Breaking the game: Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim

The next scenario I consider to be notably breakable after Shadow and Flame is Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim, the much-hated Riddle quest. Now this is not a case like Shadow and Flame of the quest completely failing to function as intended, but it definitely qualifies for massively trivialised.

So here obviously the big challenge of the quest comes down to how reliably you can answer riddles, since that for one thing will make you progress on stage 2, and for another will increase your progress on stage 1 because cards you take as riddles aren’t contributing threat against you. So the key to breaking Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim is simply to build a deck or decks which can answer riddles really reliably. Multiple decks is better for this, because a single deck for solo play may need to lose some riddle consistency in order to function properly and handle the regular aspects of the game. No good answering all the riddles correctly if you can’t muster willpower or combat power appropriately. Bilbo can get away from Gollum just fine but he’s not going to get far if the goblins murdered Thorin and Company while he was down there.

So riddles. I feel like I’m somewhat over-egging this whole breakdown, but I also feel like if I didn’t this article would be kinda short. Riddles ask for some combination of sphere, cost and type, so the simplest approach is to go for mono-sphere decks primarily composed of 2-cost allies – the mono-sphere aspect is a big reason why multiple decks is better, because each deck can cover different areas of the game rather than trying to fit everything into a very consistent mono-sphere deck. So a while back, after having been talking about the frustrations of the riddle mechanic I decided to see how I could do building decks intended to answer riddles. I worried that going for the required consistency would harm the ability of the deck to function regularly for questing and combat, but that turned out not to be so much of a problem. Some of the cards in the decks maybe aren’t the best in their respective spheres, but they’re still good enough to get you through the game, helped along by the fact that answering riddles makes things easier and removes most of the toughest cards in the encounter deck as a bonus.
Since there’s not as much to talk about as there was last time, rather than waffle on, here are the decklists for my riddle-answering decks before I move on to a video demonstration. These were built at some point during the Ring-maker cycle, so one could probably do better with an updated card pool, and the hero choices are obviously just what I felt like at the time. The Leadership deck is perhaps the worst at answering riddles as there’s closer to an even split between 2-cost and 3-cost, but they all should work pretty well for this quest.

Sam Gamgee

Allies (32):
Dunedain Watcher x3
Longbeard Elder x3
Fili x2
Galadriel x3
Faramir x2
Pelargir Ship Captain x3
Herald of Anorien x3
Naith Guide x3
White Tower Watchman x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Kili x1

Attachments (6):
Steward of Gondor x3
Sword That Was Broken x3

Events (12):
Sneak Attack x3
We Are Not Idle x3
A Very Good Tale x3
Strength of Arms x3


Allies (30):
Westfold Outrider x3
Defender of Rammas x3
Veteran Axehand x3
Gondorian Spearman x3
Winged Guardian x3
Knight of Minas Tirith x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
White Tower Watchman x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Beorn x1
Bofur x2

Attachments (14):
Spear of the Citadel x3
Dwarven Axe x3
Ring Mail x3
Gondorian Shield x3
Firefoot x2

Events (6):
Feint x3
The Hammer-stroke x3

Frodo Baggins

Allies (30):
Wandering Took x3
Westfold Horse-Breaker x3
Escort From Edoras x3
The Riddermark’s Finest x3
West Road Traveller x3
Arwen Undomiel x2
Imladris Stargazer x2
Blue Mountain Trader x2
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Zigil Miner x3

Attachments (8):
Silver Lamp x2
Unexpected Courage x3
Light of Valinor x3

Events (12):
Hasty Stroke x3
Will of the West x3
A Test of Will x3
Dwarven Tomb x3


Allies (25):
Hunter of Lamedon x2
Ithilien Tracker x2
Ered-Nimrais Prospector x3
Erebor Hammersmith x3
Gleowine x2
Warden of Healing x2
Master of the Forge x2
Galadhrim Minstrel x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Gandalf (Core) x3

Attachments (16):
Ranger Spikes x3
A Burning Brand x3
Fast Hitch x2
Asfaloth x3
Poisoned Stakes x3
Song of Wisdom x2

Events (9):
Advance Warning x3
Radagast’s Cunning x3
Secret Paths x3

And finally, me and my brother took the Tactics and Spirit decks against the scenario to demonstrate how effective this approach is. Here is the video:

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3 Responses to Breaking the game: Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim

  1. Pingback: Deck Spring Cleaning: Gimmick | Warden of Arnor

  2. Pingback: Year End Roundup | Warden of Arnor

  3. Pingback: The Line Unbroken – N21: Nightmare Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim | Warden of Arnor

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