Deadmen’s Dike

The final quest of the Deluxe box takes place in the ruins of Fornost, where the Rangers are taken by surprise by a hoard of Undead. This quest is unique as players can now also be eliminated when their deck runs out of cards. To make this a real threat, the encounter deck focuses on forcing you to discard cards. This in combination with Sorcery treacheries and a tough boss enemy, makes this scenario a decent challenge for the players. But there are cards you can include in your deck that will allow you to build around this scenario, making it slightly less of a pain, though it remains a tough nut to crack. So bring your zombie-apocalypse decks and let’s re-kill some undead in:

Deadmen’s Dike

Or Fornost Erain for those of Arnorian blood
  • Found in: The Lost Realm Deluxe box, quest 3
  • Official Difficulty: 7
  • Community Difficulty: 7.6
  • Encounter sets: Deadmen’s Dike, Iârion, Cursed Dead, Dark Sorcery
  • Quest cards: 2
  • Play if: You want to feel like the enemies keep rising from the grave after you killed them, you are completing the Deluxe box and want a difficult scenario to bang your head against.
  • What is different about this quest?: Enemy swarming out of the discard pile, players lose if they run out of cards in their decks, encounter deck promotes discarding cards off the top of your deck.
  • Solo or multiplayer?: While the scenario can get grindy in multiplayer, I still prefer it to solo. In true solo, it is hard to overcome both the enemy engaged with you at the start, as well as the threat in the staging area. You will get location locked easily and will have to use strong tactics to overcome the quest. In multiplayer, this gets a little easier, as players can specialize in fulfilling different roles. However, you will be revealing more enemies and fueling the discard pile more. I will still recommend this quest for 3-4 players.
  • Can I run side-quests for this scenario?: There is nothing really stopping you, so go ahead. However, you are on a timer as you are slowly drawing through your deck, so don’t stall forever. The encounter deck also features some side-quests so your priorities might shift towards those instead of your own player side-quests. Feel free to bring cards like Legacy Blade though, you are bound to finish at least 1 side-quest during this scenario.
  • What to look out for?: Running out of cards in your deck, swarming undead enemies, a tough boss in the final stage, location lock.

The Quest

Setup

To kick off this quest, the first player gains control over Iârion. This objective ally starts with a 1/1/1/4 stat line, but with some side-quests in this encounter deck, that can be increased if players don’t clear side-quests fast enough. On top of this, the players add just 1 copy of the Fornost Square location to the staging area. This makes the start significantly more easy in higher player counts, as the setup doesn’t scale with the number of players in the game. Players shuffle the encounter deck and proceed to side 1B.

Quest card 1: The Shades of Angmar – 11 quest points

No, we don’t mean the sunglasses of the Witch-king by this title, I don’t think he needs those anyway. This quest is all about reanimated Undead enemies harassing you, which is a nice break from the Orcs and Creatures from previous cycles. The enemies tend to die pretty easily, but enemies like Dead Lord can respawn Undead enemies in the discard pile engaged with a player. This brings up the question of whether or not to actually kill the enemies or to just keep them engaged, preventing more enemies to rise from the grave.

When this stage is flipped over after the initial setup, there are a couple of things to resolve before the players can begin the quest. First, each player finds a copy of the Baleful Shade enemy and puts it engaged with them. This allows Dúnedain decks to immediately start getting benefits, as they are already engaged with 1 enemy. This gives Amarthiul the Tactics icon and allows Halbarad to quest without exhausting. The Baleful Shades will serve as a nuisance during the first round, so players must have their defenders online by the first round. On top of having an enemy engaged with every player, each player will also have to reveal a card from the encounter deck. There are a couple of cards that will be great to reveal early, especially those based on the discard piles, as they are still empty. Unnatural Fog is a very easy card at this point to reveal. However, revealing more enemies will make this a very difficult start to the quest.

The basics of this quest card are simple, try to overcome the growing threat in the staging area by questing hard. Placing a lot of progress on the main stage will allow you to reveal fewer encounter cards which can set you up better for the second stage. I find the first round of the stage to be the hardest, as you must be ready to deal with the engaged enemy somehow. Having a defender on the board who is ready to defend a big attack without relying too much on other cards will prove a big asset during your first few rounds while you get your defending allies out. I will stress that shadow cancellation is important in this quest, as a lot of shadow effects are very nasty, often raising the attack by 3 or more, or discarding cards from the top of your deck. Jubayr and Deorwine are excellent defenders for the enemies in this scenario, as well as any Lore defender with a Burning Brand.

