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Strategy Week Day 6: Marshalling Point Strategies

One of the two non-hazard strategies to win is the Marshalling point strategy, in which you try to get more marshalling points than your opponent by the time a deck has run out a certain number of times. It's also the only "official" way to win, the way that was originally described as the goal of METW, although the manual also mentions the Wizard-killing and Ring-dunking ways.

Okay, this is a fairly short issue because I've said a lot of what there is to say about marshalling point decks in the other issues of strategy week. The basic strategy with these is to get as many points as possible as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, you'll want to use lots and lots of factions, allies, and permanent-events that give marshalling points, with maybe a well-equipped company or two to handle creature attacks and get the marshalling points from those. You'll also want to use cards to make these playable as quickly as possible. So you'll want to start out with some high-influence and fairly diverse characters, so that you have someone to influence almost any faction better than normal and so that you have influence to help with that. Influence in general is a very good thing to have in marshalling point decks, so try to load up your wizard fairly lightly with characters so that he can help you influence factions. Getting lots of factions is more important than one or two extra characters. Cards like Muster to help influence factions are crucial to this. If you want to be really radical, devote almost everything just to influencing factions, make every item an influence enhancement and every character high-influence and just go around picking up factions. Such a strategy can actually work pretty well. Above all, try to make almost every turn one that you get marshalling points. Remember, marshalling points are what makes you win in this strategy, so go and win.

You also, however, want to stop your opponent from getting marshalling points. You can do this with hazards like Muster Disperses, and also by trying to get factions he wants to get just before he gets there. Shadowfax has yet another use here, to rocket your wizard over to a faction site just before your opponent gets there. Play hazards to distract your opponent, too, like corruption cards. And make sure that you have some cards to get rid of The One Ring like Gollum, if not in your deck then at least in your sideboard, so if he starts moving toward Mordor with ring in hand you can stop him in time and win on your marshalling points. The One Ring can actually have another use with this, too, with its influence bonuses, though better then that for these purposes is the Dwarven Ring of Durin's Tribe, which can both untap sites to get more factions from them AND give you an extra 2 direct influence over The One Ring when used with a Dwarf bearer. This can make your dwarf possibly better at influencing than even a Wizard. So, as I said, keep pushing towards the goal of getting marshalling points almost unwaveringly and you'll be able to win almost too easily.

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