It’s customary for developers to ratchet up the threats posed with each new cycle, and Angmar Awakened was certainly no exception, with all sorts of new combat tricks and nastiness. This forced many players to begin contemplating approaches that might previously have been unthinkable. Such as an Elrond deck that doesn’t also include Vilya.
Mender of Decay
1x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Booming Ent (The Antlered Crown)
2x Derndingle Warrior (Escape from Mount Gram)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
2x Galadhrim Weaver (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
2x Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Gléowine (Core Set)
2x Imladris Stargazer (Foundations of Stone)
2x Miner of the Iron Hills (Core Set)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Veteran of Osgiliath (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Wandering Ent (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x Wellinghall Preserver (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Favor of the Valar (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
2x Lembas (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Self Preservation (Core Set)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
With harder quests featuring plenty of ally hate, it makes sense to let heroes shoulder more of the combat burden. And with many enemies with low or variable engagement costs, starting with a higher threat became a more manageable option. The result from deck creator WingfootRanger is an oddity: a deck with 36 starting threat that, in his own words, “starts slowly”.
But with mighty attackers and defenders like Amarthiul, Elrond, and Treebeard around to pick up the early-game slack, a player can often afford a couple of rounds to get their feet under them. Once that happens, an army of ents and healers– buttressed by Elrond’s own mastery– provides a durable fighting force to deal with whatever the encounter deck may produce.
The result is a slow-boiling combat deck that packs a mighty punch, and certainly one that deserves a second look.