This second Grimbeorn deck I’m looking at was built and posted to RingsDB by Alduc. This as Beorny as you can get! It features both Beorn and Grimbeorn as heroes and has the full 3 copies of all 3 Beorning allies. The description acknowledges that willpower will be light in this deck but the Beornings should keep the combat situation under control! This deck might struggle with long games since it doesn’t have any healing or damage mitigation although you can always refill Beorn’s hitpoints with Landroval.
Test 1 – Passage Through Mirkwood – Success
I completed the quest in 7 turns. Willpower was a little slow to build up, but once I got Necklace of Girion on Glorfindel I was off to the races. The deck doesn’t have a lot of card draw so I was lucky to see that single copy of the Necklace. If the Necromancer’s Reach had been revealed it would have massacred my questing allies, but I kept moving and it didn’t show up!
I almost restarted the quest on turn 2 after I got both Glorfindel and Grimbeorn Caught in a Web right away, but I kept going and managed to get through since I had Light of Valinor on Glorfindel and Beorn could cover for Grimbeorn while he disentangled himself. It was a fun game!
Test 2 – Into the Pit – Success but a long game
This was a long one just because of low willpower but I won in the end! I finished on turn 21 at 42 threat and 22 cards left in my deck. It would really help to get some more reliable card draw into the deck. I had heaps of resources but no cards to really play to help me move along faster. The deck relies on Foe Hammer for draw but with only 3 weapons in the deck, it’s not a sure thing. I found myself not triggering Grimbeorn’s response very often in this game just because I had plenty of attack power ready after defending with Grimbeorn. No need to spend a resource to attack when Beorn is hungry and Glorfindel is ready as well.
I hit 48 threat at one point in the middle of the game but pulled Gandalf off the top of my deck to save me!
Test 3 – Escape from Umbar – Loss
I almost made it but succumbed to direct damage as I couldn’t dash through fast enough to keep these bears from becoming pincushions. Again, I think some more card draw could be helpful. I never found Light of Valinor in 14 turns so my threat kept going up as I quested with Glorfindel. I know it would add to the potential threat issue, but the Steward of Orthanc might be a decent choice for some additional willpower and card draw. With 14 events in the deck, it’s fairly easy to trigger his effect. While the extra threat isn’t great, you’re more likely to get through the quest faster with those extra cards and extra willpower! Adding 3x of another weapon like the Dagger of Westerness would be good too. In both games I’ve seen either a weapon or Foe Hammer, but never together. I did draw cards with Gandalf once this game, but I’ve had to use his effect to lower threat at various points as well.
Test 4 – Into Ithilien – Bloody Success
With 11 possible points of battle questing I thought this might be a good deck for these HoN quests. I made it to the end and lost two hero on the final stage but managed to get a win, although it became pretty bloody and “threaty”. One hero and 49 threat at the end! With no treachery cancellation or damage healing or prevention, it was a challenge but I think it could be a nice to deck to work from for a couple of these quests that force you to Battle, Siege and Willpower quest.
I got to use Revealed in Wrath on a Mumak which was awesome. Mumak mauled by bears!
This is a very stout combat deck but will probably be better in a multiplayer setting. Two sentinel heroes with the potential to attack as well is really more than is normally needed in solo games but could be really useful in a 2-4 player game. Playing the deck in a solo setting I found it dangerously easy to get location locked if those Spirit allies don’t show up to boost your questing numbers. Wait No Longer is an excellent card to help with this. With an abundance of combat power, you really would rather see enemies than locations and this event can help you plan out your questing phase. It is a little expensive if you’re using Grimbeorn’s resources regularly for his ability but with Beorn and the Beorning allies, you really won’t need to trigger Grimbeorn every turn when playing solo.
I noticed both these decks use Noldor tricks to discard cards. If you plan to use the Skin Changer, moving that high cost Beorning ally to your discard pile has no negative consequence so if you have a way to get value out of discarding it, all the better! Arwen is the easiest way, but this deck uses the Steed of Imladris for some extra questing ability and it can be powered by bears just ready to transmogrify!
It was fun using all the Beorning allies, but I think the Skin Changer’s best use is bringing ally Beorn into play and that isn’t possible while you have Beorn in your hero lineup. The Skin Changer never really turned into a bear in my games here. The Beekeeper is entertaining but not terribly useful, especially since the threat level usually isn’t low. You won’t build up that many enemies in the staging area so your Beekeeper might sting one or two enemies, but at that count, you might as well just defend or attack with him. But it’s been no secret the Beekeeper is a little underpowered… It’s good to have a new card that makes us realize he exists again!
It would be a major change, but I think this deck could easily be made more solo friendly by swapping out Beorn for a high willpower hero like Tactics Eowyn. I know you see her everywhere, but this would give you more starting willpower, lower threat and it would free up the deck to include ally Beorn so the Skin-Changer could provide huge value! The deck is obviously going for a heavy Beorning theme so no criticism, but if you wanted to take the basic deck and make it through more standard quests with it, this might be a worthwhile consideration.
That modification could look something like this:
Thanks to Alduc for sharing this true “Beorning deck”! These new cards make the archetype possible and I’m looking forward more cards that will support this style of deck in our current cycle!
Go give the deck a like on RingsDB and give it a try! Thanks for reading!