A Half Dozen Deliveries Destined for Dale

Bear on the Docks

The Wilds of Rhovanion marks the inception the Dale archetype, distinguished among deck styles in its focus on attachment-heavy decks and allies pulling serious weight while the heroes provide support. Dale has aspects in common with previous archetypes – for example, some Vilya builds were attachment heavy. Still, this is the first time in the game’s history when the focus of player card attachments shifts from heroes to allies. To help with deck-building, Hall of Beorn Card Search has a new category for ally attachments. In addition, I’ve found the time to wrap my massive paws around a pen and ramble some musings about cards which may see new relevance – or increased usage – with the Dale archetypes.

Galadriel (Ally)

For obvious reasons, this version of the lady of the Golden Wood is overshadowed by the hero. To be clear, building a multiplayer deck around this card is a recipe for frustration. With the power of hero Galadriel, including in some of the popular Dale builds, there is a good chance your ally will never hit the table. All hope is not lost, however. Assuming you can get the ally into play, she can be an incredibly effective solution for finding your critical attachment and getting it into play quickly.

I made excellent use of ally Galadriel in my Leading Dale to Glory deck; she helps get King of Dale up and running as quickly as possible. Full disclosure, that deck was more of a proof of concept to see if I could use Lord of Morthond outside of an Outlands deck. It should not by any means be considered standard for the archetype. On the contrary, there are several more consistent and thematically appropriate versions of the Dale deck which should be considered before my fanciful ursine thought experiments.

All that said, Leadership is essentially a requirement in all Dale decks – because of the potency of Brand Son of Bain. Any deck with Leadership is going to have resource acceleration, at which point a three cost ally that drops amazing attachments into play for free starts to look pretty appealing. The fact that she quests for three and then soaks archery for a round is what I would call a nice bonus. With the draw power of Leadership Brand son of Bain, being able to stack the top of your deck even becomes useful. You can put the other attachments on top to give yourself maximal card draw.

Raiment of War

I’ve been a proponent of this card from the moment it was first spoiled. While filling up both restricted slots might at first seem a steep price, the stat boost that this card gives for only two resources makes it one of the most efficient attachments in the game. Besides, once the attached character has become effectively invincible, your wont often need a second attachment for them anyway.

The bonus defense and hit points make this a natural fit for characters who spend most of their time on the defensive end of combat. However, don’t ignore the value it can bring to offensive allies. On characters like Warrior of Dale, the Weapon trait provides a net +2 attack bonus and Ranged. Also, his 5 total hit points make him an worthy archery soak.

At first glance, having the requirement of attaching to a Warrior character might seem like a serious limitation. While this might be true in other archetypes, a Dale deck’s best targets for Raiment have the Warrior trait, so this is not at all an issue. Having Item, Weapon and Armor traits gives it the ultimate versatility. The most consistent decks feature cards which solve multiple problems.

Many of the game’s best weapons cost only a single resource. At twice the cost, Raiment carries the risk that you won’t have the ideal target in play, since Dale mostly wants to equip allies over heroes. Then we face a dilemma, attach it to a less ideal target or wait until we draw our Redwater Sentry. Thankfully, Dale lets you have your cake and eat it too. Long Lake Trader allows us to move a Raiment from character to another. I like to think of this as a Trader literally taking the shirt off some poor lookout’s back, only to hand the sweaty garment to an incredulous sentry, who looks on in disgust.

Spare Hood and Cloak

Spare Hood and Cloak

Just when we become set in our ways, thinking the metagame has gone stale and all that is left is polishing around the edges – a new deluxe expansion comes and turns our world upside down again. Like a squad of football hooligans trashing an Ikea, The Wilds of Rhovanion overturned the status quo and broke our assumptions. Outside of a few purpose-built questing powerhouses, which used it to take maximum advance of ally Faramir’s ability, Spare Hood and Cloak hasn’t seen much play in recent decks. Even with a recent uptick in usage from Dale decks, it still sits at 2 rings out of 5 based on RingsDB usage.

