A small dark figure that none had observed sprang out of the shadows and gave a hoarse shout: Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu! An axe swung and swept back. Two Orcs fell headless. The rest fled.
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
As we draw nearer to the release of Shadow and Flame and the climactic finale of the Dwarrowdelf cycle of Adventure Packs for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game , we move forward with another deck list inspired by the cycle.
Last week , we looked at a deck list centered around a trio of sages who shared a Love of Tales ( The Long Dark , 85). Now, we change gears and present not one, but two, deck lists all about Dwarves. What better race of heroes could there be to delve the abandoned mines of Moria? The Dwarrowdelf cycle has given these short and stalwart characters plenty of incentive to expedition deep beneath the Misty Mountains.
Today, we see them sent forth into the dark tunnels under the direction of Caleb Grace, lead developer of the upcoming Saga Expansion, The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill .
A Brief Introduction by Caleb Grace
These decks favor theme over efficiency. When I was playing the scenarios from the Khazad-Dûm and Dwarrowdelf expansions, I wanted to create a company of Dwarves to explore the Mines of Moria. Aside from Gandalf, all the characters in these decks have the Dwarf trait.
The focus on the Dwarf trait creates a lot of synergy between the two decks. On their own, neither deck is very strong, but when they’re paired together in cooperative play, they complement each other nicely.
Leadership and Lore
Daín Ironfoot (Return to Mirkwood, 116)
1x Brok Ironfist
2x Durin’s Song
2x Ever Vigilant
2x Hardy Leadership (Shadow and Flame, 130)
3x Longbeard Orc Slayer
3x Lure of Moria (Road to Rivendell, 30)
2x Parting Gifts (A Journey to Rhosgobel, 52)
2x Sneak Attack
3x Steward of Gondor
2x Ancestral Knowledge (Khazad-dûm, 12)
3x Erebor Hammersmith
3x Longbeard Map-Maker
2x Lore of Imladris
3x Erebor Record Keeper
2x Legacy of Durin (The Watcher in the Water, 61)
3x Miner of the Iron Hills
2x Protector of Lórien
3x Radagast’s Cunning
3x Secret Paths
The Leadership and Lore deck focuses on questing by putting lots of allies into play, boosting stats, and reducing the threat strength of enemies and locations in the staging area.
Tactics and Spirit
3x Citadel Plate (Core Set, 40)
3x Dwarrowdelf Axe
3x Erebor Battle Master
3x Heavy Stroke (Foundations of Stone, 105)
1x Horn of Gondor
3x Khazad! Khazad!
3x Veteran Axehand
3x A Test of Will
3x Dwarven Tomb
3x Ever My Heart Rises (The Long Dark, 82)
3x Hasty Stroke
2x Unexpected Courage
3x Untroubled by Darkness
3x Zigil Miner
3x Boots from Erebor
The Tactics and Spirit deck focuses on destroying enemies that enter play and canceling unwanted “When Revealed” and shadow effects.
These decks work best when players share effects between them, and the cooperation begins with Daín Ironfoot, the obvious MVP. Likewise, the Leadership player can give Gimli another big boost by giving him some of his resources with Parting Gifts, helping him to play an early Citadel Plate. In turn, the Tactics and Spirit player can help the Leadership player manage his threat by playing one or more copies of Ever My Heart Rises on his characters.
Frequently, both players can commit all of their characters to the quest and then ready them with Lure of Moria. When they can do this, the players’ small army of Dwarves can typically clear a stage and defeat their enemies in the same turn.
Some cards, like Ancestral Knowledge and Ever My Heart Rises, help enhance the thematic feel of the decks. These cards would see little or no use in scenarios from the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle, but with all the Mountain and Underground locations in the Dwarrowdelf cycle, they can give your adventure a real boost.
After his work on The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill , Caleb knows a thing or two about theme in The Lord of the Rings , and you can see how his decks fare against the Balrog when Shadow and Flame comes out in a few weeks.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.