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mjd83

Secrecy deck strategy?

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Has anyone had much success with the secrecy keyword yet? I've always enjoyed playing secrecy decks but have never really been able to get them to ring. Recently it seems there has been some decent secrecy support so I've started experimenting again.

I'm finding that ironically, it seems to have become more viable as a cooperative play deck. I can usually get a pretty good resource curve going, quest pretty well, and find that Merry (who I thought woukd be the key) is much more potent and consistent at reducing threat in multi.

I am struggling with secrecy decks in solo, primarily because I can't seem to find a good way to deal with enemies, and Merry's threat reduction is shakier and more costly (exhausting a hero is steep price in solo.

Anybody else been experimenting with secrecy? It feels like it really should work but I just can't find that sweet spot.

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I have been using a Hobbit Secrecy deck (with Spirit Glorfindel) against all of the recent scenarios, with quite a bit of success. You can find a more in-depth discussion of this deck (an older version) on my blog. Good luck!

 

Heroes:

Sam Gamgee (TBR)

Pippin (TBR)

Glorfindel (FoS)

 

Allies: 25

Errand-rider (HoN) x2
Henamarth Riversong (Core) x1
Bill the Pony (TBR) x1
Naith Guide (TDT) x1
Arwen Undómiel (TWitW) x1

Imladris Stargazer (FoS) x1

Gléowine (Core) x1
Mablung (TLoS) x1

Ithilien Tracker (HoN) x1

Quickbeam (ToS) x1

Wandering Ent (CS) x1
Warden of Healing (TLD) x1
Orophin (CS) x1

Elrond (TRD) x1
Treebeard (TAC) x1

Anborn (TLoS) x1

Gimli (ToS) x1
Faramir (Core) x1
Boromir (TRD) x1

Legolas (ToS) x1
Gildor Inglorion  (THoEM) x1

Gandalf (Core) x1
Gandalf (TH:OHaUH) x2

 

Attachments: 10
Hobbit Cloak (TBR) x1
Staff of Lebethron (TLoS) x1

Light of Valinor (FoS) x2

Elf-stone (TBR) x1

Lembas (Trouble in Tharbad - aka, FFG doesn't like breasts) x1

Asfaloth (FoS) x1

Resourceful (TWitW) x3

 

Events: 12

A Very Good Tale (TH:OHaUH) x2
Elrond's Counsel (TWitW) x2

Daeron's Runes (FoS) x2
A Test of Will (Core) x2
Dwarven Tomb (Core) x1

Timely Aid (TRG) x3

Side Quests: 3
Gather Information (TLR) x1
Double Back (EfMG) x1
Send for Aid (TToR) x1

Edited by danpoage

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Yeah, I've used a similar deck to the one Dan posted, and it is very strong in both solo and multiplayer.  Leadership secrecy decks tend to focus on big allies and can be really strong because of Timely Aid.

 

I've also made a few spirit/lore secrecy decks with Glorfindel and Pippin.  This one uses Mirlonde as the third hero and relies on scyring and traps to take out the enemies.  I also made one with Frodo that focuses on Hobbit Pipes and threat reducing events to keep you in secrecy and draw a ton of cards. 

 

I've tried a few decks with Merry, but have found for the most part found that his ability is often not worth the loss of 2 willpower. It's just easier to stay in secrecy with Glorfindel and events like Elrond's Council.  I've also thought about combining Merry, Glorfindel, and Frodo with Song of Earendil to make a multiplayer deck that soaks up all the threat, but haven't had a chance to try it out.

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I'm sure your deck is solid dan, but it's really not a secrecy deck.   It has 3 copies of Timely Aid and Rescourceful and that's the only secrecy cards I see.   That's really not making much use of the Secrecy keyword, IMO.    It really hardly counts....

 

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My version of Dan's deck has Celduin Travelers and Ithilien Lookouts.  A great starting hand is Timely Aid into some big ally, then play a Traveler/Lookout, and now you have 2 allies costing 7-9 for a Very Good Tale.

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I'm sure your deck is solid dan, but it's really not a secrecy deck.   It has 3 copies of Timely Aid and Rescourceful and that's the only secrecy cards I see.   That's really not making much use of the Secrecy keyword, IMO.    It really hardly counts....

 

 

That's the whole point. Secrecy is not supposed to be found in every card of the deck. I mean, you still need the Tests of Will, Runes, allies and attachments and whatnot that every deck needs, or else the deck would be terrible. The idea behind secrecy is to start at 20 or less threat, play a few key secrecy cards early on, and then function like a normal deck. If the majority of the cards in the deck had secrecy, it would be a pretty bad deck.

