Where There's No Will...

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Iluvatar 79 13

...Is There a Way?

Emisarry of the Valar is a proxy for the card that is the player reward for completing the second campaign. It's actually pretty important to the deck, but don't worry I won't spoil it!

This is a mono-Tactics deck designed to beat all the quests in solo play.

At first glance this might seem a fool's errand. After all, Willpower is kind of necessary to beat a lot of the quests. The epitome of this is the final quest of the new campaign "Escape From Dol Guldur". You need to muster 16 willpower just to clear the first stage - after that you need willpower and more willpower!

This deck was able to beat all of the quests on challenge mode, including "Escape".

If you are going for a single sphere deck for solo you really need to take drastic steps to mitigate your weaknesses because you will have glaring ones. In this case, willpower is a serious problem.

So we have the excellent Dúnedain Hunter. His drawback is a non-issue because all you have to do is play him after Sauron has passed. Even if you can't, we're triple tactics so an extra enemy isn't much of an issue. Mighty Warrior is for him and him alone. Putting it on anything else is a desperation move.

We also have two copies of Narya to keep Gandalf on the board. Playing two copies out in a single game is not unusual. Emisarry of the Valar also considerably helps our willpower position.

Otherwise it is pretty standard tactics fare. Beating up enemies should not be a problem.

Mulligan Advice: The cards you most want to see in the opening grip are Dúnedain Hunter, Narya and one of Gandalf or Emisarry of the Valar. If you have none of these you should change all five. Lock Shields is acceptable because it will replace itself. For "Escape from Dol Guldur" I completely change this - you want cards that grant block and you should mulligan hard for Citadel Plate or Ranger Spear. Round Shield is in the sideboard for this purpose, though it possibly should be in the main deck in place of Westfold Outrider or Warrior Sword

(Note: I'm not smart enough to work out how to add a proper sideboard, but Round Shield is in it. Any guidance appreciated!)

Play Tips: Any character with more than 1 willpower needs to be protected like a baby. All the other allies and (within reason) your heroes need to be absorbing the damage instead, so Guard carefully. The optimal use of Idraen is to snipe an enemy then use her willpower. When playing Gandalf, don't automatically choose to lower threat by 3 - drawing 3 is usually the right choice with this deck, especially early.

This deck is actually a lot of fun to play. On the willpower-intensive quests almost every move matters and a blunder can cost you the game. I think it's a good test of play skill and rewarding when you win. Hope you enjoy.