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December 21, 2013, 07:28:01 PM
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Legion

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The Fun Madril
« on: December 21, 2013, 07:28:01 PM »
One thing I have noticed on Gemp is the fact that King Block is really unpopular.  On this site, the second most popular topic is a thread suggesting that we close the sub-board!  I think this is tragic-King block has many hidden gems that I feel has much more play value than people would like to give it credit.  This is my favourite fellowship (perhaps of all time):

Frodo, Wicked Masster!
The One Ring, Such a Weight to Carry

Sleeping Quarters
King's Tent
Base of Mindolluin
City of the Dead
Crashed Gate
Minas Tirith First Circle
Pellenor Grassland
Morgul Vale
Dagorlad

Free Peoples (34 cards):

Madril, Faramir's Aide (starting)
Pippin, Wearer of Black and Silver (starting)
Merry, Swordthain (starting)
Smeagol, Always Helps (starting)
Derufin (x2)
Faramir, Wizard's Pupil (x2)
Targon
Vorondil
Knight's Spear
Sting, Bane of the Eight Legs
Where Shall We Go? (x2)
Unheeded (x2)
Hardy Garrison (x3)
Man the Walls (x4)
Third Level (x3)
A Light in His Mind (x2)
Birthday Present
Shadowplay (x4)

Shadow (34 cards):

Gorgoroth Agitator (x3)
Gorgoroth Assassin (x2)
Gorgoroth Berserker (x2)
Gorgoroth Sapper (x2)
Gorgoroth Soldier (x2)
Gorgoroth Swarm (x2)
Gorgoroth Troop (x2)
Great Hill Troll
Mordor Pillager (x3)
Siege Troop
Troll of Gorgoroth, Abomination of Sauron   (x2)
Grond, Hammer of the Underworld (x2)
Encirclement (x2)
Great Siege-towers
Morgai
Their Marching Companies (x3)
Tower Walkway
Troop Tower (x2)

The idea if the Free Peoples is to kill everything without having to fight.  Madril and Pippin form the backbone of this fellowship, along with Hardy Garrison.  Most Free Peoples wounding decks cause massive amounts of wounds to your own companions in order to hurt those minions (like Aragorn's Bow or Greenleaf).  This deck just discards cards from hand, and that's pretty much free.  The general idea is to lay Hardy Garrison and a few Shadowplay on the table and let rip.  It's best to only play 3 cards per Fellowship Phase so you have 5 in your hand.  Pippin causes 3 exertions thanks to Shadowplay, then Mardil uses his ability to wound a roaming minion, also triggering Hardy Garrison.  Pippin returns to hand, dealing 2 more wounds to a roaming minion, and Madril can use his ability again (even if not fighting) to trigger Hardy Garrison.  That normally results in enough wounds to kill Shelob!  Smeagol does that better, though.

The other cards all do pretty obvious stuff: Man the Walls and Third Level are critical to get those minions roaming.  Faramir can help Pippin if he gets into trouble with a Gorgoroth Assasin or BNaP (though Smeagol normally takes care of them),and might survive a fight, especially if he's given a Knight's SpearDerufin deals with Grond and Corsair War Gally that would otherwise stop you cold, and Targon is great at mopping up Raiders.  Merry is there for more Shadowplay and ALiHM, and can be pulled back into hand to manipulate initiative better.  There are several cards that hurt this fellowship-ones that discard Hardy Garrison (Great Hill Troll) or give the Shadow Initiative (Some Secret Art of Flame destroys this deck, and I admit I have no counter).  More Unbearable and Harsh Tongues never really work as nothing makes it to the regroup and Streaming to the Field gets crushed the second 2 Shadowplays come out (the orcs die the second they hit the table), so the list of counters isn't that great.

