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|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
Here is my take on the good ol' Dunedain trap deck, updated with a modern touch from recent cards and some extra shadow control from Silver Lamp. Like any Dunedain trap deck, this one intends to engage a lot of enemies, preferably playing Forest Snare to ease the combat management. Followed is the most recent trap card released, and not only is it free with Damrod, but it provides some indirect questing as well. Aside from that though, it plays much like any Dunedain trap deck does, a bit slow at first but incredible in the mid to late game.
Amarthiúl generally defends and gets the Armored Destrier allow additional defense and some shadow discarding. He also provides access to the sphere when we have an enemy engaged and some resource acceleration once we have 2 enemies. Damrod reduces the cost of traps, and he will quest almost every phase. Idraen may quest or simply remain ready to defend or attack depending on the game state or whether there is an active location or a Silver Lamp for her to hold.
The best cards to start off with in the opening hand are Forest Snare and Armored Destrier, since they can be played quickly and make it easier to engage more enemies. Heir of Valandil is another very useful card for making those Dunedain allies more affordable (or free). Defensive allies such as Guardian of Arnor are solid and each one makes it that much easier to accommodate being engaged with any number of enemies, and since their defense boost can get very high they can be handy for defending the enemies with big attack stats. When I play Heed the Dream, it is not unusual for me to look for a Forest Snare or Guardian of Arnor to prep for maintaining several engaged enemies. Guardian of Rivendell is expensive and forces us to discard a couple of cards, but is a sturdy defender who is great to have around when a Guardian of Arnor is not available in our hand. He is also a better thematic fit than most other non-Dunedain defensive allies, since the Noldor were friends with the Dunedain. Increasing the number of defenses we are capable of while playing traps and drawing cards is the main plan of this deck, but at some point we will also have built up a cohort of allies that can attack or quest as well.
Dúnedain Hunter and Fornost Bowman are the main attacking allies and allow us to dispatch some enemies so we are not overrun by them. Northern Tracker and Warden of Annúminas are strong questing allies, and while the tracker is generally a good option (especially with a staging area full of locations) the warden can easily end up questing for 6 or more on his own. Sarn Ford Sentry also quests, but can provide the biggest bursts of card draw this deck will see and so is great to play once you have 3 or more engaged enemies. Ranger of Cardolan is flexible, he can quest, attack, or defend, and he can be brought in for a single round as an emergency measure. Halbarad has similar flexibility, but can potentially be free thanks to his own ability.
Silver Lamp is a cool card, and Idraen makes for a good wielder. On rounds where the active location is likely to be explored or Northern Tracker is about to finish off a location, she can quest and be ready while holding the lamp during the step of the combat phase where shadow cards are dealt to enemies. Being able to see what the shadow cards will do ahead of time allows for more optimal and targeted use of Armored Destrier's shadow discard effect as well as Hasty Stroke and Feint, since you will know which shadow effects are the worst ones that you cannot afford to take. This helps overcome one of the main weaknesses of Dunedain decks, they face more shadow cards since they stay engaged with many enemies. Being able to stop an awful shadow effect at the right time can save your characters from death and stop the horde of enemies from getting out of control.
This deck performs better in multiplayer games than in solo, but solo play can sometimes be achievable for it. The shadow control it possesses means that it can endure some quests with abusive shadow cards that would trouble the strategy otherwise. It can still struggle with quests that contain enemies that are immune to attachments or deal a lot of damage. Not surprisingly, it often pairs well with a deck that can provide questing right out the gate since it is a bit slow in that regard and also healing since it lacks any real way to mitigate damage. If Narya is being used by someone else, it will also add even more sweetness to the Dunedain and their big allies. All in all, this would be a solid deck at your table, especially when played with other decks that help it cover its weaknesses. It already has one of them basically handled, the nasty shadow cards. So healing and questing are what the partner(s) can bring.