The basic idea of these decks is to use powerful heroes that either do not exhaust to perform actions, or have abilities and card synergies that allow them to ready. In either case, you have heroes with good stats taking multiple actions each round. Each deck is strong enough to stand on its own, but they are even better when used together.
The most critical cards for the first deck are Steward of Gondor and Song of Battle. The Steward goes on Prince Imrahil and obviously provides resources to pay for the two wizards and the other expensive cards. Errand-Riders can send resources to Glorfindel or to Dain in the other deck, but sadly, not to poor Beorn. Between the two decks there are 4 copies of Song of Battle, this is because Prince Imrahil absolutely needs to produce Tactics resources to help pay for eagles. Radagast can also help, to an extent, but once you have Steward of Gondor and Song of Battle on Imrahil, the deck will really get rolling.
The creatures in the first deck will be leaving play frequently. This not only fuels Horn of Gondor, but it allows Prince Imrahil to ready after committing to the quest. Sneak attack and Gandalf is a powerful combo in it’s own right, but one that works even better when you have so much synergy with other cards like Prince Imrahil and Horn of Gondor.
With Light of Valinor, Glorfindel does not exhaust to quest. Beorn, my namesake, does not exhaust to defend. With all of the sneak attacks and discarded allies, Imrahil should be readying most rounds. The dwarf deck also includes Nori, Hardy Leadership and Self Preservation. With these out you can defend multiple times with Beorn and have Dori take the damage from one of the attacks. After so much combat, Beorn will often get tired and want to take a nap. Landroval can bring Beorn back into play after he gets bored of killing orcs and falls asleep.
Radagast is included in the first deck to help pay for, and heal, all of the creatures. With ten eagles and 3 horses, there are plenty of animals for the Brown Wizard to help tend. Radagast also provides some help with the quest when need be. Bofur is another card that works perfectly with these decks. Not only does he quest for 3 when Dain is ready, but with Horn of Gondor out he pays for himself, and readies Prince Imrahil in the bargain.
After attacking or defending, respectively, the Vassals and Winged Guardians will leave play. They not only fuel Horn of Gondor but, with Eagles of the Misty Mountains in play, they provide a boost to their eagle brethren. The Riddermark’s Finest can also be discarded to help remove any pesky locations in the staging area. Lastly, Descendant of Thorondor is an amazing chump blocker, in cases where you don’t have the chance to sneak attack him into play. Not only do you get a resource back from Horn of Gondor, but you get to deal 2 damage to an enemy in the staging area.
The Dwarf deck is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to questing. With Dain and Faramir, you can send all of your cheap dwarf allies questing with +2 willpower. With the possible exception of Heirs of Numenor, there are very few scenarios that should cause the deck problems when it comes to questing. Also, Dain along with Erebor Battle Masters means that this deck should be able to hold its own in most combat situations.
The only thing that the Dwarf deck might need help with is resources, and this is where the animal deck can help. If Gloin takes some early damage he will generate resources, but the Dwarf deck may need more help to get out its more expensive allies. The creature deck can help with resources in various ways. Any of the heroes can send a resource to Bifur, once per round. If need be, the Horn of Gondor can be attached to Dain. Lastly, excess resources from Steward of Gondor can be sent by Errand-Riders to any of the Dwarf heroes.
Healing Herbs and Cram are included, and can easily be used multiple times with Erebor Hammersmith. Lastly, the deck is rounded out with some enemy control in Ranger Spikes and Forest Snare, in case you find yourself facing anything too big for Dain to handle safely. With so much willpower, the Dwarf deck can really be played like a rush deck, where you simply try to complete each quest stage as quickly as possible so that you don’t have to deal with the staging area as much.
Deck #1: Eagles, and Horses, and Bears, Oh My!
Vassal of the Windlord x3
Winged Guardian x3
Watcher of the Bruinen x3
The Riddermark’s Finest x3
Bofur (TRG) x1
Eagles of the Misty Mountains x2
Descendant of Thorondor x1
Gandalf (Core) x3
Deck #2: The Dwarves and Faramir