The Scouring of the Shire will come sooner or later! With Tom Cotton included in the Mountain of Fire saga box, it seems certain we will get this scenario at some point. I expected it (and would have welcomed it!) as the Fellowship 2017 quest, but we got to play Epic Dol Guldur instead. My guess is that we’ll get Scouring at GENCON 2018, but we’ve had Epic Multiplayer quests for the last couple years and Scouring the Shire doesn’t seem appropriate for that format.
I was intrigued by this deck when Stokesbook published today since it is an entirely hobbit hobbit deck! Hobbit decks usually sport low threat hobbit heroes and beefy allies from across the spectrum of traits. Tom Cotton has some dramatic support for actually playing hobbit allies and this is the first deck I’ve come across that focused on that type of deck.
The description is a delight to read and helpful. I looked through Stokesbook’s decks and he has an entire series of “Book Club” decks that are very thematic.
Tested against Trouble in Tharbad and Journey Down the Anduin
This will be a brief review. In just a few words, I think we still need some more hobbit support before a hobbit army is viable!
I gave this a few tries against Trouble in Tharbad and Journey Down the Anduin and I couldn’t get the deck rolling. The starting lineup of heroes can quest for 4-5 and it can add ally Sam pretty quickly to boost quest numbers up to 6, but after that I couldn’t get enough willpower on the table to make progress against Trouble in Tharbad. This quest ended in a loss pretty quickly.
In my two plays against Journey Down the Anduin, I got over the willpower hump but had to build up for many turns before I could kill the Hill Troll. The pipes never showed up to get card draw started. When I launched into stage two, the encounter deck spit out a bunch of enemies which it would take 1-2 turns each to destroy at best. With my threat already in the 30’s and snipers picking away at my precious hitpoints, I threw in the towel on turn 16.
I was eagerly waiting to draw Raise the Shire so I could grab Bilbo, fetch a pipe, pull him back to hand, play him again and fetch another pipe, but I never drew the event. I hope we get more events similar to Raise the Shire!
I’m sticking to my opinion so far: most of the hobbit allies we currently have, especially from early in the game’s life, are really difficult to get much value from. They’re overcosted and don’t do much after Tom’s rage has worn off. Put bluntly, most of them aren’t worth playing. Yet! I have confidence that we will see support for the hobbit swarm in the future!
This is a very thematic deck that still is waiting for some more key Hobbit cards to make this archetype really shine. Thanks to Stokesbook for posting this deck! He is a skilled artist and is famous in the community for creating the awesome COTR player mat that was given out at GENCON this year. You can follow him on Instagram and see more of his art here.