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Shadow and Flame - Yikes! (SPOILERS)

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I just tackled Shadow and Flame for the first time.  And lost, twice.

It wasn't even close. 

I survived both times until the 3rd Quest stage, but I just didn't have a way to complete the win condition.

 

(SPOILERS BELOW)

 

As far as I can tell, the only way to remove Durin's Bane from play is to throw him in the pit, right?  (Or is there a different way?)

And, in order to throw him in the pit, we need to damage him so much that the 3 random cards we draw  is likely to exceed his remaining health.  Do I have that right too?

If that's right, then my decks (or my playing style) at this point have zero chance of beating this scenario.  I just can't get allies out fast enough to (1) chump block his attacks and (2) attack him back.  I can't even handle that first part (chump blockers), let alone attacking back.  In both games, I got a maximum of 4 damage on Durin's Bane (which  healed in 2 turns).  Sigh.

I tried Frodo in the 2nd game.  He reduced the need for chumps, but eventually that player threated out.  The sword which gives +3 attack to Durin's Bane hastened the end.

So, for the card pool up through Dwarrowdelf, is there an easy "solution" to the Shadow and Flame puzzle?  Or is this like Escape from Dol Guldur, where we just have to keep tweaking the deck, losing, tweaking, losing, etc. for several days until finally we manage, through luck, to beat it?

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There is an easy solution - in fact, the quest could be called broken. The answer is repeatable threat reduction. If you can constantly reduce your threat back to zero, durins bane won't get an attack off at you.

For the card pool up through Dwarrowdelf, I'd recommend using Nori + a lot of dwarf allies.

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1 hour ago, tripecac said:

As far as I can tell, the only way to remove Durin's Bane from play is to throw him in the pit, right?  (Or is there a different way?)

And, in order to throw him in the pit, we need to damage him so much that the 3 random cards we draw  is likely to exceed his remaining health.  Do I have that right too?

Correct. This can be achieved by both damaging a lot Durin's Bane so that even with Regenerate he still has 3 or less Hit Points remaining in the Refresh Phase or also by ensuring the three cards are high in price (doable in various ways) so that even if it has still 8-9 Hit Points left you can still throw it in the pit.

1 hour ago, tripecac said:

If that's right, then my decks (or my playing style) at this point have zero chance of beating this scenario.  I just can't get allies out fast enough to (1) chump block his attacks and (2) attack him back.  I can't even handle that first part (chump blockers), let alone attacking back.  In both games, I got a maximum of 4 damage on Durin's Bane (which  healed in 2 turns).  Sigh.

I tried Frodo in the 2nd game.  He reduced the need for chumps, but eventually that player threated out.  The sword which gives +3 attack to Durin's Bane hastened the end.

One way is using a lot of threat reduction, staying at 0 threat (let's say Galadriel) until you have established a good board presence and only then engage Durin's Bane. Another way is repeated attack cancellation (like Hama for example).

Anyway if you give us more information on your playing style, deck and available cardpool we might be able to help you more accurately.

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1 hour ago, Onidsen said:

There is an easy solution - in fact, the quest could be called broken. The answer is repeatable threat reduction. If you can constantly reduce your threat back to zero, durins bane won't get an attack off at you.

For the card pool up through Dwarrowdelf, I'd recommend using Nori + a lot of dwarf allies.

Nori + Dwarf allies + 3x Ever My Heart Rises is what saved me in this quest since all of the locations are Underground. Just keep clearing locations so you can travel, and you'll never see your threat get to 1.

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I haven't started the Hobbit Saga yet, so don't have access to Nori. :(

 

My playing style is pretty simple/newbie-ish at this point.  I play 2 handed (Leadership+Lore on one, Spirit+Tactics on the other), and am focusing on Dwarves at the moment.  This worked great all the way through Khazad Dum and Dwarrowdelf (thanks mostly to Dain), but for some reason it's not making a dent in Durin's Bane.  Perhaps that's because he's killing allies faster than I can bring them out.

In my second attempt I threw in more cheap chumps (like Snowburn Scout) but I didn't get rid of enough cards, so ended up with 70+ in one deck (and 90+ in the other) so it was a bit of a mess.

The thing I like least about this game is building decks to beat a specific scenario mechanic, and that's what it feels like I'm being forced to do for Shadow and Flame.

 

Does this happen often in later scenarios?  Or will I be able to create decks that can last entire cycles without having to forced to build scenario-specific decks?

