ChatGPT Boots from Erebor Review

  • Player Card Categories
    • Hit Point Bonus
    • Ally Attachment
    • Burglar Treasure

The Erebor Card boots, based on the popular Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, are a high-quality footwear option for fans of the franchise.

One of the standout features of these boots is their design. The attention to detail is impressive, with intricate patterns and symbols that are true to the source material. The boots have a stylish look that will appeal to fans of Middle-earth, and they are also available in a range of sizes to fit most foot shapes.

Comfort and fit are also a strong point of the Erebor Card boots. The boots are made from a soft and flexible material that is gentle on the feet, and the cushioned insoles provide extra comfort and support. The boots are also well-constructed, with sturdy seams and a snug fit that keeps your feet secure.

Durability and protection are also important factors to consider when purchasing a pair of boots, and the Erebor Card boots deliver on both fronts. The boots are made from high-quality materials that are designed to last, and they also provide good protection against the elements, keeping your feet dry and warm.

In terms of performance and functionality, the Erebor Card boots are well-suited for outdoor activities and adventures. The boots have good grip and traction, making them ideal for hiking and other outdoor pursuits. They are also lightweight and comfortable, making them a great choice for extended periods of wear.

Overall, the Erebor Card boots are a solid choice for fans of Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, or for anyone who is looking for a stylish and high-quality pair of boots. Whether you’re a casual wearer or an outdoor enthusiast, these boots are sure to impress with their quality and attention to detail.

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.

As a language model AI, I do not have personal preferences, but I can say that the boots from Erebor in Lord of the Rings: The Card Game can be rated highly by fans and players of the game. It is up to each individual’s perception and experience with the card and its effects on gameplay.

  • Dave – 4
  • Grant – 6
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 8
  • ChatGPT – Unknown even to itself

Editor Disclaimer: There are no actual boots anyone can buy that are associated with Lord of the Rings: The Card Game which is a living card game by Fantasy Flight Games. To the best of my knowledge, there are no Lord of the Rings licensed boots from Erebor or elsewhere.

Old Content Buying Guide for New Players

by TheDimitrios

Originally posted at r/lotrlcg and reproduced with permission. Original thread can be found here. Please visit and give it an up vote!

TheDimitrios over at r/lotrlcg recently made a buyers guide of Deluxes and APs. It specifically focuses on player cards that doesn’t overlap with the revised card pool much and enjoyable quests. With their permission, it is now featured over at the Card Talk Blog

Link to the Reddit thread
* https://www.reddit.com/r/lotrlcg/comments/10auu2x/old_content_buying_guide_for_new_players/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button

If you are a new player like me and you have all the reprinted content… you might ask yourself what you could get from the old stuff. I went down that rabbithole and maybe this saves you some time.

I followed these basic principles:

  • As little duplicates as possible
  • No unusable Scenario/Quest cards
  • No Sets that collide with planned reprints in the new format
  • The purchase should open up new ways to play, not just add a few cards to existing archetype-decks

So this is what i bought based on those premises:

1) Sands of Harad Deluxe

Allows for some fun new Combo decks, most prominently with Legolas and Gimli.

Only 2 Duplicates between this and the starter decks.

2) Race across Harad

Since we have the Deluxe, we can even use the quest. So this gives you again some Combo stuff and nice Dunedain stuff as well. Furthermore, we get our first card for a doomed Deck.

No duplicates between this and the starters.

3) Shadow in the East Deluxe

Fun contract and cool new stuff all around.

No duplicates between this and the starters.

4) Challenge of the Wainriders

Fun contract and a bunch of good stuff for a doomed deck. Also, we can use the quest since we have the Deluxe.

Only 1 duplicate between this and the starters.

5) Voice of Isengard

A bunch of stuff for a doomed Deck. With the RaH and CotW cards there is enough to have a playable deck.

There are 4 Duplicates with the starters, but in return you are able to play a doomed deck

Editor’s Note: Rohan Warhorse and Westfold Horse-breeder it really doesn’t hurt to have duplicates of.

There are still a lot of interesting cards from the old content that you miss after buying these, but I feel this is the most fun for your money if you want to fill the gaps of the reprint.

Palantir – Community Review

by Erik Miller

  • Player Card Categories 
    • Card Draw
    • Encounter Scrying
    • Encounter Control
    • Burglar Treasure

Background

It’s a big shiny ball that men, Hobbits, and corrupt wizards like to stare into. Too bad only Nobles can use it in the game.

Card Theme

The theme is spot on. Look into the future, and you may be rewarded …. or cursed.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Grey Wanderer, Risk Some Light, Lore Denethor, Needful to Know, Celduin Traveler, Ithilien Lookout, Far Sighted

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.

