Off-Brand Nightmare, or Making the Game Harder

Tonight I ran a variant of Zeromage’s Big Hero Six deck against The Fords of Isen. Hilarious. Two reasons, really:

  • Between Cirdan, BeravorDaeron’s Runes, and Gleowine, there’s a ton of card draw.
  • Like many quests in the Ring-Maker cycle, The Fords of Isen kicks you in the teeth for drawing cards or having too many cards in hand.

And, voila!, I had an off-brand nightmare quest on my hands. To date, I haven’t purchased a single Nightmare expansion (though I did win a set in a drawing at my FLGS). In truth, I’m still a bit behind on beating all the quests, though I’m catching up pretty quickly. This week I decided to return to the Ring-Maker cycle and play it from start to finish. This solo run will include (hopefully!) beating Celebrimbor’s Secret and The Antlered Crown for the first time, which I’m pumped for. But since I’ve played the Voice of Isengard box and the first few quests in the cycle so much, I thought bringing just the plain wrong, no-good deck to it would be funny.

Don’t get me wrong–the Big Hero Six deck I’ve tweaked is plenty powerful, but that power is offset by the quests just dropping bombs all over me for drawing or holding onto too many cards. So even when I have a near perfect set-up, things can go awry:

Near perfect first turn.

Near perfect first turn.

I did win The Fords of Isen, but it was mighty, mighty close. I’ve learned to hate the Dunlending Berserker, in particular.

So, I’m looking back through all the previous quests and thinking, “What deck could I bring to such-and-such a quest to make it a nightmare quest of sorts?” Any thoughts, readers? What’s a challenging pairing I should try in the future? Leave a comment!

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