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Mich the One

(1-hand solo) classic Gandalf / Elrond / Spiritfindel

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Gandalf, Elrond, Spiritfindel. Nothing new, the usual idea.

 

Is this the most powerful solo deck currently? (one hand play)

 

I have run these guys through all quests chronologically up to the beginning of Ringmaker adventure packs. While it is obviously possible to loose, the win rate just crushes any other deck I have played with. This includes Dwarf swarm, Outlands, Hobbits (duh!), Silvan in-and-out ally fest, Rohan thematic (ok, not really good, but its Rohan, man), Spiritfindel/Loragorn/Frodo threat-cheaters, and any other unnamed decks I could come up with or netdeck from you guys.

 

The synergy of Elrond's Vilya and Gandalf's pipe is just obscene. Glorfindel packed with his usual goodies (LoV, Asfaloth, 5 threat) is just icing on the cake.

 

Playing the deck is mighty fun, too. It combines theme with cool card mechanisms. It has access to cards from my favourite spheres (spirit & lore), PLUS you are able to play basically anything out of tactics and leadership, because Elrond, Vilya and Gandalf. So it is just pick crème de la crème from your card box, mulligan for the pipe and the ring, and whoosh.

 

I am not saying it is too easy, not at all. I am yet to try the NM quests and the final quests of Ringmaker. I also do not win always. But whenever I switch to other decks, playing cards the regular way, sweating over one resource here and there, I am left with impression that my three usual dudes would crush this without taking their hands out of their pockets. Lately I tried playing Silvan (Celebrimbor & Galadriel). It was great fun, and I was told it was very powerful too. And it is strong, but still nowhere close in my opinion.

 

So, am I mistaken? am I delusional about the discrepancy in power level between this and other hero setup? or just have no skill playing other decks (I seriously consider this as well)?

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I played these heroes through the Nightmare Heirs of Numenor. Without making any adjustments inbetween, I won 5/6 games I played. They're a strong team, and very fun to play. Really dependent on Vilya for the harder quests though. The one game I lost was my first go at Into Ithilien and I didn't get Vilya, and then you're sitting with a bunch of expensive allies you can't play and it goes downhill fast, lol. Probably my favorite deck to play, Gandalf and Elrond are awesome.

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The classic deck (50 cards):

 

heroes:

Elrond

Glorfindel (spirit)

Gandalf

 

attachments (16):

Vilya (x2)

Expert Treasure-hunter (x3)

Asfaloth (x2)

Unepxected Courage (x3)

Wizard's Pipe (x2)

Ligt of Valinor (x2)

Gandalf's Staff (x2)

 

events (10):

Word of Command

The Galadhrim's Greeting (x2)

Daeron's Runes (x3)

Elrond's Counsel (x2)

A Test of Will (x2)

 

allies (24):

Orophin

Galadriel's Handmaiden

Faramir

Haldir of Lórien

Henamarth Riversong

Gleowine

Damrod

Treebeard

Elfhelm

Erestor

Gildor Inglorion

Imladris Stargazer (x3)

Master of the Forge (x3)

Rumil

Bilbo Baggins (x2)

Saruman

Arwen Undómiel (x2)

Beorn

 

Pretty obvious synergies. There is absurd amount of card draw. The idea is to manipulate your hand and the top-deck card to play expensive cards at no or small cost. The inflow of cards is so heavy that even in the quests that punish card draw (Ringmaker) the pros outweigh the cons. In most cases you just are able to deal with everything the encounter deck throws at you including the drawing penalties (this is true in solo only, though; I have not played 2-handed with this deck).

 

Also, there is a lot of action advantage with Light of Valinor and Unexpected Courages. Threat is not an issue, Galadhrim's Greets, Elrond's Counsels plus Gal's Handmaidens deal with it well enough.

 

You might find the selection of allies pretty random and inconsistent. Basically, I just choose allies which I love for their theme. It does not really matter if it is Rumil, Orophin, Damrod or whoever. They are just bodies overflowing the board.

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Last night I made a different variant of the deck, to spice things up a bit and give myself some variety. The core idea stays the same, though. I just swapped the overworked Glorfindel with Idraen, whom I had never played with before. (BTW she is really fun and gets work done).

 

I focused on traps and ranger/scout cards. This is mostly because I have been reading The Two Towers these days and I have just read through Frodo's encounter with Faramir in Ithilien. It made me want to see Angborn and Damrod in action :)

 

Dumping Glorfindel means the starting threat totally sucks, but surprisingly this has not been an issue so far. Just needs more threat reduction and all is well.

 

Generally, the deck is a variant for more enemy heavy quests, and an excuse to play some fun trap cards. It seems to play fine, but I have played only four games with it so far (VoI and Ringmaker). Won all of them, though. Still, it was not a total breeze, but that is actually good.

 

As in the previous deck, pick allies as per your preference. For a bit of theme I put Anborn and Boromir to accompany other Gondorians. But again, it is just a salad of fun characters. If the deck will prove strong enough then for thematic reasons I might retire some of the unique non-Gondorians and intorduce the generic Ithilien Trapers or Ithilien Archers or whatever they are called.

