The Fortress of Nurn 4 – May 21, 2022

Introduction

I went and made RedSpiderr’s Dunedain deck into a Bond of Friendship deck adding Spirit Glorfindel to the line up. I think that will make early willpower and attack much better. Celebrian’s Stone now isn’t a must have for the opening hand. No additional help for Amarthuil defending early on. I just have to hope for Keep Watch or that I can have him survive long enough.

Dunedain take The Fortress of Nurn by RedSpiderr 

Dunedain + Sp Glorfindel FoN

Main Deck

Hero (4)
Amarthiúl (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
Aragorn (The Lost Realm)
Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)
Thurindir (Race Across Harad)

Contract (0)
1x Bond of Friendship (The Fortress of Nurn)

Ally (25)
2x Andrath Guardsman (The Mûmakil)
2x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x East Road Ranger (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Fornost Bowman (The Dread Realm)
2x Guardian of Arnor (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
2x Northern Bowmaster (Under the Ash Mountains)
2x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
2x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Sarn Ford Sentry (The Lost Realm)
2x Thalion (Fire in the Night)
2x Vigilant Dúnadan (The Sands of Harad)
1x Warden of Annúminas (The Lost Realm)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (17)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Favor of the Valar (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Heir of Valandil (The Lost Realm)
2x Legacy Blade (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
2x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
1x Round Shield (Mount Gundabad)
2x The Long Defeat (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
2x Thorongil (The Fortress of Nurn)
1x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (6)
2x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Feint (Core Set)

Player Side Quest (2)
1x Keep Watch (Beneath the Sands)
1x Prepare for Battle (The Mûmakil)

4 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Fortress of Nurn

Sideboard

Attachment (7)
1x Heir of Valandil (The Lost Realm)
3x Stone of Elostirion (Under the Ash Mountains)
3x Woodmen’s Clearing (The Withered Heath)

Deck built on RingsDB.

Starting Hand after Mulligan

  • East Road Ranger
  • Thorongil
  • Light of Valinor
  • Guardian of Arnor
  • Ranger of Cardolan
  • Feint
  • I was hoping for Keep Watch, but Light of Valinor is great to see. I also have Feint to buy a turn if I need it. I think I can make this work.

Setup

  • Ulchor’s Guard engaged with me.
  • Thane Ulchor in the staging area
  • Covered by Darkness, Tower of Barad-dur, Kabul the Easterling, and Under the Watchful Eye on each Storm the Castle side quest along with 8 cards from my deck.
  • Threat – 35
  • Thurindir finds Prepare for Battle and adds it to my hand. Not what I was hoping for, but better than nothing.

Turn 1

1.3 Draw

  • Andarath Guardsman

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Prepare for Battle
  • Light of Valinor on Glorfindel

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Prepare for Battle

  • Aragorn
  • Thurindir
  • Glorfindel
  • Total Quest Power = 7

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Fortress Walls
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 4

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +3 Prepare for Battle progress (3 / 6)

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • Fortress Walls
  • Thorongil put under Storm the Castle with Covered in Darkness
  • I don’t mind losing Thorongil because I know there is another copy in my deck right now thanks to Thurindir’s setup ability.

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • none

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • Feint on Ulchor’s Guard

6.3 Enemy Attacks

  • Canceled by Feint.

6.7 Player Attacks

6.8b Target – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.8b Attackers
    • Amarthuil
    • Glorfindel
  • 6.8.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.8.2 Total Attack – 6
  • 6.8.3 Damage Dealt – 6 (6 / 5)
  • 6.8.3 Action(s)
    • none
  • Target destroyed.

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 36
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 2

1.3 Draw

  • The Long Defeat

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Ranger of Cardolan

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Prepare for Battle

  • Aragorn
  • Thurindir
  • Glorfindel
  • Ranger of Cardolan
  • Total Quest Power = 9

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Ulchor’s Guard
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 3

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +6 Fortress Walls progress (6 / 6) and explore it.

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • Ulchor’s Guard

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Amarthuil
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – +0 attack because no Castle side quests in the victory display (Easterling Mercenary).
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 1
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.7 Player Attacks

6.8b Target – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.8b Attackers
    • Glorfindel
  • 6.8.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.8.2 Total Attack – 3
  • 6.8.3 Damage Dealt – 3
  • 6.8.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 37
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 3

1.3 Draw

  • Ranger of Cardolan 2

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • East Road Ranger

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Prepare for Battle

  • Thurindir
  • Glorfindel
  • Ranger of Cardolan 1
  • East Road Ranger
  • Total Quest Power = 10

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • The Dungeons of Dol Rhugar
  • Soldier of Nurn
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 3

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +4 Prepare for Battle progress (7 / 6) and add it to the victory display. Progress is capped because of The Dungeons of Dol Rhugar.

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • Soldier of Nurn
  • Put Ranger of Cardolan 2 into play.

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Ranger of Cardolan 2
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – Put Guard Dogs into play engaged (Guard Dogs)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.4b Enemy – Guard Dogs

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – none
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Guard Tower)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2 assigned to Glorfindel
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.4b Enemy – Soldier of Nurn

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Amarthuil
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – +2 attack (Mordor Olag-hai)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none
  • Amarthuil destroyed.

I will concede on that.

Post Mortem

Questing is a lot better. I also have some early combat ability if Light of Valinor is on Glorfindel. That doesn’t really fix the issue the original deck had that there are 2 key cards needed to get going. The big temptation is to make the deck even less thematic by replacing Aragorn with Tactics Eowyn and Spirit Glorfindel with Spirit Beregond. I can see those swaps helping tremendously in the early game. Spirit Beregond can also provide threat reduction that will help even if Covered in Darkness hits the board. I think the deck was doing pretty well. I could probably just put in another copy of Keep Watch to increase the likelihood of hitting it, or just try it again as is and hope to get lucky. I can also seeing it doing much worse if I don’t either Keep Watch or Light of Valinor. I’m also concerned about threat in the late game since Covered in Darkness, Under the Watchful Eye, and The Tower of Barad-Dur combo together.

Bill the Pony

  • Card Talk Season 5 Episode 32
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode

The pack pony that can’t carry anything in the game.

Background

Bill was the only pony for sale in Bree after all the horses and ponies were let loose from The Prancing Pony’s stable. Barliman bought from Bill Ferny to replace Merry’s ponies and gave it to them as they left Bree. Sam well cared for Bill until he had to be let loose at the West gate of Moiria. After The One Ring’s destruction, Sam and Bill were reunited in Bree.

Card Theme

The cost reduction when Sam is in play is very thematic. Sam demonstrated significant feeling and concern for the poor pony. He insisted Bill continue on the journey with them as they left Rivendell. He did not want to leave Bill outside Moria pleading with Gandalf to take the pony with them. Returning to Bree, he expressed that he had worried about Bill many times since their parting at Moria what became of Bill.

The hit bonus Bill gives Hobbits is not very thematic. Most hit point bonuses in the game come from armor attachments like Citadel Plate, Ring Mail, Ancestral Armor, and more. These make sense in that they protect people effectively making them more durable in combat. Ent Draught is another attachment that gives hit points that makes sense considering it makes trees and people healthier and taller. In that line of thinking, Bill carrying the hobbits provisions heled keep them healthy. Still it feels like that is a stretch.

Another complaint about the card’s theme is that Bill can’t have attachments. He is used as a pack animal. He should be able to carry certain item attachments like Spare Hood and Cloak or Spare Pipe at least. Arguably he still shouldn’t be able to use them, but maybe having the ability to put item attachments facedown under his card to stow them. It could at least be useful for the hand size hate in Ringmaker. Seems like a wasted opportunity to make him more thematic and interesting of a card.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Hobbits

Hobbits often have less hit points that characters in other traits. This is most evident with the hobbit heroes that typically have 2 hit points. The only hobbit heroes with more are Sam, Tom Cotton, Fatty Bolger, and both Baggins sphere versions of Bilbo. Giving them more hit points increases their chances of survival particularly in quests with a lot of direct damage.

Fellowship

Bill qualifies as a unique character for the Fellowship contract. Getting one out for free with Sam in play can help it flip faster. This is very helpful considering it requires 9 unique characters in play. Then once it flips each character gets +1 willpower, attack, and defense. This can turn Bill into a very efficient 2 willpower and 2 attack ally. It is also one of the very few ways to buff him because of the “cannot have attachments” restriction.

Messenger of the King

Unfortunately this is a nonbo with Bill. Bill can’t have attachments and since Messenger of the King has to attach to make a unique character into a hero it won’t work on Bill.

Quest Specific

If you playing Hobbits in the Haradrim cycle or the LOTR Saga then Bill is great to have along. Many of the quests feature archery. Direct damage for several rounds combined with the low hit point pools of Hobbit heroes leaves little margin for error.

