Deck: Great Cleavage

(Name inspiration – just pretend Roy is Eomer)

At the point when I was really getting into the game, early in the Ring-maker cycle, I was struck by the existence of a few cards which were similar in effect to the Cleave feat in 3.5 edition Dungeons & Dragons. To explain to the unfamiliar, this D&D feat allows you an additional attack for free after you kill an enemy – i.e. basically exactly what the Rohan Warhorse does in this game. Add into this Tactics Merry, Mighty Prowess and Firefoot to spread some damage around, and you can have a setup which demolishes large numbers of enemies in fairly short order, especially if they’re fairly weak enemies. After trying the deck out for the first time, I realised that perhaps the absolute best quest for it was Seventh Level. After stomping it I moved onto Nightmare and didn’t find that much more challenging (some of this is luck-of-the-draw dependent, but still).

I’m struggling a little to come up with other things to say about the deck, because it really is very simple in principle. So of course since I was focusing on using Mount attachments rather than weapons the release of ally Legolas was a massive boon for this deck, and I also needed some other means of increasing my attack power – fortunately Support of the Eagles fits in nicely since the Eagles all leave play naturally and thus power Eomer.
Now one comment I should make is that I actually originally had Tactics Aragorn in mind as the third hero in this deck rather than Boromir. But since I build the deck well before he was released, I included Boromir as a placeholder. The thing is, then he turned out to fit in really well since he could cover defensive duties so effectively. Now the Aragorn version of course might not need so many defences since he could use his ability to pull enemies out of the staging area so they wouldn’t need to be defended – to be honest I think both options would be valid, but since I’d already had success with this lineup I kept it. Of course on further consideration it has occurred to me that I could go contrary to my original intentions and sub in Aragorn as an alternative to Eomer rather than Boromir. I’d lose the bonus for characters leaving play, but then I wouldn’t need to engineer characters to leave play. Aragorn gets only 1 attack from Firefoot to Eomer’s 2, but he also applies -1 defence to all engaged enemies, and as noted above I’d mitigate the defensive requirements. Honestly I think there’s something to be said for each of the three possible lineups. Regardless, as I said, I currently just have the Boromir/Eomer one (Merry is non-negotiable). The deck could do with some updates as well (Azain Silverbeard is a perfect fit for obvious reasons and Horn of Gondor is less good since the errata), but here it is as it stands and as it has been since Treason of Saruman:

Great Cleavage

Merry (Ta)
Boromir (Ta)

Allies (19):
Eagles of the Misty Mountains x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Gwaihir x1
Legolas x3
Vassal of the Windlord x3
Westfold Outrider x3
Winged Guardian x3

Attachments (18):
Captain of Gondor x2
Firefoot x2
Gondorian Shield x3
Horn of Gondor x2
Mighty Prowess x3
Rohan Warhorse x3
Support of the Eagles x3

Events (13):
Feint x3
Quick Strike x3
The Eagles Are Coming! x3
The Hammer-stroke x2
Thicket of Spears x2

Decklist on RingsDB

Like I said, could do with some updates. Frankly, the deck is too expensive apart from anything else, though it still manages alright. But then also some of the cards in there are really kind of unnecessary and so some other things could be tweaked to make it more consistent. That being said, it does already work passably in its current state. Obviously has to be paired with something which can quest well, and ideally something which can also help it with its card draw assuming Legolas doesn’t turn up early.
So while you may not get it without an optimal draw/by the time the game ends, you’re trying to get up to Eomer with Firefoot and a Warhorse, Merry with two Warhorses, and everyone with Mighty Prowess. Support of the Eagles can be spread around as needed, most likely Boromir for defensive purposes. Boromir also gets a Gondorian Shield of course. Between Merry and the Warhorses (weird band name?) Eomer can get 5 attacks per round, you throw around additional damage with Mighty Prowess, and on one of the lone attacks you can use Firefoot to throw out even more direct damage. Westfold Outriders are mostly there to make sure you have a consistent supply of targets in the absence of Ranged. Otherwise, pretty straightforward as I say.
Possible additions, I mentioned the possibility of subbing in Aragorn for either Eomer or Boromir, and I mentioned Azain Silverbeard. An odd possibility which is probably too janky would be Elf-friend and Rivendell Bow to get Ranged on Eomer (and the other two, but Eomer would be the priority). Honour Guards would help Boromir’s defending to be more reliable, Derndingle Warriors could be a reasonable supplement as well (to be honest those two cards could be a good fit for pretty much any deck with Tactics in it though). Hour of Wrath is always good for board-clearing, but in this case it might be overkill because I can do that pretty well already. Horn’s Cry could also be good if I’m going to be engaging a lot of enemies. Of course some of these might fit particularly well in a version with an alternative hero lineup without Eomer, because then I wouldn’t have a need for the leaves play boost and could freely sub out all the Eagle cards if I wanted. I’ll definitely have to think about putting together some of these alternative versions and updating the deck in general, but for now, here’s a video of the deck as it is, in its traditional home against Nightmare Seventh Level: Cleaving orcs on the Seventh Level

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