All That is Gold Does not Glitter

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Outmatched Dúnedain 4 3 0 1.0
Dunedain Leadership & Lore 1 1 0 1.0
2-Sphere Dunedain 0 0 0 1.0
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Gizlivadi 1113

"When the kingdom ended the Dúnedain passed into the shadows and became a secret and wandering people, and their deeds and labours were seldom sung or recorded." - The Lord of the Rings

Ever since Seastan's excellent Dúnedain Trappers deck became the go-to build for Dúnedain, I've wanted to build a solo Dúnedain deck that could mirror its power while also running one of my favorite heroes and characters: Halbarad. IIRC he has been recently voted as one of the least powerful Leadership heroes in the game, which is understandable as his ability can easily pass under the radar, but in this deck he is a very versatile hero. My goal was to build a deck that can at least have a reasonable amount of power compared to Seastan's deck while keeping a bit more to the theme of Aragorn+Halbarad+Amarthiul (my ideal thematic Dúnedain lineup) and I think I finally did it.

Now, needless to say, one essential piece that almost every solo Dúnedain deck will benefit from is playing Forest Snare. In my previous builds I only included 2 of these as they were mostly mid-to-late game cards, but recently as I've tested this type of deck agaisnt the newer scenarios, I concluded it's one of those cards you need rather early. Now, it's true that thanks to Armored Destrier the need for the Snare is not so urgent, so we don't necessarily have to play it second round, which can be really helpful. However, any Dúnedain deck should be able to play one second of third round without much difficulty.

The main problem with this is that, with only 1 non-Damrod Lore hero, playing Forest Snare quickly became rather difficult to do. Enter Legacy of Númenor and Errand Rider.

Mind you that, as you can see, the vast majority of this deck is Leadership, and I tend to prefer solo builds that can at least play most of the deck even if I don't have Steward. Hence 2 Leadership heroes for a mostly Leadership deck. With that said, Legacy of Númenor and Errand Rider pretty much solve the issue of playing Snare early. In my older lists I used to run Song of Wisdom for Amarthiul (who, btw, gets Steward), but that often proved to be too slow and and made drawing my 2nd or 3rd song useless. On one hand, Legacy of Númenor not only adds 1 resource to Aragorn to play Snare, but even the additional 2 Leadership resources allow for explosive turns so we can play our Leadership cards much more agressively, and even at the Doomed 4 cost (which Aragorn laughs at) it's totally worth it as you'll want to play your cards as quickly as possible. On the other hand, Errand Rider similarly provides a round's worth of resource acceleration for Aragorn, but also, and contrary to Song of Wisdom, can recieve 1 archery damage, quest for 1 if you got Sword, or just chump block once you don't need him. These 2 cards have proved to be a significant improvement over my earlier lists.

You'll notice a lot of important cards at x1 or x2. Make no mistake, just because I have x2 or x1 of a card does not mean you'll not see it. In fact, Sword that was Broken is our main source of Willpower and I rarely get it out after round 3. The thing is, with all the card draw and fetching effects this deck packs it's not hard to eventually see all your important attachments during the game, such as Destrier, Sword and Shield. Even when playing Weather Hills I had no problem getting Remedy out easily to prevent all those nasty weather (that cards is nuts).

Another final note is that, when playing Treason of Saruman or Flame of the West quests, since the Aragorn slot is taken, by all means just go ahead include Damrod; at that point you don't need Legacy that much, so you take one out for another Remedy or Banner of Elendil or another trap.

So far this deck has stomped the Lost Realm quests as well as the Flame of the West quests. In fact, it's the first deck I beat Siege of Gondor with, so that's a huge plus in my book. Opinions are welcome!

12 comments

Sep 21, 2016 Kakita_Shiro 41

How did you do against Battle of Carn Dum?

Sep 21, 2016 Gizlivadi 1113

Haven't played against it yet. It's damn scary, lol. I'll test it against that one and post how many times it took me to beat it!

