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.

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.

The Hidden Way

  • Card Talk Season 3 Episode 58
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode
  • Cycle
    • Ered Mithren
  • Set
    • The Withered Heath 
  • Player Card Categories
    • Location Control
    • Encounter Control
    • Encounter Reveal Reduction

The location version of Wait No Longer.

Background

The card refers to Stonewain Valley that Ghan-Buri-Ghan lead the Rohirrim through to get to Pelennor Fields.

Card Theme

The card lets the player(s) choose a location to go to bypasses any negative travel effects, or other potentially hazardous locations they might have had to go to first before. In true solo, it also ensures you won’t reveal an enemy card thereby avoiding any encounters for a round. It fits very well with source material with the Rohirrim avoiding orcs by going to a different location.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Direct Location Progress

There are several cards that can help explore the new active location brought out by The Hidden Way. Lorien Guide in the Core Set debuted the ability to put progress on the location. The first FAQ also clarified that Tactic Legolas hero and Blade of Gondolin could also place progress on the active location because it always acts as a buffer to the main quest. Cards like Snowbourn Scout, Asfaloth, and The Evening Star that place progress on any location will also work.

Haldan, Scouts, and Location Attachments

Haldan’s abilities all depend on there being an active location. The Hidden Way can help make them more consistent. Putting location attachments on them not only can help explore the location by getting him to quest without exhausting but Woodmen’s Path reduces the quest points to 1. Allies with the Scout trait often have abilities that can help clear the active location.

More Encounter Control

The Hidden Way often ends up in many encounter control decks because it reduces the number of encounter cards revealed. Instead of canceling an encounter card like most encounter control, it gives players the choice of a location helping shut down the worst the encounter deck has to offer. An encounter control strategy is usually limited to multiplayer since it leaves little room in a deck for cards to aid in questing and combat. The Hidden Way still works in solo because it can reduce the number of revealed cards to 0. Additionally it puts the location in the active slot and it won’t add its threat to the staging area. It combos well with A Watchful Peace because any more innocuous location pulled out can be recurred with it. Lore is also full of more encounter manipulation and cancelation. Lore Denethor, Risk Some Light, Out of the Wild, and Scout Ahead can either move or outright remove the worst cards from the encounter deck. Lore also has Leave No Trace and None Return like Out of the Wild that can add cards to the victory display but only after dealing with them at least once. This, however, opens the possibility of canceling another copy of that encounter card with The Door is Closed!

Quest Specific

Any quest with nasty travel effects can be teched against with The Hidden Way. The Hidden Way bypasses traveling and won’t trigger any of the Travel effects. Every cycle has some locations with travel effects that are better avoided. Haradrim, however, can counter The Hidden Way bypassing travel because it features many locations with Forced effects that trigger when a location becomes the active location.

In solo, a quest full of enemies, like The Seventh Level or The Fate of the Wilderland, it can be used to give the players a break from the onslaught.

Ring Rating

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

I rate The Hidden Way at 5 rings. It can be a widely applicable card to use considering it gives players options to what comes out of the encounter deck. When there isn’t an active location, it will lower the potential added staging area threat. It will bypass travel effects of which there are many that can ruin a game. It really shines in multiplayer where getting one less random card makes a bigger difference since reduces the chances of surge. Also in multiplayer the threat of location lock is higher and getting a location out and potentially cleared in a single turn can have a huge impact. I don’t rate it higher as many quests can be handled by a well balanced deck that quests and fights well. The options provided by encounter control effects while helpful aren’t always needed.

  • Dave – 4
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – 4
  • Matt – 5
  • Average – 4.33

External Links

Sample Decks

Infiltration Team for Escape from Dol Guldur by kattattack22

Questing and encounter control deck for 2 handed fellowship to crush Escape from Dol Guldur.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Argalad (The Drowned Ruins)
Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)
Pippin (The Black Riders)

Ally (17)
2x Daughter of the Nimrodel (Core Set)
3x Elrond (The Road Darkens)
3x Ithilien Lookout (The Dunland Trap)
3x Mirkwood Explorer (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (12)
3x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)
3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
3x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (21)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Risk Some Light (Shadow and Flame)
3x Strider’s Path (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x The Evening Star (The Grey Havens)
3x The Hidden Way (The Withered Heath)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Withered Heath

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Revealed in Wrath

  • Cycle
    • Dreamchaser
  • Set
    • Temple of the Deceived

Tech for difficult enemies like the Mumak.

