Deckbuilding: Into Fangorn

With Into Fangorn we come to the final quest of the Voice of Isengard-deluxe. While this is in most cycles the hardest one (like Escape from Dol Guldur or Siege of Cair Andros) here it’s probably the opposite. The community difficulty rating of 4.3 is significantly lower than those of the other quests.

This doesn’t mean that this quest is a cakewalk. In fact you have to bring a specialized deck. You have to be very focused on willpower with the time pressure and the Hinder keyword removing progress from the quest, as Durin’s Father mentioned in his analysis.

The Hinder keyword appears on all enemies in this quest, preventing them from attacking during the combat phase

The second point he mentions is that a Rossiel Deck is easy to set up. I first wanted to go this route, but when I was double checking the rules, I saw I played this quest wrong all the time: I always thought the Hinder keywords means that enemies deal not damage when attacking but remove that number of progress from the quest, but in fact they don’t attack and you remove one damage per engaged enemy. That way, using Rossiel as a quester and defender is irrelevant and I build the deck even more focused on willpower, starting with the only 4 Willpower heroes that can quest without an attachment: Cirdan and Eowyn. I decided to go with both spirit versions, because that way I can easily play this 2 Cost/2 Willpower allies. Our last hero will be Bifur to play the Lore questing allies as well.

With no deck space needed for any combat cards (I don’t plan to kill those enemies and can chump block if The Forest’s Malice or an Angry Huorn shows up) I included a lot of specific deck cards:

This is what the decklist looks like:

I played the quest 3 times and won all attempts, twice in 4 and once in 5 rounds. The key card it two games was Shadow of the Past, even tough I never lost Mugash, but I could setup my last quest phase without having to worry about The Forest’s Malice. Cirdan worked pretty well with those tech cards, giving me the ones I needed and discarding the others. I could use all of them at some point, except for Ioreth because the games were over before I had to engage the Deadly Huorn.

For the above metioned reasons I would probably add even a third copy of Shadow of the Past and maybe even A Watchful Peace. But I’m happy with my 3 wins and just questing as fast as possible through the forest isn’t the most entertaining thing. That is also represented by the decklist name: Seniors walking in the forest (with help from a young lady)

Conclusion: I think this deck shows how focused you can be on willpower to defeat this quest. If you are struggling with your deck, you can simplify it to just muster willpower as fast as possible. Oh, and double check the rules before playing 🙂

Thinking about the entire box, I like the quests mainly for there originality, especially as someone who really likes the deckbuilding aspect of this game. Building decks that have to work with a low hand size or under time pressure is something different than usual. The downside is that those quests lose there replayabilty rather quickly and you can’t tackle them in a lot of different ways. Fortunately, there are a lot of other scenarios to explore, moving forward to Dunland, fearing the traps and trials we might encounter there…

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