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Deck Spotlight: Traps of Ithilien

by on August 27, 2013


The time has come, the traps have been set, and the armies of Mordor must meet their doom! Since I first laid eyes on Ranger Spikes upon tearing open my copy of the Heirs of Numenor, I’ve had fond fantasies of building a deck focusing on the Ranger trait in general and traps in particular. Previously, there hasn’t been quite enough material to form the bones and sinews of a quality trap deck, but that has all changed of late, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. One of the fantastic developments arising from the growth of the Ranger/trap deck is the way in which it has transformed some of the truths we have taken for granted about how to play this game. For so long, quickly clearing the staging area of enemies has been the dominant strategy (some early Dunhere decks notwithstanding), and pushing enemies into the staging area or keeping them there has generally been viewed as a path to defeat. However, this is no longer a universal truth, and now the possibility exists of building a deck that plays off what was previously to be avoided. Without further ado, I think I hear the tramping of Oliphaunts, and the marching feet of many Southrons…To arms!

Deck List:

Hero (3)
Faramir (AoO) x1
Mirlonde (TDF) x1
Denethor (Core) x1

Ally (18)
Rivendell Minstrel (THFG) x3
Ithilien Tracker (HON) x3
Mirkwood Runner (RtM) x2
Haldir of Lorien (AJtR) x2
Ithilien Archer (EaAD) x3
Silvan Tracker (TDM) x3
Anborn (BoG) x2

Attachment (20)
Song of Battle (TDM) x1
Ithilien Pit (EaAD) x3
A Burning Brand (CatC) x2
Gondorian Shield (TSF) x3
Great Yew Bow (OtD) x2
Poisoned Stakes (BoG) x3
Ranger Bow (AoO) x3
Ranger Spikes (HON) x3

Event (12)
Expecting Mischief (OHaUH) x3
Forest Patrol (AoO) x3
Hands Upon the Bow (SaF) x3
Advance Warning (TDF) x3

Theme: Traps, Direct Damage, and Staging Area Attacks

Spheres: Mono-Lore with Tactics Splash

Strategy: This deck starts out with a fairly low threat (especially for mono-Lore) of 24, thanks to the inclusion of Mirlonde, which plays into the overall strategy of keeping enemies in the staging area. The idea is to both maximize Faramir’s ability (which is based off the number of enemies in the staging area) and provide targets for him to attack using the Great Yew Bow and Hands Upon the Bow. Unfortunately, this approach won’t be viable forever, as there are no threat reduction abilities available, so ideally I’m looking to grab Great Yew Bow in my med_faramir-aooopening draw. Of course, this also requires drawing Rivendell Minstrel or Song of Battle to facilitate the playing of Tactics cards, so either card is also a priority for early draw. Another possibility to enable a similar Lore/Tactics build is to actually just play one Tactics hero and thus dispense with the necessity of splashing via songs, but in this case I’m looking to start with as low a threat as possible, and this necessitates mono-Lore with Mirlonde (I’ve been toying with the idea of using Merry from the Black Riders expansion, as he is a Tactics hero with a low, low threat of 6, which might make him worthy of inclusion even without his Hobbit-based attack boost). As far as the actual gameplay strategy is concerned, I’m looking to destroy enemies as quickly as possible with direct damage and ranged shenanigans, making this an enemy-focused deck (as opposed to those that attempt to manage locations or treacheries). The 3 copies of Ranger Spikes play a key role, trapping enemies in the staging area permanently and thus boosting Faramir’s attack strength (not to mention managing the flow of foes and reducing threat for questing purposes).

In general, when building a deck, I’m always looking to build in back-up plans and redundancies to ensure that everything doesn’t fall apart if the luck of the draw doesn’t go my way. To this end, Advance Warning is another means of keeping enemies in the staging area, again both to boost Faramir and to provide targets for his ranged shenanigans, courtesy of Great Yew Bow and/or Hands Upon The Bow. Fortunately, even without these Tactics tricks, Ithilien Pit still provides a means of attacking enemies in the staging area (another example of including multiple options to accomplish the same goal). With 3 traps to toss around (Ithilien Pit, Ranger Spikes, Poisoned Stakes), Forest Patrol should have plenty of available targets, enabling substantial direct damage (Poisoned Stakes combines especially well with this event, as does Expecting Mischief). If that wasn’t enough, copies of the Ranger Bow will go on either the Ithilien Trackers or Ithilien Archers, allowing for extra direct damage and the real possibility of destroying enemies before they can even move a muscle (1 extra point of direct damage may not seem significant, but it can make the difference between the destruction and survival of an enemy). Inevitably, some enemies will manage to circumvent my plans and engage with the deck, but the Ithilien Archer can help pop them back into the staging area. With attack and direct damage well taken care of, I also need to make plans for defense. This is where Faramir’s papa comes into play, as Denethor can become a monster defender with the help of Gondorian Shield and A Burning Brand, blocking all attacks of 5 or less without any possibility of nasty shadow effects ruining the party (note that with a strong defender and enemy management tools in play, it is also possible to pull enemies one by one from the staging area to destroy them). Questing is perhaps the central weakness of this deck, but Haldir, Rivendell Minstrel, Mirlonde, and the Ithilien Tracker’s ability should all help in this department. The final piece of the puzzle comes in the form of Anborn, who can recycle traps from the discard pile and move me closer to my goal of always having a nasty surprise for enemies in the staging area.

