[Fallen Saruman (Revised)] The Machinists

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Bandobras Took
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[Fallen Saruman (Revised)] The Machinists

Post by Bandobras Took » Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:25 pm

This is the resource portion of the untested version of the deck I used in the GCCG Tourney.  I'm going to list it in the original state and then what changes I'm thinking of making.  Suggestions are not only welcome but, in all likelihood, desperately needed.

Starting Pool:
Arinmir
Beretar
Boromir II
Celeborn
Faramir
Galva
Halbarad
Surion
Gulla
2 x Binding-ring
Mionid
Thrall of the Voice
The Forge-master

Items:
2 x Liquid Fire
2 x Mechanical Bow
Keys of Orthanc
Keys to the White Towers

Other Resources:
2 x Far-sight
2 x Marvels Told
2 x Horns, Horns, Horns
2 x Token of Goodwill
2 x All Thought Bent upon It
2 x Ready to His Will
2 x Threats
2 x Voices of Malice
2 x Crept Along Cleverly

Stage Resources:
The Fortress of Isen
Fortress of the Towers
A Strident Spawn
3 x Saruman's Machinery

Important Sideboard Cards:
Wizard's Laughter
Wizard's River-horses
Ill-favoured Fellow
Ill-favoured Fellow
2 x Blasting Fire
Great Patron
3 x Greater Half-orcs
3 x Half-orcs
Saruman's Ring
The White Hand

Play notes:
Once I figure out how to work everything, I could usually get one protected Wizardhaven cranking out technology items by turn 2.  The starting company is at Weathertop to Far-Sight if you draw no Keys/Fortress cards.  Ideally, Token would let you search out Strident Spawn, but it never seemed to work out that way for me.  Once you have Strident Spawn, sideboard 5 Half-Orc factions into the discard and get them in the play deck with Horns, Horns, Horns.  Threats helps to get the factions with somebody beside Saruman.

Saruman's Machinery cannot be duplicated on a given site, but it's pretty easy to get one the White Towers/Isengard and then another on the other haven later.

Problems I encountered:

* No chance to play Token.  I'm considering switching for Dark Trysts, as those don't rely on Man attacks.

* Saruman's crappy GI.  It's hard to play enough characters to run two companies.  I'm considering going with all Half-Orcs/Orcs, but I need to know whether I'll be able to at least bounce Doeth before doing that.

* Corruption.  Again, going with orcs would fix this, but there's the danger of bouncing your only sage.

* Allies.  Ready to His Will is an uncertain source of MPs.  What would be the best allies to replace them with?

* An almost completely ineffective hazard portion.  What's the best kind of hazard deck for this resource portion?

I will mention that in spite of losing approximately four or five characters to corruption in the last game, I was one faction away from the White Hand when time ran out.  The potential's there, but this is one deck I'd actually like to see really polished and smooth-flowing.  I'm a little obsessed with Fallen Saruman, and I think this could be the best attempt I've ever made at one.
Last edited by Bandobras Took on Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gyg
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Post by Gyg » Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:48 am

And Saurman's Ring is for?
I'm also obssesed with Fallen Saruman deck.
Although I refuse to make it because I don't like the theme (Orcs and Dwarves together bleh) I was thinking about deck based on two things:
White Hand combo and Dwarven Rings.
Basically Dwarven Rings don't take any space in your play deck as you use Rumours of Rings and Saruman's Ring and Saruman.
You basically go to a place with rings (for example Ost-in-Edhil) and try to play Durin's Ring and then squat there. You can add some wolves to play there for allies points (which increases the bleh factor for not having any theme).
For corruption handling you can play Hidden Haven there and play 2 Fellowships. You don't move so it will be difficult to discard them.
White Hand combo totally omits using Sarumans Machinery which is fine as you already have loads of item points and besides who wants to play those 1MP cards anyway? :D
You get points from character points (starting Dwarves and all those half orcs can give you 4-5 depending if you are using Great Patron or not).
A strident lowers their mind which is very nice.
Also, having a Dwarf with a Dwarven Ring means that the Dwarf team can have only one character under GI.
For Faction points you play half orc factions which can be played by Euog.
You can increase his DI by Blazon of the Eye (War-Forges) and/or Wizards Myrmidon.
The problem is that there is no way you could use Token of Goodwill to speed up this deck...

Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:30 am

Gyg wrote:And Saurman's Ring is for?

White Hand combo totally omits using Sarumans Machinery which is fine as you already have loads of item points and besides who wants to play those 1MP cards anyway? :D
Saruman's Ring is leftover from an earlier idea . . . should definitely remove it.