Background

The card title, art, and flavor text all refer to Glorfindel, Aragorn, Pippin, Sam, and Merry driving the Nazgul into the Ford of Bruinen. In particular, Glorfindel reveals his power that forces to Nazghul to shrink away from him and drive their horses mad. This traps them in the Ford to be swept away by the oncoming flood and let them take Frodo to Rivendell safely. Glorfindel had a great presence in the Unseen World due to being a First Age elf that lived in Valinor, died fighting a Balrog, and returned to Middle Earth by the Valar. This presence is what caused the Ringwraiths to recoil and generally avoid him.

Card Theme

The theme of Glorfindel using his presence to neutralize the Nazghul fits very well with blanking enemy textboxes. It doesn’t completely neutralize an enemy in the game since their stats are still in play. It can certainly negate many of their abilities that makes them more dangerous or difficult to defeat.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Quest Specific

The game ever since the Core Set included non-unique enemies with strong abilities. The Hill Troll and Marsh Adder in the Wilderlands encounter set could raise a players threat very quickly. Chieftain Ufthak kept getting stronger the longer it was in play. The Nazgul of Dol Guldur can decimate a board state if there is a shadow effect forcing the player to discard a character. All of these negative effects can be blocked for a turn.

Mumaks are fantastic targets for Revealed in Wrath due to the limit of damage they can take. Blanking text box allows players to exceed the limit and destroy them in a single round. The Uruk-hai in The Treason of Saruman scenarios are similar because Toughness reduces all damage they would normally take. Without it, they are easier to destroy and open to direct damage.

Orc War Party in Angmar Awakened also is great to blank because it prevents enemies in the staging are from taking damage and the players from winning the game. Players using staging area attack or direct damage can clear out the staging area in Intruders in Chetwood.

Revealed in Wrath also can provide a lot of value against ship enemies in the Voyage Across Belegaer, Flight of the Stormcaller, A Storm on Cobas Haven, and Hunt for the Dreadnaught. This is because many of them have the Boarding keyword. Boarding X says, “When a ship-enemy with the Boarding keyword engages a player from the staging area, reveal the top X cards from the Corsair Deck and put the revealed enemies into play, engaged with that player.” Getting rid of the Boarding keyword during the engagement phase can often times avoid additional enemy engagements.

More thematically, there are the various Nazghul enemies from the Saga scenarios. Many are just restricted from having non-Morgul attachments and still vulnerable to being blanked. The best ones to blank are the ones that have additional attack triggers. Rider of Mordor can be great to get rid of the willpower penalty or to avoid engaging because The one Ring is exhausted.

Noldor Heroes

There unfortunately is only one Noldor hero in the Tactics sphere, Elladan, to satisfy both requirements to play Revealed in Wrath. Although, Elrond can play Revealed in Wrath using Vilya. This isn’t much of an issue considering many of Noldor heroes are very splashable with typically high willpower and useful abilities with card draw, resource acceleration, and threat reduction. They ca easily fight into a team with a Tactics hero or two.

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 Revealed in Wrath at 7 rings. It can be useful in a number of scenarios looking at the vast array of abilities. There are a few cases where it can provide a tremendous benefit like the Mumaks with the damage limits and ship enemies with boarding. Other Tactics events likely will be better for most non-unique enemies. Especially if they outright can help the player destroy the enemy like Quick Strike, Hands Upon the Bow, or Fierce Defense.

  • Dave –
  • Grant –
  • Ted –
  • Matt – 7

External Links

Sample Decks

Mettle of the Strong by WingfootRanger

A Spirit Tactics deck with a strong hero line up with a flexible toolbox of answers for a scenario’s challenges.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Beorn (Over Hill and Under Hill)
Beregond (The Flame of the West)
Círdan the Shipwright (The Grey Havens)

Ally (19)
2x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
1x Bofur (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Galadhon Archer (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Rhovanion Outrider (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Riddermark Knight (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)

Attachment (16)
2x Ancient Mathom (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
2x Narya (The Grey Havens)
3x Thrór’s Key (On the Doorstep)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (15)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Desperate Defense (The Flame of the West)
3x Feint (Core Set)
3x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
3x Revealed in Wrath (Temple of the Deceived)

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

Sideboard

Ally (21)
2x Dunedain Pathfinder (Race Across Harad)
1x Grimbold (The Flame of the West)
3x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Knights of the Swan (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Lindir (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Riddermark Knight (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
2x Saruman (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Silvan Refugee (The Drúadan Forest)
2x Steward of Orthanc (Race Across Harad)
3x Westfold Outrider (The Voice of Isengard)

Attachment (2)
1x Captain of Gondor (The Antlered Crown)
1x Windfola (A Storm on Cobas Haven)

Event (27)
3x Backtrack (Race Across Harad)
3x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Fortune or Fate (Core Set)
1x Justice Shall Be Done (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
3x Keen as Lances (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Sterner than Steel (The Flame of the West)
3x The Wizards’s Voice (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Wait no Longer (The Mûmakil)

Player Side Quest (3)
1x Double Back (Escape from Mount Gram)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)
1x Keep Watch (Beneath the Sands)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Descendants of Kings

  • Card Talk Season 5 Episode 48
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode

Mass Dunedain readying for sticky situations.

