The community has a fever and the only cure is more Boffin! For a while today there was a new Folco Boffin list popping up on Ringsdb every hour! At least 3 videos of Folco decks have hit in the last two days as well! He has certainly breathed new life into the secrecy/two hero deck type!
I’m going to try to run each of these four decks against a couple quests and compare them a bit.
The first version I’ll look at here is Third Wheel by TalesftCards. He “Twitched” with this deck today and had a miraculous win over Legacy of Numenor after drawing a disastrous treachery that was rough on this style of deck and in spite of his Very Good Tales whiffing at every opportunity.
Deck 8 – Third Wheel – Tested against Passage Through Mirkwood and Ruins of Belegost
I decided to play these against an easy quest and a hard quest. Passage through Mirkwood was a breeze. With low threat and Frodo’s ability to provide insurance against any low threat enemies coming down, I quested heavily early and raced through stage 1 and 2 in three turns. Stage three brought out Ungoliant’s Spawn and I had to stall for a couple more turns to build up some good attackers to take it down. I am clearly better at playing Very Good Tale than Ian and I netted a Glorfindel and Gandalf.
I sent Folco on his way on turn 5 after hitting 24 threat and then played my secrecy cards, got the big allies in for free, killed the spider and won on turn 6.
The only “hitch” was lack of lore resources to pay for Fast Hitch after Folco left.
On to Belegost!
This quest can be swingy and I did have to restart once after not getting a treasure on either of the first two locations. My second run went much better! I didn’t have an easy go, but I did get the deck rolling and eventually won! The deck has a nice pacing to it if you can get card draw moving. Drawing Gleowine early and getting the Book of Aule’s Children early helped me draw the entire deck by round 9. I didn’t draw any heavy combat allies until a little later so I ended up leaving several enemies in the staging area which made my questing much more difficult in the late game, but that was just the luck of the draw.
I count it remarkable that it actually had a chance against the very difficult Belegost quest! Once I discarded Folco, I remained in secrecy mode the rest of the game and was never forced to engage an enemy the entire game! I had to quest like crazy to avoid keep clearing locations, but it worked! These hobbits are Expert Treasure Hunters indeed!
When I had to face the dragon, I was able to defend with Frodo: 2 defense, plus 1 from Friend of Friends, plus 1 from Arwen, plus 3 from Rosie (boosted by Faramir!) bringing him up to 7 with his safety valve if he needed it!
I was able to muster 19 attack at once to put the majority of the damage on Naurlhug.
The game lasted 12 turns which was plenty of time to spread allies across the board.
This deck is obviously strong! Its fun to play, but there are some risky moves you have to make and luck can screw you over. This kind of deck really relies on certain cards to make it function and A Very Good Tale can really mess that up. I’m not sure if there’s a decent way to mitigate that risk, but I can easily imagine situations where all the wrong cards are discarded leaving the deck in a bad place. A Stargazer or two might be worth it… Or one copy of Will of the West.
I ran into a lack of Lore resources after Folco was discarded. I didn’t draw my Fast Hitches early so I was never able to play any of them! Adding 1 Song of Wisdom might be helpful, but I’m not sure its worth it.
The only other thing this deck lacks is a healer. Frodo can help out a lot with general direct damage, but any global damage distribution will really hurt. Silvan Refugees really don’t like blood…
Excellent deck! It needs a longer game to shine, but shine it does!
Thanks to Ian from Tales from the Cards for creating and sharing this deck! You can watch him play this deck against Fate of Numenor here.
Deck #9 Deck Tech: The Boffin, or Here, and Gone Again
Chrsjxn is back with another Folco deck! It features Theodred again, but uses Galadriel as the third hero which opens up some new options.
I’ll play it against Mirkwood to get a feel for it, then try it against Belegost to give it a rigorous test.
Good grief this deck swarms allies! 15 allies in 5 turns! I never discarded Folco because I hit secrecy with Elrond’s Council and stayed there with Galadriel’s constant council. This deck features 12 Secrecy allies that can be put into play for 1 or 0 resources each. With Galadriel they can quest for free and help out a bit in combat. On a side note, its awesome playing Gandalf with Galadriel on the table!
The Necromancer’s Reach hit me late game but all the questers have 2hp so I survived. It was a relief when Jubyar hit the table so I could start clearing enemies. With Faramir out I was able to quest for mid 20’s on turn 5. The resource acceleration went insane in this deck! I fielded all three Resourcefuls and Steward in addition to Theodred: 8 resources per turn!
Belegost test: I beat it again! This deck type is actually perfect for this quest! The only sad things is that I never discarded Folco! With a steady build through the game, flexible willpower and hardy questing allies, the deck had everything it needed to succeed.
I learned from my previous play and made sure the Nameless Cave Dwellers didn’t stack up in staging to spike the threat when I went to Naurlhug’s Lair in the last stage. The most dramatic moment came the turn after I had explored the Lair. I was prepping to take on the dragon so I quested conservatively so I could keep my attackers back to take him out. Firyal checked the top card and it was a loot objective so I couldn’t tell what was coming beneath it.
With 12 in staging I quested for 21 with no progress needed: I draw a treachery that increases threat in the staging area by one for each character I control, which is 19! It didn’t matter much anyway since my threat was sitting at 10, but it was wild. It did make me wonder if Test of Will should be included.
After questing for 26 I was able to throw a Rivendell Scout in front of the dragon and attack back for 26 destroying him in one attack. The game lasted 14 turns.
This deck feels entirely different using a swarm of little allies. Treebeard, Jubyar and Erestor are the exceptions but they are entirely worth it.
This deck feels tight and polished and works very well. My primary thought from these two games is that Folco might be superfluous! This quest actually helped out with threat management since I claimed the Blue Mountain Gem early in the game so I was able to reduce my threat by 1-2 every turn using it and Galadriel.
I was pleased that there weren’t too many Lore cards in the deck so they didn’t show up dead in my hand if I had discarded Folco. Nenya helps there as well. Resources did pile up on Theodred with Steward until I finally drew Rod of the Steward and then I drew 6 cards on the last turn leaving 1 in my deck! Dark Knowledge is a counter intuitive choice here, but with the abundance of threat control, it works. The card draw/resource acceleration balance seemed very good, although, again, the treasure cards were letting me draw cards and gain resources in this scenario.
The deck relies on a little threat reduction early to help it get a good start so mulligan for either sneaky Gandalf or Elrond’s Council. If you all else fails and you have some sweet secrecy cards in hand you can always kick Folco out on turn 1! I was fortunate enough to get a Gandalf/Sneak Attack on turn 1 which got me into Secrecy mode where I stayed the entire game.
This deck gets a strong recommendation from me! Thank you chrsjxn!
You can watch him play this deck against the Drowned Ruins here.
I was going to try to play through two more Folco decks that went up today, but I’m worn out! I just checked Ringsdb again and there’s a 5th deck Folco deck posted today. The Boffin fever is spreading and I’m not going to be able to keep up!
Final Final Analysis
It seems clear that there are great possibilities here! I suspected Folco Boffin would open up a new type of deck and it looks like that is correct. These decks seemed perfectly suited to the quests I tested them against this time, but still, these are impressive wins.
I’m very pleased with the diversity of the Folco decks that are being created as well. Here I tested a Big Ally deck, a deck full of Secrecy allies and on Rings I see an interesting mono-Leadership Folco deck, a traditional hobbit-deck lineup of heroes, and Folco/Fastred/Eomer deck. I’m looking forward to trying them all!
I would say The Boffin, or, Here Again and Gone Again is the more consistent of the two decks I looked at here, but both are strong and fun to play.