Thanks to the strength of everyone’s new favorite Spirit ally, I have little doubt that Spare Hood and Cloak’s days as an over-looked card in the past. While he lacks the combat prowess of his brethren the Sentry and Warrior, North Realm Lookout has solid stats and excellent action advantage. My favorite attachment for the Lookout is Spare Hood and Cloak. Assuming you are running the new Brand Son of Bain, the Lookout with a Cloak will quest for 3 without exhausting. Once the quest phase is over, you can use him to help out with a counter attack – or even chump block in a pinch. Best of all, you have him ready with a cloak to help another character ready.

When you have your Redwater Sentry girded with Raiment of War he becomes a most effective defender. More than one round of combat has been saved by exhausting a Lookout and passing his Spare Hood and Cloak to a Sentry, who can then defend another attack. Likewise, there are times in multiplayer when another player just needs one more ready character to finish off an engaged enemy or perform some other action. Being in a position to provide that aid makes Dale an wonderful support deck. Remember, as long as you are passing the cloak between your own characters it will never get stuck, because you can always use a Long Lake Trader to move it back to your Lookout on the next turn.

Master of the Forge

This choice should come as a surprise to no one. Long before the Dale archetype was even a twinkle in Caleb’s eye, Master of the Forge was one of the best repeatable search actions available. Any deck with attachments and access to Lore should seriously consider this paragon support ally. As if Master of the Forge wasn’t effective enough already, Dale had made him even stronger.

Not to beat the same drum, but Brand son of Bain’s card draw effect is critical to the Dale archetype. By fetching your best attachments each round, Master of the Forge essentially super-changes this already potent engine. The fact that there is no limit to the sphere, cost, or traits of the attachment fetched by Master of the Forge makes him perfect for Dale decks. On the rare instances when his effect fails to find an attachment (this should be rare in attachment-heavy Dale decks), you at least get to shuffle your deck to reset for the next round.

In the early game, while you are still scrambling to get setup, you can use Master to search for 0 cost attachments. The first of these which you attach to each character will allow you to draw another card. By the mid-game,  you should have a better established board presence, including some form of resource acceleration or cost reduction. At that point, you can use the Master to search for specific attachments to handle whatever challenge the quest is posing.

A nasty condition attachment might mean you search for an Athelas. Perhaps the threat of location lock in the staging area requires location control like Arod, Thror’s Key, or Mariner’s Compass. An excess of archery or direct damage treacheries might necessitate Dunedain Remedy, Self Preservation, or Magic Ring. Last, but certainly not least, the mid and late game often bring boss enemies. These larger enemies often require extra armor and weapon attachments to support overmatched characters. The Master of the Forge is equally adept at retrieving the these weapons and attachments.

Narya

At the risk of sounding facetious, Narya is an excellent fit in any deck with at least two allies. Like all rings of power, Narya’s potency comes at a cost. Only Círdan the Shipwright and Gandalf can wield this ring, which immediately eliminates this card as an option for many Dale decks. However, the repeatable ally readying provided by this card should seriously be considered for the Dale archetype – such is the potential for total board dominance.

As a fan of multiplayer, it is worth pointing out that a “pure” Dale deck can always be paired with another deck which features the power of Narya, sitting across the table. One of the lesser acknowledged aspects of this ring is the granting of access to the Leadership sphere. Círdan is the natural target for Narya in multiplayer, unless you want to be Gandalf guy. With his access to the Spirit sphere, you have the foundation of a deck with access to Leadership and Spirit – the two most important spheres for many Dale decks.

The stat boost provided by Narya is clearly intended for the combat phase (barring less common out-of-phase attacks). However, the readying effect should not be underestimated. The card pool is brimming with support allies like Lake Tower Trader, Master of the Forge, Imladris Stargazer, Warden of Healing and Errand Rider. Some rounds, you might have combat well in hand, but direct damage might have your allies on death’s door. Getting an extra use out of a Warden of Healing might be the key to your allies’ survival. Another favorite support ally which I like readying is Honour Guard. Because his ability is a response just make sure that you ready him between two different attacks – then he can reduce damage from each of them.

Open the Armory

Open the ArmoryAn equipped Dale ally is a force to be reckoned with. Even if they fall to the enemy Bard son of Brand can return their attachments to your hand, sparing you from a serious tempo hit. The key here is getting the attachments into play, on your Dale allies, as quickly as possible. Redwater Sentry and Warrior of Dale are impressive allies when they have their respective armor and weapons attachments. Without this equipment, they’re fairly mediocre in their intended roles.