The only trouble is that if you follow the process above, you get left with 2 cards in hand at the start of the regroup phase, and one of them is Pippin. This is going to severely hinder your shadow, so that has to be chosen carefully.  The almost unarguably strongest shadow in King Block needs a full hand of shadow to work (I'm talking about Mordor Guard threats), so it is no good here.  I used to pair it with Red Wrath, but that was so bad at killing Wraiths that I switched to Besiegers.  They hurt everyone.  The idea is to stack as many minions as possible on controlled sites with Gorgoroth Troop, and to take control of as many sites as possible.  Then when you're ready, drop the bomb.  With Encirclement out and 6 sites controlled, you can easily set up one of the strongest swarms out there.  Nobody ever survives.  The fellowship has answers to besiegers (only Gorgoroth Swarm can effectively take sites from you and he's expensive) so you should be free to take up to as far as your opponent has gone on the Adventure path.  The fellowship can also bid to go first, unlike most King Block decks.

Any comments?  I was asked to post this online, but am happy to take suggestions.

December 21, 2013, 09:33:24 PM
Reply #1

sgtdraino

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 09:33:24 PM »
This sounds pretty cool! Do you think this could also be adapted to other formats like Movie, Standard, and Expanded?
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 22, 2013, 04:24:09 AM
Reply #2

Legion

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 04:24:09 AM »
Cheers!  I have tried a similar version in movie, but it feels so different.  One of the big things about King Block is the lack of 6 companion hate.  You need WoBaS, Madril and another [Gondor] Man to let this have a hope of working, and realistically Smeagol for high vitality minions.  You'll get to 6 or 7 very easily, and Enquea is annoying.  These cards that hurt 6 companions in King Block:

Orc Savage: 3 Vitality for 3 Twilight to become strength 18 and fierce.  He would only really be used in a threats deck, which is hideously powerful, anyway.  I still back the fellowship to take him down, though.

Orc Assault Band: I have no idea why this guy isn't used more.  He's great!  Not against this deck, though, where it's all about vitality, so exerting for his cost doesn't end well.

Morgul Squealer:  Morcs give me no trouble at all.  I can remove 2 burdens per turn thanks to ALiHM if you're going the Brute route, or enduring Nazgul.   To be honest, I don't mind about this one.

Ulaire Enquea, Faster Than Winds: Who plays this guy?  Everyone uses ToTo.  He's not bad, but normally I'll assign Smeagol to exhaust, and let him take the first Hardy Garrison hit.

Ulaire Cantea, Faster Than Winds: Awww.  That's sweet.  You added all these Threats, but what can you do with them?  Losing the spear and Sting is no biggie, though me being unable to use Smeagol's ability hurts a bit.

Southron Thief/War Towers/Mumak Commander: My deck works on discarding cards from hand, not exerting my companions (except Merry and Pippin who can return to hand to be healed next go).  I don't care about other wounds (indeed, I often double through my own site 6-nobody ever sees it coming), so the thief is OK.  Maxing out threats on War Towers and then playing the Commander is annoying, since Smeagol now cannot get the easy kill on the 4 vitality minion, but Targon/Madril can do it (2 wounds from Madril, 2 from WoBaS, still allowing 2 free Hardy Garrisons elsewhere and as much Shadowplay as you got in the Shadow phase).

Gorgoroth Swarm: I'll admit I don't really have a method for this guy other than being ahead on the adventure path, and controlling the entire sitepath up to my opponent.  That does actually work, and if not, Shadowplay and Unheeded on all previous besiegers can drain the pool until his text cannot activate.  Besiegers are hurt by most of them having a spotting requirement to play.  Great Hill Troll is more of a headache.

And that is pretty much it for King Block.  No Shotgun Enquea.  No Greed.  No Southron Commander.  All of these would kill me outside of King Block and playing with 5 companions feels so different when one is WoBaS.  The other important thing is Condition Discard.  My FP has none (rarely an issue in King Block as Derufin takes Engines), and I hate it when shadows do have it (I can live with Quelled as that needs an exert, and Grond rarely survives Derufin, but Great Hill Troll hurts (as I've mentioned before). 

One thing to note about this deck is it only runs 3 FP cultures (and killing Smeagol will get you down to 2 if you cannot stand the Mordor Pillager), so you are not weak to the strongest card in King Block: Southron Leader.  That guy is insane, and half the reason I don't play Gandalf, Rohirrim Guard or LoI (the other half is space).

