How to defeat a "Josh Grace" style deck

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Zarathustra
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How to defeat a "Josh Grace" style deck

Post by Zarathustra » Sun May 30, 2004 11:57 pm

Recently, I've become quite peeved at what, in another post http://www.meccg.net/dforum/viewtopic.php?t=152, I dubbed the "Josh Grace" style deck. The main components of such a deck are:

1) Lots of scout cards (stealth/sneakin', a nice place to hide/concealment);
2) Perhaps some hazard limit reduction (deeper shadow/many turns and doublings);
3) usually one big character (beorn, strider, or thranduil for heroes, buthrakaur or one of the lieutenants for minions) and 2 characters that count as only 1/2 towards the hazard limit (hobbits or orc-scouts).

These decks are infuriating to play against: they choke your hand with hazards because you can never play everything you draw, and what you do manage to get out tends to be ineffectual because of all the canceler cards. Playing against them is, as Jamie Pollock so aptly put it, more like playing solitaire with someone else at the table than an actual interactive, two-player game. So, with that in mind, here's how to crush anyone who dares run such a deck:

1) Hazard limit increasers: Daelomin at Home is a must, and Power Built by Waiting can also be effective. If you have any manifestations of Agburanar in the deck, try a Parsimony or two.
2) Unabated in Malice: No hazard limit? No problem. Most of the time a river/unabated combo is enough to stop one of these companies for a turn, or at least keep them from grabbing lots of extra stuff at a site (noble steeds, wolf allies, regiment/great bats, tech items).
3) CVCC: of course, this only works if you're playing opposing alignments and happen to have a strong enough company yourself.
4) Ahunts: These nasty buggers circumvent stealth and sneakin', as well as Down Down to goblin Town and Secret Passage. If your opponent has the squatting company go first during the movement-hazard phase, you can drop an ahunt or two, allowing you still to have two hazards (three with unabated) against the moving company.
5) Gandalf the White Rider (vs minions): Nuff said.
6) Eyes of the Shadow: an unlikely card, but worth a try in the sideboard if you have room. Works well when the big guy is Cirdan, Glorfindel, Elrond, Lt of Morgul, Lt of Angmar, or Elerina.
7) Roadblock: Fell Winter (for example) and/or DoN can be dropped during the squatting company's mh phase, tapping your opponent's site and effectively ruining his turn. Also, this shuts down hero decks using Many Turns and Doublings to reduce the hl.
8 ) Agents: As with ahunts and roadblock, agents can be played and moved during the squatting company's turn, allowing you to concentrate more hazards on the stealthy moving company.
9) Worn and Famished (only against heroes).
10) The Moon is Dead: mostly against hero decks that go to the coast with all it's undead attacks, especially in combination with Unabated.
11) Spawn hazard strategy (mostly against minions): Darkness Made by Malice is gooooooood, since you only need 4 spawn to make it effective. Still, against most other types of hero decks this is less than amazing, so probably best only against minions.
12) Two or Three Tribes Present: as long as there's no stealth/sneakin' there's no problem.

Another more general thing to keep in mind is that, as the hazard player, you always have the chance to respond when the resource player does something. This is good to keep in mind when your opponent reduces the hazard limit: say for example that you play a creature as your first hazard, and your opponent responds with Many Turns. If you would rather have him face a different hazard (river, e.g.), you can play it in response to the Many Turns. Even if your opponent has another Many Turns, he'll still be unable to fizzle your river, as he'll need 2 more to do so. The cheezy players who use hazard limit reduction like this tend not to ask you if you want to respond, instead just playing their hl reducers and telling you they've fizzled your first hazard. Don't let them get away with it!

My (aggravated) two cents for the week,

MRA

melkor_morgoth75
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Post by melkor_morgoth75 » Mon May 31, 2004 6:03 am

I also add that an influence deck can do his job against those decks (at least against the big one char. 'cause the hobbits with tookish blood are near untouchable :wink: )

mm75

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The Dead Dwarf
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Post by The Dead Dwarf » Mon May 31, 2004 8:05 am

Some other things to try:

Searching Eye
Little Snuffler (unless he's stealth/Sneakin')
Tidings of Bold Spies (especially effective combined with Unabated in Malice on the site!)

Nigel

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Post by melkor_morgoth75 » Mon May 31, 2004 8:12 am

Yes ... tidings + unabeated is really effective, the best combo ever !!!

Jambo
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Post by Jambo » Mon May 31, 2004 8:42 am

The best ones are definitely Daelomin at Home and Power Built by Waiting, as the Deeper Shadows, Many Turns are not nearly as effective when these are in play.

Other things to consider:
1. Against minion put corruption cards on the Shadow Magic user - remember those Deeper Shadows don't come for free.

2. Against hero, Twilights are invariably essential. Nailing the Gates of Morning will render all his Many Turns useless for reducing the hazard limit.