Background

This card refers to the people of Gondor’s sister kingdom, Arnor. Arnor was the northern one of the two Numenorian kingdoms. It was the official seat of their High King. After Isildur’s death it 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. Still the blood of Numenor was not diluted like Gondor and the northern Dunedain retained the longer lifespans and some of the physical and mental gifts bestowed on their ancestors.

Card Theme

The card refers to how the Dunedain retained some of the gifts bestowed on their ancestors, the Edain. The Edain were men of the First Age that fought with the elves against the original dark lord, Morgoth. The gods of Middle Earth blessed the Edain with greater physical and mental abilities than others in the race of men. Additionally, they intermarried some with the elves. This only added to their genetic advantages. The greater physical stature and knowledge of the Edain and later the Numenorians (Second Age descendants) made them seem as kings to other men in Middle Earth. While these attributed waned among the Dunedain in the Third Age, they still demonstrated greater physical and mental abilities than most men of the time along with a twice as long lifespan. It is fitting a theme to put on a card that has the Dunedain accomplishing more through action advantage.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Dunedain Characters

The Dunedain characters in the game are great targets for readying. Many of them have multiple 2 or better stats. This goes back even to the Core Set with Northern Tracker that has a great location control ability when questing to place a progress on each location in the staging area along with a decent 2 attack and 2 defense. It often can lead to a tough decision on using Northern Tracker to quest or save for combat. Some of the allies even has stats that scale with the number of enemies engaged which also scales the readying effect. It can make for a huge turn to ready several Dunedain that could have stats at 3 or more due to having a few enemies engaged.

A few of the heroes and unique allies also have very useful abilities that require them to be exhausted. Beravor can draw a player 2 cards. Sulien can reduce the threat of locations in the staging area. Spirit Aragorn can reduced the threat of a single location and possibly place a progress on the location.

Traps

Traps work great to increase the effect of every Dunedain engaged enemy bonuses because it offsets the downside of keeping an enemy engaged. Forest Snare in particular works really well because the enemy remains engaged but no longer attacks. Entangling Nets and Outmatched create a similar more safely engaged enemy that can be defended without sacrificing an action. Shadow effects are still a concern unless the player has a defender with some shadow cancelation like A Burning Brand.

Gloin hero

Gloin can be an interesting way to increase the 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. Generally once Gloin is set up, the Dunedain are only needed to quest and attack. Action advantage might not be needed as much. Especially from an event that will ready them only one time.

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 Descendants of Kings at 8 rings. It is a card I’m sure I’ve included a couple copies at least once. At the time of writing this, I couldn’t tell you if I’ve every played it in a game. I’ve been in situations where it would be helpful with a Dunedain focused deck. It is easy to end up with a bunch of enemies engaged and needing to defend all the attacks and leaving no one left to attack back. Sometimes that is fine and other times, it would be great to ready at least an attacker or two to bring the number of enemies back to a manageable level. It is one of those cards that has to show up at the right time or a player holds onto it for that just in case situation. Now, it is possible to splash this card into a deck that isn’t Dunedain focused, but I don’t see much point to it. Ever Vigilant with a similar cost can ready any ally and not need an enemy engaged. It can also ready heroes but Dunedain have many readying attachments they qualify for roughly the same resource cost. It is just a very situational card. I hope someday to use it to ready many Dunedain heroes and/or allies and turn the tide of battle with it.

  • Dave –
  • Grant –
  • Ted –
  • Matt – 8
  • Average –

External Links

Sample Decks

Dúnedain: for solo plays (Revised Core + Angmar Awakened) by warlock000

A Dunedain theme deck using only the Revised Core Set and Angmar Awakened cycle cards. Check out the deck description on ringsdb for many great piloting tips.

