…Or “Gimli, The Vigilant Guard.” Honestly, the second title didn’t really do it for me, but it does do a better job of giving a sense as to what the deck is all about. But then, so does the first title come to think of it. This deck sees the returning partnership of Beorn and Gimli (something I tried early on in my LoTR: LCG days). Instead of Denethor coming along for the ride, Mablung, Ranger of Ithilien sends this deck into Mono-Tactics territory, with some resources to boot! This deck is all about having fun, and taking chances, because you can take ’em, right?
Sometimes you just want to play to have fun. Sure, you can pick up a Caldara Aggro Deck and belch out a swarm of allies with the flip of a few cards. Outlands is powerful but is so five years ago. And don’t even dare bring up that you have your own Janky Gloin Deck. Enter, “Oh, Come On, We Can Take ‘Em!”
At the head of the “Austin Powers, Live Dangerously: Middle Earth Chapter” is none other than the big bad skinchanger himself, Beorn. Beorn takes no crap when it comes to defense, keeping himself ready again and again as the foes come pouring in. He doesn’t even flinch as his 1 Defense is easily trounced and damage begins to pile up. All that matters is the counter-offense and with 5 Attack Beorn can easily swat away foes, ending their lives in just a couple of turns.
Being the head of the “Austin Powers, Live Dangerously: Middle Earth Chapter” comes with its share of lackeys, and no one is a better lackey than the 2nd-in-command, Gimli who seeks to outshine his father and his equally dangerous lifestyle. Like his father, Gimli understands that he is just one Dwarf, and so some items are required to help him fulfill his adrenaline filled habit. Unlike his father, however, Gimli only needs one thing when the Big Bear is around: Vigilant Guard. For just 3-resources, Gimli no longer concerns himself with undefended attacks, or finding ways to keep ready after a defense. With Vigilant Guard, Beorn is free to continually defend, and Gimli‘s Vigilant Guard er…. Vigilant Guardness can step in and mitigate some of his leader’s damage. Their partnership is what keeps the “Austin Powers, Live Dangerously: Middle Earth Chapter” a cut above the rest, for as Beorn defends and Gimli saps away some of the damage, Gimli becomes enraged, steadily boosting his attack so that he can join Beorn in the Orc-slaying.
Such a lavish and dangerous lifestyle can be costly for the “Austin Powers, Live Dangerously: Middle Earth Chapter,” but thankfully Beorn was wise enough to promote Mablung as the chapter’s Chief Treasurer. As Beorn and Gimli taunt foes into their trap, Mablung manages to squeeze funds here and there, presumably from the Orcs’ lifeless bodies. Leaders need not know where the funds come from, and don’t trouble themselves with such frivolous matters. Should Beorn and Gimli overstep their abilities, Mablung is ready to defend as needed so long as he can dig out a Gondorian Shield from the “Austin Powers, Live Dangerously: Middle Earth Chapter’s” supply closet.
While the heads of the “Austin Powers, Live Dangerously: Middle Earth Chapter” don’t normally notice the masses of followers in their group, they would be remiss to not see the value of some rising members, chiefly the Honour Guard and Legolas. Honour Guard, for his part, looks to be a strong believer in Beorn and Gimli and has even taken steps to keep them safe from harm, though they may not realize it at the time. While Honour Guard is certainly “Team Bimli (a fan created name for the pair), Legolas is firmly in Team Mablung. Inspired by Mablung‘s resourcefulness, Legolas manages to create new opportunities for the Chapter after he assists in destroying an enemy. Combined with Mablung‘s ability to produce funds seemingly out of thin air, the two hairy warriors will hardly be without resources.
Being such a prominent chapter, the “Austin Powers, Live Dangerously: Middle Earth Chapter” has received a few perks, thanks to some worthwhile connections. Whether it’s delaying a single enemy attack through Feint or an entire army via Thicket of Spears, the APL:MEC has tools to spare to not only better themselves but their community. The generosity of the APL:MEC continues with Horn’s Cry an anthem that more or less demoralizes foes as opposed to rallying allies. Wait No Longer brings the party to the very doorsteps of the APL:MEC allowing neighboring businesses to reap the rewards.
There are a plethora of perks within the walls of the APL:MEC. With 22 attachments and 24 events, the dynamic duo that is Bimli has room to work their magic.
Okay. Serious stuff.
I hope you all didn’t mind my zaniness in the above paragraphs. Sometimes it helps to shake things up, and writing in such an… interesting mindset helped me actually finish this article sooner rather than later. In the event that my writing completely missed the mark, I wanted to get down to some quick and dirty insight/tips of this build.
Vigilant Guard is perhaps the most needed card in this deck as it helps Beorn and boosts Gimli. Even if Beorn doesn’t need the help, Vigilant Guard can work for other players and save an ally or other characters from direct damage (particularly archery). If it’s not in your opening hand – mulligan. Of course, with this game’s mulligan rules you can still be left in the desolate wasteland of random-chance and so some decent alternatives are Honour Guard, Quick Strike or Gondorian Shield. At the very least, Mablung with a Shield can pick up the slack while you hope to draw into your tools. In that light, Legolas and Foe-Hammer are also worthy opening hand cards (assuming you have the weapon for Hammer). As it stands, your mileage may vary with Legolas and I’m thinking of putting in another copy, my games so far have left me with bountiful resources and I wouldn’t mind something to pay for.
Overall, this deck is a bit of a gamble and you can sometimes bite off more than you can chew. Even so, the risk/reward nature of the quest makes it very exciting to play and rewarding when things work-out. It’s also a great chance to play with some cards that don’t see a lot of play these days such as Close Call(probably my favorite card in the deck) and Grappling Hook the latter of which, by the way, is a great target for a beefed up Gimli if you need a last-minute questing push.
Let me know what you think of the list and any other comments, questions, etc.
As always, thanks for reading.
-The Secondhand Took
3x Book of Eldacar (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
2x Boots from Erebor (Khazad-dûm)
1x Captain of Gondor (The Antlered Crown)
3x Dwarrowdelf Axe (Khazad-dûm)
2x Firefoot (The Dunland Trap)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Grappling Hook (The Grey Havens)
3x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)
3x Vigilant Guard (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
1x Close Call (The Dunland Trap)
3x Feint (Core Set)
3x Foe-hammer (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Horn’s Cry (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
1x Hour of Wrath (The Dread Realm)
1x Khazâd! Khazâd! (Khazad-dûm)
3x Proud Hunters (Race Across Harad)
3x Quick Strike (Core Set)
2x Sterner than Steel (The Flame of the West)
3x Thicket of Spears (Core Set)
2x Wait no Longer (The Mûmakil)
3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Race Across Harad
3x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
1x Grappling Hook (The Grey Havens)
Decklist built and published on RingsDB.