Sunday, October 30, 2011

Imrahil, Rohan commander

When I look for the first time at Imrahil, I automatically made the comparison with Aragorn. Statistically, they are very similar. Both have 2 willpower, an Attack Strength of 3 and a defence of 2. They also have some similarity in their abilities since they both have an ability that allows them to ready themselves. The big difference is that Aragorn offer a little more (1 hit point and sentinel) for a higher threat cost (12 instead of 11).

Is Aragorn better that Imrahil? Probably yes, but I think that sometime, Imrahil ability to ready himself could be more useful. And that will be my challenge today: to build a deck that takes advantage of Imrahil ability.

1) How to activate Imrahil ability?
Imrahil can ready himself whenever a character leave play that means that it ready himself when:
-         Where a character is put in a discard pile
-         When a character returns in it owner hand
-         When a character returns to it owner deck

2) Which cards could help me active is ability?
This is a quick overview of the cards that can be useful for Imrahil

a) Leadership
-                  -   Sneak attack
-                  -   Keen-Eye Took
-                  -    Rear guard

b) Spirit
-                  - Ride to ruin
-                 -  westfold horse-breaker
-                - Escort from Edoras
-                - Rivermark's Finest
-                - Eomund

c) Tactic
-                - Born Aloft
-                - to the eyrie
-                - Meneldor's Flight
-                - Beorn
-                - Beornong Beekepeer
-                - Landoval

d) Lore
-                - None

3) Building a Deck
     After a quick look at the card, I believe that the best sphere to use Imrahil ability is the spirit sphere since it offers a lot of card and it is the one that has the most control over when an ally leave play. And since they are all Rohan related, I think it is a good idea to make a rohan deck.
So here the deck list I made:

Imrahil, Rohan commander V1.0

Hero (3)
- Eowyn (Core) x1
- Prince Imrahil (AJtR) x1
- Theodred (Core) x1

Ally (26)
- Eomund (CatC) x2
- Escort from Edoras (AJtR) x2
- Lorien Guide (Core) x2
- The Riddermark's Finest (THoEM) x3
- Snowbourn Scout (Core) x3
- Keen-eyed Took (THoEM) x3
- Faramir (Core) x2
- Northern Tracker (Core) x3
- Gandalf (Core) x3
- Westfold Horse-Breaker (THfG) x3

Attachment (5)
- Steward of Gondor (Core) x2
- Unexpected Courage (Core) x2
- Ancient Mathom (AJtR) x1

Event (19)
- Sneak Attack (Core) x3
- Valiant Sacrifice (Core) x2
- Ride to Ruin (THoEM) x2
- Stand and Fight (Core) x2
- The Galadhrim's Greeting (Core) x2
- Will of the West (Core) x2
- Dwarven Tomb (Core) x2
- A Test of Will (Core) x2
- Mustering the Rohirrim (THfG) x2

     When I build this deck, I try not to focus to much on the recurring Gandalf combos (sneak attack, Stand and Fight) and neither on threat lowering (The Galadhrim's Greeting) but I know that those strategy are very powerful and that I needed to incorporate them.

     I also wanted to have some extra resources (steward of Gondor), some recurring (stand and fight, Will of the west, dwarven tomb) since I would send a lot of cards in the discard pile, some control (test of will), some location management (northern tracker) and some card drawing (valiant sacrifice and ancient mathom - I wasn't sure which one was better for the deck so I try them both)

4) The Playtest
I have tried this deck against the Journey down the Anduin. Let's see how this deck stand against the troll.

Game 1:
     The first draw was an event, so I had to search for the troll. The I went questing and I flipped the second troll...
     I must admit that I was a little concern, but thank to Gandalf and sneak attack, the deck could stand, even if Theodred had been killed by an Eastern Crows (getting a +3 attack value because of a shadow card),
Unfortunaly, I had to quit the game before the end, but I thought that I could hold on a bit longer.

Game 2:
     The second game was a breeze, thank to Gandalf. I make him sneak, stand and fight, and he also came on his own. It was all about him. I didn't even use Imrahil ability. My final score was 29
This game makes me realize a major flaw in my deck: it rely to much on Eowyn. Not for questing, but for her resources. Most of the cards in my deck are spirit cards and I only have one way to get this kind of resource.

Game 3:
     This time, I try to not use Gandalf unless I didn't have any other solution, so the game wasn't that easy.
To beat the troll I had to use Eomund twice using stand and fight. I was questing with all heroes and ally (except Eomund) and when the troll attack, I just had to block with Eomund to ready all my character to make a massive attack. When I was done with the troll, my threat level was at 42 and there was a Marsh Adder in the staging area. Luckily, he didn't attack yet thanks to the second stage of the quest because I would have been in a lot of trouble since I had some problem to play my Spirit cards. Imrahil and Theodred where full of resources token, but the mere 2 token thank Eowyn gave me (1 + 1 from Theodred ability) wasn't enough. So to dig more into my deck, I use a dwarven tomb to get back an Ancient Mathom to try to draw a Steward of Gondor, which I did a few turns later. But even then, I still had some resource problem, but it was a little better.

      In the last part of the quest, I had to use Gandalf twice to reduce my threat level. At the last turn, Theodred had been killed because the worg that attacks me flip a shadow card that bring back into my hand a tapped ally and since my only ally that was tapped was used to block him, I had to return that ally to my hand and make that attack unblock.

     My final score was 42, which I think is acceptable. In this game I fully use Imrahil ability and I find him quite useful. I think that, in this game, Imrahil was little more useful than Aragorn even if he was only questing and attacking because of the lower threat level.

5) Final thought
     In the end, I enjoyed playing this deck. The only things that I would change is that I would remove 2 Mustering the Rohirrim, 1 Ancient Mathom and 2 Lorien guide to add 2 song of travel, 1 valiant sacrifice and two Silverlode Archer so that I have less trouble with my resource management.

     After reflexion, there might be another change that I could make: I could change Thedred for Dunhere. Statistically speaking, they are the same. The advantage that Dunhere has on Theodred is that he is already a spirit character so that I don't need to quest with him to get my extra spirit resource. But what makes me hesitate is that theodred give a fourth resource token. What do you think about it? Theodred or Dunhere?

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