The Palantir got a lot easier to use with the Grey Wander contract (although it can still to be fun to use with low starting threat heroes), making its value increase since it first came out. With the contract, your threat starts low, you can start with the Palantir in play, and you can ready after using the Palantir. There are also secrecy cards that let you peek at the top cards of the encounter deck when in secrecy. This makes your hit rate with the Palantir increase. With three players, you know exactly what cards you will be getting. In solo, you can set yourself up for multiple rounds. And, even if you don’t know what’s coming the fun of guessing the card type and revealing could (maybe) make up for any threat increase you end up taking.

  • Erik – 4
  • Ian Martin – 5
  • Dave – 7
  • Grant – 7
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 6
  • Average – 5.8

CON LGrn – To Scry or not to Scry by Erik Miller

Grey Wanderer Denethor with a few different ways to scry and control the encounter deck.

CON LGrn – To Scry or not to Scry

Main Deck

Hero (1)
Denethor (Core Set)

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

Ally (20)
3x Celduin Traveler (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
2x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
1x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
3x Ithilien Lookout (The Dunland Trap)
1x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
2x Mirkwood Explorer (The Thing in the Depths)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)
2x Wandering Ent (Celebrimbor’s Secret)

Attachment (8)
1x Dark Knowledge (Core Set)
1x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Palantir (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (19)
3x Far-sighted (Challenge of the Wainriders)
2x Gildor’s Counsel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Needful to Know (The Redhorn Gate)
3x Risk Some Light (Shadow and Flame)
2x Shadow of the Past (Return to Mirkwood)
1x Swift and Silent (The Dunland Trap)
2x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3x Timely Aid (The Redhorn Gate)

Player Side Quest (3)
1x Double Back (Escape from Mount Gram)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)
1x Scout Ahead (The Wastes of Eriador)

1 Hero, 50 Cards
Cards up to Challenge of the Wainriders

Sideboard

Ally (11)
2x Anfalas Herdsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Ithilien Tracker (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Robin Smallburrow (The Drowned Ruins)
3x Silvan Refugee (The Drúadan Forest)
1x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)

Attachment (2)
1x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)
1x Strider (The Drowned Ruins)

Event (13)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
1x Gildor’s Counsel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Out of the Wild (Road to Rivendell)
1x Shadow of the Past (Return to Mirkwood)
2x The Hidden Way (The Withered Heath)

Deck built on RingsDB.

Guardian of Esgaroth – Community Review

by David Renaud

  • Card Talk Season TBD Episode TBD
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode
  • Cycle
    • Ered Mithren
  • Set
    • The Withered Heath
  • Player Card Categories 
    • Attack Bonus
    • Defense Bonus
    • Willpower Bonus

Background

Guardian of Esgaroth is fairly clear as where it stands: an armsman from Dale, likely after the events of The Hobbit. Following Bard the Bowman to rebuild their ancestral lands, the Men from Dale would benefit from trade from both the Elves of Mirkwood and the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain.

Card Theme

The card’s theme becomes quite evident in the deckbuilding direction it demands. Dale is a wealthy land of warriors and craftsmen. Guardian of Esgaroth pushes a deck towards plenty of attachments, including weapons, armour, and horses. The Men of Dale leverage their affluent position to be well prepared for war.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Guardian of Esgaroth fits into a fairly typical Dale deck. Brand son of Bain and Bard son of Brand provide synergistic heroes, with a third slot open for player preference (either to double up with more Leadership/Spirit or open up another Sphere). Personally, I enjoy Theodred for resource smoothing.

Then the rest of the deck can be an assortment of other Dale allies and low cost attachments. In particular, Wild Stallion stands out as an excellent card for the deck, as it provides the Guardian with +2 to all stats.

Additionally, cards that provide extra actions per turn out of Guardian shine. Valiant Determination enables questing for 5 on top of attacking or defending for 5 each turn.

Spare Hood and Cloak has been a surprisingly effective card for the deck. With the heroes, it immediately draws a card. Then it lets you pass the cloak to the Guardian to get an extra action in an emergency, while also letting the Guardian pass it back in rounds in which its combat power isn’t needed. This brings an extra level of flexibility to respond to a critical turn.

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.

Guardian of Esgaroth requires support, but acts on an often unused axis of the game – universally powerful allies. There are often min/maxed allies or universally average allies, but an ally that hits 5/5/5/5 (thanks to Wild Stallion) benefits from many effects that are costed to only apply to allies instead of heroes. This allows it to benefit from cards like Strength of Arms and Valiant Determination to act in multiple phases, for example. A 5 Defense/5 Health Ally also is unlikely to die to an unfortunate shadow, meaning you can heal off the damage and reuse it. And worst case scenario, losing a buffed ally isn’t as consequential as losing a buffed hero. And you can have three of them at once.

However, it requires a significant investment in deckbuilding to make it work.