Before I heap further praise, I must voice my skepticism of the Valour Action on this card. On its face, a free Weapon or Armor from the top 5 cards of your deck is clearly powerful. However, the Galadriel ally that I highlighted above can perform this same effect on turn one, with fewer limitations. Obviously this card does not have the cost of Galadriel, but I would expect to have resource acceleration online by the late game so the cost difference is moot.

The chimeric nature of Valour cards remains illusory to me. My decks feature many card with Valour effects, but I typically either use the main effect throughout the game, or I wait until the late game for the payoff of the Valour Effect. I don’t typically use both effects on the same “Valour” card. In the case of Open the Armory, this is not a problem. The ability to pull the most important Weapon or Armor from the top 10 cards of your deck, especially in the critical early rounds, is what makes this card so useful. For those who have read this far, it should come as no surprise that my favorite target for this card is Raiment of War. As a bear who does not require clothing, I appreciate the irony that battle clothing is my favorite attachment.

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Posted in Card Lists, Combo, Deck Building, Opinion, Strategy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Journey up the Anduin and into Mirkwood

We had a special guest at the Austin LotR group tonight! Dan M., author of the Unfinished Trails blog, joined Terence and I for some epic three player games against The Wilds of Rhovanion. After a false start where my Dale deck refused to draw attachments, we switched out decks and were able to survive our Journey Up the Anduin and find our way after getting Lost in Mirkwood.

After a couple of failed multiplayer attempts last week, against Journey Up the Anduin, I went ahead and designed a deck specifically for that quest. Caleb did a masterful job of making Journey 2.0 a well-balanced quest. Like its Core Set twin, Journey Up the Anduin attacks decks from multiple angles. Survival requires decks which can quest and hold their own in combat, along with bringing timely support tricks. This is easier said than done, because a variety of crippling encounter effects are actively undermining the most common deck strategies.

The Evil Creatures deck features familiar enemies like Goblin Sniper, Hill Troll, and the always obnoxious Wargs. Brutal treacheries bring direct damage, attachment discard, and can make you discard every card from your hand. Lastly, Hills of the Wilderland is an absolutely devastating counter to ally swarm decks. This last card is so powerful that I specifically brought 3 copies of Thror’s Key, just to counter it.

I needed power questing, location control, readying, threat reduction, along with treachery and shadow cancellation. There aren’t many decks which feature all of these categories, so I went back to an archetype I haven’t played in a while. The steep demands of this quest provided my first opportunity to design a post-errata Caldara deck. At first glance, it looks like most typical Caldara decks (now that Fortune or Fate is useless), but there are a few notable differences.

As mentioned above, Thror’s Key is essential for mitigating the terrible threat of Hills of Wilderland. In addition, Weighed Down can quickly wreck any strategy which relies on heroes with multiple powerful attachments. Many modern decks rely on hero attachments, including this incarnation of Caldara with Cirdan and Light of Valinor + Narya. Dan’s Dale deck is also at risk to be Weighed Down, with the aim being to load Brand Son of Bain with King of Dale and a host of low-cost attachments. As a safeguard, I added two copies of Power of Orthanc.

Dan’s Dale deck performed admirably. The Redwater Sentry, loaded with Raiment of War and a Hauberk of Mail, is an excellent ally for multiplayer games. Terence ran a Rohan staging area attack which featured Fastred and Dúnhere and complimented the other two decks well. In one notable round during while we were Lost in Mirkwood, the Lord of Dunharrow used two Spears of the Mark and an Unseen Strike to mow down a Mirkwood Patrol.

Eliminating the larger, high engagement cost-enemies from the safety of the staging area makes the rest of combat much more manageable in multiplayer. This becomes especially important when the quest keeps finding ways to flood the staging area with enemies. The Dale archetype is impressive, so far. As long as you can draw King of Dale, the deck can field several powerful allies, for all facets of the game. As a bonus, it makes  excellent use of previously under-used attachments like Spare Hood and Cloak. We had a blast playing the first two quests of The Wilds of Rhovanion, and I look forward to meeting up with Dan again in the future.

