Frodo Baggins (Spirit)

  • Player Card Categories
    • Damage Cancelation


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


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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Honour Guard

  • Player Card Categories
    • Damage Cancelation
    • Valour
    • Beorn Support

The most flexible damage cancelation card. I wish there were more like it.


The art depicts a Guard of the Citadel much like the Leadership ally of the same name. Honour Guard is still apt as guarding the citadel and the White Tree was the highest honor and duty to the guards in Minas Tirith. They couldn’t leave their posts for any reason except if commanded by their lord. They could wear Elendil’s livery of the White Tree with a silver crown and stars on a field of black. They also wore mithril helms with wings of sea birds.

Card Theme

One of the more obvious mechanism and thematic links with the guard meant to protect those in the Tower of Gondor. The card can protect characters in the game by canceling a damage or 5 in Valour directly.

Card Synergies and Interactions


Beorn hero is not an obvious synergy since he is immune to player card effects. Fortunately, Honour Guard’s effect targets the damage much like ally Dori. Per the FAQ, that clarified that Dori’s ability can redirect damage dealt to Beorn because it targets the damage, Honour Guard’s ability can cancel damage to Beorn too.

Ally Readying

The ability to cancel a damage requires a player to exhaust the Honour Guard. Readying effects that target allies then allow the ability to be used more than once per round. Players can use the Core Set Leadership cards of Ever Vigilant to ready a single ally and Grim Resolve to ready all characters. Many other single target and global readying cards work as well like Narya, To Arms!, Strength of Arms, Elwing’s Flight, and Leadership Faramir hero. The only issue is these effects are all actions. They can’t ready Honour Guard immediately after he is exhausted to cancel 2 points of damage. A player will have to wait until the next action window and then the Honour Guard can use its ability the next time a character might take damage. A couple have an additional timing limitation. For example, Elwing’s Flight is a quest phase action or Leadership Faramir’s response typically will occur during the Encounter Phase.

Quest Specific

Much like hero Beorn, there are several objectives and objective allies that take damage but are immune to player card effects. Canceling damage on these objectives is incredibly helpful because often times if they enough damage the players lose the scenario.

A Journey to Rhosgobel is a noted early example as Wilyador takes 2 damage each round. He can also take additional damage from other encounter effects. An advantage Honour Guard has here over healing effects is that it will not be removed from the game by Stage 2’s Forced effect. This quest infamously has a surprise loss condition if Wilyador is not fully healed by Stage 3. Wilyador only taking 1 damage per round gives the players more time to find enough Athelas for him.

Flight to the Ford is very similar to A Journey to Rhosgobel. The Ring-bearer will take 1 damage per round and there are more encounter effects that can add more. If the Ring-bearer runs out of life, the players lose. Canceling that 1 damage at the end of each round takes some pressure off the players to rush through the quest.

The Antlered Crow, Race Across Harad, The Crossings of Poros, Roam Across Rhovanion, and The Land of Sorrow all feature objective allies that if they leave play, that player is eliminated or the players lose. There are other objective allies and scenarios that also have this condition like Nalir in Trouble in Tharbad. These scenarios and allies in particular benefit from Honour Guard’s damage cancelation more than others because they have good stats, useful abilities, and/or damage from undefended attacks has to be assigned to them.

Chief Turch notably can defend without exhausting and has decent defense of 2 and large hit point pool of 5. An Honor Guard or two can make Turch defending multiple enemies much safer and a viable strategy. Tamed Mumak in Race Across Harad is usually best to quest with considering the quest limits progress if you don’t. The quest can be very combat heavy if many enemies pile up in the Orc area and then engage when they catch up to the players. Honour Guard can help the players take undefended attacks safely since they’re assigned to Mumaks and help clear out the orcs enemies. Urdug and Tiny are also no slouch at defending and only get better with some damage cancelation. Lastly, Arador in The Land of Sorrow is well set to be a secondary defender with 3 defense, 5 hit points, and built in readying for defending but risky if he takes too much damage. Honor Guard mitigates the risk of losing to a bad shadow which are a few in the quest to be wary of.