  • David – 3
  • Dave – TBR
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – TBR
  • Average – 3

4P Ranger Summons by David Renaud

This deck was part of my four player fellowship running all the “shuffle into the encounter deck” events.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Amarthiúl (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
Bard son of Brand (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
4P Ranger Summons by David Renaud This deck was part of my four player fellowship running all the “shuffle into the encounter deck” events. Brand son of Bain (The Wilds of Rhovanion)

Ally (18)
3x Guardian of Esgaroth (The Withered Heath)
2x Knight of Dale (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
3x Long Lake Fisherman (The Withered Heath)
3x North Realm Lookout (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Redwater Sentry (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Wiglaf (Roam Across Rhovanion)
3x Wild Stallion (Roam Across Rhovanion)

Attachment (23)
2x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
2x Bow of Yew (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x King of Dale (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
2x Raiment of War (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Round Shield (Mount Gundabad)
2x Squire’s Helm (The Withered Heath)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Valiant Determination (The Ghost of Framsburg)

Event (9)
3x Campfire Tales (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Ranger Summons (The Lost Realm)
3x Traffic from Dale (The Wilds of Rhovanion)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Mount Gundabad

Sideboard

Ally (3)
3x Ranger of the North (The Lost Realm)

Deck built on RingsDB.

September 2021 Solo League by Alonewolf87

This isn’t my deck, but includes the general ideas that I would bring into a solo build of the deck.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Bard son of Brand (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
Brand son of Bain (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
Frodo Baggins (Conflict at the Carrock)

Ally (22)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Guardian of Esgaroth (The Withered Heath)
3x Long Lake Fisherman (The Withered Heath)
3x North Realm Lookout (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Redwater Sentry (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Rhovanion Outrider (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Warrior of Dale (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Wild Stallion (Roam Across Rhovanion)

Attachment (20)
2x Bow of Yew (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x King of Dale (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Map of Rhovanion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Spare Hood and Cloak (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Squire’s Helm (The Withered Heath)
3x Valiant Determination (The Ghost of Framsburg)

Event (8)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3x Traffic from Dale (The Wilds of Rhovanion)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Ghost of Framsburg

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Spear of the Citadel – Community Review

by Anthony Burke

  • Card Talk Season TBD Episode TBD
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode
  • Cycle
    • Against the Shadow
  • Set
    • Heirs of Numenor
  • Player Card Categories 
    • Direct Damage
    • Ally Attachment
    • Burglar Treasure

Background

I adore the notion of ‘reach’. Defence in depth provided by spears and shield walls really highlights Gondor going into its shell under Denethor’s reign. With a renewed vigour during the Battle of Minas Tirath, the spear becomes aggressive again and wields itself with devastating efficiency.

Card Theme

Given it is a ‘thorns/reflection’ style card it works well with ANY blocker. Anything where you’re needing a tactics defender OR a defender that can have this cost paid by someone with Tactics is nice.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Beregond Tactics is a super synergy as you can play 2 cost attachments for free. If this is drawn in the opening hand you’re in a good stead. Things that search your deck for attachments (Master of the Forge) allows you to find something quickly outside your opening hand.

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.

Spear of the Citadel provides a defender an ability to damage an enemy. The timing of “is declared” can be used to the advantage of the player. Enemies that have 1 health or have one remaining will die before resolving their attack and shadow card.

In addition to this a defender can provide the additional damage, block the attack, and then have declared attacks hit the said attacker and this damage could be enough to kill it.

Pairs nicely with Beregond Tactics.

  • Anthony – 4
  • Dave – TBR
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – TBR
  • Average – 4

Rhovanion Outrider – Community Review

by Nathan Ferraro

  • Player Card Categories 
    • Location Control
    • Willpower Bonus

Background

Honestly, my Dale lore isn’t great.

Editor’s Note: There’s not much to about the men of Dale that isn’t in The Hobbit. They are Northmen that came from the southern part of Rhovanion and built Dale when Thror re-established the Kingdom Under the Mountain. The city prospered with Erebor until Smaug attacked and destroyed Dale. After the events in the The Hobbit, Bard and his son Brand ruled the lands around Dale. During the War of the Ring, forces of Mordor invaded overrunning Dale. The men joined the Dwarves of Erebor and remained there under siege until news came of Sauron’s defeat.

Card Theme

The theme is quite nice. The scout helps to eliminate threat of locations in the distance. When needed for combat, he is mounted and ready.

Card Synergies and Interactions

He works great by himself. He is even better in a dale deck when having his willpower boosted or with other location-control cards.

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.

Rhovanion Outrider is often overlooked for Northern Tracker, but he is often superior. The ability to target a single location with his ability can get around exploring many locations that have “forced: when it leaves play” abilities. He is cheaper than Northern Tracker and often times actually provides even more willpower than the Tracker. He is very affordable in many spirit decks, not just Dale or Vilya decks. In solo or two-handed play, there often aren’t that many locations in the staging area anyhow. The outrider is my go-to location control these days.

  • Nathan – 2
  • Dave – TBR
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – TBR
  • Average – 2

Sample Deck

Love of the Halfling’s Leaf without circlets

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Bilbo Baggins (Messenger of the King Allies)
Dáin Ironfoot (The Ghost of Framsburg)
Gandalf (The Road Darkens)

Contract (0)
1x Messenger of the King (The Land of Sorrow)

Ally (19)
1x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Ered Luin Miner (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
1x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
1x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller)
1x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
3x Rhovanion Outrider (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Súlien (The City of Corsairs)
1x Thalion (Fire in the Night)
3x Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm)

Attachment (16)
1x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
1x Armor of Erebor (Mount Gundabad)
3x Dwarf Pipe (The Mûmakil)
1x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)
2x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
1x Hobbit Pipe (The Black Riders)
1x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Spare Pipe (The Land of Sorrow)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
1x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

Event (18)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
3x Old Toby (The Black Serpent)
3x Smoke and Think (The Land of Sorrow)
2x Smoke Rings (The Black Riders)
2x Well-Equipped (The Blood of Gondor)
2x Will of the West (Core Set)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Double Back (Escape from Mount Gram)

3 Heroes, 54 Cards
Cards up to The Land of Sorrow

Sideboard

Ally (3)
1x Lórien Guide (Core Set)
1x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
1x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)

Attachment (2)
1x Inner Strength (Wrath and Ruin)
1x The One Ring (A Shadow in the East)

Event (1)
1x Well-Equipped (The Blood of Gondor)

Deck built on RingsDB.

Windfola – Community Review

by John McClellan

  • Player Card Categories 
    • Quest Control
    • Willpower Bonus

Background

I tried to pick a card that perhaps falls somewhere in the 6 – 8 Rings range. 1 Ring cards are easy to discuss, based on their versatility and lore, and 10s challenge the reviewer to come up with some possible use and to otherwise complain. Easy pickins! Anyhow, I tried to think of a card I have included sporadically and what it’s possible utilization could be.

Here comes Windfola. The reason I have placed this in the lower tier range of rings is due to the cons outweighing the pros. Let us explore:

Windfola is the steed Eowyn took to battle secretly in the ride of the Rohirrim to save Gondor at Pelennor Fields. It carried Eowyn and Merry up until encountering the Witch-King, whose screech made the horse go wild. The horse abandoned the pair, and as far as I can tell is not seen in the text again.

Card Theme

Now, let’s review how Windfola works in practice. First, he can only be attached to a spirit hero or to tactics Eowyn. Very appropriate so far. Now, it does exclude tactics Merry, which in gameplay is fine because it does not sync well with him. It also cannot be attached to ally Merry, which is just as well, as he works best if he can pop into play multiple times. Let’s examine, then, how well Windfola syncs with the three heroes most associated with him: Spirit Eowyn, Tactics Eowyn, and Spirit Merry.

Spirit Eowyn syncs very well with Windfola. First, Eowyn’s ability specifically targets her willpower,and she, in the vast majority of cases, will be questing. Windfola first gives a boost to her willpower and prevents her from being taken out of the quest. Further, Eowyn is hardly ever the target of restricted attachments beyond willpower boosts or quest specific items, so she is happy to take this cheap attachment as one of her two given restricted slots.

Tactics Eowyn is a bit of a different story. At this point, Windfola is out of sphere, so either another spirit hero is needed (precluding some other cross-sphere combo) , or some help is needed across the table. Tactics Eowyn definitely wants Golden Shield and isn’t necessarily the dedicated quester her spirit counterpart is. Sure, to bring her to solid combat readiness, you might need to bring Unexpected Courage or Herugrim, both of which are blue cards, but it might take a while on the list of cards before you get to Windfola. Worse yet, Windfola takes up that one restricted slot, and unless you are running Eowyn in a three hunters deck, you can pretty much kiss her usefulness outside the quest phase (save once per game) goodbye … which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you are setting her up as splash red hero who can quest. Still, Windfola doesn’t seem to mesh nearly as well with this version of Eowyn.

Spirit Merry is perhaps the worst candidate of the three. Spirit Merry thrives when he has his Hobbit Pony, as you would like to decide in the moment whether you would like a threat drop or need a little extra push in the quest phase. Windfola assumes you are going to quest with this hero without a shadow of a doubt. In fact, you are in such need of this hero to quest, you are willing to take a restricted slot in order to guarantee that hero stays committed, encounter cards be damned. Now, I should point out that if you are running an all-hobbit lineup, Windfola on Merry with Elevenses is a fairly decent combo.(Still, the action windows and card text prevent you from being able to trigger Merry in addition to Elevenses and Windfola at the same time). Still, reading the card text on Merry, Hobbit Pony, and Windfola shows that while it isn’t the worst combo in the world, you will be better off in all cases without one of the attachments.

Since Spirit Eowyn is the only efficient candidate of the five character choices associated with the lore of the card, I rate it low in this category.

