Boots from Erebor

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

A mundane bonus for a mundane item.

Background

The Lonely Mountain (Erebor) was a large mountain in northeastern Rhovanion that was a major Dwarven stronghold and source of the river Running. The Kingdom under the Mountain was established in T.A. 1999 by Thráin I after he fled from the awakening of Durin’s Bane in the capital of Khazad-dûm. The dwarves dug halls and caves to form the underground city, and the increased prosperity of the area led to the founding of the town of Dale. Thorin I abandoned the Mountain in T.A. 2210 for the Grey Mountains, but after the War of the Dwarves and Dragons, Thrór led a group of dwarves back to Erebor, reestablishing it as the capital of Durin’s folk. The great dragon Smaug attacked the mountain and drove out the dwarves in T.A. 2770, and the mountain remained empty for almost 200 years, with Smaug sleeping in the innermost chamber.

In T.A. 2941, King Thorin II and his company, with the help of Bilbo Baggins, retook the city and the treasure, but Thorin became ill with Dragon Sickness and refused to give any treasure to the Men of Esgaroth. The dwarves were placed under siege, but with the help of Gandalf and the alliance of Elves, Men, and Dwarves, they were victorious against the Orcs and Wargs in the Battle Under the Mountain. Thorin was mortally wounded, and Dáin took up the kingship and returned the Longbeards to the Lonely Mountain. The kingdom was rebuilt, including various improvements to the mountain, but the kingdom and its occupants were not immune to the great Shadow that rose in the last years of the Third Age. During the War of the Ring, the Kingdom of Dale was invaded by an army of Easterlings, and the Dwarves aided the Men of Dale in the great battle at the feet of the mountain. King Brand and King Dáin were killed, but the Men and Dwarves held out until they heard news of Sauron’s defeat in the south.

Card Theme

The game highlights the importance of defensive boosts in increasing a character’s odds of survival. Armor cards like Citadel Plate, Ancestral Armor, Ring Mail, or Raiment of War all offer an added layer of protection in combat by granting extra hit points. This makes complete sense, as the purpose of armor is to guard the wearer from harm and enhance their chances of making it through a battle unscathed.

However, armor isn’t the only piece of apparel that can have a significant impact on a character’s well-being. Boots are a prime example of an overlooked, yet crucial piece of a character’s gear. The characters in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings walk for countless miles on their adventures. The significance of having a sturdy pair of boots that can protect their feet and keep them comfortable. Not only does it allow them to traverse difficult terrain, but it also reduces the risk of injury and fatigue, giving them a better chance of making it through their journey intact. In short, Boots from Erebor provide a layer of protection and comfort.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Gloin and Gimli

The Core Set father son duo that rewarded players for taking damage. Gloin gave players additional resources and additional attack on Gimli. The more hit points each have, the more bonuses the players could gain. Even better is the boots are not restricted and do not block putting 2 Citadel Plates on either one. This is very important to Gloin Voltron decks that seek to maximize the undefended attacks he can take to generate resources.

Hobbits

The Hobbits in general are in desperate need of hit points. Only Fatty Bolger, Sam Gamgee, and Tom Cotton have more than 2. Anyway the Hobbits can get more hit points makes them more likely to survive. Especially in scenarios with lots of Archery or direct damage. Spirit Frodo and Tom Cotton will benefit more than the others as the more defensively inclined Hobbit heroes.

Erestor Gift Deck

Erestor can easily cycle through a deck quickly but playing all the cards can be the challenge. Unless the deck is mostly full of zero cost attachments to spread around the table to other players. If the Erestor player knows someone is playing Hobbits or Dwarves then Boots can be a good inclusion.

Beorn Hero and Dori Ally

Beorn hero can’t be healed because he is immune to player card effects. Dori ally, however, can redirect damage since his ability targets the damage. More hit points on Dori increase the chances he can survive using his response until he can be healed. Messenger of the King makes this more reliable as Dori can start in play as a hero.

Burglar’s Turn

A player can technically choose the Boots to include in the loot deck. Doing so actually increases the cost to put the Boots into play since a location needs to be explored first. It really is not a great choice for the contract and it is a bit of a nonbo.

Quest Specific

Having a higher hit point count is advantageous in quests with a high concentration of archery and direct damage effects. This increases the chances of survival until healing or a favorable action opportunity becomes available. The Watcher in the Water, Against the Shadow, Haradhrim, and Vengeance of Mordor quests all contain significant amounts of archery, as do the Lord of the Rings Saga quests starting from Treason of Saruman.

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 would only rate Boots from Erebor a measly 8 rings. It’s barely a filler card, due to its minimal impact. While it may have been useful in a limited card pool like its release in the Khazad-Dum deluxe, it was only a decent 47th to 50th card because it was a zero-cost neutral attachment that could provide a hit point. As the card pool has grown, Dwarves and Hobbits have more options to increase their hit points. Not to mention many more allies and attachments that do a lot more for each trait. The best use for the Boots would be in a Gloin deck, but even then, the deck has numerous alternatives, so it may not even make the final cut with only a single copy.

  • Dave – 4
  • Grant – 6
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 8

External Links

Sample Decks

Bond of Hobbitship by Dave Walsh

Bond of Friendship Hobbit Good Stuff deck.

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.

Khazad Dum Minimum Purchase 3 by Darkling Door

This is a deck built from just Core Set + Khazad-dûm cards for Path Less Traveled, an ongoing series on his blog, Darkling Door.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Bifur (Khazad-dûm)
Gimli (Core Set)
Glóin (Core Set)

Ally (22)
1x Brok Ironfist (Core Set)
3x Daughter of the Nimrodel (Core Set)
2x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
3x Erebor Record Keeper (Khazad-dûm)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
2x Gléowine (Core Set)
2x Longbeard Orc Slayer (Core Set)
2x Miner of the Iron Hills (Core Set)
2x Veteran Axehand (Core Set)

Attachment (14)
3x Boots from Erebor (Khazad-dûm)
2x Citadel Plate (Core Set)
2x Dwarrowdelf Axe (Khazad-dûm)
3x Narvi’s Belt (Khazad-dûm)
2x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
2x Self Preservation (Core Set)

Event (14)
3x Ancestral Knowledge (Khazad-dûm)
3x Durin’s Song (Khazad-dûm)
2x Quick Strike (Core Set)
2x Radagast’s Cunning (Core Set)
2x Secret Paths (Core Set)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Khazad-dûm

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

protect the bear by doomguard

Messenger of the King Dori protects hero Beorn by taking The One Ring and all the bonus hit point attachments.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Dori (Messenger of the King Allies)
Beorn (Over Hill and Under Hill)
Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)

Ally (6)
1x Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens)
1x Gaffer Gamgee (Mount Gundabad)
3x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Robin Smallburrow (The Drowned Ruins)

Attachment (33)
1x Boots from Erebor (Khazad-dûm)
3x Citadel Plate (Core Set)
2x Golden Belt (Challenge of the Wainriders)
3x Lembas (Trouble in Tharbad)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
3x Mirror of Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Nenya (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Ring of Barahir (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Self Preservation (Core Set)
2x Silver Harp (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
1x Song of Mocking (The Dead Marshes)
2x Spare Pipe (The Land of Sorrow)
1x The One Ring (A Shadow in the East)
2x Thrór’s Key (On the Doorstep)
1x Thrór’s Map (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
1x Well Preserved (Under the Ash Mountains)

Event (13)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
1x Beorn’s Rage (The Withered Heath)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Feint (Core Set)
3x Well-Equipped (The Blood of Gondor)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Keep Watch (Beneath the Sands)

3 Heroes, 53 Cards
Cards up to The Land of Sorrow

Sideboard

Hero (1)
Éowyn (Core Set)

Ally (3)
3x Erebor Toymaker (Mount Gundabad)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Gloin (Hero)

  • Player Card Categories
    • Resource Acceleration

Pain is truly gain with this hero.

Background

Gloin was a member of Thorin’s Company in the quest to retake Erebor and father of Gimli. Gloin in The Hobbit is described as wearing a white hood and good at making fires. He fought in and survived the Battle of Five Armies. Afterwards, his share of the treasure made him wealthy.

He also appears in The Fellowship of the Ring. He and Gimli had come to Rivendell to inquire about Balin’s colony at Moiria. He tells Frodo about Erebor since the Battle of Five Armies while he recovers from the Morgul blade wound. He also speaks at the council relating how a messenger from Mordor came to Erebor asking about Hobbits.

Card Theme

Gloin trading damage for resources is pretty thematic. This is if you consider he took long arduous journey, fought in a big battle, lost some kin in the process, but in the end had a lot of gold to show for it all. Some players will be refer to resources as money or dollars since you have to pay to play the card. Once the resources are spent they’re gone until the player gains more. The mechanics work then work to represent Gloin’s wealth from retaking Erebor although it came at a personal cost.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Healing

Healing lets a player basically turn Gloin into a resource generation machine. The Core Set included Self Preservation that did this well since it healed 2 damage a round. Many of the enemies in the first cycle had 2 attack that was fairly safe to take undefended. It could be assigned to Gloin and fully healed with Self Preservation. It essentially turned into second Steward of Gondor.

Darrowdelf, the second cycle, introduced the best healing card in the game with Warden of Healing. One point of healing isn’t great for Gloin, but then Elrond hero also released in the same cycle. Elrond boosts to healing 2 damage. The Warden’s action also lets it ready for 2 Lore resources. Giving Gloin a Lore resource icon then lets him take damage again and again. Then use the resources generated to just heal it all. The Warden then at the same time can heal 2 damage from any other character.

