[Fallen Saruman] Seeing Things and Finding Rings

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Bandobras Took
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[Fallen Saruman] Seeing Things and Finding Rings

Post by Bandobras Took » Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:01 pm

Starting Company:
Calendal w/Thrall of the Voice
Bilbo w/Elf-Cloak
Jerrek w/Saw-Toothed Blade
Mionid
Uchel

Saruman's Ring

Other Characters:
Peath (or Voteli (or Eowyn, but she seems to be too popular); you might need a Nazgul-killer)
Annalena
Dror (can cancel auto-attack at Dwarf-Hold if necessary)
Belegorn (can cancel Carn Dum auto-attack)
any others from up near Rivendell that suit your fancy; hobbits can work, as 1/2 character scouts can work wonders later on

Allies:
Bill the Pony

Factions:
Lossoth
Hobbits

Items:
Palantir of Osgiliath
Palantir of Amon Sul
Palantir of Annuminas
Palantir of Elostirion
Palantir of Orthanc (all Palantiri except the Ithil-Stone should be Minion versions)
Magic Ring of Lore
2 x Magic Ring of Courage
2 x Magic Ring of Stealth
Magic Ring of Nature
Beautiful Gold Ring
Keys to the White Towers

Stage Resources:
Fortress of the Towers
Forge-Master
Many-Coloured Robes
Great Patron
Wizard's Trove
War Forges

Resources:
2 x Far Sight
Promptings of Wisdom
2 x Concealment
Secret Passage
Test of Lore
2 x A Nice Place to Hide

Important Sideboard Cards:
First of the Order
The Ithil-Stone
Fate of the Ithil-Stone (and the appropriate knowledge cards -- I recommend Lost Tome, as War Forges can get it out, and Dark numbers, as you'll be facing an orc attack at Barad-Dur anyway).
Palantir of Minas Tirith

Store all Palantiri except Osgiliath, Amon Sul, and Orthanc. Use Saruman's Ring to get your Beautiful Gold Ring back in to your hand every time you need it. The Magic Ring of Lore lets Bilbo use a Palantir with no penalties; Calendal can tap to use a Palantir, and Saruman can tap to use a Palantir (use Many-Coloured Robes to get First of the Order). This opens up some intriguing possibilities:

1) Draw three extra cards every turn (squatter at White Towers with Elostirion + Osgiliath + Amon Sul) and place one card from the discard pile into the play deck (Orthanc).

2) Draw two extra cards; get two cards from the discard pile.

3) Cancel one hazard event/turn with Osgiliath, draw two cards, and recycle one card from the Discard pile (attack cancellers spring readily to mind here).

4) Copy Annuminas to get your ring test, draw two cards, and recycle a card.

5) Cancel any pesky Banes of the Ithil-Stone that get in your way with Osgiliath.

The fun part, of course, is playing a large-scout company your second time through the deck, going to Minas Tirith for Fate of the Ithil-Stone and the Palantir, then running over to Barad-Dur. Almost everybody should be a scout, and you should be able to put together a lot of magic rings. Play the ally and the factions to keep your opponent from doubling his points. Fate of the Ithil-Stone is worth full MP with the Wizard's Trove.

The wonderful part is, when you announce that you're playing Saruman, your opponent will likely expect you to be doing something with Isengard and Half-Orcs. That should give you a few turns to catch him with his pants down. Greater Item Palantiri should be played at the Lossadan Cairn, the Stones, at the Blue Mountain Dwarf Hold (if your opponent is kind enough to let you use the minion site for it), Carn Dum (have a Nazgul Killer), or Moria (have a Balrog killer). If you're at a haven when the council is called, store Amon Sul and Osgiliath.

Keep your people alive and all together. You don't want your company size to go below the crucial minimum on the two big palantiri. Watch out for corruption, but that's only appropriate in a Saruman Deck.

Edit:

On second thought, put the gold ring and the test in the sideboard, since you need them in the discard pile far more than in the play deck. Instead, stick in a couple of double dealings to help you get the third greater item palantir.

Leon
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:54 pm

Post by Leon » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:35 pm

Why so superheavy on items (palantiri and rings seems a bit much to me)? And rumours or whispers of rings seem useful. Additionally i d consider Goldberry as ally and perhaps some more factions. Any specific hazards to go with this deck?

Bandobras Took
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Post by Bandobras Took » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:08 pm

Because of Saruman's abilities. This is admittedly more thematic a deck than anything else, but those Magic Rings are surprisingly useful when paired with the right people. Far Sight lets you get the big Palantiri out and operating in a hurry. You need at least one Magic Ring for Bilbo to use a Palantir, so it seemed natural enough to include other Magic Rings.

Just off-hand, all you need is one Far-Sight (or All Thought Bent on It) to really get this deck going. Use Far-Sight. Get the Palantir of Annuminas. Retrieve Far-Sight with the Palantir and use it as needed to get items from the bottom of your deck. Since you aren't going to be getting the rings until you get Saruman, you can put them all in your discard pile; they just need to be around for Saruman's Ring. The point is that you have a deal of flexibility on when items can be played. There's little chance of failing to get the Lossoth or the Hobbits when Bilbo and Voteli are in your party; Great Patron lets Calendal, Bilbo, and any other 2 MP characters you play have their full value.

At any rate, it's kind of pointless to have a Saruman deck scrambling around for lots of factions and allies. That's not his ability. No matter how hard one tries, Saruman's going to suck at getting them. You want to prevent your opponent doubling, but that's about it. Otherwise, it seems better to play to Saruman's strengths, not try to bridge his weaknesses.

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