December 22, 2013, 07:19:48 AM
Reply #3

Cthulhu

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 07:19:48 AM »
There are still some things to give you trouble in KB - Great Peril of Fire and Great Hill Troll doesnt share the weakness of Grond vs you, and Gorgoroth Soldiers shore up that weakness and make skirmishes harder too. Speaking of those, I would never run less than 3 Great Hill Trolls (and the card Id cut the 4th for would have to be pretty special too) on Kings sites provided I have some engines, and Soldiers should be at least 3 IMO too, and not only because fellowships like yours, plus more cycling is never a bad thing. Id cut an Encirclement (its unique, and not an engine, so 1 is enough), Morgai (not an engine and situational) for 2 Trolls at least. GHT is such an awesome card, its utility and card advantage built in 16 str fierce minion that costs 4-5 twilight most of the time, whats not to like? Not to mention Wraiths is one of the most popular fellowships in KB, and they hate seeing this guy too.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 07:32:06 AM by Cthulhu »
My current Gemp Tengwar count: 133 + 4

December 22, 2013, 11:46:26 AM
Reply #4

Legion

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 11:46:26 AM »
The whole idea of the shadow is to stack all my minions on sites I control, then set off a bomb.  Encircled is essential to that, often making my minions twilight -3, so there's no way I'm dropping one.  Morgai is potentially droppable, though.  The reason I don't play the troll is because I don't like him: I find it a tad overpowered, but I'm sure I can play 2.

I know the deck's not perfect, but it's fun.  Besiegers are a problem, but normally you can single and muddle through.

January 10, 2014, 08:54:11 AM
Reply #5

sgtdraino

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 08:54:11 AM »
Hey Legion, I'd like to take a stab at adapting this deck for WOTR Standard (the upcoming all-cards league on Gemp). At first glance, I think it has the potential to work well in that format. There's no Shotgun Enquea or Greed in WOTR Standard. There is Southron Commander, but your Smeagol can get the drop on him. There's also a distinct lack of condition bombs.

However, I don't have a lot of experience playing WOTR Standard, so I'm sure there are dangerous things in the format that I am not taking into account. What are some common strategies you guys think I need to be aware of, when adapting this deck for that format?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:01:03 AM by sgtdraino »
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

January 10, 2014, 12:47:25 PM
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Legion

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 12:47:25 PM »
I'm afraid I cannot help you too much with WotR Standard.  It's a format I've just never really got to know.  One piece of advice would be to choose your shadow carefully: you will often discard all but 1 shadow card in your hand during the FP turn, so having some big hitters would probably help-you'll never set off a swarm.  Line of Defence Mumaks?

How would you deal with Invincible Uruk?  Or does nobody play that?

January 10, 2014, 05:34:15 PM
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sgtdraino

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 05:34:15 PM »
I'm afraid I cannot help you too much with WotR Standard.  It's a format I've just never really got to know.  One piece of advice would be to choose your shadow carefully: you will often discard all but 1 shadow card in your hand during the FP turn, so having some big hitters would probably help-you'll never set off a swarm.  Line of Defence Mumaks?

Here's what I've come up with so far:

Ring-bearer: Frodo, Protected by Many
Ring: The One Ring, Answer To All Riddles

Adventure deck:
The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Anduin Banks
Cavern Entrance
Neekerbreekers' Bog
Ettenmoors
Fords of Isen
Dammed Gate-stream
The Prancing Pony
Trollshaw Forest

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
1x Smeagol, Always Helps
2x Aragorn, Driven by Need
2x Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith
2x Derufin
1x Madril, Faramir's Aide
1x Targon
1x Vorondil
1x Merry, Swordthain
1x Pippin, Wearer of Black and Silver
1x Heavy Chain
1x Sting, Baggins Heirloom
2x Where Shall We Go
2x Unheeded
3x Hardy Garrison
4x Man the Walls
2x Stewards' Legacy
3x Third Level
2x A Light in His Mind
4x Shadowplay
2x Pallando, Far-travelling One
2x Daddy Twofoot, Next-door Neighbor

