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Contest: Ring-maker Entries

There was an absolutely amazing response to the joint ring-maker contest held here and over at Hall of Beorn, and I think it’s safe to say that this was the most successful one yet! People went out of their way to create many fantastic entries and clearly put some thought into creating interesting and well-balanced cards (as well as a few humorous ones). In fact, I could definitely see some of these custom cards existing as actual cards. Hopefully, we will see more magical rings in this game in the near future, as this contest has me excited for the wide open design possibilities in this area. Without further ado, here are the entries!
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Deck Spotlight: Defenders of Eriador

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The Ranger theme is definitely one of my favorites in the game and in Tolkien’s world, whether we’re talking about the Ithilien Rangers under Faramir or the Dunedain Rangers of the North. I’m beyond excited for the upcoming The Lost Realm deluxe expansion, which will focus around the Dunedain and promises to greatly expand this trait in the game, along with the Ranger trait. While the cards that have been spoiled so far speak to a focus on engaging enemies, for a long time I’ve wanted to build a Dunedain Ranger deck around some of the existing cards and heroes with this trait, which cover a gamut of different abilities. This does require some thematic compromises and some mixture/overlap with the Ithilien Ranger themed cards, but with the arrival of the card I’ve been waiting with baited breath for, Wingfoot, I knew it was time to build a deck around this theme and this new attachment. Without further ado, here’s a Dunedain/Eriador/Ranger themed deck worthy of the name Wingfoot!
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Campaign Mode: The Ring Goes South (Part 2)

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The time has come to embark upon the second leg of the official TftC Campaign Mode playthrough, beginning with The Road Darkens. Last time around, I went over some basic strategy regarding the quest and outlined the changes to my decks, including the major addition of Gandalf to replace Eowyn. Now our brave heroes will have to face packs of ferocious Wargs and a nameless creature from some forgotten age. Will they all survive? Will one of them finally fall? Or will the Ring itself find its way into the hands of the Enemy to the utter ruin of Middle-earth?  Read on to find out! Read more…

Contest: Become A Ring-maker!

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A little birdie (which may or may not have been a crebain) came whispering in my ear this morning, letting me know that I have an extra copy of Celebrimbor’s Secret to give away to one lucky reader. As always, this is a perfect opportunity for one of my favorite things: a contest! Since I love custom cards so much, this will be another custom card contest, with a special theme related to the story of the cycle and Celebrimbor’s Secret itself. That means it’s time to step into the role of a ring maker. While magical rings are obviously a huge part of The Lord of the Rings (the clue is kind of in the title), so far we’ve only gotten two magical rings in the game so far: Vilya and now Nenya. However, there are far more rings in Tolkien’s world, and it’s up to you to create a card based around one of them. This could be Narya, Gandalf’s ring, which has yet to appear. It could be Saruman’s ring, which is a complete mystery as far as what powers it had. It could be one of the lost Dwarven rings or even one of the rings held by the Nine. If you’re really feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at making The One Ring into a card that could be used outside of the Saga expansions?
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Deck Spotlight: Faithful Servants of Rohan

 

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When Grima was announced as one of the heroes of the Voice of Isengard expansion, I, for one, was ecstatic. While some questioned the decision to make one of the villains of The Lord of the Rings not just an ally, but an actual hero, the choice appealed to my sensibilities as a player. Although replaying and reliving events from the actual story does hold some appeal, I really enjoy alternate history and “what if” storytelling a whole lot more, so being able to weave a tale in which Grima overcomes the darkness within and takes the path of a hero is compelling stuff. In terms of gameplay, Grima is a Lore hero with a powerful ability that also takes some thought to get working properly, all things I love. Still, when I finally got a hold of Grima, my excitement dimmed a bit. I couldn’t quite find a Grima deck that I was happy with and that made me look forward to playing it. Some of them worked well enough, but there just wasn’t enough there to keep me engaged. Finally, though, something clicked in my head and I realized the answer was staring me in the face. I had teamed Grima up with all kinds of heroes, with Lore Aragorn and Spirit Glorfindel being obvious candidates, but his home is Rohan, and that’s where I needed to place him. With this in mind, an unconventional Rohan deck formed around the hero/villain known as Grima, and the whole process of creating this deck reminded me of why I was so excited in the first place.
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The Nin-in-Eilph: Allies, Attachments, and Events Review

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With The Nin-in-Eilph being out for a couple of weeks now, Celebrimbor’s Secret is soon to follow hot on its heels. Despite my busy schedule, I’ve been knee deep in the swamps, as well as catching up with all the latest Nightmare scenarios and still playing through The Road Darkens as well. This has meant exploring several new decks, continuing my campaigns, and more. With this in mind, I feel like I need to do a bit of catch-up when it comes to player card reviews, especially since I’ll soon be able to pore through the cards from Celebrimbor’s Secret, due to arrive this week, at least in the United States. So although I know that people appreciate the lengthy treatment I usually give each card in a pack, I’m going to condense the allies, attachments, and events of The Nin-in-Eilph into one review, limiting myself to one paragraph per card. I’ll do my best to pack as much analysis into each paragraph as I can, but taking this approach will allow me to spend time on deck spotlights, campaign reports, and other articles, and be ready to tackle Celebrimbor’s Secret head on as soon as I get it in my hands. So with that in mind, let’s embark upon a lightning sweep through the player cards of The Nin-in-Eilph!
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Card Spotlight: Infighting

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Since I began the Card Spotlight series, Infighting has been on my radar as a top candidate for analysis. However, for whatever reason, I never quite got around to this card, and it took a special request from a reader to prompt me to finally give Infighting the spotlight treatment. To my mind, Infighting is an ideal candidate for this series. It is a card that has been around for ages, being released in the A Journey to Rhosgobel AP, but is barely ever used by most players, at least from what I can tell. I know that I have only used it maybe once or twice, and that was around the time that the card was first released. Since then, it’s never found it’s way into any of my decks. Although commonly derided as a useless card, the aim of the Card Spotlight series is to always dig a bit deeper and seek to discover whether prevailing wisdom is correct or if a card has been unfairly marginalized. Of course, sometimes a card is truly a coaster at first but the development of the card pool provides enough synergy and complementary options that it eventually transforms into a gem. Whether this is the case for Infighting will have to be seen, and there’s no doubt it faces a tough uphill battle.
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