Which sets are best for ARDA?

kyh5
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Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by kyh5 »

Do you guys usually combine Wizards + Dragons for ARDA? Or just Wizards?

Minions and Lidless Eye are usually not included right?
Kjeld
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Kjeld »

Well, first, hero ARDA and minion ARDA require separate ARDA decks -- it doesn't make much sense to use Lidless Eye in a hero ARDA build (though the hazards may overlap to some extent)! It really depends on what you are looking to get out of your ARDA games, and also on the specific decks of ARDA. I would generally argue for including all hero MP resources that you have access to for the MP deck, in addition to all hero characters and hero sites for those respective decks.

For the main deck, assuming hero ARDA, sticking with just The Wizards makes for a good base -- just put in those cards you like (and that will be fun to play!) and leave out the other stuff. From there, you can sprinkle in non-MP resources and hazards from Dragons and Dark Minions as you like. For example, the game is more lively with some Ahunt dragons roaming around, and there are many useful/interesting cards like Flatter a Foe or Many Foes He Fought from Dragons or More Alert than Most or No Waiting to Wonder from Dark Minions. I wouldn't bother with agents and their associated cards, though -- really too complicated for ARDA, imo.
Yangtze2000
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Yangtze2000 »

Hi there! Just only now jumping into this game and wanting to go the whole Arda, rather than play the 'regular' game, largely because I'm a boardgamer by nature and deckbuilding is a waste of life :D

I was thinking of getting the 10 Challenge decks from Gwaihir as a base for the Arda decks for a few reasons:
  • different/ better art.
  • 10 Challenge decks, including the Ringwraith decks, costs not much more than the 5 hero decks on their own, and I can leave the Ringwraith decks set up to trial the occasional non-Arda game.
  • the cards are all likely to be useful, diverse, and interesting, and contain a smattering of fun/ useful cards from the post-Wizards expansions.
But I am wanting to beef up the deck with more elements from the books, particularly the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. So I am thinking there are two choices:
  • a box of Wizard starters
  • a box of Wizard boosters
Since many of the 'basic' cards needed are going to be in the Challenge decks, I was thinking the boosters would be more use than the starters?

Then if there are any key elements still missing, e.g. Smaug, Frodo, etc, I can fill in the gaps with singles.

Anybody see a flaw in my plan, or have more suggestions? Thanks for looking! :)
Kjeld
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Kjeld »

For Arda, you're better off buying a bulk lot of extras from somebody than you are buying sealed product. Most of the cards you want for Arda are not all that expensive -- most will be from The Wizards with various additions from The Dragons and Dark Minions -- and generally should be easily available to find used, especially Dragons and Wizards unlimited. For half the money you're talking about dropping for 10 challenge decks and a sealed box, you could easily outfit yourself with a really nice Arda deck. Also, if you want to include multiples of pricier rares like Assassin, you can always proxy. Really no need to spend several hundred dollars.
Yangtze2000
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Yangtze2000 »

Kjeld wrote: Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:07 pm For Arda, you're better off buying a bulk lot of extras from somebody than you are buying sealed product. Most of the cards you want for Arda are not all that expensive -- most will be from The Wizards with various additions from The Dragons and Dark Minions -- and generally should be easily available to find used, especially Dragons and Wizards unlimited. For half the money you're talking about dropping for 10 challenge decks and a sealed box, you could easily outfit yourself with a really nice Arda deck. Also, if you want to include multiples of pricier rares like Assassin, you can always proxy. Really no need to spend several hundred dollars.
Thanks for those thoughts. It seems the ten Challenge decks plus a box of Wizard boosters would be about £150 Euros for, by my calculations, around 1625 cards (obviously some multiples, though multiples aren't necessarily bad in an Arda deck? Unfortunately, there's nowhere I can see a collection approaching that size for anything like 75, or even 100 Euros. Plus, the new boosters are going to contain at least some rares, whereas a used collection maybe runs the risk of already having been stripped of its more valuable cards? Do you know of a place online where those prices are achievable for a decent collection? Neither eBay nor BGG are helpful in that regard, currently.
Vastor Peredhil
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Vastor Peredhil »

just create a list of cards you need . many older players do not list their cards for sale at all - I just give mine away - if you need like 400-700 cards my wife would love it if you took even more cards of our hands ;)