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My version of Dan's deck has Celduin Travelers and Ithilien Lookouts.  A great starting hand is Timely Aid into some big ally, then play a Traveler/Lookout, and now you have 2 allies costing 7-9 for a Very Good Tale.

 

I'm also playing these and even Rivendell scout. With Faramir and a bunch of absurdly cheap allies, you get great questing numbers. Otherwise, it's a similar setup but with spirit Merry instead of Glorfindel, and fewer combat oriented cards, since it gets played in 2 handed with a Dunedain deck.

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That's the whole point. Secrecy is not supposed to be found in every card of the deck. I mean, you still need the Tests of Will, Runes, allies and attachments and whatnot that every deck needs, or else the deck would be terrible. The idea behind secrecy is to start at 20 or less threat, play a few key secrecy cards early on, and then function like a normal deck. If the majority of the cards in the deck had secrecy, it would be a pretty bad deck.

 

okay, sure, but we have how many secrecy cards and you're telling me that only 2 of them are playable?

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Kinda. I mean, most of the secrecy cards are playable, but it's only a handful that are essential to this deck. Timely Aid and Resourceful are cards the deck depends on to be successful, while the other secrecy cards you don't really need them. The 1 cost events and most of the other secrecy cards are cool and useful, but they're not essential (except for Noiseless Movements in a secrecy Haldir deck). I do think the deck would benefit from Ithilien Lookout though, as he is an extremely good card in secrecy. But as I said, in this specific deck, as well as most secrecy decks, you only need a couple secrecy cards, the rest of the slots being used for must-have cards every other deck uses. For the Secrecy Dunhere deck you need Resourceful and a couple other Spirit secrecy cards (Out of Sight works great for those enemies that do get through), but you don't need to fill the deck with secrecy cards. In fact, in this deck you only need secrecy for the first couple of turns; after you've set up you don't care if your threat is above 20.

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I have so many high cost allies in my version of this deck (Sam/Merry/Pippen) that I threw in Taking Initiative.  38 of the cards trigger it in round 1. Helps draw into Timely Aid and might even ding an enemy in setup. In my most recent game it took out a scout sentry in Massing, in which I cruised to an easy win.  The deck includes 18 secrecy cards. Most of the other cards are 1x unique allies, which definitely ups the fun/variety factor. 

 

#[Hobbit Friends](http://ddddirk.github.io/lotrdb/#/#NoIgEg9gRlCWAuACAYgJ1gUwHYBMDOIANKAMZEBMhAjALrECc11dpRALM8QOyEAcjAZhYcqABk7Aq1UeNrFxbAKyEhxZVSoiWUroznAevFS3ECp+nor0sQGIupY9yR-VMUCJIMoQBsE2dbEHuSCLB5cPPqyWsS27BLKipGOhOR+qqAAhkRiEpFsfvogOPGuhEkSjPTmNt5U6WG+lBnBxkEqbVk5HEI0QA)

Total Cards: 50

**Heroes** (starting threat: 20)
[Merry](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Merry-twoe) (*The Wastes of Eriador*)
[Pippin](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Pippin-tbr) (*The Black Riders*)
[sam Gamgee](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Sam-Gamgee-tbr) (*The Black Riders*)
**Allies** (35)
1x [bill the Pony](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Bill-the-Pony-tbr) (*The Black Riders*)
1x [brok Ironfist](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Brok-Ironfist-core) (*Core Set*)
1x [Denethor](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Denethor-eaad) (*Encounter at Amon Dîn*)
3x [Dúnedain Wanderer](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Dunedain-Wanderer-rtr) (*Road to Rivendell*)
1x [Erestor](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Erestor-tld) (*The Long Dark*)
1x [Faramir](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Faramir-core) (*Core Set*)
1x [Gimli](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Gimli-tos) (*The Treason of Saruman*)
3x [Rivendell Scout](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Rivendell-Scout-ttt) (*The Three Trials*)
1x [beorn](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Beorn-core) (*Core Set*)
1x [boromir](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Boromir-rd) (*The Road Darkens*)
1x [Gwaihir](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Gwaihir-***) (*Trouble in Tharbad*)
1x [Landroval](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Landroval-ajtr) (*A Journey to Rhosgobel*)
1x [Legolas](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Legolas-tos) (*The Treason of Saruman*)
1x [Rúmil](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Rumil-ttt) (*The Three Trials*)
3x [Celduin Traveler](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Celduin-Traveler-nie) (*The Nin-in-Eilph*)
1x [Damrod](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Damrod-hon) (*Heirs of Númenor*)
1x [Elfhelm](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Elfhelm-tdm) (*The Dead Marshes*)
3x [Northern Tracker](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Northern-Tracker-core) (*Core Set*)
1x [Anborn](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Anborn-tbog) (*The Blood of Gondor*)
1x [Galdor of the Havens](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Galdor-of-the-Havens-ttor) (*The Treachery of Rhudaur*)
1x [Gildor Inglorion](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Gildor-Inglorion-thoem) (*The Hills of Emyn Muil*)
1x [Haldir of Lórien](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Haldir-of-Lorien-ajtr) (*A Journey to Rhosgobel*)
3x [ithilien Lookout](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Ithilien-Lookout-tdt) (*The Dunland Trap*)
1x [Gandalf](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Gandalf-thohauh) (*Over Hill and Under Hill*)
1x [Treebeard](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Treebeard-tac) (*The Antlered Crown*)
**Attachments** (6)
3x [Elf-stone](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Elf-stone-tbr) (*The Black Riders*)
3x [Resourceful](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Resourceful-twitw) (*The Watcher in the Water*)
**Events** (9)
3x [A Very Good Tale](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/A-Very-Good-Tale-thohauh) (*Over Hill and Under Hill*)
3x [Taking Initiative](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Taking-Initiative-trg) (*The Redhorn Gate*)
3x [Timely Aid](http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Details/Timely-Aid-trg) (*The Redhorn Gate*)
***
^^Deck ^^built ^^with [^^Rivendell ^^Councilroom](http://ddddirk.github.io/lotrdb)

