Good Grief

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Some Sort 3141

This is a turbo-speed grief deck that eschews all those fancy shenanigans to ruin people's day the old-fashioned way-- using insane amounts of doomed cards to threat them out in the first planning phase with tons of resources on their heroes and tons of cards in their hand.

Threating other players out demands that their starting threat be higher than yours, (or else you'll just blow yourself up first), so we start with a two-hero build. Grima might seem like the ideal choice for one of those hero slots, but he only contributes one measly threat to the cause, so Denethor's 2-resource head start takes precedence.

Getting a ton of doomed out requires seeing a ton of cards, so Erestor is the obvious choice for the second slot. 3x Deep Knowledges, 3x Legacy of Numenors, and 3x Seeing-stones gives us gobs of resources, draw, and most importantly, 21 combined points of doom. (Remember: if you already have all of your Deep Knowledges and Legacies, you can even use a Seeing-stone to search for another Seeing-stone.)

To help draw into all of that doom, we have Gleowine, Galadhrim Minstrels, Daeron's Runes, We Are Not Idle, Gandalf, and Elrond. To get Gandalf and Elrond out, we have Timely Aid, A Very Good Tale, and Sneak Attack. Also, the Herald of Anorien contributes two doom of his own and can let us play a Gleowine or a Minstrel for free. (Don't use him on another Herald or a Mirkwood Pioneer; you can only doom them when you pay their cost and play them from your hand.)

Timely Aid is typically too expensive to play in a Doom deck, but thankfully our two-hero start gives us access to Vanish from Sight.

Hopefully all of that is enough, but if not, you can always rely on Sneak Attack + Saruman to seal the deal; if you've saved all three sneak attacks, he can give you up to nine doomed in round 1.

Campfire Tales is only in because we were at 48 cards and were out of useful cards. Hidden Cache is a slightly better inclusion, to be honest- both let you pay one resource to get one more card, but there's a minuscule chance that Hidden Cache will flip with A Very Good Tale, netting you two extra resources. It's really a question of imperceptibly more efficient operation vs. the added grief quotient of getting more cards into your partners' hands before you eliminate them from the game.

Alternately, you could substitute in Gaining Strength or Wealth of Gondor, instead; if you hit on all three of your Legacies you'll have six leadership and four lore resources in round one, but an extra leadership resource could mean an extra sneak attack or Herald, which could mean an extra 2-3 points of doom. Your call.

In terms of opening hands, you're looking for as many Deep Knowledges, Seeing-stones, or Daeron's Runes as possible. Barring that, a We Are Not Idle or Sneak/Gandalf is a pretty decent get. You're roughly 50/50 to get at least two of those things in your opening six, so I'd mulligan anything with fewer.

(Side note: if you're so inclined, you can actually swap out the Heralds, Pioneers, and Sarumans for some high-cost Leadership and Lore allies, exercise a tiny bit of restraint in playing your doomed cards, pair with decks with low starting threat and lots of reduction, and play this straight. If you don't threat your partners out, it'll give them incredible amounts of cards and resources while dumping a huge number of high-value allies onto the table, making for explosive first turns for the entire fellowship. Again, provided you don't threat everyone out first.)


Jun 03, 2016 emorlecallor 1186

With 37 possible points of doom first turn, the deck could theoretically threat out, but I suppose you'd stop before you got there. I love it! My version of the deck contains all the shenanigans, but you're right when you say it's more effective to threat them out quickly. I just enjoy seeing the slow decline into defeat that comes about through your means- also, if you threat them out first turn, you don't see the building frustration as much as you would otherwise.

Like I said, great deck and I love it!

Jun 03, 2016 Some Sort 3141

Threating out isn't a problem, provided you get the other guys first. To my knowledge, we still haven't gotten an official ruling on whether it's possible to threat out while Vanish From Sight is active, but even if it is, there's only a tiny fraction of decks with a starting threat of 17 or lower. The big concern, I think, would be feeding a Spirit player enough resources and cards to get a couple early Galadhrim's Greetings.