Dúnedain: for solo plays (Revised Core + Angmar Awakened)

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Amarthiúl (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
Beravor (Core Set)
Halbarad (The Lost Realm)

Ally (27)
3x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Fornost Bowman (The Dread Realm)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Guardian of Arnor (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
2x Honour Guard (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Sarn Ford Sentry (The Lost Realm)
3x Snowbourn Scout (Core Set)
1x Son of Arnor (Core Set)

Attachment (15)
2x Athelas (The Lost Realm)
2x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
3x Forest Snare (Core Set)
3x Heir of Valandil (The Lost Realm)
1x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x The Long Defeat (The Battle of Carn Dûm)

Event (8)
3x Descendants of Kings (Escape from Mount Gram)
2x Expert Trackers (The Lost Realm)
2x Feint (Core Set)
1x For Gondor! (Core Set)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Dread Realm

Sideboard

Ally (2)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
1x Son of Arnor (Core Set)

Attachment (2)
1x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
1x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)

Event (9)
1x Expert Trackers (The Lost Realm)
1x Feint (Core Set)
1x For Gondor! (Core Set)
3x Radagast’s Cunning (Core Set)
3x Secret Paths (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Halfling Determination

  • Card Talk Season 5 Episode 41
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode
  • Cycle
    • Lord of the Rings Saga
  • Set
    • The Black Riders
  • Player Card Categories 
    • Willpower Bonus
    • Attack Bonus
    • Defense Bonus

Background

There are many instances we see the determination of the hobbits in the books culminating in Frodo carrying the Ring all the way to the fire of Mount Doom. The flavor text pins this to shortly after Frodo, Sam, and Pippin meet Gildor and his band of elven pilgrims. Sam recounts to Frodo how Gildor pressed him to stay with Frodo, and now afterwards the nature of the journey has changed for him. It is no longer about having an adventure and seeing unusual creatures. He knows now it will be a dark journey but he feels he has a purpose in it that he must fulfil.

Card Theme

Boosting all of a Hobbits basic stats is a nicely tied to the theme of this card. It is their determination that helps them find whatever they need within themselves to carry on the quest. Whether it is preserving through strange and dangerous lands, or taking up their swords to fight orcs, trolls, and giant spiders. More willpower, attack, and defense can help players realize that in the game.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Action Advantage

Halfling Determination’s boost last until the end of phase. The more times you can make use of it, the better. Hobbits fortunately have their own readying card that is cheap and easy to play with Fast Hitch. It can also target a character much like Halfling Determination. This will be very important later when discussing Halfling Determination’s interaction with a special Hobbit character card. Then of course there are the other readying staples like Unexpected Courage, Rohan Warhorse, Armored Destrier, Cram, Lembas, and Miruvor among many others. For maximum effect, you will want to play it with Hour of Wrath or Path of Need. These cards because heroes will not exhaust to quest, attack, or defend means the boosted hero can use its enhanced stats against every enemy.

Rosie Cotton

Rosie Cotton like Halfling Determination itself is a powerful boosting card for Hobbits. They work well together because Halfling Determination boosts her willpower and then she can use the resulting 4 willpower to add 4 to a Hobbit hero’s stats. A Fast Hitch on her and the willpower bonus can be doubled for questing by using her ability and questing with her. She can also become a hero with Messenger of the King and Sword-thain. This allows her to target herself with her ability and double Halfling’s Determination for combat by adding her 4 willpower to her boosted attack or defense. This turns her in a pretty strong attacker or defender with 6 in either relevant stat.

Quest Specific

The stat boosts are going to be good in almost every quest since they help with both questing and combat. A couple special cases worth mentioning are in the LOTR Saga quests. Both are special tests called hide and fortitude tests. Hide tests are used in A Shadow of the Past and fortitude tests are in Mount Doom. Both have very similar mechanics where the players commit characters (heroes only for fortitude) and use their total willpower for the test. Then encounter cards are discarded to determine the value the players need to beat. In hide tests, threat is totaled up and fortitude it is Sauron eye icons. There is a special action window after encounter cards are discarded before resolving the test. If the players are short on willpower, Halfling Determination can help push them over the edge.

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 Halfling Determination at 7 rings. It is a pretty good boost with +2 to all of the basic stats. This makes it pretty flexible, but still only a one time boost. It going to be a bit niche considering it is limited to hobbits. I find it often just doesn’t make the cut even in Hobbit decks. Largely because the best hobbit cards are in Spirit and Lore. Hobbits additionally are low on defense and Feint is generally a better 1 cost Tactics event to include over this card. It also doesn’t help that this is the hobbit version of Durin’s Song except that it lasts only until the end of the phase.

  • Dave – 4.5
  • Grant – 2
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 7
  • Average – 4.5

External Links

Sample Decks

The Kids Gather ’round the Christmas Tree by Dave Walsh

Card Talk’s Christmas themed deck focused on utilizing hero Treebeard.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Bilbo Baggins (Mount Gundabad)
Frodo Baggins (A Shadow in the East)
Treebeard (The Treason of Saruman)

Ally (11)
1x Elrond (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
3x Rosie Cotton (The Mountain of Fire)

Attachment (26)
3x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Ent Draught (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
2x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
3x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
3x Self Preservation (Core Set)
2x Spear of the Citadel (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Sting (Mount Gundabad)
2x The Arkenstone (The Withered Heath)

Event (17)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Halfling Determination (The Black Riders)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Taste it Again! (The Land of Shadow)
2x The King’s Return (The Fate of Wilderland)

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

3 Heroes, 55 Cards
Cards up to A Shadow in the East

Sideboard

Event (3)
3x Feint (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Dwarven Tomb

  • Player Card Categories 
    • Recursion
    • Discard Pile

Almost like having an extra copy of any Spirit card.

