Glorfindel (Spirit Hero)

  • Cycle
    • Darrowdelf
  • Set
    • Foundations of Stone 

The Glorfindel hero you want to play.

Background

Glorfindel we meet in the Lord of the Rings trilogy after Frodo is stabbed by the Morgul blade. He finds Strider and the Hobbits on their way to Rivendell. He takes Frodo from them and carries him swiftly to Rivendell. When confronted by the ringwraiths at the ford, he reveals his spiritual presence to drive the wraiths into the river. Then they are swept away in the ensuing flood. Those unfamiliar with books will note this part is filled by Arwen in the Peter Jackson film adaption.

Glorfindel, however, has a much more extensive story than his cameo in Lord of the Rings. In the First Age, he is one of the captains of Gondolin, the hidden elf city. He is most well known for slaying a Blarog in single combat covering the elves’ flight from the city after it fell. After the fatal blow, the Balrog began to fall into an abyss and dragged Glorfindel down with him. Glorfindel died, but the Valar brought him back from the Halls of Waiting.

He lived in Valinor after his resurrection until coming back to Middle Earth in the Second Age. Glorfindel most likely returned to Middle Earth with the Blue Wizards. He was sent to aid King Gil-galad and Elrond in fighting Sauron. Not much is known of his deeds during the end of the second age and early third age. He did fight Sauron’s forces in Eriador. There, most notably, he gave the prophecy that the Witch-King would not fall by the hand of a man.

Card Theme

Glorfindel is obviously a powerful Nolder as a First Age Elf that took down a Balrog single handedly. His strong stat line is well justified there. The low threat then is a reflection of his involvement in the War of the Ring. Hero threat is explained as the attention the hero draws from Sauron. Powerful leaders like Elrond or Gandalf have high threat because they’re high profile and powerful threats to Sauron. Hobbits have low threat because they generally below his notice. Glorfindel only returning shortly after the forging of The One Ring and believed to not openly display his unseen presence much if at all, likely was not well known. Later as previously mentioned he helped Frodo get to Rivendell, but was rejected from The Fellowship as his power would draw too much attention. This brings us to his Forced effect. Glorfindel’s power is hidden because it stems from his strong presence in the unseen world. He could reveal and unleash it as he did with the Nazghul. Doing so more often would eventually draw Sauron’s attention represented by the Forced effect raising a player’s threat.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Does Not Exhaust to Quest

The drawback to Glorfindel’s low threat cost is the Forced effect on his card. Every time he exhausts to quest, the player has to raise their threat by 1. The work around to this is either not to quest or use Light of Valinor that came in the same pack to quest without exhausting. Strider can also provide the a way around exhausting to quest, but the player can only control 2 or less heroes. If using the Grey Wanderer contract, either one of these could be put into play right at the start of the game.

Secrecy

Glorfindel’s low threat cost is great to enable Secrecy decks. Prior to Smeagol and Messenger of the King, his 5 threat cost was the lowest threat (tied with Mirlonde in Mono-Lore). On top of that, he had 3’s in two stats. Most low threat heroes in the first few cycles had 2’s with Sam Gamgee as the notable exception. Secrecy cards can provide tremendous value in a game. Resourceful and Timely Aid each only one cost can provide tremendous resource acceleration. Out of the Wild and Risk Some Light can control the encounter deck. Allies with Secrecy like Celduin Traveler, Ithilien Lookout, Dunedain Wander, and Rivendell Scout are great values for their Secrecy cost with each having at least a 2 stat.

Asfaloth

Asfaloth, the location control card that because it could put 2 progress on any location resulted in locations getting many more quest points. It is easy to forget that it normally only places 1 progress when used with any other Noldor or Silvan hero because it almost always played with Glorfindel. The 2 progress per round is huge in clearing locations and avoiding location lock. In early cycles it will clear many locations in a single turn. Later cycles it might take a few turns but still it will eventually clear many locations and avoid nasty travel effects.

Attack Boosts

Glorfindel is often going to attack to utilize his robust attack stat. Attacking additionally avoids triggering his Forced effect. His attack easily can be better considering his traits qualify him for some of the best attack boosting attachments. Furthermore, his low threat works well with Dagger Westernesse extra bonus attack when players engage enemies with greater engagement cost higher than their threat.

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 Spirit Glorfindel hero at 1 ring. His very low threat, great stats, Spirit access, Asfaloth, and easy way to avoid his drawback make him fit into numerous decks. The 5 threat cost gives players lots of room to include high threat cost heroes. If they use lower threat cost heroes as well, it can be easy to avoid many engagements and avoid being overwhelmed early in the game. Not to mention enabling using the Secrecy discount when kept under 20 threat. While other heroes have low threat cost, none have double 3’s and the bevy of hit points that Glorfindel does. Then Light of Valinor in addition to negating his drawback, lets him use both stats every round. It is incredibly efficient. If he wasn’t powerful enough, he makes one of the best location control cards better. It can’t be understated how that 2 progress from Asfaloth changed location design in the game because it was so powerful with Glorfindel.

