Deck: Secrets of Erebor

Ever since they spoiled the new Pippin hero in the upcoming Encounter at Amon Dîn adventure pack, I’ve been thinking about how to make an effective secrecy deck. After they printed all of the secrecy cards in Dwarrowdelf, I dabbled in making a such a deck, but was never satisfied with the results. Starting with less than 3 heroes, and (unless you’re using Spirit Glorfindel) heroes with the lower starts that accompany a lower starting threat, is a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to good deck building.

Coming back to this problem, I have come to the conclusion that secrecy, with the current card pool, is not very viable as a top-tier concept for a solo deck. Seemingly every scenario has some low-threat enemies, which means that even with a starting threat of less than 20, you still have a very good chance of engaging with enemies on the first turn. When you are starting with less than 3 heroes and at least one of them needs to be questing, this can be a deal-breaker in the critical early turns of a scenario.

With this in mind, I have looked at making a secrecy deck that will act as a support deck to be paired with at least one other deck. With a starting threat of 16 this deck is able to take advantage of cards like Resourceful and Timely Aid to offset the loss of 1 resource that comes from only playing 2 heroes. Additionally, using Bifur as one of my heroes means that the other deck can share their resources with me, which is especially useful once they get their Steward/Horn of Gondor going and there are resources to spare. By no means is this strategy perfect, but I think that by focusing on supporting another, more traditional deck, a secrecy deck can be successful in many scenarios.


Secrets of Erebor

Allies: 22
Attachments: 13
Events: 15

Between We Are Not Idle, Daeron’s Runes, Legacy of Durin, and a single copy of Gleowine, there is a tremendous amount of card draw in this deck. We want to draw as much of the deck as we can during the first few rounds in order to take advantage of secrecy cards while our threat is still less than 21. Resourceful is essential to offset the dearth or resources that comes from only running two heroes, and you may even want to mulligan if it is not in the opening hand. Timely Aid works as a great way to get allies cheaply in the early game and Out of the Wild is perfect for removing treacheries or enemies that would cause problems for a deck with fewer characters.

Once you’ve built up a decent base of allies, or if you get early damage on Gloin, you should go ahead and play Resourceful on other player’s heroes. Likewise, Cram, Dunedain Mark and Dunedain Warning do not need to be played on your own heroes if they make more sense elsewhere. With Henemarth Riversong, the Longbeard Elders, and two copies of Needful to Know, we have several ways to peek at the top of the encounter deck. This works really well with Out of the Wild so that you know what you will be getting rid of, and Needful to Know on a high-threat encounter card also allows you to lower your threat in a pinch to get back within secrecy threshold.

Because of the number of dwarf allies in this deck, it probably makes the most sense to pair it with another deck that features Dain Ironfoot. A Tactics/Leadership deck that includes Gimli and Thalin to help deal with enemies would work well, I think. This deck obviously is not designed as a swiss-army deck that can handle any situation, but that style of deck really doesn’t make sense with secrecy.

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5 Responses to Deck: Secrets of Erebor

  1. shipprekk says:

    Between your blog and Tales, I’m wanting to go back and try an encounter manipulation-type deck. Seems like this archetype is a good one just for getting cards out early so that you could toy around with the encounter cards from the get-go.

  2. Beorn says:

    I agree, the crazier the encounter gets in these new expansions (I’m looking at you “Blocking Wargs”), the more an encounter manipulation deck makes sense. That’s not to say that this deck would stand a chance in hell against Into Ithilien, but I’m hoping there will be more encounter- and enemy shenanigans cards as they add more support for the hobbit trait. If you are cool with being a bit less thematic, you can always replace Bifur with Denethor in this deck and truly go all-in on encounter deck manipulation. Denethor with Out of the Wild and Needful to Know would be an interesting take on deck-building: attack the encounter deck before it attacks you.

  3. lleimmoen says:

    and sorry to post this for the second time but now finally in the correct place, hopefully. I am basically stating my experience. I too have often found this to be a lesser strategy. It has slowly become better but it still lacks cards, especially allies, I find.
    The only serious and continuous success I had was with Spirit Glorfindel. He seems to be the key right now for I fell 3 hero will always be better than 2 hero, unless some game-changing cards show up.
    I was often thinking of using Théodred also as I find Timely Aid perhaps the most valuable secrecy card to date – or the most fun. And Théodred is really great hero also.
    Still, the best deck I have come up with was with Bifur and Denethor (for solo play, mind). It is a bit ironic as the only secrecy card I am using (though three copies of, of course) is Risk Some Light. As we know, the chances of losing the game early are often greater than any other time. Thus, having Risk Some Light on round 1 when you can play it for free is the key. More so, it allows you to save Denethor of combat on round 1 since you should have a good card previewed already, unless you are unlucky.
    I have beaten most of the current quests soundly with this line-up. Massing at Osgiliath, the quest I play (and have played) more than any other is certainly easiest with this specific deck.
    However, the new quests with the battle and siege mechanics are very tough like that. And I do not see any card coming soon to change that. I can perhaps beat Pelargir once in two games but have very little chance against the rest.

  4. Pingback: Deck: Secrets of Erebor 2 | Hall of Beorn

  5. Valeria says:

    A late (and just a small) nitpick: sadly, you can’t play Resourceful on other heroes as you suggested =(

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