One final note. I think Windfola is missing one clause that could bump it into 5 or even 4 ring territory. Right at the end, include the text, “Then, you may discard Windfola to ready the attached hero.” This line improves all of the four cons I’ve held against it: One, it is right in line with the lore: the steed abandons them right in time for battle, for which they are now ready. It sits well with a Tactics Eowyn with a Golden Shield or a Spirit Merry now ready to jump on the next enemy that flips from the encounter deck. The ability allows for an easy restriction removal, when appropriate, while giving the added benefit of a second action. Players would actually bring 3 copies of Windfola, hoping to trigger it multiple times to recommit and ready with a back up in hand. It behaves as a willpower boost and a conditional ready, improving its versatility. It had potential to be solid, albeit with a specific trigger in mind.

Card Synergies and Interactions

I’ve mentioned it already, but unless you are running a Forth! The Three Hunters contract or the Golden Belt, you are only working with two restricted attachments per hero. There are certainly restricted attachments that see less play than Windfola, but according to the Hall of Beorn, this is the 6th ranked restricted steed out of the 9 (I should note that the last place, Tireless Thoroughbred, is probably ranked lowest due to release date). These restricted slots are precious, and give way to some of the most powerful boosts in the game. The restricted guarded take an extra element to get into play but (1) cost the same as Windfola (2) usually give a bigger boost and (3) have an ability that is generally useful and not quest specific. Armored Destrier essentially gives two defenses, one for free, and two defenses are needed much more often than two quests from the same character. Most see some kind of conditional, secondary boosts that would have been great to see here (“+2 willpower if attached hero is Merry or Eowyn”).

I will admit later that the cost of 1-for-1 willpower is enough to convince individuals it’s worth including in decks. Addressing the issue of uniqueness, how many copies do you dare bring? I know this is a constant battle for unique cards but some uniques you don’t even question (Steward of Gondor, Gandalf’s Staff in a Gandalf deck, you get the drill). Once you play Windfola, what do you do with the next one you draw? Well, if you are playing with Spirit Eowyn, great, more willpower. That’s about it. You would love to see a 1-for-1 boost that could be stacked. This would be one of the best willpower attachments in the game. For now, you might sprinkle in a single copy, MAYBE two into a deck featuring a Spirit, questing hero.

Now it does have some good economic value. How often will you win a quest by one willpower? Perhaps more than you might think. “Just one more point… one more to clear that location… one more to clear that quest card. Come on, where can we find one more willpower? Anything??” Yes I think we have all said it. Said it enough times that when you are running a spirit quester, you glance at Windfola and it gives you pause. Should you just throw it in? Sure. One copy. Go. I know there are plenty of deckbuilders who cringe at that idea, who like to squeeze every last deck thinning card in. I am not one of those deckbuilders. I like to include some generic boosts. That being said, I usually will opt for 2-for-2 instead of 1-for-1 for no real reason. I find myself including 2 cost 2 willpower allies instead of Windfola.

How niche is it? Well, okay, in a Forth! The Three Hunters deck that includes a Spirit hero, Windfola is in auto-include. Why? Either its a 0-for-1 (and soon 2) deal, or it’s a 1-for-2 deal if the contract is flipped. That spirit hero is going to be questing for you, I am sure (unless…you brought Beregond?) and you don’t have the luxury of including 2-for-2 allies any more. You also cannot remove that hero from the quest… it would be devastating. Windfola keeps you Spirit Hunter dedicated to it.
Particular quests can devastate you with quest removal. Notice that Windfola doesn’t PREVENT quest removal, but allows it and then triggers a request. This nuance is important because if an encounter card allows you to remove a questing character as an option, take it! I am looking at Inner Flame and Inner Shadow from the Shadow and Flame quest, Stars in Sky from Druadan Forest, and I am sure there’s more.


Is someone bringing Elfhelm? And you have a spirit hero? Windfola without a question.
In a combo I’d like to see, other commit triggers also are re-established. Let’s just assume we can get Song of Travel on the appropriate heroes. Tactics Bilbo gets a massive willpower boost and can lay some serious damage in the staging area. Leadership Frodo can ready two heroes and lower your threat by two. Theodred can give more money, Lotheriel can get another ally into play, Eomer can strike again, and Legolas can ready another. It takes some finagling but for one cost, who wouldn’t want to try?

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.

In the end, you are not running this card without a spirit hero, and that has to earn it some rings out the gate. You ARE running this card if you are running a spirit questing hero in a three hunters deck, or against a scenario that has devastating hero removal from quests. It loses some rings from the bottom 10 for that. The economics allow for some splashing in spirit hero decks, and when you come back to Core Eowyn, you get a nod of approval from fellow players when they see you play Windfola on his rider.

  • John – 7
  • Dave – TBR
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – TBR
  • Average – 7

Erkenbrand – Community Review

by Phil Chesbro

  • Card Talk Season TBD Episode TBD
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode

Background

He charged in with Gandalf and helped save humanity!

