Deck(s): The Ring of Fire Sails to Gondor

It is the way of the world that just as my schedule starts to free up and I think I can begin to catch up with the four or five different blog posts I want to write, the latest deluxe expansion is released, distracting me with intriguing deckbuilding possibilities and giving me at least one more thing to write. I’ve mentioned before that Cirdan the Shipwright is one of my favourite characters despite barely appearing in the books, so I was incredibly excited to finally have him represented in the game, and the same goes for his ring, Narya. Now this in and of itself while it would naturally inspire me to build several decks to make use of him and the ring of fire is not enough to necessarily prompt me to immediately write one up here. The tipping point in that regard is that not only have we finally gotten Cirdan and his ring, but the effect of the ring is remarkably similar to the custom version of Narya I designed for the Tales from the Cards Ring-maker contest:

Given this similarity, naturally I want to show off a bit and do something neat with this card. Which then led me to the question of what. Ents obviously benefit from readying, but I’ve already done that with Faramir, and if I’m going to post a deck on here I want it to be a bit more distinct to decks I’ve already posted here. Also I want to use Cirdan, and the Ents idea probably works better with Gandalf. I’m kind of holding off on Noldor stuff, partly because I’m still not sure exactly what setup I want to use for it and partly because though it will admittedly take a while, I will be eventually doing Grey Havens for The Line Unbroken, and obviously there I will want to do Noldor. So I found myself a little bit stumped for ideas until I hit on one deck idea which I’d been thinking about but hadn’t actually gotten to building in terms of a deck which would work well with some action advantage – Gondor. This also worked with my original idea behind my custom Narya that it’d fit in with the section in Return of the King where Gandalf is inspiring the Gondorian army in their defence of Minas Tirith.
Now I saw some debate on the forums that Faramir didn’t fit that well in a Gondor deck because Gondor allies didn’t have good enough stats to be worth the readying, but I really feel that’s unfair to them, partly because readying is useful regardless, and sometimes all you need is one more action to chump block with, and partly because while the base stats may be less good, add in Boromir and Visionary Leadership, maybe For Gondor, and they become pretty impressive. The same principle applies with Narya, so I was pretty enthused by this idea.

So we come to this idea. Gondor + Cirdan/Narya. Let’s have Leadership Faramir for even more actions, because why not. So first off, I wasn’t actually sure how well this deck would work out, but then I beat The Three Trials solo, so I’m feeling pretty positive about it now. It still has issues, such as that ironically despite that being one of Gondor’s strengths in general, this deck doesn’t do great on defence. It’ll probably work better in multiplayer with some decent Sentinels around the table. On positives, the Veteran of Osgiliath is amazing in this deck – get yourself over 40 threat with Visionary and Boromir, suddenly they quest for 3, get readied by Narya and attack for 5, which is pretty insane for an ally. Hell, it’d be pretty crazy for a hero. Purely for that reason I would say you shouldn’t lower your threat with Gandalf until you get up to 45, then drop back to 40 so you keep the boost.
The other talking point I have here is that I’ve been having some issues fitting in everything I really wanted into this deck, and I think that’s basically because I’m somewhat being pulled in two directions – on the one hand I kind of want to focus on A Very Good Tale (and handily I can potentially ready the allies after exhausting them for it) and spam an ally army, for which I’d want to be more ally-heavy; and on the other there are a bunch of events and some additional attachments which could work decently well but they’d dilute the ally density of the deck which would make AVGT less effective. Having realised that this was the root of my problems with the deck, since writing that last sentence I’ve split it up into two similar but distinct versions of the deck to cover the two sides of the idea. One has high ally density for A Very Good Tale, while the second is intended to get out a more limited number of more powerful characters with lots of action advantage:

Version 1

Heroes:
Boromir (Ld)
Faramir (Ld)
Cirdan the Shipwright

Allies (26):
Anborn x1
Citadel Custodian x3
Ingold x1
Squire of the Citadel x3
Veteran of Osgiliath x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Gandalf (Core) x2
Herald of Anorien x3
Defender of Rammas x3
Honour Guard x3
Mablung x1

Attachments (12):
Steward of Gondor x3
Visionary Leadership x3
Light of Valinor x3
Narya x3

Events (12):
Sneak Attack x3
A Test of Will x3
A Very Good Tale x3
Reinforcements x3

Decklist on RingsDB

Version 2

Heroes:
Boromir (Ld)
Faramir (Ld)
Cirdan the Shipwright

Allies (17):
Anborn x1
Citadel Custodian x3
Ingold x2
Squire of the Citadel x3
Veteran of Osgiliath x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Gandalf (Core) x2

Attachments (18):
Steward of Gondor x3
Visionary Leadership x3
Light of Valinor x3
Narya x3
Blood of Numenor x2
Unexpected Courage x3
Sword-thain x1

Events (15):
Sneak Attack x3
A Test of Will x3
Anchor Watch x3
Hasty Stroke x3
Stand and Fight x3

Decklist on RingsDB

First note is that I haven’t tested out either of these, only a previous version which was still somewhere between the two.
Obviously version 1 is somewhat dependent on getting Narya into play to enable Reinforcements, which then in turn is obviously good for AVGT. The out-of-sphere allies I’ve chosen are all cheap ones, because that way they can be brought in via Herald of Anorien as well as AVGT. Additionally Mablung has an enters play effect, which obviously will trigger off Sneak Attack or Reinforcements, while the Honour Guard can potentially still have a significant impact when sneaked in if I can use his Valour action – this is why I chose him over the comparable Warden of Healing. Otherwise, the attachments and allies have been pared down to the essentials.
Version 2, by contrast, ditched AVGT, Reinforcements, and the Herald in favour of more focus on powering up a smaller number of characters and some additional security. To that end I have Blood of Numenor to make use of additional resources (quite likely on Cirdan, which makes Unexpected Courage more significant), one copy of Sword-thain though that’s somewhat speculative, Hasty Stroke, Stand and Fight to recover the odd ally which might get discarded to Cirdan, and Anchor Watch will also help with the defensive needs (plus it’s effectively more action advantage). Sword-thain and the second copy of Ingold may be unnecessary, and with UC in the deck I don’t necessarily need all 3 copies of LoV, so there could be room for some other changes there. Changes to version 1 would be more difficult.

Possible other options include that either version could potentially use some of the cards from the other version of course. Obviously any other Gondor allies are potential options for version 1 – Ithilien Lookout in particular could work well as he has reasonable stats and an enters play effect you can trigger when sneaking or reinforcing. The only reason I cut him out was because he was too expensive for the Herald of Anorien. Additional card draw options could be helpful, especially for version 2 – ally Erestor, Elven Light, Campfire Tales, Valiant Sacrifice and We Are Not Idle could all work. Elwing’s Flight could offer some additional action advantage and thus would fit reasonably in version 2. Gather Information and Send For Aid of course are always good options. Will of the West could work in either version as a means of recovering things discarded to Cirdan/AVGT. And finally one more option for action advantage would be the somewhat janky but effective combo of Desperate Alliance/Strength of Arms. DA Cirdan across the table, then SoA to ready all allies. It’s a combo I’m fond of, but couldn’t quite fit in here. Thinking about it I may well swap in some of these in place of the possibly superfluous cards I listed for version 2.

Regardless, here are my two Gondor Narya decks. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Deck(s): The Ring of Fire Sails to Gondor

  1. Pingback: Decks: The Wisdom and Spirit of the Istari | Warden of Arnor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s