There were of course other healing cards introduced in later cycles. Many the healing cards were more one time effects that aren’t as effective as Self Preservation or Warden. Then the last cycle introduced 2 more healing attachments with easily repeatable healing. Well Preserved in particular is fantastic for Gloin. It can be found with The One Ring at the start of the game, gives Gloin +1 hit point, and will heal all damage once per round. It is fast to set up and get Gloin generating resources from taking damage right at turn 1.

Song of Healing trades cards in hand for 1 point of healing. It synergizes with Gloin thanks to Elven-light. Once Gloin has the Spirit icon, his resources can be used to draw cards. Elrond allows Gloin to net 1 resource for each Elven-light discarded and played.

Hit Point Boosts

The more hit points Gloin has, the more damage he can take at once. This has become more important as the game introduced enemies with higher and higher attack values to allow Gloin to absorb those attacks safely.

Damage Redirection + Ent Heroes

The other trick to generating resources on Gloin is have him take damage. Defending enemy attacks, undefended attacks, damage from the Archery keyword, or other encounter direct damage effects are always options available. There are limits to this especially in multiplayer since players are limited to one optional engagement each. Song of Mocking helps get around the limitation on engaging enemies. Another play just has to make sure to assign all damage to the hero selected by Song of Mocking. It is not limited and multiple copies can go on Gloin to cover more players. Vigilant Guard is similar although it doesn’t move all damage. It has 3 big advantages over Song of Mocking.

  1. It gives Gloin 2 additional hit points.
  2. The damage is redirection is a response.
  3. It is not limited to damage deal to heroes.

Gloin will need to gain the Warrior trait from Mighty Warrior. Once set up, however, just any source of damage can be sent to Gloin. This is huge because with the 2 Ent heroes, players can trigger the resource generation. Treebeard hero is best for this since the ability only deals 1 damage, and he can use his ability 5 times per phase. He won’t get the bonus if the damage is redirected because he isn’t paying the damage cost. Still 5 resources in a single phase is a Gandalf ally into play. Quickbeam can also work for this although he will still take a damage and it can only be used 1 per phase. Quickbeam also has to exhaust first before the action will work.

Resource Smoothing

Resource smoothing really opens up what players can do with the pile of resources on Gloin. I previously mentioned that with Lore or Spirit icons, Gloin can continuously ready Warden of Healing or draw cards from Elven-light. Narvi’s Belt and A Good Harvest are two of the best smoothing options since they can smooth for any sphere over a phase. The cycle of Song attachments provide a more permanent way for Gloin to get the right resource icon.

High Cost Cards

Gloin can enable playing some of the most expensive and powerful cards in the game even including his son, Gimli. Players can get unique allies with hero level stats and abilities, make an ally into hero, ready all their characters, or have a heroes (or all heroes in valour) defend and attack without exhausting.

Dunedain Allies

The Dunedain allies work very well with Gloin enabling their engaged enemy bonuses and providing much needed resources. Many of the Dunedain allies cost 3 or more resources and more resources in all spheres can help get them into play. A built up Gloin ideally with healing and plenty of hit points can just take several undefended attacks making it easier for Dunedain to keep enemies engaged round after round.

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 Gloin at 3 rings. He basically has a whole deck type centered around his ability to turn damage into resources. There isn’t just one build of it, but most of the very effective ones do share a few cards in common like Elrond hero and Warden of Healing. The Gloin voltron deck though is very vulnerable to attachment removal from the encounter deck. It can also be quite slow to set up. They can do some crazy combos like drawing the entire player deck in a few turns, reduced all player threat to zero, or attack every enemy in the staging are without heroes exhausting. The investment in Gloin can be very worthwhile.

There are some builds are less centered on Gloin using just a little healing and not going all in on additional hit points. Core Set builds in particular work well as an alternative to Steward and gain action advantage by taking undefended attacks. These less centric builds can even include Dwarf decks considering he will have 3 willpower and 3 attack when Leadership Dain is in play and ready. The addition of Well Preserved with The One Ring I think makes it easier to include Gloin without having the entire deck center around maximizing his ability. His threat cost of 9 is not high although he doesn’t bring much stat wise with 2 willpower and attack (sans Dain), but he can still slot in pretty well into a variety of decks.

Dave – 5

  • Grant – 7
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 3

External Links

Sample Decks

Sample Decks

The Dain and the Discard by Dave Walsh

A Dwarf Mining voltron deck although Gloin is really only used for Leadership access.

The Dain and the Discard

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Dáin Ironfoot (The Ghost of Framsburg)
Gandalf (The Road Darkens)
Glóin (Core Set)

Ally (17)
2x Erebor Guard (The Sands of Harad)
3x Erebor Toymaker (Mount Gundabad)
3x Ered Luin Miner (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (24)
1x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
2x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
1x Hardy Leadership (Shadow and Flame)
2x King Under the Mountain (On the Doorstep)
2x Narya (The Grey Havens)
1x Ring of Barahir (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Ring of Thrór (The Ghost of Framsburg)
2x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Silver Lamp (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Squire’s Helm (The Withered Heath)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

Event (15)
3x Durin’s Song (Khazad-dûm)
3x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3x Well-Equipped (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Will of the West (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 56 Cards
Cards up to Mount Gundabad

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

My strongest Core Set deck for solo play – revised for 202 by warlock000

Core Set only deck that can handle each of the Core Set quests in campaign mode.

2

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Beravor (Core Set)
Éowyn (Core Set)
Glóin (Core Set)

Ally (20)
1x Beorn (Core Set)
2x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
2x Guard of the Citadel (Core Set)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
1x Longbeard Orc Slayer (Core Set)
2x Miner of the Iron Hills (Core Set)
1x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
3x Snowbourn Scout (Core Set)
1x Son of Arnor (Core Set)

Attachment (14)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
1x Dark Knowledge (Core Set)
2x Forest Snare (Core Set)
2x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
3x Self Preservation (Core Set)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (16)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
1x Ever Vigilant (Core Set)
2x For Gondor! (Core Set)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
2x Lore of Imladris (Core Set)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Stand and Fight (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Core Set

Sideboard

Ally (2)
1x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
1x Guard of the Citadel (Core Set)

Event (1)
1x Ever Vigilant (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Gloin Resource Engine (Single Core Only) by Tribster

Core Set only deck focused on Gloin gaining resources to play allies and build up the board state.

Gloin Resource Engine (Single Core Only) 6.0

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Denethor (Core Set)
Glóin (Core Set)
Glorfindel (Core Set)

Ally (20)
3x Daughter of the Nimrodel (Core Set)
2x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
2x Gléowine (Core Set)
3x Guard of the Citadel (Core Set)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
2x Longbeard Orc Slayer (Core Set)
2x Miner of the Iron Hills (Core Set)

Attachment (10)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
1x Dark Knowledge (Core Set)
2x Forest Snare (Core Set)
2x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
2x Self Preservation (Core Set)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)

Event (20)
2x Common Cause (Core Set)
2x Ever Vigilant (Core Set)
2x For Gondor! (Core Set)
1x Grim Resolve (Core Set)
3x Lore of Imladris (Core Set)
2x Lórien’s Wealth (Core Set)
2x Radagast’s Cunning (Core Set)
2x Secret Paths (Core Set)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
2x Valiant Sacrifice (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Core Set

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Dain and the Discard by Dave Walsh

A Dwarf Mining voltron deck although Gloin is really only used for Leadership access.

The Dain and the Discard

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Dáin Ironfoot (The Ghost of Framsburg)
Gandalf (The Road Darkens)
Glóin (Core Set)

Ally (17)
2x Erebor Guard (The Sands of Harad)
3x Erebor Toymaker (Mount Gundabad)
3x Ered Luin Miner (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (24)
1x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
2x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
1x Hardy Leadership (Shadow and Flame)
2x King Under the Mountain (On the Doorstep)
2x Narya (The Grey Havens)
1x Ring of Barahir (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Ring of Thrór (The Ghost of Framsburg)
2x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Silver Lamp (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Squire’s Helm (The Withered Heath)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

Event (15)
3x Durin’s Song (Khazad-dûm)
3x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3x Well-Equipped (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Will of the West (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 56 Cards
Cards up to Mount Gundabad

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

DúneGlóin by Seastan

Gloin’s resources help play and power up the Dunedain.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Elrond (Shadow and Flame)
Glóin (Core Set)
Mablung (The Nîn-in-Eilph)

Ally (20)
3x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
2x Dúnedain Watcher (The Dead Marshes)
2x Fornost Bowman (The Dread Realm)
2x Galadhrim Minstrel (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
2x Warden of Annúminas (The Lost Realm)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (15)
3x Citadel Plate (Core Set)
3x Narvi’s Belt (Khazad-dûm)
3x Self Preservation (Core Set)
3x Song of Mocking (The Dead Marshes)
3x Song of Wisdom (Conflict at the Carrock)

Event (15)
3x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Dread Realm

Sideboard

Ally (2)
1x Fornost Bowman (The Dread Realm)
1x Warden of Annúminas (The Lost Realm)

Attachment (3)
3x Boots from Erebor (Khazad-dûm)

Event (3)
3x We Are Not Idle (Shadow and Flame)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Seventeen a Round by Seastan

Gloin gains 17 resources per round thanks to Treebeard hero + Song of Healing + Elven-light. Note,

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Elrond (Shadow and Flame)
Glóin (Core Set)
Treebeard (The Treason of Saruman)

Ally (4)
1x Nori (Challenge of the Wainriders)
3x Rivendell Minstrel (The Hunt for Gollum)

Attachment (28)
2x Boots from Erebor (Khazad-dûm)
1x Citadel Plate (Core Set)
2x Dwarven Axe (Core Set)
3x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Golden Belt (Challenge of the Wainriders)
1x In Service of the Steward (Flight of the Stormcaller)
3x Mighty Warrior (Race Across Harad)
1x Nor am I a Stranger (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes)
3x Song of Healing (The Land of Sorrow)
3x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)
3x Vigilant Guard (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
1x War Axe (The City of Ulfast)

Event (18)
3x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
3x Heed the Dream (Flight of the Stormcaller)
1x Hour of Wrath (The Dread Realm)
1x Oath of Eorl (The Black Serpent)
1x The Hammer-stroke (The Blood of Gondor)

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

Sideboard

Event (2)
1x Khazâd! Khazâd! (Khazad-dûm)
1x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Boromir (Tactics Hero)

Pre-Errata

The top tier version

Background

Eldest son of Gondor’s Steward and a commander in their army. Driven by a dream he had to go to Rivendell where he joined the Fellowship of the Ring. He fell to the temptation of the Ring and tried to take it from Frodo causing the breaking of the Fellowship. Shortly afterwards, the Uruk-Hai attacked Merry and Pippin as they searched for Frodo and lead to Boromir’s demise as he defended them. As he lay dying, he confessed his attempt to take the Ring to Aragorn.

