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October 27, 2014, 03:05:02 PM
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Legion

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My Last Stand at Expanded
« on: October 27, 2014, 03:05:02 PM »
I have made little secret of the fact that I don't particularly like a lot of things in Expanded.  Shadowfax, GotM is one, Madril another, Mountain Troll, possibly, and I could go on for a loooong time.  However, site manipulation in particular is just not cricket in my book.  How is it that you always seem to be stuck at Steward's Tomb at your sanctuaries, but your opponent is strolling through Mithlond every turn?  It just seems that you need some of our own to handle the better decks.  Consider it an unwritten rule, like the rule of 6.

However, sometimes the only table up there is Expanded and I'm desperate for a game.  Gotta get that LotR fix, so anything will do (except TS, Standard or Open as I really don't play them).  So I've made this deck that actually is quite fun to play, and quite novel too.  As it's the final chance I'm giving the format, it seems apt that it is centered around the card Last Stand.

Ring-bearer: Gimli, Bearer of Grudges
Ring: The One Ring, The Ring of Rings

Adventure deck:
Doors of Durin
Fangorn Glade
Cavern Entrance
Barazinbar
Mithlond
Caras Galadhon
Mount Doom
Imladris
Sirannon Ruins

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
1x Brand, King of Dale (starting)
1x Dasron, Merchant from Dorwinion (starting)
1x Gandalf, Returned
1x Grimbeorn, Beorning Chieftain
1x Elrond, Lord of Rivendell
1x Barliman Butterbur, Prancing Pony Proprietor
1x Erland, Advisor to Brand
1x Hugin, Emissary from Laketown
1x Jarnsmid, Merchant from Dale
1x Ottar, Man of Laketown
1x Gimli's Battle Axe
3x Beorning Axe
1x Glamdring, Elven Blade
1x Shadowfax, Roaring Wind
1x Ring of Fury
4x A Wizard Is Never Late
1x Durin's Secret
3x Guidance of the Istari
2x Speak Friend and Enter
2x Traveled Leader
1x Brooding on Tomorrow
3x Last Stand
2x Watch and Wait
1x Pallando, Far-travelling One

Shadow Draw Deck:
1x Gollum, Plotting Deceiver
4x Foul Tentacle
4x Huge Tentacle
4x Reaching Tentacle
4x Strong Tentacle
4x Watcher in the Water, Many-Tentacled Creature
2x Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant of Morgul
2x Ships of Great Draught
2x Captured by the Ring
3x Led Astray
1x So Polite
4x Evil-smelling Fens
1x The Number Must Be Few

Last Stand is a card that caught my eye.  There are a few Gandalf Men companions, but only Grimboern stands out as a good fighter or healer (and not really good at being both), so the cost of the card looks quite steep.  However, way back in sets 1 and 2, we were given loads of site 3 allies, all with 2 vitality that could also pump Last Stand.  And Elrond, LoR is only R-Rated in Expanded (so is Ottar, but that's silly as AWiNL will fetch him just as easily), which really got me thinking.  

So the plan is to get out as much as you can (easy enough with Ottar cycling and tentacles as a shadow), and put loads of tokens on Last Stand.  Use Barliman and Dasron to get Speak Friend and Enter and Traveled Leader every turn, and move to your favourite site every turn (mine's Mithlond 99% if the time).  Boerning Axe will help set you up for doubles if  your opponent plays anything (Grimboern always wins with Guidance of the Istari giving him a +8 pump for 1 twilight!).  Durin's secret almost always lets you triple if you're set up, and remember if you've used up your deck, Hugin gets you whatever you want with Elrond.  It's even worth giving him an axe late game!

The choice of Gandlaf is the only thing I would consider changing (with all the healing, Wise Guide seems good), but if you cannot use Gandalf, Returned in this deck, when can you?  It is nice to pull Glamdring early to discard off useless tentacles.

On the subject of tentacles, they play just like any other boring tentacle shadow: play nothing if you think you'll kill them if they double, otherwise cycle like crazy.  The Gollum bits are there to help put in a Cavern Entrance as the site, as well as adding a bit of twilight.  Not much else to say, really.  I am also trying a deck that plays Plotting, 4 So Polite and Led Astray before going for it (after setting up the perfect hand with dwarves discarding your deck then playing RBBN on Preparations, but I'll post that after I've tested it a bit more.