How It Was Constructed: Long-time readers of this blog will know that I’ve been going on and on about the possibilities of a trap deck since this cycle began. Since then, I’ve experimented with various Ranger/trap configurations, but the deck type hasn’t felt quite viable until now. With the release of Faramir and a couple more poisoned stakes traps (Ithilien Pit in Encounter at Amon Dîn and Poisoned Stakes in Blood of Gondor), I knew the time had come to finally build the deck of my dreams, and, in many ways, the deck built itself. It started with Faramir and from there it became apparent that it would be necessary to include as many means as possible of containing enemies in the staging area, along with tools to allow staging area attacks. My second hero choice was quite easy as well, as I knew that I wanted to choose Mirlonde in order to keep my starting threat as low as possible. I had plenty of options for my third hero, including the possibility of choosing a Tactics hero, as previously discussed, but I decided to go mono-Lore, and I was most interested in including a natural defender. With the proliferation of shadow effects that punish chump blocking, the need for having a viable “tank” hero has only increased. This led me straight to Denethor, and he also is a perfect choice because he provides the opportunity to scry the top card of the encounter deck. Even in a multi-player game, this scrying ability can help set up traps to be as effective as possible. As far as the allies are concerned, I prioritized theme over other considerations (for the most part), but I do feel that each ally has a part to play in gameplay terms. The Ithilien Trackers fit the ranger theme, help with questing (through canceling threat), and are natural Ranger Bow recipients, as additional copies beyond the first cannot make use of their ability. The Ithilien Archers also fit the theme, in addition to playing a role in deck strategy by bouncing enemies back to the staging area and serving as back-up Ranger Bow wielders. Haldir is expensive, but has great stats and brings a ranger ambience to proceedings, despite not actually possessing the Ranger trait outright. The Mirkwood Runner provides attacking bite when enemies do engage, while the Silvan Trackers can heal themselves and Mirlonde, providing a damage soak when necessary. The Rivendell Minstrels are key to fetch the Song of Battle, allowing for the Tactics cards to show their quality. Finally, Anborn maximizes trap usage, and is an extremely strong attacking ally, especially for the Lore sphere. All in all, this is a deck that is thematically sound but also makes sense from a gameplay perspective as well.

Possible Combos:

1) Faramir + Ranger Spikes + Great Yew Bow/Hands Upon the Bow: One of the central combinations of this deck, Ranger Spikes traps enemies in the staging area, providing a permanent attack boost for Faramir. Our Ranger hero can then use this increased attack to attack other enemies in the staging area, using either the Great Yew Bow or Hands Upon the Bow. I probably won’t destroy the enemies trapped in Ranger Spikes, unless there are no other targets in play and it makes sense to recycle the Spikes so that I can trap some new foes.

2) Expecting Mischief + Ranger Bow: This is a strong one-two combo that can deal three damage to an enemy in the blink of an eye (2 from Expecting Mischief and 1 from Ranger Bow). Of course, the main danger with Expecting Mischief is that it can whiff completely, which makes this a much more reliable combo in multiplayer games than solo. However, Denethor can certainly help set up this play when possible. Adding on other direct damage effects that are present in this deck, such as Forest Patrol and Poisoned Stakes can add to the damage total, helping to take down even a fairly hearty foe. If I can bring an enemy down to within 2 points of destruction, the Mirkwood Runner can land the finishing blow all by himself.

3) Poisoned Stakes + Forest Patrol: This is an absolutely brutal combination that will make you cackle with glee when it is pulled off successfully. While Forest Patrol deals 3 damage immediately to an enemy with a trap attached to it, Poisoned Stakes inflicts 2 damage to the attached enemy at the end of each round. Using Forest Patrol on an enemy that is stuck in Poisoned Stakes yields 5 damage by the end of the round, with 7 damage total inflicted by the end of the subsequent round, all without the need for using characters to attack! This is magnificent stuff that you can only hope is not wasted on a puny little foe.

