The Importance of Being Sentinel
Sentinel characters have been around since the game’s beginning, starting with Leadership Aragorn and the Gondorian Spearman from the core set. While the keyword is all but useless in a solo game, it has only grown in its usefulness in multiplayer games. In fact, in the most recent expansion, The Grey Havens, the designers gave each of the four Ship-Objectives the Sentinel keyword, pointing to the fact that having good sentinel allies in a game with more than one player is all but essential these days. You never know when an enemy is going to attack a second time due to an untimely shadow card, or if an encounter effect is going to cause a sudden swarm of attacks to rain down on a deck designed primarily for questing. And while these things happen in solo games as well, they seem all the more brutal in multiplayer games where the number of enemies on the table can grow at a seemingly exponential rate!
Too Much of a Good Thing?
But what about a deck that is comprised of 3 sentinel heroes and is chock full of allies with the keyword? Is there really a place in Middle-Earth for this kind of build?! Yes, I think there is. First, the build is completely viable. There are plenty of good sentinel characters these days in both Leadership and Tactics, as well as many a card that supports the trait, such as The Day’s Rising, Hold Your Ground, and the ever useful Raven-Winged Helm. Of course, not everything that’s possible is a good idea and this type of build will certainly fall flat on it’s face in solo mode. It may also struggle in certain scenarios that separate the party into different quest stages. However, in the Divide and Conquer fellowship that we are building this deck can really thrive, and here’s why:
- With a dedicated sentinel deck in the mix, it’s very unlikely that an unexpected attack will slip through undefended, which is one of the primary ways that a hero gets destroyed.
- There is a higher chance of having a plethora of allies sitting around waiting to defend non-existent enemies, but getting core-set Faramir out on the table or pulling out a timely For Gondor! can quickly boost these allies’ non-defense stats to help push through the quest or take down some big bad.
- For most quests, the inclusion of a sentinel deck means that it suddenly doesn’t matter who engages a given enemy as you know you have a defender ready. And if an enemy has a nasty engagement effect, you have a lot more flexibility over which player takes on that enemy, knowing any player should have enough access to some defensive power.
So, clearly, this type of build can be viable, and can be quite successful in our against a variety of quests.
As a reminder we chose our hero lineup to be
Now we’ve just got to flesh out the deck. When selecting the player cards for this build, I a had few goals in mind besides just including sentinel characters. I wanted to include cards that would support and strengthen my sentinel characters to make them able to withstand round after round of enemy attacks. I wanted to use the deck’s access to the leadership sphere to access resource acceleration and multi-character buffs. Finally, I wanted to support the other decks in the fellowship by including old-school cards like Dunedain Mark and Campfire Tales specifically geared toward helping the other players. With these three aspects in mind, I’ve developed the following build:
Divide and Conquer Fellowship – Sentinel Deck
- 3x Derndingle Warrior (Escape from Mount Gram)
- 2x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
- 2x Faramir (Core Set)
- 1x Gandalf (Core Set)
- 2x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
- 2x Gondorian Spearman (Core Set)
- 1x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
- 2x Warden of Helm’s Deep (The Antlered Crown)
- 3x Watcher of the Bruinen (The Watcher in the Water)
- 3x Winged Guardian (The Hunt for Gollum)
- 2x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
- 3x Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)
- 3x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
- 2x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
- 3x Ranger Provisions (Across the Ettenmoors)
- 2x Raven-winged Helm (The Wastes of Eriador)
- 1x Spear of the Citadel (Heirs of Númenor)
- 2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
- 2x The Day’s Rising (The Antlered Crown)
- 2x Behind Strong Walls (Heirs of Númenor)
- 2x Campfire Tales (The Hunt for Gollum)
- 2x Dawn Take You All (Return to Mirkwood)
- 1x Hold Your Ground! (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
- 2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
Player Side Quest (2)
3 Heroes, 52 Cards
Cards up to The Battle of Carn Dûm
- 1x Captain of Gondor (The Antlered Crown)
- 2x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
- 1x Favor of the Valar (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
- 1x Path of Need (Foundations of Stone)
- 1x Rod of the Steward (Flight of the Stormcaller)
- 1x Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes)
- 1x Dúnedain Message (Across the Ettenmoors)
Player Side Quest (1)
- 1x Double Back (Escape from Mount Gram)
Deck built on RingsDB.
Of course, Beregond gets his armor and weapon toys, along with The Day’s Rising to help pay for all those tactics allies, and Aragorn gets Steward and Celebrian’s Stone. There’s not really any surprises here, but that’s okay. This deck doesn’t have to wow or break the mold to be good at what it does, which is block a ton of damage. It also loves to share by passing around resources, card draw, and attachments. That’s what a dedicated sentinel deck is all about! Now, it won’t necessarily win you the game as the deck lacks questing power and amazing combos, but when combined with other decks it can certainly keep the other players alive so that they can do all those things.
Well, that’s it for today I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Tell me what you think in the comments. Check back soon for the next deck: a mono-tactics ranged build!!! Missed the previous post? Check it out at:
Want to read the whole series? Walk through the entire Divide and Conquer fellowship build below:
And finally, you can access all of my fellowship building series on the Fellowship page: