Forlong

This review won’t be Forlong and drawn out.

Background

Forlong is introduced in The Return of the King as the Lord of Lossarnach with two rather unflattering nicknames.

‘Forlong! Forlong!’ Pippin heard men calling. ‘What do they say?’ he asked. ‘Forlong has come,’ Bergil answered; ‘old Forlong the Fat, the Lord of Lossarnach. That is where my grandsire lives. Hurrah! Here he is. Good old Forlong!’ Leading the line there came walking a big thick-limbed horse, and on it sat a man of wide shoulders and huge girth, but old and grey-bearded, yet mail-clad and black-helmed and bearing a long heavy spear. Behind him marched proudly a dusty line of men, well-armed and bearing great battle-axes; grim-faced they were, and shorter and somewhat swarthier than any men that Pippin had yet seen in Gondor. ‘Forlong!’ men shouted. ‘True heart, true friend! Forlong!’ But when the men of Lossarnach had passed they muttered: ‘So few! Two hundreds, what are they? We hoped for ten times the number. That will be the new tidings of the black fleet. They are sparing only a tithe of their strength. Still every little is a gain.’

The Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 1: Minas Tirith

Forlong fought in the Battle of Pelennor Fields. It is revealed in the Mounds of Mundberg song that he fell in battle alongside many other lords of Rohan and Gondor. Lossarnach is located southwest of Minas Tirith comprised of the White Mountain’s flowered vales.

Card Theme

There is not much about Forlong in the books to draw on the source of his readying ability. I argue it is intended to represent his dependability and reliability based on the people calling him a true heart and friend. The Outlands theme in general, however, is a different story.

Gondor arguably was the only empire of Middle Earth in the Third Age. It encompassed several different regions and had built up from Númenórean Faithful colonies and intermingled with other peoples over the course of its history. The southern fiefs called the Outlands provided different resources to the rest of Gondor. Most notably for the stat boosting mechanism to other Outlands characters is the captains of these lands brought 2,000 soldiers all equipped and trained differently. The strength of Gondor through its various peoples and lands is what is represented in the Outlands allies making each other stronger. Forlong is still and extension of that general theme.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Outlands

Forlong like all the other Outlands allies gets better the more you play. Play all the other stat boosting allies like Warrior of Lossarnach, Anfalas Herdsman, Ethir Swordsman, and Knights of the Swan. Then Forlong will have hero level stats and ready each phase. Hirluin the Fair with the resource smoothing for Outlands allies helps get them all into play.

Messenger of the King

The contract can put him into play right at the start with a pretty low starting threat of 6. Nearly the same starting threat as Spirit Glorfindel. While his stats aren’t as impressive to start, it only takes a couple Outlands allies and he provides some extra value for his initial threat cost. Additionally, he’ll have the printed Leadership icon for Lord of Morthond and Strength of Arms. This makes Messenger of the King Forlong a strong hero option in an Outlands focused deck.

Spare Hood and Cloak and Marnier’s Compass

Forlong won’t really get much for readying during the Travel and Encounter phases. That is unless you find a way to exhaust him for a benefit. Enter Spare Hood and Cloak and Marnier’s Compass. Now when he readies during those phases you can exhaust him and the cloak to move it and ready the character you moved it to. Play a Long Lake Trader or two and you can repeat this every turn. Mariner’s Compass is another ally attachment that allows you to replace a location in the staging area. It is a very solid location control card, or even better use it to free a Guarded card from a location.

Quest Specific

Forlong’s readying ability makes him great in quests that have many “exhaust a character” effects. You will often see them as a travel cost or forced effect on an enemy engagement. Even more often it will be a treachery or shadow effect.

If using Forlong as a Messenger of the King hero, the number of quests his readying is helpful increases substantially. Basically any quest with objectives that require a hero to be exhausted to claim them, such as, A Journey to Rhosgobel, The Seventh Level, and The Steward’s Fear. He can also counter some of the terrible condition attachments like Caught in a Web and Watchful Eyes.

Ring Rating

Card Talk uses the highly scientific yet arbitrary scale of 1 ring for the card to rule them all to 10 to be cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came.

I rate Forlong at 5 rings. He is incredibly good in an Outlands deck with all the other Outlands allies. Outside of an Outlands deck he’s an expensive ally with low stats. The 5 rings I think best represents this very limited awesomeness.

  • Dave – 9
  • Grant – 4
  • Ted – 4
  • Matt – 5
  • Average – 5. 5

Sample Decks

A Messenger for the Outlands

A mono-leadership outlands deck, utilizing the Messenger of the King contract on Forlong for maximum readying and get Lord of Morthond to work.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Forlong (Messenger of the King Allies)
Hirluin the Fair (The Steward’s Fear)
Prince Imrahil (A Journey to Rhosgobel)

Ally (23)
2x Anborn (The Land of Shadow)
3x Anfalas Herdsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
1x Forlong (The Drúadan Forest)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Hunter of Lamedon (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Knights of the Swan (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Warrior of Lossarnach (The Steward’s Fear)

Attachment (14)
2x Lord of Morthond (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
1x Path of Need (Foundations of Stone)
3x Prince of Dol Amroth (The City of Corsairs)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Sword of Morthond (Assault on Osgiliath)
2x Tome of Atanatar (The Blood of Gondor)

Event (11)
2x Grim Resolve (Core Set)
3x Men of the West (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Strength of Arms (The Drúadan Forest)

Player Side Quest (2)
1x Prepare for Battle (The Mûmakil)
1x Send for Aid (The Treachery of Rhudaur)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Messenger of the King Allies

Sideboard

Event (3)
3x Reinforcements (The Treachery of Rhudaur)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Dave’s Version of Grant’s Grey Wanderer Hirulan Deck

The low starting threat of having a single hero helps give the Outlands deck time to build up for combat. Plus the acceleration provided by Resourceful and Timely Aid is very helpful too.

Main Deck

Hero (1)
Hirluin the Fair (The Steward’s Fear)

Contract (0)
1x The Grey Wanderer (Challenge of the Wainriders)

Ally (25)
3x Anfalas Herdsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Forlong (The Drúadan Forest)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Hunter of Lamedon (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Knights of the Swan (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Long Lake Fisherman (The Withered Heath)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x Warrior of Lossarnach (The Steward’s Fear)

Attachment (10)
3x Ancient Mathom (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
2x Lord of Morthond (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
2x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Strider (The Drowned Ruins)

Event (15)
3x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Men of the West (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Timely Aid (The Redhorn Gate)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Send for Aid (The Treachery of Rhudaur)

1 Hero, 51 Cards
Cards up to Challenge of the Wainriders

Deck built on RingsDB.

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