Shadow Draw Deck:
3x Gorgoroth Agitator
2x Gorgoroth Assassin
2x Gorgoroth Berserker
2x Gorgoroth Garrison
2x Gorgoroth Pillager
3x Gorgoroth Sapper
2x Gorgoroth Swarm
2x Gorgoroth Troop
2x Gothmog, Lieutenant of Morgul
1x Great Hill Troll
3x Mordor Pillager
1x Sauron, The Lord of the Rings
1x Siege Troop
1x Troll of Gorgoroth, Abomination of Sauron
2x Grond, Hammer of the Underworld
1x Dead Marshes
2x Encirclement
1x Great Peril of Fire
1x Great Siege-towers
1x Teeth of Mordor
1x Their Marching Companies
2x Tower Walkway
2x Troop Tower

A few modifications I made:

Replaced Birthday Present with Daddy Twofoot. Does the same thing, and lets me manipulate initiative more while there's minions out.

Added Pallando for condition removal. Yes, I realize I'm risking multiculture hate, but if it gets bad, I guess I'll just put Pallando on a guy, and kill off the guy. My thinking is that with Pallando, Steward's Legacy, and Boromir, I can get some wicked extra exerts on minions, plus some condition removal.

Switched to Frodo, Protected by Many. Again, manipulating initiative with Muster.

Added Aragorn to be a tank, plus to take off threats if I need him to. Yes, that's too many companions. If it's obvious my opponent isn't relying on site control though, then I don't need to play Vorondil.

Added Heavy Chain. Merry can keep putting it on guys, so even if they can't win, they should at least be able to take on a big dude and survive.

Thoughts?

How would you deal with Invincible Uruk?  Or does nobody play that?

Oh, I imagine he's just as popular as he is in Expanded. My counter when dealing with something like that, would be to only have 7 guys out at a time. That way, if necessary, I can bump Pippin and Merry back into my hand, and he won't be able to spot 6 companions anymore.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

January 11, 2014, 07:22:33 AM
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Legion

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2014, 07:22:33 AM »
Looking good!  It looks like you have all your bases covered, there.  Maybe try Hero of Osgiliath as your Boromir: you shouldn't be wounding anyone, anyway, so it's not a huge deal, though.  Surely Faramir, Son of Denethor is gagging to be put in, too.  He's perfect for this deck.

Nice call on the Heavy Chain!

January 11, 2014, 02:10:02 PM
Reply #9

Legion

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2014, 02:10:02 PM »
Thinking about it, Don't Look at Them would be an excellent defence to Nazgul, who have such low site numbers.  I know it is costly in terms of cards, but it surely cannot hurt?

January 12, 2014, 04:58:18 PM
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sgtdraino

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 04:58:18 PM »
Looking good!  It looks like you have all your bases covered, there.  Maybe try Hero of Osgiliath as your Boromir: you shouldn't be wounding anyone, anyway, so it's not a huge deal, though.

Well, the idea is the same as before: To kill guys without actually fighting. Boromir would rarely win a straight-up fight with this deck. The idea with Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith is to use him in conjunction with Steward's Legacy to make minions exert, which can then be killed off via the other usual means. Then, next turn, I can just heal him right back up again for another go.

Surely Faramir, Son of Denethor is gagging to be put in, too.  He's perfect for this deck.

Eh, I've already got 10 companions in there, though. I'm not sure who I'd take out.

Nice call on the Heavy Chain!

It's an idea. It hasn't been a huge help yet, but I'll keep it in for now.

Thinking about it, Don't Look at Them would be an excellent defence to Nazgul, who have such low site numbers.  I know it is costly in terms of cards, but it surely cannot hurt?

Now THAT is a great idea. Dunno why I didn't have it in already. Works with the initiative stuff too.

