I’ve been tinkering with various means for unlocking the fierce potential of Grimbeorn the Old, and this decks represents my current thinking. There are undoubtedly decks which focus more directly on Grimbeorn, but I also wanted to create something thematic. There aren’t enough Beornings in the card pool – at least not enough effective Beornings, so this deck is supplemented with Dúnedain, Hobbits, and a smattering of other factions.
This is one of a handful of decks which I will bring to Con of the Rings 2019. As such, it is not designed as a solo deck, but rather is intended to fulfill combat roles, with very limiting questing ability, and some card draw (thanks to Gildor Inglorion). That a deck featuring both Beorning heroes is primarily intended for combat is not in any way shocking, but what may be surprising is just how powerful this deck can be when it’s had a chance to setup properly. With Orcrist and The Day’s Rising attached to Grimbeorn, along with an Armored Destrier, he actually gains money by using his ability to kill an enemy, with the second attack being resource neutral (The Day’s Rising, sadly, is not repeatable).
In any case, once Grimbeorn has some gear loaded up, this deck will cut through most enemies like a hot knife through butter. Papa bear helps buy you a few rounds of setup, as Beorn can handle all but the strongest enemies without twitching a whisker. Gildor provides questing, and the all important card draw to help find all of our critical attachments. The decks skews more toward Leadership cards than would normally be advisable in a deck with only a single Leadership hero, but Grimbeorn’s resource is not really available to pay for cards, so in that regard the ratio is more reasonable.
The ideal first hand will include a copy of Tighten Our Belts, and any such hand should make one strongly consider passing on the first planning phase. You can still safely play Dúnedain Hunter as this costs no resources, but the rest of the cards can wait until the second round. Having 3 resources on each hero to start the second round is a huge early game boost, and Beorn makes this strategy less risky than it might otherwise seem. Critical early plays for Grimbeorn are Armored Destrier and Dúnedain Warning, to help him survive enemy attacks.
With Gandalf in hand, or possibly a Giant Bear, you will be ready to defeat whatever enemy might happen to guard Orcrist. On the off chance that a location is guarding the sword instead, a Sneak Attacking Meneldor can handle that. Whatever it takes, the goal is have Grimbeorn wielding Foe-hammer as quickly as possible. Of special note: the response on Orcrist does not require you to exhaust it, so with readying effects like Armored Destrier you can gain multiple resources to help pay for Grimbeorn’s ability.
The full deck list can be found on RingsDB. Anyone interested in printing these alternate art cards for themselves should contact the hall. I look forward to meeting many fine members of the community at the Con of the Rings. In the mean time, happy adventures in Middle-earth!