Background

There are 2 possible tombs from the books this card can be based on. It could be Thorin Oakenshield’s tomb where he was buried with the Arkenstone after The Battle of Five Armies. The other is tomb of Balin in Moria. The Fellowship of the Ring found Balin’s tomb in the Chamber of Mazarbul when passing through Moria and ambushed there by orcs.

The flavor text is an except from Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold. It is not version the Dwarves sing after the unexpected party at Bag End, but one they sang after Smaug was defeated. The main difference in the excerpt is the first line, “The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong,” instead of “To seek the pale enchanted gold”. This could refer to either Thorin or Balin since both were part of that company. It is possible FFG kept it intentionally ambiguous, but the art favors the description of Balin’s tomb with the shaft of light falling upon it.

The chamber was lit by a wide shaft high in the further eastern wall; it slanted upwards and, far above, a small square patch of blue sky could be seen. The light of the shaft fell directly on a table in the middle of the room: a single oblong block, about two feet high, upon which was laid a great slab of white stone.

The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 4: A Journey in the Dark

Card Theme

I know from a couple designer interviews that LOTR LCG is inspired by Magic the Gathering. The discard pile in Magic is called the graveyard. The thematic tie of a tomb to the discard pile recursion mechanic is well known to veteran Magic players. It still makes sense in this game as destroyed allies and heroes are put in the discard pile as well. The brining a card back out of the discard pile doesn’t fit that well with finality of the tomb. If it had been a reference to the Valar sending Gandalf back to Middle Earth then it would have been more thematic.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Powerful Spirit Events

Spirit has some of the most powerful and widely useful event cards in the game. A Test of Will of can neutralize many treachery encounter cards which can account for about a third of a scenario’s encounter cards. Additionally there are some enemies with When Revealed effects that it can cancel. Hasty Stroke can be a game saver against nasty shadows. Elrond’s Counsel and Galadhim’s Greeting are staples in threat reduction.

Dwarven Tomb can act as like an additional 3 copies of each of those events. Events are a more common target because events go right into the discard pile after being played making them easier to recur. Also allies and attachments have their own specific events, Stand and Fight and Reforged. Those 2 are generally better than Dwarven Tomb for allies and attachments because they put the card into play. Players want to keep allies and attachments in play usually as well. Still the flexibility to get any spirit card can be more advantageous in some decks.

Caldara, Dwarven Mining, and Noldor Discard

Caldara, Dwarven Mining, and Noldor Discard decks can all benefit from that flexibility due to each has a similar game plan. Put cards into the discard pile. Caldara decks want to fill it with powerful allies and when Caldara is discarded they get 2, 3, or even 4 allies for the price of an 8 threat cost hero. Dwarven Mining will put cards directly from its deck into the discard to power the abilities of its heroes and allies or possibly get free attachments via Well-Equipped or Ring of Thror. Noldor discard will discard cards from hand for abilities or to play allies with To the Sea, to the Sea! There is always the risk in these decks of either blindly or forced to discard a necessary card. Dwarven Tomb is a great insurance to get that card. Dwarven Tomb also turns the mining effects into pseudo card draw. As the Dwarves put more cards into the discard pile, the potential targets of the tomb expand.

Other Discard Recursion Cards

Dwarven Tomb and Map of Earnil fill similar roles but together can be ridiculous. The map can target the tomb to bring back another card then put the tomb on the bottom of the deck for another possible use. This can lead to an infinite loop with an empty deck as the tomb can target Map of Earnil to return to hand. Play Tomb again with the returned Map to return another Spirit card. A little card draw with Elven-light and this loop can occur every turn. Dwarven Tomb retrieving Knight of Belfalas, especially if somehow all copies ended in the discard, allows for another chain of discard recursion. The Knight can retrieve each other copy since they’re all Gondor allies. Chump block while one is in hand and just get back after replaying it.

