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This is a deck meant to score 275/275 points on any difficulty using the current points system.
There aren't a lot of choices right now in the deckbuilder. A lot of the cards just suck. Spirit pretty much entirely sucks, however they have pretty much the only threat mitigation. So if you don't play with Spirit, the only way to reduce threat is Gandalf. Make sure you play both copies of him for -3 threat as early as possible to avoid "threat checkpoints".
Legolas and Arwen are the 2 best heroes in the game right now. Why? Because they do free stuff every turn without taking an action. Legloas' "softening" ability is ridiculously good. The ability to split a 1/2 attack or do 3 off the bat is amazing for getting ahead early. Arwen gives you a free heal every turn which is important for keeping your score high/perfect. Also to keep Erkenbrand alive. Erkenbrand is the best card in the game. We'll get to him in a second.
Block is the best keyword in the game. There's a lot of combat happening and to keep your guys healthy taking one less point is key. As early as possible you want to load up both Legloas and Aragorn with Block and some sort of +1 attack. You also want to get your miners out and cranking and soon as possible. The AI is pants-on-fire stupid and they mostly ignore the Zigil Miners unless they can one-shot them, aiming more for your heroes. That free 1 power a turn is the key to victory and high scores.
Guard is amazing as well, but only if your guy can do decent damage back. Erkenbrand not only does 2 damage, but he has Block, making him the best guard in the game. Once he gets attacked, immediately have him guard again if there's another active attacker on your opponent's side. Minimum he's doing 4 damage a turn. 6 with a weapon. 8 with a weapon and armor. Self-Preservation and Arwen keep him alive. He's your primary damage dealer aside from Legolas + damage. That AI will pretty much always attack him when his guard is up, even if it kills their dude and Erkenbrand takes only 1.
Aragorn rounds out your heroes because Leadership gives you miners, Gondorian Shield, and Gaining Strength. He's better than Dwalin because he can often act twice in a pinch and Dwalin's only good when his health is low which doesn't help for scoring.
You're going to want to stall early. One of the criteria for score, for some reason, is using your fates. Arwen is key for that. She's pretty much never going to attack, even if something is at 1. The AI pretty much ignores attacking her, so she's free to close hazards and farm fate as well as her caregivers.
LotR LCG is a momentum game. Get your guys powered up early, keep your momentum going, avoid "bad timing" on threat checkpoints and you shouldn't really have a problem, even on hard mode.
Before you finish the mission, make sure your 3 heroes are at max (or more) health. You've used every fate. You've completed every "mission" and "side-mission", and your threat is under 40. This deck starts at 29 and has -6 threat in it, which gives you 17 turns to complete the campaign. When Sauron plays cards that can cause threat, kill/close them asap. If he puts an attachment on a guy that gives you threat when you attack him, use guard, legolas upkeep, Galadhon Archer, etc to kill it (if you even need to kill it).
That's pretty much it. Load up your guys with block and attack, get Erkenbrand down asap with + damage and always guard twice a turn, keep your miners alive and pumping every turn, farm your fates (remember, you don't have to travel as soon as the button pops.. take advantage of those times by farming fate) and avoid getting any additional threat in any way you can. Often it's worth even sticking around an extra turn to add some attachments and get more money with miners (while staving off Sauron's new threats). You don't have to kill everything when you travel, just make sure all of the opposing dudes are exhausted, as they will get a free attack if they are not.
Sep 10, 2018
Sep 12, 2018
Your write up is a good as the deck :)
Agree on most points. I'm hoping Stealth or some other keyword will let you quest through Guard, otherwise pure questing/sneak decks are never going to be viable.
Sep 29, 2018
I've been running an Awren/Fafnir/Legolas deck but I am excited to try this. I finally got erkenbrand as 2 of my last cards and he looks very strong for the current card/quest pool. Thanks for the write up
We have very similar thoughts to this game. I hope they don't nerf Erkenbrand because he is one of my favorite characters in the LCG also. I do hope they give us other powerful things to do besides block and guard. It is going to take other powerful heroes to cause me to sit Arwen or Legolas right now. I wouldn't mind another interesting Leadership hero.