The Regiment of Black Crows is another thing which will invariably make an appearance if your opponent is a minion. Do ahunts circumvent the back to the hand ability of this ally?

Cheers

Jamie

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Post by Yü-Gung » Mon May 31, 2004 9:43 am

Jambo wrote:The Regiment of Black Crows is another thing which will invariably make an appearance if your opponent is a minion. Do ahunts circumvent the back to the hand ability of this ally?
I would say yes.

The attack is considered a creature attack, so it would be cancelled, but the creature has no card to be sent back into hand.
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Zarathustra
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Post by Zarathustra » Mon May 31, 2004 10:39 am

Actually, it has been ruled that tapping a Regiment will send an ahunt (even your own) back to it's player's hand, so it can be dropped again in the same turn (assuming you have some hl...).

MRA

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Post by Jambo » Mon May 31, 2004 11:23 am

I suppose then, one could carry out an ahunt recycling strategy:

Play an ahunt on an opponent moving through Dragon country. Then, on your turn move through a region of the ahunt and tap Regiment to put it back to hand. Using this type of play one could play an ahunt on an opponent indefinitely....

Zarathustra
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Post by Zarathustra » Mon May 31, 2004 12:32 pm

Hahahahahah - that's priceless! Still, I dont know if I'd really want to play ahunts on myself -- forces me to carry extra cancelers too, not just my opponent.

Actually, I have a hero deck using a similar trick: play an ahunt, move through dragon country, play riddling talk and crush the hazard limit. Since the ahunt is triggered immediately when I move, I get to riddle it right away, which keeps my opponent from being able to play hazards that create an attack (tidings, another ahunt, creatures) or corruption cards against my company in response, and then after the riddling attempt is (presumably) successful, there's not hl left, so he can still play nothing! :twisted: Getting a look at his hand is nice too, though you need to do it quite often or you'll end up getting creamed by your own ahunts. Not a bad trick though... perhaps I should put it under a different heading....

MRA

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Post by Jambo » Mon May 31, 2004 1:46 pm

Ah yes, nice idea Mark. An idea like this would also be open to other potentially interesting cards.

Consider:
Flatter a Foe - also reduces the hazard limit! Might be a handy backup to a failed Riddling Talk attempt!
Token of Goodwill - find your item of choice. :D

J

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Post by Gwaihir » Mon May 31, 2004 2:12 pm

Zarathustra wrote:Actually, I have a hero deck using a similar trick: play an ahunt, move through dragon country, play riddling talk and crush the hazard limit.
This is one of the coolest side effects of a riddling strategy. If your opponent goes to the north east, you are set: the Ahunts you play are a big burden for him and an equally large joy to yourself. Find Kris van Beurden to comment on this. He can describe the effectiveness of riddling under such conditions in painstaking detail (and never wants to play vs. my riddling deck again ;)).
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Post by Jambo » Mon May 31, 2004 3:15 pm

Ah, that's sounds cool Wim! Wish I'd seen that in action. Care to elaborate on how it played out a little, unless Kris fancies taking up the reigns.

If you're playing with a lot of Ahunts, Riddling Talk and/or Flatter a Foe, another useful card to include in your deck must surely be Sated Beast. Especially, if your opponent has packed an Old Thrush or two...

J

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Post by Tegarend » Mon May 31, 2004 5:18 pm

Wim, stop bringing that up

A) it was embarassing ;)

B) Hey, it was one of the first x games of ME I ever played ... I don't think I had played more than 15-20 games back then ... talk about playing schoolyard bully :P


Basic was - I had my orcs I think out hunting for his whatever company, and ... I don't think I got more than 1 attack through (I AM certain I killed a character with that).

But, well, he used cards to look at my hand and then accidently knowing what I had in hand for riddling stuff, and often could guess what I had in hand anyway (not hard against a dwarf/orc deck ... how many cards can you put in it?)

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Post by Tegarend » Mon May 31, 2004 5:19 pm

Gwaihir wrote: (and never wants to play vs. my riddling deck again ;)).
Btw, I really want to play against that deck again, but only once I want to play again ... I'm having a ME break atm (digged up my Star Wars collection ... and well, that game is really good too).

Come to Antwerp in July for a tourney - maybe we'll get to play each other?

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Post by Gwaihir » Mon May 31, 2004 6:19 pm

Why was it embarrasing? You just hapened to play the perfect target for a riddling deck. How could you know? It's not like riddling is done all the time. You had said something about wanting to play versus an advanced but not too cheezy strategy. Well, I think it satified those conditions :D

I take it you killed Ioreth? I don't really recall, but generally she doesn't make the end of the game. Elaborating; it seems Kris wants me not to. Riddling in Antwerp: not a chance. A) It is very tiresome to play a whole tourney (because you constantly need to remember your opponents hand) and B) I rued the last time I tried it vs oponents with mixed language cards, so I won't be taking it into French cards too territory.
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