Card Theme

The pre-errata Boromir hero card reflected his combat capabilities from the book very well. He slew many of the orcs that had Merry and Pippin surrounded when they had been out searching for Frodo at the breaking of the Fellowship. Then at least 20 more before another host overpowered him to take the Hobbits. The pre-errata version could ready as much as the player had threat available to attack every enemy and if that wasn’t enough then discard him to finish off the enemies.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Stat Boosts

Boromir’s built-in readying means that every stat boost can be utilized more. His strong attack and decent defense put him disposed to combat. Fortunately, the Tactics sphere has most of the weapon and armor attachments that can maximize his combat potential. In particular, Gondorian Shield a defensive staple boosts his defense to 4 putting him on par with the Beregond that has the highest printed defense. Raiment of War and Captain of Gondor work well to boost both his attack and defense. Blade of Gondolin grants a conditional attack boost, but more importantly it turns his combat ability into a way to help quest by placing progress for each enemy defeated. While not in sphere, Valiant Sword and Shining Shield synergize with the drawback of his ability since they each provide a +2 bonus once at a player’s threat is 40 or higher.

Support of the Eagles + Eagle allies is an older more expensive way to boost Boromir’s combat ability. It still can be quite effective. Eagles of the Misty Mountains with a few facedown attachments maximizes the boost, but even Vassal of the Windlord‘s 3 attack or Winged Guardian‘s 4 defense are huge for Boromir.

The zenith of his combat ability is achieved not with weapons or armor attachments, but two tied his Numenorian ancestry often referred to simply as “Blood and Fire”. Blood of Numenor and Gondorian Fire will boost defense or attack, respectively, by the amount of resources on the hero at the cost of 1. A few turns building up with Steward of Gondor and gaining 3+ to either stat is easily achievable.

The errata limiting Boromir’s readying to once per phase made willpower boosts on Boromir more worthwhile. Tactics doesn’t have many ways to boost willpower although Tactics Theoden hero and The Red Arrow give a couple options. Grappling Hook is generally going to be the better option for Boromir to contribute to the quest since even without any boosts, it turns his 3 attack into 3 willpower. Leadership offers more options with Celebrian’s Stone, Dunedain Quest, and Visionary Leadership. Spirit has The Favor of the Lady, Windfola, and Silver Circlet although the later two requires Boromir to gain the Spirit icon first.

The One Ring and the Master trait attachments provide a quick way to boost Boromir’s stats because each gives +1 to a stat and a player gets to fetch Master trait card during setup and there. Strength and Courage’s response doesn’t work that well with his readying since it only affects 1 attack. Inner Strength’s is likely the most useful to Boromir since it puts his defense on par with the likes of Erkenbrand and Grimbeorn plus can cancel a shadow. Power of Command provides a willpower boost but the response will depend on the number of unique characters in the deck. There are a couple downsides to playing these with Boromir, and that is the reduced elimination level and they also increase threat. It can easily become too much threat too quickly.

Forth, The Three Hunters Contract

This contract really enables a “voltron” Boromir build to maximize his readying. It requires each hero have 2 restricted attachments in order to flip to side B. Once on side B, each hero gets +1 willpower for each restricted attachment. The Most restricted attachments are weapons and armor that Boromir wants already to improve his attack and defense. The even contract increases the restricted attachment limit from 2 to 3. This can get Boromir up to 3 or 4 willpower pretty easily while also improving his combat effectiveness. It will also provide repeatable healing which is handy since Boromir isn’t the best defender without some set up.

Threat Reduction

Threat reduction is key to using Boromir’s readying as much as possible in game. Tactics only has 1 option in sphere with Secret Vigil that is conditional on the enemy it can be played on. The good news is Boromir won’t have trouble destroying the enemy to trigger the threat reduction. There are two solid neutral cards for threat reduction, Core Set Gandalf and Favor of the Valar. Lore Aragorn hero offers the largest potential threat reduction. A Boromir player could get all the way to 49 and reset back to their starting threat. Spirit offers the staple Galadhrim’s Greeting. More notably Spirit has heroes that can reduce threat every turn. Beregond and Fastred can do so by defending. Merry just needs an enemy revealed during staging. There is one more that is a twofer in a Boromir deck.

Galadriel Hero

Galadriel can exhaust every round to reduce a player’s threat by 1. That is essentially a free ready on Boromir. Additionally she can boost Bormir’s willpower with her ring Nenya and some readying of her own.

Hero Revival

Normally losing a hero can set a player way back in a game. Boromir’s second ability is used rarely because of the lost resources of being down a hero. When used it usually is because the player would likely lose Boromir anyway or as a game finishing move in a scenario that requires all enemies to be defeated. The game does have Landroval, Fortune or Fate, and Houses of Healing that can bring Boromir back after using his second ability. They are all very expensive at 5 resources making it very difficult to build around using his direct damage multiple times in a game.

Quest Specific

The best quests to use Tactics Boromir in are quests with enemy swarms or start off with a lot of enemies in play. Seventh Level, Over the Misty Mountains Grim, and Fate of the Wilderland can easily see swarms of enemies coming out. Massing at Osgiliath starts off with 3 enemies in play per player. Boromir being able to defend and attack or attack twice right away can really help even the odds against those 3 enemies.

Scenarios to watch out for using him in are those with enemies that prevent readying or feature lots of Doomed or other effects that raise threat. The Haradrim cycle in particular has scorpion and spider enemies that can prevent a character from readying until the end of the round. Threat focused scenarios like Return to Mirkwood and Murder at the Prancing Pony are going to be tough for Boromir to use his readying. The Steward’s Fear, The Crossing of Poros, and The King’s Quest can possibly have a significant amount of raise threat effects. The Steward’s Fear depends on the plot revealed in Stage 3. The Crossing of Poros has a quest stage and encounter set that has a lot of threat but that might only be seen instead of a direct damage focused one. The King’s Quest it is at the player’s discretion to raise threat or add another location to the staging area. Temple of Doom and Fortress of Nurn can also feature lots of threat depending on the cards revealed from the Power of Mordor deck.

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 Boromir at 2 rings. The built-in readying and solid attack, defense, and hit points make him good at combat immediately. A couple boosts and he’s great. Blood of Numenor and Gondorion Fire with some resource acceleration and he’s amazing at combat. It’s also not that difficult to give him decent willpower so questing and using him in combat is worthwhile. Even post-errata it is still great considering there are some scenarios that have enemies that attack when a player engages them or make immediate attacks when revealed. Boromir can ready and help to defend them all. It is conceivable to use him in every phase of the game thanks to cards like Captain’s Wisdom and Quick Strike.

I mentioned Forth, The Three Hunters contract works really well with Boromir but really a few of them can work well with him. Fellowship gives all nine unique characters in play +1 to every stat which Boromir’s readying can make great use of. Grey Wanderer let’s the player start at 11 threat providing lots of threat to use with Boromir’s ability. The contract even gives him another way to ready. Then on top of that Strider gives him a willpower boost and not exhausting to quest. Grey Wanderer Boromir then can ready at least twice during combat and doesn’t need to exhaust to quest. Plus, doesn’t need a resource match to play Blood of Numenor if it is the first card played. Not to mention he will start in Secrecy for Resourceful to fuel Blood and Fire. Council of the Wise offers repeatable threat reduction for just playing events. As mentioned before, Boromir already starts off with solid combat stats and doesn’t need much to get going and would fit right into an event heavy deck.

I’ve noticed in this game that veterans (myself included) will avoid certain powerful cards in the card pool. I do this to experiment with different deck builds and enjoy the variety of deck types out of there. Others likely have similar reasoning or may just want to preserve the challenge in the game. It could be they are disappointed he can’t endlessly ready anymore. No matter the reasoning, Boromir is still a very effective hero albeit straightforward one. I would rate him at 1 ring pre-errata since he could just effectively handle combat on his own. Post-errata he needs more to do everything in combat, but still can do a lot for the players even just readying once per phase.

