Card draw simulator
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TheGamesWhitman 7

Mulligan aggressively for 1-cost allies (especially Erebor Watchman, Guard of the Citadel, and Wandering Took, although Longbeard Mapmaker is fine, too). Threat reduction and Unexpected Courage are also helpful to have in your opening hand.

During early turns, guard with Dwalin until he's down to 5 , then try to keep him there with Arwen. With other decks, I'd usually activate Tom Took at the top of the round, but here I'll often let Dwalin eat that first attack, so I can get him down to 5 in as few turns as possible.

Save higher cost allies for mid to late game. Trollshaw Scout and Ithilien Lookout are both versatile characters that are worth keeping on the board as long as possible, while all of your early allies, and eventually Imladris Caregiver and Erebor Record Keeper, are expendable. Having 18 allies in the deck means you can chump block for days, but you can also cycle through allies for objective / fate rushing.

Try to save Secret Paths for stages that have objectives you can't engage. For these stages, Secret Paths is functionally extra threat reduction. Otherwise, consider what you gain from playing it. Will it prevent an end of turn effect? Will it enable you to travel, or save a character to fate up to a key event this turn? If not, you're probably better off saving your resources.

Finally, remember to save a Beorn's Hospitality for the final encounter, so you can get Dwalin back to 9 all in one go (which is usually enough to preserve your score, provided Arwen and Tom are healthy).

I'm defining 'budget' decks as costing no more than 6,000 valor points. This means a new player could probably buy everything in the deck after a couple of Palantír Runs. There also won't be any rares or legendaries, outside of what you might get in a hero pack, to conserve Palantír Views.

For this deck, you'll need to buy the Dwalin hero pack, an additional Erebor Record Keeper, plus 2 copies of Lembas and 2 copies of Trollshaw Scout.