Editor’s Note: Phil here is referring to Erkenbrand arriving at Helm’s Deep with all the men he could gather and Gandalf. For those only familiar with the movies, Eomer being banished and brought back by Gandalf is one of the changes made from the book. In the book, he was imprisoned and freed once Gandalf broke the spell on Theoden. He then was at Helm’s Deep with Theoden and the rest.

Card Theme

He came paired with The Day’s Rising, which I love, but don’t actually use much. He really lives up to the role when he defend, readies, then attacks. Get ’em Erky! Plus, his ability cancels shadow effects, which could be a reference to breaking the ranks of Saruman’s forces.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Hauberk of Mail, Armored Destrier, and Warrior Keyword

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 like Erkenbrand as much as I like Beregond. Sure, he doesn’t start with the same defense, but his ability is better than either Beregond abilities in my opinion. Canceling any shadow effect adds an incredible amount of control to combat. He’s also in Leadership, giving him access to Hauberk of Mail and Armored Destrier, meaning he can block for 4 twice without sweating any shadow effects. I’ve just started splashing him into my decks as a go-to defender and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

  • Phil – 2
  • Dave – TBR
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – TBR
  • Average – 2

Killer Solo Leadership by The BGamerJoe

A mono-Leadership deck featuring Erkenbrand as the main defender that BGamerJoe used to beat the entire Harad cycle.

Killer Solo Leadership

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Aragorn (Core Set)
Erkenbrand (The Antlered Crown)
Gildor Inglorion (Two-Player Limited Edition Starter)

Ally (20)
1x Ceorl (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Erestor (The Long Dark)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Knight of the White Tower (The City of Corsairs)
1x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Redwater Sentry (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Rosie Cotton (The Mountain of Fire)

Attachment (22)
2x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
3x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Dúnedain Remedy (The Drowned Ruins)
2x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Sword of Númenor (The Dread Realm)
3x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)
1x The Day’s Rising (The Antlered Crown)
3x Tome of Atanatar (The Blood of Gondor)

Event (7)
1x Second Breakfast (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Strength of Arms (The Drúadan Forest)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Prepare for Battle (The Mûmakil)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Roam Across Rhovanion

Sideboard

Attachment (1)
1x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)

Event (3)
3x Bulwark of the West (The Crossings of Poros)

Player Side Quest (2)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)
1x Send for Aid (The Treachery of Rhudaur)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Forth, The Three Hunters! – Community Review

by Jonathan Gillies

  • Player Card Categories 
    • Healing
    • Willpower Bonus

Background

The contract references Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas pursuing the Urak-Hai after the breaking of the fellowship in The Two Towers.

Card Theme

This card harkens back to the core of The Lord of the Rings where a few brave souls can change the fate of the world. Rather than relying on hordes of allies swarming. Your three heroes must be brave and bold enough to risk this journey alone. But are given significant aid from the Valar and their gifts (cost-reduction), blessings (willpower boosting) and their healing (yeah still healing). I can really see how the developers wanted to create that feeling of a small band of heroes working alone to overcome the armies and traps of the enemy as they sprint across locations.

Card Synergies and Interactions

This contract combos with strong heroes that can get the most out of its boosting by being capable fighters and questers. As such it requires and works best with as much readying as you can throw at it: Leadership Aragorn, Spirit Legolas, Leadership Frodo, and Sam Gamgee are all excellent candidates for this contract. Arguably and ironically (since he is dead by the time of this contract’s namesake) Tactics Boromir is the best hero to make this really work with his ability to ready often throughout all phases of the game and help you with hide, escape, sailing, fortitude, racing and other tests. He’s always ready for you.

Anything else that helps with giving your few characters more actions such as Light of Valinor, Unexpected Courage x3, Shadowfax, Magic Ring, Steed of the North, Steed of the Mark, Rohan Warhorse (lots of mounts here), readying events and all of those delicious food-readying items are key to include.

Heroes that draw cards will help you get this contract flipped sooner and Erestor can do often do it round 1.

This deck excels in most quests because it completely ignores any effects that harm allies. And while you get to entirely avoid any treacheries, enemies or other hindering affects that target allies, this also can make quests where you have an objective ally you have to protect become extremely hard and create more auto loss events. Likewise when you are always defending with heroes shadow effects that discard the defending character are often game over in that moment.

Also Pelennor Fields, while beatable, absolutely requires having Will of the West in your starting hand as you have no allies to be put into play. Meaning your entire deck is discarded on the second phase and you skip right to the third much harder one. Also Wind-Whipped Rain and other discard all attachments you control are game-Enders. But still overall the benefits far outweigh the negatives of this contracts deck-building requirements. Also Ranger Summons or other players sending you their allies (looking at you Rider of the Mark and Blue Mountain Trader) is a great way to sneak in some allies into your deck. As there is no restriction on side B of the contract or gaining allies through other means.

