The Line Unbroken – 49: Treachery of Rhudaur

As we pass the halfway point of the Angmar Awakened cycle we get into the stuff I really like. I do enjoy the quests in the first half, but theme-wise fending off undead in ancient ruins and fighting a pitched battle against the forces of Angmar both interest me more than trekking across the wilderness and escaping from prison; meanwhile on the gameplay front the last 3 quests are sometimes harsh but well-balanced challenges. Treachery of Rhudaur in particular is a quest I’ve used a fair bit as a deck tester – it hits you in all areas and has a well-defined structure with five rounds of buildup and then the big confrontation at the end. Meanwhile the encounter deck doesn’t do anything crazy that would particularly invalidate certain deck types like some quests do.

The player cards made a bit of a splash into the meta as well. The big thing was of course the Noldor discard strategy really starting to take shape, but aside from that we also got the capstone of the victory display strategy, a strong booster to Valour and two pretty ridiculous Leadership cards to play with. Not to mention that as good a fit as he can be for Noldor, Erestor is just amazing for enabling pretty much everything you throw him into, so long as you account for him in building your deck. The scope of what you can do with that extra draw is just crazy.

Returning to the quest, the defining feature of Treachery of Rhudaur is of course the structure of the first stage with the three side-quests which if completed offer clues to make things easier subsequently, and each having another way of making progress other than just questing to it normally. How things play out with those side-quests tends to vary quite a bit with varying player counts, but also with deck selection – under some circumstances it can be preferable not to try to hard to complete the side-quests, focusing instead on building up a solid board state before advancing, lest Thaurdir catch you completely unprepared to deal with him. On the other hand that always feels like you’re not really playing as intended. My general experience has been that in 2-player I tend to get one or two of the side-quests done, but never all three; in solo it’s rare I manage more than one; in 3-player getting all three is more feasible though it obviously takes a certain amount of effort. For The Line Unbroken since I’m particularly trying to show off the quest, I want to try and get through all three side-quests if I can, which given their fairly high quest points and the time limit of 5 rounds means I definitely want to focus on decks which ramp up quickly out of the gate. Handily that fits in well with building a deck using Erestor.
That said, I actually built the decks for this quest twice. My initial pass was much more ally focused, but that’s not so good since one of the side-quests gives a willpower penalty to allies, and there’s a “1 damage to each exhausted character” treachery which could’ve wrecked my questing. Those decks would still work reasonably so long as I got lucky with that treachery, but I think they’d be a bit less consistent and it’d certainly be a lot more difficult for me to get through all three side-quests as I was just saying I want to. So I went partially back to the drawing board, cut some allies, changed two of my heroes and tried again. Since the ally problem is to do with willpower, I could’ve been alright with more combat allies, but sticking more to hero power still made some sense just as a general tendency, and it certainly works for trying to be strong right out of the gate. Support allies are obviously fine though. One idea I had which mostly ended up being cut was to try some Valour stuff, since Horn’s Cry came in this pack, but one of the remaining vestiges of that idea was Grima, who works pretty great with Erestor anyway since the core tenet of an Erestor deck by necessity is to just play cards as fast as possible. Meanwhile it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that in trying to build decks which would be strong right out of the gate I ended up using my picks for the best quester, attacker and defender in the game (Eowyn also synergises really well with Erestor).

Trusted Advisors

Heroes:
Eowyn
Grima
Erestor

Allies (18):
Elven Jeweller x3
Curious Brandybuck x3
Gleowine x3
Mirkwood Pioneer x3
Warden of Healing x3
Ithilien Tracker x2
Arwen Undomiel x1

Attachments (17):
Keys of Orthanc x3
Protector of Lorien x3
Silver Harp x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Steed of Imladris x3
Light of Valinor x1
Asfaloth x1

Events (15):
A Test of Will x3
Dwarven Tomb x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3

Thoughts: As noted, Grima and Eowyn are both good with Erestor, because Grima can speed up your ability to play things and Eowyn gives you another use for those cards. Protector of Lorien, Steed of Imladris and Elven Jeweller also allow me to get use out of discarding cards (and Silver Harp can get me more discards sometimes as well as holding onto important cards between rounds). Curious Brandybucks are potentially handy since I can put them into play for free just by travelling to a location. And Dwarven Tombs can let me recover cards I couldn’t play the first time I drew them (or just recycle my Elrond’s Counsels over and over).
Mirkwood Pioneers and Ithilien Trackers can negate threat in the staging area to speed up my progress. Keys of Orthanc will speed up my ability to play cards. Action advantage is going to come in very handy, mostly for the other deck, extra card draw is really useful again for the other deck primarily – though drawing the extra cards for this deck can also be useful either to find important things quicker or alternatively just to get me more cards to fuel the discard effects.

Keeping the dead down

Heroes:
Balin
Aragorn (Ta)
Beregond

Allies (12):
Gandalf (Core) x3
Faramir x3
Veteran of Osgiliath x3
Honour Guard x3

Attachments (26):
Steward of Gondor x3
King Under the Mountain x3
Dunedain Mark x3
Rohan Warhorse x3
Gondorian Shield x3
Secret Vigil x3
Spear of the Citadel x2
Raven-winged Helm x2
Arod x2
Rivendell Bow x2

Events (12):
Sneak Attack x3
Legacy of Numenor x3
We Are Not Idle x3
Feint x3

Thoughts: Faramir is significant here as he can give me the extra willpower I need, including when I’m questing to the anti-ally side-quest. Beyond that the main factor is powering up my Tactics heroes for combat – Beregond with Shield, Spear and Helm, Aragorn with Warhorses and Marks. Rivendell Bows are likely to be irrelevant, but just in case I end up with enemies engaged with deck 1 and not deck 2 so I can’t pull them over with Aragorn – or maybe if I get Light of Valinor on Erestor making him Ranged could come in handy.
The biggest risk to this deck is threating out, but I can combat that with Secret Vigils and Sneak Attack Gandalf, and I have plenty of draw to ensure I find those things. Legacy of Numenor will more likely be a help for the other deck, especially if I can play it round 1 to get more played out of that 10 card opening hand. This deck on the other hand is mostly cheap on the Tactics side and Balin can have Steward of Gondor to fund the more expensive Leadership cards and his ability.

RingsDB:
http://ringsdb.com/fellowship/view/2642/the-line-unbroken-treachery-of-rhudaur
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/5381/the-line-unbroken-treachery-of-rhudaur-deck-1-1.0
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/5382/the-line-unbroken-treachery-of-rhudaur-deck-2-1.0

Youtube: Treachery of Rhudaur

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