So make a list (I am in europe) so the shipping might not make it worth it -

but I can send you like 500 - 2000 commons and uncommons just for shipping & fees
Kjeld
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Kjeld »

Maybe the situation is different in Europe, but you definitely can't find a booster box plus the challenge box for under $200 here!

The other drawback to that strategy is that you want a lot of rares for Arda, which aren't that common in packs but which also can often be purchased pretty cheaply used in bulk. I'm talking about the rare uniques, like characters, items, factions, allies, hazard creatures, etc. that will give the game more flavor without busting the budget. You do want, usually, all the main characters (including rares like Arwen, Elrond, Frodo, Bilbo, etc.), locations, enemies (the Nazgul, dragons, Shelob, Balrog, etc.), and so on so that the game has its full flavor.The pricier rares are often non-unique utility cards (Assassin, True Fana, Thief, etc.), which you don't necessarily need for a fun and thematic Arda deck.
CCG Collector
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by CCG Collector »

The hero decklist I use, designed by Gandalf Gene and likely available somewhere on this site, is 377 distinct cards (695 cards total, as many have multiples), with 300 of those being from METW. The rest is 59 METD, 14 MEDM, 2 MELE, and 1 MEBA.

About a third of this Arda deck is rares, so if you want something comparable, challenge decks are not the way to go (though "pauper" Arda decklists do exist). But it's also, as you guessed, mostly Wizards and Dragons. I'll echo what others have said and tell you to just go after lots and collections of bulk cards, and you should be able to put together a decent Arda deck in no time.
Middle Earth and other CCG unboxings, booster openings, and guides: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCCGCollector
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CDavis7M
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by CDavis7M »

CCG Collector wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:12 am About a third of this Arda deck is rares, so if you want something comparable, challenge decks are not the way to go (though "pauper" Arda decklists do exist).
About 100% of the real GG ARDA deck cards are sleeved proxy prints on top of commons. :wink:

Goblin King posted the deck list here: viewtopic.php?f=37&t=2870&p=23844&hilit ... ene#p23844

Our friend USMCgeek here on CoE posted a link to his remastered cards over on the Facebook group. He has PDFs available. https://www.facebook.com/groups/6301243 ... 693258472/.
Yangtze2000
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Yangtze2000 »

Ah thanks for the links, really useful! I'll be using the GG deck as the basis of a canon deck.

Any reason why Dragons Ahunt are not used in the GG deck, only Dragons and Dragons at Home? Just caught my eye as an interesting stipulation.
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CDavis7M
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by CDavis7M »

I'm not exactly sure why but they are pretty punishing, especially if all 9 were there and everyone was playing them, and they last for 4-5 "player turns". So maybe that is why. There are lots of permanent events. And with everyone playing hazards they can really start to stack up because there are only 3 Marvels Told. But at least you usually have fair warning and can usually change plans. The Drakes are not in there either. I believe they are too strong because people usually have to travel far in Arda due to the randomness of the resources, meaning the drakes are more playable than normal, especially since people can pass the hazard limit (-1) to the following player.