If you are rushing this quest, it will be important to keep an eye out for some of the locations in this quest. They can quickly ramp up to high threat and can hinder your progress. Secret Paths has proven to be very valuable in a 4p game against locations like Fornost Square. Thror’s Key should also not be ignored, as it can permanently shut down any one location from becoming horrible. My vote would be to attach it to Fornost Square, and leaving it in the staging area for the rest of the game.

This quest requires 11 quest points, which shouldn’t be too hard to take care of in the initial few rounds. Players must be wary for the side-quests though, as they will distract the players from the main quest. It is also wise to not overcommit to the quest, as you should have enough characters ready to deal with combat. Global readying effects can certainly help with this so that a lot of willpower can be used to break through the threat in the staging area, while also being able to take care of some enemies. Before you get ready to advance the stage, make sure that the staging area is as empty as possible, as well as your play area. Transitioning to the next quest card will bring out new enemies and more cards, so it is best to be prepared for that.

Quest card 2: A Fell Wraith – 13 quest points

Well, you’ve beaten the first wave of the Undead horde, but now it is time to face their Captain. With dawn far away, you are in for a cold and dark battle against the wraiths and spectres surrounding you. The commanding wraith of this attack is Thaurdir, who infiltrated the city as one of the people who you saved in the previous quest. He will serve as the boss in the bone-chilling finale of this Deluxe box.

When his stage is reached, the boss enemy Thaurdir is added to the staging area. His 4 threat will make him a menace while in the staging area, though that will probably not be very long, as his engagement level is 1. On top of this enemy, each player will have to reveal an additional encounter card and add it to the staging area. This can be punishing when you have just gone through a round of staging as well, but if you managed to keep a clear table when you progressed, it shouldn’t be impossible to overcome. During this initial reveal, it is important to note Thaurdir’s text: When a treachery card with the Sorcery trait is revealed, he heals 3 damage and makes an immediate attack against the first player. The healing isn’t a problem, as you have likely not damaged him yet, but the extra attack is important. It can absolutely blindside some players, so it is important to have a chump or a Sentinel defender ready to take some attacks. Since the quest stage isn’t flipped over yet, you can chump this one time without triggering the effect on 2B. Attack cancellation cards will be of no use against these attacks, as Thaurdir is not yet engaged with a player.

Once you have weathered the additional round of staging, the quest card is flipped over. The players no longer have to discard cards from their deck at the end of the round, but this gives way to a new effect. Whenever Thaurdir attacks and destroys a character, the players must either return Thaurdir to the staging area or that character’s controller must discard 3 cards off the top of their deck. Usually, the option of discarding cards isn’t too bad if you managed to get to this stage with a relative thick deck remaining (~25-30 cards). If you are running low on cards, then it might be better to return Thaurdir to the staging area where he will add his threat and will be immune to any attack cancellation events should he make an attack from the staging area.

The same elimination rule applies to this stage as the previous one, so players will have to watch out that they do not lose all their cards from their deck. Recursion with Dwarven Pipe and Will of the West can prevent this from happening, which is extremely important in lower player counts, where you are more often the first player. This stage cannot be defeated while Thaurdir has any hitpoints remaining, so players will have to have both 13 progress on this stage, as well as 9 damage on Thaurdir in order to win. Since Thaurdir has the Indestructible keyword, he will not die should he ever have more than 9 damage, so he will continue to attack and trigger his own ability.

Because of Thaurdir’s ability, I would recommend rushing the main quest first and placing those 13 progress tokens. If you were to focus on Thaurdir first, he would heal damage almost as fast as he receives it. Your attack power will be better spent killing other enemies first, allowing you more characters in the late stage of the game to focus on Thaurdir. But don’t be afraid to hit Thaurdir if you have no other options. It will be useful to stack some damage on him if you have no other targets. Maybe he won’t heal everything right away, making the end-game easier.