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 Bill at 7 rings. He’s basically a Guard of the Citadel that is unique, with a significant drawback, a narrow conditional discount, and a tribal bonus. Unless you’re playing Hobbits and/or Sam Gamgee, there’s little reason to play Bill. It is very nice that the bonus helps offset one of the primary weaknesses of Hobbits.

  • Dave – 5
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – 5
  • Matt – 7
  • Micah – 4
  • Average 5.25

External Links

Sample Decks

Bond of Hobbitship by Dave Walsh

This is solo hobbit deck. There are no cards that are ranged (sorry Hobbit Archer) or sentinel. If you have never tried to play hobbits, this may be a great place to start.

The fun of this deck is that you aren’t necessarily looking for anything in particular in your opening hand to get the deck going. You may need something quest specific, but this deck really relies on the versatility of the hobbits to get you going.

Main Deck

Hero (4)
Frodo Baggins (Conflict at the Carrock)
Merry (The Black Riders)
Pippin (The Black Riders)
Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders)

Contract (0)
1x Bond of Friendship (The Fortress of Nurn)

Ally (20)
2x Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens)
2x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
2x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
2x Farmer Maggot (The Black Riders)
2x Gaffer Gamgee (Mount Gundabad)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
2x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Rosie Cotton (The Mountain of Fire)
2x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (18)
2x Boots from Erebor (Khazad-dûm)
2x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
2x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
2x Hobbit Cloak (The Black Riders)
2x Red Book of Westmarch (The Land of Sorrow)
2x Ring Mail (The Long Dark)
2x Spare Pipe (The Land of Sorrow)
2x The Arkenstone (The Withered Heath)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (12)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
2x Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame)
2x Raise the Shire (The Mountain of Fire)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
2x The Shirefolk (Mount Gundabad)

4 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Fortress of Nurn

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Revolving Door Fellowship by BGamerJoe

From the deck description:

The goal is to get to 9 characters as soon as possible, but you have to be careful to not include too many cheap and easy allies or you’ll be pretty disappointed with your final Fellowship when you arrive. Also, I found that playing a Fellowship deck can become boring later in the game if you get your nine in place. You continue to draw allies you can’t play and planning phases become non-existent in solo or very tedious in multiplayer. I tried to put together a deck where there’s a balance of allies that are easy to get into play quickly to get you closer to 9 and expensive heavy-hitters that make the Fellowship powerful when you get there. The other theme of the deck is flexibility. Gandalf, Ghan, and Folco all have ways to leave play and Timely Aid, Sneak Attack and A Very Good Tale all let you get characters into play outside the standard planning phase. This means that even after you reach the magic number of 9, you can continue to upgrade your fellowship as opportunity presents itself and you can also “patch up” your fellowship during the quest or combat phase if a quest effect takes out an ally and leaves you with less that 9 characters. I’ve found it entertaining to play in solo and multiplayer and the power level is high enough to complete a wide variety of quests.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Folco Boffin (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
Frodo Baggins (A Shadow in the East)
Pippin (The Black Riders)

Contract (0)
1x Fellowship (A Shadow in the East)

Ally (28)
1x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
1x Ceorl (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Eldahir (The Thing in the Depths)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
1x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
2x Gaffer Gamgee (Mount Gundabad)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Ghân-buri-Ghân (The Flame of the West)
1x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Gléowine (Core Set)
1x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
3x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
1x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
1x Merry (A Shadow in the East)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Rosie Cotton (The Mountain of Fire)
2x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)

Attachment (5)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
1x The Arkenstone (The Withered Heath)
1x The One Ring (A Shadow in the East)

Event (18)
3x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
1x The Free Peoples (Beneath the Sands)
3x The Master Ring (A Shadow in the East)
2x The Shirefolk (Mount Gundabad)
3x Timely Aid (The Redhorn Gate)

3 Heroes, 51 Cards
Cards up to A Shadow in the East

Sideboard

Attachment (3)
3x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)

Event (6)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x The Ruling Ring (A Shadow in the East)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Fortress of Nurn 3 – May 8, 2022

Introduction

I’m giving RedSpiderr’s Dunedain deck one more shot. Once again I did Thurindir’s setup before scenario set up. If I have questing trouble again, it might be time to convert to a Bond of Friendship deck.

Dunedain take The Fortress of Nurn by RedSpiderr 

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Amarthiúl (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
Aragorn (The Lost Realm)
Thurindir (Race Across Harad)

Ally (25)
2x Andrath Guardsman (The Mûmakil)
2x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x East Road Ranger (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Fornost Bowman (The Dread Realm)
2x Guardian of Arnor (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
2x Northern Bowmaster (Under the Ash Mountains)
2x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
2x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Sarn Ford Sentry (The Lost Realm)
1x Thalion (Fire in the Night)
2x Vigilant Dúnadan (The Sands of Harad)
2x Warden of Annúminas (The Lost Realm)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (19)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
2x Heir of Valandil (The Lost Realm)
2x Legacy Blade (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
1x Round Shield (Mount Gundabad)
2x Stone of Elostirion (Under the Ash Mountains)
3x The Long Defeat (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Thorongil (The Fortress of Nurn)
1x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x Woodmen’s Clearing (The Withered Heath)

Event (4)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Feint (Core Set)

Player Side Quest (2)
1x Keep Watch (Beneath the Sands)
1x Prepare for Battle (The Mûmakil)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Fortress of Nurn

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Starting Hand after Mulligan

  • Warden of Annuminas
  • Thorongil
  • Celebrian’s Stone It turns out I didn’t need to put this in my hand. I got it on the mulligan
  • Feint
  • Ranger of Cardolan Yay, an ally with 2 willpower!
  • Heir of Valandil
  • Keep Watch added via Thurindir

Setup

  • Ulchor’s Guard engaged with me.
  • Thane Ulchor in the staging area
  • Covered by Darkness, Tower of Barad-dur, The Armies of Mordor and Under the Watchful Eye on each Storm the Castle side quest along with 8 cards from my deck.
  • Threat – 30

Turn 1

1.3 Draw

  • Armored Destrier

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Keep Watch

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Keep Watch

  • Thurindir
  • Aragorn
  • Total Quest Power = 4

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Fortress Walls
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 4

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • No progress but no threat gained.

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • Fortress Walls
  • Warden of Annuminas placed under the Storm the Castle with The Armies of Mordor under it

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Amarthuil
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – Deal 1 damage to Amarthuil (Ulchor’s Rage)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 1 (2 / 3)
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 31
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 2

1.3 Draw

  • Fornost Bowman

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Celebrian’s Stone on Aragorn

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Keep Watch

  • Thurindir
  • Aragorn
  • Total Quest Power = 6

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Under Guard
  • Thorongil put under the Storm the Castle with The Armies of Modor
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 1

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +5 Fortress Walls progress (5 / 6)

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • Feint Ulchor’s Guard to cancel his attack.

6.7 Player Attacks

6.8b Target – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.8b Attackers
    • Amarthuil
  • 6.8.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.8.2 Total Attack – 3
  • 6.8.3 Damage Dealt – 3
  • 6.8.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 32
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 3

1.3 Draw

  • Woodmen’s Clearing

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Woodmen’s Clearing on Fortress Walls
  • Ranger of Cardolan

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Keep Watch

  • Thurindir
  • Aragorn
  • Total Quest Power = 6

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Guard Dog
  • Ulchor’s Guard 2
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 4

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +1 Fortress Walls progress (6 / 6) and explore it.
  • Threat – 29
  • +1 Keep Watch progress (1 / 6)

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • Guard Dog
  • Deal 1 damage to Ranger of Cardolan
  • Ulchor’s Guard 2

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Guard Dog

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – none
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – +1 attack (Soldier of Nurn)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 3 to Thurindir
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard 1

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Ranger of Cardolan
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Plaza of Nurn)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none
  • Ranger of Cardolan destroyed.

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard 2

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – none
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Catacombs)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 4 assigned to Aragorn
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

It’s looking pretty dire already

6.7 Player Attacks

6.8b Target – Ulchor’s Guard 1

  • 6.8b Attackers
    • Amarthuil
  • 6.8.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.8.2 Total Attack – 3
  • 6.8.3 Damage Dealt – 3
  • 6.8.3 Action(s)
    • none
  • Target destroyed.

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 30
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 4

1.3 Draw

  • Stone of Elostirion, That won’t help right now.

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Heir of Valandil on Thurindir
  • Exhaust Heir of Valandil to play Fornost Bowman for 1

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Keep Watch

  • Thurindir
  • Aragorn
  • Total Quest Power = 6

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Plaza of Nurn
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 2

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +4 Keep Watch progress (5 / 6)
  • That’s so close. Maybe I can hang in there.

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none
  • I want to, but I really have to complete Keep Watch next turn or I’m toast. I need that +1 Willpower and -1 attack from enemies.

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Guard Dog

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Amarthuil
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Side Street)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 0
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Fornost Bowman
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – +0 attack (Easterling Mercenary)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 3
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none
  • Fornost Bowman destroyed.

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 31
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 5

1.3 Draw

  • Warden of Annuminas
  • I could almost play him. If I don’t complete Keep Watch or get another enemy in stagins that is game over man, game over.

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Armored Destrier on Amarthuil

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Keep Watch

  • Thurindir
  • Aragorn
  • Total Quest Power = 6

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Under Guard puts Plaza of Nurn 2 into staging.
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 3

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +3 Keep Watch progress (8 / 6) and add it to the victory display.

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none
  • Traveling will kill a hero so no.

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Guard Dog

  • 6.4b Action(s)

    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Amarthuil

  • 6.4.1 Action(s)

    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Fanaticism)

  • 6.4.2 Action(s)

    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 0

  • 6.4.3 Action(s)

    • none
  • Ready with destrier and discard shadow on Ulchor’s Guard.

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Amarthuil
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – N/A
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 0
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 32
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 6

1.3 Draw

  • Sarn Ford Sentry *Finally a card I’m really happy to see.*11

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Sarn Ford Sentry drawing Warden of Healing and Ranger of Cardolan
  • Warden of Annuminas with Heir of Valandil discount

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Stronghold of Mordor

  • Catacombs and The Armies of Mordor added to the Staging area.
  • Thurindir
  • Aragorn
  • Sarn Ford Sentry
  • Warden of Ammuninas
  • Total Quest Power = 11

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Guard Tower Wow! I can’t gain resources or draw cards while it is in staging. I don’t have a character to exhaust to travel to it. That really sucks.
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 9

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +2 Stronghold of Mordor progress (2 / 8)

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • Catacombs, If I don’t travel here, I don’t know that I will be able to quest next turn. Especially since I’m not getting resources or cards next turn.
  • Discard Ulchor’s Guard and put into play engaged with me.

I’m calling this one there. The deck if it can survive a few turns to get Keep Watch explored can start making headway at least. It feels like it needs a lot of luck to get there though. Only 1 copy of Celebrian’s Stone means a lot of opening hands that just can’t make it. Then it is a struggle to get a little more willpower going and hope that Amarthuil can defend enough attacks.

Yes, looking at RedSpiderr’s playthrough, he got lucky the first couple of turns. Unwelcome travelers so that Keep Watch was half completed turn 1. Then a 2 threat Soldier of Nurn for 3 staging area threat to complete it.

I think it is time to come up with a Bond of Friendship version of the deck. The list is pretty much there already with 1 or 2 copies of everything. Then it won’t be reliant on Celebrian’s Stone to be in the opening hand. It just won’t be thematic with all Dunedain. My inner Bilbo player is a little sad at this, but I plan on more Dunedain deck playing for Angmar Awakened too. I’ll have to break out of thematic play to do a Revised set minimum purchase there and might as well start getting into that headspace.

Reinforcements

  • Player Card Categories 
    • Mustering
    • Mono Sphere Required

It’s a double Sneak Attack!

Background

There is no flavor text to link the card to a specific event in the books. There are a few specific instances of reinforcements arriving it could relate to.

  1. The arrival of Dain and his dwarves from the Blue Hills to reinforce Thorin and his company at Erebor while besieged by the Men of Dale and Elves of Mirkwood.
  2. Gandalf, Erkenbrand, the Rohhrim they gathered, and the Hurons reinforcing Theoden at Helm’s Deep.
  3. The Rohirrim reinforcing Gondor at The Battle of Pelennor Fields.
  4. Also at The Battle of Pelennor Fields, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and the Gondor’s armies from the southern fiefdoms.

The art depicting Gondorian soliders is likely referring to the arrival of Aragorn with the southern fiefs’ armies.

Card Theme

Placing 2 allies into play definitely fits with more troops arriving to aid those already engaged in battle. Those troops leaving soon after seems a little of mismatch. More likely in a battle reinforcements would relieve the battle weary troops that they could fall back, rest, and rejoin the battle later. If the mechanism allowed returned any 2 allies controlled by the player that would be more thematic, but also incredibly more powerful.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Allies with Enters Play or Leaves Play Abilities

There are many allies with abilities that trigger when they enter and/or leave play. The effects they can provide encompasses just about anything a player could want to trigger. The Core Set gave players card draw, condition removal, direct location progress, direct damage, enemy engagement, direct damage, and threat reduction all as enters play abilities. It expanded over the years to include action advantage, card search, resource smoothing, resource acceleration, discard recursion, card search, encounter control, defense reduction, engagement control, and healing.

What sets this card apart from Sneak Attack is twofold. It brings in 2 allies and they don’t have to be from the same player. This can lead to some great coordinated effects. Meneldor and Woodland Courier can be used to explore a 5 quest point location. Marksman of Lorien can lower an enemy’s defense to improve the effectiveness can Knight of Minas Tirith‘s engage and attack ability. Mablung or Son of Arnor can pull down an extra enemy for Sarn Ford Sentry‘s card draw.

I’d be remiss without mentioning Core Set Gandalf because Reinforcements a double Sneak Attack, and Gandalf + Sneak Attack cemented Sneak Attack as a Leadership staple. Reinforcements + Gandalf alone isn’t quite the value that Sneak Attack is. Three Leadership resources to draw 3 cards, lower threat by 5, or deal 4 direct damage to an enemy and use Gandalf’s 4 willpower, attack, or defense for a phase still isn’t bad. For example, the threat reduction is on par with Favor of the Valar and only 1 less for Galadhrim’s Greeting. It is just not as great of value as the one cost Sneak Attack. The real value of Reinforcements + Gandalf is when played with Galadhrim Weaver.

Discard Recursion

Galadhrim Weaver easily enables recurring Reinforcements turn after turn. A player only needs to make sure to have 2 copies of Reinforcements. After playing the first one, play the second with Galadhrim Weaver to shuffle the first one back into the deck. It becomes more reliable as a player draws out their deck or if Galadhrim Minstrel is used to search the top 5 for the shuffled in copy. Tome of Atanatar is another option that is in sphere with Reinforcements. It is not quite as easy to get Reinforcements to recur endlessly since Second Breakfast is needed to get Tome to put Reinforcements back into the deck more than 3 times each game.

Triggered Abilities by Characters Entering or Leaving Play

Aside from the effects you can get back by putting 2 allies into play, there are some cards that trigger effects when one enters or leaves play. Valiant Sacrifice is one of the few options for card draw in Leadership. Tactics Eomer, Leadership Prince Imrahil, and Gwaihir heroes all benefit from Reinforcements being played to activate their attack boosting or readying effects. Eagles of the Misty Mountains like Eomer can gains additional combat power although getting the ally back to hand can be better in many situations. Defender of the Naith with its readying works well if a player plays Reinforcements during combat preferably after it had defended once.

A Very Good Tale

This card can basically have Reinforcements give a player 2 allies that will stick around longer than a phase. A player only needs to exhaust the 2 allies from Reinforcements for A Very Good Tale’s action. The player can use high cost allies and potentially get high cost allies because Reinforcements will put any 2 into play for 3 resources.

Readying

Using 2 high cost powerful allies for 1 phase is a pretty good deal. Using 2 high cost powerful allies twice in a round is even better. Narya can ready both allies put into play and boost their combat stats. Strength of Arms also can be a good possibility considering its 2 cost and also requires 3 Leadership heroes. Grim Resolve and The Free Peoples could also ready both allies, but are very expensive and unlikely to be played with a 3 cost event.

Nonbo – Play or Play from Hand

One distinction to watch for in the ability text of card is when it says “play” or “play from hand”. These will only trigger if player paid the card’s resource cost to play it from their hand. Putting the card into play which the rules considers different won’t trigger these abilities.

Nonbo – Ents

All the Ents enter play exhausted. Putting them into play means they can’t be used for anything besides as targets for direct damage effects. Quickbeam is the notable exception since he can be readied at the cost of 1 damage on himself.

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 Reinforcements at 5 rings. It can be very powerful when a deck is built around it. I’ve played some decks that recur it several times. They’re fun toolbox decks that can find an answer to what many quests throw at them. The 3 cost of the event itself often means that decks that focus on playing it don’t build up much of a board state without some resource acceleration.

The 3 cost and restriction that 3 heroes pay for it means it can’t just be slotted into any deck. While Sneak Attack can put a single ally into play for a single Leadership resource. This is much easier to include in a deck even if there is minimal Leadership resources.