The real downside to Glorfindel is that he can become a crutch. When making a hero line up, he can help round out many of them. Need more willpower to start off with a lot of threat in the staging area or need to progress quickly, Spirit Glorfindel can help the questing hero do it. Need more attack power to deal with an big enemy early, Spirit Glorfindel can help with a more dedicated attacking hero. Facing a lot of archery, direct damage, or undefended attacks, His big pool of hit points can help. Need to keep starting threat low, to avoid engagements, Spirit Glorfindel can help. He just brings a lot to the table.

  • Dave – 2
  • Grant – 1.5
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 1

External Links

Sample Decks

Gandalf’s Noble Hunters by kattattack22

A Three Hunters deck featuring Spirit Glorfindel.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Denethor (Flight of the Stormcaller)
Gandalf (The Road Darkens)
Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)

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

Attachment (41)
3x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
3x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
3x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
3x Golden Belt (Challenge of the Wainriders)
2x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
2x Livery of the Tower (The Flame of the West)
2x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Shining Shield (The Fortress of Nurn)
3x Silver Circlet (Wrath and Ruin)
2x Staff of Lebethron (The Land of Shadow)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
3x Valiant Sword (Under the Ash Mountains)
3x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

Event (9)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Campfire Tales (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Open the Armory (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)

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

Sideboard

Attachment (10)
3x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)
1x Staff of Lebethron (The Land of Shadow)
3x Steed of Imladris (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Sword of Númenor (The Dread Realm)

Event (9)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Victory-a Secret by stokesbook

A Secrecy enabled victory display encounter control deck.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)
Mirlonde (The Drúadan Forest)
Rossiel (Escape from Mount Gram)

Ally (8)
2x Celduin Traveler (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
3x Galadhrim Minstrel (Trouble in Tharbad)
1x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x Ithilien Lookout (The Dunland Trap)

Attachment (13)
2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)
1x Cloak of Lórien (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Lembas (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
3x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)

Event (29)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Fair and Perilous (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Keen as Lances (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Leave No Trace (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear)
3x None Return (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Out of the Wild (Road to Rivendell)
3x The Door is Closed! (The Treachery of Rhudaur)

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

3 Heroes, 51 Cards
Cards up to The Treachery of Rhudaur

Sideboard

Hero (2)
Galdor of the Havens (The Grey Havens)
Pippin (The Black Riders)

Ally (5)
3x Galadhrim Weaver (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
2x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)

Attachment (5)
2x Leaf Brooch (The Three Trials)
3x The Long Defeat (The Battle of Carn Dûm)

Event (11)
3x A Elbereth! Gilthoniel! (Shadow and Flame)
3x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
2x Lórien’s Wealth (Core Set)
3x Risk Some Light (Shadow and Flame)

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.

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.

Eleanor

Extra treachery cancelation hero that shines in multiplayer.

Background

Eleanor is a FFG created character with the Gondor and Noble traits. If the traits weren’t enough of a clue, her art shows her wearing a diadem. It even looks reminiscent of the Aragorn’s crown in Peter Jackson’s Return of the King.

Card Theme

Eleanor’s ability to cancel a treachery and reveal a new encounter card doesn’t match the abilities of most Gondorian heroes. Heirs of Numenor really started to establish the Gondor trait being linked to resources and resource acceleration with Leadership Borormir giving an attack bonus when he has a resource in his pool and Tactics Beregond discounting Armor and Weapon attachments. Other Gondor cards expanded on this theme with more resource acceleration like Wealth of Gondor, Mablung hero, Captain’s Wisdom and Leadership Denethor

.

Eleanor’s ability is similar to Lore Denethor‘s ability to look at the top card of the encounter deck and either put it on the top or bottom. There weren’t any more Gondor themed encounter control cards until the Gondorian Rangers and Traps in Against the Shadow and then it was limited to Lore. Eleanor’s ability is more aligned with the Spirit sphere’s encounter cancellation cards like A Test of Will and Hasty Stroke. I think this is largely a result of the initial design not being as centered around traits as what eventually developed in larger expansions.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Defense Bonus

Defense is Eleanor’s only stat besides hit points greater than 1. At 2, it is sufficient for the Core Set scenarios where many enemies have 2 attack and there is even 1 attack enemies. Gondorian Shield since it gives +2 defense to Gondorian heroes turns her into a decent defender. Blood of Numenor is a solid option in the Spirit sphere and works well with all the resource acceleration options for a Gondor deck. Eleanor’s low threat of 7 also makes it possible to pair it with Resourceful. Still even with these significant defense boosts, Eleanor’s 3 hit points keeps her from being a great primary defender.

