Celebrimbor’s Secret

The latest line of Middle Earth video games, the Shadow of Mordor series, featured this legendary Elven smith. But now it is time for our heroes to search the ruins of his city for a ring mould. This quest is one of the more enjoyable quests of this cycle to me and features a nice mechanic that tries to rush you to clear locations before the Orcs do. The quest isn’t too difficult if you stay on top of it, but the theme is enjoyable and fits nicely with the story. So this article will take place in Ost-in-Edhil, the city of the Elves, as our heroes try to uncover:

Celebrimbor’s Secret

(It’s foot fungus you guys!)
  • Found in: Ringmaker cycle, Adventure pack 5
  • Official Difficulty: 6
  • Community Difficulty: 5.6
  • Encounter sets: Celebrimbor’s Secret, Broken Lands, Misty Mountain Goblins
  • Quest cards: 2
  • Play if: You want an exploration quest worthy of Indiana Jones where you uncover an ancient artifact, only to be waylaid by the villain. You enjoy quests that focus more on locations but do not want to play Emyn Muil or Long Dark.
  • What is different about this quest?: Scour keyword, locations get damaged, Orc’s Search objective, Boss enemy, Ring mould artifact.
  • Solo or Multiplayer?: I tend to lean towards solo or two players for this quest. Adding more players adds to the difficulty, as more Scour effects enter play and will go off. More locations will also start to appear, making location lock a threat. These locations will also be placed underneath the Orc’s Search easier. Solo can be difficult though, as you will have to fend off some tough enemies while also clearing locations. So 2 players would be my recommendation, but solo and 3 player is also an option. 4 player would become too messy, though I have never tried it.
  • Can I run Side-Quests for this scenario?: As long as you can keep control over the number of Scour effects going off, there is no real harm in going to a side-quest. It will delay your overall progress though. For the first few rounds, you will want to go to the main quest to get to that Secret Chamber as soon as possible. After you control the mould, you are free to do what you want during the quest. I will add this though, stalling in this quest may prove your downfall if cards get trapped underneath The Orc’s Search. I will not advise going to side-quests during this scenario, but if you really want to, there is nothing really holding you back. The Time counters on the main stage will continue to tick down, so keep an eye on those.
  • What to look out for: Threat increases fast in the late game, location lock can lead to more locations underneath the Orc’s Search, some tough enemies in the encounter deck that can easily swarm.

The Quest

Setup

To start off this quest, the players are instructed to fill the staging area with encounter cards. The Orc’s Search objective is added without any attachments to it and will serve as the destination of any location that is damaged beyond its quest points. Bellach is also added to the staging area contributing his X threat (which is 0 at the start of the game) and his Scour effect to the staging area. His scour effect will remain in play for the majority of the game, so players will likely have to trigger it at least once. The Secret Chamber location is also added to the staging area and will be guarding the Celebrimbor’s Mould objective. The location has the text that if it is ever placed underneath the Orc’s Search, the players immediately lose the game. The location has 6 quest points so the players will have some time to explore the location before it gets critical.

On top of all of these cards, each player will also add a different Ost-in-Edhil location to the staging area. There are 4 options here, so in a 4 player game, you just add all 4 to the staging area. For solo players, I will advice adding the Collapsed Tower to the staging area. This removes a surging card from the encounter deck and only adds 1 threat to the staging area. For two players, City Remains is a good target, as it will be unlikely that there is any Scour effect in the discard pile this early in the game. If players have good location control in their opening hand, I will also advice adding Ruined Plaza to the staging area if you are playing with 3 players. Note that it will enter play with a damage on it, so clearing it will be a top priority. If this cannot be achieved, then Ancient Foundations will be a good pick for a third location.

With all of these cards added to the staging area, the players are likely to start the game with around 3X (where X is the number of players in the game) worth of threat in the staging area before staging. This will be difficult to overcome and will dictate the first few rounds of the game. As long as you aren’t placing cards underneath the Orc’s Search, Bellach won’t become a problem threat wise.

Quest card 1: The Ruins of Ost-in-Edhil – Time 3, 14 quest points

And so begins the first round of the game. On the flip side of quest card, 1 is not a whole lot to keep track off. Bellach is immune to player card effects and will be unable to be engaged or leave the staging area by any other means. Note that you can technically play attachments on him, the attachments won’t do anything, so there is no point. This means that Bellach will be able to be ignored for engagement checks. Do remember that Bellach is still contributing threat to the staging area and has a Scour effect that must be triggered whenever the players are instructed to. Bellach starts off with 0 threat, as there won’t be cards underneath the Orc’s Search from the start, but he will gradually become more threatening as the game progresses.

