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Two-hero secrecy challenge

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My play group has a decks with outlands, silvans, Gloin engine, all that, and even on nightmare things are starting to get a bit too easy.

 

I have been seeing more discussion on secrecy lately, and it got me going on a nice idea. Instead of having the more casual players in my group restricted from using fun decks that are as overpowered as outlands, I've been restricting myself to only two heroes. Any thoughts and similar tactics are appreciated!

 

This means having secrecy, but not being able to do things like try to make 3 heroes occasionally get cheap cards. I had a really tough time making a good secrecy deck back when the dwarrowdelf cycle ended, but what I found is the biggest boon to make the 'secrecy' strategy work isn't actually being down below 20 threat. The Black Riders gives us ways to benefit from having very low threat with respect to enemies, so even going above 20 still gives benefits to the player.

 

The decks below have worked well solo, but generally work very well coupled with another player through sentinel or ranged effects, or being able to commit heavily to a quest without worrying as much about an enemy going undefended.

 

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I love Sam. He is my bread and butter. Nice low threat, always a great ability even to as high as 29 threat, and gives us Bill the Pony for free. Here is a deck that has quested incredibly well. Only Gandalf can lower threat in the deck, but the starting threat is 14 so there is almost never trouble. Once the army of allies is built, taking out enemies isn't a problem either, with an extra card from Pippin even when past 20 threat. Bill and Out of the Wild save the poor little hobbits from otherwise nasty unexpected ways to wound and kill them.

 

Hero:

(2) 1x [LOTR=TBR]Pippin[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=TBR]Sam Gamgee[/LOTR]

 

Ally:

(26) 3x [LOTR=RtR]Dunedain Wanderer[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=The Dunland Trap]Ithilien Lookout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Rivendell Scout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Gandalf[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Bill the Pony[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Barliman Butterbur[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Faramir[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=The Treason of Saruman]Gimli[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=THoEM]Gildor Inglorion[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Miner of the Iron Hills[/LOTR]

 

Attachment:

(13) 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Resourceful[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Hobbit Cloak[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TDM]Fast Hitch[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Steward of Gondor[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=CatC]Dunedain Warning[/LOTR]

 

Event:

(11) 3x [LOTR=RtR]Out of the Wild[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TRG]Timely Aid[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Radagast's Cunning[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Sneak Attack[/LOTR]

 

 

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Sometimes an encounter deck has some significant run-away in doomed and other threat-raising effects. The solution is obvious: Strider. Galadriel from The Road Darkens is an enormously powerful combination with Strider, because it makes getting his stone and broken sword on him so much easier and cheaper. This deck list yet again uses Sam to take advantage of a great low-threat ability even when above the secrecy range. Often the deck gets only the first turn at Secrecy threat of 20, but as a few attachments build, hitting the reset switch with Strider on threat and then lowering your threat down to 17 or so gives a great push for questing quietly. Ithilien Lookout and Needful to Know both have the added benefit of working well with Wingfoot on Strider (otherwise just name enemy, because otherwise who cares?).

 

Hero:

(2) 1x [LOTR=TWitW]Aragorn[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=TBR]Sam Gamgee[/LOTR]

 

Ally:

(24) 3x [LOTR=The Road Darkens]Galadriel[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TLD]Erestor[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=THoEM]Gildor Inglorion[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TWitW]Arwen Undomiel[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Gandalf[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=RtR]Dunedain Wanderer[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=The Dunland Trap]Ithilien Lookout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Rivendell Scout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Bill the Pony[/LOTR]

 

Attachment:

(14) 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Resourceful[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Celebrian's Stone[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Sword that was Broken[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Steward of Gondor[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Hobbit Cloak[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=The Nin-in-Eilph]Wingfoot[/LOTR]

 

Event:

(12) 3x [LOTR=TRG]Needful to Know[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Elrond's Counsel[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TRG]Timely Aid[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Sneak Attack[/LOTR]

 

The deck is also effective with Theodred; swap the hobbit cloaks for Heir of Mardil and Bill with your favorite ally like Snowborne Scout or perhaps Pelargir Ship Captain to lend late-game excess resource to another player.

 

 

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The last deck I'll show is meant to explore how secrecy is even effective with Tactics. As long as the focus is on making use of low threat effects and supporting another player, this deck can do fantastic things! Brand is here, in very rare form, and works incredibly well. When he has a Dagger of Westernesse or two, a Black Arrow, and Unseen Strike, you feel like you launched an ICBM and if done right your friend's hero will even ready! This is a really fun deck approach, and really showcases how secrecy isn't necessarily about the low-cost cards but moreso on taking advantage of a very low threat. Leaf brooch really makes any sphere have secrecy, and occasionally getting a hobbit determination or hands upon the bow for free early-game is really helpful.

 

Hero:

(2) 1x [LOTR=TBR]Sam Gamgee[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=THoEM]Brand son of Bain[/LOTR]

 

Ally:

(24) 3x [LOTR=RtR]Dunedain Wanderer[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Rivendell Scout[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=The Road Darkens]Boromir[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Farmer Maggot[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Gandalf[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Bill the Pony[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=The Nin-in-Eilph]Galadhon Archer[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=The Three Trials]Rúmil[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Faramir[/LOTR]

 

Attachment:

(14) 1x [LOTR=The Three Trials]Leaf Brooch[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Resourceful[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Dagger of Westernesse[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Hobbit Cloak[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=OtD]Black Arrow[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Steward of Gondor[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Horn of Gondor[/LOTR]

 

Event:

(14) 3x [LOTR=TRG]Timely Aid[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TRG]Unseen Strike[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Halfling Determination[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=SaF]Hands Upon the Bow[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Sneak Attack[/LOTR]

 

 

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None of these decks are significantly optimized, so sharing ideas is really helpful, but I am having fun. The hall of beorn blog also had a nice deck idea for a Gloin and Bifur secrecy duo, though such an approach is strongest with another deck using Dain; it is still worth going over there for a glance.

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You didn’t give a challenge. Anyway, the first deck is my style of deck. I love Sam and I consider Pippen close to spirit Glorfindel in value for threat cost (seriously). I have made many decks with Strider, Sam, and Pippen to great success. Here are my observations:

The deck seems too attachment heavy and ally light. I personally find that Hobbit stats are too weak to justify an attachment style deck, so I would cut down to one fast hitch for Sam (among other things) and cut all 3 Dunedain warnings. Then I would just put in more allies, like 1 copy of Quickbeam or Treebeard or some Elronds. If you want to focus on attachments then trade out timely aid for Galadriel. She is an insanely good ally in any attachment heavy leadership deck.

I love a lot about the deck, like the barman ally and the out of the wild, but I think if you are going to put in out of the wild, then why not include the door is closed as well? I am not sure that Radagast cunning really carries it's weight, so it can probably be swapped out. I have also had a lot of success with take no notice because almost every quest has some stupid surge war with 5 engagement (or the tentacles in watcher in the water). The take no notice enables the sam ready effect and Pippen card draw for only 1 resource.

All that being said, I will probably give the deck a try soon :-)

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