Readying

Readying is good if a player wants to use Eleanor as a defender in addition to her ability. Unexpected Courage, of course is the quintessential readying card. Miruvor also is a decent option to ready Eleanor after using her ability. It can even add a resource to Eleanor for use with Blood of Numenor.

More Encounter Control

Eleanor can become an adequate defender, but it is really her ability that is most useful considering how much build up she needs. Utilizing it alongside more encounter control, can shut down the worst the encounter has to offer. This strategy is usually limited to multiplayer since it leaves little room in a deck for cards to aid in questing and combat. In Spirit, there’s A Test of Will and Hasty Stroke. A Watchful Peace can also control the encounters by recurring an innocuous locations. Lore, however, will need to be added for more direct 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

Eleanor can be useful in many quests considering all of them have treacheries. The first two cycles more so than later cycles. Shadows of Mirkwood included many that dealt direct damage to heroes and allies that could lay waste to a players board state. Massing at Night in multiplayer especially at 3 and 4 players can be overwhelming. Roasted Slowly and Gollum’s Bite are outright hero killers.

The Darrowdelf cycle, however, it is almost a requirement to bring Test of Will. The Hazards of the Pit set that is part of many of the scenarios includes the notorious Sudden Pitfall that can easily take out a hero if there are no other questing characters to discard. Crumbling Ruin in the same set can also often result in the loss of an ally and even a hero if they don’t have an ally instead. Watchful Eyes also in one of the deluxe sets means many additional encounter cards or not being able to use a hero. Then there’s Road to Rivendell with not 1 but 2 terrible treacheries to watch out for. The infamous Sleeping Sentry that has ended many a game when A Test of Will is not available to cancel it. Then there’s Orc Ambush that as Ted pointed out in Superlative February covering the best and worst encounter cards not only can give bring a ton of enemies into play late game, but surges on top of it.

These cancel or lose type treacheries are part of why the first few cycles can be very “swingy” for new players. If you don’t see them in your game, the scenario can seem very easy. If you get one or two at the wrong time, it can be very difficult if they don’t end the game outright.

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 Eleanor at 6 rings. I think she’s dropped off in importance as the card pool has grown and scenario design moved away from treacheries having such a large effects. In the first couple of cycles, I would have rated her a 3 especially in multiplayer. She doesn’t do a lot for a player turn to turn without significant investment in building her up. She’s got it covered, however, when you really need to cancel Massing at Night or Crumbling Ruins. The more players you add, the more likely that a treachery will show up to wreck havoc on the players. Later cycles treacheries are less prevalent and the effects are more manageable. Part of that is just having more options in deckbuilding. More allies have more than 1 hit point to absorb direct damage. Threat reduction options expanded even beyond Spirit. Lore encounter control options have grown in number. There are even more ways to return heroes to play.

  • Dave – 6
  • Grant – 5
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 6
  • Average – 5.33

External Links

Sample Decks

The Nope Deck by Qwaz

This deck is entirely devoted to controlling the encounter deck. Eleanor cancels treacheries, Balin cancels shadows, and Damrod helps trap enemies. On top of that, victory display cards remove the nastier encounters.

The Nope Deck

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Balin (On the Doorstep)
Damrod (The Land of Shadow)
Eleanor (Core Set)

Ally (3)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)

Attachment (14)
3x Forest Snare (Core Set)
3x King Under the Mountain (On the Doorstep)
3x Ranger Spikes (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Thrór’s Map (Over Hill and Under Hill)

Event (31)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Gildor’s Counsel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
3x None Return (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Out of the Wild (Road to Rivendell)
3x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
3x The Door is Closed! (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x We Are Not Idle (Shadow and Flame)
1x Will of the West (Core Set)

Player Side Quest (2)
1x Gather Information (The Lost Realm)
1x Scout Ahead (The Wastes of Eriador)

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

Sideboard

Ally (6)
3x Miner of the Iron Hills (Core Set)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (13)
3x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Entangling Nets (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Song of Wisdom (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Thrór’s Key (On the Doorstep)
1x Thrór’s Map (Over Hill and Under Hill)

Event (9)
3x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
3x Heed the Dream (Flight of the Stormcaller)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Leadership Aragorn

A powerful versatile hero just like he is in the books.

Background

Aragorn, son of Arathorn, AKA Strider is the direct descendent of the kings of Gondor and Arnor. He was the chieftain of the northern remnants of Arnor, the Dunedain. Elrond fostered him at Rivendell after his father was killed by orcs. After he turned 21 and learned of his heirtage, Aragorn travel far and wide in Middle Earth assisting both Rohan and Gondor against Sauron.