I was told that the hazards were fine tuned over time. You'll see that most creatures are orcs, trolls or men. And the events are geared towards those creatures. These hazards are just simpler and easier to play. And with the all event boosters, they are not worthless.
Yangtze2000
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Yangtze2000 »

CDavis7M wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:44 pmI was told that the hazards were fine tuned over time. You'll see that most creatures are orcs, trolls or men. And the events are geared towards those creatures. These hazards are just simpler and easier to play. And with the all event boosters, they are not worthless.
Interesting stuff. Yes I see one of the challenges with Arda deck creation is getting the cards to relate to each other in meaningful ways as often as possible. I think it's right that most of the hazards should represent the more common Middle Earth denizens and threats, for authenticity of experience and playability's sake, but I definitely want the more exotic creatures and events in my deck somewhere, too. There doesn't have to be a Balrog and a Barrow-Wight in every game, but I want the possibility to be there.
Kjeld
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Kjeld »

I think CDavis7M is right that the Ahunt manifestations are simply too punishing in Arda, and make it so that nobody will even attempt dragon country (making for a less interesting game). That said, it can be *very* annoying when all the At Homes come out -- they have universal negative effects like granting +1 corruption to major/greater items -- but at least you can plan to try to kill one (somebody generally attempts it at least once in a game, especially if they've got something like Wormsbane, Old Thrush, True Fana). For the unique dragon creatures, it adds a bit of risk to raiding a dragon lair (what if your hazard opponent just happens to draw into Smaug while Bilbo is trying to burgle the Lonely Mountain?!), and throwing in some copies of Dragon's Desolation, Rumor of Wealth, and Long Dark Reach can help them see play even if players are avoiding Dragon Country.
Yangtze2000
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Yangtze2000 »

CDavis7M wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:44 pm I'm not exactly sure why but they are pretty punishing, especially if all 9 were there and everyone was playing them, and they last for 4-5 "player turns". So maybe that is why. There are lots of permanent events. And with everyone playing hazards they can really start to stack up because there are only 3 Marvels Told. But at least you usually have fair warning and can usually change plans. The Drakes are not in there either. I believe they are too strong because people usually have to travel far in Arda due to the randomness of the resources, meaning the drakes are more playable than normal, especially since people can pass the hazard limit (-1) to the following player.
Thanks for that! Yes I see, I took the time to compare the three cards for Scorba (not canon, so I wouldn't be using this Dragon anyway, but still serves as an example) and the 'Scorba Ahunt' and 'Scorba' cards are playable over a frighteningly wide area. The Ahunt manifestation has the weakest attack, but has 4 strikes to compensate for that, and the attacker chooses the targets! Ouch. The Scorba at Home manifestation is powerful, but if you're going to raid a Dragon's lair that's the risk you take!

:idea: There could be some kind of Storytelling/ Raconteur skill for some appropriate characters that you can use to entertain and engage a Dragon in conversation to prevent attack?
Yangtze2000
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Re: Which sets are best for ARDA?

Post by Yangtze2000 »

Yangtze2000 wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:37 am
CDavis7M wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:44 pm I'm not exactly sure why [there aren't Dragon Ahunts in the GG Arda deck] but they are pretty punishing, especially if all 9 [Dragon cards] were there and everyone was playing them, and they last for 4-5 "player turns". So maybe that is why. There are lots of permanent events. And with everyone playing hazards they can really start to stack up because there are only 3 Marvels Told. But at least you usually have fair warning and can usually change plans. The Drakes are not in there either. I believe they are too strong because people usually have to travel far in Arda due to the randomness of the resources, meaning the drakes are more playable than normal, especially since people can pass the hazard limit (-1) to the following player.
Thanks for that! Yes I see, I took the time to compare the three cards for Scorba (not canon, so I wouldn't be using this Dragon anyway, but still serves as an example) and the 'Scorba Ahunt' and 'Scorba' cards are playable over a frighteningly wide area. The Ahunt manifestation has the weakest attack, but has 4 strikes to compensate for that, and the attacker chooses the targets! Ouch. The Scorba at Home manifestation is powerful, but if you're going to raid a Dragon's lair that's the risk you take!

:idea: There could be some kind of Storytelling/ Raconteur skill for some appropriate characters that you can use to entertain and engage a Dragon in conversation to possibly prevent attack?
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