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dalestephenson

Solo League 16 -- Dreamchaser with Angmar player cards

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Welcome to the LOTR Solo League. This month we'll be playing three sailing quests from the Dreamchaser cycle. The quests are:

1) Voyage Across Beleagar
2) Flight of the Stormcaller
3) Storm Over Cobas Haven

Here are the rules:

1) Each player will construct a 50+ card deck, then use that exact deck against all three quests. You may use that deck freely against any quests (include the three quests in the league) prior to the run for testing purposes, but you may not use any trial runs for your official results.

2) At least one of the heroes must be from a box with those quests. This means that you must have at least one of Cirdan, Galdor, Leadership Denethor, and Na'asiyah.

3) Your score against each quest will be how much help you need to defeat it, based on the Grace of the Valar variant invented by Seastan. It works like this:

For each token you have, after you draw/mulligan your initial hand you can choose to draw a card or give a hero a resource. This happens one at a time, so if I use my first token to draw a card, I see the card before I decide whether to use my second token for a card or a resource.

The original variant starts at zero tokens and gains two tokens if you lose quickly (first five turns) and one if you do not -- however, for the purposes of this league I will allow you to start a quest at any number of tokens, and adjust by as many as you want. The only rules for adding/reducing tokens are these:

Rule 1) If you lose a quest with X tokens, you cannot play that quest again with X or less tokens.
Rule 2) If you defeat a quest with Y tokens, you cannot play that quest again with Y or more tokens.

So for example, if I start with six tokens against Voyage Across Beleagar and defeat it, I can play it again with 0-5 tokens. If I then try with three tokens and lose, I can play it again with 4 or 5 tokens. If I try with four and lose, I can play it again with 5 tokens. If I win, my final score for that quest is 5, and if I lose my final score for the quest is 6. (Alternatively, I could've decided that 6 was a good enough score the first time I played it, and just have my final score be 6 without playing again.)

Remember that tokens do not carry over between quests. When playing Storm Over Cobas Haven it does not matter how many tokens I needed to defeat Flight of the Stormcaller.

4) You are not required to publish your deck, but providing a ringsdb link is encouraged (otherwise I may need to ask you for your decklist at the end of the month if required for a tiebreaker). You are required to reveal which Heroes you used, and how many cards in your deck came from outside GH/Dreamchaser, LR/Angmar and a single core. Do not include outside heroes in this count, only cards in the deck itself.

5) Tiebreakers have frequently mattered. Here are the tiebreakers, in order:
---
1st) The number of outside cards (i.e. not from GH/Dreamchaser, LR/Angmar or a single core) used in the deck. Do not count outside heroes in this count, only cards in the deck. Less cards is better.

2nd) The number of heroes specifically from GH/Dreamchaser or LR/Angmar. More is better.

3rd) The number of heroes used from this list: Cirdan, Galdor, LeDenethor, Na'asiyah. More is better.

4th) The number of cards in the deck outside GH/Dreamchaser and LR/Angmar. Less is better, and core cards are considered "outside" for this tiebreaker.

5th) The number of cards outside Grey Havens, Flight of the Stormcaller, and Storm Over Cobas Haven. Less is better, and core cards are considered "outside" for this tiebreaker.

6th) Performance in November's Solo League (if you didn't play or finish September's League, a median performance will be assumed). Whoever did worst wins this tiebreaker.
---

6) 1st place gets to choose the cycle for February's league, 2nd place gets to choose a quest from that cycle, and 3rd place gets to choose a quest *not* to be used from that cycle. In an effort to expand the diversity of decks used, the last place player will choose an additional cycle that may be used for deckbuilding in February's league. January's cycle will be chosen by the winner of November's league.

7) Weekly deadlines will be on Monday at 11pm Eastern. Only the final deadline really matters for scoring (and can be delayed if requested) -- the first two deadlines are only to be included in intermediate standings.

