One of the prevailing strategies in tournament decks today is the Run N Gun – or what is sometimes called the Super Fellowship. High powered characters, lots of Archery, and huge pools of twilight being generated. If you want to build a deck like that, move on. Stop reading this article. This article is about having fun and destroying your opponent’s hand so that he can do nothing.
To those of you who have stayed, welcome. Discarding is a fun strategy you can work into decks and in fact build into a deck on its own (I currently have two that I run).
First, discarding has been around since the beginning of the game and was, at first, the most abused strategy in the game. The first two major erratta’s to the game came to cards that forced discards – Far Seeing Eyes and Mirror of Galadriel. Both cards could cause your opponent to discard his hand before he could do anything about it. Does this sound like a strategy you would like to use?
Well, the first thing you might ask is whether the discard strategy is a viable strategy. The answer is a tough one – yes and no.
Discarding cards from your opponents hand is a great strategy for both fellowship and shadow (although Fellowship has a slight advantage here). By eliminating cards in the opponents hand, you are reducing the danger factor and the randomization that is caused by not knowing what is your opponents hand. As the shadow player, if they have no hand, you know they have no pumps. As the fellowship player, if they have no hand, you know they have no minions. This is incredibly important in making the deploy and move decisions in the game.
Discarding cards from your opponents draw deck is a great strategy for both fellowship and shadow as well (although shadow has a slight advantage here). Decking (the action of causing your opponent to discard his draw deck) your opponent of all his cards can have major ramifications to the game. A lack of a draw deck means a lack of hand and a lack of the unknown in the game. For Shadow it can have other implications as well – specifically a game winning condition if the right card is out.
So what cultures have obvious Hand and Draw Deck discard functions? Well, at the moment just 4 Elves, Dwarves, Sauran, and Isengard.