The Time 3 keyword on this quest is actually quite mild if players can keep their board state clean enough during the first stage. Once all time counters have been discarded, the players must trigger each Scour effect currently in play (on enemies and locations) and then place 3 new Time counters on the stage. The Scour effects are noted on some cards with the bold SCOUR keyword and do not trigger unless instructed to by encounter card effects or the quest card. These effects are quite negative and can accelerate the rate at which the Orcs are digging through Ost-in-Edhil. Try to prioritise killing enemies or clearing locations with these Scour effects before you remove the final time counter. This saves a lot of pain in the next round. The only Scour effect that you can’t get rid off is the one on Bellach. The-Secret-Chamber

The first stage of this quest requires 14 progress to complete, but actually, this is raised to 17. This is because of the Travel effect on The Secret Chamber which cannot be avoided. The Travel effect requires you to discard 3 progress tokens from the current quest (can also be a side-quest) in order to travel to the Secret Chamber. Players will have to clear the Secret Chamber in order to claim Celebrimbor’s Mould. Players must control the Mould before they can advance to the next stage.

The main course of action during this phase is to place more than 3 progress tokens on any quest card during the first or second turn. This allows players to travel to The Secret Chamber and eventually claim the Mould. The reason why you want to travel here as soon as you can is that the players lose the game if the Secret Chamber is ever placed underneath the Orc’s Search. This means that the location cannot take more than 6 damage. In order to prevent this from happening, travelling to the Secret Chamber as soon as possible and clearing it on the next turn will be vital. There will be some encounter cards that may damage the Secret Chamber while it is active, but if you manage to clear it in one round, it is unlikely you will get to 6 damage on the location. Once the Secret Chamber has been explored, the players are allowed to claim Celebrimbor’s Mould. There aren’t too many restrictions to this artifact, as it is not restricted and will not leave the player’s control when the attached hero takes damage. That said, I will recommend you putting this mould on a character who is likely to survive. Folco and Caldara make for very poor choices here, as the players will lose the game if the mould is attached to a hero that leaves play. Your best bet will be to place the mould on your questing or attacking hero.

Once players have claimed the mould, they are clear to proceed to stage 2 once they have the 14 required progress on the stage. Note that the transition will trigger Scour effects so I will advise you to clear as many enemies and locations with such a trigger before you progress.

Quest card 2: The Enemy’s Servant – Time 3, 12 quest points

This is where you will start to confront Bellach after he has discovered you and claimed the Mould for himself. To start off, the moment you advance to this stage, you will have to trigger each Scour effect in play. It is, therefore, a good idea to minimize the number of these in play before you advance the stage. You won’t be able to avoid the Scour effect on Bellach so a lot more enemies will start to pop up from the encounter deck. Then, Bellach will make an immediate attack against the player who controls the mould. If the players have discussed this beforehand, the controlling player shouldn’t have a problem defending his 5 attack power. Otherwise, the players might be able to use a Sentinel defender for this attack. Remember that a lot of enemies an come down this same round, so having plenty of defending options or cancellation would be a great asset at this point in the game. After the attack, Bellach stays in the staging area and receives Celebrimbor’s Mould from the hero that had it attached. The objective of this stage is to reclaim the mould!

The Time counter on this stage is the same as the first stage. After all 3 time counters have been removed, all Scour effects in play are triggered. This results in more enemies, more damage on the locations, and perhaps putting more cards underneath the Orc’s Search. It will be crucial to the players that they try to minimize the number of cards underneath there. That gives more time that they can take to complete this stage.

This stage will need a couple of requirements to be met in order to complete it. First of all, the players must have at least 12 progress tokens on the main stage. This allows the players to engage Bellach who also loses his immunity. Then, the players must be able to kill Bellach. With a combined defence and hitpoints of 11, it doesn’t take too much to kill him. A couple of dedicated attackers with some ranged support can take care of him. Once Bellach is destroyed, the players can claim the mould and win the game (provided they also still have 12 progress on the main stage). After the players win the game, they can leave the Orcs behind and move back south through Dunland. There they will find themselves amidst a civil war between the three clans. The Antlered Crown will be the next and final AP of this cycle.

 

The Encounter deck

Global

  • The encounter deck has quite an average size of 45 cards in Normal mode, and 35 in Easy mode.
  • Shadow effects in both modes are on 71% of the cards and usually increase the attack value of the enemy, though some may put damage on locations or force the enemy to make an additional attack.celebrimbor
  • The average threat on cards revealed is around 1.6 threat/card in both modes, with no card higher than 3 threat at once.
  • There is a lot of Surge in this encounter deck, with 14 cards having the potential to surge. To increase these chances, don’t have a location active during staging.
  • The Doomed keyword is not present in the encounter deck, but players must be careful when raising their threat because of the Orc’s Search.
  • Time can be removed as an optional effect on 9 cards, with only 3 time counters on the main stage, this can lead to running out of time a lot if you don’t quest hard enough.
  • Immunity:
    • Bellach cannot be engaged and is immune to player card effects until 12 progress is placed on stage 2
    • The Secret Chamber is immune to player card effects

These statistics do not count the Mould, Secret Chamber, Bellach or the Orc’s Search, as those are removed from the encounter deck during setup. There is a fair balance between enemies and locations, so decks should be capable of handling both. Lanwyn can be a great hero to bring to this quest, as she is likely to ready thanks to 31% of Normal encounter cards have the potential to surge.

 

Objectives

  • Celebrimbor’s Mould: Not sure what’s worse, that Celebrimbor’s foot fungus is still alive or that Saruman is interested in it. It’s quite a Secret though! (whispering behind the scenes).Celebrimbor's-Mould Oh, wait, it is an actual mould for casting, ok sorry, carry on.This ring mould is the objective of the entire cycle since Saruman has ordered you to retrieve it so many APs ago. This mould is the thing you are after during this scenario, and you will have to battle the Orcs in order to get your hands on it. The mould itself doesn’t do a whole lot, and there are no negatives to holding on to it. The mould starts off in the Secret Chamber, and the players will have to clear that location in order to get the mould. Once free of encounters, the first player can attach the mould to any hero they control, but I will advise putting it on heroes who don’t die easily. Characters with the Ring of Barahir will receive an additional hitpoint, since the mould is an artifact. I don’t see this combo often, but it is there if you want to make use of it for the first stage. During the second stage, Bellach will make an attack against the player who controls the mould. I will therefore advise the players to either have a Sentinel defender on the board by then or that the player with the mould can defend for themselves. After that attack, Bellach claims the mould and you will have to get it back from him. Once the players have again claimed the mould, they most likely win the game (provided they have the required progress to finish the stage).
  • The Orc’s Search: This objective starts the game off in the staging area and will serve as an additional quest ruling that lasts throughout the game. The Orc’s Search is targeted by multiple encounter card effects but does not contribute any threat of itself to the staging area. Whenever a location has damage equal to or greater than its printed quest points, it is placed underneath this objective. This triggers a number of effects like Treacheries, Shadow effects, and the threat on Bellach. At the end of the refresh phase, the players will have to raise their threat by 1 for each card underneath this objective. This can raise your threat very high, very fast, so be careful. Threat reduction is very important if players are getting a lot of cards underneath this objective. While this gain in threat isn’t too much to handle in the early game, with a little bit of bad luck, you can be looking at an increase of 5 threat or more in the later stages. This puts a lot more pressure on your deck if you can’t lower your threat consistently. The best way to avoid this is to play with few players and clear as many locations as you can, prioritising those with damage. Treacheries like Discovered! will also fuel the objective. With no way to remove cards from underneath the objective, it is vital to avoid placing any locations or other cards underneath this objective.

The-Orcs'-Search

Enemies

Bellach and his Orcs managed to outpace you while you were stuck in the Swanfleet. They are also trying to find the mould and will destroy the city brick by brick until they find it. The encounter deck brings 2 new enemies with it, each with a Scour effect.

  • Bellach: He’s back from Tharbad, and has roughly the same stat line as he did back two APs ago. The only thing to note is that his threat now scales to the number of cards underneath the Orc’s Search, and not the number of players in the game. This took me a few tries to get right, but once you’ve noticed it, you won’t forget again. Bellach isn’t a real enemy for the first part of the quest, as he won’t be able to be engaged and is immune to player card effects.Bellach The players won’t be able to interact with him during the entire quest until they have the 12 progress on the final stage. Only then will they be able to bring him down and dispose of them. His 5 attack is quite strong, so ally defenders will have a hard time defending against him. Since a lot of the shadow cards can grant an attack buff, it is advisable to either cancel his attack or use a big tower defender like Beregond or Beorn+damage cancellation. In order to kill Bellach, you must overcome his 4 defence strength. This protects him against a lot of smaller attacks, but since killing him means the end of the game, you should leave every attacker back in order to dispose of him directly. Tactics Eowyn in Slayer mode is just 1 attack short of dealing with him, but it would be a great end to the game. Ranged support from other players can take care of the remaining hitpoints on him. Try to kill Bellach in a single turn to avoid having to stall the game for another round.
    Bellach’s Scour effect will have each player search the deck for an Orc enemy and putting it in the staging area. While annoying, this effect is bound to go off a couple of times since Bellach will be in the staging area for a long time. I tend to pick out the Orc Hunter to avoid his When Revealed effect. Bellach’s Scout is also a good pick, but slightly stronger than the Hunter. Note that you can’t get the Orc Hound or the Prowling Wolf as they are Creatures, not Orcs.
  • Bellach’s Scout: This new enemy is a great candidate to pull out of the encounter deck with Bellach’s Scour effect. This enemy sports a nasty When Revealed effect that makes you choose between dealing 3 damage to the active location or revealing another encounter card. There are some locations that can deal with having 3 damage on them, but if this effect triggers while the active location has 3 or less remaining quest points, consider letting this guy surge. There are also effects like Dunedain Lookout that can cancel the When Revealed on this enemy, which make them good allies to bring with you against this quest. In combat, the Scout is quite average, hitting for 3 and defending with 2 defence and 4 hitpoints. This opens up a couple of combo’s that can make short work of this enemy. Sneak Attack + Gandalf is the obvious one, as his 4 direct damage is exactly enough to kill the Scout. Attacking with a Rivendell Blade or having Grimbeorn defend can reduce the defence stat down to 0. Not only will this make it easier to destroy the Scout, but also to trigger Straight Shot.
    Killing the Scout will be a good thing to do, as this enemy comes with a Scour effect of its own. Whenever the players are forced to trigger all Scour effects in play, they must deal 1 damage to the active location for each Bellach’s Scout in play, either engaged or in the Staging area. This can ramp up to 4 damage on the active location if all copies are in play. Just one of these triggers can lead to having to discard a location like Ruined Plaza if it is active.
  • Prowling Orc: Don’t be fooled by his appearance, this enemy is pretty tough. Sporting a 3/5/3/5 stat line is impressive, making him quite tough and difficult to kill with direct damage. His 5 attack strength is what really stands out, and will take a dedicated defender in order to not take damage. Cancelling his attack has more benefits than just avoiding the 5 attack strength though, The Prowling Orc also has a Forced ability that triggers each time it attacks. This places a damage on the active location. Having no active location can prevent this damage, but cancellation does the trick too. Try to pour all your attack strength into killing this enemy if you can, because he will get annoying really fast. Whenever a Scour effect is triggered, the Prowling Orc goes to the player with the highest threat and makes an immediate attack. Not only can this happen during the end of the round, preventing your characters from being ready for the next round, but during the quest phase, this attack can also screw with your plans. By far the best tech against this enemy is a Forest Snare which will prevent him from attacking. This renders him useless and will prevent both his effects from triggering, except that he will still go to the player with the highest threat.

Prowling-Orc

Locations

This quest is all about locations and clearing these before the Orcs do. Besides the locations I cover below, you can also draw into Broken Lands. This location has top priority to travel to, as it shuts down any effects that put progress on locations in the staging area.