He is first introduced in The Lord of the Rings at The Prancing Pony. He soon become the Hobbits guide to Rivendell after Gandalf’s letter to Frodo identifies him as a friend. He joins the Fellowship at Rivendell offering to his life to help Frodo destroy The One Ring. After the breaking of the Fellowship, he tracks the Uruk-Hai to Rohan. There he aided in the defense of Rohan against Saruman. Then braving the Paths of the Dead enlist the dead oath breakers, he defeated the corsairs at Pelargir to brings the reinforcements that turned the tide at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. He leads to the forces of Gondor and Rohan to The Black Gate to distract Sauron that Frodo can destroy The Ring of Power. After The Ring’s destruction, he becomes King of Gondor and marries Arwen Undomiel.

Card Theme

Aragorn is a highly skilled individual with decades of experience navigating the wilds of Middle Earth and countering Sauron’s forces. Questing in this game is often intended to represent the characters traversing Middle Earth. Aragorn being able to contribute to those travels while being ready to fight if needed is very thematic to those same skills and experience as a Ranger.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Resource Acceleration

Any card that can add resources to Aragorn enables using his ability consistently. The Core Set gave players two in sphere options to combo with Aragorn, Steward of Gondor and Theodred. The Aragorn and Theodread combo Card Talk highlighted previously in our Core Set Combo series. Later cycles introduced many other options particularly among Leadership events. Arwen hero and Zigil Miner are chief among the out of sphere options as they are also repeatable like Theodred and Steward. Additional resources on Aragorn are also a great idea if you’re using any of his toys as well.

Aragorn’s Toys

These cards are all attachments that can give other characters an ability or bonus, but they give Aragorn an additional bonus. Typically the additional bonus is another resource icon. Celebrian’s Stone was the first of these coming in the Core Set making Aragorn’s willpower equal to that of the best questing heroes. This makes his built-in action advantage from questing more valuable. It is easier to forgo 2 willpower to use his 3 attack or 2 defense in combat than 4 willpower. The added Spirit icon is also helpful for playing the only toy that isn’t in sphere, Ring of Barahir.

The Ring of Barahir is generally considered the least interesting since it only adds hit points that scales with the number of artifacts. The full card pool has many Artifacts now with the Guarded attachments like Stone of Elostirion and Orcrist. Aragorn doesn’t benefit much from having may hit points like Gloin and Gimli that have damage taken based abilities.

Sword That Was Broken gives any hero the Leadership icon but on Aragorn it is one of the best global willpower boosts available. It can be especially helpful in Dunedain decks since the Dunedain characters tend to have low willpower.

Roheryn is a powerful attachment since it allows Aragorn to attack before the enemy gets a chance to. If Aragorn has enough attack power to kill the enemy, then it effectively cancels the attack. It combos well with Gondorian Fire that can give Aragorn bonus attack for each resource in his resource pool. The One Ring with Strength and Courage can also provide a huge attack boost considering Aragorn’s printed 3 attack power. Firefoot‘s ability to place excess damage on another enemy can kill another engaged enemy before it can attack as well.

Rivendell Bow doesn’t give a resource icon. It is worth noting because it specifically mentions it can be attached to Aragorn besides just Noldor and Silvans.

Thorongil

Thorongil allows any Aragorn to gain the resource icon and abilities of the other versions of Aragorn. This can be used tactically to bring in threat control, additional combat, power, or location control as needed. The Leadership and Spirt versions in particular pair well. The Leadership version’s readying let’s a player double up on questing. Aragorn can contribute his willpower once to quest and again to reduce staging are threat.

Defense Boosts

Aragorn has the Sentinel trait to be able to defend for other players in multiplayer and a large pool of hit points at 5. His printed defense of 2 is not enough to be a dedicated defender in many quests, but Leadership has a few of the best defensive attachments in sphere. Aragorn between his toys and Thorongil has many additional ways to gain resource icons not available to most other heroes. He can turn into a defensive wall with the ability to cancel shadows if built up with Dunedain Warnings, Ancestral Armor, Armored Destrier, and/or Burning Brand. Blood of Numenor is also a strong option since resource acceleration is a good idea to use his readying ability.

Grey Wanderer

Aragorn’s built-in readying and attachments that can give him all 4 sphere icons makes him a great Grey Wanderer hero. His ability let’s him quest without using the contract’s setup ability to get Strider even if it is a very thematic choice. Resourceful can provide resource acceleration cheaply to fuel his readying. Timely Aid and A Very Good Tale are both in sphere to help muster allies and make up for not having 3 heroes worth of stats. A Gondorian Fire and Blood of Numenor build benefits greatly from the contract’s readying and resource acceleration. Lastly, he can use Roheryn more reliably because the low starting threat of a single hero keeps most enemies from automatically engaging.