 

Oh, there is around 60 cards. After I play some more I will see which prove least useful. So far no obvious candidates. 

 

Okay, so this is my "Trapdalf" deck:

 

heroes:
Elrond
Idraen
Gandalf
 
attachments:
Blood of Numenor
Wingfoot
Warden of Arnor (x2)
Silver Lamp
Lembas
Vilya (x2)
Expert Treasure-hunter (x2)
Unepxected Courage (x3)
Wizard's Pipe (x2)
Light of Valinor (x2)
Gandalf's Staff (x2)
Ranger Spikes (x2)
Forest Snare (x2)
Poisoned Stakes (x2)
Galadriel
 
events:
The Galadhrim's Greeting (x3)
Daeron's Runes (x3)
Elrond's Counsel (x3)
A Test of Will (x2)
Forest Patrol
 
allies:
Orophin
Galadriel's Handmaiden (x2)
Faramir
Haldir of Lórien
Henamarth Riversong (x2)
Damrod
Treebeard
Boromir
Gildor Inglorion
Master of the Forge (x2)
Rumil
Bilbo Baggins (x2)
Saruman
Arwen Undómiel (x2)
Beorn

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I played these heroes through the Nightmare Heirs of Numenor. Without making any adjustments inbetween, I won 5/6 games I played. They're a strong team, and very fun to play. Really dependent on Vilya for the harder quests though. The one game I lost was my first go at Into Ithilien and I didn't get Vilya, and then you're sitting with a bunch of expensive allies you can't play and it goes downhill fast, lol. Probably my favorite deck to play, Gandalf and Elrond are awesome.

 

Yeah, that is actually the risk. You can mitigate it through cards that allow fishing for Vilya: Word of Command, Stargazers, Master of the Forge, Expert Treasure Hunter, Gandalf's Staff, Gildor. When you count it up it makes a pretty high percent of the deck so your chances for a successful setup are high.

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Yeah absolutely. I have Word of Command in there, so for a few quests that can save you for fetching Vilya for your first round. It's mostly just the tougher Nightmare quests that'll get you if you can't start throwing out allies left and right. I actually really like Word of Command too, surprisingly. It's saved me more times than I ever thought it would like when I NEED to lower threat that round or I would hit 50 or I want Henamarth to make sure I'm breaking even on a quest phase.

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Radagast actually fits in nice with Gandalf and Elrond. He can be the stand in for Word of Command like you said, his cost makes him a good target for Flame of Arnor, and since Eagles are some of the best allies once you disregard cost, his healing + Elrond actually comes in handy a lot. He isn't the first ally I added when picking, but he has grown on me!

Edited by Chris51261

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Have you tried Radagast with this deck? I've found it nice to stick a second Wizard's Pipe on him, plus you can use him for Word of Command and save Gandalf for something more useful.

 

No, I have not actually, but that seems fun. Will try to add him in my next games.

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Radagast actually fits in nice with Gandalf and Elrond. He can be the stand in for Word of Command like you said, his cost makes him a good target for Flame of Arnor, and since Eagles are some of the best allies once you disregard cost, his healing + Elrond actually comes in handy a lot. He isn't the first ally I added when picking, but he has grown on me!

Would you mind posting a decklist of your Eagle+Radagast synergy variant, please?

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I would like to play hero Gandalf, but friends who do not play Spirit always rely on the ally for threat reduction so I'll probably have to restrict a deck like this to solo play. I almost always play Elrond and Glorfindel as Noldor is my favourite race, and Gandalf does make an awesome addition to the line-up. Right now I'm trying out Galadriel as a third hero instead.

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Heroes

Gandalf

Elrond

Glorfindel (Spirit)

Allies

Bofur (OHaUH) x1

Brok Ironfist x1

Gwahir x1

Landroval x1

Eagles of the Misty Mountains x3

Orophin x1

Rumil x1

Haldir of Lorien x1

Gildor Inglorien x1

Arwen Undomiel x1

Bilbo Baggins x2

Faramir x1

Boromir x1

Treebeard x1

Henamarth Riversong x1

Beorn x1

Warden of Healing x3

Defender of Rammas x2

Legolas x1 (Proxy)

Gimli x1 (Proxy)

Radagast x1

Attachments

Vilya x3

Wizard Pipe x1

Unexpected Courage x2

Asfaloth x1

Light of Valinor x2

Gandalf's Staff x1

Events

A test of will x3

Elrond's Counsel x3

The Galadhrim's Greeting x2

Flame of Arnor x2

Word of Command x2

Out of Sight x1

It isn't super focused on Radagast or anything, but he does have some nice combos and is a very solid ally. I love that he has more than 1 health, and him being expensive is way less of a problem in this deck. It takes some tweaking for certain quests, but I've managed to beat everything released to date using this deck. Really it's only weakness is getting Vilya out early enough. I only put in two Word of Commands though because on a lot of the Nightmare stuff, you're already in so much trouble if you're sitting with a bunch of allies that you can't pay for AND you have to exhaust Gandalf for a turn. Master of the Forge was a similar issue, since the earliest he can be out unless he's sitting on top of the deck is turn 2 and then you're flipping a coin as to whether or not Vilya is there. Still, Gandalf helps on the draws, giving you like a 64% chance of having Vilya in your opening hand, or sitting on the top of the deck after you draw your card. Threat is an issue for some quests too, most notably Journey Down the Anduin and The Morgul Vale. I usually just reached for another deck when I would go through those, but I did push my way through them with this one. Just kind of takes a fortunate draw. It's really fun! :)