Once the 13 progress tokens on the main quest have been placed, the players can focus all their attention on Thaurdir. If this takes multiple rounds, feel free to clear some remaining side-quests, increasing your score. Remember that he is not immune to player card effects, so cards like Rivendell Blade will cut through his 4 defense with ease. Placing all the damage in one combined attack will be the safest way to destroy him. The players will automatically win once that has been done. After that, they can now turn towards the cycle of 6 Adventure Packs, starting with the Warg infested Wastes of Eriador for a break from the Orcs and Undead enemies.

The Encounter Deck

Global

  • The deck is pretty thick at 41 cards in Normal mode but is trimmed to only 28 cards in Easy mode
  • Shadow effects are only on 56% of cards in either mode, but are pretty nasty and will often require some cancellation in order to prevent losing a hero or discarding even more cards from your deck.Deadman's Dike
  • Average threat on cards revealed ranges between 1.3 and 1.4 threat per card for both modes. This can vary wildly with 4 threat locations or just a 0 threat side-quest.
  • Surge is quite a present danger in this quest, with all 3 side-quests surging. On top of that, the Heavy Curse treachery also surges, as well as the first Undead enemy revealed when Haunted Keep is the active location. Lanwyn and the Minas Tirith Lampwright are pretty good options for this quest.
  • Doomed 2 is on both the Dark Sorcery treachery and the Unnatural Fog one. Besides these threat raising effects, there aren’t many effects that raise your threat.
  • Time 3 can be found on the Broken Battlements. There are no effects that accelerate this keyword, but revealing multiple copies of this card will be troublesome, as you will have to clear them in order to avoid decking out.
  • Immunity
    • Thaurdir is immune to attachments and is Indestructible
    • The Power of Angmar makes your discard pile immune to player card effects

The scenario has a nice balance between enemy and location, though you will find that enemies tend to come out of the discard pile as well. Treacheries and side-quests will also pump out more enemies in certain cases, so be ready to get swarmed. For stage 2, there is a 25% chance of a Sorcery card being revealed during staging, activating Thaurdir’s Forced effect.

Objective

Iârion returns from Intruders in Chetwood and hasn’t changed a bit, so I’ll keep it brief. With 3 additional side-quests in play, he could grow to a 4/4/4/4, though you will be struggling to beat the game with all side-quests in play. Iârion generally quests in my playthroughs, allowing him to serve as an additional attacker should you reveal a side-quest during staging. He can also serve as a defender in times of need, though you should be careful since you lose the game when he is killed.

Enemies

The Undead enemies in this encounter deck are tough to bring down, as they keep coming back up to haunt you. Some enemies return enemies from the discard pile when they engage a player, while others can bring multiple copies of themselves into play when they are revealed. This can change your combat calculations and require that you pay close attention to the discard pile.