Edited by Denison

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Thanks guys....wow...some great ideas. Dwarf secrecy? Now that's thinking outside the box.

I guess I've mainly been focusing on the lore aspect of secrecy running encounter deck manipulation. Testing it against nightmare Khazad Dum (new favorite deck tester) it does alright until a big enemy slips through.

I guess I'm interested experimenting with secrecy with two caveates....1. No Glorfindel....I am so sick of playing this elf and refuse to believe that the game is only beatable with him and 2. I want to make secrecy a prominent theme....not just turn 1. There are a lot of powerful secrecy cards out there......"Risk Some Light" is one nobody has mentioned much....it's just finding the right combination to tie them together in a fun and interesting way.

I have found what is awful for secrecy is 1st round doomed and big enemies. I feel like if you can figure these out, there is a viable archetype under the surface.

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Interested to hear more about secrecy Haldir deck? Please say it doesn't involve Glorfindel? I tried this with Mirlonde, Haldir, and Merry....but found Haldir is less effective without leadership or tactics to boost his combat. Really, it's tough to findicate much attack at all with spirit and lore.

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It does utilize Glorfindel. And no, you can't replace him with Merry because it uses Tactics Merry to get the bows on Haldir. Still, if you're tired of Glorfindel, maybe just don't run Light of Valinor? He's much more balanced without it. In any case, the deck focuses more on Haldir and getting him to snipe enmies in the staging area. It's a pretty cool deck.

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Well, I don't know if you count this, but I saw a two-hero Outlands secrecy deck (timely aid and resourceful anyway) at GenCon using only Hirulin the Fair and Theoden.   It was pretty boss.

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Well, I don't know if you count this, but I saw a two-hero Outlands secrecy deck (timely aid and resourceful anyway) at GenCon using only Hirulin the Fair and Theoden.   It was pretty boss.

You mean Theodred? Because I can't see any secrecy being boss with any version of Theoden.

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What about two-hero decks? Does anybody have some good builds that use only two heroes?

I wonder if Elrond + Merry would make a viable secrecy deck.

 

The Sam/Galadriel deck I posted about earlier only has 2 heroes. But the only card with Secrecy is Timely Aid.

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What about two-hero decks? Does anybody have some good builds that use only two heroes?

 

I built an Elladan + Elrohir secrecy deck that does decently. In retrospect, I might sub in 2x sneak attack for one of the Crams and one of the Eagles are Coming.

 

nice deck! love the brothers so always cool to see new takes on them, not many secrecy cards but a cool deck.

Relies pretty heavily on Gandalf to lower threat though...

Edited by PsychoRocka

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Well, I don't know if you count this, but I saw a two-hero Outlands secrecy deck (timely aid and resourceful anyway) at GenCon using only Hirulin the Fair and Theoden.   It was pretty boss.

I've also used an Outlands Secrecy deck with Hirluin and Sam.  You get 2 extra willpower compared to Theodred and Sam can reliably use Hobbit Cloak to defend for 4.  The thing I really liked was that you could play Bill the Pony and Rivendell Scouts for free and use them for a Very Good Tale.  This is also the only deck where I've successfully used Taking Initiative.

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