Quickbeam has arrived but the biggest splash he’s made seems be people joking about running three copies of him in a deck. I haven’t seen too many decks featuring him go up on to RingsDB yet. I’ve made a couple decks with him, but I’m looking forward to exploring his possibilities further.
This deck features several new cards including Quickbeam, Magic Ring, Leaflock and The Dam Bursts. The ally list looks pretty standard for an ent deck with 3x of all the generics and Treebeard and 1x of the other uniques. With Elrond present I can understand including only 2x Warden of Healing. Everything is looking solid but the threat may end up being an issue for some quests. Starting at 31 with no threat reduction at all will force the deck to quest successfully all the time to make it through some of the longer quests or the quests that have a lot of Doomed cards. I’m a little surprised to see Vilya here since there is no scrying and about an even mix of events, allies and attachments. Using it’s effect might be a little risky. It will help get Unexpected Courage into play, but Good Harvest can help just as well.
Test 1 – The Seventh Level
The description mentioned testing against the Seventh Level so I’ll start here.
I won, but the threat was a little scary. I ended at 46 threat on turn 9. I used Quickbeam’s actions 3 times during the game, all near the beginning so he could quest then kill an orc during the combat phase. The combat part of the scenario was actually pretty easy in spite of drawing a nasty Cave-Troll. With decent willpower on all the heroes it has a solid start and a nice steady increase of available willpower throughout the game. I had 8 ents and one Warden of Healing out by the end.
Test 2 – Blood of Gondor
This quest is hard, but with the siege and battle questing I thought it might be fun. But it was rough. I got hard luck all around with my hidden cards and that evil Orc Ambusher kept discarding allies which really hurts. I couldn’t get ahead of the enemy rush in the first attempt and I died with too much damage on everyone.
My second attempt went a little better and I managed a win although I’m pretty sure I made a couple mistakes… I was able to use Quickbeam’s readying many times to help kill of enemies. 4 attack on a hero is pretty nice. I found myself wishing for another Warden of healing. There are 5 healers in the deck and I only drew 2 the entire 12 turn game and I had to discard a Warden of Healing at some point in the game.
I found Quickbeam craving some Lembas as well. It would be ideal on him since he could damage himself to ready, attack, then munch some Lembas, heal the damage and attack again!
Test 3 Escape from Umbar
This deck was well matched for this quest. It wasn’t easy but it was able to win. This quest has that dreaded “Raise your threat by the number of characters you control or discard a character you control” treachery that really hurts this deck. I had to discard my Warden of Healing twice for that treachery!
These quests with archery are excellent for an ent deck so you can spread the damage everywhere and power up the Booming Ents. By the end I had two of them attacking for 8 or 9 and they were able to kill anything that engaged me. I got Leaflock, the Boomers’ lame cousin on the table and his 4 willpower was certainly appreciated even though the Preservers might outshine him a little. I felt he actually pulled his weight.
With no resource acceleration in the deck, I found myself unwilling to save the 2 Lore resources to to play The Dam Bursts. You have to plan a turn ahead for the Ents since they come into play exhausted so its hard to make yourself save those resources when you have an ally in hand that could help the long term game.
By turn 9 I was questing for around 14-17 willpower and still handling my enemies. Quickbeam’s action came in handy again at the beginning of the game but by the end, his solid 4 attack was eclipsed by the Booming Ents’ 8. He ended up questing for the second half of the game, but that’s OK. Getting the deck through those first few turns of a game can be enough.
I think this hero lineup has good synergy and is strong. Pippin doesn’t bring a lot besides his low threat, but he’s there to quest and provide a resource. Mirlond is always a possibility in these types of decks as well. She’s the same threat cost here, has one more hitpoint, but never draws you a card like Pippin does. With the high starting threat and no reduction, I didn’t find Pippin drawing me cards often, but it’s possible. Pippin is probably the best choice since he gives access to The Dam Bursts.
Elrond’s healing boost certainly helps Quickbeam be more useful. With his support one Warden of Healing on the table can keep Quickbeam in business for a good while. It’s very helpful to have Elrond’s 3 starting willpower and defense in the early game as well. I’m assuming the Unexpected Courage and Burning Brand can go on him so he can double as a defender and quester. Elrond’s resource smoothing also ensures that you can play any of the 2 cost Ents during during each planning phase.
