Deckbuilding: Trouble in Tharbad

With the last two quests being pretty tough, we move on to one of the easier quests of this cycle. While I find easy quests often too boring (like Into Fangorn), I have good memories of Trouble in Tharbad. The mechanic to get your threat down to zero is something unique and allows unusual deckbuilding strategies, while also being an excellent thematic use of the game mechanics.

Initial Deckbuilding

In the quest analysis is the Hobbit archetype mentioned to benefit from your low threat. This is a possibility, but I decided to go instead for staging area attack. That way you can prevent the Spies from Mordor from attacking so you don’t even have to take off time counters through the forced effect. Also, I wanted to test The Great Hunt a bit more, which is a natural fit for this strategy.

Haldir is the obvious choice for our first hero, having a Lore icon and a way to snipe the staging area. So we need two more Lore heroes for The Great Hunt. I find it often hard to build a strong mono-Lore solo deck, because many of the Lore heroes are either to weak for solo play or have to high threat. But threat doesn’t matter too much here so I went with the really big guys:

Yeah, here we have the option to combine Treebeard and Elrond, who have obvious healing synergy. They also have enough willpower to get our threat down quickly.

Besides the healing cards and the standard Lore questing gang, we also included Ranger Spear and Entangling Nets to help Haldir kill some enemies, as well as Noiseless Movement to keep them away. It can be recycled once we reach Secrecy. Then our Resourcefuls will also be cheaper, but we can also get them out early if we find the Scroll of Isildur + Bartering combo.

Defense is obviously a weakness. We shouldn’t engage enemies anyway, but Get that Dwarf! could get me. In an emergency Lembas can ready a hero for defense, or we can tank an undefended attack with our healing and large hitpoints on our heroes.

Favor of the Valar is our tech for this quest, being useful if our elimantion should become to low.

Playtesting

Out of 3 playthroughs, I could win two very easily. In both I didn’t have to engage an enemy until stage two where I had a Lembas ready. My first playthrough was really long because I couldn’t find my questers, but I had the board under control, and my threat was at the end still far from my elimination level of 30. While combat was almost “boring”, there were some interesting decisions when it came to travelling to Seedy Inn or Tharbad Hideout. Get that Dwarf! was not really a problem, whiffing most of the time and otherwise I had Lembas in play.

The 3rd playthrough was very tense at the start. I revealed directly Bellachs Marauder, and only Noiseless Movement helped me to avoid his attack of 5 on round one. Then Mablung gave him +5 engagement cost (yes, this time I could actually use him), and I could lower my threat under 35 before I Great Hunted him away. After that my threat was low enough to not worry anymore about enemies.

For future playthroughs I would probably add a third Noiseless Movement to deal with situations like that. But for the moment I like the deck as it is and will name it “How secret can you keep an Ent?”.

Conclusion

While this quest is not my favorite, it is still really fun for an easy quest and it’s nice to have a break in a hard cycle. If you have an idea for some crazy deck with high threat heroes, that might not be strong enough for your standard quest, you might use this one for testing.

Anyway, I probably shouldn’t complain too much about quests being too easy considering that I now move on to the Marshes of the Nin-in-Eilph… You’ll hear from me after I found my way out.

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