  • Dave – 4 (originally 5)
  • Grant – 5
  • Ted – 4
  • Brandon – 1
  • Matt – 2
  • Average – 3.2

External Links

Sample Decks

Screw You Fate of the Wilderland by kattattack22

As the title says, I built this to handle Fate of the Wilderland. The plan is basically Eomer and Boromir quest primarily to avoid gaining too much threat. Boromir readies before combat. Grimbeorn defends and uses his response to hopefully kill the attacker. Boromir is back up defender or can hopefully finish off the enemy.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Boromir (The Dead Marshes)
Éomer (The Mountain of Fire)
Grimbeorn the Old (The Withered Heath)

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

Attachment (44)
3x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
3x Firefoot (The Dunland Trap)
3x Golden Belt (Challenge of the Wainriders)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Raiment of War (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Round Shield (Mount Gundabad)
3x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)
3x Shining Shield (The Fortress of Nurn)
3x Spear of the Mark (The Morgul Vale)
3x Valiant Sword (Under the Ash Mountains)
3x War Axe (The City of Ulfast)
3x Warrior Sword (The Ghost of Framsburg)

Event (6)
3x Foe-hammer (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Open the Armory (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)

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

Sideboard

Event (3)
3x Sterner than Steel (The Flame of the West)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Optimus Prime… SUPER MODE! by BeestThouNotInHaste

Gondor is strong, but the might of Gondor wanes, and even under the leadership of the great Optimus Prime (Boromir), his meager 2 and 3 are not enough to stand up to the forces of evil. Fortunately for his troops, Boromir has a secret weapon he can use to face the darkness: he can invoke the power of the Matrix Of Combination (Support of the Eagles) to combine with his trailer (Eagles of the Misty Mountains) to enter into…

Optimus Prime… Super Mode!

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Boromir (The Dead Marshes)
Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
Mablung (The Nîn-in-Eilph)

Ally (23)
3x Descendant of Thorondor (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains (Return to Mirkwood)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
2x Gwaihir (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
2x Westfold Horse-breeder (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Westfold Outrider (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Winged Guardian (The Hunt for Gollum)

Attachment (18)
3x Ancient Mathom (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
2x Born Aloft (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Mirror of Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Nenya (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Power in the Earth (Core Set)
2x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Support of the Eagles (Return to Mirkwood)
1x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (9)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Feint (Core Set)
3x The Eagles Are Coming! (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Celebrimbor’s Secret

Sideboard

Event (2)
2x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Very Wise Captain by Seastan

Play Song of Travel on Boromor. Then use Captain’s Wisdom, Steward of Gondor, and Leadership Denethor to give Boromir 8 resources turn 1 for Blood and Fire.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Boromir (The Dead Marshes)
Denethor (Flight of the Stormcaller)
Erestor (The Treachery of Rhudaur)

Ally (10)
2x Anfalas Herdsman (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)

Attachment (16)
2x Blood of Númenor (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Gondorian Fire (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Silver Harp (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)

Event (24)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Captain’s Wisdom (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Gaining Strength (The Steward’s Fear)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3x Wealth of Gondor (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Will of the West (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Thing in the Depths

Sideboard

Ally (3)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)

Attachment (6)
3x Dúnedain Cache (The Dead Marshes)
3x Favor of the Valar (The Battle of Carn Dûm)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Sarn Ford Sentry

Alternate Art

  • Card Talk Season 6 Episode 1
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode
  • Cycle
    • Angmar Awakened
  • Set
    • The Lost Realm
  • Player Card Categories
    • Card Draw
    • Enters Play

The card draw Dunedain ally

Background

Sarn Ford Sentry is one of the Rangers of the North with the Dunedain and Ranger traits. The Rangers of the North are the descended from the people of Gondor’s sister kingdom, Arnor. Arnor split into three smaller kingdoms, Cardolan, Arthedain, and Rhudar. The people of these successor kingdoms dwindled after wars with Angmar and a plague until only scattered settlements and wandering bands remained.

There are not many Dunedain in the LOTR books besides Aragorn. Halbarad is the only other named one that in The Passing of the Grey Company arrives with 30 of his kinsmen to support Aragorn. Dunedain Hunters gives the game another way to represent members of the Grey Company.

Sarn Ford Sentry comes from one of appendices. There it is reported that the Rangers of the North defended the Sarn Ford at the southern border of the Shire. The Ringwraiths, however, forced the sentries away from their post when they came to the Shire looking for The One Ring.

Card Theme

This game often represents knowledge as card draw. The Lore sphere in particular is full of examples cards representing Middle-Earth’s knowledge, stories, and songs with Gleowine, Daeron’s Runes, Deep Knowledge, Erestor, Drinking Song, and Mithrandir’s Advice representing the knowledge, stories, and songs present in Middle Earth. The knowledge in this case is very specific but fits well with the Dunedain getting effects for engaging enemies. The Sarn Ford sentries engaged the Ringwraiths learning the Nine were abroad.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Early Engagement Effects

Much like Halbarad hero, there can be a timing mismatch between playing the sentry and engaging enemies later in the round. Especially if enemies have abilities like Goblin Sniper that prevent engagement or the player just didn’t want to defend so many enemies. Mablung ally, Son of Arnor, Dunedain Hunter, Lore Faramir ally, and Westfold Outrider can all help increase the card draw effect without having to defend the enemy first. Dunedain Hunter can also help in situations where many enemies are not being revealed or in a true solo game.

Traps

Specifically, Forest Snare and Entangling Nets synergize very well with the sentry and are in sphere. Forest Snare allows a player to just keep an enemy engaged for the entire game without having to worry about defending or any shadows. Entangling Nets is similar because of the attack reduction making defending easier. The action disadvantage of defending can be offset with Outmatched or just taking the attack undefended. Shadows effects can still be an issue with it in some scenarios.

Gloin hero

Gloin can be an interesting way to increase the card draw effect. Song of Wisdom or Narvi’s Belt or a Warden of Healing make it that Gloin can heal all damage done to him quite easily. Some hit point bonuses from attachments like Citadel Plate, and he can take undefended attacks even from boss level enemies. Provided shadow effects don’t discard attachments, it can be quite easy to keep several enemies engaged without much trouble. The Sarn Ford Sentry can help find those attachments for Gloin or more allies to quest through the rest of the scenario.

Attack Cancellation

Attack cancelation effects like Coney in a Trap, Andrath Guardsman, Feint, Thicket of Spears, The Wizard’s Voice, and Out of Sight can help increase the card draw and reduce the risk of the engaged enemies. Granted, it is just temporary. Hobbit decks have a couple additional options available through Gaffer Gamgee and Hobbit-sense although it prevents the player from attacking as well.

Quest Specific

The Angmar Awakened cycle features quite a few scenarios that can swarm enemies powering up the sentry’s card draw. Especially any with the Cursed Dead enemy as each one can bring any and all copies in the discard pile back to the staging area and engage the player again. The Seventh Level, second half of Over the Misty Mountains Grim, and Fate of the Wilderland also bring out many enemies quickly.

There are a few scenarios that it would be better to leave Sarn Ford Sentry out because of the card draw. The players lose in Deadman’s Dike and Under the Ash Mountains if their deck runs out of cards and it is best to leave out card draw. The Ringmaker cycle is full of encounter cards that penalize players for cards in hand or drawing 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.

I rate Sarn Ford Sentry at 6 rings. Lore allies with 2 willpower tend to cost 3 resources unless they are unique or have a drawback like Wandering Ent that enters play exhausted or Lindon Navigator that is discarded or the player has to discard a card from hand. It is pretty average in that regard. It’s ability is pretty general purpose. Card draw is pretty fundamental to helping decks find what they need to succeed. It is the condition that can make it difficult to trigger and more so to draw multiple cards from. Lore however has many, many options to draw cards for lower cost both in resources and opportunity. Still the card is very much needed in Dunedain decks for the willpower and card draw. Sarn Ford Sentry sees some play in decks with Hobbit heroes due to their additional attack cancelation options and similar bonuses for engaging enemies. Mono Lore decks won’t need the additional card draw but 2 willpower for 3 and possibly drawing a card can be decent filler. It is a fine card but the condition on the card draw keeps it to a few different decks rather than a generally good always under consideration for inclusion.

  • Dave –
  • Grant –
  • Ted –
  • Matt – 6

External Links

Sample Decks

Dunedain Ambush the Orcs in the Weather Hills by kattattack22

Solo Dunedain deck mixing engagement and side quest bonus. It also utilizes Send for Aid, A Very Good Tale, and Elf-Stone to pump out allies quickly.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Aragorn (The Watcher in the Water)
Halbarad (The Lost Realm)
Thurindir (Race Across Harad)

Ally (25)
3x East Road Ranger (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Guardian of Arnor (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
3x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Sarn Ford Sentry (The Lost Realm)
2x Thalion (Fire in the Night)
3x Vigilant Dúnadan (The Sands of Harad)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x Weather Hills Watchman (The Lost Realm)

Attachment (12)
3x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)
3x Forest Snare (Core Set)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)

Event (12)
3x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Horns! Horns! Horns! (Challenge of the Wainriders)
3x Legacy of Númenor (The Voice of Isengard)

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

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Hobbit-Stroke by teamjimby

Hobbit heroes want to engage all enemies and cancel attacks with Hobbit-sense and Out of Sight.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Frodo Baggins (Conflict at the Carrock)
Merry (The Wastes of Eriador)
Pippin (The Black Riders)

Ally (11)
2x Celduin Traveler (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
3x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
3x Sarn Ford Sentry (The Lost Realm)
3x Warden of Annúminas (The Lost Realm)

Attachment (9)
3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
3x Leaf Brooch (The Three Trials)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)

Event (30)
3x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
2x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
3x Hobbit-sense (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
3x Out of Sight (The Long Dark)
3x Out of the Wild (Road to Rivendell)
3x Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3x The Hammer-stroke (The Blood of Gondor)
1x Will of the West (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Wastes of Eriador

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Bilbo Baggins (Lore Hero)

  • Player Card Categories
    • Card Draw

They done the first version of Bilbo dirty.

Background

Bilbo once a respectable Hobbit from a respectable family that didn’t go off having adventures, went on an adventure to burgle treasure from a dragon. Along the way, he won or found a magic ring (depending on the telling) that would change the course of Middle-Earth. That however is another story. Bilbo aided by the magic ring, verbally sparred with a dragon in trying to burgle some treasures. In so doing provoked the dragon to attack a nearby town leading to its demise and liberation of a Dwarven ancestral home and its treasures. Elves, Men, and Dwarves afterwards nearly came to war over the liberated treasures until the host of goblins, orcs, and wargs arrived. Bilbo was soon knocked out in the fighting but survived to take a nice stash of treasure home to retire on.

