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Author Topic: Elf / Sauron Swarm (from Jan. 2015 league)  (Read 4703 times)

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January 04, 2015, 11:41:59 AM
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Elf / Sauron Swarm (from Jan. 2015 league)
« on: January 04, 2015, 11:41:59 AM »
In my attempt to have a deck for every format on GEMP - I'm missing Hunters block, Multipath, and Second Edition - I finally got around to making a King Block deck. It just completed a 10-0 run in King Block league, and it's 13-1 in casual play. That said, I don't think it's a very good deck - it just plays the metagame well.

What are the game-changing cards in King Block? Galadriel Lady Redeemed, of course. Cirdan crushes minions in the late game and works very well with GLR. Tale of the Great Ring is the best Frodo protection, since no event boosts Frodo without another exertion or having a sword. Thus, it was Elf time, and I had to build a shadow expecting over half Elf-event decks. That's what I've mostly seen, by the way. Here's the decklist, then card commentary.

Ring-bearer: Frodo, Hope of Free Peoples
Ring: The One Ring, Such a Weight to Carry

Adventure deck:
Rohirrim Road
King's Tent
Hall of the Kings
Osgiliath Fallen
Steward's Tomb
Minas Tirith Seventh Circle
Osgiliath Channel
Morgul Vale
Haunted Pass

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
1x Arwen, Fair Elf Maiden
1x Celeborn, Lord of the Galadhrim
3x Cirdan, The Shipwright
3x Elrond, Venerable Lord
1x Galadriel, Lady Redeemed
1x Legolas, Fearless Marksman
2x Asfaloth, Elven Steed
4x Defiance
4x Fleet-footed
4x Still Needed
4x Uncertain Paths
1x Glimpse of Fate
2x Shadow Between
2x The Tale of the Great Ring

Shadow Draw Deck:
2x Gorgoroth Agitator
4x Gorgoroth Assassin
2x Great Hill Troll
4x Mordor Defender
4x Mordor Fighter
3x Mordor Trooper
1x Orc Brood
4x Orc Chaser
4x Orc Pursuer(2)
1x Orc Stalker
2x Grond, Hammer of the Underworld
2x Flames Within

My Fellowship is dull. Dishwater dull. The most interesting choice might be Frodo; I saw all three in league. It's hard to get the corruption burdens so I think Resolute Hobbit is too much. Wicked Masster! looks nice but is only good for 2 wounds, and doesn't work at the scariest sites 5 and 9. I think I've removed threats twice, but that's something.
Legolas's discard-to-wound ability is more useful than I expected. I play Fair Elf Maiden because Arwen's job is to survive against big fierce minions until Cirdan arrives. I also play 3 Elrond and 3 Cirdan because Cirdan is not useful early, while 8 base strength is more helpful than 7. The "last cards out" were Sting (Tale of the Great Ring works well enough, as Frodo's only getting a minion when I'm in big trouble) and Aegnor (another Elf body, but I found I didn't need another shield because nobody else played swarm). The "last cards in" were Glimpse of Fate and Asfaloth #2 - nice enough but not keys. There's almost certainly a better FP side out there. Maybe Aragorn could replace Celeborn. Gandalf Manager of Wizards isn't great because many Shadows want initiative.

Anything that relies on conditions or support area possessions would not work in the GLR meta, so that dropped many Shadow options. Yes, even Corsairs. Corsair Marauder is the key Corsair because he removes Fellowship support, but Elves have few possessions in block and GLR takes out most of the ships. I considered Nazgul plus Morgul Orcs, which I play in Movie and Expanded. Instead, I decided to go to an underplayed option on GEMP: Minion Swarm. As a former Rider, I sometimes played this type of deck to show new players how to be competitive without many rares. This deck isn't a low-rare deck, but the principles are the same. Fill the hand with minions then play them, preferably at site 5. I play Steward's Tomb for twilight even though it hurts my FP side.
Flames Within is usually a drop-and-play +2; people forget that it works with Great Hill Troll. The Initiative Trick with Mordor Fighter is just a bonus. Grond's biggest use is to put Assassin pressure on Galadriel, but it does help against the minority of non-GLR decks. I originally included Great Hill Troll as my only way to remove Tale of the Great Ring, but he turned out surprisingly good at site 2 and 3. I won a game off 11 twilight at site 3, enough for a Troll that killed 2 companions. Gorgoroth Agitator is another way to gain threats; it puts the opponent in a place where he can make mistakes. That's what I want. In league, I won 1 game solely because of opponent error, and in 2 more games opponent error made the victory easier. The single Orc Stalker is the "last card in", because a 5 cost tracker (counting roaming) is pricey. Looking back, I might drop it and Glimpse of Fate.

I won with my fellowship in 1 league game, with 9 Shadow kills. Casual play has about the same ratio. I bid 0 because I don't care about going first. Honestly, this deck is very beatable. I have no hand extension - just play 8 or 9 companions! Fortunately, the 9-companion deck was as rare as I expected, becuase of threats. It's tough to protect 9 people, and watching 8 threats go off is damaging. In a different meta I'd be 5-5, but here I went 10-0. And there you go.

January 04, 2015, 03:03:26 PM
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Re: Elf / Sauron Swarm (from Jan. 2015 league)
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 03:03:26 PM »
Good job of another excellent read of the meta, finding its weakness and taking advantage of it, something Ive noticed you're very good at (I've won 3 TT leagues with your Gencon deck and came 2nd in another due to my mistake). I wish you played more leagues, good competition is always wellcome.

Honestly, this deck is very beatable. I have no hand extension - just play 8 or 9 companions! Fortunately, the 9-companion deck was as rare as I expected

Not so rare, its just that most of those 9 comps never showed up for me in the game i needed them the most :)

Congrats on winning the league (most likely) and hope to see you in more leagues!
My current Gemp Tengwar count: 133 + 4

July 17, 2015, 01:56:59 PM
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Re: Elf / Sauron Swarm (from Jan. 2015 league)
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2015, 01:56:59 PM »
I went 11-2 in the July league with basically the same deck. By the way, 13 games is tough for me to make given my schedule. Multi-series leagues are nearly impossible.

Fellowship +1 Sam Great Elf Warrior -1 Asfaloth, Elven Steed
Shadow -1 Orc Brood -1 Orc Stalker +2 Orc Fanatic

One of my losses was to a nice to-the-head corruption deck (I think from dmaz) with Enquea TOTO, Between Nazgul and Prey, Gorgoroth Stormer, Gothmog's Warg, The Ring is Mine!, Mordor Fighter to use one threat and Captured by the Ring to get one threat. There wasn't any interaction; I just watched myself lose. There were also a few more swarmy decks, so I figured one Sam would help a bit with the swarm and corruption. As I said, Asfaloth was the last card in.

On Shadow, I never wanted to discard 3 cards from hand with Orc Brood, so I thought Orc Fanatic might cause problems. It never did, but it's not worse. As I said before, 3 cost is much worse than 2 in this deck so I dropped the Orc Stalker for another Fanatic. Gorgoroth Assassin stays in because it's a way to add threats at the right time, and this deck does a lot better with one threat. You might swap around 2 cost minions, but there's not a lot of options.

I wish I could play Great Siege-Towers instead of Grond because I'd like the bonuses, but Great Siege-Towers doesn't remove Tale of the Great Ring. In chat, someone mentioned Beaten Back as an alternative. Rope and Winch would be better because I will almost always have another Orc alive besides Frodo's, it could clear my hand or help me get initiative, and it's otherwise a terrible card (though not The Weight of a Legacy terrible). It would be humorous.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 02:02:29 PM by ramolnar »