Rangers! Traps! Janky ranger events! Is such a deck viable? In the past I would have said “no”, but it would appear that a few recent cards have taken this archetype to a new level.
I’m a fan of Silvan decks, though with all of their toys and effects, I usually just end up jamming everything together in a quad-sphere deck that’s some variant of this. Even that doesn’t really cut it. If we want to capture the full breadth of Silvan capabilities, we need a Silvan fellowship.
I am now on the Thurindir bandwagon, and this is the Fellowship that did it. Yes, I know I featured a deck by this author in the last spotlight, but I couldn’t resist this one. It’s got one of those ideas that was so off my radar that my mind exploded when I saw it.
I think that a lot of players; and, until recently, myself included; hold a simplistic view of Thurindir: Side quests provide global boosts to the players, and Thurindir facilitates this mechanic, which in turn boosts his own stats. Throw in a Legacy Bladed or two, and you get bigger stat boosts. That’s cool and all, but what if we shift our mindset away from “side-quest deck” and more towards “mechanic-that-side-quests-facilitate deck”. With a guaranteed, player-chosen side quest in hand, what becomes possible? For starters, we can get Keeping Count to work.
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.
Ents are bonkers. Stat-wise, they are fantastic for their cost, though the tempo hit can be a hard pill to swallow. When the hero leadership iteration of Faramir was first spoiled, I think we all saw his potential in an Ent deck. The catch, as many pointed out, is that leadership cannot boast a single Ent. In fact, to get the most out of them, you need access to both tactics and lore; though a tri-sphere deck would then have problems paying for all the allies. An alternative option, of course, is to spread the Ents out across a Fellowship.
Someone must have spiked my tea, because I’m spotlighting a two-hero deck… Wait! Don’t run away yet, because this one’s worth trying out!
Yes, in general, I’m not a big fan of 2-hero decks. The big problem that I have with them is that they tend to be overly-dependent on certain cards, be it a first-round resourceful or a particularly impactful Timely Aid. Sure, when all the stars align, these decks can pack one helluva punch. The problem is that they fail utterly just a little too often for my tastes. Nothing hurts more than exhausting Gimli and Gildor Inglorian to play A Very Good Tale, only to pull out a single Rivendell Scout for your efforts. That’s hard to recover from, especially considering you’re already behind in resources from the lack of a third hero.
Yet, despite my usual arguments, here I am looking at a 2-hero deck list that works. How does it do it? Let’s find out!
Now that Sands of Harad has been out for a while, this is a good time to look at an Unlikely Friendship build. Legolas and Gimli make a very powerful team, but also present some deck building challenges: How do you consistently pay for Gimli’s kicker? How do you consistently pay for Legolas’ kicker? Who gets to be the third wheel?
The thematically obvious choice for the latter question is Aragorn, and I highly recommend Beorn’s The Three Hunters Aggro deck if you like Voltron hero builds. Other interesting decks include The Third Knife by chrsjxn and Leglimvor by Seastan. Each of these decks take the unlikely friendship concept in a different direction, but did you spot the similarities? All three utilize Steward of Gondor for Gimli, and Elven-light for Legolas. Their kicker costs are high enough that we are forced to build around them, and these cards make for obvious staples.