And here is my last foray for the moment into the superhero archetype. This one of course is actually an idea I brought up in the Archetype Analysis: Superhero post but it took me a bit longer to actually build it – powering up Eowyn for questing and attack with willpower boosts and Herugrim. Of course I’m sure this sort of thing has been done before, but I wanted to put together my own take. This also brings me to some strategies I’ve never really used that much before, namely spamming Elven-light for card draw and to fuel discard effects.
Now there are multiple routes to this sort of thing. The one I’ve ended up taking is rather idiosyncratic, for a few reasons – one is that it’s more accommodating in multiplayer not to use up popular unique cards; another is that I kind of wanted to demonstrate differing approaches to superheroism; and the last is that I had the crazy idea having devised four different superhero decks that I could build them in such a way that I could run all four together as an “Arnor’s Mightiest Heroes” sort of thing. I don’t necessarily think that’d actually work, but I had the silly idea and then figured I’d follow through on it.
So that decision meant no Steward of Gondor since I used Steward for Superhero Sam. But Elven-light spam requires a steady stream of Spirit resources to pay for it, while preferably also still having the resources for playing other cards. So how do I accumulate resources without Steward, and in a primarily Spirit deck? Theodred immediately sprang to mind, but he’s only one extra resource per round. There are a reasonable number of other resource generation effects, but most of them are events rather than things you can repeat every round. After a while I thought of Resourceful, which then devotes some deck-space to managing Secrecy as well as filling up on discard effects.
The natural route to Secrecy would of course be to start below 20 threat and do a two-hero build, and I’m sure I could make that work, but experiences with some decks, including but not limited to The Line Unbroken, have made me realise just how incredibly powerful threat reduction effects can be. As such, a heavy Spirit deck which also has access to threat reduction from Sneak Attack Gandalf doesn’t need to start in Secrecy to make significant use of it because you can just throw out some threat reduction and then drop all the Secrecy cards. That said, a two-hero version with less threat reduction and maybe using Vanish from Sight instead would also probably work well.
The other aspect is that since I’m planning on using Elven-light a lot is that I need ways to discard it over and over. Eowyn gets me one discard, my idea of putting all my superhero decks together means I can’t use hero Arwen unfortunately, and most of the others are single-time deals. With one great exception being ally Erestor. Discard Elven-light to draw a card, pull it back from the discard to draw another card, taking it from the usual 1 resource for 1 card to 1 for 2, and opening up Elrond’s Counsel as an option for more threat reduction (and willpower boost).
It’s an Eagle! It’s Vingilot! No, it’s Super-Eowyn!
Elven Jeweller x3
Guardian of Rivendell x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Celebrian’s Stone x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Leaf Brooch x1
A Test of Will x3
Dwarven Tomb x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Lay of Nimrodel x3
Sneak Attack x3
Courage Awakened x2
Hasty Stroke x2
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x2
Double Back x1
So obviously the idea is that you can quest hard out the gate, draw with Elven-light until you get Eowyn set up with Unexpected Courage and Herugrim to kill things. You also want defenders, the Guardians of Rivendell work as more durable ones while the Jewellers can be chump blockers, of course Gandalf can potentially defend, and Frodo works as well. Frodo may drive your threat up a bit, but you can drive it back down easily enough. Once you hit Secrecy and play Resourcefuls on Eowyn you can really start to power up some more. If you can maintain Secrecy (which sometimes you can) then the Leaf Brooch obviously will work to cheapen your first event each round, probably Elven-light. So then ally Erestor discards Elven-light, you pull it back for free and draw two cards out of the deal. Then once you are fully set up you can use all those willpower-boosting options on Eowyn for both questing and combat with Herugrim, including Lay of Nimrodel for big boosts if you save up a lot of resources (Theodred should pretty much always give the resource to Eowyn unless you’re saving up for Erestor). This is not a deck that can really handle a fast start most of the time, but in solo slow starts are feasible for a lot of quests, and in multiplayer you can just focus on questing until you get set up.
Other possibilities for the deck – I mentioned the possibility of a two-hero version to actually start in Secrecy rather than dropping down to it later. If I weren’t contriving ways to do it without overlapping with my other superhero archetype decks I could potentially achieve some aspects of this deck easier with Arwen and Steward of Gondor. Potentially also Elf-friend so I could use Fair and Perilous as another means of boosting attack, and maybe also Tale of Tinuviel if I could fit in a Dunedain hero. On the other hand this version has the benefit of not including significant uniqueness clashes.
For a quick demonstrative screenshot I took it through The Ring Goes South (Yes, I’m technically cheating by having two Frodos, but I get bored of randomising quests after a while). Of note is that while I was helped by the Council of Elrond giving me a free Resourceful, I got through 30/50 cards before seeing an Elven-light. When I finally drew one I subsequently drew another 13 cards in the next ~20 seconds. You may also note that for the hell of it I decided to quest for 40 on the last round (26 of that willpower is Eowyn), and I managed to reduce my threat to 0.