Yes yes, September is behind us and Bifur was almost forgotten and lost. The Hero still deserves his due. If it weren’t for WingfootRanger‘s Bifur deck on RingsDB, “Master of Support”, it may have turned out otherwise. So though this is a Hero of the Month Deck, it is just as much a community deck spotlight, another entry into Gildor’s Counsel. Read on to find out more!
As I mentioned in my initial article regarding Bifur, the Lore Dwarf is usually unnoticed by other players, only popping up when the Bifur player requires a resource from another. On top of that, Bifur has been around long enough that we’ve seen the most of what he can do. Then, just before the end of the month, I spotted a deck by WingfootRanger called “Master of Support.” It was just as much a Bifur deck as it was an Elfhelm deck, and was a combination I hadn’t considered. After playing a couple games with it, and making some tweaks of my own, I’ve grown to truly enjoy the list and look forward to how it grows as more mounts are added to the game. Though it isn’t a healing deck, a questing deck, OR a combat deck, it is most certainly a support deck, with the ability to help other decks thrive while occasionally having its own shining moments, rare as they may be.
Let’s start with Bifur. With Narvi’s Belt equipped, the scholarly Dwarf Hero can either help ramp up the Leadership Sphere represented by the deck’s other two Heroes or he can pay for some of the cheap out of sphere cards like Rohan Warhorse or Steed of Imladris. Being a Dwarf also gives him access to King Under the Mountain and this card is very much worth a mulligan. With “King” attached to Bifur, the deck can start churning through cards, quickly getting to tools vital to the situation while also tossing aside duplicate uniques or unnecessary cards. It’s also great at getting as many mounts out as possible. Which is, of course, where Elfhelm comes in.
It’s surprising how much this Hero can do, despite the fact that, like Bifur, he kind of sits on the sidelines. With very little commitment from this deck, mounts can be attached to other Heroes, quickly making the questing and combat phases much easier. With other decks joining the fray with mounts of their own the stats continue to increase. The Armored Destrier, for instance becomes more than just a readying effect with shadow cancellation, but a defensive boon while Elfhelm is on the table. It’s a wonderful target for Erkenbrand, the third Hero in the list.
Erkenand almost acts like another form of action advantage for other players at the table, giving their characters more time for questing or combat. When Erkenbrand was released awhile back his low(ish) defense stat meant that he could easily fall victim during fights, especially when his effect is used often. The Armored Destrier improves Erkenbrand’s defensive abilities, allows him to defend more for other players, and helps reduce the number of shadow cards on the table, meaning his ability will be used less and his hitpoints will be more safe.
There are only a few other mounts in the deck, though with the previously mentioned “King under the Mountain” and allies like Master of the Forge (also mulligan worthy) you’ll find them sooner rather than later. The previously mentioned Steed of Imladris can be played on any of the Spirit Heroes that are bound to hit the table (Arwen has been somewhere on the table every time for me). Windfola is one of the newest cards to be added to the list, and with Elfhem serves as a much improved version of the core set card, Favor of the Lady. Attached to yet another Spirit Hero, or even to Bifur (using Narvi’s Belt) the prospect of spending one Spirit resource for 2 willpower can’t be ignored. In addition, with some of the more recent quests forcing characters to remove themselves from the quest, Windfola also provides some extra utility when needed.
As with any other deck of this type aiming to be supportive, there’s a smattering of other cards included in the list to handle niche situations. Faramir is great for YOLO questing and does what he does best. This deck won’t be questing hard but if there is an ally heavy questing deck across the table, the leadership ally will do wonders. Gleowine and Naith Guide help give other decks more breathing room (either through card draw or action advantage). For my twist on the original build, I swapped out the two copies of Warden of Healing for Ioreth, the healer from Minas Tirith. Though I may have been fortunate enough in the quests I was playing, I found Ioreth to be preferable over the Warden. For starters, her costing 0 frees up my Lore resources for important cards like Master of the Forge or The Evening Star. Though she can’t be a chump like the Warden, I found her to be quite useful in Sailing quests, especially when damage was light on other characters. And then of course, if a Lore resource must be spent to heal a character, it doesn’t have to be from my own Heroes, meaning that Bifur can continue to play more Lore cards without a care in the world. To the Warden‘s defense, these two allies can probably be swapped out for perfectly solid reasons depending on the quest.
As fun as this deck is it doesn’t feel top tier, at least not yet. It’s a list that can only improve as more and more mounts are added to the game (and with cards like Armored Destrier they seem to be getting pretty awesome in their own right). Be that as it may, it’s a deck I enjoy playing, and I’m grateful to have found the list on RingsDB. But don’t just take my word for it, take WingfootRanger‘s word as well.
I apologize for the delay in posting a deck list, and in the short-nature of this post. It was becoming a white whale of sorts. Regardless I carry on! Even though we are nearing the midway point of October keep an eye out on a few more articles coming up! One will, of course, be another Hero of the Month while the other will be art related.
As always, thanks for reading.
-The Secondhand Took
1x Ceorl (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
1x Ghân-buri-Ghân (The Flame of the West)
2x Gléowine (Core Set)
2x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
1x Mirkwood Explorer (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Naith Guide (The Dunland Trap)
2x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Silverlode Archer (Core Set)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x Dúnedain Remedy (The Drowned Ruins)
2x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x King Under the Mountain (On the Doorstep)
3x Narvi’s Belt (Khazad-dûm)
2x O Lórien! (Trouble in Tharbad)
2x Ranger Provisions (Across the Ettenmoors)
1x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Steed of Imladris (Across the Ettenmoors)
1x Steed of the Mark (The Morgul Vale)
3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to A Storm on Cobas Haven
Denethor (Flight of the Stormcaller)
2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Ancient Mathom (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
2x Athelas (The Lost Realm)
2x Bow of the Galadhrim (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
2x Dúnedain Cache (The Dead Marshes)
2x Dúnedain Signal (Return to Mirkwood)
2x Entangling Nets (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Miruvor (Shadow and Flame)
2x Raiment of War (The Thing in the Depths)
2x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)
2x Song of Kings (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x The Long Defeat (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
2x Thrór’s Key (On the Doorstep)
Deck built on RingsDB.