The Outlands deck has always been a bit of a controversial deck type. I remember when that first Hunter of Lamedon came out in Heirs of Numenor and he looked so useless. It was amazing how quickly the unimportant Outlands of Gondor took it’s place as one of the most powerful decks in the game! The release of Erestor, then Leadership Denethor let Outlands blossom into a super fast and powerful deck type that can crush most quests with an abundance of willpower within a handful of turns.
This looks like a lean and mean deck. The ally list is bare-bones Outlands and everything else is pure acceleration. This deck is so serious about efficiency it includes We Are Not Idle with no dwarf characters!
The Doomed cards probably push this deck into the solo sphere of play, but I’m sure this deck takes off like a rocket. I will automatically compare any fast Outlands deck to 13nrv’s The Rapid Charge of the Outlands. This deck uses the exact same hero lineup and basically the same “era” of player cards. Neither deck uses any cards past the Dreamchaster cycle. The major difference between the Rapid Charge and Flash is the support ally selection has been eliminated in Flash Outlands in favor of the Doomed cards (Deep Knowledge and Legacy of Numenor).
Test 1 – Passage Through Mirkwood
I beat it in 3 full turns. It felt like a rage quest. I think I played the entire game in less then 3 minutes!
Test 2 – Nightmare Journey Along the Anduin
In spite of getting a Troll Spawn on turn 1 and 2 and a +15 threat treachery on turn 4 I won!
I think I emptied my deck on the planning phase of turn 5.
I blasted through stage 2 in one turn and finished up stage 3 in the same turn.
I dropped 31 damage on the last Hill Troll that ambushed me on the shore and claimed victory on turn 7.
This is…disgustingly fast. I didn’t even use any of the Doomed cards because I needed time to prepare for the Hill Troll. The Warrior of Lossarnach was the slowest in coming out so I didn’t have a good defender for a few turns.
Test 3 – Deadmen’s Dike
This quest is a real challenge for this deck type! But… I won. If your deck ever runs out in this quest you lose and I’ve been running the deck dry by turn 5.
I think I had 27 cards left in my deck at the end of the first planning phase. I got through almost half my deck on the first turn!
I won on turn 4 with 3 cards left in my deck. I almost lost due to Thuardir’s effect, but even with only 2 defense Forlong was able to survive the 6 attack and I was able to keep Thuardir engaged and kill him.
Defeated Deadmen’s Deck in less than 4 turns. Madness!
Test 4 – Battle of Carn Dum
Why not try for the The Big One? I came so close! I cleared that Battle location which was really helpful. I had to feed the non essential Hunter of Lamedon to Thuardir as he attacked and eventually I just let Erestor die because I didn’t need resources and I didn’t have any cards to draw.
I decked myself within a few turns again and got control of the board before moving to stage 2. I dumped 27 damage on Thuardir and all I had to do was quest out to win. I drew two Surge cards that ended with Dark Sorcery which discarded both my Ethir Swordsmen. My willpower went from 29 to 5! I made one progress on the active location… With no way to recover the cards in my discard pile without clearing The Power of Angmar, I couldn’t recover. The Outlands had been gutted! I thought I had it but that was an entertaining ending.
I went ahead and played this quest again with The Rapid Charge of the Outlands to reacquaint myself with that deck and I won but I could have lost just as easily. It’s really important to not let any of those key allies get put into the discard pile.
This deck is fast. Super fast. Its power peak isn’t as high as some other Outlands decks I’ve played, but it ramps up so fast that that doesn’t really matter. If you can overcome the encounter deck in the first few turns it you may not need to have healing or deck recursion. Just smash it with stats! Unless your Ethir Swordsmen all die…
A deck with some more support cards like Warden of Healing, Henamarth Riversong and Errand Rider might have some more long term power if a game drags on, but I think this is the fastest I’ve seen Outlands flood the table.
Depending on the quest and your player count, I consider the Doomed cards optional and I would recommend having a sideboard ready to sub in if they aren’t appropriate. I avoided using them in 2 of the 4 quests I just played so I could control which enemies I had to take in the first couple turns.
Rod of the Steward was the only card I questioned a little. It was rarely useful. I rarely had 4+ resources sitting around after I played out my hand and I didn’t want to draw an Ethir Swordsman without the resources to play it.
I think another copy of Captain’s Wisdom, a copy of Henamarth and 3 copies of Warden of Healing would be a good sideboard to have ready if you chose not to use the Doomed cards. Those Doomed cards really speed things up and they’re absolutely worth including provided the quest doesn’t punish you too hard. A Legacy of Numenor on turn 1 will bring down the Hill Troll right away and not even an Outlands deck enjoys that.
It’s kind of weird that this is basically an “old deck.” Denethor is the newest card in the deck and he was released 2.5 years ago! It’s just a finely tuned deck of solid cards. I guess it’s a good thing we haven’t got a lot more resource/card acceleration effects or this would be even crazier!
It’s a fast Outlands deck! Probably the fastest I’ve seen. It’s incredibly strong. It does have some weaknesses but they’re clearly acknowledged and warned against in the deck description. In all honesty, I didn’t read the entire deck description before starting to play. I played a few games, then read the description and that was all the exact same material I was going to write! So just read the description and and play the deck!
If you’ve never played Outlands and want to see what they can really do, or if you want to get revenge on a quest that’s been giving your trouble, this will be a lot of fun. If you are of the “anti-Outlands” opinion, this deck won’t change your mind. It will probably just solidify your opinion.