Have a replay-my opponent only complained about the shadow, which is interesting, as I feel the FP is more abusive!

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=Legion$qjk83fjwpatab39q

« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 03:07:15 PM by Legion »

October 27, 2014, 03:15:50 PM
Reply #1

sgtdraino

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 03:15:50 PM »
I suggest you add Sudden Strike and Shelob. That will enable you to pull important conditions out, like Fens and The Number Must Be Few.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

October 27, 2014, 03:19:19 PM
Reply #2

Legion

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 03:19:19 PM »
No.  I've never had trouble with too few Fens.  Shelob is twilight 6 (usually 8) to take out 1 companion, and +2 from Sudden Strike.  It's a good card, but it really doesn't fit here.  Also Gollum is not the crux of the deck.  I can easily play without him (and have to if my opponent is leading the sitepath)

October 27, 2014, 05:39:56 PM
Reply #3

dmaz

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 05:39:56 PM »
This really motivates me to make a hybrid deck of this including a little more Gollum and some Shelob, Her Ladyship :) I always love seeing Frodo get overwhelmed while Grimbeorn/Treebeard is standing by, sheepishly XD

October 28, 2014, 11:40:17 AM
Reply #4

Vordan

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 11:40:17 AM »
nice ideas, my opinion for shadow( as i have one tentacle deck myself) is to add some utility/splash i mean, in my deck i have 2 Grima  Wormtongue or stick with SoAM (still some crazy dudes out there that run dwarves with 5/6 cards and no grima protection) and 2 Saruman's Power (sure it takes out even yours condition, but i find that when you can play it to do the most damage -> hobbit hospital, elven, dwarf heal/dmg, all the smeagol stuff etc.. it's great worthly to lose some of yours, not to mention that you can discard all, and then play another from hand)
and 2 nelya for some more site manipulation as Led Astray can only change yours.

Just my 2 cents

October 28, 2014, 02:26:13 PM
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Legion

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 02:26:13 PM »
Not many conditions phase me, except perhaps Namarie and Take up the Bow (I still have Doors of Durin, though), so why do I need Saruman's PowerWormtongue is pretty useless, too as the only companion I care about is the Ringbearer and he's not unbound.  I don't need Shelob as a tentacle will take out the largest companion for at least 4 twilight less (sure, the tentacle might take a hit, but that's ok as 6 more are on the RB).

In my opinion there is no excuse for losing to a tentacle deck.  They telegraph their intentions so clearly that you must have badly miscalculated to have given enough twilight to get swarmed.  They are, however, really tough to double against if they play nothing, and they can cycle pretty well (Ottar is definitely your friend) as you only need 1 shadow card in hand to swarm.  The goal of the shadow is to play nothing (and hopefully clog a bit), forcing the opposition to single their way down the path as your FP canters to the finish.

Nelya is a viable addition, but often 5 twilight (and having to have him in hand) will severely dampen any swarm you might try to put out-that's 2 tentacles you'll be missing, 3 if you could have played Led Astray.  I might sub him in for an Enquea, though-they normally just end up powering Grimboern.

Perhaps this replay shows how the deck should be played.  It was plainly obvious that my opponent had no way to double after I played TNMBF, so there was no need to play any more minions and possibly let him kill down to 6 companions.  Then it was up to the fellowship to do its thing.  And didn't it just?

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=Legion$3tjndufsdfv1wye1

October 28, 2014, 03:49:23 PM
Reply #6

Vordan

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 03:49:23 PM »
well i tend to have some ace under my sleeves as there are one card that render tentacle useless and you need only 2 copy of that in hand( and if your fp want to double or triple to the and that's probably the case..) fortunately for us very few people out there use it: PATHS


edit: 1) and a grima with a snow can prevent this and any other pumps to the rb..
        2) nelya is there mainly for the annoying fp that play/change site to that annoying forest (Caras Galadhon)..
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 03:54:52 PM by Vordan »

October 28, 2014, 04:33:53 PM
Reply #7

Legion

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2014, 04:33:53 PM »
Snows is X-ed in expanded, so there's no way around PAtHS.  I do see the point of Nelya, but normally I'll force the site before to be Mount Doom if I'm worried about their FP site manipulation.  If you carry 2 PAtHS with you, your hand is proably clogged enough that my FP can double, too.  Durin's Secret is a great surprise card-the old ways are the best!