Still it is a very multiplayer friendly card because the effect is not limited to the controlling player. Players that coordinate their decks in a fellowship can make the best use of this. Particularly with many running the non-unique Silvans and/or Eagles to double up on their enter play effects.

  • Joe – 7
  • Dave – 6
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – 3
  • Matt – 5
  • Average – 5.25

External Links

Sample Decks

Cirdan’s Support Group by The Purple Wizard

A multiplayer support deck that uses Reinforcements to put Beorn ally, Core Set Gandalf, Leadership Faramir ally, or Elrond ally into play wherever they’re needed.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Balin (On the Doorstep)
Círdan the Shipwright (The Grey Havens)
Théodred (Core Set)

Ally (15)
2x Beorn (Core Set)
2x Elrond (The Road Darkens)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller)
2x Imladris Stargazer (Foundations of Stone)

Attachment (22)
1x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x King Under the Mountain (On the Doorstep)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
3x Narya (The Grey Havens)
3x Silver Harp (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)
3x Tome of Atanatar (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (13)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Reinforcements (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
1x Second Breakfast (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x We Are Not Idle (Shadow and Flame)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Crossings of Poros

Sideboard

Hero (1)
Erkenbrand (The Antlered Crown)

Ally (7)
2x Ceorl (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Háma (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Northern Tracker (Core Set)

Event (4)
3x Legacy of Númenor (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Will of the West (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Fortress of Nurn 2 – May 8, 2022

Introduction

I’m back with another attempt at the Vengeance of Mordor climax! This time instead of taking mulligans until I have Celebrimbor’s Stone, I did Thurindir’s setup before scenario set up. I wanted to see if at least getting Keep Watch makes a big difference.

Dunedain take The Fortress of Nurn by RedSpiderr 

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Amarthiúl (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
Aragorn (The Lost Realm)
Thurindir (Race Across Harad)

Ally (25)
2x Andrath Guardsman (The Mûmakil)
2x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x East Road Ranger (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Fornost Bowman (The Dread Realm)
2x Guardian of Arnor (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
2x Northern Bowmaster (Under the Ash Mountains)
2x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
2x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Sarn Ford Sentry (The Lost Realm)
1x Thalion (Fire in the Night)
2x Vigilant Dúnadan (The Sands of Harad)
2x Warden of Annúminas (The Lost Realm)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (19)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
2x Heir of Valandil (The Lost Realm)
2x Legacy Blade (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
1x Round Shield (Mount Gundabad)
2x Stone of Elostirion (Under the Ash Mountains)
3x The Long Defeat (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Thorongil (The Fortress of Nurn)
1x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x Woodmen’s Clearing (The Withered Heath)

Event (4)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Feint (Core Set)

Player Side Quest (2)
1x Keep Watch (Beneath the Sands)
1x Prepare for Battle (The Mûmakil)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Fortress of Nurn

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Starting Hand after Mulligan

  • Heir of Valandil
  • Feint x2
  • A Test of Will
  • The Long Defeat
  • Fornost Bowman
  • Keep Watch added via Thurindir
  • I bent the rules on setup so we’ll see if Celebrian’s Stone is really a necessity or not this time. The lack of allies with Willpower will probably problems more than anything

Setup

  • Ulchor’s Guard engaged with me.
  • Thane Ulchor in the staging area
  • Covered by Darkness, Kabul the Easterling, The Armies of Mordor and Under the Watchful Eye on each Storm the Castle side quest along with 8 cards from my deck.
  • Threat – 30

Turn 1

1.3 Draw

  • Unexpected Courage

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Keep Watch
  • The Long Defeat on Keep Watch

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Keep Watch

  • Thurindir
  • Aragorn
  • Total Quest Power = 4

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Plaza of Nurn
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 2

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +2 Keep Watch progress (2 / 6)
  • I caught a little nice break there with a low threat location.

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none
  • I don’t want 5 quest points delaying getting Keep Watch completed.

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • none

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Amarthuil
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – Attack doesn’t destroy a character so it whiffs (Under Guard)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 1
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 31
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 2

1.3 Draw

  • Vigilant Dunadan

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Heir of Valadil on Thurindir

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Keep Watch

  • Thurindir
  • Aragorn
  • Total Quest Power = 4

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Unwelcome Travelers
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 3

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +1 Keep Watch progress (3 / 6)

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • Plaza of Nurn
  • I don’t think I can afford to have 3 threat in the staging area now especially as I don’t have a good questing ally yet.
  • 1 damage to Thurindir (1 / 4)

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Ulchor’s Guard

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Amarthuil
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – Discard Heir of Valandil (The Dark Lord’s Reach)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 1 (2 / 3)
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 32
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 3

1.3 Draw

  • Armored Destrier

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • none
  • I could put out the Bowman to chump but I have 2 Fients which seems better here to let Aragorn still quest and hope I get a better card on the card next turn. Still I’m not clearing the active location this turn no matter what. Even if I had Celebrian’s Stone I would have lost it last turn. I really need an East Road Ranger or Sarn Ford Sentry for some willpower ASAP.

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Main Quest

  • All heroes
  • Total Quest Power = 5

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Guard Dogs
  • Mordor Olag-hai
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 6

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • Threat – 33

I’m going to concede there. I just don’t have the willpower to get through the Olag-hai’s threat. It’s too strong for my heroes to deal with right now. I’ll get one ally next turn hopefully and it is just not enough.

Postmortem

I’m having a lot of concerns about the early game play of this deck. I’ll try it once more starting with Celebrian’s Stone and Keep Watch, but I’m not optimistic.

The Great Hunt

  • Cycle
    • Ered Mithren
  • Set
    • Fate of the Wilderland
  • Player Card Categories 
    • Mono Sphere Required

The Great Ship Killer!

Background

The picture of the White Hart and the flavor text refer to in The Hobbit when an deer knocks Bombur into the enchanted stream. Shortly after they hear a great hunt going on. Knowing Tolkien’s interest in Western and Northern European folklore, this is likely a reference to The Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt is a type of mythological story common in Northern Europe with a hunting party comprised of Gods or supernatural beings.

The more direct reference is to the White Hart most notably appearing in Arthurian Legend. The Hart is hunted by King Arthur and his knights but has an uncanny ability to evade them.

The appearance of the White Hart, the implications of Mirkwood as a magical place with the enchanted stream, and similarity in name are why I think Tolkien alludes to The Wild Hunt. It also fits with his interest in mythology and attempting to create a mythological stories with The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.

Card Theme

The effect of destroying a non-unique enemy matches the idea of a great hunt that would culminate in the death of the pursued creature. It doesn’t match the passing reference to the possibility of a great hunt proposed by Bilbo and the Dwarves in The Hobbit. Especially as they do not kill the deer and the White Hart also has a great ability to elude hunters in legend.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Resource Smoothing

The nice part about this card compared to previous cards that require mono-sphere is it doesn’t require the printed resource icon on each hero like Strength of Arms or Advanced Warning. Song of Wisdom or A Good Harvest can make it possible to play The Great Hunt. Any heroes or unique allies with Messenger of the King that also have a Lore hero version with Thorongil can pay for The Great Hunt. Galadriel and Aragorn can also gain Lore through Nenya and Ring of Barahir. This makes it a bit more flexible than the Against the Shadow cycle mono-sphere cards.

Cost Reduction

The drawback to this version of mono-sphere card, is the 3 resources have to be paid. All cost reduction cards then cannot combo or a nonbo with The Great Hunt. It is especially unfortunate for Hobbit decks considering A Good Meal and Leaf Brooch are great cost reduction options.

Low Threat Heroes and Engagement Control

The second reason that it unfortunate the Hobbit cost reduction is a nonbo is the advantage of putting The Great Hunt in a low starting threat deck. The Great Hunt can only target an enemy in the staging area, but it can only be played after engagements during the combat phase. Hobbit heroes in particular work well because they’re all fairly low starting threat. Folco Boffin that is a Lore hero helps keep them even lower since he can be 4 threat with 2 other Hobbit heroes. The Shirefolk is a great threat reduction card that lowers threat slightly more than Elrond’s Counsel and still costs 0. In other mono-Lore builds Woodmen’s Clearing or Lore Aragorn are going to be the best threat reduction options.

Lore isn’t limited to just threat reduction for controlling engagements. Advanced Warning was mentioned earlier that lets the player skip engagement checks for a phase. Lore also cards that increase engagement costs of enemies with Lore Pippin hero, Take No Notice, and Mablung ally.

Scroll of Isildur

Scroll of Isildur is the best combo with The Great Hunt. This allows players to possibly play each copy 3 times in a game. That is up 9 non-unique enemies just discarded from play. The recursion can be taken further with Erebor Hammersmith or Second Breakfast to bring Scroll of Isildur back from the discard pile. That is not far fetched considering how much card draw Lore has available between Drinking Song, Daeron’s Runes, Mithrandir’s Advice, Peace and Thought, Deep Knowledge and more.