Quest Specific

There are a few quests that will force players to discard cards from their deck. Deadman’s Dike from The Lost Realm, Dungeons of Cirth Gurat in the Haradrim cycle, and Under the Ash Mountains. There are also many cards scattered across various quests that force players to discard cards from their hand or their entire hand. Dwarven Tomb can help mitigate the downsides of these quests aside from just getting a key card back. Many of them have effects that additional effects if another copy of card is in your discard. Deadman’s Dike and Under the Ash Mountains both have a player lose if they run out of cards in their deck. Dwarven Tomb can help find a way to get some cards shuffled back into the 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 this card at 4 rings. It has a pretty flexible and useful effect considering it can get any Spirit card out of the discard pile. I’ve used it fairly often even back when I had only 2 copies from my 2 old core sets. I’ve used it in discard recursion focused decks as insurance and added to decks with Spirit as potential extra copy of Test of Will. In my experience, I usually would rather just have the regular card drawn and it can cut from the deck list pretty easily if extra room is needed. It also be helpful in trimming a deck since I’ll drop a 3rd copy of A Test of Will and another generally useful Spirit event like Hasty Stroke. Dwarven Tomb then I’ll count on as the 3rd copy for both. Still I find I’ll hold on to Dwarven Tomb just in case or won’t have the spare resource to play it and the card I pull out. Discard recursion, I’ll find myself trimming Dwarven Tomb if I’m just using it as insurance. One copy sometimes is all that is needed to tilt the odds to seeing it late game when it might be needed. It’s that “just in case role” it fills that while a generally useful card when playing Spirit, that it moves more towards a niche card rather than a powerful will always include card.

  • Dave – 2
  • Grant – 2
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 4
  • Average – 2.67

External Links

Sample Decks

Doomed Rohan – To Catch An Orc – Minimum Purchase by kattattack22

Rohan themed deck for To Catch an Orc using only Voice of Isengard and 1 old core set. Dwarven Tomb doesn’t feature necessarily in this deck but it serves as a possible 3rd copy of A Test of Will.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Éomer (The Voice of Isengard)
Éowyn (Core Set)
Gríma (The Voice of Isengard)

Ally (27)
2x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
3x Gondorian Spearman (Core Set)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
3x Isengard Messenger (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Lórien Guide (Core Set)
2x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
3x Veteran Axehand (Core Set)
3x Westfold Horse-breeder (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Westfold Outrider (The Voice of Isengard)

Attachment (6)
2x Blade of Gondolin (Core Set)
2x Keys of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)

Event (17)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
2x Feint (Core Set)
2x Secret Paths (Core Set)
3x Stand and Fight (Core Set)
2x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3x The Wizards’s Voice (The Voice of Isengard)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Voice of Isengard

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Burglar’s Turn to Side Quest by kattattack22

Multiplayer questing and support deck that uses some Noldor discard effects and dwarven mining. Dwarven Tomb here is an insurance policy if forced to discard something important or turn Zigil Miner into pseudo card search.

Burglar’s Turn to Side Quest

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Arwen Undómiel (The Dread Realm)
Círdan the Shipwright (The Grey Havens)
Thurindir (Race Across Harad)

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

Ally (25)
1x Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens)
3x East Road Ranger (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
1x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
1x Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller)
3x Lórien Guide (Core Set)
3x Mirkwood Explorer (The Thing in the Depths)
3x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
3x Rider of Rohan (Beneath the Sands)
1x Súlien (The City of Corsairs)
2x Thalion (Fire in the Night)
3x Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm)

Event (20)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
3x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
3x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
3x Stand and Fight (Core Set)
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
2x Will of the West (Core Set)

Player Side Quest (6)
1x Double Back (Escape from Mount Gram)
1x Explore Secret Ways (Race Across Harad)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)
1x Rally the West (The Black Serpent)
1x Scout Ahead (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x The Storm Comes (The Sands of Harad)

3 Heroes, 51 Cards
Cards up to Wrath and Ruin

Sideboard

Attachment (14)
1x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
1x Citadel Plate (Core Set)
1x Durin’s Axe (Wrath and Ruin)
1x Glamdring (Roam Across Rhovanion)
1x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Legacy Blade (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
1x Magic Ring (The Crossings of Poros)
1x Mithril Shirt (The Fate of Wilderland)
1x Narya (The Grey Havens)
1x Necklace of Girion (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
1x Orcrist (Fire in the Night)
1x Stone of Elostirion (Under the Ash Mountains)
1x The Arkenstone (The Withered Heath)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Drinking Song

  • Card Talk Season 5 Episode 36
    • Video episode
    • Audio episode

It’s an extra mulligan!

Background

Tolkien’s works feature many songs. It considering that a major theme in the Lord of the Rings is joy of everyday life and simple pleasures that it would have a couple drinking songs. There is “Ho! Ho! Ho! To the Bottle I Go” that used for the flavor text. The hobbits sing it after meeting Gildor and his entourage of elves.

Ho! Ho! Ho! to the bottle I go

To heal my heart and drown my woe.

