The latest incarnations of Legolas and Gimli are no strangers to this spotlight series, and we’ve already seen how good the duo can be. Given how seamlessly their abilities interact (and the fact that they were released in the same box), they were obviously designed with each other in mind. Yet, unlike the other famous pair in this game, Elladan and Elrohir, Legolas and Gimli do not necessarily have to pair with each other.
With that thought in mind, we are going to explore what is possible when you split the duo apart. In particular, we are going to look at a Three Hunters deck from an alternate-universe in which Argalad, instead of Legolas, was sent to the Counsel of Elrond.
Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…
Alternate story – The three hunters
Aragorn (The Watcher in the Water)
Argalad (The Drowned Ruins)
Gimli (The Sands of Harad)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
1x Galdor of the Havens (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
1x Ghân-buri-Ghân (The Flame of the West)
1x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
2x Ithilien Tracker (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
2x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Robin Smallburrow (The Drowned Ruins)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x Dwarven Shield (The Sands of Harad)
2x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
2x Song of Wisdom (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
2x Radagast’s Cunning (Core Set)
2x Secret Paths (Core Set)
3x Unlikely Friendship (The Sands of Harad)
Pairing Argalad with the new Gimli is a choice that makes a lot of sense. Canonical three hunters decks require a steady stream of resources and card draw in order to keep up with the kicker cost of the hero abilities. By swapping out Legolas for Argalad, you eliminate one of those requirements. Ultimately, Legolas may have the potential to bring more willpower to the table, but Argalad deals direct damage, which shouldn’t be discounted. Then there is the difference in sphere distribution: Assuming that you bring along the Lore version of Aragorn to a Three Hunters deck (as Roka does), Argalad transforms your deck from tri-sphere to dual-sphere, with leadership as the off-sphere; that’s a really nice setup. Argalad is ranged too, so you can still support your teammates in multiplayer games.
Alright, enough about Argalad. What about the rest of the deck? Well, there’s stuff to like there too!
- I like the inclusion of Song of Wisdom. While it is no doubt intended to allow Gimli to wield A Burning Brand, it also allows Gimli to pump his cash into Wardens of Healing. Don’t you just hate it when someone hogs Steward of Gondor, but accumulates far more than they can spend? With the lore resource icon, you can give back by healing the entire board.
- I like Radagast’s Cunning and Secret Paths. These cards don’t see a lot of use in modern decks, but I’d wager that has more to do with “the new hotness” than their power. These cards are old friends, and it’s nice to see them again.
- I like the balance of combat strength versus willpower. This deck’s weakest point is defense, since Gimli needs some setup before he can take on anything too vicious, but provided you can get a shield or a healer on the board, you’ll be in good shape.
Alternate story – The three hunters works remarkably well. I ran it up against Escape from Umbar, and while things got hairy with all of the archery damage flying around, I still pulled out a heroic victory.
If you’ve been using the Sands of Harad duo and want to spice things up, this is a good deck to try; or, if this deck inspires you to find another suitable buddy for our stalwart dwarf, post your findings below!