Card Theme

The game is set in the 17 years after Bilbo’s party and presumably living in Rivendell while finishing his book. It follows then that as he is compiling and recording the lore of his adventures that he can give additional knowledge to the heroes he is with. Knowledge often is represented by the cards in this game. The Lore sphere is full of examples cards representing Middle-Earth’s knowledge, stories, and songs with Gleowine, Daeron’s Runes, Deep Knowledge, Erestor, Drinking Song, and Mithrandir’s Advice representing the knowledge, stories, and songs present in Middle Earth.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Discard from Hand

Bilbo’s passive ability has an additional use besides just playing the cards and that is to discard them for other effects. The core set gave players a couple ways to discard cards for bonuses. Protector of Lorien is in sphere with Bilbo. Most importantly, it can help with Bilbo’s low stats. Especially defense which is his best stat at 2. Additionally there was Eowyn’s willpower boost which having the option to increase willpower by 1 can be handy to avoid failing questing or ensure to clear an active location.

Angmar Awakened and Dream-Chaser built up the Noldor archetype that centered around this mechanic. This allowed players to discard cards for resources, cost reduction, action advantage, healing, and other effects. Noldor decks typically don’t need Bilbo considering Elven-light, Cirdan, and Erestor hero offer lots of card draw.

Sting and Other Stat Boosts

Sting, Bilbo’s sword provides the 3 stats to equal his threat cost. The resulting 2/2/3 stat line also starts to make Bilbo a reasonable target for action advantage like the Hobbit specific and in sphere Fast Hitch attachment. Rosie Cotton offers the most versatile way to boost Bilbo’s stats. It can even become much stronger if Rosie becomes a hero via Messenger of the King or Sword-thain. There are of course many other stat boosters than can improve Bilbo and really the cheap readying from Fast Hitch.

Thorongil

The Tactics version of Bilbo did much to try and make up that his printed stats don’t equal his threat cost like most other heroes. Thorongil offered the means to bring in the bonus willpower effect and keep drawing extra cards. Not to mention a little direct damage and access to Tactics sphere for playing Sting.

Quest Specific

The Ringmaker cycle is full of card draw hate. Enemies will make extra attacks or other effects when a player draws a card. Some effects will penalize the player for having cards in hand.

Deadman’s Dike and Under the Ash Mountains both have players lose the game when they run out of cards in their deck. Drawing additional cards only accelerates the end of the game in those scenarios.

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 hate to give this low a rating to one of my favorite characters, but this version deserves it. The big drawback is that he has little stats for his threat cost. He was the first hero released after the core set, and it shows. The passive card draw is good, and I’m sure people appreciate that it goes around the table in multiplayer. The additional 3 threat over his 6 stats was too much. It isn’t even just that he is 3 more threat, but his stats are incredibly inefficient. His best stat is defense at 2. In the early days of the game, 2 defense might mean a hero could defend and not take damage. The problem lies that he also only has 2 hit points. One bad shadow and Bilbo can’t defend anymore or is dead. It would be a long time before decent cheap hit point boosts would be available besides Citadel Plate. Pretty much It was up to Protector of Lorien with either Burning Brand or Dark Knowledge to make him into a reasonable defender. The alternative was for 1 more threat play Beravor that had also a card draw ability and enough hit points to defend well enough to survive long enough where healing could help.

Later on, the game provided the update of Lore Bilbo with Lore Pippin hero.

Lore Pippin had the same breakdown of stats, but arranged in a better configuration. Questing typically won’t cause a low hit point hero to die (except for the first cycle that liked to target questing or exhausted heroes with direct damage.) He also doesn’t need to exhaust to draw cards, has lower threat, and has another passive to help keep Hobbits from engaging enemies. Bilbo in comparison is very inefficient, costly, and doesn’t work well with the Hobbit archetype that eventually developed. Lore Bilbo then usually sits in odd place it the card pool. Usually on a direct comparison basis, there are better heroes to play if additional card draw is needed. Lore Bilbo, however, does end up still seeing play because card draw is just that useful. He’ll be doubled up with other heroes with card draw ability to draw a massive amount of cards quickly and get some crazy combo going.

It was also mentioned briefly that the card draw always going to the first player is very nice in multiplayer. Lore with encounter scrying, encounter control, and victory display effects can make for a great support deck. If the other players have questing and combat covered, providing some all around utility is always appreciated. Lore Bilbo will still get played, but the situations where he works well are few making him a niche hero.

  • Dave – 9
  • Grant – 8
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 7
  • Average – 8

External Links

Sample Decks

YOU get a card! And YOU get a card! And YOU get a card! by stone_of_eric

Fun, mono Lore, multiplayer support deck. Designed for 3-4 players where other players are handling the questing and combat, and you get to give everyone across the table lots of card draw, healing, play traps, get side quests out, etc. This deck has very low starting threat of 22 but will need to be protected by other players’ Ranged/Sentinel characters.

I’ll emphasize here…DO NOT PLAY THIS DECK SOLO!

Have fun, the other players will love you!

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Gléowine (Messenger of the King Allies)
Beravor (Core Set)
Bilbo Baggins (The Hunt for Gollum)

Ally (18)
3x Daughter of the Nimrodel (Core Set)
3x Elrond (The Road Darkens)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
2x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
2x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (22)
3x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)
2x Forest Snare (Core Set)
3x Legacy Blade (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
2x Poisoned Stakes (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
3x Ranger Spikes (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Scroll of Isildur (The Morgul Vale)
2x Stone of Elostirion (Under the Ash Mountains)
2x The Long Defeat (The Battle of Carn Dûm)

Event (7)
2x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
2x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Waters of Nimrodel (The Antlered Crown)

Player Side Quest (3)
2x Explore Secret Ways (Race Across Harad)
1x Scout Ahead (The Wastes of Eriador)

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Bilbo Remembers Being a Burglar by kattattack22

Fun, mono Lore, multiplayer support deck. Designed for 3-4 players where other players are handling the questing and combat, and you get to give everyone across the table lots of card draw, healing, play traps, get side quests out, etc. This deck has very low starting threat of 22 but will need to be protected by other players’ Ranged/Sentinel characters.

I’ll emphasize here…DO NOT PLAY THIS DECK SOLO!

Have fun, the other players will love you!

Bilbo Remembers Being a Burglar

Main Deck

Hero (1)
Bilbo Baggins (The Hunt for Gollum)

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

Ally (8)
1x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
3x Rivendell Minstrel (The Hunt for Gollum)
1x Rosie Cotton (The Mountain of Fire)

Attachment (32)
1x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Blood of Númenor (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)
3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
1x Fireside Song (Beneath the Sands)
1x Hobbit Pony (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Love of Tales (The Long Dark)
2x Mariner’s Compass (The Grey Havens)
1x Mithril Shirt (The Fate of Wilderland)
1x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Orcrist (Fire in the Night)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
1x Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes)
1x Song of Eärendil (Road to Rivendell)
1x Song of Hope (The Black Serpent)
1x Song of Kings (The Hunt for Gollum)
1x Song of Mocking (The Dead Marshes)
1x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Song of Wisdom (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Sting (Mount Gundabad)
1x Stone of Elostirion (Under the Ash Mountains)
1x Strider (The Drowned Ruins)

Event (10)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
1x Helm of Secrecy (Under the Ash Mountains)
3x The Shirefolk (Mount Gundabad)

1 Hero, 50 Cards
Cards up to Under the Ash Mountains

Sideboard

Hero (1)
Bilbo Baggins (Mount Gundabad)

Attachment (3)
3x Poisoned Stakes (The Blood of Gondor)

Event (9)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Durin’s Song (Khazad-dûm)
3x The King’s Return (The Fate of Wilderland)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Host of Galadhrim

  • Card Talk Season 5 Episode 55
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode
  • Cycle
    • Vengeance of Mordor
  • Sets
    • The City of Ulfast
    • Elves of Lorien starter deck
  • Player Card Effects
    • Enters Play

A combo-tastic card for Silvan decks!

Background

Galadhrim is the term of the elves dwelling in Lothlorien. The Host of Galadhrim in the books would defend Lorien against the orcs invasions. After Sauron’s defeat they attack Dol Guldur to drive out the remaining forces there.

Card Theme

The Silvan archetype centers around their hit and run tactics. This is why many of the ally cards feature enter play effects. The supporting events return a Silvan ally to hand to be replayed later. Host of Galadhrim basically does this en masse with returning all of them to hand and replaying them all in one go. It is very fitting to represent the show of force when they all would come together to attack considering all their enters play effects will trigger.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Silvan Allies

The big two Silvan allies for Host of Galadhrim are Galadhrim Weaver and Galadhrim Minstrel. These two are key to decks that look to replay Host of Galadhrim over and over again. Players will need at least 1 weaver, 2 Hosts (one of which is in the discard), and 1 minstrel. It works best with an empty deck. Player plays Host of Galadhrim to replay weaver shuffling the Host of Galadhrim in the discard back into the deck. Then replay Galadhrim Minstrel to find that shuffled in Host again in the top 5 cards. More copies of the weaver and minstrel can lead to recurring 2 other events every turn like Legacy of Numenor to pay for Hosts every turn or Feigned Voices to cancel attacks.

The other Silvan allies that are good to replay provide a variety of effects.

Celeborn and Galadriel Heroes

Celeborn will boost the stats of each ally repalyed by Host of Galadhrim. Galadriel will give them all action advantage to leverage the +1 willpower and the +1 to the combat stats. It functions very much like a global ready effect like Grim Resolve after questing. Very effective when flooded with enemies to have all allies ready for combat. The increased willpower and not exhausting to quest also make this combination with Silvan allies great for a very powerful quest push. If there is ever a quest stage that a player needs to get through quickly, or just wants to race to the finish then that is the time to play Host with these two.

