The latest saga expansion, The Hobbit: On The Doorstep, has given us Bard the Bowmen and his legendary Great Yew Bow. Because the effect on the bow is a combat action, it is not the easiest thing to put it to effective use. Included in a heavy tactics deck with high starting threat, Bard will not have a chance to show off his archery skills, as most of the enemies will be engaging immediately.
This deck is designed to highlight the strength of Bard the Bowman. With 12 cards that lower your threat and a relatively low starting threat of 25, it should be possible to snipe most enemies in the staging area long before you ever have to face them. Another important aspect of Bard is that all of his stats are good. Thanks to the action advantage of Unexpected Courage and Westfold Horse-Breaker, we will be taking advantage of these good stats by having Bard Take multiple actions each round. Because Great Yew Bow is not unique, but only restricted, we will even have the opportunity to attach two of them to Bard. With two bows and an unexpected courage, Bard will often be able to kill multiple enemies in a round.
In order to ensure that we can draw the cards necessary to transform Bard into an uber-hunter, we will be taking advantage of Imladris Stargazer. Foe-Hammer provides card draw, along with Bofur who is great for finding our weapons. Zigil Miner makes an appearance as a way to get rid of extra cards and help pay for the few expensive cards. Duplicate weapons in our hand can always be ditched to help Eowyn quest harder. Between Eowyn and Glorfindel, we will be committing at least 7 willpower to the quest, from the start of the game. If for some reason we aren’t able to find one of the three copies of Great Yew Bow, Hands Upon the Bow can be used as a single-use alternative. Worst case scenario, we can always engage an enemy and throw a chump blocker at it. The deck has enough attack strength that with a concerted effort, it should be possible to kill most enemies in a single attack.
Northern Tracker will help clear any locations that we don’t want to travel to. The overall strategy will be to power through the quest and let Bard kill any revealed enemies before they engage. In more enemy-heavy quests Arwen can give Bard or Gandalf an extra defense then everyone can help out on the counter-attack. The Northern Trackers also make stout defenders when there are no locations for them to scout. Even Zigil Miner can help out on the attack, when he is not busy digging through our deck.