Edited by Chris51261

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I have played it with Stargazers, and I really do not like them. I tried to focus the deck on having very few of those "support only" allies, so I can get at least one strong ally out every turn. The vast majority of allies I put in have at least 2 willpower, 2 attack, and 2 health. I do see the wisdom in putting her in though, and there's cards that could definitely be taken out and the deck would still work fine to have her in there. 

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For now; just threw a bunch of cards together. :) This is my first attempt to build a Gandalf/Spiritfindel/Elrod deck. Yet, untested. Absolutely not sure about the balancing of card draw vs. gain resources vs. ability to reorder cards. And I will have to reduce the card amount, but cannot decide which cards to drop out. (Any suggestions here?)

Also, some notes:
Could've included Radagast and some Creatures, but that would pile up even more.
Tried to add only one copy per unique ally card to maximize the output.
Only added more than one copy of an unique card if necessary for build up engine. Therefore added Erestor.
Skipped Damrod and Elfthelm, because Northern Tracker has same stats and additionaly a good side effect.
Maybe add Bofur (red)?
Skipped The Galadhrim's Greeting and Daeron's Runes, hoping threat reduction is good enough and there are other card draw effect cards.
Have seen Gimli and Legolas in a deck above, should think about adding them.
More cards which are in my mind: Resourceful, Elven Mail, Lembas, Rivendell Blade.


Total Cards: (60)

Hero: (3)
1x Gandalf (The Road Darkens)
1x Elrond (Shadow and Flame)
1x Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)

Ally: (25)
1x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)
1x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Haldir of Lorien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Wandering Ent (Celebrimbor's Secret) removed them because of deck size (and beeing ready next round, when also not having elrond ready is to much of a drawback)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
1x Arwen Undomiel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor's Secret)
2x Imladris Stargazer (Foundations of Stone)
3x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
1x Beorn (Core Set)
2x Booming Ent (The Antlered Crown) still in deck, but did not show up somehow
1x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
1x Erestor (The Long Dark)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
2x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame) seems to be not needed, card draw is good enough without
1x Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens)

Attachment: (22)
3x Gandalf Staff (The Road Darkens)
3x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Vilya (Shadow and Flame)
3x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)
2x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
1x Silver Lamp (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)
2x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)

Event: (12)
2x Flame of Anor (The Road Darkens)
3x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
3x Elrond's Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Word of Command (The Long Dark)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)

Side Quest: (1)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)

Edited by Flrbb

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Definitely a top-tier deck. I'd say Gandalf-Elrond-Galadriel can be just as good. The only real loss is Asfaloth synergy as LoV can always go on Elrond, and Galadriel almost alwas counters her extra 4 threat over the course of a game. And with the ease that this deck gets northern trackers into play, Asfaloth isn't missed. In return you get the Mirror of Galadriel, so you can fetch whatever ally you want to put into play, your allies don't exhaust to quest when they enter play, and if you're stuck with a bad card on the top of your deck, Galadriel can draw it off.

 

All that said, I still believe Boromir-Glorfindel-Galadriel is a stronger combo  :D

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I've always wondered why players don,t attach Burning Brand to Gandalf or Elrond with this deck; Burning brand is especially good in most nightmare quests and some other normal mode quests (like The Lost Realm). And with the new Shadowfax ally that readies Gandalf...

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If I recall correctly, Burning Brand can only attach to Lore characters and won't work on Gandalf. But it is an excellent card in a Lore deck.

If you play it from the top of your deck, Gandalf is considered to have all the printed resource icons and is thus an eligible target.

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Yep. Thats true. A second Burning Brand is attached to Gandalf himself. With Shadowfax (or U.C.) you can defend against up to 3 enemys each round, which is more than enough. :) Because of that I removed the Silver Lamp from my deck. There is no need/use for it.

Anyhow. I tried that combo with Galadriel instead of Glorfindel, as suggested above. That works, too. :) I just did not play enough games to finaly state something, but so far it seems to me that Galadriel's version has two drawbacks.

- Light of Valinor has to be attached to Elrond. Which, itself, is not bad, but: You (either need a copy of U.C. attached to him or you) have to send him questing and then use Vylia to get an ally out. (I am not that sure weather you are allowd to send that ally questing, too.) Basically, you are bound to a certain sequence to do this and that.

- That version of the deck tends even more into "managing your deck" and away from "managing the quest". Which is a nice new effect to the game mechanics, but it takes aaaaages.

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