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Strategian

Escape Massing at Osgiliath

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I'm working my way through the Dwarrowdelf cycle, but paused today to revisit Massing at Osigiliath. I built this fun deck that beat the scenario twice, albeit with high scores of 160 and 171. It takes awhile for this deck to get going, but, once it does, it's unstoppable. Elrond draws your deck with Vilya and multiple copies of Unexpected Courage. Beregond defends with his usual weapons and armor. Glorfindel, with Light of Valinor, Asfaloth and Rivendell Blade, leads the allies as they together quest and fight. Elrond can help in all areas as needed. Allies were selected to help with questing (Arwen, Ethir Swordsman), defending (Defender of Rammas), or attacking (Veteran Axehand--several tactics allies competed for this slot). Gandalf does his usual things and Gildor Inglorion functions almost like an extra hero.

Hero: (3)

1x Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)

1x Beregond (Heirs of Numenor)

1x Elrond (Shadow and Flame)

Ally: (16)

2x Arwen Undomiel (The Watcher in the Water)

3x Defender of Rammas (Heirs of Numenor)

3x Gandalf (Core Set)

3x Veteran Axehand (Core Set)

3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward's Fear)

2x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)

Attachment: (19)

2x Rivendell Blade (Road to Rivendell)

2x Spear of the Citadel (Heirs of Numenor)

3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward's Fear)

3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)

3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

3x Vilya (Shadow and Flame)

3x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)

Event: (15)

3x A Test of Will (Core Set)

3x Elrond's Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)

3x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)

2x The Galadhrim's Greeting (Core Set)

3x Daeron's Runes (Foundations of Stone)

1x O Elbereth! Gilthonial! (Shadow and Flame)

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Cool deck! I notice that not many of your cards have high cost other than Gandalf/Gildor. Do you find using Elrond and Vilya to be worth it most times?

 

Some suggestions for cards to add: Feint, Foe-hammer, Goblin cleaver, Warden of Healing, and maybe Anfalas Herdsman (To prevent all your Ethir Swordsman from being wiped out by treachery)

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I considered many of the things you suggest (except Anfalas Herdsman didn't occur to me), but deck space was always the issue. All the other cards you mention were actively considered, but missed the final cut. The attachments needed to power up the heroes and the events to manage threat and encounter cards crowded out the expensive allies. I never lost any of my Ethir Swordsmen, but it is a risk.

I deliberately chose cheap cards so I could still play cards if Vilya wasn't drawn early on. Even if it is, the engine of this deck is loading Elrond with Vilya and up to three Unexpected Courages to draw and play multiple cards or turn.

I think I'll try to add Anfalas Herdsman and a few powerful allies to see how it works.

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I deliberately chose cheap cards so I could still play cards if Vilya wasn't drawn early on. Even if it is, the engine of this deck is loading Elrond with Vilya and up to three Unexpected Courages to draw and play multiple cards or turn.

 

Unexpected courage will ready Elrond, but not Vilya. So the Elrond+Vilya combination can only be used once a turn. 

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OK, I played it again, correctly this time, and beat the quest with a score of 171. With two copies of Unexpected Courage, Elrond ended up exhausting to draw a card with Vilya, quest, and attack. Even after the rules clarification, it's still a nice deck.

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I did a deck for this recently using a restricted card pool. Maybe give you some ideas...

 

 

Deck: Cheese It!

Hero (3)
Denethor (Core) x1
Eowyn (Core) x1
Gimli (Core) x1

Ally (20)
Lorien Guide (Core) x2
Northern Tracker (Core) x3
West Road Traveller (RtM) x2
Daughter of the Nimrodel (Core) x2
Gleowine (Core) x2
Henamarth Riversong (Core) x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Beorn (Core) x3

Attachment (20)
Dunedain Warning (CatC) x3
Steward of Gondor (Core) x3
Dwarven Axe (Core) x3
Ancient Mathom (AJtR) x2
Unexpected Courage (Core) x3
A Burning Brand (CatC) x3
Song of Kings (THFG) x3

Event (10)
Sneak Attack (Core) x3
Feint (Core) x3
Dwarven Tomb (Core) x2
The Galadhrim's Greeting (Core) x2

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I took Seastan's advice and added some higher cost allies, this time winning with a score of 142. Interestingly, I couldn't get Vilya or Unexpected Courage into play and had to win the old fashioned way (i.e., save resources to pay for cards). Ultimately, Arwen, Haldir, Beorn, Warden of Healing, LoV, Gondorian Shield & Gandalf x3 hit the table.

Here's the modified deck (53 cards):

Heroes:

1x Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)

1x Beregond (Heirs of Numenor)

1x Elrond (Shadow and Flame)

Allies:

1x Arwen Undomiel (The Watcher in the Water)

3x Defender of Rammas (Heirs of Numenor)

3x Gandalf (Core Set)

2x Veteran Axehand (Core Set)

2x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward's Fear)

3x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)

1x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)

1x Landroval (A Journey to Rhosgobel)

1x Haldir of Lorien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)

1x Faramir (Core Set)

1x Eagles of the Misty Mountains (Return to Mirkwood)

1x Boromir (The Road Darkens)

3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

1x Beorn (Core Set)

Attachments:

2x Rivendell Blade (Road to Rivendell)

2x Spear of the Citadel (Heirs of Numenor)

3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward's Fear)

3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)

3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

3x Vilya (Shadow and Flame)

2x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)

Events:

3x A Test of Will (Core Set)

3x Elrond's Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)

3x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)

2x The Galadhrim's Greeting (Core Set)

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May I ask, how come you have 3x Gildor but only 1 Arwen in the second version? I ran Vilya decks similar to this all through the first two cycles, and Arwen is such an amazing ally for her cost. I realise having 3 Gildor increases the chance of playing him with Vilya, but now that I look at your deck list - how do you know what's at the top of the deck without the Stargazer? I don't think Gildor's so good I'd risk including 3 uniques and ending up with dead cards.

 

I'd definitely remove 1 Gildor and add 1 Arwen again, but I'd love to hear your take on it.

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I thought I'd use Gildor like a cross between Imladris Stargazer and Wizard Pipe. If I draw a high cost ally, I need to get it back on top of the deck. Gildor is essential to this strategy. Three copies were just to ensure I drew him. As it turned out, the Vilya engine never got going and the deck won anyways, but I'll play it some more. I agree Arwen is awesome and I use her frequently.

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