  • The Secret Chamber: This unique location starts off in the staging area at the start of the game and will be guarding Celebrimbor’s Mould. It is important for the players to travel here during stage 1, as they will be unable to advance otherwise. The location is immune to player card effects, meaning that there is no way to reduce its threat or quest points. Players will also be unable to avoid paying the Travel cost for the Chamber. In order to travel to the Secret Chamber, players will have to remove 3 progress tokens from the current (not main!) quest. This means that players can also remove the tokens from side-quests if they have 3 progress on that sooner than on the main quest. During the first round of the game, players should make enough progress to be able to pay for the travel cost of this location and travel to it as soon as they can. While in the staging area, the Secret Chamber can start to accumulate damage from various effects. Since it has 6 quest points, it won’t leave play easy, but try to minimize the damage on the location as much as you can. If ever the Secret Chamber is placed underneath the Orc’s Search, the Orcs will have found the mould before you, and you lose the game immediately. Once in the active location slot, try to clear the location in the next turn. You won’t be able to trigger things like Tactics Legolas on it, as it is still immune to player card effects. Making all 6 progress on the location during the next turn will secure you the mould, and removes a loss condition from play. Once explored, the Secret Chamber will go to the victory display, activating Rossiel on most locations as it has the Ost-in-Edhil trait. This grants her a willpower boost against any active location except the Broken Lands.
  • City Remains: This is a great location to see early in the game so you may want to pull it out of the encounter deck for setup. This 3/3 location will add a fair bit of threat to the staging area, but has no travel cost or scour effect. It does have a forced effect, whereby players will have to trigger the topmost scour effect in the discard pile when progress is placed on the location. This is meant to shut down any Northern Trackers that would like to clear the location in the staging area. Instead of doing that, try to travel to this location if you are planning on running Northern Tracker. If not, you can avoid having to travel here by placing an Explorer’s Almanac on the Remains and clearing it that way. The important thing is that you place all progress at once. This narrows things down to clearing it with regular questing (making it the active location) or using shenanigans that put a lot of progress on 1 location at once such as Mirkwood Explorer. You can also use Power in the Earth to just ignore the location in the staging area for a while, though that is a costly strategy and works poorly with our next location:
  • Ancient Foundation: This location is not one I tend to pick often during setup, but it isn’t bad in the early game. However, it will be vital that you clear this location in the late game if you are looking at location lock. The Scour effect on this location will damage a lot of other locations if there are many in play at the time. Triggering this effect often enough can relieve players from location lock, but they will now have a lot of cards underneath the Orc’s Search. Luckily, this effect does not stack with other copies of itself, but it is still nasty enough. The location also has a travel cost, you will have to put 1 damage on the Ancient Foundations in order to travel there. This might not seem bad at first since the location has a healthy 4 quest points, but note that cards like Bellach’s Scout and Desecrated Ruins will put 3 damage on it right away, clearing it. There is no real way around this, except by using sneaky tactics that negate travel costs. Ghan-Buri-Ghan and Thror’s Map can be lifesavers here. If you have the option to ignore the travel cost, do so. Knowing the random nature of the game, you are bound to reveal a card that puts the final points of damage on this location.
  • Ruined Plaza: This 2/2 location is the most fragile of all the locations in the encounter deck. Not only does it take just 2 damage for the Orcs to clear it, it even enters play with 1 damage already on it. This means it is very prone to be discarded to the orcs because of various effects. However, the location is not immune to player card effects, and 2 quest points aren’t hard to come by in a deck that focuses a little on location control. Asfaloth and Evening Star will be able to immediately clear this location, getting rid of the 2 points of threat in the staging area. Also, consider using Explorer’s Almanac on this location to clear it through regular questing. 2 progress is easy to come by, and if that means clearing another location, it may put you in a better spot for the travel phase. Don’t try to travel to this location, as there are too many effects that can put the 1 damage on the location and put it underneath the Orc’s Search.
  • Collapsed Tower: I prefer to get this location out for setup during a solo run through of this scenario. Not only do you prevent it from surging, but it is also the lowest threat location in the deck, starting you off at a low 2 threat in the staging area at the start of the game. The location is also protected against treacheries like Desecrated Ruins since it has 4 quest points. The question with this location is when to travel to it. If you are uncertain that you will clear it before Time runs out, travel to other locations instead. This is because the Scour effect on this location will push it back to the staging area if it is the active location. Regardless of where the location ends up, you will also have to place 2 damage tokens on this location. This damage can mean that you lose the location to the Orcs if it already had damage on it. This location will be high on the priority list for travelling, as ignoring it for a few rounds can quickly destroy it.

Ancient-Foundation

Treacheries

The treacheries in this encounter deck tend to focus on damaging locations and triggering off of the Orc’s Search. All treacheries can be cancelled, and there are cases for all of them where you definitely should cancel them. A lot of treacheries also tend to surge, so Lanwyn can really get her share of readying in this quest.