Posted in Austin LotR Group, Community, Deck Lists, Fun, Live Play, Mono-Sphere, Multiplayer, Photo, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Con of the Rings

Certain ideas a so splendid that you can’t help but wonder why they didn’t happen sooner. Four fine members of the community, known collectively as the Free Men of the North (Fishbaugh, Loophole, McDog3, and PeaceAndThought) have taken it upon themselves to coordinate a Lord of the Rings convention this year! It will take place at the FFG Games Center in Roseville Minnesota, on October 12th through 14th. I encourage all players who are interested to go check out their Kickstarter page.

Mrs. Beorn and I will be traveling to Europe in the Fall, but we will be back just in time for the convention. While GenCon has long since become too crowded for this old bear, I am excited by the prospect of a convention exclusively for The Lord of the Rings LCG. This is far and away the best community I’ve ever had the privilege of membership.

I am happy to say that I will be traveling to Minnesota for the convention! For any who have a chance to go, I cannot emphasize enough just how fun it is to hang out with all of the fine people of this community. Given the location, it seems likely that we will have a chance to chat with the Caleb and others at FFG who have helped to make the game what it is. Even if you can’t go, contributing to the Kickstarter campaign is a nice way to show your support.

The official announcement should answer any questions you might have:

Introducing Con of the Rings 2018, a fan-driven convention for LotR: LCG to be held at Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville, MN on October 12-14, 2018. Come join us as we take on a large-scale saga campaign, where groups will play their own part in the larger “fellowship” beating all the saga quests. Other organized play events include the Bear Draft (cube draft format) and the new competitive format introduced in The Wizard’s Quest. But wait, there’s more! There will be daily raffles for FFG gift cards, exclusive con swag, and a special, live recording of Cardboard of the Rings!

Any comments, questions, or concerns can be directed towards conoftherings@gmail.com or join us on the Cardboard of the Rings Discord and post in the #con-of-the-rings channel, which we will be monitoring.

 

Posted in Cardboard of the Rings, Community, Con of the Rings, Fun, Live Play, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

¡Viva Las Chingonas!

Na'asiyah Art

I finally had a chance tonight to try out my Las Chingonas deck, and the setting could not have been more appropriate. My friend Stephen and I sailed our ships against the Raider Flagship in A Storm on Cobas Haven. I am a fan of most all of the Dream-chaser cycle, but this particular quest es un favorito especial. It is all the more appropriate that my first time using the game’s only Corsair hero would be in such a nautically themed adventure.

Sea-ward TowerAt the heart of this quest is a set of powerful Objectives, of which the players choose one to start in play. They represent different locations in Dol Amroth, guarded by the enemy but of great benefit to the players once freed. Since neither of our decks features much healing, we chose to start with Tower of the Heron in play. Never one to miss an opportunity for irony, the quest decided that our anti-archery objective would be guarded by a Siege Ship.

Until we killed that ship, it’s archery would keep chipping away at our characters. Once killed, the tower would protect us from the archery of future ships? I guess? Anyone who plays this game for long knows that the best laid plans are theoretical once they meet the fickle hand of fate – the encounter deck. With the help of a Feint and a timely visit to Cobas Haven (the location), we were able to rid ourselves of the Siege Ship without too much trouble.

After a false start and a bit of turtling, Mirror of Galadriel helped me grab a copy of Resourceful. Along with a lucky draw of my Magic Ring, Na’asiyah finally had the resource acceleration upon which she thrives. As an added bonus, those extra resources allowed me to pay the exorbitant fees demanded by Dol Amroth Warship. As long as we kept ourselves on course, those warships were potent weapons against the seemingly endless swarms of enemy ships.

All things considered, I was quite happy with how the deck fared. The highlight of the night was when Na’asiyah single-handedly sunk a Corsair Skirmisher. There is something so satisfying about being able to pay resources for exactly the attack strength necessary to defeat a foe. The moment feels all the more epic when that enemy happens to be a ship filled to the gills with blood-thirsty Corsairs.

While the deck is by no means a powerhouse, it worked quite well once it had a few rounds to setup. Thanks to Na’asiyah’s efficiency and the might of Éowyn with Herugrim, this hero lineup can actually handle itself admirably in combat. It also provided much needed early game questing while Stephen’s Dwarving digging deck was locating it’s pipes and pick-axes.

