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|None. Self-made deck here.|
Bow of the Galadhrim is subbed here for Enduring Valor.
Damn this is a pretty fun deck. Between this deck (Aragorn/Leadership) and Unkarthug's Gimli/Tactics version (Ultra Heal), the card Enduring Valorhas become a very cool addition to the game. I've always loved when a single card can create a whole new archetype in a card game, especially when it gives new purpose to underused cards, but more on that later.
The idea behind the deck is to get Enduring Valor onto Aragorn as soon as possible. Why? Enduring Valor attaches to a character and grants a free guard action whenever that character exhausts. Because of Aragorn's action to ready himself, this means that Aragorn can gain guard twice in one round whilst performing 2 other actions. Of course, being able to guard twice in a round doesn't really do a lot for the life expectancy of the attached character, so we have to run plenty of healing cards in order to make sure that Aragorn can survive the extra attention from Sauron's forces. Beorn's Hospitality & Lembas both really help here, but the real star at keeping Aragorn alive is Daughter of the Nimrodel, a card that I felt was very underused before this deck and the singular reason why this deck is Double Lore.
Q1: If this deck is double lore, why not run any of the other Lvl 2 Lore cards? You mean, why am I not running either Sudden Riposte and Mablung? Because Forest Snare exists, and for this deck, I have found exhausting an a non-unique enemy for multiple rounds feels better than a single round effect for unique enemies. Most of the time, I want the Unique enemies to attack into Aragorn anyways for the reciprocal damage. Forest Snare works better for those nasty, high health 3+ enemies that can suddenly hit the board at an inopportune time. As for Mablung... He's just not that useful as a board presence, and we need space for more important allies like DoN, Zigil Miner & Northern Survivor... plus any quest specific allies.
Q2: So, what are we looking for in the opening hand? Enduring Valor! It's the reason why this deck exists and the quicker we can get Aragorn on-line, the better. But we also want to see some other cards, just having Enduring Valor is not good enough on it's own, and we also need to set-up Aragorn with more attack value and defenses. Ranger's Blade (Weapon) and Raven-winged Helm (Armor) are both important cards to see early on. Getting one of the two (particularly RWH) will help greatly with our success rate. Having a Daughter of the Nimrodel early is also great, but don't worry if you don't see her or one of the previous cards mentioned. The deck is running a host of draw-card effects that will help us to find the pieces we need. Erebor Record Keeper, Mithrandir's Advice & Faramir's Vanquish trigger all help immensely with this.
Q3: How does it work? Aragorn essentially works like a 'one man army' in this deck. He really is the main attacker and defender of the deck. When loaded up with Enduring Valor, Raven-winged Helm & Ranger's BladeRanger's Blade, he can attack for 4 damage, causing Enduring Valor to trigger and put him on guard where he can do an additional 3 reciprocal damage for 7 damage total. Ready him up again and repeat the same process for 14 damage total in a single round. If he's not attacking, he can be providing his to the fate meter or to objectives/hazards.
While Aragorn is busy handling the enemies, everyone else should be assisting him to do that by healing him or getting him his weapons/armor, or they should be 'questing' by building up fate and dealing with hazards/objectives (Northern Survivor, Arwen, Erebor Record Keeper). Self-Preservation should go onto Arwen and Faramir so that they can care for themselves and Arwen can focus on keeping Aragorn and/or the Daughter of the Nimrodel alive. Longbeard Mapmaker is here to assist Aragorn with (make him 4 and 'quest' twice for 8) or to boost Arwen's wp and effectiveness. Making sure that willpower is never an issue and that no Objective or hazard will slow this deck down.
Q4: Okay, so that's a lot of info, but how well does this deck do? In my testing... quite well! It can easily handle Quest 1, 2, 3 & 5., though like most decks, this one does still struggle a bit with quest 4, and it may be worth side-boarding in a copy or two of Houses of Healing and swapping Forest Snare for Sudden Riposte to help deal with that nasty Giant Slug. The main weakness this deck has is reduction. Gandalf is the only way to reduce our , so be sure to use him for that.
[Note] This deck remains untested in Co-Op mode and was built for Solo play.
I have really enjoyed making this deck. It's a blast to play and having Aragorn doing his thing with Enduring Valor is super satisfying. Hope you enjoy the deck, and if you did, check out the Tactics/Gimli version by Unkarshug.