Voyage Across Beleagar: December 16th
Flight of the Stormcaller: December 23rd
Storm Over Cobas Haven: December 30th

8 )  I've created a google spreadsheet for results here: 
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TK-qLhJh0RDg9r8FyH8tcJ5r-Qtt371GKboZO5AtXIY/edit?usp=sharing

To join the league, merely add your name and information about your deck to the spreadsheet, then enter your results as you have them. Please give a link to your deck if you built or published it on ringsdb, but it is not required.

If you wish you may run additional decks against the quests and record your results (I hope to do this), but only the first entry will be considered for the competition itself.

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First two quests down. 

 

Voyage Across Beleager was rough, I chose Dawn Star as my second ship to help with needed card draw but didn't draw Steward of Gondor until too late to matter, also got location locked as my build was mostly relying on the ships and Sam to do the questing. Which caused me to threat out on the last stage 2. 

 

Second try with one token went much much better as I drew Steward and Magic Ring round one and could play them all to turn Na'asiyah into a ship slayer. Boromir was great for the sailing tests as he could always contribute and once I got a few cheap allies out there the Snowbourn Scouts and Honour Guards helped keep my ships on course for the entire game while my ships and Sam power quested and Na'asiyah obliterated any enemies unfortunate enough to pop up. Wait No Longer was also exceptionally helpful to help quest since I could fairly easily dispatch enemies. I was able to Firefoot + Quick Strike with Na'asiyah twice and destroy a southern Sailor and then sink the ship it sailed in on with the excess damage. The thematic win of the queen of the Corsairs defeated other pirates while Boromir helped hoist the sails, quest and fight all in the same round was excellent. Definitely a lot of fun.

 

Took on Flight of the Stormcaller and decent starting hand but didn't draw any Gandalf/Sneak attack until phase 3 of the quest. Questing topped out with my two ships and Sam again while my Tactics heroes handled any ships/boarders. It was a very tense finale when I finally caught up to the Stormcaller on stage 4 and engaged it along with a corsair skiff and Swift Raider. I began the final combat phase with my swarm of cheap crewmember allies and fresh heroes taking on the three enemy ships along with the 5 enemy corsairs that boarded, one of which was the Umbar Captain who had to be destroyed before I could attack the Stormcaller. I sacrificed most of my grunts which caused Na'asiyah to gain a resource for each of their deaths as it fueled her anger and retaliation. A Sneak Attacked Gandalf and Boromir attacking in his Raiment of War defeated the Umbar Captain which he then readied and attacked the Stormcaller alongside Elven archers, a Dunedain Hunter, Gandalf and finally Na'asiyah attacking while spending 4 resources to deliver the killing blow and winning the game. One of the most interesting finales of any scenerio I have played and the theme was super rich here. Great sailing quests! 

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Ah yes, Storm on Cobas Haven, Carn Dum of the sea I say. Very rough start with a Heavy Cruiser getting drawn as the guarded encounter card and I kept failing sailing tests. Very quickly threated out.

Next attempt was another rough go drawing two siege ships in the first round, being off course has seemingly unable to get back on again I proceeded to be pummeled by arrows and lost my heroes shortly after losing again.

Trying again with 4 tokens I was able to acquire 2 Dol Amroth Warships, and then a captured Corsair Skirmisher all fairly early on. I passed every single sailing test even when I only sent as few as two characters. The wind had definitely changed direction with my luck. Using this fleet of 5 ships I was able to take out the Raider Flagship during a prolonged battle on the first stage. Boromir was key to winning being able to hold off attackers while Na'asiyah dispatched a strong enemy or two each round (until Magic Ring got pillaged by a corsair then it was just one). When I got to stage three I realized that I had won by defeating the flagship earlier on. So all in all 4 tokens for this incredibly difficult scenerio was required for my thematic pirate build. Lots of fun using Na'asiyah on quests that feel like they were designed for her.

 

Total tokens for all three quests are 5, rough go haha. I hope all your sea adventures fair better guys.

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I see three attempts described, with the last at four tokens.  Was the second attempt with three tokens?  If not, you may be able to improve your score, if you care to.  If you lost at two tokens (for example) then won at four tokens in your next attempt, you can try again at three.

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