This deck focuses on getting temporary big allies into play through various means, then using them to get permanent beefy allies into play with A Very Good Tale. The deck was posted by RingsDB user Roka.
The Tactics version of Prince Imrahil is the only hero I’ve never played before. I think I have an aversion to the art on his card… But after reading the deck description, I’m anticipating having fun with him!
The deck is packed with allies with 20 sharing traits with Imrahil and 11 providing other forms of support. The ally selection is entirely in the heroes’ native spheres, so no card will be useless in hand if you draw it. With 3x Elfhelm, 3x Ranger of Cardolan and 3x Sneak Attacks along with Imrahil’s ability, I’m sure the cheaty/jumpy engine will work well!
Without tons of willpower, this might be better as a multiplayer combat deck, but I’ll give it a try solo and see how it goes.
Test 1 – Passage Through Mirkwood
This went well and it was enjoyable! I had a tough time producing much willpower for a few turns, but this quest gives you time and I quickly built up a solid army of hefty allies.
I had to face Ungoliant’s Spawn twice in this quest, once early and once at the end. In the case below, I faced it with only Amarthiul and Imrahil ready, but was able to muster a “strike team” of a Knight of the White Tower, a Ranger of Cardolan, and a Marksman of Lorien for 3 resources and kill it the turn it engaged.
Since I wasn’t actually playing many cards from my hand, and I was easily able to trigger Valiant Sacrifice every time I drew it, I ended up with a huge hand of cards by the end of the game.
I played A Very Good Tale twice to good effect both times, using allies that weren’t going to stick around. My average return was 7 resources of allies for 2 resources and the event card.
When I had to face Ungoliant’s Spawn again at the end, I was set up with plenty of allies, but I cheated 4 more allies into play, was able to use Grimbold to stop the spider’s attack, and swing back with plenty of attack to kill the monster.
The game ended on turn 9 with a threat level of 41, 16 cards in my hand and only 4 left in my deck.
Test 2 – Journey Down the Anduin
Starting at a threat level of 29, this will force the deck to face the Hill Troll on turn 2.
On turn 3 I was able to muster a solid army of temporary allies to take down the Hill Troll.
This quest went well except for the direct damage. Evil Storm and Necromancer’s Reach kept coming up and with no healing options, Evil Storm basically destroyed my entire board. I chose to cheat and ignore the Evil Storm and keep playing just to see how the deck would deal with the battle at the end.
The deck performed fine in the combat department and even quested fine through stage 2. If it hadn’t been for all the direct damage, it would have been a solid win. Gandalf is the only form of threat reduction, but with 2 Goblin Snipers revealed near the end, I let my threat hit 49 so I could kill them and “win” on turn 13.
Test 3 – Into the Pit
I had a couple close games, but I ended up threating out both times. The deck doesn’t have enough willpower and/or threat reduction to excel in a solo setting against a quest that raises your threat this much, or demands tons of willpower.
Test 4 – The 7th Level
Again, this deck didn’t have enough willpower to avoid getting bogged down in a solo setting. I ended threating out on stage 1 with too many enemies engaged because I had to quest with everyone I could.
This doesn’t reflect poorly on the deck so much as tell me it needs a partner deck that will produce more willpower.
This is a very unique style of deck. The heroes aren’t central to the action, but they all support part of the fun combos that happen later in the game. It’s not a “tribal” deck at all, in fact, it could almost run The Free Peoples with all the different types of allies it contains! It doesn’t build up a conventional army, but has spurts of allies hitting the table when they’re needed.
There are two main “groups” of allies here: the allies that can be cheated in with Imrahil, and the allies that can be cheated in for a turn under their own power.
The Ranger of Cardolan and Tactics Elfhelm combo well with Imrahil’s temporary allies since you can easily get two 3-4 cost allies into play for 2 resources, then reliably get 2 big allies out permanently with A Very Good Tale. I like the ally lineup overall. Additional interesting options might include Knight of Dale (since you could use him for the Very Good Tale and still ready him, likely for free), Defender of Cair Andros (this deck might even get the Valor “poke “out of him more often than not), and Azain Silverbeard (I often found myself with extra Tactics resources).
He was welcome just for the willpower, but I didn’t get much value out of ally Erestor. Without a trait match, you can only use him for his WP and ability. Without a tight theme to really mess up, Rosie Cotton can provide the same willpower for 2 cost instead of 4. Halbarad might be a good ally as well since you will often be engaged with 1-2 allies during the planning phase.
Gondorian Shield is a great card for Imrahil, especially if you can get Heir of Mardil on him so he can utilize his 2WP, have Theodred ready him and defend for 4 or attack for 3, depending on what’s needed.
Since the deck really depends on getting allies out with A Very Good Tale, the Tome of Ananananananatar is worth including, in spite of being fairly expensive. With the cost of the tome, Imrahil’s ability and one of the other jumpy allies, you can still get 7-8 resources worth of allies into play for 4 resources.
Valiant Sacrifice is a good form of card draw since you have an opportunity to trigger it nearly every turn, and while Campfire Tales isn’t amazing card draw in a solo deck, it will make you popular in multiplayer. Sneak Attack is great not only for Gandalf, but can help with the basic Good Tale combo when needed.
Solo or Multiplayer
I would put this deck solidly into the multiplayer side of things. With 6 sentinel and 3 ranged characters and 3x Campfire Tales, it has plenty of cards that will support the other players in a game. You may have to adjust your “big ally lineup” in multiplayer since this include 12 different unique allies. Luckily Elfhelm is the only unique ally that is part of the “combo.”
This deck kind of feels like playing 3 Imrahils at once! You will have several big allies moving in and out of play almost every turn, and you can still get big allies out permanently while doing the jumping. It’s not really suitable for solo play, but should provide interesting and solid play in a multiplayer game, provided the other players can provide more than their fair share of willpower.
Thanks to Roka for building and posting a fun deck! Go over to RingsDB and give it a like and try it at your next multiplayer game!