One card that continues to improve as the card pool expands is a neat little tactics ally, Dunedain Hunter. When Amarthiul was first revealed, this very unique and fun to use ally came right to my mind. After that I started thinking about what I could do and truly take advantage of what Amarthiul has to offer. That then had me thinking of traps. Once I had that in my head, Damrod came quickly to mind. I needed a Tactics Hero to fill my 3rd slot and though I thought about Mablung, who also works well with the Dunedain Hunter, I opted to go with a classic defender, Beregond and see where things went. So far… I’ve been happy.
Titled Keep Your Enemies Closer this Tri-Sphere deck aims to take advantage of each of the three Heroes represented in the list and their unique abilities. While we continually engage enemies we will generate extra resources (tactics or otherwise) using Amarthiul. His useful and not hard to trigger effects will act as resource generation and smoothing if we need it. We will take advantage of Damrod’s ability to lay traps at a lower cost and cycle through our deck to get those pieces needed to keep our deck firing on all cylinders. Like Amarthiul, Damrod’s resource reducing ability on traps will act as a resource smoother in a sense. Lastly there’s Beregond, who’s Tactics Icon is mostly used to allow the playing of Dunedain Hunter and the practically free tactics weapon and armor attachments (so long as Beregond is the recipient). Like the other two, Beregond’s ability to reduce the cost of certain attachments equipped to him will smooth out our resources and save them for more important cards.
I’m going to be straight with all of you. There aren’t a lot of allies in this deck. On one hand, that’s the point and ideally our Heroes will become powerhouses but on the other hand if we get less than ideal starting hands we may succumb to early pressure from the encounter deck. Thankfully, some of the allies help mitigate this, albeit not all of them.
One of the most key allies to the deck has already been mentioned and that is the Dunedain Hunter. For 0 cost we get a decent attacker, a chump blocker if need be, and a way to get an extra tactics resource on the first turn as Amarthiul’s first ability will be online.
In no particular order of relevance, Errand-Rider (3), Anborn (2), Warden of Healing (3), and Dori(1)/Landroval(1) all pick up a lot of slack for this deck whether it be resource management, trap recycling, healing or saving our butts at the last minute. The same can be said for Legolas as well, who provides a decent card draw engine once he is in play.
Last but definitely not least is the Master of the Forge who still is just as vital as the rest in this list. The Master can help us fetch key attachments when we need them. There are plenty of attachments to choose from however, and so there are only 2 copies of him as opposed to 3.
Since this deck is mostly about beefing up our Heroes, it stands to prove that the attachments would make up the majority of this list. And boy do they do that! There are 14 different attachments across 28 cards representing over half of the deck. For Amarthiul there is Dark Knowledge (which can also go to Beregond) and Gondorian Fire. I really like using Fire on Amarthiul as in the later parts of games he can easily sit on 6 or 7 resources and attack for large amounts of damage. For Damrod however, there are a few more options.
The most important attachment for Damrod may perhaps be Steward of Gondor. Between Amarthiul’s resource acceleration and the possibility of giving us another Tactics resource engine, the other two spheres are pretty taken care of on the resource front. There is a heavy reliance on this deck’s Lore cards, namely the traps, and so ensuring that Damrod has the resources to pay for these cards is key. There is also a single copy of Wingfoot in the deck to turn Damrod into a quester that can also assist in combat in a pinch.
Though they don’t equip to Damrod, the traps included in this deck are certainly here because of him. Not only does Damrod help us get these cards into play at a reduced cost, which for Ithilien Pit is actually no-cost, but these traps turn into mini card draw sources which may be the more important effect. We essentially have 11 cards that say “Draw a card” so long as Damrod is in play, which is awesome! Lastly, Ranger Spikes provides a support function, reducing the threat in the staging area while keeping enemies at bay until the time is right which proves very useful in multiplayer.
The two really vital (and awesome) traps are Ambush and Forest Snare. Ambush gives us a pseudo quick strike option if we need it while the Forest Snare is our sure fire way to make sure we have two enemies engaged with us that will never pose a threat to us. In an ideal world there would be two copies in play, both on enemies in front of us, and Amarthiul’s abilities will remain online without little worry. This is an amazing thing to have. The only downside to Forest Snare is its cost. Even at a reduced cost of 2 Lore Resources we are still most likely not going to see Forest Snare come into play until the 2nd round. If we are lucky however it is possible to play the Dunedain Hunter, get an enemy engaged with us, play Errand Rider to transfer a Leadership Resource onto Damrod and play Forest Snare, ensuring that we are at least halfway there with Amarthiul’s abilities. And on top of that we draw an extra card. Near the end of the game the attachments can also be used as fodder on any Attachment-Hating shadow cards. At that point in the game our Heroes and other players should be well equipped enough to take out the enemies and continue going strong regardless of which of Amarthiul’s abilities are active.
Then there’s Beregond and his plethora of tools, the two biggest being Gondorian Shield and Spear of the Citadel. If we aren’t ready to fight back yet then Beregond’s defending will at least chip away at our foes until we or our friends are ready to strike back. If we have our two enemies snared then Beregond can reliably support other players in the meantime. He won’t always be ready to help and so there are two copies of Cram to ready him in those times of dire need. Captain of Gondor and Dunedain Warning are also included to help his defense on those nastier enemies and as mentioned before he can also be equipped with Dark Knowledge as his willpower is negligible and can suffer the hit.
The events included in this list are more sparse than the allies, yet no less important. Two of my favorite tactics events Gondorian Discipline and Behind Strong Walls provide another form of Healing and Readying/Defense Boosting respectively. In a pinch there are also two copies of Wealth of Gondor should Beregond or more importantly Damrod need that extra resource.
I’ll have to create an official sideboard for this deck but some cards that can come in and out are Erebor Hammersmith to recycle Cram or any other lost attachments, Sarn Ford Sentry for more card draw, and Miner of the Iron Hills for nasty condition attachments. I would also say that any of the 1 and 2 ofs in this deck can be altered as well to better suit a particular quest so it’s worth having the remaining copies in the sideboard as the need arises.
I really enjoyed playing this deck. Beregond is still a Hero I need to use more but he’s a blast to play as are his other companions. The same can be said for Damrod. Though I enjoy combat in this game I think I enjoy messing with what enemy engagement more so and this deck gives me just that. It could still use some tweaks and I know there are other cards that can easily fit in a list such as this (Westfold Outrider for instance).
But I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know if you’ve used a similar list or if you’ve taken Amarthiul or any of the other two Heroes in a different direction and as always, Thanks for Reading!
-The Secondhand Took
Find this list on:
Deck: Keep your Enemies Closer
Total Cards: (50)
1x Amarthiúl (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Damrod (The Land of Shadow)
1x Beregond (Heirs of Numenor)
3x Dunedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
1x Landroval (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Anborn (The Blood of Gondor)
1x Dori (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x Ambush (The Land of Shadow)
2x Captain of Gondor (The Antlered Crown)
1x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Dark Knowledge (Core Set)
1x Dunedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Forest Snare (Core Set)
2x Gondorian Fire (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Ithilien Pit (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
3x Ranger Spikes (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)
2x Spear of the Citadel (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Wingfoot (The Nin-in-Eilph)
2x Behind Strong Walls (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Gondorian Discipline (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
2x Wealth of Gondor (Heirs of Numenor)
Side Quest: (0)