The Line Unbroken – 6: Journey to Rhosgobel

Continuing the diversion from the primary point of this quest cycle (finding Gollum), we find ourselves helping out Radagast the Brown and a wounded eagle. As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I’ve always liked the magical side of LotR, so I’m somewhat fond of the character of Radagast. Unfortunately, his incarnation in the card game is a bit disappointing, though I still prefer it to the short shrift he got in the Hobbit films.
As to the quest, JtR is an oddity. When people try to build ‘One Deck to Rule Them All’, it tends to have the mostly unspoken qualifier of ‘except Journey to Rhosgobel’. The demands of healing Wilyador tend to be neatly solved by cards which don’t have such widespread utility in other quests. The primary issue with beating this quest is the need to manage a large amount of direct damage, to your characters and to Wilyador. This obviously can by done by having significant amounts of cancellation for the many horrible treacheries in the encounter deck, or by focusing on healing to take the damage away once it lands there. This is the approach I tend towards, as it also allows you to bypass the need to dig the athelas objectives out of the encounter deck if you have sufficient healing cards in your hand to treat the eagle’s wounds. That said, I may have focused a little too much on that aspect in my deck-building, at the expense of the cancellation. Still, I’m sure things will all turn out fine.

Leave no card unturned

Bilbo Baggins

Allies (25):
Daughter of the Nimrodel x3
Henamarth Riversong x2
Gleowine x2
Haldir of Lorien x2
Longbeard Map-Maker x3
Rivendell Minstrel x3
Radagast x3
Gandalf x3
Miner of the Iron Hills x2
Erebor Hammersmith x2

Attachments (10):
Protector of Lorien x3
A Burning Brand x3
Song of Wisdom x1
Forest Snare x3

Events (15):
Lore of Imladris x3
Lorien’s Wealth x3
Radagast’s Cunning x3
Secret Paths x3
Strider’s Path x3

Thoughts: Given the significance of healing and that all healing resides in the Lore sphere, I figured this was a reasonable time to go for a mono-sphere deck. Being mono-sphere restricts options to a certain extent, but it also opens up some possibilities which otherwise would be problematic due to their cost, such as Forest Snare and Longbeard Map-Maker, the latter of which can also be boosted by additional resources. Radagast is in this deck for his ability to potentially heal Wilyador, along with Lore of Imladris. The Song of Wisdom (to be fetched by a Minstrel as per usual) is to allow the other deck to play their copies of Lore of Imladris. It can also allow another Burning Brand to be played cross-table, and the shadow effects in this quest can be just as bad as the treacheries. Haldir of course was released in this pack and his at this point unique, still very rare pairing of Ranged and Sentinel comes in handy given the enemies which can only be defended by Ranged characters. Other than that the deck is mostly Lore standards, and plenty of card draw to find the important things. Hero-wise, the only other option I had for mono-Lore was Glorfindel, and his healing could have been useful, but I thought I’d rather just depend on drawing the healing in my deck. Of course, there is a risk that a single reveal of exhaustion could instantly kill Bilbo, but that’s what cancellation effects are for. Finally Denethor, in addition to being a sturdy defender with A Burning Brand, can use his ability to sink horrible treacheries to the bottom of the encounter deck and more easily find the athelas.

Two Princes and a Lady

Prince Imrahil

Allies (18):
Landroval x1
Escort from Edoras x3
Radagast x3
Winged Guardian x3
Snowbourn Scout x3
Gondorian Spearman x2
Gandalf x3

Attachments (15):
Steward of Gondor x3
Celebrian’s Stone x2
Blade of Gondolin x2
Horn of Gondor x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Ancient Mathom x2

Events (17):
Sneak Attack x3
Valiant Sacrifice x2
Feint x3
Hasty Stroke x3
Test of Will x3
Lore of Imladris x3

Thoughts: One of the resource generators goes on Eleanor to help ensure I can always play my cancellation, plus then she’ll have spare resources for those Lore of Imladris once she gets a Song of Wisdom, and 2 defence + Burning Brand can make her a reasonable defender. The other resource generator is probably played cross-table for even more Lore resources. The events are all just standards, and then I was mostly just filling out the deck with whatever was cheap, as that tends to be a primary concern for tri-sphere builds. I’ve got the new Escort from Edoras in there, as he’s a nice bit of temporary questing power and helps fuel Imrahil’s ability. Hero-wise, Imrahil was locked in by my standard rules for the Line Unbroken, Legolas gets his spot for being Ranged and therefore able to deal with the annoying enemies in this quest, and Eleanor I picked partly for a change from Eowyn, partly because I didn’t want to blow through the quest too fast before I found enough athelas, and partly because she’s another means of cancelling treacheries which might otherwise wind up killing off my heroes.


Youtube video: Journey to Rhosgobel

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