The ally list is solid with the new Leaflock being the only “questionable” choice but I’m actually going to defend him. At worst he’s a 0/2/2/3 ally and he’s still undercosted for those stats albeit slow. At best he’s 4/2/2/3 which is better than Eowyn! I’m not saying he’s amazing but I certainly appreciated his 4 willpower in these quests I played. With Quickbeam, Derndingle Warrior and Beechbone all having “self-damaging” abilities, he’s not hard to power up. He’s not great for playing early in the game but if you don’t have any other Ents in your hand on the first few turns of the game, you’re already doing something wrong.
The only suggestion I might make would be to add that third Warden is Healing. Quickbeam likes his healing and Elrond makes him so good.
I didn’t feel like I got full value out of some of the attachments in this deck so I’ll spend a little more time discussing them.
- Ent Draught is a great choice and it very valuable on the majority of the Ents.
- Burning Brand is great for Elrond or any of the generic Lore Ents that can defend.
- Expert Treasure Hunter is a fun choice but I never drew it in my games. I guess you should guess Ally most of the time since you will hit 40% of the time (before Entmoot changes your deck stats).
- Magic Ring is a super strong card, but with 31 starting threat and no way to bring it down, I’m not sure his deck can afford to use it. It’s flexibility can help you avoid death but it may need some threat reduction to make it powerful here.
- Vilya is another powerful card but I’m not sure it’s best here. The likelihood of being able to afford paying for the ring and being able to afford not using Elrond for anything else is low and expensive in both game time and resources. Once you have that in place, it will take you a minimum of two successful triggers to make a return on that investment. Of the 17 events in the deck, 11 are time sensitive and the other 6 are 0 cost. The attachments aren’t expensive so getting an ally into play is the best result. Playing a Preserver or Treebeard would be great, but in my opinion the cost to probably benefit ratio isn’t overly favorable. I was able to trigger it once in my three games and it trolled me and provideda free Daeron’s Runes.
- Unexpected Courage would be great on Elrond so he could either quest and defend, defend twice or trigger Vilya and help out as well, but it needs either Vilya in play or a Good Harvest to get down. It could help Quickbeam as well but his built-in readying is about enough. I wasn’t able to get this card out in my games.
I might suggest swapping out Vilya and Good Harvest for 3x Song of Tr
avel and 3x Elrond’s Counsel and maybe even a Light Of Valinor if you’re playing solo. That keeps the cost curve low, gets you some threat reduction and gives Elrond some action advantage.
I’m not sure A Good Harvest is really needed here, but the rest of the events all felt valuable. Boomed and Trumpeted is not great in the late game, but can be very useful early. It can work on the Derndingle Warrior or its even better on Beechbone or Quickbeam if you have a point of archery to trigger it. If you quested with Quickbeam, you can drop a point of archery on him, ready him with Boomed and Trumpeted and swing back for 7, ready again with his own ability and hit for 7 again. That could take out two of those nasty Southron Archers with just Quickbeam and that event!
Feint is never bad but doesn’t seem necessary with all these big allies around. The Dam Bursts is powerful and really fun but you kind of have to plan ahead for it. I think A Good Meal night be a good way to make it easier to play here. With Pippin stuffing his face in the guardhouse, you can play The Dam Bursts at any time for free which is super powerful (and thematic). That keeps the cost curve down and helps that card be more flexible since you usually want to spend all those resources every turn getting those slow Ents going.
Other useful cards might include Lembas and Secret Vigil.
Solo or Multiplayer?
This decks should function just fine in either context.
The Ents have been strong for a while but it’s nice to see we have a new style of ent deck available now with Quickbeam. While I don’t think he’s insanely powerful or anything, this deck proves he’s viable and fun. At the very least he provides the deck with a solo “hasty” start where you can quest decently and kill things from turn 1.
This is a strong and capable deck and Quickbeam provides some more meaningful decisions to a deck style that can be “overly straightforward” to play. The deck might have a few cards that don’t fully pull their weight, but it beat some challenging quests for me! I would say it’s threat level is its Achilles Heel or Elrond’s Heal) at the moment but that could be easily fixed (if you put Song Of Travel on Pippin, then you could use Good Meal to play the Galadhrim’s Greeting for 1!).
Thanks to SamthemanGamgee for creating and posting Even Quicker Ents! Go over to RingsDB, give it a like and try out our newest hero!