CotR Deck Spotlight: Exploitation of Miners


RingsDB has been quite active over the past couple of weeks, and it is times like these where gems fall through the cracks. Today’s feature got buried, not once, but twice by the recent flurry of submissions (because two versions were published).

So why resurrect this particular deck? Because it showcases how the latest Dwarven toys, Dwarf Pipe and Erebor Guard, do wonders for the dwarven miner archetype.

Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…

Exploitation of Miners

by Pirate Brahm

Hero (3)
Dain Ironfoot (Return to Mirkwood)
Gandalf (The Road Darkens)
Nori (Over Hill and Under Hill)

Ally (17)
1x Bofur (The Redhorn Gate)
1x Dwalin (On the Doorstep)
3x Dwarven Sellsword (The Drowned Ruins)
3x Erebor Guard (The Sands of Harad)
3x Ered Luin Miner (Temple of the Deceived)

1x Glóin (On the Doorstep)
2x Longbeard Sentry (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm)

Attachment (25)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Dúnedain Remedy (The Drowned Ruins)
2x Dwarf Pipe (The Mûmakil)
2x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)
2x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
2x King Under the Mountain (On the Doorstep)
1x Legacy of Durin (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Miruvor (Shadow and Flame)
2x Narvi’s Belt (Khazad-dûm)
2x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

Event (15)
1x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Flame of Anor (The Road Darkens)
3x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
3x We Are Not Idle (Shadow and Flame)
3x Well-Equipped (The Blood of Gondor)
2x Will of the West (Core Set)

Yes, it has Gandalf, and yes, it has Dain, but hear me out: This is not a typical dwarf-swarm build, and Gandalf fits in quite nicely. The strategy revolves around using Gandalf’s scrying ability, as well as his Wizard Pipe, to prime your deck to give big payouts when you mine it. With the recent attention that the dwarven archetype has received of late, it’s actually pretty consistent to do: Exploitation of Miners contains eight different cards that mill your deck (and some are repeatable), and two different cards that benefit from being milled (Ered Luin Miner and Hidden Cache).

There are far too many fun tricks to list here, so instead I will refer you to the deck description, and mention just a couple of them here:

  • If you play Flame of Anor with an Ered Luin Miner on top of your deck, then Gandalf gains +3 attack strength, and the miner pops into play for free.
  • If you play Erebor Guard using his cost-reducer while Hidden Cache is on top of your deck, then he effectively comes into play for free; furthermore, if Nori is smoking a Dwarf Pipe, you can put the Hidden Cache back into your deck for more fun later on.

It’s tricks like these that really bring this deck to life.

But that’s not all; while you are panning for mithril, you will also be drawing through your deck. Remember, you’ve got Gandalf, Expert treasure-hunter, and possibly Legacy of Durin on the table, so you will have no shortage of cards in hand. With all of the card draw and mining opportunities available, you will have plenty of options at your disposal. You will find yourself continually weighing your in-hand options against milling your deck to find those hidden opportunities, and that’s what makes this deck so much fun to pilot. There’s a lot to discover, and the more I play this deck, the more I find. It isn’t the easiest deck to play (auto-pilot won’t work here), but, without a doubt, is one of the most rewarding.

If you’re looking to try something new, even if you’re tired of Dwarves, Exploitation of Miners is worth a second look. If ever there was a deck that required you to try it before you could truly understand it, then this is it.  Enjoy!

– WanderingTook

3 thoughts on “CotR Deck Spotlight: Exploitation of Miners

  1. trouble, however, you forgot to add the booklover. Perhaps a person need to think with this coming from far more than individual tilt. Or perhaps anyone shouldnt generalise as a result to a great extent.

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