Quest Specific

The game even since the beginning of the game has made strong non-unique enemies. Most notoriously is the Hill Troll players have in the staging area at the start of Journey Along the Anduin. The Great Hunt can get rid of it right away. Marsh Adder in the Wilderlands encounter set can also make an appearance in Journey and it is not easy to deal with its fairly high 7 hit points. Chieftain Ufthak similarly has tough defense and hit points compared to most other enemies in the core set. Both are better to not engage as each attack they make increases a player’s threat or their attack. Most surprising, however, is that the Nazgul of Dol Guldur in Escape from Dol Guldur is not unique and vulnerable to The Great Hunt. Discarding it and not risking having to discard an ally due its second forced effect is a great value.

Another good target for The Great Hunt are Mumaks. They’re often not unique but very strong with a lot of hit points. On top of that they have a limit on how much damage they can take each round. The Great Hunt bypasses that limitation and gets rid of the Mumak in a single round!

Intruders in Chetwood in the Angmar Awakened cycle sets up using The Great Hunt very well. First of all the quest, makes it so there are no engagement checks perfect for setting up targets. Second, the quest starts with an Orc War Party in play. It is a strong enemy that prevents enemies in the staging are from taking damage and the players from winning the game. There is also another strong orc enemy, Angmar Captain that is better to not to engage if at all possible. It’s forced effect can make it attack twice in a single combat with its 5 attack! Both enemies have 3 threat which is not easy to just quest over. Reducing staging area threat by 3 is going to help questing more than playing most allies since few have 3 or more willpower.

The best value for The Great Hunt is discarding ship enemies. This is because many of them have the Boarding keyword. Boarding X says, “When a ship-enemy with the Boarding keyword engages a player from the staging area, reveal the top X cards from the Corsair Deck and put the revealed enemies into play, engaged with that player.” Discarding a ship enemy then not only gets rid of 1 enemy engagement, but often times 2, 3, or even 4 enemy engagements. Ship enemies only appear in Voyage Across Belegaer, Flight of the Stormcaller, A Storm on Cobas Haven, A City of Corsairs, and The Hunt for the Dreadnaught. In those 5 scenarios, it can do a lot of work.

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 The Great Hunt at 5 rings. The effect can be incredibly powerful. In some scenarios, it can make them much, much easier. The core set offers the earliest examples of this with advancement of quest prevented by Hill Troll in Joureny Along the Anduin and the Nazgul in Escape from Dol Guldur. Normal strategy would be to build up to deal those enemies in combat. The Great Hunt offers an alternative. There are a couple scenarios like Intruders in Chetwood and Dungeons of Cirith Gurat where enemies don’t make engagement checks and having other ways to get them out of play is very useful. Lastly, getting rid of ship enemies with Boarding is just amazing value.

That all said, the requirement to pay for The Great Hunt from 3 different heroes resource pools is limiting. It doesn’t necessarily require 3 Lore heroes to play since resource smoothing does work to fulfil the requirement. It does mean it can’t be played in a Grey Wanderer deck and cost reduction is not an option. The cost reduction nonbo is an issue for mono-Lore. Lore doesn’t have much resource acceleration available unless playing secrecy for Resourceful and/or Grima. Outside mono-Lore then there is a bit of additional setup required with the smoothing to be able to play it. It also is just an event. Even if Lore has a ways to recur it a substantial number of times. It will discard one enemy per turn. A strong attacker with a few attachments could achieve the same effect without the 3 resources per turn cost.

I’ve found it to be a good effective card for solo or multiplayer. It just doesn’t see widespread play because of the cost and requirement to pay the cost from 3 different heroes resource pools.

  • Dave – 3
  • Grant – 5
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 5
  • Average – 4.33

External Links

Sample Decks

Victory via a Burglary Side Quest by Matt Kell aka kattattack22

Questing deck for multiplayer leveraging the willpower boosting on Treebeard, Thurindir, and Rossiel in early to mid game. While also providing some encounter control with victory display events.

Burglar’s Turn provides some strong attachments to further boost willpower and comabt ability. Many can be easily passed out to other players.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Rossiel (Escape from Mount Gram)
Thurindir (Race Across Harad)
Treebeard (The Treason of Saruman)

Contract (0)
1x The Burglar’s Turn (Wrath and Ruin)

Ally (28)
3x East Road Ranger (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
2x Ghân-buri-Ghân (The Flame of the West)
2x Gléowine (Core Set)
2x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
2x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
3x Mirkwood Explorer (The Thing in the Depths)
2x Mirkwood Hunter (The Ghost of Framsburg)
2x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Robin Smallburrow (The Drowned Ruins)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x Wellinghall Preserver (Across the Ettenmoors)

Event (21)
3x Gildor’s Counsel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Leave No Trace (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x None Return (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Out of the Wild (Road to Rivendell)
3x The Door is Closed! (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x The Great Hunt (The Fate of Wilderland)
3x The Hidden Way (The Withered Heath)

Player Side Quest (3)
1x Explore Secret Ways (Race Across Harad)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)
1x Scout Ahead (The Wastes of Eriador)

3 Heroes, 52 Cards
Cards up to Wrath and Ruin

Sideboard

Attachment (14)
1x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
1x Durin’s Axe (Wrath and Ruin)
1x Elven Mail (The Three Trials)
1x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Glamdring (Roam Across Rhovanion)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
1x Mirkwood Long-knife (The Sands of Harad)
1x Mithril Shirt (The Fate of Wilderland)
1x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Orcrist (Fire in the Night)
1x Ring of Barahir (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Stone of Elostirion (Under the Ash Mountains)
1x The Arkenstone (The Withered Heath)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Greatest Hunt by Seastan

A low threat mono-Lore deck dedicated to recurring The Great Hunt. Resource acceleration and card draw ensures it has everything to keep the recursion going. I’ve done something similar with Marcelf’s Love of Drinking Song sideboarding in The Great Hunt. It is highly effective.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Bilbo Baggins (The Hunt for Gollum)
Folco Boffin (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
Pippin (The Black Riders)

Ally (16)
3x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
2x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
1x Gaffer Gamgee (Mount Gundabad)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
1x Guardian of Ithilien (The City of Corsairs)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
1x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Robin Smallburrow (The Drowned Ruins)
1x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
1x Wellinghall Preserver (Across the Ettenmoors)

Attachment (12)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Scroll of Isildur (The Morgul Vale)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)

Event (22)
3x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Bartering (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear)
3x The Great Hunt (The Fate of Wilderland)
3x The Shirefolk (Mount Gundabad)
1x Will of the West (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Fate of Wilderland

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Into Ithilien with Mono-Tactics- May 5, 2019

Introduction

I haven’t attempted Fortress of Nurn yet again. I promise another attempt is coming. Until then here’s another older playthrough.

Mono-Spirit got crushed pretty handily in my last 2 games. I decided to give Mono-Tactics a shot at this quest and see if it would do better.

Decklist

Hero (3)
Aragorn (The Lost Realm)
Beregond (Heirs of Númenor)
Éowyn (The Flame of the West)

Ally (30)
2x Bofur (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Defender of Rammas (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains (Return to Mirkwood)
2x Grimbold (The Flame of the West)
1x Guthlaf (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Knight of Minas Tirith (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Knights of the Swan (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Landroval (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
3x Winged Guardian (The Hunt for Gollum)

Attachment (11)
3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Horn of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Rivendell Bow (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)

Event (9)
3x Feint (Core Set)
3x Gondorian Discipline (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
3x Sterner than Steel (The Flame of the West)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards

Deck built on RingsDB.

Play by Play

Attempt 1

Starting hand: LegolasSterner than SteelEagles of the Misty MountainsKnight of Minas TirithDúnedain HunterGondorian Shield

Turn 1: draw Dagger of WesternesseGondorian Shield played on BeregondKnight of Minas Tirith played, engaged Southron Company, and knight attacks for 3 damage. Eowyn and Celador quests for 3. Morgul Spider revealed and gains +3 attack until the end of the round. Questing no progress and no threat gained. Spider engages. Aragorn defends vs the Southron Company taking 4 damage thanks to a shadow card and battle quest boost. Beregond defends vs the Spider taking 1 damage. Shadow gives it another attack but cancel it with Sterner than Steel exhausting Gondorian Shield. Use Eowyn’s ability to ready and give her 10 attack. Then kill the spider. Refresh to 32.

Turn 2: draw Sterner than Steel. Play Dagger of Westernesse on Aragorn. Eowyn and Celador quest for 3. Eowyn removed from the quest due to Lost Companion treachery. 2 progress made on Ithilien Road. Beregond defends vs Southorn Company, shadow adds 2 attack resulting in 1 damage to Beregond. Aragorn attacks and kills Southron Company. Refresh to 33.

