During the interminable wait for the Against the Shadow cycle to begin, I’ve been replaying the Heirs of Numenor scenarios. Rather than use the standard hyper-aggressive decks (Dwarves, Beorn, Elrond, etc.) I’ve been looking at different approaches that can also be successful. For me, part of the appeal to deck-building is using overlooked cards to make unique designs. This deck is all about taking some familiar cards, in combination with some rarely used cards, to create a lock on the staging area. By killing and disabling enemies as they enter the staging area, this seemingly weak deck can successfully navigate challenging quests like Into Ithilien.
Everyone is familiar with Háma’s card-recursion abilities, with most decks using Feint to ensure that at least one enemy cannot attack each round. This deck takes a more proactive approach. By attaching Dunedain Cache, Háma gains Ranged, which allows him to use Hands Upon the Bow to attack the staging area. With a deck filled with Eagle allies, Support of the Eagles ensures that Háma will kill any enemy (except the mighty Mumak) that enters the staging area. Ranger Spikes and Feint help slow the initial onslaught, and Hails of Stones is another great option for clearing the staging area, once we get an army of cheap allies into play. Háma is not limited to returning Hands Upon The Bow after he attacks, multiple uses of The Eagles Are Coming! is a great way to fill our hand with helpful eagle allies. Feint can also obviously be used in the traditional style if we need to just hold off an attacking enemy until we can kill it.
Eagles are particularly effective in Battle and Siege quests as they provide high attack or defense for a low cost. Eagles of the Misty Mountains are the most important ally in this deck as they provide insurance for your low-hit point allies. If you are questing in a Battle with all of your eagles and a Blocking Wargs kills your Vassals of the Windlord, the dead Vassals can become attachments on the Eagles. Not only will this help offset the lost attack for the quest, but it will also increase the defense of the Eagles of the Misty Mountain for subsequent Siege quests. It is relatively easy with this deck to get an Eagles of the Misty Mountains that has 5 attack and defense, which ensures that Háma (with Support of the Eagles) can kill anything that enters the staging area. Using Hands Upon the Bow proactively like this is particularly effective with enemies like the Haradrim Elite that will try to attack immediately when they enter play.
Theodred and Bifur are here for support. Not only do they help out with Battle and Siege questing, respectively, but they both have resource smoothing abilities that supplement the extra resources from Steward of Gondor. We want to provide Háma with maximum resources to pay for events and the more expensive allies. Once Steward and Dunedain Cahce are in play, Theodred should usually always send his resource to Bifur.
Lastly, the deck is rounded out with card draw, not only with the aforementioned The Eagles Are Coming!, but Gleowine and Master of the Forge provide it more consistently. Radagast the Brown serves many roles, providing a bit of extra resource generation as well as some healing and a bit of much-needed willpower for the few traditional quest stages. The early game is critical in each of the Heirs of Numenor scenarios, so we have some cheap allies that will serve as chump blockers. The basic strategy of this deck is to stall until we can setup Háma with the necessary attachments to patrol the staging area. Cram allows Háma to take multiple actions, whether killing multiple enemies in the staging area or using the defense boost of Support of the Eagles to block one of the bigger enemies.
Snowbourn Scout x3
Vassal of the Windlord x3
Winged Guardian x3
Erebor Hammersmith x2
Master of the Forge x3
Descendant of Thorondor x2
Eagles of the Misty Mountains x3