Legolas is included here which is a fun thematic twist. He was actually neither Noldor or Silvan but was one of the Sindar, or Grey Elves. Benedikt’s deck description touches on Legolas’ fascination with the Sea and the Noldor who lived in the Grey Havens.
Including the Tactics sphere in the hero lineup is different for a Noldor deck and I anticipated having less trouble killing off enemies. I usually rely on Cirdan/Narya to help out with my combat phase in a Noldor build, and I was a little hesitant to rely on Erestor as my primary defender. If he dies, I know the deck will stall with the loss of card draw. Elven Spear and Cloak of Lorien are also cards I don’t often run. I chose to test the deck against quests with Forest locations to help keep my defense up.
Test #1 Druadan Forest
Benedikt indicated he had tested the deck against the Against the Shadow Cycle so I chose the Druadan Forest as the first test quest. This scenario isn’t too difficult solo and there lots of Forest locations.
Turn 1 planning is always tricky for a Noldor deck. You really hope you get To the Sea, to the Sea! and at least one large ally to make use of that 10 card opening hand. In this case I did get the attachment, but didn’t get any large allies so I had to settle for a Lindon Navigator. The deck includes 2x Galdor, 1 Glorfindel, 1 Gildor and 1 Lindir as its heavy allies.
The Druadan Forest encounter deck treated me gently for the first couple turns and I made decent headway. By turn 6 I was about to clear stage 2/3. Erestor was successfully set up LoV, Cloak of Lorien and Arwen’s boost. Defending for 4 or 5 is pretty safe but I wasn’t able to get the one copy of Burning Brand out which would make things much safer. To the deck’s credit, I was able to build up a decent set of allies out in spite of the quest’s prowl mechanic. To the Sea is actually great tech against prowl.
When I reached stage 3, I had to siege quest which proved a little difficult. Grappling Hook came in handy here. I was able to quest for 6 with Legolas and get most of the progress down in one turn. Here’s where I started to have troubles: the final Wose boss can’t be defended by allies and with a lack of locations to travel to, my Cloak of Lorien failed me eventually and Erestor fell at his second defense and I was forced to take the final boss attack undefended and let Galadriel bite the dust to actually win the game.
It was a close game but I pulled out a victory.
Test #2 – Passage through Mirkwood
A little sore after losing two heroes in the Druadan Forest, I went back to an easier forest quest. With more resources available, the deck built up faster this time. With a large hand of cards on turn 1, the Elven Spear is great for killing off an enemy on turn 1.
I had the bad luck to draw the final Will of the West on turn 4 or so, so I had to recycle the deck before I could get Glorfindel out of the discard pile. Erestor managed to get all the pieces together to make him a solid defender until he got “Caught in a Web” since he was the highest threat costed hero.
I hit stage 3 on turn 6 and drew the quest stage that fetches Ungoliant’s Spawn. With all three copies of Mithlond Sea-Watcher out, I was able to destroy the spider with ease on turn 7 with a final threat level of 24.
This is a fun and thematic deck that utilizes several cards I rarely play. I do like having the access to Tactics right away but ultimately, sacrificing a powerful Noldor hero like Cirdan or Arwen to bring Hero Legolas is a steep price to pay. I found the willpower didn’t multiply as quickly as some Noldor decks I’ve played, but with 3x Sea-Watchers in the deck, it might Battle quest very well! Legolas’ extra progress helped a bit in making up for less willpower as well.
If I was to mess around with the list without changing the basic structure, I would add a couple Guardian of Rivendell allies and remove the Veteran Sword Elves. Legolas, 3x Sea Watchers, and 3x Veteran Sword Elf seems like a little more attack than needed and the defensive allies would have helped me out. Adding another Grappling Hook or two might help make good use of some of that extra attack when it wasn’t needed as well.
From my two plays with the deck I wouldn’t rate this deck as a power-deck, but it has fun things going on and it can beat quests! This deck should work fine in solo play and possibly better in a multiplayer setting since it has an abundance of ranged attack.
Thanks to Benedikt for letting me play and analyze this deck! He published this deck a while back but you can find it here. Give it a try, and like and chime in with your comments if you like.