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.

Alright hear me out here. I have been playing a Forth, The Three Hunters Gandalf, Spirit Legolas and Tactics Boromir deck for a solid year and a half now as I have been taking on every single quest in the game with the same deck, no changes or substitutions. And I can honestly say that this card is a 1, it’s the one contract to rule them all.

Firstly it completely opens up a new style of play that wasn’t really practical before. This is something the contracts were meant to do generally, but this one takes the cake for sheer power and changing up the game to the point that it almost feels like a different game entirely. Traditionally in our lovely game you are trying to build up an ally swarm as quickly as you can and then once you have raised the shire (or perhaps all of middle earth) you can casually walk through the game with your horde of allies both unique and not. This contract limits you to your three heroes only, and suddenly this game shifts from a classic strategy game horde builder to a classic dungeon crawler. This also feels so much more thematic as often it’s the work of a few heroes against the forces of the enemy that wins the day. You have to choose strong heroes because that’s all you have to take on the horrors of the enemy. Then with your heroes you slowly progress through the quest looking for more loot (oops I mean items, loot is another deck right?) to make your heroes stronger. Once you have two restricted attachments per hero suddenly your heroes becomes super powered, charged with willpower bonuses and by the end your fully levelled up mecha-warrior heroes battle their way to the finish.

Now next let’s talk about power, Bond of Fellowship is great to start with an extra hero, and Perilous Voyage helps with card draw and some crazy fun on the B side, but this contract is hands down the strongest of the lot. You are given an cost reduction of 1 for each of your heroes first restricted attachment EACH ROUND! That is essentially three free resources a round (or 4 with saga heroes) if your deck is full of restricted items (which it should be!). Helping to increase your board state is incredibly helpful and just ask Beregond how much he likes his cost reduction. So three extra resources a round of purchasing power is a great way to accelerate the often most difficult part of quests which is getting your engine going. And if you aren’t hurting for questing too badly you can even delay flipping your contract a few rounds to further utilize this early game acceleration.

But what happens when you flip that contract? All of a sudden you get a willpower boost for EACH restricted attachment on your heroes. And 2-4 extra willpower per hero makes questing a breeze for the second half of the game. Also you get the added benefit of a built in healing of 1 on each of your heroes a round. This greatly boosts your characters survivability as you have no chump blocking allies around.

But wait there’s more! While attachment-hating quests can completely ruin your burglar’s turn decks, and Escape From Dol Guldur ends your grey wandering before it begins, this contracts negative is actually a benefit. Think about the standard flow of the game traditionally. You are trying to increase your board state to build up your engine and then power through the quest as you deal with enemies that pop up and clear locations. The encounter deck always wants to attack you by filling the staging area with locations, swarming you with enemies (or strong attacks/damage), stealing your cards/resources, blocking your questing and finally attacking your board state. So many treachery cards and enemies specifically target allies. As they assume every player has some. When you don’t have allies at all, then a good chunk of the encounter deck more often then not will simply miss in their attempts to hurt you. This gives you more time to further build up your board state and be able to crush whatever remains.

One must also talk about the weaknesses of this contract to balance out the sheer power of it. And while you get to entirely avoid any treacheries, enemies or other hindering affects that target allies, this also can make quests where you have an objective ally you have to protect become extremely hard and create more auto loss events. Likewise when you are always defending with heroes shadow effects that discard the defending character are often game over in that moment.

Also Pelennor Fields, while beatable, absolutely requires having Will of the West in your starting hand as you have no allies to be put into play. Meaning your entire deck is discarded on the second phase and you skip right to the third much harder one. Also Wind-Whipped Rain and other discard all attachments you control are game-Enders. But still overall the benefits far outweigh the negatives of this contracts deck-building requirements. Also Ranger Summons or other players sending you their allies (looking at you Rider of the Mark and Blue Mountain Trader) is a great way to sneak in some allies into your deck. As there is no restriction on side B of the contract or gaining allies through other means.

When playing with this contract you do need to make sure you have a ton of readying so Unexpected Courage x3, Shadowfax, Magic Ring, Heroes that ready other heroes, and all of those delicious food-readying items are key to include. And Tactics Boromir is permanently glued to this contract for me for all of the cards that need you to exhaust a character outside do the traditional questing and fighting phases including but not limited to hide, sailing, and escape tests.

All in all this contract is the best example of how one single card can completely change how a game is played, how it feels and how it turns a novelty idea in the before-contract times into one of the most powerful archetypes in the game. That is why this card is a 1 to me and it’s extremely hard for me to not just always want to build another Forth, Three Hunters deck.

*for reference,
https://www.ringsdb.com/decklist/view/18333/thethirdagegba3hunterstheonedeck-2.0

TLDR: This contract completely changes the entire gameplay feel, takes the teeth out of the encounter deck since there are no allies to harm, and gives you crazy early game resource acceleration and second half power questing.