October 28, 2014, 06:01:02 PM
Reply #8

dmaz

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2014, 06:01:02 PM »
Yeah, I wouldn't worry too much about PATHS...you almost never see it in Expanded, though it would still be quite useful to use.

I'm so meticulous about decks, that if I'm making a "bomb" deck, I feel like I have to account for variances, since its an all or nothing kind of deck. If you can't get it to go off the right way you just need to try and run. I'm more partial to beatdown types, since you have more wiggle room.

That being said, I have come up with a bomb deck. It's probably the only one I'm satisfied with, even though it still won't ever have a guaranteed win.

When you are making a swarm deck in expanded, you can expect to run into these obstacles:
1. Site manipulation during maneuver phase to Caras Galadhon (this is probably the most common problem you will have, and any competitive deck will hold a Traveled Leader in hand if they smell even a hint of swarm).
2. Skirmish special abilities (you know that ring that can make Frodo strength +27 or more without corrupting himself? That one can be a real bummer...but its probably the most commonly used ring in Expanded. Cavern Entrance is sometimes a must...but then you are also subject to site manipulation).
3. Skirmish events (probably not quite as common, but like we mentioned, PATHS can shut you down).
4. Archery wounding/maneuver discarding (I see you got your ships lined up, which is good, heavy archery decks aren't as common, but they CAN prepare for a storm if they see one coming).

The deck I made to account for all of these is my Sandyman bomb that uses Fool of a Took! spotting Ted Sandyman to draw every card from your deck into your hand. I use Gimli, DoE and Gloin, Son of Groin [thanks to sgtdraino for the suggestion on this guy] to bury Moria cards, Delvings to draw the cards I need to set off the bomb, while using Goblin sneaks to do the same. Once I've drawn the whole hand, Host of Moria is there to pull any card you need that you might have lost to discarding.
To win you need:
1 Nelya to ensure Cavern Entrance (usually don't need to even play him)
1 Balrog, Demon of Might
1 Whip of Many Thongs, Weapon of Flame and Shadow
sometimes 1 Power in Terror (if they are playing heavy choke, usually don't need it but pulled it once with Host of Moria)
This way they can't use skirmish special abilities, they can't change sites or use archery (both phases are skipped), and any useful skirmish events that would save them are discarded from their hand.
My major weakness is Gandalf, Wise Guide, since you don't usually see White Arrows or other FP discarding techniques.

For your deck, I would really recommend adding 1 copy of Balrog, Demon of Might in case they flood the twilight pool at any given turn (it often happens), which would let you get both the Balrog AND the tentacles out. Nasty!

October 29, 2014, 01:51:58 AM
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Vordan

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 01:51:58 AM »
oh, yes forgot about snow..

for the last line dmaz i have 2 of balrog, for the same reason/surprise that one don't expect, but you can't really swarm with tentacle if he's out, you just can play the ones you have in hand, because of watcher #$&*@! text... (otherwise would be a monster swarm coupled with morcs or any other things you can throw out)

the fact is, like legion sayd that tentacle have huge swarm/ stopping power, but it's fp fault if they double/triple and the die for it, because even if you flood the twilight you know that at max you have 17 minion out.

October 29, 2014, 03:15:48 AM
Reply #10

dmaz

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 03:15:48 AM »
Oh duh...silly Watcher game text hehe...I've never used him so I forgot about that.

I guess only if that the version of the phial removes his gametext and you have a way of playing minions during the skirmish phase then you COULD have him with other minions haha

October 29, 2014, 03:34:12 AM
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dmaz

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2014, 03:34:12 AM »
Haha, ok this is silly and a tad off-topic, but I found a way to have the Watcher AND Gollum out at the same time.

Either Watcher (lets say Keeper of Westgate) is skirmishing Frodo bearing Phial of Galadriel, Star-glass. He uses it and removes the Watcher's game text, to remove his boost for the tentacles. Merry, Swordthain is discarded to play a Rohirrim Bow on Eomer that they had used to take down a tentacle in archery phase. Little does FP know that you have A Dark Shape Sprang and out comes Gollum to bite Eomer in the thigh!

