News for January 2012
Boromir's Guide to Deck Construction, Part Three 14
A Lord of the Rings: The Card Game spotlight on successful solo play
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 23 January 2012

There was a horn-blast and a rush of feet, and orcs one after another leaped into the chamber.
    How many there were the Company could not count. The affray was sharp, but the orcs were dismayed by the fierceness of the defence. Legolas shot two through the throat. Gimli hewed the legs from under another… Boromir and Aragorn slew many. When thirteen had fallen the rest fled shrieking.
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Without companions to aid you, how can you survive the perils of Khazad-dûm? Within the ancient dark of Moria, your heroes must survive crumbling stairwells, choked passageways, and other natural dangers. Still, those are not the only concerns your heroes must consider during their travels through the dwarven mines. Orcs and fouler things lie in wait, their numbers too great to count.

Parts one and two of this series highlighted four aspects of deck construction generally crucial in all Living Card Games and provided examples of cards that help players gain action advantage, card advantage, resource acceleration, and synergy. The ultimate goal, however, is to draw upon all our lessons to construct a deck that can survive the perils of Khazad-dûm.

There’s gold in those mines

The true wealth of Moria may be in mithril, but Dwarven miners have already uncovered vast reserves of other resources in Khazad-dûm. A number of players have already remarked upon the powerful deck strategies made possible by the combination of the Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm, 9) and Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil, 79).

The Zigil Miner gives you the potential to accelerate your wealth at an astonishing rate, so that when you begin your journeys into Khazad-dûm your heroes don’t go alone, but take with them an army of allies. While you can build your deck to increase the odds the Zigil Miner’s efforts are well-rewarded, the sage counsel of Gildor Inglorion removes the risk of errant mining entirely. Gildor allows you to manipulate your deck and hand. You can take the best card from the top three of your deck into your hand to place an expensive card on the top of your deck (usually either a duplicate of a unique card in play or a card that you won’t need for some time). When you use the Zigil Miner, you know which number to name, and your fellowship gets richer.

Here, then, is a deck list constructed from just one copy of the Core Set, Khazad-dûm, and two key Adventure Packs, The Hills of Emyn Muil (for Gildor Inglorion) and Return to Mirkwood.

Dáin Ironfoot (Return to Mirkwood, 116)

Starting Threat: 27

Gandalf x3

Brok Ironfist x1
Faramir x2
Grim Resolve x1
Longbeard Orc Slayer x2
Sneak Attack x2
Steward of Gondor x2

Beorn’s Hospitality x1
Daughter of the Nimrodel x2
Erebor Hammersmith x2
Erebor Record Keeper x3
Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil, 79) x3
Gléowine x2
Henamarth Riversong x1
Miner of the Iron Hills x2
Protector of Lórien x2

A Test of Will x2
Dwarven Tomb x1
Fortune or Fate x1
Hasty Stroke x2
Northern Tracker x2
Stand and Fight x3
Untroubled by Darkness x3
Will of the West x2
Zigil Miner x3

Beorn x1

Total cards: 50

Tackling the mines of Moria with an army of Dwarves

Dáin Ironfoot leads the Dwarves to Khazad-dûm in this deck, draws upon the principles of action advantage, card advantage, resource acceleration, and synergy to survive the Orcs and Trolls of Moria.

You gain action advantage from the large number of allies (29 of them), and though it would normally be difficult to pay for all of them, the resource acceleration from your Zigil Miners and Steward of Gondor (Core Set, 26) should shortly provide you enough resources to play all the cards that come to your hand. If you don’t draw a Zigil Miner or Steward of Gondor in your opening hand, you’ll want to take your mulligan. Without the resource acceleration these cards provide, it can be difficult to play many of the cards in your deck.

Of your 29 allies, thirteen of them are Dwarf characters, as are all your heroes, meaning that Dáin can provide some truly substantial and synergistic bonuses to your fellowship’s Willpower and Attack Strength. Untroubled by Darkness (Khazad-dûm, 10) can further boost your Willpower in key situations, gaining monumental questing potential. Meanwhile, because you’re recruiting a massive army, you gain other, subtler synergies between the high-cost events you’ll most often feed to your Zigil Miner but that can grant you fantastic benefits at key moments. Grim Resolve (Core Set, 25), for example, lets you commit all your characters to the quest, then ready them to defend and attack later. It’s not often that you consider a card’s high cost to be part of a deck’s synergy, but in this deck, each card has the potential to be mined for resource acceleration.

The deck includes only a modicum of card advantage, but you should eventually find ways to stock your hand with answers to the challenges before you. Gléowine (Core Set, 62) accelerates your draw as can Gandalf (Core Set, 73), and Gildor effectively increases your hand size by three, as you can play each turn with the ability to take the best card from the top of your deck and replace it with a card to mine. Finally, since you’ll be mining so many cards, your three copies of Stand and Fight (Core Set, 51) effectively increase your hand size to include all the allies in your discard pile, even the Tactics ally, Beorn (Core Set, 31).

Finally, because all your mining will eventually thin out your deck, you want two copies of Will of the West (Core Set, 49) to shuffle your discard back into your deck before you run out of cards entirely and collapse the walls. Dwarven Tomb (Core Set, 53) allows you to return Will of the West to your hand if you should accidentally discard both copies, or if you draw your Will of the West, you can play Dwarven Tomb to get another Stand and Fight, A Test of Will (Core Set, 50), or Hasty Stroke (Core Set, 48). These last two Spirit cards are the best defense your deck can give you against the nastiest Treachery and Shadow effects among the dark tunnels of Moria.

More to come…

The Zigil Miner deck is a radical new development in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, opening up a lot of rich combinations and card interactions, the likes of which we’ll continue to see throughout the Dwarrowdelf cycle of Adventure Packs. Indeed, the vital role provided by Gildor Inglorion may someday be entirely supplanted by another, cheaper Elf Spirit ally…

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.

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Comments (14)

Published: 1/23/2012 5:31:09 PM

About time you make a decklist!!! Im out of inspiration but i give this one a try.

Published: 1/23/2012 5:17:50 PM

Ziggy!! the one who rule all the dwarfs!!!

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