Deck: Expedient Alliances

Ever since Desperate Alliance was released one of the most obvious and arguably also most powerful things to do with it has been to pass Lore Aragorn across the table so other players can reset their threats as well (since ‘Limit once per game’ actually is checked by player rather than by card so letting your friend use Loragorn’s ability doesn’t stop you using it yourself and vice versa). Recently we got another ‘Limit once per game’ ability on a hero in the form of Galdor of the Havens allowing his controller to draw 6 cards, so long as his hand was completely empty. Now one might think completely emptying your hand would be difficult, but The Grey Havens also included To the Sea! To the Sea! Which allows a player to discard as many cards from their hand as they want to lower the cost of the next Noldor ally played. So, if you really want to trigger Galdor, dump your hand and do it. If To the Sea! To the Sea! is attached to Galdor, this still applies when you Desperate Alliance him across the table. And thus a deck idea was born.

Of course, it’s a somewhat vague deck idea. The basic idea just gives me two heroes, one attachment and two events (including Dwarven Tomb as well to get more use out of Desperate Alliance). The third hero should be Spirit to let me use those cards and I want some Noldor allies to make proper use of To the Sea! To the Sea! Beyond that though, there’s a lot of scope for varied approaches so I’m still not sure I’m totally satisfied with what I came up with. It does seem to work well though, so long as you remember that it’s very much a support deck and may not be doing that much in the way of heavy lifting on its own. I feel like I’ve been building more and more decks like this recently, which really don’t work properly with lower player-counts. Not a deliberate thing, just those have been the kind of ideas I’ve been having. In any case, here is what I’ve got:

Expedient Alliances

Arwen Undomiel
Aragorn (Lo)
Galdor of the Havens

Allies (15):
Elven Jeweller x3
Sailor of Lune x3
Master of the Forge x3
Imladris Caregiver x3
Gildor Inglorion x1
Glorfindel x1
Lindir x1

Attachments (13):
To the Sea! To the Sea! x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Celebrian’s Stone x2
Sword that was Broken x2
Protector of Lorien x2
Light of Valinor x1

Events (22):
Desperate Alliance x3
Dwarven Tomb x3
A Test of Will x3
Elven-light x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3
A Good Harvest x3
Lords of the Eldar x1

Sideboard (9):
Protector of Lorien x1
Steward of Gondor x3
Lords of the Eldar x2
Elrond’s Counsel x3

Decklist on RingsDB

Notes on the sideboard first: extra copies of Protector and Lords for if you want more of them. While I’m noting Protector I’ll mention that the intention is not for this deck to use it, rather for it to be played cross-table so other players have some means of actually benefitting by discarding their hands before Galdor gets passed across. Elrond’s Counsel is just generally useful. Steward I figured would make sense since I already had Good Harvest and Sword that was Broken, and it’d let me get more use out of Elven-light and play more Spirit cards in general. On the other hand though, I figured it’d be somewhat less multiplayer-friendly to hog Steward in a deck with no Leadership heroes, and since this deck is by its very nature only intended for multiplayer that’s probably a good reason to leave it out unless no-one else wants it.
The rest of the deck beyond the obvious stuff (Noldor allies, Elven-light with discard effects, Good Harvest for the Aragorn toys) is good draw to get through the deck fast and find the important stuff, and some nice multiplayer cards – Unexpected Courage for example may not be that useful for this deck, but in multiplayer, someone would probably like it. As such, if there are any particularly useful support cards you like to include – in general, for a specific fellowship, or for a specific quest – they’re the most obvious things to put in. As I covered above, there isn’t much that’s crucial to the deck’s strategy so you can swap things in and out at your leisure.

Now I will say at this point that as useful as Galdor’s draw 6 ability is, Loragorn’s threat reset is the real workhorse of the two once per game abilities. The most useful context for this deck would be allowing all decks to not worry about threat, even in quests which involve a lot of threat raising or when you’re all using loads of Doomed cards to power up. It can also save other players deckspace they’d otherwise be devoting to threat reduction. Which is a pretty big deal even independent of the other benefits. I still feel like the deck could possibly benefit from some tinkering – or maybe it’s just a question of customising it to suit certain quests and companion decks as I just outlined above. Either way, I think it can make for some fun games.

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2 Responses to Deck: Expedient Alliances

  1. Honestly, after looking at your deck list, just tossing a couple copies of Desperate Alliance when you have a Hero like Galdor isn’t a bad idea (outside of any particular deck build). The event can breathe new life into a dwindling board. A lot of times in multiplayer there is one player who tends to run out of gas either due to poor card draw or a rough encounter deck. I like the idea of just passing Galdor to that player and letting them start fresh.


  2. Qwaz says:

    I very much like this concept!


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