Gimli/LEgolas/Loragorn was created and posted to RingsDB by jamjams32. This Three Hunters deck explores combining the new Sands of Harad version of Gimli and Legolas with Lore Aragorn and the set of powerful Doomed cards that should help get the deck set up quickly.
I like the basic idea of this deck. The new Gimli/Legolas combo is strong, but its weakness is the early game when their abilities quickly drain your resources and cards while you’re trying to set up. Deep Knowledge and Legacy of Numenor should help compensate for that early game cost and then Aragorn can drop the threat back to 32 as soon as it’s necessary.
The deck looks pretty heavy on card draw which will be helpful since there are lots of 2x titles, especially among the allies. There’s no threat reduction beyond Aragorn’s big drop so that timing will be crucial and then you may have to lay off the Doomed cards after that.
Test 1 – Treachery of Rhudaur
This was a nicely matched quest for this deck. It took a couple turns get get through that huge starting location, but with a couple Heralds of Anorian and Messengers of Isengard, I was able to get several allies on the board fairly quickly.
I used the Herald’s Doomed effect twice and played one copy of both Deep Knowledge and Legacy. Those cards along with the encounter deck got me up to 49 threat by the end of turn 4 when I reset. I only completed one of the three starting sidequests, but I was able to complete stage 2 in 2 turns.
I finished the quest on turn 7 with 9 allies in play, 18 cards left in my deck and a threat level of 37. It was a good game!
Test 2 – The Steward’s Fear
The random nature of this quest makes it an unreliable testing quest but it’s so fun when things go your way. My first and second attempts ended in location lock but my third game was a competitive with a narrow win.
I didn’t get many enemies in the early game which gave me some breathing room. By the mid-game I was wishing for more Doomed player cards to boost my Isengard Messengers’ willpower. Gandalf and Galdor are the only allies with more than 1 willpower so that boost for the Messenger is really worthwhile.
The plot was burning through my deck for the last half of the game (I ALWAYS get that plot) so I had to slow the deck down and pass on opportunities to draw cards out of my deck.
I had to YOLO quest on the last turn and let an attack go undefended so I could win before the plot exhausted my deck and defeated me.
Test 3 – Intruders in Chetwood
This was hard quest for the deck. I had two false starts where I got locked up with too much in the staging area and not enough willpower momentum to continue. My third game was enjoyable and I was able to beat it.
At this point I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how to play the deck and which cards to look for in the opening hand.
With low willpower allies, I pretty much had to clear the staging area of all the enemies to make reasonable progress on the quest. Gandalf helped me mop up a couple enemies at one point. My best Gandalf combo hit when I engaged the Orc War Party while one of the Angmar Marauders was in the staging area. I used Sneaky Gandalf’s 4 damage to kill off the Marauder in the staging area and then used Gandalf to finish off the War Party.
I won on turn 11 with a threat level of 39 and with 11 cards left in my deck. With 11 allies on the board, my willpower topped out around 18 or so even with Gandalf in play.
Card Choices and Deck Analysis
I really like this hero combination! I’ve built a couple Three Hunters decks, but the Doomed deck type is really smart for this set of heroes. The new Gimli/Legolas combo is still a little slow and expensive to power up, but it is fun when it’s all in place.
The resource demands on the unlikely friends are high. Gimli has to spend to to ready Legolas and Legolas has to spend one to get Elven-Light back into hand to ready Gimli next round. The card draw is really nice, but I find it really difficult to actually get cards out when I’m spending two resources per turn on the hero combination. I tend to put Steward on Gimli so he can reliably get Legolas readied, but then I never have any Spirit resources. I wish it was a little easier to make them work!
The Doomed cards really help this pair get going. It still feels expensive but at least I’m not working with an empty hand by turn 3.
While this deck has a good amount of resource generation it may benefit from some resource smoothing. Even with Legacy of Numenor, Dwarven Shield and Unlikely Friendship, the constant drain from Gimli’s ability seems to make him the best target for Steward of Gondor. Leadership is the dominant resource needed in the deck, but I find it very difficult to actually pay for any of the Spirit cards in the deck since I’m cycling Elven-Light nearly every turn. In my 6 or 7 games I only got one Unexpected Courage and a couple Long Knives out. There aren’t many options for resource smoothing, but Errand Rider is probably the strongest choice. Including some more neutral cards like Treebeard or Steward of Orthanc is another way to “balance resources.”
