I haven’t played a Silvan deck for a long time now and this one looked a little abnormal so I gave it a try. This deck was posted by Rings user ohuerc and you can peruse it below, or look it over and download it from Ringsdb here. The description is concise but helpful.
The hero lineup is not unique as Bifur takes his place with the elven nobility. As I looked over the decklist, I was surprised to see a smattering of Noldor cards and oddest of all was the inclusion of l Legacy of Numenor and the absence of Nenya and Oh Lorien! The ally count seemed a little light (especially if you’re counting on Tree People to trigger reliably) with a heavy emphasis on events.
Test 1 – Passage Through Mirkwood
I started with a softball to get a feel for the deck. I was able to draw a couple extra cards first turn with Galadriel and Gleowine. I successfully quested with a Necromancer’s Reach hitting a couple heroes, then was able to defend the spider with Celeborn, the use Tree People to drop a Greenwood Archer into play, ready Celeborn and kill off the spider turn 1.
By turn 4 the deck had established a good board state and with some intense card draw, I was able to play Arwen, Glorfindel, Gildor and a Greenwood archer in the same turn, all questing without exhausting that turn!
The Silvan Refugee was serving perfectly as the temporary quester: jump in a quest for 3, return to hand to stop an attack, or cheat in a superior ally with Tree People.
Ally Legolas seems a little out of place in the deck with no Tactics heroes or songs to facilitate paying for him, but Gildor is perfect for pulling him into play with Tree People. Gildor switches Legolas onto the top of the deck, Tree People brings the Refugee back to hand to play him for free! More card drawn or the rest of the game! Excellent combo, as long as you have the freeboard to use Gildor for his action, but if combat isn’t heavy the turn he comes into play, he can quest for free then help out with setting up Tree People for the next turn.
The deck cruised through stages 1 and 2 without a problem and I revealed the quest stage with 10 progress on turn 3. And of course, the next card I drew from the encounter deck was Ungoliant’s Spawn! Feigned Voices mitigated the attack and I was able to kill it immediately with the troop of heavy allies I had played the previous turn.
The deck easily won on turn 5 without losing a character and almost drawing through the entire deck.
Board state after questing turn 5: down to 24 threat, 11 cards in hand and 6 left in the deck.
Test 2 – Escape from Umbar
That was pretty easy so I went up against Escape from Umbar. The deck seemed to ramp up quickly and Umbar forces you to move a lot faster that PtM.
After a bad hand and draw on turn 1 I reset the game and got the deck moving even faster than my first play. I was able to quest successfully and kill the Sentry turn 1. The largest challenge I ran up against in the this quest was archery damage. Silvan allies have precious few hitpoints so it was a relief to get Gildor and Glorfindel into play midgame. Late game I was able to pull the Galadhrim Healer back into hand and play her again every turn to manage damage on the heroes.
This game lasted 8 rounds and I drew the entire deck, recycled it with Will of the West and drew down to 11 remaining cards again. With most of the allies on the table or in hand, the second time through the deck you’re drawing almost all events which are perfect for controlling the board state in the late game. I think I only had to actually defend against an enemy 2 times the entire game and the rest were blocked with Feigned Voices.
In spite of playing Legacy of Numenor at least 3 times and starting at 27 threat, I ended the game with 23 threat and was able to avoid several enemies that would have made life difficult at the end of the game. With a the deck turning over so fast, Elrond’s Council does great work.
The deck outperformed my expectations and it was great fun to play. I always felt in control with all those events at my fingertips.
While the hero lineup isn’t unique, the ally selection is finely tuned and the events are what make the deck interesting to me. The combination of aggressive card draw and resource acceleration does the trick. While the deck doesn’t seem to need some of the standards you might expect in a Silvan build, one copy of Oh Lorien and Nenya might give the deck more flexibility. To be fair, Nenya is included in the sideboard along with several more options for allies and events to sub in depending on the demands of the quest. Overall, the deck is fun and has some power. I give it high marks.
Multi or solo?
I would say this deck is certainly best solo, only because of the repeated use of Legacy of Numenor. There isn’t any reason another deck couldn’t run threat reduction as well and run along side this deck. Galadriel and the ranged allies in this deck could help out a second deck, but its always hard to bring Doom cards to a table without coordinating decks.
Thanks to Rings user ohuerc for posting a fun deck! Go play the deck and give it a like on Ringsdb!