Quest Specific

Aragorn’s built-in readying can be used to benefit besides just combat. Many quests have encounter car effects that exhaust a character either as a when revealed or shadow effect. This goes all the way back even to the core set. Caught in a Web is the most notorious example since it makes you pay 2 resources to ready the attached hero during the refresh phase. You can play around this condition attachment by making sure to only quest with Aragorn and readying him after. You can do the same in Darrowdelf to avoid the negative effects of Watchful Eyes.

Aside from the encounter deck trying impede your ability to quest, attack, or defend, there are many other times the quest will require you exhaust a hero. Sometimes it is simply to claim an unguarded objective. Many other times it is required for a test to represent the heroes attempting to do something outside the normal questing. Shadow of Mirkwood introduced this idea with Escape tests in The Dead Marshes and Return to Mirkwood. These tests have to commit character’s willpower to exceed escape value on the encounter cards. The Lord of the Rings Saga had similar Hide tests in A Shadow of the Past. A variation that was based solely on number of characters exhausted rather than willpower used in the Dream-Chaser cycle and Mount Doom scenario for Sailing and Fortitude test, respectively.

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 Leadership Aragorn at 3 rings. That is only because I think he’s the 3rd best version of Aragorn. I think the Lore and Tactics versions offer more to players than this one. If playing another version of Aragorn, this one is top of the list to add its sphere and abilities it via Thorongil.

That said, he offers built-in action advantage for a very reasonable cost of one resource. In the sphere that is best known for resource acceleration. On top of that most of his “toys” are in Leadership. It’s possible to get him every sphere in the game via his own attachments plus some great bonuses and a strong ability. Undeniably a powerful and useful hero.

  • Dave – 2
  • Grant – 2
  • Ted – TBR
  • Matt – 3
  • Average 2.33

Sample Decks

Codus’ Roheryn’s Fire

A deck focused on using Gondorian Fire and Roheryn to kill enemies as soon as they’re optionally engaged. Arwen and Erestor provide resource acceleration and card draw to help get the combo going quickly.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Aragorn (Core Set)
Arwen Undómiel (The Dread Realm)
Erestor (The Treachery of Rhudaur)

Ally (20)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Galadhrim Weaver (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (16)
3x Gondorian Fire (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Roheryn (The Flame of the West)
2x Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes)
2x Steed of Imladris (Across the Ettenmoors)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Sword of Númenor (The Dread Realm)

Event (14)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
2x Gaining Strength (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Heed the Dream (Flight of the Stormcaller)

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

Sideboard

Event (3)
3x Tale of Tinúviel (The Dread Realm)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Spirit Théoden

Théoden is the king of Rohan, and perhaps the king of cost reduction. He has a clear role of getting out your Rohan allies efficiently. As is commonly known, Rohan has a strong theme of discarding allies in exchange for card effects. Théoden helps soften the blow of losing an ally by having it cost less. Additionally, one can build up a good sized army of Rohan allies of any sphere with Théoden’s strong resource smoothing and cost reduction features. Let the mustering begin!

Background

Théoden king, the Lord of the Mark of Rohan. He is the seventeenth king of Rohan and plays a prominent role in The Lord of the Rings. During the war of the ring he is under the spell of Saruman before Gandalf shows to free him from said spell. After this he comes to his senses and immediately thwarts Rohan in action against the evil forces of Saruman, and then Sauron. He famously calls for the mustering of Rohan and eventually presses his Rohirrim forward to the Battle of Pelennor Fields. His iconic speech closes with battle cries of death. He does meet his own death in the fields of Pelennor and in doing so leaves behind a legacy of redemption and glory.

Card Theme

Thedoen’s ability matches his theme quite well, specifically the mustering theme. His ability allows a player to reduce the cost the first played Rohan ally to zero. This is much like his attempts to rally his army in Tolkein’s work. Théoden’s ability is not great by shear power, but by numbers. The idea here is a Rohan ally swarm attempting to get any able-bodied warrior into the battle. Such a theme mimics the desperation to form forces to fight the enemy in both the Battle of Helm’s Deep and Pelennor fields.

Thematic Deckbuilding Ideas

The beauty of deckbuilding with Théoden is he can be dropped in any thematic Rohan deck. In fact, there are pages upon pages of deck ideas on RingsDB demonstrating exactly this. He is going to fit best into a Rohan themed deck with many allies and some high-cost allies, ideally both. This is a huge bonus if you love running Rohan. Any time you can drop a Westfold Horse-breeder for 0 resources, or an Eomund or Gamling for 2 you’re at a major advantage. A Spirit Elfhelm for 3 resources? Yes, please.

