Deck: Aggro Boromir

Boromir in Osgiliath

After my recent screenshot of a solo victory against The Dunland Trap, some readers have voiced interest in seeing the deck list that I used. The Dunland Trap is a very unique scenario. Many decks which can dominate against more traditional scenarios will find that they struggle, especially with the trap that the Dunlendings spring in stage 2.

Dain IronfootLosing all by one ally can stop many decks in their tracks. Dwarves, Outlands, and even Secrecy decks can all suffer from such a massive loss of numbers. With a constant wave of Dunlendings, eventually joined by their Chief, this scenario requires a deck that can defend and counter-attack efficiently. Since many decks rely on allies for numerical superiority, this scenario is tailor-made to challenge the meta-game.

AsfalothLikewise, for decks which rely on powerful mounts like Asfaloth or Rohan Warhorse, the second stage can be difficult. Still other decks may rely on powerful armor and weapons to bolster the combat effectiveness of their heroes. Since all of these attachments are discarded before the showdown with Chief Turch, these decks will find themselves vulnerable at the worst possible time.

As I have played this scenario more, I have come to realize that one solution to the puzzle of The Dunland Trap is a style of play which I rarely employ. In a recent poll, 8% of voters said that they prefer an aggressive strategy, with high threat heroes and an emphasis on combat. Personally, I have tended to favor the more deliberate strategies; utilizing low-threat heroes and a less directly confrontational approach.

One of the great things about the newer scenarios is the way that they force us out of our comfort zone. When I first started playing this game seriously, I was always very mindful to have a starting threat below 30. In some ways, 30 threat is a magic number. Early scenarios like Journey Along the Anduin will punish a deck that starts with high threat. Traditional wisdom has long been to pair one powerful, “leader” hero with a few weaker, supplemental heroes, so that your starting threat is somewhere in the mid to high 20’s.

Traditional wisdom exists for a reason, and there are still many scenarios where a high starting threat is a bad idea. However, The Dunland Trap is a different kind of animal entirely. A starting threat of 32 might seem suicidal in some quests, but here it makes all kinds of sense. For one thing, having enemies engage is not a bad thing. Not only do we need enemies to engage in order to complete stage 3 and win the scenario, but we don’t really want to leave them in the staging area in the early rounds. Sure, we might get away with leaving one or even two enemies waiting for a little while, but the average threat value is rather high in this scenario, and we risk getting staging area locked with some very unpleasant locations.

BeornWith that in mind, this deck is designed to aggressively engage enemies and finish the off as quickly as possible. Éowyn is our dedicated quester, and she is helped by some inexpensive and effective Spirit allies (technically, the Envoy is neutral). Beorn and Boromir handle combat, and are two of the best heroes in the game at this task. The idea is to be assertive in keeping the staging area clear, so that by the time Chief Invincible shows up, we can deal with him without distractions. As a bear, and fearless killing machine, Beorn is always ready for a fight. As a man, brave though he is, Boromir will need a bit more time to get fully prepared for battle.

The only attachment that will be lost in the second round is Gondorian Shield, still it is often useful to play this card early. Helping to keep Boromir undamaged is essential for our late-game strategy, especially if we get caught without A Test of Will to cancel Low on Provisions. Besides, by the time the shield is discarded, Boromir will often have gained the Support of the Eagles, making additional armor unnecessary.

Eagles of the Misty MountainsThe idea is to spend a few rounds (but not too many  – our starting threat is high), in the first stage, loading up Boromir with attachments and getting an Eagles of the Misty Mountains in play. Try not to sacrifice other Eagles allies until you have one, use other allies for this purpose. In one game, I managed to have two copes of Vassal of the Windlord and one Winged Guarded, joined by an Eagle of the Misty Mountains. When I arrive at stage 2, I of course chose to keep the Eagles of the Misty Mountains. This allowed me to actually gain something from the sacrifice of the other eagles – my one remaining ally had 5 attack and 5 defense.

Non-Eagle allies should not be played needlessly in the early game. If there are a lot of locations in play, feel free to drop Silvan Refugees and Arwen to help with questing, but try to save Tactics resources on Boromir as much as possible. In many games, he will have Gondorian Fire and Blood of Númenor by the later stages, just in time to deal with more Dunlendings and their Chief.

There are a few other subtleties to this deck worth mentioning. The Eagles Are Coming! is a fantastic way to get Eagles of the Misty Mountain in hand as quickly as possible. It has the added advantage that is searches and adds Eagles card to your hand. Since this does not count as drawing a card, it does not trigger any of the nasty forced effects in this scenario. It is worth reiterating, wait for The Eagles of the Misty Mountains, they are your ticket to being able to survive the onslaught of stages 2 and 3.

Minas-Tirith-LampwrightMinas Tirith Lampwright was a surprisingly important piece of this deck. The Dunland Trap has quite a bit of surge. The key to the Lampwright was not so much canceling surge (since you have to guess), but rather avoiding the worst case scenario. Think of him as surge insurance. Think about the one card that would hurt you most in a given situation. Would an ill-timed treachery bring your heroes to their knees? Name treachery. Would one more enemy be too much for Boromir and Beorn to handle (unlikely as that sounds)? Name enemy. Are there already too many troublesome locations in the staging are? Name location. The more prevalent that surge becomes, the more useful Minas Tirith Lampwright is.

One last note is to be very careful of questing with just Eowyn when you don’t have A Test of Will in hand. I learned this the hard way when a game that seemed well in hand suddenly turned disastrous thanks to In Need of Rest. On the third stage, this card is an auto-loss if you can’t cancel it – unless you only have one or two time counters left. Because you have to remove time counters to win the game, and even a solo game will have 5 time counters on stage 3, there is no way that a hero will survive this card.