  • Thaurdir: Much has already been said about this boss-level enemy in the part that handles stage 2 of the quest. Thaurdir is tough and will often make some big attacks in a row. However, there are a number of ways to circumvent his ability, since he is not immune to player card effects. There are a number of attack cancellation events out there that will prevent Thaurdir from chaining into attacks during the quest phase. Since these events cancel all attacks for the phase, it doesn’t really matter how many Sorcery cards you reveal during staging. Remember that his healing ability will still trigger. Though Thaurdir cannot have attachments, he is vulnerable to a host of other abilities that can help in combat that target unique enemies as well. This can allow you to quickly ramp up the damage tokens on him, preventing him from healing fast enough. Since Thaurdir is indestructible, he can continue to take damage well beyond his pool of 9 hitpoints. This gives you a buffer against his healing ability and allows you to automatically win when you reach the 13th progress token on the main quest. This will not be the final time we encounter this shade, so remember these tactics for future encounters as well. The chances of revealing a Sorcery traited card are by the way around 1 in 4 during Normal mode, but this can change as some treacheries can attach to quest stages, and others can be discarded as shadow effects. Scan your encounter discard pile for how many treacheries you’ve seen, there are a total of 10.
  • Thaurdir’s Damned: Damn this enemy, damn it straight to Thaurdir. The enemy has the highest engagement cost but also the highest combined stats. With 3 threat, it will be tempting to engage the Damned, but 5 attack will be tough to defend. On top of this, you need to discard 2 cards from the top of your deck when this enemy engages you. The combined cost of those two cards need to be dealt as damage to characters you control. I can already predict that you will reveal a Gandalf from this effect, because that is the way the game works. Dispatcing the Damned will be tough, as their 6 hitpoints will be very hard to get rid off. But you will be wanting to kill this enemy during the same round you engaged it, in order to avoid its 5 attack for future rounds. Biggest combo I can think off is to get a Marksman of Lorien in play, and then using Straight Shot to dispose of this enemy right away.
  • Baleful Shade: This enemy will be a prior concern for every player, since you start with one of these engaged with each player. While not the toughest enemy in this encounter deck, the Baleful Shade still packs a punch because of its ability. Whenever the enemy makes an attack, you must discard the top card of your deck. If that card is an ally, the Baleful Shade gains +2 attack for this attack only. Stacking your deck with attachments and events will negate the biggest threat from this enemy, but you will probably be unable to do this in the early game. It is a game of chance at that point, so the Baleful Shade is not an enemy to take undefended. With nasty shadow effects in this scenario, the Baleful Shade can hit for a potential 12 attack in perfect conditions between treacheries, its effect, and a terrible shadow effect. Killing the Baleful Shade takes some time, but you will want to kill it as soon as you can, before you are swarmed by enemies. 5 hitpoints are tough to bite through, but with some help from across the table, you shouldn’t have this enemy engaged with you at the end of round 2.
  • Cursed Dead: Taking the name of their encounter set, these enemies will be the biggest annoyance during your playthrough since they appear so frequently during the quest. There are 5 copies of this card, and once a Cursed Dead is revealed, it drags out every other copy of itself out of the encounter discard pile. This floods the staging area with up to 5 enemies when only 1 card was revealed, making combat a lot trickier. The enemy itself reminds me a lot of the Goblins from the Dwarrowdelf cycle, where they hit hard, but can be dispatched with ease. Since they only have 1 point of defence, and 2 hitpoints, they fall easily to direct damage and to any attacker. However, it is the question whether or not you want to kill this enemy. If you do, they will appear next time a Cursed Dead is revealed from the encounter deck. Keeping these enemies engaged will help you to keep a grip on the amount of enemies revealed by the encounter deck. Try to have the Dunedain deck (if you have such a player) engage as many of these as possible. Drawing this enemy for Dunedain Hunter and Wait No Longer will also be great, as those cards are a good trade off for this enemy.
  • Dead Lord: To round off this list of Undead enemies, we have the Dead Lord. The forced ability on this enemy is really the only thing that stands out. Once the Dead Lord engages you, the top most enemy of the discard pile will also engage you. The Dead Lord is perfect Grimbeorn fodder as the enemy only sports 3 hitpoints. The 4 attack stat on the Dead Lord can be annoying, but most of the time, a Defender of Rammas can help you out. Try to time engaging this enemy well, so you can perhaps avoid also engaging a Thaurdir’s Damned. Having the encounter discard pile reshuffled into the encounter deck a phase before will be the perfect time, as the Dead Lord will whiff.

Locations

The locations of this quest are all ruins that can quickly lead you to a location lock. While not requiring a lot of progress to clear, some are more urgent to travel to than others. This makes it tough when deciding to travel when there are several of these locations in play.

