Deck-Craft: Stout Squires of Support

With the 2015 Fellowship Event, Murder at the Prancing Pony, imminent, it’s time to start building for that event. I was lucky enough to attend the 2014 event at the Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville, MN, which is a mere twelve miles from home. At that event, I was able to play with three good friends, so we were able to build our decks together. This year, however, I want to be prepared for anything, so I’ll be bringing along a deck that is completely friendly to any multiplayer situation.

Since this is the first post for the blog, I also wanted to introduce what will become a regular feature here at Peace and Thought: Deck-Craft, in which I simply post a deck with some piloting instructions. Very soon, I’ll be introducing another feature, Double-Take. In short, this category of posts will take one idea for a deck and offer two different variations upon it. This allows for you to easily build version A, which was created in Deck-Craft, then pack the cards necessary for version B, introduced in Double-Take, so that you can switch out from one to the other with relative ease.

Okay, enough with the introduction: let’s get to it!

Inspiration
In LOTR:LCG, each deck must have a focus, especially in four-player games. This deck is designed to fill in a lot of the gaps that other archetypes don’t. At the same time, it uses as few unique allies, attachments, and events as possible so it can be easily used in a pickup game. With a strong focus on giving other players at the table what they need, when they need it, I call this deck The Stout Squires of Support.

stout

Total Cards: 52

Heroes: (3)
1x Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders)
1x Merry (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Pippin (The Black Riders)

Allies: (17)
2x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x Miner of the Iron Hills (Core Set)
2x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
2x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Numenor)

Attachments: (23)
3x Ranger Provisions (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Ancient Mathom (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Hobbit Cloak (The Black Riders)
2x Hobbit Pony (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
2x Staff of Lebethron (The Land of Shadow)
2x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)

Events: (12)
3x Tighten Our Belts (The Nin-in-Eilph)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)

Strategy: This deck is all about the goodies for other players. Look for Resourceful in your starting hand; it’s best on Pippin to pay for the large number of Lore cards, or Merry to pay for Galadrhim’s Greeting for other players. Other than that, use Ranger Provisions, Ancient Mathom, Elf-Stone, and Tighten Our Belts to dish out what other players need at exactly the right time. Even with table-talk restrictions, it should be easy to ask another player, “What do you need right now?” and get it to them as needed.

Regarding ally use, getting out an early Master of the Forge means you’ll be finding the right attachments at the right time. Erebor Hammersmith can help you fetch any attachments that have been discarded once the active location has been explored. Once you are a few rounds in, play Warden of Healing and Miner of the Iron Hills to help other players deal with damage and condition attachments. Meanwhile, Sam Gamgee is a sturdy defender. To be completely honest, you will need help in dealing with enemies, but a Tactics player with ranged characters or a Dúnedain deck that can bring enemies to it will work great.

Reward: For a lot of players, it really is all about the questing or combat. However, for the more peaceful, thoughtful player, a hobbit who enjoys a quiet brew or a luxurious bowl of pipe tobacco, this is a great deck to run. Watch your more straightforward companions steamroll to victory, content in the knowledge that you made it happen.

Look for a twist on this deck in an upcoming Double-Take feature. Until next time, mára mesta: good journeys!

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