Sep 21, 2016 Gizlivadi 1113

Update: for those who want to judge this deck based on whether it beats Carn Dum or not, I've lost count on how many times I played it, but I managed to beat it. Frankly, if it wasn't for the above question, I wouldn't have thought of trying it against that. I find it a very boring quest. It's one of those that's so punishing you depend more on the encounter deck not drawing something horrible first round than you playing something good. Even after winning, I don't feel like I earned it. In the end, with this quest I find that bad luck plays a more important card than anything else. BUT, this deck did beat Carn Dum I guess, if that speaks at all to the deck strategy as opposed to luck. I think you'd need to heavily modify it if you want better results.

Sep 21, 2016 Gizlivadi 1113

Further update: Decided to go against the Dread Realm, a quest I find much more enjoyable to play. Beat it on the first try without too much trouble at all. I'm curious as to other people's experiences with this deck, so feel free to post them here if you have played with it!

Sep 22, 2016 wehehe 1131

Dúnedain decks are powerful, and very fun to play. This one looks great, I am agree with you that Halbarad is a great hero who tends to be underestimated.

It surprised me not to see Eldahir in your list, any particular reason for that?

Sep 22, 2016 Denison 633

Great deck. Ran it against Dread Realm and lost the first time due to a quick enemy swarm (so a completely normal game), but won the second time. I'd put this in my top 5 favorite solo decks. Great synergy among the cards. Everything has its place. D-Remedy is bonkers.

Sep 22, 2016 Gizlivadi 1113

Thanks for the comments! @wehehe I tried Eldahir in my previous iterations, but I find that I seldom use his ability, so I'd rather have the neutral 4 cost +1 willpower Ranger of Cardolan.

I just took this against The Morgul Vale for the sixth time and surprisingly won! Lost the first attempts due to it being a particularly hard quest for this deck (the starting threat of 32 pretty much requires a Feint in the opening hand, and Watcher in the Woods as a shadow killed me in the last stage during one game!) but the trick was to snare Murzag early, build my Dúnedain army then just crush the quest. Really fun deck to play! Destrier was incredibly useful at discarding the shadow cards from the Captains!

Sep 23, 2016 DurinVoronwe 15

The deck looks really nice! Carn Dum and Dread Realm is not easy!

I love dunedain decks, and debate with myself if I should share a really bad and fun uniqe dunedain deck I am working on. Would you like to see a bad solo deck with low starting willpower?

Sep 23, 2016 Lecitadin 193

Will try it against some solo nightmare quests!

Sep 23, 2016 Gizlivadi 1113

@DurinVoronweGo ahead and post it! The more Dúnedain decks out there, the better.

@Lecitadin I wish you good luck! I've never played Nightmare myself so I'm curious as to how it does.

I was curious as to what this deck's performance would be against 2 old classics, JdtA and Conflict at the Carrock. Anduin was tricky, just like Morgul Vale, as you need some way to deal with the troll first round (Feint or Sneaky Gandalf to reduce threat, and then Snare ASAP!), but after you do it's really easy to beat it. Carrock was a piece of cake, as you'd expect. Quest lightly, find Grimbeorn if you can and build your army, then take the trolls all at once. Beware of Louis though! He nearly threated me out in my playthrough. Later took it against Journey in the Dark. Lost the first few times but managed to beat it after a while. Same thing with Crossroads.

Nov 12, 2016 DnT 108

Hey man, I ended up taking a slightly modified version of this deck to the Siege of Annuminas event. It was a bad choice now that I know that the quest punishes you for keeping enemies around, but it was quite potent and even contributed some pretty significant willpower by the end while still taking care of defense. Nice work. I dropped the Master of the forge for some healing and didn't mind the hit on card draw.

Nov 21, 2016 Gizlivadi 1113

I assume you took out all the Doomed cards or at least Legacy of Númenor, as with those cards I would no way dare bring this to a multiplayer game lol. This is for sure a primarily solo deck. Good thing to hear it performed well though. Did you win?