So, here's how it's shaping up... I ended up completely revamping the Shadow side. For whatever reason, I've never been able to do well with Besiegers. I never have the right combination of cards in my hand to pull off what I want... or else I don't get enough twilight. So, instead I completely switched it up for something a bit bizarre. Here's the latest version:

Starting Fellowship:
Ring-bearer: Frodo, Protected by Many
Ring: The One Ring, Answer To All Riddles
1x Madril, Faramir's Aide
1x Pippin, Wearer of Black and Silver
1x Merry, Swordthain
1x Smeagol, Always Helps

Adventure deck:
The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Anduin Banks
Cavern Entrance
Neekerbreekers' Bog
Pelennor Flat
Fords of Isen
Dammed Gate-stream
The Prancing Pony
Trollshaw Forest

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
2x Aragorn, Driven by Need
4x Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith
1x Derufin
1x Targon
1x Vorondil
1x Heavy Chain
1x Sting, Baggins Heirloom
2x Naked Waste
3x One Good Turn Deserves Another
2x Where Shall We Go
2x Unheeded
1x Don't Look at Them
4x Hardy Garrison
4x Man the Walls
3x Stewards' Legacy
3x A Light in His Mind
2x Home and Hearth
4x Shadowplay
3x Pallando, Far-travelling One
2x Daddy Twofoot, Next-door Neighbor

Shadow Draw Deck:
1x Gollum, Plotting Deceiver
3x Corsair Boatswain
3x Corsair Lookout
3x Corsair Marauder
2x Desert Lord
2x Desert Stalker
3x Easterling Guard
3x Easterling Lieutenant
2x Southron Leader
3x Sauron, The Lord of the Rings
4x Black Sails of Umbar
2x Corsair War Galley
3x Ships of Great Draught
4x Captured by the Ring
3x Led Astray
2x Discovered
4x Evil-smelling Fens
2x Fat One Wants It
1x They Stole It

On the FP side, just a few tweeks. Added Home and Hearth because I felt like A Light in His Mind wasn't getting the burdens off fast enough. My favorite thing, which, granted, I have not actually pulled off yet, is the idea that One Good Turn Deserves Another + A Light In His Mind + Hardy Garrison theoretically means I should be able to kill every single minion in regroup!

The Shadow is a hodgepodge of various Raiders, with Gollum and Sauron. The basic idea is to get the threats and burdens up as much as possible in order to play Sauron over and over. Still feeling it out.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

January 12, 2014, 05:31:48 PM
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Legion

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 05:31:48 PM »
I suppose Hero of Osgiliath is a bit situational.  He wins skirmishes when Pippin or Hardy Garrison kill his minion, but I suppose you're probably best off with DoMT.  I just don't particularly like adding all that twilight in Fellowship.  Why Trollshaw forest?  You only have 1 possession (though a few Banner of Westernese wouldn't hurt).  How are you exerting Boromir to use Steward's Legacy?

January 13, 2014, 07:14:03 AM
Reply #12

Invincible

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 07:14:03 AM »
My guess is Pallando for the exert on Boromir.

January 13, 2014, 09:25:48 AM
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sgtdraino

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2014, 09:25:48 AM »
I suppose you're probably best off with DoMT.  I just don't particularly like adding all that twilight in Fellowship.

It's a bit of a risk, but so far hasn't seemed too bad.

Why Trollshaw forest?  You only have 1 possession (though a few Banner of Westernese wouldn't hurt). 

Good question! That site is actually a holdover from when I first put the deck together, and I was mainly trying to get cards in there that would make it valid for WOTR Standard. Trollshaw Forest might well should be replaced with something else. Suggestions?

How are you exerting Boromir to use Steward's Legacy?

My guess is Pallando for the exert on Boromir.

Exactly.

Here's the deck in action, it performed well:

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=sgtdraino$v7uo4hplag3o1mmy

However...

My favorite thing, which, granted, I have not actually pulled off yet, is the idea that One Good Turn Deserves Another + A Light In His Mind + Hardy Garrison theoretically means I should be able to kill every single minion in regroup!

...This did not work. Not sure why. I had 4 cards in hand, played One Good Turn Deserves Another and returned it to my hand twice, but it did not trigger A Light In His Mind or Hardy Garrison. Not sure why. I have made a bug report on it.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

January 17, 2014, 04:59:09 AM
Reply #14

sgtdraino

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Re: The Fun Madril
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 04:59:09 AM »
I made a movie version of this too, it sometimes does pretty well:

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=sgtdraino$tetcuivn7iiaisdl
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir