Deck: Brave Warriors

I’ve been on a little bit of a deckbuilding spree over the last few days, so I’ll be getting a few of those decks published on RingsDB and posted on here as soon as I get round to doing write-ups and coming up with good names for them. I’ve mentioned in the past how sometimes my deckbuilding is inspired by a card review, and that was the case here – at the end of my review on the Henneth Annun Guard I noted that he might work better now than when he was released given the possibilities of boosting him with Raiment of War and/or Narya, so I extended that to a deck generally focused on the various useful Warrior allies and more recent cards which work with the trait; and from there it ended up expanding out into three different decks. This is the one I’m posting first partly because it’s the most true to the original idea and partly because it’s the one I already have a name for, even if it is kind of generic.

So obviously while the combo of Henneth Annun Guard/Raiment of War/Narya is nice, focusing entirely on the Guard would kind of narrow. Better to have a selection of Warrior allies to power up. This is what led to this deck concept branching out into three different decks – the varying options for ally selection opened up some additional options, too many to fit into a single deck. This as I noted is the most pure execution of the original idea, the most straightforward. My ally selection is basically just Warrior allies who are decent defenders or preferably well-rounded. To be more helpful in multiplayer (being very combat-focused, obviously this has to be a multiplayer deck) I also put a bit more priority onto allies with Sentinel. Of course if I’m just looking for the best allies, they’re kind of spread across multiple spheres. More Tactics than any other, but there a couple of decent ones in Leadership and Spirit.
Which leads me to hero selection. Of course for Narya my options are Gandalf or Cirdan, and I tend to favour Cirdan, though Gandalf could work pretty well too. Since I necessarily have a lot of powerful allies with the Warrior trait in the deck, I realised this would be a great place to try out Tactics Imrahil again. Finally, it might be nice to have Leadership access outside of Cirdan/Narya, and Amarthiul seems like a great choice, being a good flexible combat hero in the Leadership sphere, but one who also gains a Tactics icon while engaged with an enemy, so if I keep one enemy alive engaged with me I have a bit more flexibility for playing those important cards. If engaged with two enemies he generates extra resources as well, which is helpful given the cost of some of these allies. Also helpful given that I was originally trying to make this deck work without using Steward of Gondor (again, multiplayer, sometimes it’s good not to be a Steward-hog) – and actually it did work out reasonably without Steward, but it’s definitely better with.

Brave Warriors

Cirdan the Shipwright
Prince Imrahil (Ta)

Allies (26):
Beorn x3
Deorwine x3
Legolas x3
Henneth Annun Guard x3
Honour Guard x3
Knight of the White Tower x3
Gimli x3
Erebor Guard x3
Azain Silverbeard x1
Jubayr x1

Attachments (18):
Raiment of War x3
Gondorian Shield x3
Armoured Destrier x3
Steward of Gondor x3
Light of Valinor x3
Narya x3

Events (6):
Feint x3
A Test of Will x3

Dunedain Warning
Secret Vigil
Elrond’s Counsel
Hasty Stroke
Tighten Our Belts
Gather Information
Send for Aid
Prepare for Battle

Decklist on RingsDB

If you’re playing the deck without Steward, use Tighten Our Belts. Obviously it’s not going to help as consistently, but that occasional boost of resources can be enough to keep you going. Keeping 2 enemies engaged to get extra resources out of Amarthiul will also be more significant than with Steward. You’ll get less out permanently, but this deck doesn’t necessarily need to put out a lot of stuff because what it does put out is very good.
To touch on the rest of the sideboard, Dunedain Warnings are another potential option for running without Steward since they’re as good as the Shield on Amarthiul at that point and unlike the Shield can be stacked (and moved in an emergency if you have spare resources). Te significance of threat reduction depends on the quest and what the other decks have. Shadow cancellation can be very significant when you’re keeping enemies around to power Amarthiul. And the side-quests are great if you can do them – Send for Aid in particular suits this deck down to the ground – but they’re not essential to the functioning of the deck.
What you cut to make room for sideboard cards is a tricky question. I’ve been hesitant to cut down the ally-count since it helps Imrahil to be consistent, but you can probably manage without all 26 of them. If subbing out Steward, the chances of playing the Knight of the White Tower normally go way down so he would make some sense as a potential cut. The Destriers might be overkill with (Steward/)Shields and all the allies for defending, or maybe if your compatriots have willpower really sorted Light of Valinor could be less significant.

Now to the normal functioning of the deck. Steward goes on Amarthiul, to get the full defence boost from the Shield and because he should be able to pay for both Leadership and Tactics cards. Give him a Destrier as well to make it safer keeping enemies around (and generally dealing with them as well. Imrahil’s resource should almost invariably be saved to pull out an ally in combat. Don’t be too concerned if the Imrahil’d allies die, there are plenty more and it thins the deck. For the properly played allies, get Raiment of War on the decent defenders, use Narya to boost them further and get more defences (or attacks). Legolas, the Honour Guards, and Azain Silverbeard are the only allies who you probably shouldn’t put Raiment onto. That’s basically all there is to it, obviously it’s a very consistent deck and the basic principles are straightforward – but some of the decisions in-game can get more interesting, and it’s incredibly fun to power up these beefy combat allies.

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One Response to Deck: Brave Warriors

  1. Pingback: Deck: Recalled Glory | Warden of Arnor

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