The point of my deck is slightly different; it's to have all the action taking place at the two Wizardhavens.  I've built several decks along the themes you listed (I've got one called Gems of the Isen listed a little down the page . . . or a lot now that Zarathustra's posting approximately five decks a second . . . that uses Dwarves to really abuse the Deep Mines).

The problem with most Fallen Saruman decks is that they can be done as well or better by any Fallen Wizard w/Legacy of Smiths. :(  Pallando gets more out of Factions, Alatar gets item points from Weapons easily, Radagast has a pre-protected site to abuse the Deep Mines with, and Gandalf has a far broader range of effective Wizardhavens.

Gyg
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Post by Gyg » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:01 pm

I agree, other fallen wizards are better than Saruman.
Fallen Saruman has only 2 specific things good IMHO:
He can use palantir and Saruman's Ring.
With Many Colored Robes he can have any rings (except The One) easily and i vast quanities.
But the rest is rather poor.
White Hand isn't bad but it requieres so many cards...

Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:38 pm

Even Pallando's got the Palantir angle covered with his apprentice card. :(
And Arcane School makes him better for a Magic deck than Saruman. :(
And with the advent of Rumors/Whispers of Rings in the Balrog expansion, Saruman's Ring went down the chute. :(

The problem isn't White Hand per se; it's that they made Strident Spawn unique for who knows what reason.  You can only include one in your deck, which means that the clearest way to getting the White Hand (Half-Orc factions) is unviable, forcing you more than any other fallen wizard to branch away from your Wizardhavens (Saruman's got the only card that requires specific sites rather than just any Wizardhaven). :(

Anyway, I didn't want to turn this into another "Saruman is crappy" thread.  As soon as I know whether I can protect a minion version of Isengard with Fortress, I'll post a different deck lineup. :)

Gyg
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Post by Gyg » Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:51 pm

Disagree about Saruman's Ring becoming less useful.
With Rumour/Whispers you cannot take Gold Rings from sideboard.
Saruman's Ring can.
Now I'm thinking about Dwarves and rings (but I don't have Rumours from Balrog) and Mischiefs In a Mean Way.With No Strangers At This Time and Hounds you can play many cards in one turn.
Also with Dwarven Rings and Palantir of Annuminas you can try to plant White Tree oat Isengard.

Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:40 pm

Look closely at the Minion Dwarven Rings of Dwalin's and Barin's Tribe.  Both of those can fetch gold rings (and a Sapling or two while you're at it), and they give a load of other bonuses.  In my opinion, those ought to be the linchpin of any Fallen Saruman Dwarven Ring deck. :)  If you're going for Dwarves and Rings, there are worse places to do it than the minion Isengard.  I'm not sure, but it might be the only site in the game with both Information and Gold Rings playable.  Slap a double-dealing down, get Durin's Tribe and Dwalin's/Bavor's Tribe into the hands of their dwarves, and Saruman can recycle a Ringlore/Turn to test a Gold Ring pulled from the discard by the Dwarves.  Not only that, but when the time comes, you can Hidden Haven/Wizard's Trove/White Tree your way to a protected Isengard for Saruman's Machinery, Strident Spawn, and the White Hand.  The only problem is getting the factions, but three dwarves w/Dwarven Rings should be able to get three Half-Orcs rather quickly.

My point was more that whispers/rumors of rings made ring decks so fundamentally easy for everyone that Saruman's Ring lost a lot of its value.  It's still a wonderful utility card, since it can fetch gold rings/special rings/mind rings, but it doesn't make Saruman stand out.  Now, if Saruman's ring could take rings directly from the sideboard without them needing to go in the discard pile first . . .

Gyg
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Post by Gyg » Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:01 pm

But you still must draw atleast one gold ring to test Dwarven Ring.
But yes, I agree that with Balrog expansion rings are way easier to play.
Your idea with very nice.
I think you could improve it by creating two squating sites:
Isengard for items and lore (especially When I Know Anything to help with corruption) and Edoras for three factions playable there (Riders and two Wild Horses)and 2 noble steeds.
Erkenbrand with Forge-Master can quite easily play all those factions and noble steeds will help against Assasins. You can always play Eomer to get additional 1MP from chars. One dwarf can always go and untap Edoras if Riders aren't the first faction to show up.

Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:59 am

Start at Weathertop and stick a couple of All Thought Bent On it in to your deck.  Turn one, play All Thought, turn two, move to Ost-in-Edhil and play a ring, turn three, Ringlore at Dimrill Dale.  You've now got Durin's Tribe or Dwalin's Tribe, depending on preference.

