The deck description is clear: power up Rosie to power up Sam!
Having seen Rosie go crazy before, I know it can be powerful and entertaining, but I have reservations about focusing an entire deck around it. With a combined 7 hitpoints on the table at the beginning, its a little scary. I see a lot of the standard hobbit cards like Fast Hitch, Hobbit Cloak, Sneaky Gandalf and Bill the Pony along with a lot of songs and some card and resource acceleration.
Test 1 – Journey Down the Anduin
A win! It seems like a risky business singing your way down the Anduin with Hobbits, but with some careful play, you can keep your mini-choir safe.
I had a great first turn: Love of Tales on Bilbo, then pay for Song of Kings with Folco’s resource which gives Bilbo a resource which lets me play Rosie with a Fast Hitch on the first turn! Legacy of Numenor is included to increase the likelihood of playing her turn 1. I puttered around for a good while trying to set up my board (get my sheet music in order I guess…) on the first stage since I couldn’t really face an enemy of any size for a while.
I got Sword-Thain on Rosie fairly early along with about 5 songs, but couldn’t draw Fireside Song which is one of the key pieces of the puzzle. A Goblin Sniper came out early and chipped away at me while I waited for Fireside Song. It seems to be useful to play one song per turn if there’s no rush so you can collect as many resources as possible with Love of Tales.
The trickiest part of combat is having a way to defend and attack. With Rosie’s boost, Sam can either attack or defend for 9, but even with a Fast Hitch, Rosie is limited to once per phase. I used a combination of Bilbo with Protector of Lorien, Gandalf, and chump blockers to defend.
With the Hill Troll out of the way, I had plenty of willpower to quest through stage 2 in two turns. When I landed on the shore I had a bad draw off the encounter deck and had 5 enemies sitting there to greet me. This deck has impressive attack and defense for a Hobbit Hero deck, but fighting a horde of enemies isn’t what its best at!
I hadn’t had any reason to discard Folco yet, but this is the point where it was useful. I discarded Folco to get my threat back to 28 to avoid facing Chieftain Ufthak and the Beastmaster along with the annoying warg and crows.
The Hobbits were doing fine until a shadow card returned a defending Gandalf to hand leaving a Beastmaster attack undefended..
I had to let Bilbo take it in the face and leave Sam and Rosie to deal with Chieftain Ufthak unchaperoned!
I luckily had Gandalf to play on the last turn (thanks to resources from Legacy of Numenor) and I was able blast the sniper, defend with Gandalf and finish off the last enemy on the 11th turn.
A hard fought victory against a quest that really swarms you at the end!
Which songs to include? We have a lot of songs at this point and you can’t include them all. 3x Song of Travel is necessary to get Fireside Song out. If Fireside Song is essential to the Rosie combo, I might recommend including 3x of it as well instead of 2x. 3x Song of Hope is a great asset to the deck since it gives you flexible willpower and its free to play (even netting you a resource or two with Love of Tales). I found myself with more than enough copies of Song of Kings and wishing I had some Song of Wisdoms so I could put Love of Tales on Sam and Rosie. I didn’t inspect the deck closely enough and assumed Song of Wisdom would show up eventually so I held off putting the second copy of Love of Tales on Boffin knowing he would be leaving at any time. The second and third copies of Love of Tales were dead weight in my hand most of the game and could have been producing resources if there were more heroes with Lore icons.
Song of Earendil is a multiplayer card in my opinion so you could easily drop it and put in a Song of Wisdom or two for solo play.
The Rivendell Minstrel is expensive but so helpful in this deck. I kept wishing I would draw her to get that Fireside Song to get the combo complete.
Gandalf saved my bacon several times so I might have upped Sneak Attack to 3x.
The Doomed cards are worth it, but you have to be careful when to play them. I played Deep Knowledge right away every time, but Legacy of Numenor was harder choice. It was cool to get 4 resources out of it when I had Rosie as a hero and Folco was still around!
You might expect to see the Burst Into Song event included since the deck is focused around songs, but I don’t think its necessary. Leaving it out was a good call in my opinion.
Depending on the quest, including a Warden of Healing might be very helpful. There isn’t many hitpoints at all in this deck! Bill the Pony helps a lot but only until he dies, and if you count on his extra hitpoints, all the hobbits will immediately starve to death when he runs off with their packs!
Bilbo is always a tough choice since his threat cost is substantially more than his stats, but his extra card draw every turn is worth it here.
Solo or Multi
I think it will be a little safer in a multiplayer context, but it would probably need to be modified a bit, removing Legacy of Numenor and upping Steward of Gondor to 3x (if your buddies will allow it). It works solo, but would be safer with others. That said, it doesn’t have a lot to offer in way of interaction with other decks.
This is the most concentrated “Song Deck” I’ve played so far and I was happy to see it win! With its focused approach on few characters and very few hitpoints, I don’t think it will succeed against tougher quests in a solo setting, but with careful play, I bet it can beat a lot of quests!
Thanks to Beorn for making an actual functioning Song Deck! Go over to Ringsdb and give Songs for Rosie a like and then play it! What quests do you think the singing hobbits can beat?