  • Descecrated Ruins: This is a simple, yet deadly treachery that can be fatal when drawn back to back. This treachery will put 3 damage on the active location. This on its own is enough to clear locations like Ruined Plaza, City Remains, and Ancient Foundations (assuming you paid the Travel cost). This will put the location underneath the Orc’s Search for the rest of the game. Drawing 2 of these encounter cards while any other location is the active one, will destroy them too. This also holds true for Secret Chamber, meaning that players will automatically lose the game. Keep a Test of Will in your hand to prevent this. If there is no active location at the time this treachery hits, it surges into a new encounter card. Deciding when to travel and when to clear the active location is important when dealing with this treachery. Cards like Lorien Guide and Map of Rhovanion can clear the active location even before staging, which is great tech against this card.
  • Spies from Mordor: I honestly have never triggered the effect on this card, it always surges on me. In the early game specifically, this treachery is a big whiff and tends to surge a lot. Only when cards are placed underneath The Orc’s Search does this card do anything. Each player will have to exhaust 1 character per card underneath the Orc’s Search. Gone are the days that Tactics Boromir could just ready and exhaust again and again, so players will have to look for other options. Characters that do not do much during combat are prime targets. Think of healers, questing characters that are ready like Sailor of Lune or North Realm Lookout, and other support allies like Gleowine. Losing these characters for a turn isn’t too bad, you weren’t going to use them for much anyway. You can also pick heroes for this effect, so if there is any readying on the board, those characters are good targets as well. You generally don’t tend to lose all that much attack power or defence strength with this effect, but it can still be annoying. Seeing these cards go by early will save a lot of pain.
  • Discovered!: If you are unable to cancel this treachery, I would suggest triggering each Scour effect in play if you are in control of the board and not that many Scour effects are in play. If you are unable to trigger these effects since that would worsen your board state significantly, you will have to discard a card from your hand at random and put it underneath the Orc’s Search. Not only will you lose a potentially good card from your hand, but you will now also have to raise your threat by an additional point for the rest of the game. In multiplayer, this option becomes even worse, since each player has to discard a card. Try to always trigger the Scour effects in play, even when they destroy the active location. This is still a better deal than putting up to 4 cards out of the player’s hands underneath the objective. Cancellation is advised against this one, a simple Test of Will will take care of it.

Discovered

 

Tips and Tricks

  • Location control is important in this quest. It will allow you to prevent having to put damage on locations and reduces the number of Scour effects that can potentially trigger. Using cards like Northern Tracker and Evening Star can prevent a lot of locations from ending up underneath the Orc’s Search.
  • To prevent a lot of Scour effects from going off, prioritise killing enemies and clearing locations with a Scour effect on different enemies/locations. This is important when finishing a round at which the final TIme counter is removed from the stage, but also when transitioning to stage 2. Even before staging, if you have the option to clear a Scour effect, try to do so in case Discovered is revealed or more time counters are removed with Take Cover.
  • In case a lot of cards end up underneath the Orc’s Search, packing some threat reduction will make sure that the players don’t threat out before they can complete the quest.
  • Since the Orc’s Search only targets printed quest points on a location, Woodmen’s Path is a great card to clear tough locations faster when they become active. Alternatively, Elf-Stone does not provide an additional buffer for the damage, you will need to place 1 more progress on the location, but the location will still be destroyed when there is equal damage to the printed quest points on the location.
  • Since you want to avoid location lock and clear as many locations as possible each round, consider using the new Hidden Way event to make a location active if you have none. While this may trigger treacheries like Descecrated Ruins, it saves you from revealing an encounter card and you will have thinned the deck of locations.
  • To prevent having to deal with a lot of locations in multiplayer, you can use victory display cards to move locations into the victory display. Scout Ahead and Out of the Wild will thin the encounter deck, while cards like Leave No Trace will prevent you from seeing a cleared location again if you have to reshuffle the discard pile into the deck.
  • If possible, try to clear the active location before staging. This prevents Descecrated Ruins from destroying it. You can clear it in the combat phase with cards like Legolas and Blade of Gondolin. You might also be able to clear it right before questing with cards like Lorien Guide and Map of Rhovanion. The Evening Star is also a good toolbox card to use if you know this treachery is coming up and you can’t cancel it.
  • Since Bellach has an attachment on him while he is engaged, Valour of the North is actually a pretty good card for the final battle. It can help to defend in a pinch or push your damage just over his hitpoints. If you include the card with Traps, it becomes even better.
  • The impressive number of surging cards in the encounter deck can lead to you running low on encounter cards fast, so adding in player encounter cards can be a great way to get some free staging or to get a nice ally into play. Eagle of the North, Ranger of the North or Wind from the Sea will be great inclusions.
  • Note that you will be unable to use Backtrack for this quest, as both stages have a keyword (time) on them. This prevents players from clearing locations in the staging area by shifting progress from the main quest.

 

Playthroughs

 

And so ends the final quest of this cycle that I would deem easy or enjoyable. The rest of them will be more tedious, but I’ll get around to doing them next. I will start with the Antlered Crown, gonna take some time (get it, TIME, because that quest has a lot of it)

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