Lord of Morthond

Lord of Morthond can generate significant card draw from Host of Galadhrim. Host doesn’t require a resource match to replay the allies since they are played for no cost. Leadership has several options to play non-Leadership allies the first time. Thranduil hero allows players to play Silvan allies outside the Leadership sphere. Mustering effects like Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale can also help a mono Leadership line up put non-Leadership allies into play. A Good Harvest and the sphere granting songs are possibilities as well. Although this can easily become a win more situation since Host of Galadhrim is usually a late game card to play once several allies are in play already.

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 Host of Galadhrim at 4 rings. Getting several enter play effects can be very powerful. Combined with Galadriel and Celeborn to boost all the allies and have them quest without exhausting makes for a very strong turn. It is the kind of bomb event effect that should be expected from a 4 cost card that generally doesn’t usually hit the mark in this game. This one does it however in spades. It is not that hard to play it more than 3 times in a game considering it combos with Galadhrim Weaver.

There are only a couple limitations to this card that keep me from rating it more highly. It only really goes in one kind of deck and that is Silvans. It’s effectiveness is all centered around having several of them to replay making it a niche card. It is also a late game card due to its cost and the aforementioned need of allies on the board to replay. It’s possible to draw it too early when it is not that helpful but that is just a minor annoyance.

Overall, this card when played well is powerful. Turn the game around powerful. When abused with Galadriel, Celeborn, weavers, Legacy of Numenor, and minstrels it will steam roll quests that don’t have any effects that discard cards from a player’s hand.

  • Dave – 3
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – 5
  • Matt – 4
  • Average – 4

External Links

Sample Decks

Hosts Of Galadhrim (A Silvan Combo Deck) by The Mormegil

Deck that endlessly recurs Host of Galadhrim.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Bifur (Khazad-dûm)
Celeborn (The Dunland Trap)
Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)

Ally (15)
1x Galadhrim Healer (The Dread Realm)
3x Galadhrim Minstrel (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Galadhrim Weaver (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Galion (Fire in the Night)
1x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
1x Orophin (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Woodland Courier (The Drowned Ruins)

Attachment (5)
2x O Lórien! (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)

Event (30)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Feigned Voices (The Three Trials)
3x Host of Galadhrim (The City of Ulfast)
3x Legacy of Númenor (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame)
2x The Seeing-stone (The Voice of Isengard)
3x The Tree People (The Dunland Trap)
3x Unlikely Friendship (The Sands of Harad)
3x We Are Not Idle (Shadow and Flame)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The City of Ulfast

Sideboard

Hero (4)
Aragorn (The Watcher in the Water)
Folco Boffin (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
Gríma (The Voice of Isengard)
Pippin (The Black Riders)

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

Ally (6)
1x Bombur (Road to Rivendell)
1x Defender of the Naith (Trouble in Tharbad)
1x Greenwood Archer (The Sands of Harad)
1x Naith Guide (The Dunland Trap)
1x Robin Smallburrow (The Drowned Ruins)
1x Silvan Tracker (The Dead Marshes)

Attachment (3)
1x Keys of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
1x The Elvenking (Fire in the Night)
1x The One Ring (A Shadow in the East)

Event (16)
1x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Desperate Alliance (On the Doorstep)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
1x Feigned Voices (The Three Trials)
2x Quicker Than Sight (Fire in the Night)
1x The Master Ring (A Shadow in the East)
1x The Seeing-stone (The Voice of Isengard)
1x The White Council (The Dunland Trap)

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Silvan Lord of Morthond by MrSpaceBear

Draw extra card by replaying non-Leadership allies with Host of Galadhrim.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Faramir (Messenger of the King Allies)
Celeborn (The Dunland Trap)
Thranduil (Fire in the Night)

Ally (20)
1x Galadhon Archer (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
1x Galadhrim Healer (The Dread Realm)
2x Galadhrim Minstrel (Trouble in Tharbad)
1x Galadhrim Weaver (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
1x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Galion (Fire in the Night)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Greenwood Archer (The Sands of Harad)
1x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Marksman of Lórien (The Drowned Ruins)
1x Naith Guide (The Dunland Trap)
1x Orophin (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Rúmil (The Three Trials)
1x Silvan Tracker (The Dead Marshes)
1x Woodland Courier (The Drowned Ruins)

Attachment (13)
1x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
3x Lord of Morthond (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
2x O Lórien! (Trouble in Tharbad)
1x Shining Shield (The Fortress of Nurn)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x The Elvenking (Fire in the Night)

Event (17)
2x Captain’s Wisdom (The Thing in the Depths)
1x Elf Guide (Mount Gundabad)
3x Feigned Voices (The Three Trials)
3x Host of Galadhrim (The City of Ulfast)
3x Reinforcements (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
2x Strength of Arms (The Drúadan Forest)

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Boromir (Ally)

  • Player Card Categories
    • Defense Bonus
    • Readying
    • Surprise
    • Messenger of the King

The Hobbit protector version

Background

Eldest son of Gondor’s Steward and a commander in their army. Driven by a dream he had to go to Rivendell where he joined the Fellowship of the Ring. He fell to the temptation of the Ring and tried to take it from Frodo causing the breaking of the Fellowship. Shortly afterwards, the Uruk-Hai attacked Merry and Pippin as they searched for Frodo and lead to Boromir’s demise as he defended them. As he lay dying, he confessed his attempt to take the Ring to Aragorn.

Card Theme

This version of Boromir gets a defense bonus when the player is engaged with a higher engagement cost enemy than their threat. He is the only non-Hobbit character to have an ability the engaged with higher engagement cost enemy. All other characters with this kind of triggered ability are Hobbit characters. This clearly is intended to be Boromir as he defended Merry and Pippin from the Uruk-hai. Adding to this association is that he readies every time that he is damaged. This could easily happen as he defends from attacks, but also from characters with Archery that deal direct damage. The archery damage can be even more fitting as he had a few black arrows in him from the Uruk-hai’s bows.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Low Threat Heroes and Threat Reduction

Boromir’s defense bonus works more consistently the lower the initial threat cost of your heroes. Thematically, Hobbit heroes comprise a large portion of the heroes with with 7 threat cost or less. Although there are many other options like Spirit Glorfindel, Mirlonde, Smeagol, and Tactics Eowyn that also have a threat cost of 7 or less. If expanded to 8 many more options become available like both versions of Denethor although 3 heroes at 8 threat get close to 25 engagement cost which is one of the more common enemy engagement costs. Messenger of the King further expands the roster to unique allies with useful abilities but not many stats like Ioreth and Gleowine. Another option to start with low threat to increase the consistency of the defense bonus is to use only 1 hero with The Grey Wanderer contract.

An addendum to starting with low threat, is keeping threat low. Spirit Merry covers both considering he only has 6 threat cost and his ability can reduce the player’s threat each time an enemy is revealed. In sphere with Boromir, there is really only Secret Vigil. In the Hobbit deck that his ability works best with, there are several options like Elvenses, The Shirefolk, and the other staples like The Galadhrim’s Greeting Woodmen’s Clearing.

Healing

Healing allows a player to really maximize Boromir’s second ability. Each time he takes damage, he can ready. If a player heals him after taking that damage, he’s free to keep taking damage and readying. There’s no limit on the ability unlike the errata’d Tactics hero version.

Repeatable effects like Warden of Healing, Ioreth, and Self Preservation work very well since they can be used after Boromir is damaged by enemy or other effect. Additionally they can be boosted by Elrond Hero. Other one-time healing effects like Healing Herbs and Lore of Imladris are better if Boromir already has taken significant damage and even better if he has additional hit points from ally attachments.

Ally Attachments

There are a few ally attachments that can really boost his defensive and readying capability. Hauberk of Mail and Round Shield can increase his defense. Ent Draught, Vigilant Guard, Wild Stallion, and Raiment of War provide more hit points to let him take more damage and keep readying. Wild Stallion and Raiment of War adding attack as well make his readying even better when he is ready to attack back. Card Talk contributor Quetzal wrote a great review of Boromir on Ringsdb years ago pointing out a great interaction with Vigilant Guard. He noted you can use Vigilant Guard’s damage redirection ability to damage Boromir and ready him even more often. Quetzal suggested using this with hero Beorn because he can defend without exhausting but has low defense. Ringsdb user AJ_800 took it a step further using hero Treebeard’s ability to deal damage to Boromir up to 5 times per phase. Note, Treebeard won’t get the bonus willpower or attack since the he doesn’t pay the price of taking the damage himself.

Sword of Morthond can indirectly increase any of Boromir’s stats. It really just depends on how many of the Outlands allies are included along with Boromir.

Hirgon and Tactics Imrahil

Boromir’s 4 cost is expensive especially in a sphere with few resource acceleration options. Hirgon offers a way to discount Boromir with the added bonus of boosting his combat stats. The built-in readying of Boromir can really leverage the boost. Tactics Imrahil also can possibly find and put Boromir into play for a turn. Normally shuffling the ally back into the deck is a full on downside. There is a bit of benefit to it for Boromir ally since all damage is removed. A player could potentially get 2 or 3 readies in Boromir and then basically fully heal him by putting him back into the deck.

Messenger of the King

Messenger of the King opens up many more attachment options and offers a slightly lower threat cost at 9 compared to 11 of the regular hero version. Top among of them in power is Gondorian Fire and Blood of Numenor. They each have a player spend a resource for bonus attack or defense equal the resources on the hero. This was a mainstay of pre-errata Tactics Boromir hero that had no limit on his readying. Specifically for this version, Citadel Plates for many more hit points along with Well Preserved and The One Ring for full healing each turn can really turn him into a defending and readying machine.

