Here we go again, another month where things have been zooming by alarmingly fast and, before I know it, I’m already stumbling into March. Have no fear! In an effort to keep up to pace, I decided to take a moment to revisit an older deck of mine and incorporate some newer cards, much like I did with my most recent deck article. Read on for more about this month’s Hero of the Month Deck: Pippin Goes Ranging.
The inspiration behind this deck came from another list I saw on RingsDB where someone took advantage of Wait No Longer. While it has its limitations, I agree that this card can be a powerhouse in very specific builds and/or scenarios (Solo Mono Tactics, anyone?). I scrolled through some of my previous builds and came upon this one: Rules of Engagement. That deck’s focus was to abuse the synergy between Merry and Aragorn, keeping our sights on readying and attacking as much as possible, hopefully with another deck picking up the questing and/or defending mantle. While Pippin Goes Ranging has very similar goals, so far it plays quite differently, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse.
Two of the three Heroes carry over in this newest list. Aragorn and Pippin have teamed up again to take on the biggest baddies they can. In order to further their mission, they have enlisted the help of one Ranger of Ithilien: Mablung. Honestly, this is where I struggled the most. I had a hard time removing Merry from this list and the increased threat, coupled with Pippin‘s ability being neutered a bit, is a serious cause for concern in an attack heavy / defense light deck. But more on that later. The three Heroes themselves work well together. Pippin quests and, along with Mablung, rewards players for engaging enemies. Once engaged, Aragorn can clean up and take the heat away from other areas – in my case this was the staging area because, yes, I tried this deck in a pure solo environment.
Being a solo deck I of course included Wait No Longer, but at two copies total. Although Mablung is included to lighten the resource burden, this deck still relies heavily on tactics cards and the two resource cost for Wait No Longer needs to be taken with care. Otherwise, I was almost always thrilled to draw this card. It made my questing phases much easier and rewarded me with an extra resource and, more often than not, an extra card. In that same vein I included Dunedain Hunter though he was granted three copies instead of two. His three attack would prove useful when things got rough and otherwise he could be a chump blocker or archery soak.
If there is a card that I was happy to discover in my plays it was Coney In A Trap. This card alone helped me move away from using Merry and make the true jump to Mablung. Now that I had both required traits, I could play this card after engaging an enemy from Wait No Longer or Dunedain Hunter and completely shut them off for the round. This meant I could render an enemy practically devoid of strength right from the planning phase, no longer having to hold a Feint and save already scarce tactics resources. In that light, I still decided to keep Feint in the list but at two copies instead. Even though Coney in a Trap may be a lesser Feint in some situations, when enemies are being engaged outside of combat it feels far superior.
Being a solo deck, and having no fear of the uniqueness rule getting in my way, I added a smattering of unique allies ranging from a couple copies of Boromir to a few singles of Legolas, Azain Silverbeard, and Quickbeam. With the deck’s ability to ramp up on tactics resources, it didn’t take much effort to chuck one of the above allies (minus Quickbeam) onto the board. Having a fair amount of card draw from Pippin or Deep Knowledge, Daeron’s Runes, or Foe-Hammer means that one of these allies is bound to show up.
For kicks and giggles I also threw in two copies of Sword-Thain to not only take advantage of the number of unique allies present in the list, but to also provide more resource generation as needed. Because, why not? In all seriousness, I found it best to work on an ally like Boromir who benefits much more from the Gondorian Shield in the deck than Mablung does.
This deck is not complete as far as quality goes, but it’s in a direction with which I am very happy. As stated in my ringsDB post, I intend to pair the deck with to compensate its shortcomings; those shortcomings being high threat messing with Pippin‘s ability, an inability to reliably attack and defend, and to draw cards as this deck somehow runs out gas despite the number of options available. This was my attempt to step away from a typical approach to Pippin builds and I’d be curious to hear how you’re efforts have been.
As always, thanks for reading!
-The Secondhand Took
1x Azain Silverbeard (Flight of the Stormcaller)
2x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
2x Defender of Rammas (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
3x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
2x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
1x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
3x Entangling Nets (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
2x Raiment of War (The Thing in the Depths)
2x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)
2x Wingfoot (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
1x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Coney in a Trap (The Mûmakil)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
1x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Feint (Core Set)
2x Foe-hammer (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Quick Strike (Core Set)
1x Straight Shot (On the Doorstep)
2x Wait no Longer (The Mûmakil)
3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Mûmakil
Merry (The Black Riders)
1x Defender of Rammas (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
2x Westfold Outrider (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Feint (Core Set)
3x Halfling Determination (The Black Riders)
1x Hour of Wrath (The Dread Realm)
1x In the Shadows (The Land of Shadow)
1x Straight Shot (On the Doorstep)
3x Take No Notice (The Black Riders)
1x Unseen Strike (The Redhorn Gate)
Decklist built and published on RingsDB.