  • Deadmen’s Gate: This location really puts the players in a tough spot during the Travel phase. On the one hand, the Gate adds 4 threat to the staging area, which is significant and should be removed if possible. However, travelling to the Gate will active its ability until it is explored. When a player activates Actions or Responses while Deadman’s Gate is active, they must discard the top card of their deck. This does not only include Events, but also the effects on allies, heroes, and attachments. This can be hard to keep track off, but also can discard a lot of cards from the top of your deck. It is not uncommon to trigger 3 Actions or Responses during the Combat phase alone. I would therefor argua that it is not worth it to travel to the Gate, and you should aim at exploring it in the staging area. Heirs of Earendil is very good for this, as you only have to raise your threat by 4 to clear it.
  • Broken Battlements: The return of the Time keyword! Are you excited?!?! Because I surely not. This location has a high priority when deciding where to travel, because of its Time 3 keyword. After the final time counter has been removed, each player must discard the top 5 cards of their deck, bringing them closer to being decked out. To add insult to injury, each player must place a new time counter on the location. This means that for a solo game the player will have to trigger the effect on the location every round, losing quickly. In multiplayer, this location becomes a bit more bearable, but discarding 5 cards is still something you want to try to prevent. Travel to this location whenever you can, just to get it out of the game as soon as possible. 3 rounds is enough time to travel and explore it. When travelling, the players must each discard the top card of their deck, but this far better than discarding 5 if they leave it in the staging area.
  • Haunted Keep: This location is pretty simillar to the Deadmen’s Gate, but is slightly better, as it is only 3 threat and requires 3 progress to clear. Do not try to make this the active location, unless you can clear it before the staging step. Maps of Rhovanion can make short work of this location when it is active, allowing you to bypass its passive effect. As long as the Haunted Keep is the active location, the first Undead enemy will get surge. You do not want to be revealing more encounter cards during this sceanrio. If you find yourself unable to clear this location while it is active, you should pick another location to travel to. This location doesn’t take too much effort to clear in the staging area, and it is a good use of your deckspace and resources if you manage to explore this in the staging area. Northern Trackers in general are a good match for this quest, but especially for this location.
  • Fornost Square: You will quickly become aquainted with this location, as one copy starts off in the staging area during setup. Having just 1 threat might seem innocent, but the passive effect on this location is what really makes it a pain. Not only in terms of threat, but also in keeping track of it. Whenever the first player has to discard a number of cards from the top of their deck, you place a resource on this location. The location then gets +1 threat for each resource on it. These resources do not get discarded at any point, so you will be facing a possible 10 threat location if you leave it in play for long. Travel to this location as soon as you can, or use effects like Heirs of Eärendil to explore it. Should the location become too big, then try to use Secret Paths to buy you a round of questing without keeping into account its threat. Thror’s Key is also great for any future copies of this card that get revealed.
  • Norbury Tombs: This location is actually beneficial, but gets overshadowed by other locations which are more pressing to travel to (Fornost Square, Broken Battlements). But should you find yourself with the option to travel and no other contenders for the spot, then feel free to travel to the Tombs. Travelling will force the top most enemy in the discard pile to return to the staging area. This is a cost, so you can’t travel if there are no enemies in the discard pile. The reason why you want this location active, is that exloring the Tombs when they are active allows every player to shuffle the top 5 cards from their discard pile back into their deck. This allows them to discard more cards for encounter effects, but bypasses some treachery effects. My best advise would be to travel here without paying the travel cost (Thror’s Map, Ghan-buri-Ghan, West Road Traveller) while the other locations are being dealt with via location control and Explorer’s Almanac.

Treacheries

With stage 2 revolving around Sorcery treacheries, this quest has a bunch of them, all looking to harm you and discarding cards from your deck. Not only that, but it can also lead to the quick death of your allies, or forcing you to spend more resources to get your cards into play. There is an average density of 1 in 4 revealed cards having the Sorcery trait, triggering Thaurdir.