October 29, 2014, 08:41:55 AM
Reply #12

Carl333

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2014, 08:41:55 AM »
What is with the gimli's battle axe?  I would switch it for another beorning axe.  It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the fellowship. Just a suggestion.
"Do you ever wonder why we are here?  Maybe you're here because it is the only place you fit in.  Maybe you're here because you have nowhere else to go.  Maybe you're here because deep down, you want to be here.  It doesn't matter why you're here.  All that matters is that you are here!"

October 29, 2014, 12:48:46 PM
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Legion

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2014, 12:48:46 PM »
I'm so meticulous about decks, that if I'm making a "bomb" deck, I feel like I have to account for variances, since its an all or nothing kind of deck. If you can't get it to go off the right way you just need to try and run. I'm more partial to beatdown types, since you have more wiggle room.

I do agree, but this deck is not really about the shadow.  I made it for the FP, and I find that the shadow really fits in well with it as it cycles so much better than any beatdown I've seen.  The SandyBomb is cool, but that's a totally different deck to the one listed here.  All the shadow needs to do is to stop doubles, and that's what it does.

What is with the gimli's battle axe?  I would switch it for another beorning axe.  It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the fellowship. Just a suggestion.

Helps against swarm (in case they get out Cavern Entrance before I get Traveled Leader, though Brand is surprisingly good against Moria), and also gives Gimli a Resistance boost (9  with Ring of Fury is enough with Imladris and Watch and Wait).  Plus it comes easily enough with Baranzibar.  The only other contender is Axe of Erebor which is clearly inferior when you don't have Dwarven Conditions.

October 29, 2014, 07:55:27 PM
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dmaz

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2014, 07:55:27 PM »
I do agree, but this deck is not really about the shadow.  I made it for the FP, and I find that the shadow really fits in well with it as it cycles so much better than any beatdown I've seen.  The SandyBomb is cool, but that's a totally different deck to the one listed here.  All the shadow needs to do is to stop doubles, and that's what it does.

Ahhh I gotcha now. It's basically the inverse of what my deck tries to do. While I just single move and hope for my fellowship to survive while building a bomb. You have a general constant threat of a swarm for your opponent with every move, while you build up your fellowship for strong doubles. :)

October 30, 2014, 12:30:15 PM
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Legion

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2014, 12:30:15 PM »
Exactly!  The Fellowship can take a while to set up (but it's not dependent on conditions, they just help), but when it does (really when I have Travelled Leader, Speak Friend and Enter and a Guidance of the Istari in hand), it's virtually unstoppable.  Perhaps it is missing possession discard, and condition discard too.  I might add in another Pallando, but I really disliked the whole concept of a follower, so generally avoid them.

October 31, 2014, 12:36:54 PM
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Vordan

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2014, 12:36:54 PM »
Just remembered that there is definitely something other you can play with tentacle...

those nasty saruman condition that became minion(not quite usefull as saruman won't be near, not throne to pump them, at least not in a tentacle deck)

and the most viable ones.. if you are short of minion in that moment, and they are flooding just use A Shadow Rises... throw them in and use when/if you want, as Watcher tecnically (because i assume noone tried yet on Gemp to do that) don't discard them as they are still condition and not minions.

October 31, 2014, 01:17:33 PM
Reply #17

sgtdraino

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2014, 01:17:33 PM »
If you activate those conditions, Watcher will indeed immediately discard them, because they've also just become minions. I've seen it happen on Gemp.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

November 01, 2014, 03:17:09 AM
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Vordan

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2014, 03:17:09 AM »
But those cards still specify that they are still condition (for the purpose of discarding i suppose), but then they are both minion AND condition when you activate it, is it possible, or it's a misinterpretation on Gemp?

November 01, 2014, 06:56:22 AM
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sgtdraino

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2014, 06:56:22 AM »
They are both, which means they are vulnerable to things that target either one.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

October 22, 2018, 09:41:10 AM
Reply #20

Dictionary

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Re: My Last Stand at Expanded
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2018, 09:41:10 AM »
Old thread but I just want to add that this strategy also works well with Bearer of Obligation. You can then use Dain Ironfoot for Dwarf stuff if need be. Having the RB being to benefit from GotI is really nice. I also prefer Dale Counselor to the ally version, as it means more of the pump, even if the effect is mildly reduced.
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