Rain may fall and wind may blow,

And many miles be still to go,

But under a tall tree I will lie,

And let the clouds go sailing by.

Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 4: A Short Cut to Mushrooms

There is also “The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late” that Frodo sings when he gets up on a table at The Prancing Pony.

There is an inn, a merry old inn

beneath an old grey hill,

And there they brew a beer so brown

That the Man in the Moon himself came down

One night to drink his fill.

Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 9: At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

The above is an just an except as the full song is quite long.

Card Theme

Many of the cards with draw effects in the game has ties to knowledge in the game. Daeron’s Runes (a writing system), Deep Knowledge, Gandalf’s Search, Mithrandir’s Advice, etc.

Drinking Song is an interesting entry into melding this theme and mechanism. It can be argued that songs are another medium to convey knowledge. Particularly with many of the songs of the ancient heroes and deeds in Middle Earth. Drinking Songs, however, generally are not these grand epic songs. They’re silly, funny, and fun to sing while drinking impairing one’s wits. I think this is why it has a player shuffle their hand back into the deck and redraw those cards. It is represents the alcohol scrambling the knowledge in their head.

Card Synergies and Interactions

More Card Draw

The idea behind combining this card with more card draw, is it increases the number of cards you reshuffle into the deck. This synergy is best if a player truly wants an extra mulligan with this card ensure getting a key card or to really thin their deck. Peace and Thought is a really strong choice for this since it draws 5 at the cost of a single card. Erestor hero also especially on turn 1 can help maximize that new hand if played on turn 1. Deep Knowledge and Daeron’s Runes also can help incrementally increase your hand size especially if you have more than 1 or draw into multiple copies.

Love of Tales

Drinking Song and Love of Tales can create a resource acceleration engine in mono-Lore. Lore doesn’t have many resource acceleration options after the Master of Lore nerf. This particular engine for Mono-Lore takes a bit of setup to get 2 or optimally 3 Love of Tales in play. Still it is not that difficult since they’re zero cost and just need to be drawn, and fortunately Lore has many ways to draw cards. Then each play of Drinking Song, will give each hero with Love of Tales a resource. They can be recurred with Scroll of Isildur to play them 9 times in a game. Erebor Hammersmiths can increase this up to 15 times in game. That means this engine could generate up to 45 resources in a game. The entire time, the player will get to draw new hands of cards.

Council of the Wise

Council of the Wise because of its deckbuilding limitation, can be very inconsistent. The limit of 1 copy of each card in a deck works in Magic the Gathering where Elder Dragon Highlander or as it is now known, Commander is a very popular format because its card pool lots of cards with similar effects. This allows Magic decks to create consistent decks because there are dozens of cards with different names that still do the same thing. LOTR LCG doesn’t have that same depth particularly as less player cards came out in each cycle than many Magic sets. Additonally, an advantage of the LCG release model is there is little to no reprints and players don’t have to buy multiple copies of expansions except for the original core set. Drinking Song can help make Council of the Wise decks a bit more consistent. Anytime there is a bad draw or starts to stall because events aren’t being drawn, then Drinking Song can reset the player’s hand plus triggers the contract’s response.

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 Drinking Song at 4 rings. It is a good solid card that helps dig for specific cards and makes for a fun resource engine in mono-Lore. It is a very Pippin player friendly card because it help get combos set up. That said, I think it is more a role player of the zero cost card draw events. Daeron’s Runes and Deep Knowledge are easier to play since they are zero resource cost and get the player 2 new cards. Drinking Song needs a unique Hobbit in order to replace itself. The main hurdle I find to playing it usually if I have a card I want to keep, then I don’t play Drinking Song even if all the other cards in my hand aren’t helpful. If playing Lore and looking to splash in card draw Daeron’s Runes and Deep Knowledge are top of the list. Including a third card draw event after those can take up too much deck space. Even if considering more card draw, Heed the Dream is a strong contender for the similar use case as Drinking Song. Heed the Dream let’s a player search their top 5 cards for 1 in particular and their entire deck if 3 leadership resources are paid. At that point, it may come down to if unique Hobbits are being played in the deck or not.

  • Dave – 2
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – 2
  • Matt – 4
  • Average – 2.67

External Links

Sample Decks

Love of Drinking Song by Marcelf

Mono-Lore deck showcasing Love of Tales and Drinking Song resources acceleration.