Turn 3 draw Vassal of the Windlord. Play Legolas and Vassal of the Windlord. Eowyn, knight, Legolas, and Celador quest for 9. Southron Support raised my 3 threat by 3 and added Southron Merecenaries to the staging area. Ithilien Road cleared and 5 progress placed on the quest. Merecenaries engaged and 1 archery damage placed on the knight. Beregond defends, shadow removes 2 progress from the quest, and no damage dealt. Aragorn and Legolas attack for 7 killing the Merecenaries and drawing Landroval. Refresh to 37.

Turn 4 draw Horn of Gondor and play on Eowyn. Vassal, Eowyn, Celador, and knight quest for 9. Treachery deals one damage to each questing character which kills vassal. Celador takes another damage and Eowyn gains a resource for vassal leaving play. Surge revealed Morgul Spider which gets +3 attack until the end of the round. 3 progress on the quest. Spider engaged. Beregond defends shadow would deal 1 damage but canceled with Sterner than Steel. Beregond takes 1 damage. Aragorn and Legolas attack for 7 to kill the spider and draw Feint. Refresh to 38.

Turn 5 draw Legolas ally. Play Landroval. Play Dúnedain Hunter and put Forest Bat into play enraged with me. Landroval, hunter, Eowyn, Celador quest for 9. Southron Support raises threat to 41 and Merecenaries added to the staging area. 7 progress added to the quest. 1 archery damage to Landroval. Legolas defends vs the bat, shadow raises threat to 42,and no damage dealt. Beregond defends vs mercenaries, shadow is Mumak for no effect, and no damage dealt! Aragorn and knight attack Merecenaries for 7 killing them. Refresh to 43.

Turn 6 draw a Feint. Play Eagles of the Misty Mountains. Landroval, hunter, Eowyn, Celador quest for 9. Treachery raised threat to 46 and surges. Lost Companion removes Eowyn from the quest but 8 progress completes stage 1B bypassing stage 2 thanks to Celador. Beregond defends vs the bats. Shadow is Ithilien Guardian that deals 2 damage to the bats killing them. Refresh to 47.

Turn 7 draw Winged Guardian and play it. Quest for 13 with Eowyn, Celador, Aragorn, Landroval, hunter, Legolas, and Eagles of the Misty Mountains. Southron Company revealed. 12 progress placed on the quest completing 3b. Stage 4b forced effect will threat me out at the end of the turn.

Attempt 2

Starting hand – Secret VigilSterner than SteelDagger of WesternesseDefender of RammasDúnedain HunterGondorian Shield.

Turn 1 draw Eagles of the Misty Mountains. Play Secret Vigil on Southron Company, Dagger of Westernesse on Aragorn, and Gondorian Shield on Beregond. Eowyn and Celador quest for 3. Morgul Spider revealed gaining +2 attack for the round. Eowyn readys and gains plus 9 attack to clear Ithilien Road and 3 progress on the quest. Spider engages. Beregond defends vs the spider, shadow adds 2 attack resulting in 2 damage. Eowyn and Aragorn attack the spider for 5 killing it. Aragorn’s ability used to engage Southron Company. Refresh to 32.

Turn 2 draw Winged Guardian. Play Defender of Rammas. Eowyn and Celador quest for 3. Southron Merecenaries revealed resulting in 1 quest progress. Archery damage of 1 dealt to Aragorn. Beregond defends vs the company, shadow would remove 3 progress from the quest but cancelled with Sterner than Steel. Beregond does not take damage. Aragorn attacks the company for 5 killing it. Secret Vigil reduces threat to 31. Aragorn engages the Merecenaries with his response. Refresh to 32.

Turn 3 draw Gondorian Discipline. Play Eagles of the Misty Mountains. Eowyn and Celador quest for 3. Ithilien Guard added to the staging area increasing quest power to 5 but surges. Secluded Glade added to the staging area resulting in 2 quest progress. Travel to Secluded Glade. Archery damage of 1 dealt to eagles. Beregond defends vs mercenaries. Shadow is Mumak for no effect! Aragorn attacks Merecenaries for 5 killing them. Refresh to 33.

Turn 4 draw Eagles of the Misty Mountains. Play Winged Guardian and Dúnedain Hunter. Southron Company picked and engaged with me due to the hunter. Eowyn, defender, and the rangers quest for 6. Forest bat deals 2 damage to Eowyn removing her from the quest. Secluded glade explored and 1 progress placed on the quest. Forest bat engages. Beregond defends vs the Southron Company, shadow removes 3 quest progress. Eagles of the misty mountains defends vs the bats, shadow is Southron Support for no effect and no damage! Aragorn attacks the company for 5 killing it. Hunter attacks the bats for 3 killing them. Refresh to 34.

Turn 5 draw Feint. Play Eagles of the Misty Mountains number 2. Both Eagles of the misty mountains, hunter, defender, and the rangers quest for 10. Lost companion removes defender from the quest placing 9 progress on the quest. Refresh to 35.

Turn 6 draw Winged Guardian number 2 and play it. Defender, hunter, and the rangers quest for 8. Southron company added to the staging area resulting in 5 progress on the quest, completing it, advancing to 3B. Refresh to 36.

Turn 7 draw Knight of Minas Tirith and play it. Knight ability engages and attacks Southron Company for 3 damage. The rangers, hunter, Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Aragorn, and Eowyn quest for 15. Forest bats deal 2 damage to Aragorn and remove him from the quest. 12 progress is placed on the quest completing 3B. Forest bats engage. Beregond defends vs the company taking no damage but shadow gives it another attack. Second attack blocked with Feint. Defender of Rammas defends vs bats, shadow adds 1 attack but still no damage dealt. Refresh to 38 due to 4B forced effect.

Turn 8 draw Gondorian Shield and play it on Eowyn. Quest with everyone for 31. Ithilien Guardian added to the staging area and committed to the quest. Questing power is now 32. Watcher in the woods revealed raising threat by 13 to 51 causing me to threat out.

Into Ithilien with Mono-Spirit – April 13, 2019

Introduction

In lieu of a card review, here are more games from when I started writing down everything I did during the game instead. It’s more free form than my current format with all the phases and action windows specified.

After Mono-Spirit did so well with Peril in Pelargir, I jumped right into the next quest. I was about to find out why people rate this quest so high in difficulty.

Decklist

Hero (3)
Arwen Undómiel (The Dread Realm)
Caldara (The Blood of Gondor)
Eleanor (Core Set)

Ally (31)
2x Damrod (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Dwalin (On the Doorstep)
1x Elfhelm (The Dead Marshes)
3x Emery (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Háma (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Lórien Guide (Core Set)
3x Pelargir Shipwright (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Prince Imrahil (The Flame of the West)
3x Warden of Annúminas (The Lost Realm)
3x Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm)

Attachment (6)
3x Blood of Númenor (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)

Event (13)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
1x Fortune or Fate (Core Set)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
2x Will of the West (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards

Deck built on RingsDB.

Play by Play

Attempt 1

Starting Hand: Will of the WestA Test of WillPrince ImrahilZigil MinerElven-light, and Warden of Annúminas.

Turn 1: draw The Galadhrim’s Greeting. Play Zigil Miner and use ability for Eleanor choosing 3. Emery and Blood of Númenor discarded for 1 resource. Discard Imrahil for 1 resource on Arwen. Discard Caldara to bring out Imrahil and Emery. No one sent on the quest. Blocking Wargs revealed and dealing 1 age to Celador and surges into Overgrown Trail. Threat raised by 5 and Celador takes a damage. Southron Company engages and attacks. Emery defends. Shadow adds 3 attack and Southron Company kills Emery. Everyone attacks dealing 3 damage. Refresh to 30 threat.

Turn 2: I draw Blood of Númenor and play it on Eleanor. I discard Elven-light for a resource on Arwen. I use Arwen and Imrahil’s resources to play Warden of Annúminas. Warden and Celador quest for 4. Ithilien Guardian added to the staging area bring quest power to 6 and surges. Morgul Spider added to the staging area and gains 4 attack for his when revealed effect and brings total staging area threat to 7. Threat raised to 31 and Celador takes a damage and is out of the game. Spider engages and shadow cards are dealt. Activate Blood of Numenor to give Eleanor 2 more defense. She defends vs Southron Company. Shadow adds 3 attack killing Eleanor. Miner defends vs the Spider and dies. Shadow gives the spider another attack and I scoop.