Damage Cancelation

Damage cancelation is a bit of nonbo or combo that doesn’t work. As mentioned earlier, abilities like hero Treebeard that say take damage for an effect, damage is considered the cost. If the character doesn’t take the damage, then the cost isn’t payed and the effect doesn’t happen. This doesn’t mean they can’t help if Boromir would take more than 1 damage, but players have to be careful to not cancel all the damage.

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 Boromir at 3 rings. I’ll admit prior to my review, my opinion of this card was pretty middling. When I play Hobbits, I tend to make a super defender with Hobbit Cloak and other defensive attachments or just chump block. The only deck I’ve played the card in was Seastan’s Tactics Imrahil deck called Bouncy Bear. It primarily focused on using Spare and Cloak to maximize actions with the beefy allies in the deck. I realized as I prepared for this review by looking at various decklists and reading other reviews that there were many more combos with this card than I thought. I’m especially intrigued by the possibilities with Vigilant Guard readying Boromir. The cycles since The Road Darkens came out have really opened up more decks that this version can be useful in besides just Hobbit decks.

He still faces some tough competition for attention at 4 cost in Tactics between the excellent Legolas ally and fun to build around Vigilant Dunadan. The original Tactics Boromir that is still a very good hero despite his readying limited to once per phase by the errata. Leadership Boromir also sees a fair bit of play despite being a bit niche for Gondor Swarm decks. It is a card that likely has been long overshadowed by the hero versions that came out earlier in the game.

  • Dave – 5
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – 4
  • Matt – 3
  • Average – 4

External Links

Sample Decks

The Return of the King by AJ_800

Messenger of the King Boromir ally deck leveraging Vigilant Guard + Treebeard hero to ready Boromir several times a turn.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Boromir (Messenger of the King Allies)
Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)
Treebeard (The Treason of Saruman)

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

Ally (15)
2x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
3x Wellinghall Preserver (Across the Ettenmoors)

Attachment (20)
2x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)
3x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)
3x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
1x Strength and Courage (The City of Ulfast)
1x The One Ring (A Shadow in the East)
3x Vigilant Guard (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
1x Well Preserved (Under the Ash Mountains)

Event (15)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Boromir (Messenger of the King Allies)
Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)
Treebeard (The Treason of Saruman)

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

Ally (15)
2x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
3x Wellinghall Preserver (Across the Ettenmoors)

Attachment (20)
2x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)
3x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)
3x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
1x Strength and Courage (The City of Ulfast)
1x The One Ring (A Shadow in the East)
3x Vigilant Guard (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
1x Well Preserved (Under the Ash Mountains)

Event (15)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amoth by carlosm88

Tactics Imrahil deck featuring the Outlands allies, Sword of Morthond, and Boromir ally.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Denethor (Flight of the Stormcaller)
Hirluin the Fair (The Steward’s Fear)
Prince Imrahil (The City of Corsairs)

Ally (25)
3x Anfalas Herdsman (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Forlong (The Drúadan Forest)
3x Hunter of Lamedon (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Knights of the Swan (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Warrior of Lossarnach (The Steward’s Fear)

Attachment (13)
2x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Prince of Dol Amroth (The City of Corsairs)
2x Rod of the Steward (Flight of the Stormcaller)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Sword of Morthond (Assault on Osgiliath)

Event (11)
3x Man the Walls (The Ghost of Framsburg)
1x Men of the West (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Valiant Sacrifice (Core Set)
3x We Are Not Idle (Shadow and Flame)
1x Wealth of Gondor (Heirs of Númenor)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Take No Notice

  • Cycle
    • Lord of the Rings Saga
  • Set
    • The Black Riders
  • Player Card Categories
    • Staging Area Control

It is easy to take no notice of this card.

Background

In their dark cloaks they were as invisible as if they all had magic rings. Since they were all hobbits, and were trying to be silent, they made no noise that even hobbits would hear. Even the wild things in the fields and woods hardly noticed their passing.

J. R. R. Tolkien. The Fellowship of the Ring Chapter 3

The flavor text comes not long after Frodo overhears the Gaffer telling a Nazghul disguised as a black rider that Frodo left that morning. Frodo then meets Sam and Pippin to sneak away from Hobbiton.

Card Theme

Player threat can be thought of as the attention of Sauron on the players. Engagement cost then represents how high a profile the player’s heroes have to be hunted down. It is fitting that when players are sneaking and intentionally keeping a low profile increases the engagement cost. Rangers and Hobbits being stealthier than others when they want also makes sense it is easier to play this card with them.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Hobbits

Many of the Hobbit heroes, allies, and Hobbit specific attachments have effects if they engage or engaged with an enemy with higher engagement cost. It is clear these cards that Take No Notice are intended to work with considering it came in the same set as Sam Gamgee hero, Pippin hero, Dagger of Westernesse, Hobbit Cloak, and Farmer Maggot. Players can play Take No Notice before engagement. Then Hobbit player can engage an enemy they normally would have to anyway and get the additional effects.

Gondorian Rangers and Traps

Rangers also get the cost discount on the cost of the card. The Gondor set of them benefits the most from it. Dunedain Rangers typically benefit from engaging enemies, but the Gondor Rangers work well with traps and want to avoid engagement. Faramir hero powers up for each enemy in the staging area. Poisoned Stakes and Ithilien Pit are two of traps are more effective if the enemy can stay in the staging area. Poisoned Stakes because it can destroy an enemy on its own eventually. Ithilien Pit allows players to declare attacks on the enemy even in staging and won’t need to be defended against. They, however, don’t lock the enemy down in staging like Ranger Spikes. Gondor Ranger heroes also aren’t very low threat with threat cost around 10. Anything that help them avoid engagement makes Traps work better.

Quest Specific

The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat stage 2 requires the players to avoid engagement for 2 rounds at least. Take No Notice can help players speed that up if there is an enemy that just needs a little extra cost.

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 Take No Notice at 9 rings. This card is way overpriced at its printed cost. The Galadhrim’s Greeting is a similarly priced event and its effect can also help players avoid engagement or power up Hobbits. Galadhrim’s Greeting effectively increases the engagement cost by 6 instead of just 5. Additionally, the effect basically lasts longer than 1 round since threat is permanently lowered. Take No Notice only makes sense at 0 or 1 cost because of its temporary effect. This limits it to decks with Hobbit and/or Ranger heroes. In a deck with all Hobbit heroes, The Shirefolk is better much like The Galadhrim’s Greeting because the 4 threat reduction is more lasting.

The other major drawback is that adding 5 to engagement cost is not enough to prevent engagement most of the time. Enemy engagement costs vary from 1 to 50 with most occurring at increments of 5. There are only a few cards that increase engagement cost (Mablung ally and Pippin hero) making it difficult to stack. I don’t go as far as 10 since it can work just rarely. A discounted cost of 1 or 0 is reasonable for this marginal temporary effect. It is a shame since Gondor Rangers being in Lore and Tactics don’t have many ways to reduce threat in either sphere. Increasing engagement cost makes a nice way to enable them without further sphere bleed of threat reduction cards. It just wasn’t developed enough to be reliable like threat reduction.

  • Dave – 8
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – 6
  • Matt – 9
  • Average – 7.67

External Links

Sample Decks

Hobbit Rangers! by radAGHAST

This deck is exactly what it sounds like: hobbits sneaking up on bad guys and locking them in traps. The two are natural fits. Traps are most effective when enemies can remain in the staging area, and these hobbits are pros at managing when enemies leave the staging area.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Bilbo Baggins (The Hunt for Gollum)
Pippin (The Black Riders)
Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders)

Ally (17)
2x Anborn (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
2x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
2x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Ithilien Archer (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
3x Ithilien Tracker (Heirs of Númenor)

Attachment (22)
3x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
2x Forest Snare (Core Set)
3x Hobbit Cloak (The Black Riders)
3x Ithilien Pit (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
3x Ranger Bow (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Ranger Spikes (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)

Event (11)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Take No Notice (The Black Riders)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Treason of Saruman

Sideboard

Ally (11)
3x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
3x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Son of Arnor (Core Set)

Attachment (2)
2x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)

Event (2)
2x Secret Paths (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Traps Can Kill by D4rkWolf10

Mono Lore Ranger and Trap Deck

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Damrod (The Land of Shadow)
Faramir (Assault on Osgiliath)
Haldir of Lórien (Trouble in Tharbad)

Ally (15)
2x Anborn (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Guardian of Ithilien (The City of Corsairs)
3x Ithilien Archer (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
2x Ithilien Lookout (The Dunland Trap)
3x Ithilien Tracker (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)

Attachment (20)
3x Entangling Nets (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Forest Snare (Core Set)
3x Ithilien Pit (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
3x Ranger Bow (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Ranger Spear (The City of Corsairs)
3x Ranger Spikes (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Scroll of Isildur (The Morgul Vale)

Event (18)
3x Advance Warning (The Drúadan Forest)
3x Arrows from the Trees (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Forest Patrol (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame)
3x Take No Notice (The Black Riders)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Scout Ahead (The Wastes of Eriador)

3 Heroes, 54 Cards
Cards up to The City of Corsairs

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Frodo Baggins (Spirit)

  • Player Card Categories
    • Damage Cancelation

Background

The nephew of Bilbo Baggins and his designated heir. The One Ring was left to Frodo along with Bag End when Bilbo disappeared after his 111th birthday. This all lead to Frodo carrying The Ring first to Rivendell and eventually all the way to Mount Doom where it was destroyed.