Other than his high threat there’s hardly any reason to exclude him in a Rohan swarm deck. His sentinel ability makes him a great defender in multiplayer which also has a thematic flare of it’s own. While Théoden boasts great stats, his value does drop outside of Rohan themed decks due to his specialized nature. Dave and Grant explain more about this in the podcast episode.

Card Synergies and Interactions

Théoden is priviledged into having access to tools specific to him. Snowmane and Herugrim both have added bonuses if you attach them to Théoden. Golden Shield is another thematic fit. Théoden can host all three due to Snowmane losing the restricted keyword when attached to Théoden. It’s clear these were developed with him in mind. Snowmane provides a free readying ability barring a successful quest. Herugrim provides and awesome base of +2 attack bonus while Golden Shield provides a fortifying base of +2 defense bonus. An Unexpected Courage ensures Théoden can utilize both of his combat attachments.

Gamling and Guthwine‘s ability to recur Rohan allies sets Théoden for a nonstop swarm. Speaking of swarm, Mustering the Rohirrim can help dig for any Rohan ally within the top 10 cards of your deck. The one resource you spend doing this is negated by Theoden’s cost reduction.

Feel like making Theoden a powerhouse attacker? Add Herugrim to him as well as a Steward of Gondor and a Song of Hope. Boost that willpower and swing away. Do the same with Golden Shield.

Finally, we can refer to Card Talk’s episode on Théoden and Théodred. I love Dave’s (rather insistent) idea of using both heroes’ ability to double resource smooth. The Rohan swarm could be never-ending with this duo. Want to take it a step further? Add Grima for maximum resource smoothing.

Quest Specific

I’m not sure there’s any specific quest Théoden is going to excel in specifically. The only immediate exception I can think of is Voyage across Belegaer where Nárelenya essentially has the same ability as Théoden.

I might suggest staying away from quests which start off combat-heavy. The reason for this is Théoden’s high threat level. For example, we all know what we have to deal with turn one during Journey Along the Anduin if your threat is over 30. Even with a great cost reduction ability it’s hard to build a board state in a situation like this.

Ring Rating

I’d ring Théoden a 3. He’s reached elite status in Rohan decks but is lackluster outside the archetype. He has good stats and the sentinel ability to help his cause but its not enough to make him a versatile hero overall. He’s high specialized and highly effective in Rohan decks which is the primary reason I give him a three. I keep him at a three because there’s no reason to consider building with him outside the Rohan archetype unless you do some Three Hunter’s shenanigans. Oh, and I freely admit I’m quite partial to Rohan!

  • Dave – 4
  • Grant – 3
  • Joe – 3
  • Average – 3.33

External Links

Sample Decks

A Sword-day: Arise, Arise, Riders of Théoden! – Devaresh

A Rohan swarm deck featuring Théoden and his attachments.

A Sword-day: Arise, Arise, Riders of Théoden!

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Éomer (The Voice of Isengard)
Éowyn (Core Set)
Théoden (The Treason of Saruman)

Ally (23)
3x Elfhelm (The Mountain of Fire)
2x Éomund (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Escort from Edoras (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Gamling (The Land of Shadow)
3x Riddermark Knight (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
2x Rider of Rohan (Beneath the Sands)
3x Steward of Orthanc (Race Across Harad)
2x West Road Traveller (Return to Mirkwood)
3x Westfold Horse-breeder (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Westfold Outrider (The Voice of Isengard)

Attachment (14)
3x Firefoot (The Dunland Trap)
2x Golden Shield (The Flame of the West)
3x Gúthwinë (The Mountain of Fire)
2x Herugrim (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Snowmane (The Land of Shadow)
2x Song of Kings (The Hunt for Gollum)

Event (13)
3x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Astonishing Speed (Return to Mirkwood)
3x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
3x Keen as Lances (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x Open the Armory (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat

Sideboard

Ally (15)
3x Déorwine (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Elfhelm (The Dead Marshes)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Háma (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Rider of the Mark (Road to Rivendell)

Attachment (4)
3x Favor of the Valar (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
1x Song of Kings (The Hunt for Gollum)

Event (6)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
2x Mustering the Rohirrim (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x Ride to Ruin (The Hills of Emyn Muil)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Wise Horse Lords of Rohan – Card Talk

A Council of the Wise deck focused on swarming. This deck combos with Théodred for increased resource smoothing.