I will continue to tweak around the edges, but the heart of this deck is solid. I need to craft a sideboard for multiplayer, but overall I am quite pleased with how it performed. It’s a sign of a healthy card pool when you can have success using a deck which lacks the more obvious power-hero choices. Las chingonas no tienen miedo!

Posted in Alternate-Art, Austin LotR Group, Community, Control, Deck Lists, Fun, Live Play, Photo, Playtesting, Strategy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Poll Results: Where Should the Game Go?

The announcement of a digital variant of the game came as a fascinating surprise. It’s not often that my day job as a programming bear is directly relevant to the game, but I have many years of experience with complex software projects. I empathize with the developers who are attempting to translate a mature and complex card game like this one into a more streamlined digital form. As the streams have elucidated, the digital game will not be a direct translation of the card game.

An apt comparison would be the way that Philip K. Dick’s classic “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” inspired a very different film called Blade Runner. Both were excellent creations, but in very different ways for very different reasons. This translation comes as little surprise, given the usability and complexity constraints of a digital platform which simply do not exist with physical cards on a table. Still, I suspect some players will have a bit of an adjustment period adapting to what in truth is a distinct game with a deceptively familiar name.

The poll has been open for months now, with several hundred votes tallied, so it well past time to close it up and take a look at the community consensus. With 139 votes and 20% of the total responses, many players wanted the game to continue with deluxe boxes, cycles, and nightmare releases just as it has up to this point. With the announcement of the Wilds of Rhovanion and its accompanying Ered Mithrin cycle, it looks like many players will be getting exactly what they wanted.

The resurgence of Beornings in the game will not go without a comment from the hall. Not only is Grimbeorn the Old one of the most exciting heroes to be spoiled in quite some time. Moreover, the archetype hinted at from cards like Beorn’s Rage looks both interesting and effective.

Outside of Bard the Bowman, Rivendell Blade, and a few seldom-used cards, reducing enemy stats is not something that has seen much use in the game. As a huge fan of Beorn hero, I especially like the way these effects do not target the player’s characters. Because they target the enemies instead, they remain effective when the defending or attacking character might be immune to any kind of stat boosting effect. When supplemented with cards like Horn’s Cry and Keep Watch, this nascent archetype already shows promise.

The rest of the voting reflects considerable interest in adaptions of the appendices and the Silmarillion. We can only hope that recent negotiations between Amazon and those with controlling interest of Tolkien’s works are a more general reflection of a loosening of licensing constraints. As a huge fan of the Silmarillion, The Lost Tales, and most especially The Children of Húrin, I appreciate Ian’s fantastic work on his First Age custom expansion. Unfortunately, many players won’t play custom scenarios which are not released through official channels. Ideally, FFG acquires permission to adapt this material and Caleb can work with Ian on making these wonderful stories official.

Thanks to all who participated, and please be sure to take a look at the latest poll. Hopefully, within the next month we will have the new deluxe expansion in our furry paws. Happy travels in Rhovanion!

Future Option Votes Percentage
More Cycles and Nightmare (no major changes) 139 20%
Appendix-based Sets (Scouring of the Shire, Battle of Dale, etc.) 131 19%
Compatible Silmarillion (some existing cards, e.g. Galadriel, can be used) 95 14%
Saga-Cycle POD (Campaign, encounter and quest cards added to existing cycles to provide a narrative) 87 13%
Revised Core Set (some different cards mixed with old cards, errata included, all using existing rules) 76 11%
Core Set 1.5 (new rules and new cards, some old cards are banned, but most existing cards are compatible with new rules) 55 8%
Player Card-only POD (Thematic player card PODs packs with new player cards and possibly alt art, NO quest or encounter cards) 31 4%
Core Set 2.0 (new rules and new cards, not backward compatible with existing rules) 30 4%
Stand-alone Silmarillion (not compatible with existing cards) 26 4%
Nightmare 2.0 POD (Same rules, but even more difficult cards to challenge the Seastanians) 5 1%
Posted in Community, Discussion, First Age, Fun, History, Nightmare Mode, Opinion, Poll Results, Software, Spoilers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Deck: ¡Las Chingonas!

I am not a society person. The societies to which I have been exposed seemed to me largely machines for the suppression of women. Society is very important in Mexico. Where women do not even have the vote.