Love of Drinking Song

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Gléowine (Messenger of the King Allies)
Folco Boffin (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
Gríma (The Voice of Isengard)

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

Ally (23)
3x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
1x Firyal (The Mûmakil)
1x Gaffer Gamgee (Mount Gundabad)
2x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
1x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
3x Isengard Messenger (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Loyal Hound (The Fate of Wilderland)
1x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Robin Smallburrow (The Drowned Ruins)
2x Steward of Orthanc (Race Across Harad)
1x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (15)
3x Keys of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Love of Tales (The Long Dark)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Scroll of Isildur (The Morgul Vale)
3x Sword-thain (The Dread Realm)

Event (12)
3x Bartering (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
2x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear)
1x The Houses of Healing (A Storm on Cobas Haven)

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Great Hunt

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

The Great Ship Killer!

Background

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

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

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

Card Theme

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

Card Synergies and Interactions

Resource Smoothing

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

Cost Reduction

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

Low Threat Heroes and Engagement Control

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

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

Scroll of Isildur

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

Quest Specific

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

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

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

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

Ring Rating

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

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

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

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

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

External Links

Sample Decks

Victory via a Burglary Side Quest by Matt Kell aka kattattack22

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

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

Main Deck

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

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

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

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

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

3 Heroes, 52 Cards
Cards up to Wrath and Ruin

Sideboard

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

The Greatest Hunt by Seastan

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

Main Deck

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

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

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

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

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

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Out of the Wild – Community Review

by Shane Marquez

  • Player Card Categories 
    • Secrecy
    • Victory Display

Background

I had never played the card before one of the Epic Multiplayer community events and after testing a bit with the deck I was given to play, the archetype fit my playstyle perfectly. I enjoy planning turns ahead and trying to make informed decisions to prevent catastrophe.

Card Theme

The card definitely fall in theme with the other “ranger”-y cards like Hidden Path. It allows the player to sort of “play ahead” of the encounter deck and by continually undermining the Enemy through preparedness, they never gain a foothold to stop the players.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Victory Display

The deck is complimented by anything that asks the players to build up the Victory Display. Keen As Lances rewards not only the player using Out of the Wild, but the entire team, if they’re willing to dedicate the room (and why wouldn’t everyone want free “draw 3” if they know a teammate will be doing the work for them?). It also synergizes extremely well with The Door Is Closed! as it sets up TDIC as a reliable and complete cancellation card, the longer the game goes on.

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.

Out of the Wild is the type of card that offers a fun and impactful decision point. At face value, it removes a card from the game that you’d prefer not to see, but the criteria of what makes a card one that you don’t want to see if is flexible for every group or scenario. It can reduce Surge appearing probability, it can proactively remove enemies you’re not able to fight, and it can even remove some of the most notorious treacheries from the game. While it doesn’t answer threats that are currently facing you, it’s efficient, proactive, and interesting. If I’m playing Lore at all, and the threat is low enough to afford Secrecy (it’s only other drawback), Out of the Wild is included.

  • Shane- 2
  • Dave – TBR
  • Grant – TBR
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – TBR

Sample Decks

Asneak On Dol Goldur! Second Impact! by Attercop!

Well rounded deck featuring Firyal as a hero with a fair amount of location control.

Asneak On Dol Goldur! Second Impact!

Main Deck

Hero (3)
(MotK) Robin Smallburrow (Messenger of the King Allies)
Folco Boffin (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
Pippin (The Black Riders)

Ally (3)
1x Ioreth (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (10)
3x Good Meal (The Redhorn Gate)
2x Leaf Brooch (The Three Trials)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Scroll of Isildur (The Morgul Vale)

Event (40)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
2x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Drinking Song (Mount Gundabad)
3x Gildor’s Counsel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Keen as Lances (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Leave No Trace (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear)
2x None Return (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Out of the Wild (Road to Rivendell)
3x Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame)
3x The Door is Closed! (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
2x The Great Hunt (The Fate of Wilderland)
3x The Hidden Way (The Withered Heath)
1x The Houses of Healing (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
2x The Shirefolk (Mount Gundabad)
1x Tom Bombadillo! (Wrath and Ruin)

3 Heroes, 53 Cards
Cards up to Messenger of the King Allies

Sideboard

Attachment (5)
3x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)
1x Leaf Brooch (The Three Trials)
1x Scroll of Isildur (The Morgul Vale)

Event (26)
3x Advance Warning (The Drúadan Forest)
3x Heed the Dream (Flight of the Stormcaller)
1x None Return (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Radagast’s Cunning (Core Set)
3x Risk Some Light (Shadow and Flame)
3x Secret Paths (Core Set)
3x Strider’s Path (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x The Evening Star (The Grey Havens)
1x The Great Hunt (The Fate of Wilderland)
1x The Houses of Healing (A Storm on Cobas Haven)
1x The Shirefolk (Mount Gundabad)
1x Tom Bombadillo! (Wrath and Ruin)

Deck built on RingsDB.