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This is a decklist to beat Attercop, Attercop – the first quest of the campaign The Shadow’s Reach – in hard mode with perfect score.
Legolas is vital to this quest, as he can defeat several strong enemies single-handedly with his upkeep ability and equipped with Sting, which you’ll receive at the end of the first encounter.
Arwen’s upkeep ability is very effective in order to score perfectly, for which you need a reasonably high health total of your heroes at the end.
Aragorn is just an all-around powerful hero. The ability to use him twice per round is always great, but it can be a necessary puzzle piece at the first encounter, which you’ll want to clear in the first round.
Gaining Strength, Warrior Sword, Ever Vigilant, Longbeard Mapmaker, Silvan Tracker, and Zigil Miner all help with clearing the first encounter in one round. If you think you have too many 1-cost allies, remove Longbeard Mapmaker.
Erebor Watchman is great when guarded up; could be swapped for Guard of the Citadel if you feel like you rather need an immediate guard, but Erebor Watchman is better in the long term. Could also possibly be swapped for a higher-cost ally.
Beorn's Hospitality, Imladris Caregiver, and Self-Preservation are your healing options. High health is important for a perfect score. One of these – most likely Beorn's Hospitality – could be swapped for Lembas, but I feel like the additional healing and its flexibility are more important than readying a character.
Erebor Record Keeper is a beast in hard mode, where card draw is scarce.
Gandalf is really only there for threat reduction, although his stats – especially his willpower as you will see below – can come in quite handy.
Other cards worth looking at, but not tested yet:
The following cards can be replaced with cards from the Starter set thusly:
- Ever Vigilant -> Mithrandir's Advice
- Zigil Miner -> Sneak Attack
- Erebor Record Keeper -> Rohirrim Lancer
- Trollshaw Scout -> Warden of Annúminas
- Erkenbrand -> Veteran Axehand
Rush through A Journey Begins in the first round. Camp a bit at A Mysterious Stream & A Fresh Dilemma to play around threat events and play fate events. Complete A Timely Rescue as quickly as needed to be at high health and low threat.
For a perfect score with these heroes you’ll need to have (new values as of 2018/09/20 patch):
- resolved every(?) hazard
54 fate events
In order to clear A Journey Begins in one round, you need the right starting hand:
- Try to find a Warrior Sword and one of your 1-cost allies with 1 (Zigil Miner, Silvan Tracker, or Longbeard Mapmaker).
- Keep a copy of Gaining Strength, especially if you didn’t draw a Warrior Sword.
- If you already found one of the allies, you can also keep a copy of Ever Vigilant.
- Throw back everything else.
A Journey Begins
As stated before, you want to clear this encounter in one round.
Start with using Legolas’ upkeep ability on Hive Guardian, and immediately defeat it with Legolas. If you found a Warrior Sword during your mulligan, play it on Aragorn. If not, you have to be careful with your resources because your goal is then to equip Legolas with Sting this turn, which costs 2 and will be obtained after resolving the objective Glint of Steel. You can do so with Arwen, Aragorn, and your 1 ally. If you have the willpower left, play the fate event Bilbo’s Pack to grab a Lembas. (This is not necessary for a perfect score anymore with the patch on 2018/09/20.)
If you didn’t get unlucky with Sauron playing an additional guard without you having an answer, you should be able to travel to the next encounter in the first round.
A Mysterious Stream
If you equipped either Warrior Sword or Sting at the previous encounter, you can defeat the Wild Bear before it gets a chance to attack. Use Legolas’ upkeep ability on it and defeat it with Legolas or preferably Aragorn. Resolve Foul Weather (although it currenty is bugged in hard mode and still lets you draw a card).
At this encounter you can take your time. You want to travel on 32 , so the next encounter’s threat event More to Bear would appear on 35 … but you should be able to skip it there.
Play the fate events Ulahid Herbs & Cordial of Sleep. Readying Arwen with Ulahid Herbs lets you resolve Down a Tree easily. Use Cordial of Sleep to grab Mirkwood Water – which you will need at the next encounter – just before you travel, ideally after Sauron passes, so you don’t lose it to Evil Storm.
Keep an eye on Sauron’s treacheries: if there is a 2-cost treachery waiting to be resolved, it could be Dark Sorcery. If you have an event in addition to Mirkwood Water in hand, you might want to play it before you travel. You don’t want to have Mirkwood Water cancelled next round.
A Fresh Dilemma
Immediately play Mirkwood Water on Kirous to exhaust him.
If you can play Gandalf, do so to lose 3 . With his willpower you should be able to play the fate event Grimbeorn, defeat Kirous with the help of Grimbeorn, and travel in one turn to the final encounter where you should be able to win before the threat event There’s More of Them? triggers at 34 . (With the 2018/09/20 patch this is probably not a good idea as you need a lot of health for a perfect score, so you might want to camp at the last encounter to heal up and not deal with the threat event there.)
If you can’t play Gandalf, you can take your time again. Bring Kirous down to as little health as you need him to be – usually 4 – to defeat him with Legolas’ upkeep ability and your first attack in the second round at this encounter. Travel in the round There’s More of Them? has triggered, so you don’t have to defeat the 3 Forest Spiders. Be sure to play the fate event Grimbeorn. If you didn’t play a fate event at the first encounter, you might want to play Wild Honeycomb here for the perfect score if you can. (This is not necessary anymore with the patch on 2018/09/20.)
A Timely Rescue
- When building your deck, be sure to include Arwen before Legolas, so her upkeep ability triggers before his. This might give you an extra point of health if you finish the quest by using Legolas’ upkeep ability on the last enemy.
- If they don’t have a specific role (like Legolas in the first two rounds as detailed above), wait with Legolas’ and Arwen’s actions as long as possible. Sauron might play a Hive Guardian or another guard that you want to attack with Legolas as your only ranged character, or a hazard that needs Arwen’s 3 to be resolved.
- It is often not correct to guard up with an ally that has Block when Sauron only has 1 enemies left to attack. He won’t use them and you’ll have wasted an action, unless you already want to guard up for the next round.
- After Sauron has passed, always add leftover willpower to your fate pool before travelling.
- Resolve every hazard Sauron throws in your way for a perfect score. I’m not entirely sure about the scoring, you might get away with one hazard not being resolved.