Deck: Incánus in the South

There’s a bit of a story behind how I came to build this deck. A while back, with the full LotR Saga campaign being on OCTGN, my brother and Qwaz and I started a three-player campaign (which I may have other things to say about in future). Qwaz just wanted to play one of his favourite pre-existing decks tweaked appropriately for each quest, while me and my brother built specially for the campaign – but we figured we’d also go for favourites, in our cases picking favourite heroes to build around rather than existing decks. In my case that meant Gandalf, and as a result of the sphere distribution of the other two I had the Leadership sphere all to myself. After some thought I came up with two possible ideas, built them both and picked the one I thought I’d prefer. One was using Elfhelm for all the Mount synergy around the table, the other Kahliel for a Harad deck. In the end I picked the Elfhelm deck for the campaign as I felt he would be more interesting for cross-table synergy, whereas the Harad deck would be much more focused on itself. But of course this left me with another deck ready for testing. This is that deck.
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The Line Unbroken – 56: Thing in the Depths

Thing in the Depths is interesting among other reasons because it has two quest-specific encounter sets rather than just the one – which presumably is the reason why it had one less player card than usual (the additional card being shifted back into Flight of the Stormcaller instead). Half of the quest also is kind of revisiting something we’ve done before but in yet another different way. There’s a fair amount of stuff going on with this adventure pack.
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Scouting Ahead

Despite the title, this blog post is not about the side-quest Scout Ahead. There is a similarity though, because this is about kind of the same thing on a larger scale – the side-quest has you scout ahead within a quest to see what your next few reveals/shadow cards will be, but what I want to discuss is the larger scale scouting ahead you can do before playing a quest. That is, how one can examine the encounter deck to get an idea of what deck(s) to bring and/or how you may want to sideboard them to better suit the quest. Obviously the same principles can apply if one is custom building their decks for a specific quest.
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The Line Unbroken – 55: Flight of the Stormcaller

Alright, Flight of the Stormcaller. Rated by some people as one of the best adventure packs this game has had, and pretty reasonably since it’s a great quest and gave us one of the best glue heroes we have and some other good cards. It’s also the second Sailing quest and therefore where Sailing starts getting that bit more interesting since the first one was kind of a tutorial.
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The Joy of Variety

This blog post is essentially going to be me just expounding on thoughts I had following a tweet I received in response to my Beregond’s Armoury deck:

It also I suppose touches on the general appeal of solo/co-op PvE games as opposed to PvP.
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The Line Unbroken – 54: Raid on the Grey Havens

And The Grey Havens is rounded out by Raid on the Grey Havens. After two gentler quests to start off with, the third in the box is a much bigger challenge, following the same rough pattern as The Lost Realm before it (though of course all the details are totally different).
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The Line Unbroken – 53: Fate of Numenor

Continuing on The Grey Havens, Fate of Numenor brought us the first instance of what could perhaps be seen as another theme within this cycle – of doing interesting and different things with locations. It’s also the key moment in the beginning of the story for the cycle, which I love. The theme here is arguably rather more interesting than the quest itself (though it’s still a fine quest).
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The Line Unbroken – 52: Voyage Across Belegaer

Well. Turns out I’ve been doing Nightmare quests in The Line Unbroken for over a year at this point. I didn’t antiipate it being quite so long, but I am now returning at last to standard difficulty for The Grey Havens. This is somewhat reminiscent of my comments on The Lost Realm, but I really like this box both thematically and mechanically. As a reminder, my general opinion is that from Lost Realm onwards (so obviously including Grey Havens) the game hit a very standard of design which hasn’t dipped since.
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Deck: Beregond’s Gondorian Armoury – Everything Free!

So Wilds of Rhovanion has been out for a while and we’ve seen many variations on the Dale deck spring up and show off how powerful they are. But one other idea which I think many people had when cards were being spoiled but which few people have actually tried to build since the release, is the basis of this deck. The idea is simply to combine Tactics Beregond with the Long Lake Trader to effectively play all your weapons and armour for free (by playing them for free on Beregond and then moving them to other characters using the Long Lake Trader).

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The Line Unbroken – Nightmare Against the Shadow Wrap-Up

Well, having completed another cycle of Nightmare, let’s take a look back and wrap-up my experience. This has been a drastic improvement on the Hobbit saga in terms of my enjoyment. To my mind this cycle marked a turning point in Nightmare mode much as it did in standard, where everything takes a step up to a more consistently higher quality. Of course that’s partly inevitable because the Nightmare decks have to build on what’s already there, but regardless this to me is where Nightmare really starts to get interesting.
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