Card Theme

Frodo’s ability to cancel damage once per phase appears to represent him as the ring bearer. It makes sense that Frodo can avoid danger using The One Ring to turn invisible much like his uncle did many years before. In the books, we see Frodo do this to escape Boromir when he tried to take The Ring. Earlier he tried to do this as well to escape the Ringwraiths although they could see him as they were also bound to the Ring. The Ring also draws the attention of its master hence why its use raises the player’s threat.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Threat Reduction

Threat reduction offsets the threat gained by using Frodo’s ability. A deck packed with threat reduction can utilize it with little risk of losing due to threat. Hobbits have access to a couple nice threat reduction events, The Shirefolk and Elvenses that provide a nice amount of threat reduction for a reduced cost compared to the Core Set staple, The Galadhrim’s Greeting. Elrond’s Counsel also works well for cheap threat reduction as long as the player(s) control a Noldor. Galadriel can fulfill that requirement and provide repeatable threat reduction. The classic hero pairing with Spirit Frodo is Lore Aragorn because Aragorn can reset threat back to the starting level once per game.

Another way to lower threat in a large chunk after using Frodo’s ability several times is Vanish from Sight + A Elbereth! Glithoniel!. The basic setup is engage a lower engagement cost enemy but higher than 20. Let’s say 25 for illustrative purposes. The player uses Vanish from Sight so threat is treated as 20 and plays A Elbereth! Glithoniel! The player gets to treat their threat as 20 for A Elbereth, put the enemy on the bottom of the deck, and set their threat to 25.

Hobbit Pipe

Players will want threat reduction to make the most use of Frodo’s ability and most of it is available from events. Hobbit Pipe allows the player to also draw cards as well from this dynamic.

Sam Gamgee Ally

Sam Gamgee similar to Hobbit Pipe will have plenty of triggers to use his ability. Any time Frodo cancels damage Sam can ready and get +1 to all stats for 1 resource. Most times this will make him into an attacker with 2 attack. Two defense while reasonable in the first cycle, won’t be enough to help him survive an enemy attack in later cycles.

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 Frodo at 3 rings. He’s a very solid defensive hero with a very useful ability. It is not difficult at all to include enough threat reduction to avoid threating out despite using it heavily. Often just pairing him with Lore Aragorn is enough. His 2 willpower can even help out in questing if need be because the damage cancelation also works on an undefended attack. The only real downside is the ability is limit once per phase. This can be problematic in later scenarios when boss enemies can get multiple attacks or multiple enemies can build up. Then other defenders with higher defense and hit points that can turn into a “super defender” like Spirit Beregond or Messanger of the King Jubayr are going to be a better choice.

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

External Links

Sample Decks

Smoke Yourself Thin by NoSoup4you

A threat reduction focused deck using Hobbit Pipe as a card draw engine.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Frodo Baggins (Conflict at the Carrock)
Gandalf (The Road Darkens)
Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders)

Ally (19)
3x Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens)
2x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
2x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Galadhrim Weaver (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
1x Pelargir Ship Captain (The Morgul Vale)
2x Skinbark (The Land of Shadow)
2x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)
2x Warden of Helm’s Deep (The Antlered Crown)
2x Wellinghall Preserver (Across the Ettenmoors)

Attachment (16)
2x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
2x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)
2x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
3x Hobbit Pipe (The Black Riders)
1x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
1x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

Event (15)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
2x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
3x Island Amid Perils (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
3x Smoke Rings (The Black Riders)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
1x Will of the West (Core Set)

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

Sideboard

Event (1)
1x Flame of Anor (The Road Darkens)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Galadriel (Ally)

  • Card Talk Season 5 Episode 52
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode
  • Cycle
    • The Lord of the Rings Saga
  • Set
    • The Road Darkens
  • Player Card Categories
    • Card Search
    • Played from Hand
    • Equipping

Leader of Lothlórien, Giver of Gifts

Background

Galadriel is the co-ruler of Lothlórien, Lady of the Galadhrim, founder of the White Council, and bearer of Nenya, one of the three Elven Rings. She came to Middle Earth from Valinor when most of the Noldor followed Fëanor to war against Melkor and retrieve the Silmarils. Galadriel came however seeking a place to rule as her own. She married to Celeborn near the end of The First Age and had one daughter, Celebrian who would wed Elrond. It is in the Third Age, Galadriel that became the Lady of Lothlórien. Growing darkness in Mirkwood and Dol Guldur caused her to found the White Council.

Card Theme

The Galadriel ally fits pretty well with what we see of Galadriel in the books. She only has willpower as a leader of the Free Peoples but she doesn’t directly engage with Sauron or other forces of darkness. She finds an attachment and puts into play essentially gifting it to the players’ heroes or allies as she gifted the Fellowship Lembas, Elven Cloaks, Three Golden Hairs to Gimli, Elven rope to Sam, Bow of the Galadhrim to Legolas, Elf-stone to Aragorn, a Golden Belt to Boromir, and the Phial of Galadriel to Frodo. The ally version only sticks around for a round considering she only provides some limited aid to the main characters before they leave her lands.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Key Attachments

Galadriel’s ability can help find any attachment that costs 3 or less that is vital to a player’s deck functioning well. Steward of Gondor one of the the best resource acceleration cards is a valid target. Getting an early Vilya also can be a huge boon that Galadriel can pull out. Trait based support attachments like Heir of Valandil, O Lorien, The Elvenking, or King of Dale can all found and put right into play. Galadriel’s ability can help make those decks more consistent by getting whichever attachment is needed right out into play.

Player Guarded X

Galadrial ally’s ability unfortunately doesn’t work with these cards very well and is a bit of a nonbo. This is due to what is affectionally referred to as the “hot second” ruling.

You cannot “cheat” guarded attachments. The guarded keyword triggers after it enters play; so no matter what you do, you will have to attach it to an enemy or location. In the case of Well-equipped, it would attach to the Dwarf for a hot second before forcing you to mill for an enemy or location and attach it to that encounter card.

Caleb Grace’s Hot Second Ruling

A player could at least pull out a Guarded X attachment from their deck. Then once it was attached to a hero, the guarded keyword would trigger putting it in the staging area.

Put Ally into Play

Unfortunately, these cards are largely another nonbo. The ability specifies that Galadriel has to be played from hand to trigger putting an attachment into play. Born Aloft can let a plyer use the same copy of Galadriel for multiple triggers. Although the player has to pay full cost again. To the Sea, To the Sea does work to get a discounted Galadriel into play. There is a is a little bit of a combo with Timely Aid and Send for Aid. Galadriel puts the other cards not put into play with her ability back in any order instead of shuffling. Any desired ally she finds can put into play later with either card.

Dwarf Mining and Vilya

As just mentioned, Galadriel’s ability allows the player to put cards back on top of their deck in any order. This can set up Zigil Miner to generate 2 resources, put another attachment in play with Well-Equipped, or even draw a card with Expert Treasure Hunter. Even better is to put any ally or attachment into play with Vilya.

Quest Specific

Galadriel usually will only quest with her 3 willpower, but she has a good number of hit points for an ally and leaves play at the end of the round. This makes her a great target for archery. The Against the Shadow, Haradhrim, and Vengeance of Mordor cycles have quite a bit of archery. The Lord of the Rings saga quests starting in Treason of Saruman features Archery quite heavily as well.

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 Galadriel at 5 rings. A willpower boost for a turn and getting to fetch an attachment from the top 5 are pretty useful. The deck does need a fair number of attachments to make sure it doesn’t whiff. While she is generally useful, 3 resources for only a temporary boost to questing seems steep even in Leadership. It is just enough that early game it can be difficult to get and play her to help set up a player’s board state with 3 or less cost attachment. Also the opportunity cost of only putting in a temporary ally when ramping up willpower might be necessary can be a big ask. Late game her usefulness really drops off as typically willpower will be sorted out and key attachments already out in play. The limitation on her ability that she has to be played hurts her usefulness and fun factor. The fun factor loss seems worse as she is in the same sphere as many of the put an ally in to play cards. All these drawbacks, it often is just better to run more card draw to find a key attachment than Galadriel ally.

  • Dave – 7
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – 4
  • Matt – 5

External Links

Sample Decks

All That is Gold Does not Glitter by Gizlivadi

A solo Dunedain deck with a fair number of non-trap attachments

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Amarthiúl (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
Aragorn (The Watcher in the Water)
Halbarad (The Lost Realm)

Ally (20)
2x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Fornost Bowman (The Dread Realm)
2x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Guardian of Arnor (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
2x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Sarn Ford Sentry (The Lost Realm)
2x Weather Hills Watchman (The Lost Realm)

Attachment (17)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
1x Dúnedain Remedy (The Drowned Ruins)
3x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Forest Snare (Core Set)
1x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Heir of Valandil (The Lost Realm)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)

Event (14)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Descendants of Kings (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Feint (Core Set)
3x Heed the Dream (Flight of the Stormcaller)
2x Legacy of Númenor (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 51 Cards
Cards up to The Drowned Ruins

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Finally, a Feasible Fellowship by Priate Brahm

A solo Dunedain deck with a fair number of non-trap attachments

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Amarthiúl (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
Aragorn (The Watcher in the Water)
Halbarad (The Lost Realm)

Ally (20)
2x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Fornost Bowman (The Dread Realm)
2x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Guardian of Arnor (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
2x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Sarn Ford Sentry (The Lost Realm)
2x Weather Hills Watchman (The Lost Realm)

Attachment (17)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
1x Dúnedain Remedy (The Drowned Ruins)
3x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Forest Snare (Core Set)
1x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Heir of Valandil (The Lost Realm)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)

Event (14)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Descendants of Kings (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Feint (Core Set)
3x Heed the Dream (Flight of the Stormcaller)
2x Legacy of Númenor (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 51 Cards
Cards up to The Drowned Ruins

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.