When Treebeard was first spoiled I immediately wanted to use him with Merry and Pippin. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for me to not only revel in the thematic goodness of it all, but just how thematic and effective such a deck could be. Merry and Pippin grant access to some very interesting strategies that work well with Treebeard and their ability to stir the wise old Ent to battle. I’m not entirely sure just how combative this deck can be, as it dances along the edge of healing and taking damage constantly via Treebeard’s effect, but it at the very least is fun. Taken with some inspiration from one of my favorite Video Games and it’s respective soundtrack, I have titled this deck: Roar of the Earth.
The basic premise of the deck is to hit enemies and to hit them hard. This is very possible thanks to Treebeard‘s ability to damage himself and boost his own Willpower and Defense. In the early game Treebeard can be a decent quester and as the enemies begin to pile on we can take them down with his combat instead. Merry allows Treebeard to ready after one attack and strike again and also gives us access to the only non-Lore Ent released so far. Lastly, Pippin helps give us a turn or two without enemies automatically engaging us and provides us some nice card draw when they do come down or when we decide they do.
This deck is actually pretty even in regards to the card types presented. There are Seventeen attachments included in this deck list. For Treebeard there are only two attachments we need to be concerned about getting on him quickly and those would be Ent Draught and Self Preservation. Ent Draught gives Treebeard a much needed boost in HP and actually allows us to use his action the max number of times we are allowed without killing him. We can also attach extra copies of the Draught on our Hobbits for added cushion. Self Preservation ensures us that no matter how many times we use his ability that we can bring him back down to a safer amount of wounds. For Merry the attachments we are looking for are the Dagger of Westernesse, Fast Hitch, and Song of Wisdom. With two Daggers and a Fast Hitch on Merry rest assured he and Treebeard can be attacking for astronomical numbers. They can swing, both ready up and both swing again. Even after that Merry can ready Treebeard one last time for a third attack. I went back and forth about whether or not to include the Song of Wisdom in the deck but found that there were simply not as many Tactics cards as there were Lore. As I built the deck and tweaked some of the numbers I figured that in the late game Merry could potentially be sitting on a decent number of resources with nothing to pay for. Having just a coupe copies of Song of Wisdom could mitigate this issue should it arise. Secret Vigil and Elf-Stone are included to smooth things over for us with the vigil keeping our threat down and preventing enemies from engaging as best we can and Elf-Stone can help us get our many allies out (especially since our Lore resources will be tight).
There are Eighteen allies in this deck, making them the most prevalent card type but barely so. Of the eighteen, half of them are Ents. Wandering Ent makes an appearance here as does Quickbeam and Booming Ent. The Booming Ent really excites me with this deck as not only does he synergize well with Quickbeam’s equally awesome ability but Booming Ent will also receive a boost from Treebeard’s effect, granting our Hero an almost global boost of sorts. Our characters, especially Treebeard, are going to be taking on a lot of damage and so healing is a big concern. Treebeard is not so bad with our attachments but they can only do so much. To help with this, of the remaining nine allies eight of them have the ability to “heal.” Warden of Healing is the most straightforward and will perhaps do the most work since he’s the least restricted. He can heal not only our Heroes but our allies and one of each should we so choose. Honour Guard offers a similarly wide reaching effect as he isn’t restricted to card type but he can only choose one character. Nevertheless he is a great addition, stays in the tactics sphere and removes some of the burden on our Lore resources, and comes with 3 hitpoints which I’m sure will come in handy for archery damage. Dori is in here as well to save any of our Heroes in a pinch. Lastly, with just one copy, we have the ally version of Legolas. I don’t mind putting in a single copy of him at all. If Merry is sitting on a mountain of resources with no Song of Wisdom in sight then not only are we able to play a very powerful attacker but we also get access to some card draw (which will hopefully get us to our Song or better). Which leads me to our next section.
Of the three card types the Events are the least presented, but are certainly just as valuable if not more so. It’s possible that some of these should be replaced with healing events but with so many allies and attachments that we are going to want to see I decided to go big on the card draw. Of the fifteen events, twelve of them fetch us cards. Nine of them specifically draw us cards (Daeron’s Runes, Mithrandir’s Advice, Deep Knowledge) and the last three help us get any of our nine Ents a la Entmoot. What I like most about these events, aside from Mithrandir’s advice, is that they cost 0 resources which is a blessing in and of itself. Lastly there are three copies of Halfling Determination. It’s possible there are better or additional tactics events from which to choose but I like the versatility of this card, especially in a deck with two thirds of its Heroes bearing the Hobbit trait. This one cost tactics event has the ability to help us out in questing or defending with Pippin or by giving Merry that extra boost to take out an enemy in combat. In a multiplayer game it could be given to other Hobbits as well. I find it quite versatile.
I can’t wait to put this deck into action. It definitely needs a buddy deck to pick up some of the questing slack. Even better, if paired with a deck that contains Spirit we will then get access to cards like Unexpected Courage and Hobbit Pony. Perhaps the Spirit Deck can be a dual sphere deck with Leadership as well, granting us some resource smoothing or acceleration. Any other Leadership cards could further assist in combat as well.
Let me know what you think of this deck. Treebeard seems like an odd, albeit interesting Hero to use. I’m not sure if he has a place outside of a Hobbit deck but it’s possible maybe to use him in a supporting role. He certainly provides the proper sphere access and he is a decent combatant. This would lighten the load of most support decks which not only have to worry about helping others but themselves should they risk having enemies overwhelm them.
-The Secondhand Took
Deck: Roar of the Earth
Total Cards: (50)
1x Treebeard (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Merry (The Black Riders)
1x Pippin (The Black Riders)
3x Booming Ent (The Antlered Crown)
3x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Wandering Ent (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
2x Dori (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
2x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)
2x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)
2x Self Preservation (Core Set)
2x Song of Wisdom (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Entmoot (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Halfling Determination (The Black Riders)
Side Quest: (0)