Deckbuilding Challenges: No Attachments/All Attachments

A little while back I asked both on the Warden of Arnor facebook page and on the FFG forums for people to suggest some deckbuilding challenges I could attempt. I’m now about to attempt the first couple of the challenges I was suggested. In this post I’ll talk through my deckbuilding process and then I’ll be doing a livestream of the actual gameplay. After the livestream I’ll stick the VOD on youtube and link it below instead of the link to my twitch page.

First let’s introduce the two challenges I’m doing here. The first challenge, suggested by Alex P, was to build a deck with the hero lineup of Gandalf, Tactics Boromir and Spirit Glorfindel, using no attachments. Since this means no Light of Valinor or Asfaloth for Glorfindel, no Gondorian Shield, Gondorian Fire/Blood of Numenor or any other combat attachments for Boromir, and no Wizard Pipe or Staff for Gandalf, it poses a not insignificant challenge to put together a workable deck.
The second challenge I’m doing was suggested by Sappidus, and was the exact opposite – a deck composed of nothing but attachments. To cement the contrast between the two challenges I’ve decided to use the same hero lineup for this one as well. While Gandalf, Boromir and Glorfindel do rather expect to have certain attachments included for their use, having nothing else at all is still a somewhat problematic proposition. It’s very interesting.

So onto my deckbuilding process. For the no attachment deck, a few things immediately come to mind:
1. In the absence of Unexpected Courage, some event-based readying may be useful.
2. In the absence of defence boosts, I’ll have to try and make do with damage cancellation and healing.
3. Gandalf’s ability can get through multiple cards each round if I stack events, so Stargazers are good.

So those initial thoughts immediately get me 3x Honour Guard, 3x Imladris Stargazer, 3x Warden of Healing (Gandalf can play them), 3x Gondorian Discipline, 3x The White Council. I can also add in Flame of Anor to ready Gandalf (and the attack boost can potentially be set up with a Stargazer) and I can further my intent to prevent damage with Feint and Hasty Stroke.
Adding in staples Test of Will and Elrond’s Counsel brings me to a solid 21 events, all quite cheap, which is great for this. I want to add some more allies.
Going for basic cheap sources of the main three stats I grab Defender of Rammas, Dunedain Hunter and Galadriel’s Handmaiden. The Hunters could be problematic, arguably I might be better off with Galadhon Archers, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to manage. Let’s also throw in Envoy of Pelargir, who is cheap and can smooth resources between spheres since both Boromir and Glorfindel are Noble.
Now a few unique allies. None of them will be particularly crucial so one copy each should be alright. Having some higher cost cards will also potentially help with Flame of Anor. Azain Silverbeard for attack (and I might stack up enough resources for his ability, you never know), Deorwine for defence. Treebeard for everything, he’s hard to leave out, and it helps that he’s neutral as well. Finally I might want a bit more willpower since I’d rather not quest with Glorfindel too much, so let’s add Bofur (Sp) and Arwen. While I can save up resources and/or have Gandalf chip in, including A Good Harvest will make everything run smoother, plus it’s another 0-cost event for Gandalf to speed my deck up with, and it gives me a backup way of paying for my Wardens of Healing.
Other cards I considered but which ultimately didn’t make the cut were ally Bilbo (just for the willpower, and I guess I could trigger his response if I just really wanted to shuffle my deck), The Galadhrim’s Greeting (obviously useful but a bit expensive), Derndingle Warriors (given my limited ability to play the Wardens I didn’t want to be depending on allies who have to take damage), and ally Legolas (the draw could’ve been useful but I decided to just depend on Gandalf, also Legolas is more expensive than Azain and I’ll be playing solo so no need for Ranged). One card which I didn’t consider but possibly should have done was Revealed in Wrath, and early on I considered the possibility of side quests but then I forgot. Never mind though, here’s the complete decklist:

No Attachment Challenge

Heroes:
Gandalf
Boromir (Ta)
Glorfindel (Sp)

Allies (26):
Defender of Rammas x3
Dunedain Hunter x3
Honour Guard x3
Galadriel’s Handmaiden x3
Imladris Stargazer x3
Warden of Healing x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Arwen Undomiel x1
Bofur (Sp) x1
Azain Silverbeard x1
Deorwine x1
Treebeard x1

Events (24):
Feint x3
Gondorian Discipline x3
A Test of Will x3
Hasty Stroke x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
A Good Harvest x3
Flame of Anor x3
The White Council x3

Decklist on RingsDB

Now, second challenge – all attachments. Some attachments are obvious of course – 3x Gandalf’s Staff, Wizard Pipe, Light of Valinor, Gondorian Shield and Unexpected Courage, 2x Asfaloth and 1x Shadowfax. The main obvious shortcoming of having nothing but attachments is going to be willpower (the lack of cancellation may also be a frustration, but there’s nothing I can do about it with attachments). So while it’s usually not such good value, Favour of the Lady in this instance seems like a good pick. Strider is also good since it’s impossible for me to end up with more than 5 characters so it’s 1 resource for 2 willpower, throw in 3 copies; and 3x Grappling Hook can give me some extra insurance. Covering other things, Secret Vigil for threat reduction, Ancient Mathom for card draw (I could do Expert Treasure-hunter but I have no natural Lore access) and Self Preservation for healing are my only real options.
I could go for Song of Wisdom + Burning Brand, but I feel it’d be easier to go for Silver Lamp and just discard shadow cards with Gandalf’s Staff. Let’s throw in Captain of Gondor, Rivendell Blade, Blood and Fire for extra combat boosts, Arod since it’ll work nicely with Asfaloth, and Protector of Lorien since I’m going to have a fair number of superfluous cards (and of course it works for both combat and questing insurance).
Here’s that decklist:

All Attachment Challenge

Heroes:
Gandalf
Boromir (Ta)
Glorfindel (Sp)

Attachments (50):
Gandalf’s Staff x3
Wizard Pipe x3
Strider x3
Light of Valinor x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Ancient Mathom x3
The Favour of the Lady x3
Gondorian Shield x3
Secret Vigil x3
Grappling Hook x3
Protector of Lorien x3
Self Preservation x3
Asfaloth x2
Arod x2
Rivendell Blade x2
Gondorian Fire x2
Blood of Numenor x2
Silver Lamp x2
Captain of Gondor x1
Shadowfax x1

Decklist on RingsDB

Alright, so with decks built all that remains is to play them and see if they actually work. I’ll randomise a few quests, pick one or two that I like and see how it plays out. As I said, I’m going to be livestreaming the OCTGN gameplay on my twitch channel (www.twitch.tv/pocketwraith) – specifically I am scheduling in the livestream for this Sunday (5th of March) at 8pm GMT. If you’re reading this after the livestream has happened, there should be a link below to the VOD on youtube.

Youtube VOD

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5 Responses to Deckbuilding Challenges: No Attachments/All Attachments

  1. authraw says:

    Nice! I won’t be able to make the livestream, but I’m excited to see how this plays out.

    No Nena in the second deck? It could help with the willpower deficit.

    Like

  2. I expected to see some Dunedain Signal attachments since they can provide the additional stats sans allies, but with Boromir and his standard Blood/Fire setup, all you’d need is willpower, and it’s obviously better to go with something in the spheres you’re using.

    Like

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