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 Honor Guard at 2 rings. Damage cancelation is a very useful ability to counter attack boosting shadows, direct damage shadow and treachery effects, high attack enemies, Archery damage, and other direct damage effects that quests might throw at the players. It can be used for any character and repeatable putting ahead of other damage cancelation cards like Raven-winged Helm or Mithril Shirt that are limited to the attached hero. The damage cancelation has a slight timing advantage over healing since it responds to the damage because this can prevent a character destruction from direct damage from treacheries and shadows. Healing usually needs to happen in action window before or after such effects, but it is not always possible if the character just has so few hit points. The only downside to the ability being damage cancelation versus healing is that it doesn’t benefit from Elrond hero’s healing boost.

The ally itself has a beefy 3 hit points and far less vulnerable to direct damage than many healing allies and especially compared to Warden of healing. It is a very fair costed 2 resources. It has the Gondor and Warrior traits that both are very useful for benefiting from global boosts and qualifying for attachments. Even better it is in the Tactics sphere that is the most combat focused sphere, but healing effects are exclusively in Lore. This makes a multiplayer mono-Tactic battle deck much more self-sufficient in handling all combat. Lore and Tactics can be a difficult combination to build together in a deck because both don’t have many resource acceleration cards and have less strong willpower or willpower boosting options than Spirit and Leadership. In true solo or a strong balanced willpower and combat deck Spirit or Leadership often are better to include.

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

External Links

Sample Decks

Legolas Shoots Locations aka Mono Tactics v4

Mono Tactics deck for Heirs of Numenor and Against the Shadow cycle. I tweaked the deck as I played through the cycle and through the various iterations it beat every quest. It definitely settled into a final form by Encounter at Amon Din. The games I’ve played with it with earlier iterations are featured on the blog as well.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Beregond (Heirs of Númenor)
Éowyn (The Flame of the West)
Legolas (Core Set)

Ally (24)
2x Beechbone (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
2x Bofur (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Defender of Rammas (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Derndingle Warrior (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
3x Eagles of the Misty Mountains (Return to Mirkwood)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Knights of the Swan (The Steward’s Fear)

Attachment (17)
2x Arod (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
3x Favor of the Valar (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Rivendell Blade (Road to Rivendell)
3x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)

Event (9)
3x Feint (Core Set)
3x Foe-hammer (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Hands Upon the Bow (Shadow and Flame)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Flame of the West


Hero (1)
Aragorn (The Lost Realm)

Ally (10)
1x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Grimbold (The Flame of the West)
3x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)

Attachment (5)
3x Dwarven Axe (Core Set)
2x Horn of Gondor (Core Set)

Event (9)
3x Sterner than Steel (The Flame of the West)
3x The Eagles Are Coming! (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Thicket of Spears (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Power grimbeorn the old nightmare by Grant

Grant’s go to Grimbeorn multiplayer battle deck. It’s survived Assault on Dol Guldur epic multiplayer.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Grimbeorn the Old (The Withered Heath)
Hirgon (Beneath the Sands)
Théodred (Core Set)

Ally (21)
2x Beorn (Core Set)
3x Beorning Guardian (The Crossings of Poros)
3x Beorning Skin-changer (The Withered Heath)
1x Erestor (The Long Dark)
3x Giant Bear (Fire in the Night)
1x Grimbold (The Flame of the West)
2x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Legolas (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Warrior of Dale (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Yazan (The Mûmakil)

Attachment (22)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Bow of Yew (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
2x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
2x Raven-winged Helm (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Warrior Sword (The Ghost of Framsburg)

Event (5)
2x Feint (Core Set)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)

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

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


Ally (4)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)

Attachment (10)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (3)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.