  • Unnatural Fog: I would also feel a sense of Doom when fog started to rise, so Doomed 2 is a perfectly reasonable keyword to have on a treachery like this. This Sorcery targets players who play swarm style decks and are in the late stages of powering through the quest. When this card is revealed, each player must discard 1 card off the top of their deck for each questing character they control. If they do not want to drain their deck like that, they can also opt to remove every character they have from the quest. In the early game, this treachery isn’t too bad, but it can easily drain your deck of 10 or more cards in the late game. This is worth cancelling unless you have ways to refuel your own deck with Will of the West. It is a pretty rare treachery though, and seeing it as a shadow card is perfectly fine, so don’t worry too much about this card.
  • Dark Sorcery: This is probably the worst card to reveal in the late stage of the game when you have been discarding cards from the top of your deck for a few rounds now. When revealed, not only does this treachery raise your threat by 2 and potentially trigger Thaurdir, but it will also immediately get rid of all ally cards in play that share a copy in your discard pile. This can lay waste to a host of allies, cutting your potential willpower down a few allies and your heroes. The solution to this would be to either cancel it (which is advisable, as this is probably the worst treachery out there) or build your deck as such that you can either retrieve certain allies in your discard pile (Stand and Fight, Men of the West). You can also design your deck so that you only run 1 copy of each ally, also bypassing any potential Heavy Curse. There are only 2 copies of this card in the encounter deck though, so you will rarely see it. But don’t be too happy when this turns out to be a shadow card either. This can cause you to not only lose a defensive ally, but the attack will also be considered undefended.
  • Terror of the North: This card can go straight back to the box it came from, it can be that frustrating at times. Not only will it fuel your discard pile and drain your deck, but it can also be a card of at least 2 threat, but upwards to 8! When this card is revealed, each player discards the top 3 cards from their deck. The treachery then gains +2 threat for each different player card discarded this way (Ally, Event, Attachment, Side-quest). In multiplayer, you are bound to discard at least 3 different types of cards, making this treachery a pain in the ass to reveal. Cancelling it will save you from discarding 3 cards (which potentially triggers effects like Fornost Square as well) and from having to deal with its passive threat until the end of the round. However, this one does not take priority over effects like Dark Sorcery or Unnatural Fog when it comes to cancellation.
  • Heavy Curse: With three copies of this card, it is advisable that you either run some sort of condition removal or you quest up against a side-quest and get lucky. This treachery will increase the cost to play any card that already has a copy in your discard pile by 1. This will stack with multiple copies of Heavy Curse, forcing you to pay upwards of 3 resources for a card that also has a copy in your discard pile. If you are playing a deck with only single copies of cards, this treachery does nothing, but in any other case, it is a good idea to keep a close eye on what leaves your deck and ends up in your discard pile. This also raises the cost to play cards like Elven-light and Lords of the Eldar, since you are playing it from out of your discard pile. It has the same title as itself, forcing you to pay the additional cost. The Condition gets removed once the attached quest has been explored, so you shouldn’t feel the sting of it for very long.
  • Restless Evil: Surprisingly enough, this treachery does not have the Sorcery trait, so it does not interact with Thaurdir like that. It will still target him and every other Undead in play and grant them +1 to all stats for the rest of the round (excluding hitpoints). This is a tricky treachery to keep track of, as it will not only matter during combat but also during questing. I recommend leaving this card in the staging area as a reminder of the buffs for the rest of the round and discard it afterwards. If a lot of enemies are in play, you will probably want to cancel this effect, as it throws balance out the window during combat, making for a slippery slope towards defeat. Revealing multiple copies in a row is often cause of a scoop before the end of the round. If you somehow manage to have no Undead enemies in play, Restless Evil will just be replaced with the next card off the encounter deck. Also: BONERSWORD. Thanks to COTR for reminding me of that song that you guys have made but never released.

Side-quests

This quest would have been pretty straightforward if it wasn’t for these meddling side-quests! Not only do these side-quests prevent interaction with your discard pile, but they also fuel it even more (especially combined with stage 1) and can draw out more enemies. Deciding to which quest to go up against can be a tough call, though most of the side-quests are worth it to explore directly. All side-quests surge and will boost Iârion as well as ready him.

  • Seal the Tomb: Since this side-quest comes from the Cursed Dead encounter set, it is only natural that it enhances the reanimation of those Undead enemies. While in play, this side-quest will discard the top 3 cards of the encounter deck (not your deck, don’t get confused with all the discarding going on). The first player will then return the topmost enemy of the encounter discard pile to the staging area. This can either be an enemy discarded by the stage’s effect or an enemy that has been killed during the previous combat phase. This means that it will matter what card gets discarded first during combat since the enemy is likely to reappear in the next phase. In multiplayer, adding one enemy to the staging area isn’t much of a problem, but in solo or 2 players, this side-quest will deserve some attention, else you will be swarmed by Undead enemies. Exploring this stage will not give you any boons, so it is pretty low on the priority list when it comes to quest stages.
  • The Power of Angmar: Truely anti-teching by the encounter deck, when this stage is in play, the players can no longer have their cards in their discard pile leave the discard pile. This essentially shuts down Will of the West and a lot of Noldor cards. This means that your discard pile will be immune to your effects and that there is nothing you can do to reshuffle it. If you were relying on this strategy, it will be advisable to go against this quest. You will find it a tough one though, since it requires 8 progress to clear, which is 1-3 round that you won’t be going up against the main quest. Once you do eventually defeat this stage, you get to shuffle the top 5 cards of your discard pile back into your deck. This buys you an extra turn before you would have otherwise lost through decking.
  • The Shadow World: Finally, this scenario-specific side-quest will be draining your deck of cards even faster than the encounter deck was doing by itself. At the end of the refresh phase, each player will have to discard 1 card from the top of their deck for each enemy engaged with them. This generally doesn’t pose a problem to decks that can easily kill enemies, but once you start delving deeper in the strategy for this scenario, you will find that you will more often have enemies that stay engaged with you. Mainly the Cursed Dead are enemies that you do not want to kill, else they will be reanimated if a copy is revealed during the next round. This makes the Shadow World a silent killer, where you will find yourself discarding an additional 1-3 cards per round due to it. With only 5 progress required to kill it, I would advise to go up against it and try to clear it if you can. If you have ways to reshuffle your discard pile into your deck though, you might want to hold off on this one. Dwarven Mining players will also not mind this side-quest too much.