 

(I was getting my hopes up with my Dwarf decks, until Shadow and Flame came along!)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, tripecac said:

I haven't started the Hobbit Saga yet, so don't have access to Nori. :(

 

My playing style is pretty simple/newbie-ish at this point.  I play 2 handed (Leadership+Lore on one, Spirit+Tactics on the other), and am focusing on Dwarves at the moment.  This worked great all the way through Khazad Dum and Dwarrowdelf (thanks mostly to Dain), but for some reason it's not making a dent in Durin's Bane.  Perhaps that's because he's killing allies faster than I can bring them out.

Would you care to share some of the basics of your decks? Like are you using cards only from Core Set + Shadows of Mirkwood + Khazad-Dum + Dwarrowdelf? Are you using a full Dwarf swarm with Dain as the centerpiece? Which heroes are you using?

3 hours ago, tripecac said:

The thing I like least about this game is building decks to beat a specific scenario mechanic, and that's what it feels like I'm being forced to do for Shadow and Flame.

 

Does this happen often in later scenarios?  Or will I be able to create decks that can last entire cycles without having to forced to build scenario-specific decks?

It depends on the decks, there are some which can be brought against almost all the quests of the game and still be able to get a win (even though with great difficulty some times), others are not very suited to such an approach.

Edited by Alonewolf87

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I did it I did it I did it I did it I did it!!!!!

I tweaked my Dain-centered deck, mostly removing event cards, since Durin's Bane' s Counter-spell discourages events.

I then played again,  and this time managed to have several Dwarf allies out by the time I got to the black pit.  I took 2 turns smashing the Balrog, letting Frodo turn his side's attacks into threat.

Finally, with Frodo's side having 38 threat, I let Durin's Bane have an undefended attack.  The shadow card was +3, and DB already had the +3 sword, so that was 12 damage.  If Frodo turned that into threat, that side would have 50 threat, and couldn't damage the Balrog back.  So I let Frodo die instead.

We damaged DB so much that he had 29 damage markers on him.  Some googling determined that I should keep it at 29 instead of reducing it to DB's max health (27).  So the next turn he regenerated to 26 (instead of 24).  It didn't matter, because I exhausted 3 characters and drew 8 points.  Bye bye Durin's Bane, and bye bye Moria!

 

This would have been much harder without Frodo.  It felt "wrong" to corrupt my Dwarf decks with a hobbit (and snowborne scouts and eagles) but I'm guessing we can't expect thematic decks to work with every scenario, at least when it seems we only have well-developed archetype at the time of Dwarrowdelf (Dwarves).

Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, tripecac said:

I did it I did it I did it I did it I did it!!!!!

I tweaked my Dain-centered deck, mostly removing event cards, since Durin's Bane' s Counter-spell discourages events.

I then played again,  and this time managed to have several Dwarf allies out by the time I got to the black pit.  I took 2 turns smashing the Balrog, letting Frodo turn his side's attacks into threat.

Finally, with Frodo's side having 38 threat, I let Durin's Bane have an undefended attack.  The shadow card was +3, and DB already had the +3 sword, so that was 12 damage.  If Frodo turned that into threat, that side would have 50 threat, and couldn't damage the Balrog back.  So I let Frodo die instead.

We damaged DB so much that he had 29 damage markers on him.  Some googling determined that I should keep it at 29 instead of reducing it to DB's max health (27).  So the next turn he regenerated to 26 (instead of 24).  It didn't matter, because I exhausted 3 characters and drew 8 points.  Bye bye Durin's Bane, and bye bye Moria!

 

This would have been much harder without Frodo.  It felt "wrong" to corrupt my Dwarf decks with a hobbit (and snowborne scouts and eagles) but I'm guessing we can't expect thematic decks to work with every scenario, at least when it seems we only have well-developed archetype at the time of Dwarrowdelf (Dwarves).

Thoughts?

Sounds like an epic playthrough.

Theme decks can be quite powerful (see Authraw's blog Darkling Door). But it's really difficult to do thematic decks and also do progression style.

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So, for next steps, I'm thinking of doing:

1) Massing at Osgiliath -- I forgot to do this one after Shadows of Mirkwood, so it's next on my list

2) Hobbit saga (both boxes)

3) Battle of Lake Town -- is there a way to "insert" this into the Hobbit saga, or is it best left as a standalone?

4) Heirs of Numenor

 

Does that seem like a natural sequence? 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, tripecac said:

I did it I did it I did it I did it I did it!!!!!

Congratulations!

The first time I ever beat Shadow and Flame is one my great memories of this game!

Edited by JonG

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