I'm going to be trying out the (heavy) modifications I've made to the deck I posted before posting an updated version; approximately all the MPs except for an ally and potentially the White Tree (White Tree + White Hand . . . it works . . .) should come from Stage Resources. :)

Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:21 am

Pool:
Bad Company
Wizard's Trove
Doeth (Durthak)
Euog (Ulzog)
2 x Ill-favoured Fellow
Lugdush
2 x Sly Southerner
Ugluk
Dorelas
Uchel
2 x Binding Ring

Allies:
War-wolf

Items:
Keys of Orthanc
Keys to the White Towers

Stage Resources:
A Strident Spawn
The Fortress of Isen
Fortress of the Towers
3 x Saruman's Machinery
3 x Delver's Harvest
3 x Earth-eater

Other Resources:
2 x Threats
2 x Voices of Malice
2 x Crept Along Cleverly
2 x All Thought Bent upon It
2 x Dark Tryst
Great Army of the North
2 x A Nice Place to Hide
Longbottom Leaf
Sapling of the White Tree

Important Sideboard Cards:
Wizard's Laughter
Wizard's River-horses
3 x Greater Half-orcs
3 x Half-orcs
The White Hand
The White Tree
2 x Piercing All Shadows
2 x Mechanical Bow
War-wolf
2 x War-warg
White Light Broken
Wizard's Ring
Hidden Haven
Guarded Haven
Saruman's Ring

Okay, the major play changes are:
Make sure you send only half-orcs/men to Minas Tirith so that your company will not be overt.  Visit the Deep Mines when you need to; use Earth Eaters/Saruman's Machinery to pull the bows directly from the sideboard to your characters.  The mind rings are vital, with them, Ugluk can control Lugdush and Euog can control Doeth, freeing up Saruman's pathetic GI (suggestions on help w/Saruman's GI are extremely welcome).

The advantage of Saruman is that even with Foolish words, he has a good +8 to influence the Orcs.  Use Great Army of the North to pull them in from the discard, since it's far more specific than Horns, Horns, Horns.  I played this deck against one of Jambo's (though I had strange Rations instead of Binding Rings, which really slowed me down once I played Saruman).  It lost 35-40, but that's still a ton better than the deck's previous showing.

Any ideas for helping Saruman's lousy GI?

Jambo
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Post by Jambo » Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:55 am

Yeah, it was a good game too! :D

Helping GI - there's always these cards which you could include:
Wizard's Myrmidon
DI: +1
SP: 1
Permanent-event
Playable on one of your non-Fallen-wizard characters. +1 to his direct influence. The character requires 3 points of influence to control and may only be controlled by general influence or a Fallen-wizard. Cannot be duplicated by a given player.
and:
The Forge-master
DI: +1
SP: 2
Permanent-event
Unique. Saruman specific. Playable on a non-Hobbit sage character or a Man. +1 to his direct influence. The character requires 2 points of influence to control and may only be controlled by general influence or Saruman. If at a Wizardhaven during your organization phase, you may tap this character to place a non-unique weapon/armor/shield/helmet minor item with any character at The Forge-master's site. The recipient need not tap to receive this item, and the item may be taken from your discard pile, sideboard, or hand.

Sauron_the_Great
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Post by Sauron_the_Great » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:39 am

And of course what you could make good use of (since you're staying a lot at havens) is "Hall of Fire"...you can tap to sideboard or try to remove "Foolish Words" and Corruption Cards during the Org-Phase and still go untapped in the site-phase

Oh, and note that "Hall of Fire" maybe duplicated on a given site...
Last edited by Sauron_the_Great on Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:05 pm

Jambo -- Wizard's Myrmidon would work.  Thanks for the suggestion.  However, the way my pool's set up, I would only really be able to play Forge Master on Doeth or Uchel, and in Uchel's case, it's counterproductive.  Once I played it on Doeth, he could no longer be a follower . . . which would eliminate some of the benefit.

Sauron_the_Great . . . you're my hero! :)
I didn't even remember that Hall of Fire existed.  It can only really help Saruman, but that's enough for me!

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Post by Bandobras Took » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:14 pm

A few updates . . .

Start with Ugluk and Lagduf both having Binding Rings.
Euog w/Wizard's Myrmidon should have Doeth as a follower.

Stick Wizard's Trove straight up in the deck.
Move the three Earth Eaters to the sideboard and stick in another Longbottom, the Wizard's Trove that used to be in the Starting Pool, and Hall of Fire.

Use Regiment for your ally instead of War-Wolf, it's more generically playable.

Get rid of the Threats and instead use And Forth He Hastened; Saruman's the only one you really need to care about untapping.

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