Attempt 2

Starting hand: EmeryThe Galadhrim’s GreetingHasty StrokeDamrodSword-thain x2

Turn 1: I draw Lórien Guide. I play Emery discarding Ethir SwordsmanDwalin, and Will of the West off the top. I discard Damrod for a resource. Play Sword-thain on Emery. I discard Caldara to put Dwalin, swordsman, and Damrod into play. Only Celador quests for 2. Southron Company added to staging area for 6 threat. Raise threat by 4 to 28. Celador takes 1 damage. The Southrons engage. Dwalin defends first, no shadow but still dies. Celador takes a damage. Swordsman defends next. Shadow removes the nonexistent quest progress. Swordsman dies and Celador removed from the game. Everyone else attacks a Southron company dealing 4 damage. Refresh to 29 threat.

Turn 2: I draw The Galadhrim’s Greeting. I play Lórien Guide. No one sent on the quest. Treachery would increase threat by number of questing characters and it surges. Secluded Glade added to the staging area. Threat raised to 32. Damrod defends first. Shadow deals a damage to Damrod and then he dies to the 5 attack. Lorien Guide defends next. No shadow but it dies to the attack anyway. The heroes attacks and kill one company. Refresh to 33 threat.

Turn 3: I draw Lórien Guide and play it. No one quests. Overgrown Trail added to staging area. Threat raised to 39. Guide defends and dies. Heroes attack dealing 2 damage.

Turn 4: I draw Elven-light and discard it for a resource. Then play it to draw a card. I draw Fortune or Fate. I scoop because I’m falling too far behind the encounter deck.

Peril in Pelargir with Mono-Spirit – April 13, 2019

Introduction

I haven’t had a chance to attempt Fortress of Nurn again yet. Here are more games from when I started writing down everything I did during the game instead. It’s more free form than my current format with all the phases and action windows specified.

I knew I wanted to use a mono-sphere deck, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use Mono-Tactics or Mono-Spirit. I started with Mono-Tactics because I liked the idea of Mono-Tactics more. I suspected, however, that Mono-Spirit would be more successful. I decided I would play both against the first couple of scenarios to see which is really better.

Decklist

Hero (3)
Arwen Undómiel (The Dread Realm)
Caldara (The Blood of Gondor)
Eleanor (Core Set)

Ally (31)
2x Damrod (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Dwalin (On the Doorstep)
1x Elfhelm (The Dead Marshes)
3x Emery (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Háma (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Lórien Guide (Core Set)
3x Pelargir Shipwright (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Prince Imrahil (The Flame of the West)
3x Warden of Annúminas (The Lost Realm)
3x Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm)

Attachment (6)
3x Blood of Númenor (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)

Event (13)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
1x Fortune or Fate (Core Set)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
2x Will of the West (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards

Deck built on RingsDB.

Play by Play

Attempt 1

Turn 1: I draw Gandalf. I play Zigil Miner and Blood of Númenor on Eleanor. I discard Prince Imrahil for a resource on Arwen. Exhaust Zigil Miner naming 3. The Galadhrim’s Greeting and Hasty Stroke discarded netting one resource on Eleanor. I use the remaining resources to play Lórien Guide. Lorien Guide and Arwen quest for 2. Staging adds Zealous Traitor and Lossarnach Bandit to the staging area. Threat increases by 5. All enemies engage killing Zigil Miner due to traitor’s forced effect. I scoop realizing I’ll lose a hero to an undefended attack.

Attempt 2

Turn 1: I draw Sword-thain. I play Zigil Miner and use his ability on Eleanor calling 3. Emery and Warden of Annúminas discarded and 1 resource added. I discard Prince Imrahil to add a resource to Arwen Undómiel. Then use Caldara to put Imrahil and the warden into play. Then play Pelargir Shipwright. No one sent to quest. Treachery discarded for the Leaping Fish’s forced effect. Then Harbor Store house added to the staging area. Threat raised by 3 for failing to quest and Harbor Thug engages. Warden defends, no shadow revealed, and takes 1 damage. Everyone else attacks killing the thug. Refresh to 28 threat.

Turn 2: I draw The Galadhrim’s Greeting. I discard Elven-light for a resource. I play another warden. I send the heroes on the quest for 4. Collateral Damage discarded to Leaping Fish and Harbor Thug added to the staging area. 1 progress placed on Leaping Fish. Thug engages and attacks. Damaged warden defends,no shadow, and takes one damage. Remaining allies attack and kill thug. Refresh to 29.

Turn 3: I draw Lórien Guide and play it. I quest with the guide, both wardens and Imrahil for 7. Leaping Fish discards another Collateral Damage. City Street surges into Collateral Damage. I discard 6 encounter cards 2 of which are locations raising my threat by 4 to 32. Harbor Storehouse triggers as well adding 2 more for 34. 3 threat in the staging area means 4 progress placed on Leaping Fish plus the one from the guide exploring it. I travel to City Street. I exhaust Zigil Miner for Eleanor calling 3. Háma and Blood of Númenor discarded for 1 resource. Refresh to 35 threat.

Turn 4: I draw Háma and play him. I quest with Arwen, Imrahil, the wardens, guide, and shipwright for 9 and 1 progress on City Street. Harbor Thug added to staging area. City Street and quest gain 1 and 5 progress, respectively. City Street is explored. I travel to Harbor Storehouse. Thug engages and attacks. Hama defends, no shadow, takes 1 damage. Use Zigil Miner on Eleanor calling 3. Dwalin and Elven-light discarded for 1 resource. Refresh to 36 threat.

Turn 5: I draw and play Blood of Númenor on Eleanor. I also play another Zigil Miner. I quest with Arwen, guide, shipwright, both miners, and Hama for 7 and 1 progress on the Harbor Storehouse. Lurking Shadows returns Harbor Thug to the staging area. Storehouse and quest gain 3 and 2 progress, respectively. Storehouse explored and Stage 1b completed. Alcaron’s Scroll attached to Thug once stage 2b is revealed. Thug engages and attacks. Activate Eleanor’s Blood of Númenor for +2 defense and defend. Shadow discards the 2 resources on Eleanor, but no damage dealt. The wardens attack and kill the thug. Imrahil exhausts to get the scroll. Refresh to 37 threat.

Turn 6: I draw Gandalf. Exhaust one Zigil Miner for Eleanor choosing 3. Lorien Guide and Will of the West discarded for 1 resource. I discard Sword-thain for a resource on Arwen. Play Gandalf. Then send everyone to the quest for 17. Pelargir Docks added during staging for 4 threat. I make 13 progress completing stage 2b. I choose to add a Harbor Thug to the staging area for revealing 3a. I travel to the docks. Thug engages and attacks. Gandalf defends taking no damage but Blood of Númenor discarded because of the shadow card. Refresh to 40 keeping Gandalf in play.

Turn 7: I draw Sword-thain. Then send everyone questing for 19 and 1 progress on the docks. A Pelargir docks is added during staging. The active location is explored with 2 more progress. The quest gains 13 progress. I travel to the new docks. Thug attacks and Gandalf defends. No damage but I lose all resources. Refresh to 43 keeping Gandalf.

Turn 8: I draw a shipwright and play a The Galadhrim’s Greeting to reduce threat to 37. Then send everyone to quest for 19 and a progress on the active location again. Local Trouble is attached to Arwen, but I put 17 progress on the quest to win.

Score = 37 + 8 + 0 + 8*10 – 3 = 122

Gwaihir (Hero)

  • Player Card Categories 
    • Enters Play
    • Leaves Play

The art doesn’t show him with a tiny crown, but the card demonstrates why he deserves it.

Background

Gwaihir is the most prominent Eagle of the Misty Mountains which are the descendants of Manwe’s servants in the First and Second Ages, the Great Eagles. He is only one of three Eagles to be named in the trilogy along with Landroval and Meneldor. The first mention of Gwaihir is when Gandalf explains to Frodo how he was rescued from Orthanc. His second mention is in yet another Gandalf telling tale of his exploits this time to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. This one relating that Gwaihir carried him from the mountaintop where he slew the Balrog after being returned to life to Lothlorien and then did some scouting for him along the River Anduin. Gwaihir makes his third appearance as one of the three eagles to fly to Fields of Cormallen and eventually Mount Doom to rescue Sam and Frodo after The One Ring’s destruction.

Card Theme

The readying Gwaihir whenever an Eagle enters or leaves play as Gwaihir preparing to swoop down on some enemies right after another eagle gets out of the way. It could also show Gwaihir being a lead from the front type of leader to the Eagles. He’s not going to let them go in alone against the forces the Shadow. He’s going to be right there with them divebombing the orcs.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Eagle Allies

The more Eagle allies you or the other players run in your decks, the more times you can ready Gwahir. The primary ones for this are Eagle Emissary, Vassel of the Winglord, Wilyador, and Winged Guardian since they can discard themselves. This also synergizes well with returning Descendent of Thorondor and Meneldor to hand with Born Aloft, Meneldor’s Flight, or Flight of the Eagles to maximize their enter and leave play effects.