– All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy

One of the most obnoxious tropes in modern fantasy writing is the demure female characters which rely on their male counterparts – sometimes to the point of outright dependence. This makes characters like Éowyn all the more important. She provides a vital contrast to the lazy and even misogynistic portrayals which followed Tolkien. While she might seem like a relatively minor character in the context of the story, what she represents exists at the core of the themes in The Lord of the Rings.

The power of the individual to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and affect world-altering changes is a recurring theme of Tolkien’s legendarium. Perhaps no character personifies this more than Éowyn. Told to stay behind and wait while the warriors of her people fought an existential conflict against a terrible enemy, she was unwilling to be a prisoner of her circumstances. Instead, she took control of her destiny and, along with the Hobbit Merry, helped to change the tide of the war.

By defeating the Witch-king of Angmar – an enemy who most thought invincible – she introduced a powerful weapon for the armies of the West: fear. Up to that point, the armies of Mordor were filled with hubris. While they knew nothing of the Rings of Power, his armies were sure of the indomitable strength of their master. They entered battle with Gondor with a certainty of victory. Seeing their general, and the mightiest among them, slain at the hands of their enemies, the seeds of doubt crept into their minds.

Mrs. Beorn is from the not-so-far-away land of Mexico, so the Hall is always filled with more languages than just my native tongue. I learned Spanish in my formative years, but it wasn’t until meeting my wife that I had the joy of learning the richly idiosyncratic treasures which every language hides, like so much buried treasure. One of my favorite words from Spanish inspired the name of this deck.

The challenge with idiomatic expressions is that, as much as you might try, there is no perfect translation. Often, subtle but important differences in cultural context mean that a direct mapping for a concept simply does not exist. The word chingona is a slang term which roughly translates as “badass woman”, but this casual rendering fails to do it justice. A fierce spirit, unwilling to be cowed by her circumstances and the expectations of others, the word contains volumes of meaning.

I made this deck as a homage to all of the chingonas in my life; women whose perseverance and determination make them exemplars for all who meet them. The world is changed by those with the audacity to believe that it can be changed. This mentality, and willingness to take risks in service of your beliefs is what embodies a hero. We can all take inspiration from their example.

This deck is filled with all sorts of fun interactions. It might not seem like much at first glance, but it can end up being quite powerful. With a good draw and few rounds to setup it can handle all aspects of the game with ease. While this may seem odd to say about a deck which starts at 23 threat, but the key is to get into secrecy as quickly as possible.

The ideal opening hand will have Elrond’s Counsel and Resourceful. You can drop your threat to 20 during the first round and then attach Resourceful to Na’asiyah. Obviously you won’t be able to rely on the ideal opening hand every game, but we have many options to help us get setup. Galadriel‘s ability not only helps you draw into the cards you are looking for, but it keeps your threat low in the mean time.

Beyond this, The Galadhrim’s Greeting and Island Amid Perils can help you drop your threat low enough to play Resourceful. I particularly enjoy using Island Amid Perils to return a copy of Galadriel’s Handmaiden or Galadhrim Minstrel to my hand. A nice side effect of all of the threat reduction is that we should have time to setup without having to worry about most enemies. Nenya along with Éowyn‘s 4 willpower means that this deck is excellent at questing, even before allies enter the picture.

Thanks to Galadriel’s passive effect, allies are ready to help with combat the round they enter play. Other than Dúnedain Hunter, the allies don’t have any relevant combat stats but that doesn’t stop them from being used for chump blocking. Silvan Refugee is an especially good choice for this unfortunate role.

The allies are just here for support, the real strength of this deck is in the three strong female heroes. Éowyn gets Herugrim and Snowmane (or Magic Ring/Unexpected Courage) and serves as our primary quester. Once she has the sword and readying she can use Battle-fury and Quick Strike, and her once-per-game ability to kill an engaged enemy. Just one example of a fun combo in this deck is to use Dúnedain Hunter to engage an enemy during the planning phase. Then, during the quest phase you can exhaust Galadriel and Nenya to give +4 willpower to Éowyn. Finally, you can play Battle-fury (and pay the kicker) to attack the engaged enemy for 9 and then commit 8 willpower to the quest. This is clearly a complex combination, but the various pieces can still be useful on their own.

