight - these factors are giving a lot of space for this particular shadow.
ps.: Burn that Wise Guide, I hate it :D
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 02:07:48 PM by Shelobplayer »