Wise Horse Lords of Rohan

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Éowyn (The Flame of the West)
Théoden (The Treason of Saruman)
Théodred (Core Set)

Contract (0)
1x Council of the Wise (Under the Ash Mountains)

Ally (22)
1x Ceorl (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Déorwine (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Elfhelm (The Mountain of Fire)
1x Éomund (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Éothain (The Dread Realm)
1x Escort from Edoras (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Gamling (The Land of Shadow)
1x Grimbold (The Flame of the West)
1x Guthlaf (The Blood of Gondor)
1x Háma (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Horseback Archer (Core Set)
1x Riddermark Knight (The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat)
1x Rider of Rohan (Beneath the Sands)
1x Rider of the Mark (Road to Rivendell)
1x Rohirrim Scout (Challenge of the Wainriders)
1x Snowbourn Scout (Core Set)
1x The Riddermark’s Finest (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Warden of Helm’s Deep (The Antlered Crown)
1x West Road Traveller (Return to Mirkwood)
1x Westfold Horse-Breaker (The Hunt for Gollum)
1x Westfold Horse-breeder (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Westfold Outrider (The Voice of Isengard)

Attachment (8)
1x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Golden Shield (The Flame of the West)
1x Gúthwinë (The Mountain of Fire)
1x Herugrim (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Horn of the Mark (The City of Ulfast)
1x Snowmane (The Land of Shadow)
1x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
1x Windfola (A Storm on Cobas Haven)

Event (23)
1x A Test of Will (Core Set)
1x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Astonishing Speed (Return to Mirkwood)
1x Battle-fury (The Drowned Ruins)
1x Captain’s Wisdom (The Thing in the Depths)
1x Charge into Battle (Wrath and Ruin)
1x Charge of the Rohirrim (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Desperate Defense (The Flame of the West)
1x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
1x Feint (Core Set)
1x Forth Eorlingas! (The Morgul Vale)
1x Gaining Strength (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Helm! Helm! (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Last Stand (Flight of the Stormcaller)
1x Mustering the Rohirrim (The Hunt for Gollum)
1x Parting Gifts (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Ride Them Down (The Antlered Crown)
1x Ride to Ruin (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
1x Stand and Fight (Core Set)
1x The Muster of Rohan (Challenge of the Wainriders)
1x Valiant Sacrifice (Core Set)
1x We Do Not Sleep (The Dead Marshes)

3 Heroes, 53 Cards
Cards up to Under the Ash Mountains

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Leadership Éomer

  • Card Talk Season 4 Episode 26
  • LOTR Saga
    • Mountain of Fire
  • Card Effect Categories
    • Staging Area Attack
    • Declared Attack

The first iteration of Éomer in Voice of Isengard fit into the primary ally discard mechanism associated with Rohan. It is fitting then that the second iteration builds on the second mechanism, staging area attack. The core set introduced this mechanism with the Dúnhere hero. It was only sporadically developed since then, but Leadership Éomer is a strong addition to the archetype.

Background

Éomer is the ever loyal nephew and adopted son of King Theoden as well as the brother of Éowyn when he is introduced in the Two Towers. He is also the Third Marshal of Rohan following in the footsteps of of his father of Eomund. His efforts to keep Rohan safe form orc incursions resulted in imprisonment by the traitor Grima. After being freed, he goes on to fight valiantly in the defense of Helm’s Deep, The Battle of Pelannor Fields, and at the Black Gate. Eventually he becomes King of Rohan in the Fourth Age.

Card Theme

Most staging area attack cards are themed to imply the mechanism covers significant distance. Dúnhere, as mentioned earlier, introduced the staging area attack mechanism. It wasn’t until Darrowdelf and The Hobbit Saga with Hands Upon the Bow and Great Yew Bow requiring ranged the implication of these attacks covering great distance started to form. Then in The Morgul Vale with Spear of the Mark and Forth Eorlingas! cemented the Rohan version is based on the calvary charge. It is fitting considering calvary charges can be an effective shock tactic that would keep an enemy too disarrayed to attack. Particularly against the more cowardly and not highly disciplined orc and goblin troops of Mordor prevalent in the game.

Thematic Deckbuilding Ideas

Card Synergies and Interactions

Attack Boosts

Of course anything that boosts Eomer’s attack helps him destroy an enemy in the staging area. This removes threat to quest against and takes pressure off your defender.

Spear of the Mark is a top choice for making the most of his ability with +2 vs. enemies in the staging area. Dagger of Westernesse is similar especially in a low starting threat deck as most enemies in the staging area when committing characters to the quest should have a higher engagement cost.

His sword, Guthwine, offers +2 attack and can bring back a Rohan ally to hand in an ally discard deck. It’s main limitation is having to exhaust it to get the bonus and it won’t be available during combat assuming you can ready Eomer. Firefoot also provides +2 attack for Eomer with a useful ability to address multiple engaged enemies. Fantastic for Éomer as it should be since it is his horse after all.

