Deck building for Rohan is getting richer and richer every cycle!
The list looks fairly solid! I’m a little surprised not to see some of the more recent additions to Rohan’s cardpool (Guthwine primarily). The description indicates that Gamling is crucial to the deck, so I’m a little surprised to see only one copy included, but Mustering the Rohirrim should help find him fairly quickly.
Test 1 – Passage through Mirkwood
My first play wasn’t too easy! The deck was hitting me pretty hard and I was working to keep up. With the heroes starting with a relatively low willpower number, it was crucial to get a questing ally out turn 1. Even so, I felt a little panicky when I barely quested successfully, and I wasn’t able to kill the first Forest Spider before another one came up on turn 2! Shadow effects stripped me of Snowmane and Celebrian Stone in the first few turns and really held me back.
One of Rohan’s challenges is keeping a good defender on the board, and I felt it here. I didn’t draw into the Golden Shield or Warden of Helm’s Deep, so I had to either chump block, or block with a 2 defense Theoden which is not very safe.
I did get Gamling on the table early and started the efficient Escort from Edoras cycle where I play him for 1, quest for 4, return him to hand with Gamling which powers up Eomer to kill one or two enemies at once with Firefoot.
Ungoliant’s Spawn came out on stage 1 which was a challenge, but I chump blocked for 2 turns and was able to kill it off with Gandalf’s help. All this misfortune kept me from really building up a board state, but I was able to win in the end. I built up a large amount of resources which I couldn’t use just because I didn’t have any allies in hand by halfway through the game. Theodred is very helpful in the early game to make sure you have the resource to play that next ally, but with Theoden on the board, I think I had too much money and not enough stats from my heroes!
I quested through to the end on turn 10 with the help of Gandalf.
I went ahead played Passage again since the first try was harder than I thought. The second play went better and I won on turn 7.
I never was able to find Gamling so I didn’t get some of the fun combos going, but the encounter deck was less cruel and I didn’t lose my key attachments like I did in the first play.
Getting a Warden of Helm’s Deep out early helped immensely, and I only had to chump block once during the game! A good thing, but that means that Eomer only got his bonus once during the game as well.
I was able to play an ally almost every turn to get the best use out of Theoden, but again, my resources began to pile up with not enough cards in my hand.
I think this deck has a decent lineup of allies, but to be consistent, I might consider increasing Gamling to 3x.
The selection of events seems good on paper, but they didn’t actually do much in my games (two games is a small sample size). Sneak Attack is a great choice to get cards and power out of Gandalf. Valiant Sacrifice is excellent as well in this deck, but I never got to use it.
With a strong Eomer on the table, I’m not sure Helm!Helm! will get much use. Ride to Ruin would supplement the lower willpower and might be more helpful. Sterner than Steel is a great card, but here it will be a hard combo to make use of. With only 2 copies of Spear of the Mark to really fulfill the Weapon/Armor requirement, Hasty Stroke might be a better choice, especially since the deck is flush with resources. Golden Shield is an armor attachment but since you have to exhaust it when the attack is declared, you can’t really use it with Sterner than Steel.
I’ve recently come to appreciate Theodred more, but he might be overkill in this deck. If the deck drew more cards, the resources would be helpful, but as it is, Theoden’s discount and Theodred’s extra resources resulted in 19 resources sitting on my heroes by the end of round 7! Leadership Elfhelm might be a decent substitute for Theodred since he would boost the useful stat on Eomer and Theoden and contribute an additional point of willpower to questing when needed.
While not absolutely necessary, I might include a copy of Guthwine as well. Guthwine and Gamling do almost the same thing, but I don’t think it hurts to include both. It helps the deck get off the ground faster, and helps the deck do a lot more in the late game as it is able to recycle two allies per turn instead of one!
Solo or Multi?
This deck would probably be better in a multiplayer situation than solo. Theodren would be able to help out the other players and the deck would function fine without his resources after the first or second turn.
This deck functions and is excellent in the theme department, but it will probably take more turns to really get going than most modern quests allow for. I found it hard to ramp up with willpower fast enough in the early game. With a few adjustments, I think it could be a strong and thematic Rohan deck!
Thanks to Obsidian22 for posting this Rohan deck!