Put Ally into Play

Another way to ready Gwaihir is to just put the Eagle allies into play. Sneak Attack from the core set is the staple card of this effect. It works great for a combat phase ready especially if Gwaihir committed to the quest. The ally is put into play to ready Gwaihir and he’ll ready at the end of combat when the ally is returned. Horns! Horns! Horns! is a Doomed alternative, but then it shuffles the ally into the deck rather than returning it to the player’s hand. Gwaihir’s Debt offers an is in sphere option to ready him twice in combat. The requirement to have an Istari and Eagle in play can be a little restrictive unless using hero Radagast, Gandalf, or Saruman. It’s also not as consistent since it is from the top 5 of the deck.

More general ally mustering cards like A Very Good Tale, Send for Aid, Timely Aid, Vilya, and The Red Arrow can also help get another Eagle ally into play. Like Gwaihir’s Debt, they are not as reliable since it is possible to whiff if there isn’t one near the top of the deck.

Stand and Fight also offers a way to put an Eagle ally into play outside the planning phase. Akin to the ally mustering effects, the ally won’t necessarily leave play triggering another ready. It does have the added bonus of being able to bring back one of the self discarding Eagles.

Unrestricted Attachments

Gwaihir’s constant effect keeps him from readying in the refresh phase is drawback to offset his readying ability. Unexpected Courage can offset this drawback and help Gwaihir function in the mid to late game if the supply of Eagle allies runs short.

Gwaihir’s other constant effect that he can’t have restricted attachments and his biggest drawback compared to other Tactics heroes. Tactics has the most restricted attachments of any of the spheres and most are centered on making characters better in combat. Gwaihir has a strong attack with decent defense and hit points, but he is prohibited from many of the best attachments to increase them. There are still a few options to help him be a better defender and attacker. Ent Draught, Self Preservation, and Lembas can give him some additional hit points and healing to help survive attacks with just his base defense. Dunedain Warning even with just one copy attached gets his defense up to 4 and on par with Beregond. Dunedain Mark gives a way to boost his attack further. He can even wield the Black Arrow to gain +5 for a single attack. He probably has to carry the arrow in his talons and just release it at target during a swoop down to “launch” it, but it could work. These few options, however, aren’t the best way to boost his attack and defense.

Support of the Eagles

Support of the Eagles is the best unrestricted attachment for Gwaihir. It is in-sphere. The bonus it gives is based on an Eagle ally’s stats so it synergizes already running many Eagle allies. The bonus lasts until the end of the phase meaning it can be exhausted at the beginning of combat to get a boost from Vassel of the Winglord, Wilyador, or Winged Guardian. Those allies can be used then to block or attack. Timed just right, this can give let Gwaihir defend and attack several times in a single combat phase. For example, Gwaihir could defend an enemy, then Winged Guardian defends another, the Guardian leaves play, Gwaihir readies, Gwaihir attacks an enemy, Vassel of the Winglord attacks another enemy, Vassel is discarded, Gwaihir readies, and is ready to attack another enemy. Even if there isn’t another enemy engaged with the Gwaihir player, he has ranged to attack across the table.

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’m going to rate Gwaihir at 4 rings. My initial rating for him was 5 because he’s a better multiplayer hero. I have played him solo and he is fine with enough Eagle allies and at least one Unexpected Courage that he can consistently ready at least once a turn. He is a hero you really need to build around. It effectively limits him to Eagle decks which tend to be low on willpower and combat oriented. In true solo, where the deck needs to handle all aspects of the quest can be too limiting. That he has both Ranged and Sentinel reinforces that he is stronger in a multiplayer setting. In multiplayer especially if another player also has Eagle allies, he can be incredibly good.

What pushed him into a 4 for me is the fun factor. He introduces a lot of interesting timing decisions to the Eagle archetype. Smart play with cards like Sneak Attack and Gwaihir’s Debt can make Gwaihir play like pre-errata Tactics Boromir. This really makes Eagles play a bit more like Silvans with the Eagles swooping in and out of play. Late game with a built up Eagles of the Misty Mountains and a Support of the Eagles, Gwaihir can take some beefy enemies alone. He’s a really fun hero for fans of Eagles and those that want to capitalize on them leaving play besides just with Eagles of the Misty Mountains.

  • Dave – 3
  • Grant – 5
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 4
  • Matthew Dempsey – 1

External Links

Sample Decks

Slippery… Eagles? by Dave Walsh

Eagle deck designed to benefit from them entering and leaving play with Gwaihir and Tactic Eomer. Leadership Frodo provides a way to ready Gwaihir if needed.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Éomer (The Voice of Isengard)
Frodo Baggins (A Shadow in the East)
Gwaihir (The Land of Sorrow)

Ally (18)
3x Descendant of Thorondor (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Eagle Emissary (The Land of Sorrow)
3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains (Return to Mirkwood)
2x Meneldor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
2x Radagast (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
2x Wilyador (The Land of Sorrow)

Attachment (18)
2x Gúthwinë (The Mountain of Fire)
2x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
2x Rod of the Steward (Flight of the Stormcaller)
2x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Strength and Courage (The City of Ulfast)
2x Support of the Eagles (Return to Mirkwood)
1x The One Ring (A Shadow in the East)

Event (15)
3x Flight of the Eagles (Roam Across Rhovanion)
3x Meneldor’s Flight (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x The Eagles Are Coming! (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Valiant Sacrifice (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 51 Cards
Cards up to The Land of Sorrow

Sideboard

Ally (3)
3x Eagle of the North (Roam Across Rhovanion)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Rohan and Eagles Race Wainriders by Matt Kell

This deck uses ALEP’s Last Alliance contact and has a readying focus so that the heroes are available for the appropriate racing test in Challenge of the Wainriders. Westfold Horse-Breaker in particular is key. You can use the contract in order to get Gwaihir to ready along with Eowyn or Thengel. Once Light-footed Steed is on one of them, all the heroes can ready from the discard.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Éowyn (Core Set)
Gwaihir (The Land of Sorrow)
Thengel (ALeP – Children of Eorl)

Contract (0)
1x The Last Alliance (ALeP – Children of Eorl)

Ally (25)
3x Escort from Edoras (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Gamling (The Land of Shadow)
1x Grimbold (The Flame of the West)
1x Meneldor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
2x Morwen Steelsheen (ALeP – Children of Eorl)
2x The Riddermark’s Finest (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Théodwyn (ALeP – Children of Eorl)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
3x Westfold Horse-breaker (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Wilyador (The Land of Sorrow)
3x Winged Guardian (The Hunt for Gollum)

Attachment (16)
3x Golden Shield (The Flame of the West)
3x Horn of the Mark (The City of Ulfast)
3x Light-footed Steed (ALeP – Children of Eorl)
2x Snowmane (The Land of Shadow)
3x Thrór’s Key (On the Doorstep)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (9)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Flight of the Eagles (Roam Across Rhovanion)
3x The Eagles Are Coming! (The Hunt for Gollum)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to ALeP – Children of Eorl

Sideboard

Hero (1)
Éowyn (The Flame of the West)

Ally (3)
3x Eagle of the North (Roam Across Rhovanion)

Attachment (6)
3x Ancient Mathom (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Born Aloft (Conflict at the Carrock)

Event (3)
3x Ride to Ruin (The Hills of Emyn Muil)

Deck built on RingsDB.

Gwaihir Gets The Bling by bobbymcbobface

A deck designed solely to see how many useful attachments could put on Gwaihir.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Bilbo Baggins (Mount Gundabad)
Gwaihir (The Land of Sorrow)
Radagast (The Fate of Wilderland)

Ally (19)
3x Descendant of Thorondor (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains (Return to Mirkwood)
2x Landroval (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Meneldor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
2x Messenger Raven (The Fate of Wilderland)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
3x Winged Guardian (The Hunt for Gollum)

Attachment (21)
1x Black Arrow (On the Doorstep)
2x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
1x Mithril Shirt (The Fate of Wilderland)
2x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Radagast’s Staff (The Fate of Wilderland)
1x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x Sting (Mount Gundabad)
2x Support of the Eagles (Return to Mirkwood)
1x The Arkenstone (The Withered Heath)
2x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)
3x Woodmen’s Clearing (The Withered Heath)

Event (10)
3x Flight of the Eagles (Roam Across Rhovanion)
2x Gwaihir’s Debt (The Fate of Wilderland)
3x Meneldor’s Flight (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x The Eagles Are Coming! (The Hunt for Gollum)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Land of Sorrow

Sideboard

Ally (3)
3x Eagle of the North (Roam Across Rhovanion)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.