Valiant Sword, Orcrist, and even Dúnedain Mark provide solid options to make his attack more effective. Orcrist in particular has some additional synergy as it can replace the resource used for the attack.

Herugrim and Willpower Bonus

Another means of maximizing his ability is to make him a better at questing with cards like Celebrían’s Stone. Then attach Herugrim to Éomer that he is not only making a strong attack against an enemy in the staging area but meaningfully contributing to the quest. Another option is to use hero Galadriel and Nenya to boost his willpower and attack by 4. One downside is Éomer then is less effective if you ready him for combat because Herugrim is exhausted for for the attack bonus. This limit its use to once per round.

Guarded X Player Cards

Éomer with his ability makes playing the Guarded (enemy) and (enemy or location) attachments an easier proposition. Basically any enemy that comes out from them he can attack and possbily remove their threat from the staging area. I mentioned earlier he beneifts quite a bit from Orcrist, but many of them give a powerful attack or willpower boost that can benefit from as well.

Quest Specific

Basically any quest that has enemies that have negative effects when they engage a player or while engaged Éomer can be a strong counter to. The Passage of the Marshes has many undead enemies where the players can’t reduce their threat while they’re engaged. Many of the enemies in the Haradrim cycle have effects that when they engage you must remove quest progress or suffer a negative effect. For example Southron Soldier, has you remove 2 progress of take an immediate attack. Although there are quests that prevent players from using Éomer’s ability with enemies in the staging area being immune to player card effects or not being able to take damage. Intruders in Chetwood in the Angmar Awakened cycle and Dungeons of Cirith Gurat from the Haradrim cycle are prime examples.

Ring Rating

I rate Leadership Éomer at 3 rings. I think staging area attack is a really fun mechanism. It helps avoid or minimize one of the more variable parts of the game, defending. You can use his ability right away and doesn’t have the same prerequisites that Haldir, Legolas, or Bard the Bowman to attack the staging area. It’s not too difficult to use every turn because this version of Éomer is in the primary sphere for resource acceleration. It’s not too difficult to build up his attack using Spears of the Mark, his horse, his sword, even his uncle’s sword, or other options available to Rohan and Leadership heroes. He’s a very solid attacking hero that only has a couple downsides to me. You can’t make the most use of his ability in every scenario because of immune to player effect type of limitations. The other is minor for building him in a pure Rohan deck which is Leadership has less Rohan allies than Spirit and Tactics. This limits your options a bit, particularly in dual sphere.

  • Dave – 3
  • Grant – 2
  • Ted – 6
  • Matt – 3
  • Average – 3.5

External Links

Sample Decks

Éomer takes the Lead by Grant

Forth, the Three Hunters multiplayer combat deck.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Éomer (The Mountain of Fire)
Éowyn (The Flame of the West)
Erkenbrand (The Antlered Crown)

Attachment (50)
2x Ancestral Armor (Roam Across Rhovanion)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
3x Blade of Gondolin (Core Set)
2x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
2x Firefoot (The Dunland Trap)
3x Golden Belt (Challenge of the Wainriders)
1x Golden Shield (The Flame of the West)
2x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Gúthwinë (The Mountain of Fire)
2x Hauberk of Mail (The Wilds of Rhovanion)
2x Raiment of War (The Thing in the Depths)
2x Rod of the Steward (Flight of the Stormcaller)
3x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Round Shield (Mount Gundabad)
3x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)
2x Shining Shield (The Fortress of Nurn)
2x Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes)
3x Spear of the Mark (The Morgul Vale)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Valiant Sword (Under the Ash Mountains)
2x War Axe (The City of Ulfast)

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

3 Heroes, 56 Cards
Cards up to The Fortress of Nurn

Ride them Down! by Onidsen

This deck uses Herugrim + Galadriel with Nenya to boost Éomer’s willpower and attack. Fastred bounces enemies back to the staging area for Éomer to attack.

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Éomer (The Mountain of Fire)
Fastred (The Black Serpent)
Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)

Ally (18)
3x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Bofur (The Redhorn Gate)
1x Elfhelm (The Dead Marshes)
1x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x West Road Traveller (Return to Mirkwood)

Attachment (24)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
3x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Firefoot (The Dunland Trap)
3x Herugrim (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Livery of the Tower (The Flame of the West)
3x Mirror of Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Nenya (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Silver Harp (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x The Favor of the Lady (Core Set)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (9)
2x A Good Harvest (The Steward’s Fear)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
2x Ride Them Down (The Antlered Crown)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Rally the West (The Black Serpent)

3 Heroes, 52 Cards
Cards up to The Mountain of Fire

Sideboard

Ally (5)
2x Elfhelm (The Dead Marshes)
2x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
1x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Event (6)
2x A Light in the Dark (Core Set)
1x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
3x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)