As for defense, Na’asiyah with resourceful is a great starting point. Raiment of War of war is the perfect supplement to her already solid combat stats. Likewise, Captain of Gondor is excellent once Na’asiyah has readying. Most of the Tactics cards in this deck only cost 1 resource, so you should typically be able avoid spending resources from Na’asish’s pool on Attachments and Events. Our only Tactics ally doesn’t actually have a cost, this deck is not hindered by her passive effect, in any case.

It’s a quirky deck, but one that highlights the power of these unique women in many interesting ways. I hope that readers enjoy playing the deck as much as I enjoyed building it. If you have a chance, thank a chingona who inspires you. We all owe much to those who have made sacrifices in our names.

¡Las Chingonas!

Hero (3)
Éowyn (The Flame of the West)
Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
Na’asiyah (A Storm on Cobas Haven)

Ally (14)
2x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
2x Galadhrim Minstrel (Trouble in Tharbad)
2x Galadhrim Weaver (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
2x Silvan Refugee (The Drúadan Forest)

Attachment (17)
1x Captain of Gondor (The Antlered Crown)
2x Herugrim (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
1x Mirror of Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Nenya (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Raiment of War (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
1x Snowmane (The Land of Shadow)
2x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (18)
3x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Battle-fury (The Drowned Ruins)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Feint (Core Set)
2x Island Amid Perils (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
2x Quick Strike (Core Set)
2x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Double Back (Escape from Mount Gram)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Crossings of Poros

Sideboard

Ally (5)
1x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Galadhon Archer (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
2x Galadhrim Healer (The Dread Realm)

Attachment (3)
2x Lembas (Trouble in Tharbad)
1x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)

Event (7)
2x Children of the Sea (The Blood of Gondor)
2x O Elbereth! Gilthonial! (Shadow and Flame)
3x Unseen Strike (The Redhorn Gate)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Posted in Combo, Control, Deck Building, Deck Lists, Fun, History, Lord of the Rings, Lore, Strategy, Theme, Tolkien | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re Having Cubs!

April 1st 2018

With much excitement, and a bit of nervousness, I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Beorn is pregnant with cubs! We’re obviously pleased as bees in honey here at the Hall, and I am sure to be a proud poppa bear. It only sweetens things, being able to share this momentous news with everyone. Now that we know for sure, we can barely wait for the big day.

Grimbeorn the YoungAlthough the average it two cubs, we’re hoping for triplets. The first born will obviously be named Grimbeorn the Young, but we can’t decide on names for any cubs who come after him. So I wanted to reach out to the fine community of ours for help on this momentous decision. What should we name our little Beornlings?

If we have a girl, I’m quite partial to the name Ursa Minor. As much as it tickles my fancy, that name does also crease my furry brow with lines of apprehension. What will we do if she ends up taking after my great aunt, Björnhild? There is naught more nonsensical than calling a 600 pound child “minor”. No, I think that our search for suitable names needs must continue.

On the other paw, we are both silently hoping that our cubs take more after Mrs. Beorn and her kin. Bjarnfríður, undoubtedly the most famousest of den mothers in my wife’s illustrious clan would serve as a perfect role model for our offspring. Now old tales are tall tales, or so say the wise. All the same, if even one whisker of the stories about old móðir Bjarny are true then that is a legacy we all should aspire to continuate.

April 1st 2018As the story goes, or at least the version that we prefer – and I still tell around the fire after two or three mugs of mead; to frighten the nieces and nephews, I’m sure… – where was I?… apologies… an old bear gets fuzz in his brains ever and anon. Yes, the old apocrypha claims that móðir Bjarnfríður, newly sowed with two cubs of her own, came upon three trolls in The Wilds of Rhovanion. They say it happened one fine spring evening, much like tonight.

Like any good mother, she was terrible in her wroth to defend her young. So fearsome was her countenance, that one of three immediately turned to stone of the fright, even though the sun was long in slumber and the moon shone bright and high above. In a moment, the other two trolls would wish that they had shared their brother’s ignominious fate. With a cry that was heard clear as Elf-song on the other side of the Misty Mountains, Bjarny the Berserker tore off the arms of one troll and, using them as cudgels, beat the last woeful troll to death with them.

What I’m saying is, in a world filled with orcs, corrupted wizards, and monsters in ever guise, I want to teach our cubs not to take sass from anyone.

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