GenCon is one of those experiences that is so massive, so overwhelming, that it takes a bit of time to recover and adjust to the day-to-day routine of life. Now that I’ve finally had a chance to settle in and take stock of all of the latest Adventure Pack, the first order of business is to build a deck around our newest hero. Haldir of Lórien has long been one of my favorite allies, so it comes as no surprise that his hero card is also fantastic.
One of the more interesting, and as of yet, under-utilized themes of the latest cycle is the pseudo-secrecy events. First it was Noiseless Movement, then Trouble in Tharbad brought us Courage Awakened. I refer to these as psuedo-secrecy because they can be used for full effect even when we are not within the 20 threat secrecy threshold. Where they really shine of course, if when we are under the cloak of secrecy. In this case, we can repeatably use this powerful cards. In the case of Noiseless Movement, this card is tailor-made for Haldir.
As anyone who has ever played a Dúnhere deck well knows, the biggest risk to staging area attack decks are enemies with a low engagement cost. In the case of Haldir, his ability is specifically limited to rounds in which we have not engaged an enemy. This means that even if the enemy we want to attack is still in the staging area, a smaller enemy, with lower engagement, can ruin our carefully-laid plans. In this regard, Haldir is actually more limited than Dúnhere. Still, there are many tricks that the Protector of Lórien can use to help defend his people.
The goal of this deck is to stay in Secrecy range for most if not all of the early rounds. Ideally, we will play Resourceful on Glorfindel to help pay for the more expensive Spirit cards. Master of the Forge and Galadhrim Minstrel provide powerful and focused card-drawing effects. Ultimately the goal is the use Expert Treasure-Hunter and Imladris Stargazer to keep our hand full and sustain our efforts to avoid direct conflict. For as long as we are in secrecy range, or have extra copies to spare, we will use Noiseless Movement when necessary.
Haldir has Rivendell Blade and Dagger of Westernesse to help slay enemies where they idle in the staging area. With an abundance of threat reduction, we should be able to stay under the engagement cost of most enemies, if not within secrecy itself. This deck is decidedly light on allies – they merely serve to support our powerful heroes. In the rare cases where enemies do engage, do not hesitate to sacrifice an ally to spare a hero the trouble.
With some powerful readying effects, and Glorfindel’s ability to quest without exhausting, our heroes should be often be able to work double-duty. In the cases where willpower is less important, Merry can be held back and serves as a potent combination with his Elven friends. Assuming our other heroes are already suitably equipped, a Dagger of Westernesse can always go to the brave little Hobbit.
There is obviously more to this strategy than I have outlined here, but this type of decks take a deft hand, and are not well suited for all scenario. If used too much, they can become boring, but navigating the more interesting scenarios with this strategy can still be quite challenging, and interesting. When they are effective, you can often defeat a scenario without ever having to see your enemies up close. As a bonus here is a screen shot of an earlier version of this deck defeating Trouble in Tharbad.
The strategy of this deck seems quite appropriate, as Haldir served as a scout for the lady Galadriel. In protecting Lórien, many a foul Orc was slain on the border of the woods, before it ever knew of Haldir’s presence. This is just one way to implement a Haldir deck, I am looking forward to a Spirit Silvan hero, so that I can finally build Elf decks without the Secrecy staple (and crutch), Glorfindel.
Haldir of Lórien (TiT)
Silvan Refugee (TDF) x3
Arwen Undómiel (TWitW) x2
Imladris Stargazer (FoS) x3
Galadhrim Minstrel (TiT) x2
Master of the Forge (SaF) x2
Gandalf (Core) x3
Expert Treasure-Hunter (TH:OHaUH) x3
Dagger of Westernesse (TBR) x3
Rivendell Blade (RtR) x2
Light of Valinor (FoS) x3
Miruvor (SaF) x2
Lembas (TiT) x2
Protector of Lórien (Core) x2
Asfaloth (FoS) x2
Resourceful (TWitW) x3
Elrond’s Counsel (TWitW) x3
A Test of Will (Core) x2
Courage Awakened (TiT) x2
Noiseless Movement (TTT) x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core) x3