  • Jonathan – 1
  • Dave – TBR
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – TBR
  • Average – 1

The Third Age GBA (3 Hunters THE ONE DECK!) by Christian_Medic

this is the deck I have beaten every single non-nightmare quest in the game with, and a share of nightmares that I have as well:

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Boromir (The Dead Marshes)
Gandalf (The Road Darkens)
Legolas (The Sands of Harad)

Contract (0)
1x Forth, The Three Hunters! (The City of Ulfast)

Attachment (38)
1x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Arod (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Blade of Gondolin (Core Set)
1x Blood of Númenor (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Captain of Gondor (The Antlered Crown)
3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
2x Dwarven Axe (Core Set)
1x Favor of the Valar (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
3x Golden Belt (Challenge of the Wainriders)
1x Gondorian Fire (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
1x Livery of the Tower (The Flame of the West)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
1x Miruvor (Shadow and Flame)
1x Raiment of War (The Thing in the Depths)
1x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Silver Circlet (Wrath and Ruin)
1x Steed of the Mark (The Morgul Vale)
1x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Strider (The Drowned Ruins)
1x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x Unexpected Courage (Two-Player Limited Edition Starter)
1x Vigilant Guard (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
2x War Axe (The City of Ulfast)
1x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

Event (10)
1x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
1x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
1x Foe-hammer (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Open the Armory (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
1x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
2x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
1x Will of the West (Core Set)

Player Side Quest (2)
1x Double Back (Escape from Mount Gram)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Challenge of the Wainriders

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

A Journey in the Dark

Run time: 30:17, Watch the Video, Play with Error

Most Valuable Card: Oh, Sam. When will it be your day? Not this day. While he was great defending and attacking back while equipped with Sting, I think the better option here is Fellowship of the Ring. I already chose the Redbook of Westmarch, and while I am not explicitly not choosing a card twice, it think it makes sense to give this card it’s due. It wasn’t until this card entered play that I felt 100% comfortable that I was going to quest successfully each round and place enough progress on the locations and quest card to actually make it through the scenario.

Thematic Win: Beating the second cave troll with a group of characters. It’s a subtle thematic accomplishment, but in a scenario where Caleb has explicitly said that he wanted to break with the books here, at least a little, to provide the option for players to outrun the Balrog, it’s something. Especially since I decided to take Caleb up on his alternate universe option of outrunning Durin’s Bane. So having a small group of folks gang up and kill the cave troll felt pretty good.

First and foremost, I need to get this out of the way. I may have interpreted the rules incorrectly, but the Fellowship contract is vague about what happens during the saga with boons. And by vague, I mean it’s not mentioned at all. I was forced to interpret the rules and used the burden precedent that says to shuffle the burden into your deck after it hits the table. There is also a line in the Black Riders Rules document on page three that says that “…players may include any boon cards as recorded in the
Campaign Pool in their decks. These cards do not count against their deck minimum.” And while this doesn’t necessarily apply because the contract talks about a deck maximum, it does give some credence to my theory that boon cards don’t count when counting the number of cards in your deck. It may be a poor decision on my part, but if it invalidates all my wins, so be it. I chalk this up to it being a solo game and I can play it how I want. But, I am uncertain that adding two extra cards to my player deck, and sphereless cards at that, will greatly impact the outcome of my game play. If you have any insight into this rule, please leave a comment.

Next, I have to take the bigger view and talk about BOTH versions of this scenario I posted. For this entry, I’m not going to give you a behind the scenes run of the game but rather more of a report of the feel of these plays. I was so excited to put Thorongil on Fellowship Frodo to get a spirit resource and use him as a defender that I completely didn’t even read the card. And I would guess that we are all guilty of that. In fact, I made the same mistake again in a later scenario with, of all heroes, Spirit Aragorn. Don’t worry though, you’ll see that play as well. But I played these scenarios and it wasn’t until after they were edited and I had moved on that I was told that the Thorongil on a fellowship here is verboten. It was during our live play of Epic Multiplayer Helm’s Deep that Joseph Forster casually mentioned that Thorongil could only be played on “normal” heroes. I asked him to repeat what he had said and I also looked it up on Hall of Beorn. Lo and behold, it says it right there in plain English. I was crushed because I had already put this episode in the can. But, it definitely a big enough error that I knew it impacted the outcome. Spirit Frodo is a great defender. I used him as such. I needed to play it again. I was bummed.

But, surprisingly, I was able to win in much the same fashion as I did on my error video. I was able to get through fairly easily in just the perfect number of rounds. At the time, I thought the plays were very different. But as I look at them now, they are pretty similar. Also, the feeling at the end in outrunning the Balrog was the same.

Lastly, by outrunning the Balrog, it saved me from having to enter the “Do Balrogs have wings?” debate and just not including those scenes in the video.

So enjoy this weeks double feature.