That whole rant wasn’t a criticism of this deck so much as a commentary on the design of those two heroes. They change the entire card/resource curve of a deck!
This deck helped me play some allies that I haven’t used in a while! Galdor of the Havens stole the spotlight as the most valuable ally. Once he’s on the table, it makes Legolas’s discard much more bearable since he immediately draws you another card so your hand doesn’t shrink. His 2 attack and willpower are valuable as well. I found him valuable enough to keep Aragorn stocked with resources so I could play him right away when he showed up in my hand. The Isengard Messenger is actually a decent quester for the Lore sphere. He was questing for 2 about half the time in this deck. The Herald of Anorian was a great choice. He can get nearly any other ally in the deck into play for 2 threat and likely boost the questing willpower for a turn through the Messengers. This really helped me save resources on Aragorn so I could play Galdor even though I only had one Lore hero. The Imladris Caregiver is a good choice since this deck draws so many cards. While the Warden of Healing is probably still the most reliable healer in the game, the Caregiver is probably a better choice here since she/he (?) has two hitpoints and can quest and heal in the same turn. She can also heal two off one character which is often needed since Gimli is the main character taking damage in this deck. I rarely use the Orthanc Guard, but I was able to trigger his ability a couple times in this deck. I wish he had some attack or one more point of defense. I chumped against Thuardir with one of them which was worth something! Ceorl was nice for his 2 attack, but he would probably be the least helpful ally in my opinion.
I think it would be helpful if the ally selection could contribute a little more willpower to the deck so the heroes could be freed up to face the enemies. I think there’s two really solid choices for boosting the allies’ willpower for this deck. The Sword that Was Broken would be very strong and thematic! Since the deck is already producing a lot of Leadership resources it would be easy to get into play and it could increase the mid/late game questing numbers by 10+ and potentially free up the heroes to not quest for a turn or two and conserve resources. The other option would be to include some more 2 willpower allies. The Steward of Orthanc would be a thematic choice that could be very effective. There are 21 events in the deck so it would be very easy to trigger his ability and potentially boost your Messengers at the same time! There is an increasing number of 2 willpower allies that could help out with willpower production as well. Rosie Cotton, Halfast Gamgee, Quickbeam and Mablung all come to mind. Even as 1x in the deck, they would probably help get willpower numbers up.
The attachments are all helpful although I had a hard time getting the 2-cost Spirit attachments into play. The Keys of Orthanc would have helped balance the resources but with only 1 copy in the deck, I wasn’t ever able to really get it going. I only drew it once in all my games and it was so late in the game that it didn’t help. Cutting 1 or 2 Mirkwood Longknives or Unexpected Courages and adding a one or two Keys might help balance things.
The events comprise the largest portion of this deck and really make it work. Deep Knowledge, Legacy of Numenor, Unlikely Friendship and Elven–Light are all essential. Daeron’s Runes is always good, but with very few uniques and plenty of card draw, I would say it’s probably the least helpful of the group. Gimli is a good target for Desperate Defense, but in this deck you could even use it on Aragorn. With a shortage of Spirit resources it wasn’t always an option, but it was a good safety card, especially since Gimli starts with a low defense considering he’s the “designated defender.” There isn’t really room in the deck, but its worth mentioning that this deck could use most of the new “multi-trait” cards including Well Warned, Hunting Party and Coney in a Trap.
Solo or Multiplayer?
The Doomed cards push this into solo territory. The extra card draw and resources will help a second player but they would certainly have to build with that threat increase in mind.
I had a good time playing this deck and I beat some reasonably tough quests. This is a bit of a tricky deck to pilot and I’m sure my win ratio would go up with some more practice. The choices around when to Doom, when to reset your threat and when to conserve resources aren’t always clear-cut.
I really enjoyed seeing some new combos in this deck. Both the S Legolas/Galdor and Herald/Messenger combos were effective and new to me. The deck doesn’t power up super fast, mostly because of the power level of the allies, but once you have some key pieces in play, it proves sturdy and resourceful. The strong card draw kept my hand full and gave me options every turn which is fun and powerful.
My main constructive thoughts after playing the deck are:
- The deck could use a bit more willpower from the allies
- The deck would benefit from some resource smoothing
- The Gimli/Legolas combo takes real finesse to make work efficiently in one deck
While I made a lot of comments and “suggestions,” I want to affirm that it’s a solid deck and doesn’t need any modification to work very well! Very nicely done.