In the latest poll results, readers voted Boromir’s Sacrifice as their favorite epic moment in The Lord of the Rings story. This tragic moment has always captured my imagination and drawn me into Tolkien’s mythic tale of heroism. This deck is inspired by Boromir’s brave redemption.
For me, one of the best things about this game is being able to build a very thematic deck that is also effective. I have been playing my Ride Them Down! deck recently in an attempt to get The Hammer-Stroke and Boromir combo to work. This deck can be seen as a descendant of that deck, with changes and improvements and more of a focus on the use of Boromir’s ability.
Trying to play The Hammer-stroke and Thicket of Spears together has been a painful reminder of how resource-poor the Tactics sphere is. In particular, Thicket of Spears is a very difficult card to play. Because you have to pay for it from three different heroes’s resource pools, it makes the most sense to play this card in a mono-Tactics deck. Unfortunately, mono-Tactics has almost no resource acceleration. Horn of Gondor can offset the loss of allies, particularly eagles, but it only really accelerates resource in a multiplayer games where other players allies are regularly leaving play.
Alternately, you could include Song of Battle, Narvi’s Belt or A Good Harvest to help play Thicket of Spears in a deck with non-Tactics heroes, but that has its own problems. A multiple card combo with several dependencies is not easy to setup. Support of the Eagles needs at least one Eagle ally with good attack and defense. Together, The Hammer-stroke and Thicket of Spears cost a total of 5 resources. Added to the 3 resource cost of Support of the Eagles and whatever allies you play, this combo is very difficult to pay for in a mono-Tactics deck.
This deck addresses that issue by including the Balin to give us access to the Leadership sphere. This allows Boromir to assume the title of Steward of Gondor. Balin also gives us the ability to cancel a shadow effect, which can be important now that we are not using Thicket of Spears. Feint can be used to prevent attacks from larger enemies. Boromir will handle medium-sized and small enemies with help from Gondorian Shield and Support of the Eagles.
Additionally, Eagle allies can be used as chump blockers. This last strategy is particularly effective if you already have Support of the Eagles attached to Boromir and an Eagles of the Misty Mountains in play. At that point, sacrificing Vassal of the Windlord or Winged Guardian will ultimately make Eagles of the Misty Mountains more powerful. With a bit of luck, it is not too difficult to have an Eagles of the Misty Mountains with 6 or 7 attack. This can make Support of the Eagles a tremendously powerful card.
Many synergies from the last version of this deck have been kept. Trollshaw Scout and Rivendell Blade are a potent combination – especially useful for dealing with enemies with high defense strength. For scenarios with swarms of small enemies, Rain of Arrows can be quite useful. Gondorian Shield is incredibly efficient when attached to Boromir, allowing him to safely defend multiple attacks. The Eagles Are Coming! will help us fetch Eagle allies to setup super-Boromir.
In addition to the much-need resource acceleration, Leadership gives the deck a few useful tricks. Errand-rider allows us to move resources to where they are needed (typically from Balin to Boromir, but not always). In addition, the Errand-rider makes a good chump blocker if we need to buy time while setting up the combo. The fact that he has two hit points is important, it means he is less likely to be killed by direct-damage shadow effects and gives you a bit of meat shield for archery damage.
King Under the Mountain addresses another major weakness of Tactics, a lack of card drawing effects. True, Foe-hammer pairs well with Háma, but this relies on having a weapon in play. King Under the Mountain does not depend on any other cards, and provides exactly the kind of consistent card drawing that a combo deck needs. For example, we don’t need two copies of The Hammer-stroke. Once we have one copy in hand, we can discard any other copy to King Under the Mountain. Likewise with cards like Rain of Arrows that we don’t need in multiples.
Lastly, we have the classic Sneak Attack and Gandalf combination. This can be used to help supplement the card drawing from King Under the Mountain and The Eagles Are Coming!. In cases where there is one powerful boss enemy with a large pool of hit points, Gandalf can help whittle away at that enemy before we use The Hammer-stroke.
Gandalf also makes a great blocker on the round that this deck engages everything. If he is not needed as a defender, his stats can certainly help with questing or attacking. Obviously, using Boromir’s ability frequently can be quite dangerous to your threat level. Fortunately, this deck is not usually worried with having engage enemies, being designed to kill even the most massive enemies. Even so, Gandalf is always an option if we need to lower our threat.
Vassal of the Windlord x3
Winged Guardian x3
Trollshaw Scout x3
Eagles of the Misty Mountains x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Gondorian Fire x2
Gondorian Shield x3
Rivendell Blade x2
King Under The Mountain x3
Steward of Gondor x3
Support of the Eagles x3
The Eagles Are Coming! x3
Sneak Attack x3
Rain of Arrows x2
The Hammer-stroke x3