Tips and Tricks

  • In order to prevent your deck from running out of cards, add some copies of Will of the West to your deck. This allows you to reshuffle your discard pile into your deck, giving you more cards to discard to the quest’s effects. Add multiple copies to your deck to prevent accidentality discarding some of them. Dwarven Tomb can also help you to retrieve them or other Spirit cards you happen to discard.
  • Big decks will have a natural advantage against this quest, as you don’t have to fear being decked out by the encounter deck so much. Don’t feel afraid to go over the limit of 50 cards for this scenario, more deck space allows you to run cards like Hidden Cache and Ered Luin Miner, just to get a benefit out of it when they are discarded. It also allows you to add more copies of cards you really need in your deck, allowing for better consistency. Don’t go overboard though, more than 60 cards in your deck will drastically decrease your chances of finding what you need in the early game.
  • The encounter deck punishes you for having cards in play that also have a copy in the discard pile. To prevent this from happening, you can choose to only include 1 copy of each card in your deck. While this generally doesn’t give the deck a lot of consistency, you can throw in some cards that you would otherwise miss out on. You don’t have to do this for every card, but consider that you will be discarding allies more often if you have multiple copies of the same card in your deck. There are also cards that will increase the cost to play those cards, so be wary of that when deckbuilding.
  • Shuffeling the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck is amazing for this quest, as it allows you to prevent horrible combos from going off for the encounter deck. This prevents you from having to return multiple copies of Cursed Dead to the staging area and can make the Dead Lord whiff. To achieve this, you can include cards like The End Comes to your deck. Have some Ered Luin Miners in there as well with which you can chump to trigger the event.
  • Dwarf Pipe was made for this quest. Having 3 copies of this wonderful attachment can allow you to shuffle cards back to the bottom of your deck if they were discarded to encounter card effects. Add in some Hidden Caches and Ered Luin Miners for added benefit by abusing the scenario mechanics.
  • Noldor cards that can be played from your discard pile will not be terrible to throw again to the encounter card effects. While in the discard pile, they can act as an extension of your hand, allowing you to play allies like Glorfindel, draw more cards with Elven Light, or boost your Noldor characters with Lords of the Eldar.
  • Swarm decks have a hard time against this quest as some allies are bound to end up in your discard pile, setting up Heavy Curse and Dark Sorcery. Use Stand and Fight and Men of the West (only for Outlands) to retrieve your allies and save yourself the trouble of having to pay extra for other copies or having to discard half your board.
  • Make sure you have a strong defender out as soon as possible. The enemies in this encounter deck will hit hard, and the shadow effects are brutal as well. 3 defence allies aren’t going to cut it without support. Get your defenders kitted out with Raiment of War, Squire’s Helm, and Hauberk of Mail to make them a formidable wall. Your heroes will have to absorb the early attacks, so Beregond and Beorn are solid picks for your hero lineup.

 

Playthroughs

This is not a very popular quest, so there aren’t as many videos about this scenario, unlike other quests. Regardless, here are some playthroughs for you to enjoy and get some deckbuilding ideas from.

This concludes the Lost Realm deluxe scenarios, we will now turn towards the adventure packs of the cycle. I will skip the Warg infested quest that is Wastes of Eriador for now, and come back to it later, as that one deserves some proper attention. So the next scenario analysed will likely be Across the Ettenmoors, a personal favourite!

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