On Monday I had the day off from work. Aside from doing adult chores (laundry, dishes, etc) I planned on using most of the day to catch up on some of this blog and what not. It could be that I bit more off than I could chew, or it could be that I’m having a sort of deckbuilding writer’s block but for some reason or another I struggled with making a deck with Legolas. I was getting too fancy, trying to do something Tri-Sphere or trying to be thematic to the point that I wasn’t enjoying the deck as I got further into building it. So I changed things up and built a deck without Legolas that I hope to post soon. After building that, I took a cue from Tales from the Cards and Ian’s 4 Player Mono-Sphere Decks to come up with the deck you’ll see today: Against the Shadow.
The deck revolves around the tried and true combo of Support of the Eagles and a Tactics Hero of your choosing. Though Ian’s take on the build focused on Boromir I decided to use Legolas instead. This may knock the deck down a tier, as Boromir’s action advantage is unparalleled but we are getting some decent questing progress in return a la Legolas’s ability. Legolas needs room to attack however, and we need to survive. To pick up the defending mantle we get Erkenbrand (perhaps my favorite defender) and Beregond (A defender I’ve yet to try out). Together these two will become defending powerhouses through various attachments and will not only allow Legolas to do his job but for the other players at the table to do the same as well.
Though I typically start out with the allies, which are equally important in this deck, I wanted to spotlight the attachments first. Though vital, the allies are a little more straightforward due to the synergy between all of the eagles. All of them are aimed towards making Support of the Eagles better. Ideally this will be attached to Legolas to make him a force to be reckoned with during combat. Alongside Support are two more attachments for Legolas, Rivendell Blade, and Rohan Warhorse. All of Legolas’s boosted attack won’t account to much if we only get to use his ability once, hence the inclusion of the Warhorse. Rivendell blade just adds an extra bit of combat boost and can help us out in the early game while we wait for Support of the Eagles to start shining. The attachments for Beregond and Erkenbrand are roughly the same.
I would put the following attachments on Beregond first to help with resources but other than that the choice is up to you: Gondorian Shield, Spear of the Citadel, Visionary Leadership, Raven-Winged Helm, and The Day is Rising. Raven-Winged Helm is difficult to prioritize what Hero should receive it first. It does perfectly fine for Beregond but if there is a true fear of Shadow Cards hurting our early game, it may be best to put this on Erkenbrand so we can repeatedly use his ability without risking his taking on too many wounds. You may wonder what Visionary Leadership is doing in a deck like this. As I said in the first paragraph, I decided to build another deck that would really enjoy having a card like that out in play. If I’m not using that deck as well, or if I’m simply using another deck I would most likely switch Visionary Leadership out with something else.
As can be expected, since we have a card like Support of the Eagles to worry about, a good majority of the allies in this deck are Eagles. Of the twenty allies included in the list, twelve of them are eagles. Thankfully, each serves a variety of functions. Vassal of the Windlord and Winged Guardian provide a nice early game strategy and don’t wear on our resources too much. Their tendency to leave play, normally a burden, works really well into our mid-game if we get a card like Eagles of the Misty Mountains into play. As our cheaper eagles fall during combat or leave of their own will we can tuck them under the Eagles of the Misty Mountains to steadily boost it. This would be the primary target for Support of the Eagles. Descendant of Thorondor‘s extra damage can come in handy if we have a few too many enemies in the staging area and helps with questing in directly. Landroval will scoop up one of our Heroes and bring them back into play should things get too dicey while Gwaihir can do something similar for our Eagles. His ability to fetch them out of the discard pile can help keep our Eagle Engine running should a nasty treachery or shadow card strike a blow towards our strategy.
Outside of the Eagles there are a few more allies to round things out. Bofur helps the deck find its much-needed weapons. Westfold Outrider helps us keep our enemies focused on us. It may be a bit redundant since our defenders have sentinel but sometimes there is just one enemy too many and our fellow players start to get overwhelmed in combat. The Outrider solves this as well as helps with questing since it can pull an enemy from the staging area before the questing phase begins. Lastly there is the Errand-Rider. Erkenbrand is likely to have more resources than Legolas and Beregond due to our small amount of Leadership cards. The Errand-Rider ensures that those resources don’t just sit there and can be put to good use, like becoming tactics resources.
There are only nine events in this deck list. Most of them have roles that are specific to certain situations. The Eagles are Coming however, will be good no matter where we are in the game. It allows us to dig for more eagles and more copies of itself. It’s also free which helps quite a bit. The other events are Foe-Hammer for card draw, Behind Strong Walls to ready characters like Beregond, and Feint to help our other players (or maybe even ourselves) from getting overrun with enemies.
I really like what this deck can do. Tactics obviously suffers with questing but having a character like Legolas boosted to high attack and with the ability to attack repeatedly can help speed things up. I would again like to credit Ian from Tales from the Cards for the deck that was the inspiration for this particular build and I recommend checking out the other three decks in his Mono-Sphere Multiplayer Deck article.
Despite having Legolas add 2-4 questing progress a round this deck will definitely suffer with locations and overall willpower during the questing phase. So pair it up with a Spirit heavy deck or some other deck that prioritizes questing overall.
Let me know what you think and if there are any other interactions I may be missing out on. I’ll be posting the other deck lists that can be played alongside this one in a later post!
-The Secondhand Took
Deck: Against the Shadow
Total Cards: (50)
1x Legolas (Core Set)
1x Erkenbrand (The Antlered Crown)
1x Beregond (Heirs of Numenor)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
3x Winged Guardian (The Hunt for Gollum)
1x Gwaihir (Trouble in Tharbad)
1x Landroval (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains (Return to Mirkwood)
1x Descendant of Thorondor (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x Bofur (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Westfold Outrider (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Numenor)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Spear of the Citadel (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Rivendell Blade (Road to Rivendell)
3x Support of the Eagles (Return to Mirkwood)
3x Visionary Leadership (The Morgul Vale)
3x Raven-winged Helm (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
3x The Eagles Are Coming! (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x Foe-hammer (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Behind Strong Walls (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Feint (Core Set)
1x Keen as Lances (Escape from Mount Gram)
Side Quest: (0)