MoD #8 - Dain Doing Nothing

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This is Deck #8 in my "Musings on Dáin" series. See the first deck for more details about the project.


This project is "Musings on Dáin" and the purpose is to investigate everything he brings to the table. That largely means THE thing he brings to the table, that insane global boost for dwarves, so the early decks looked at that directly.

Deck #1 was just a generic Dain deck with lots of dwarves. Deck #2 slowed down the rate at which those dwarves came out, while Deck #3 sped it up. Deck #4 asked whether the bonus Dain provided across the table could be as useful as an entire deck unto itself, while Deck #5 essentially asked whether the boost was useful enough to make up for not being able to do anything reliable at all.

For Deck #6 and Deck #7, I went off on a tangent and started looking at Dain as a thematic entity rather than a strictly mechanical one. Dain arriving to join the silvan elves, the men of dale, the eagles, Gandalf, and Beorn to reinforce Thorin's company in the Battle of Five Armies. Dain as king of the dwarves, a faction perhaps best known for digging too deep in search of treasure and awakening monsters.

But even in my more thematic decks, Dain's bonus was omnipresent, because no matter what I was doing I always had a partner running a full dwarf deck. After seven quests, this bonus has started to become background noise. Every round there's anywhere from three to twelve extra willpower committed to the quest at no cost to anyone simply because Dain exists. Combat math becomes greatly simplified with a half-dozen extra points of attack just floating around waiting to be used. Solutions are provided to problems so quickly and consistently that eventually we stop noticing the problems in the first place.

And now I'm going to turn it off.

Foundations of Stone is infamous; anyone who has ever played it blind in multiplayer can probably recall the shock of suddenly finding themselves cut off from their partners and left wholly to their own devices. No other quest before or since has replicated the effect. After seven and a half quests of that passive boost, my partner deck will for the first time be left entirely to his own devices.

And I will be, too. Dain is interesting because he's the only dwarf who cannot naturally take advantage of his own bonus. Every time he exhausts to use that willpower or attack boost he turns it off in the process. This can be circumvented with readying effects, which is why I haven't included any. And of course any dwarves in my deck will still get the boost, too, which is why I haven't included any of those, either.

No, once the ground gives out and the waters sweep us away, Dain will for the first and only time cease to provide any benefit to anyone, theoretical or otherwise.

Of course I'll still need to do something with my deck, and this time I can't rely on my partner carrying me while I do something silly. So for the second time I built around an archetype that I'd been meaning to try, one that wasn't very demanding in terms of heroes, leaving room for a big useless dwarf to tag along. In this case: Harad.

1 comments

Aug 24, 2021 kjeld 182

With 3 and 5 he's never entirely useless! But still, an interesting culmination to the musings series. Will you eventually update with a report on how the quest went?