The trick that I used was this: stop questing with Éowyn if you don’t have cancellation. With combat well in hand, I would send Silvan Refugees, Envoys, Bofur and my Eagles of the Misty Mountains to the quest. Because the card only targets a hero, the effect completely fizzles if you do not have Éowyn committed to the quest. Knowing about the treacheries in a scenario as challenging as The Dunland Trap is an essential part of any strategy.

I hope that readers enjoy playing this deck as much as I did.

Boromir (Core)BeornEowyn

Beorn (THOHaUH)
Boromir (TDM)
Éowyn (Core)

Allies: 25
Vassal of the Windlord (TDM) x3
Silvan Refugee (TDF) x3
Minas Tirith Lampwright (EaAD) x3
Envoy of Pelargir (HoN) x3
Winged Guardian (THfG) x3
Arwen Undómiel (TWitW) x3
Bofur (TRG) x2
Eagles of the Misty Mountains (RtM) x3
Gandalf (Core) x2

Attachments: 10
Blood of Númenor (HoN) x2
Gondorian Fire (AoO) x2
Gondorian Shield (TSF) x3
Support of the Eagles (RtM) x3

Events: 15
The Eagles Are Coming! (THfG) x3
Feint (Core) x3
Quick Strike (Core) x3
A Test of Will (Core) x3
Hasty Stroke (Core) x3

This entry was posted in Deck Building, Deck Lists, Strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Deck: Aggro Boromir

  1. Tracker1 says:

    Nice deck and analysis of the scenario. Is losing to threating out with to much Boromir a problem?

    • Beorn says:

      So far, no. I did get to 49 one time, but I won that turn. The key is not to use Boromir’s readying too much. Also Gandalf should always be used to lower your threat, when he shows up. If you play aggressively once Boromir is setup, you should be able to stay under 50.

      It is absolutely key to clear The Old South Road on the first turn, so I usually send Boromir and Éowyn, as well as discarding a card to boost her willpower. If you can get a first turn ally with willpower, send it as well. Once you clear the active location, you will only be discarding your hand every other round, which should gives you enough breathing room to get Boromir setup. Bad luck on the encounter draw can get you location locked, or killed by treacheries, but it will be very unlikely for this deck to fall in combat.

  2. Thomas says:

    Thanks for posting the deck. I am going to try it out.

  3. Eucatastrophe says:

    Great deck! Question: would you put the fun factor playing outside of your play style on par with playing in your play style? In other words, was this “I just have to beat the quest,” or “Wow that was a blast!”?

    • Beorn says:

      That is a good question. I am really enjoying this aggressive style and I will definitely use it again for other quests. Tactics Boromir is by far the best hero to use with this style, because you can always trade 1 threat for an additional action. Once Support of the Eagles makes him into a killing-machine, he can easily take out multiple enemies in the same round. This is a very different, and very enjoyable style of play. It doesn’t hurt that of all the decks I’ve tested solo against The Dunland Trap, this one is by far the most consistent.

      • Eucatastrophe says:

        That’s great. I’ve been feeling like it’s time for a switch up. I had the “Oh. My deck beats every quest I own so far. Now what?” That said, all I have is Mirkwood + Dwarrowdelf + Hobbit + Black Riders. I’m probably in trouble once I get to Against the Shadow.

  4. Beorn says:

    For anyone who is having a problem with this deck losing to threat, here is a modified version which includes another copy of Gandalf and 3 copies of The Galadhrim’s Greeting. It also removes Blood of Númenor and Gondorian Fire in favor of Power of Orthanc to deal with all of the nasty Condition attachments in this quest. This version relies even more heavily on Support of the Eagles to turn Boromir into a tank, but so far is even more consistent that the first version:

    • Dr. Biddix says:

      Can you repost the link or the card listing for this one? Thanks!

      • Beorn says:

        I just tested the download link and it worked for me. Does it not work for you? If you just want a list of the cards, that it included in the main article above. Let me know what you need, and I will be glad to help!

      • Dr. Biddix says:

        Tried it again – this is the file name that shows up Aggro Boromir v2.o8d. Oh, yes I was looking for the list of the replacement cards different than the deck posted in the article. Is that just what you have above in your comment?

      • Beorn says:

        Also, the two copies of Bofur were removed and 1 copy of Dwarven Tomb and Stand and Fight were added for this variant. Sorry for the confusion. The final count should be 24 allies, 6 attachments, and 20 events. Let me know if there is anything else that I can clarify.

  5. Steve says:

    Awesome deck, just went 3/4. The loss was due to In Need of Rest. I think subbing in Power of Orthanc for Gondorian Fire would be good, since Boromir’s mostly a defender and doesnt need extra attack usually since Beorn is there. The wins have been absolute breezes, seems like you’ve solved this one!

    • Beorn says:

      You are absolutely right about Power of Orthanc. If you look to my link in the comments above, you will see a version which subs out Gondorian Fire and Blood of Númenor for Power of Orthanc and The Galadhrim’s Greeting. That version of the deck is even more consistent than the original.

  6. Psychorocka says:

    Really love the article and deck! I consistently play the game differently however with starting threats of 29 and 30 playing two handed and struggle on occasion wuth threat but overall am able to beat pretty much all quests (including nightmare) except for one or two. You are right about 30 being a pretty important number as far as threat goes but I find my approach with reasonably high starting threat but very powerful conplimentary heroes also works very well in its own way.

  7. Gwador says:

    Still no one notices that the link to the Beorn card is actually a Youtube video about grizzly bears.
    Great game. Great blog. Keep up this amazing work!

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