4) Denethor + Gondorian Shield + A Burning Brand: This is a set-up that is certainly not specific to a Ranger/trap deck, but is amazing any time it hits the table. With both of these attachments, Denethor can defend for 5 and completely ignores all shadow effects. This is a level of defensive solidity that helps you sleep easier at night.

5) Mirlonde + Silvan Tracker: I left other healing effects out of this deck in order to tighten the focus, but this combination does allow for some damage soaking. With at least one Silvan Tracker in play, at least 2 damage from archery or direct damage can be safely taken and healed each turn (1 on Mirlonde and 1 on a Silvan Tracker). This is not game-changing by any means, but every little bit helps, and the Silvan Tracker is a solid ally.

6) Advance Warning + Ithilien Pit: The Ithilien Pit is yet another means of allowing characters (in this case, not just Faramir) to attack an enemy in the staging area. Advance Warning can keep enemies in the staging area, including those with Ithilien Pit attached, so that they can be attacked but can’t mount attacks of their own. Even better, Anborn can quickly bring these Ithilien Pits back from the discard pile.

–> One thing I enjoy about this deck is that the above list is not an exhaustive examination of all possible combinations. Ideally, when building a deck, I like to create a collection of cards that can work together in a variety of ways, rather than being restricted to narrow combos. The idea is that if one combination is not possible, then another will present itself; this is part of the overall pursuit of multiple options mentioned earlier. This deck is quite strong in this respect.

Variations: There are actually quite a few possible variations to this deck and theme, even when keeping to mono-Lore. merryHowever, the most obvious alternative, as previously discussed, is to include one Tactics hero. Thalin is a great choice, as he can easily combine with the included direct damage effects. Legolas also could fit in quite nicely, as he brings his own “ranged” ability to the table and could help with quest progress. Another possibility is to replace Denethor as the resident defender with Beregond, equipping him with a Spear of the Citadel to contribute to direct damage (of course, ideally you’re avoiding conventional combat whenever possible, so this might not be ideal). The variation to this deck that I will probably pursue, if only because it is so wonderfully unconventional, is to include Merry from the Black Riders as the third hero. His low threat will work wonderfully in the context of this deck, which might be worthwhile even leaving aside his ability (readying another hero when he helps that hero to destroy an enemy). He wouldn’t benefit from the Hobbit hero attack boost, but this can be rectified by adding in a Dagger of Westernesse (a +1 attack weapon from the Black Riders box, not restricted by trait, and bumped to a +2 attack when facing an enemy with a higher engagement cost than the player’s threat). Speaking of which, the Dagger of Westernesse could fit in quite nicely with this deck in general, but I excluded it due to space considerations. Beyond Tactics, this deck could also work as a Lore/Spirit dual-sphere build, with Glorfindel’s starting threat and Spirit threat-reduction effects keeping enemies in the staging area. However, this would exclude the Great Yew Bow and Hands Upon the Bow, which would severely limit some of the possibilities of the deck. Finally, one notable absence in this deck is Gandalf, as he could be extremely handy to lower threat and inflict direct damage, but in this case I have chosen to leave out our Istari friend.

Final Thoughts: The best aspect of this deck is that it is an absolute blast to play. It is not as versatile and powerful as an optimized Dwarf or Outlands build, but few deck types are, and many times it is more enjoyable to explore something new. What this deck excels at is in dispatching enemies quickly in unconventional ways, while its most glaring weakness is probably that it does take a bit of time to set up the traps and tools of the trade necessary to make the deck hum (this is mainly a reflection of the lack of resource generation and the relative expense of cards in the Lore sphere). Still, this deck has a fighting chance against many quests, but will struggle most against those that feature enemies with low engagement costs and those that start off with a bang. In my opinion, it works far better in multi-player than solo, although it can function on its own, especially with some small tweaks. One of the issues it has is that it can’t muster the kind of willpower that other powerful solo decks can, but fortunately the Ithilien Tracker and Ranger Spikes can help with that a bit. At the end of the day, this is a deck type that can only get better with time, and I’m actually amazed at how much direct damage can now be piled on in a single turn. I’m anxious to see if any other traps emerge in the near future, but even without such additions, this deck type has arrived. I’ll end by saying that I encourage everyone to try out a Rangers/traps deck, whether it is this one, another variation you see posted elsewhere, or a build of your own. On that note, please feel free to share your own decks of this type below, as I would love to see the other possibilities that are out there, and I’m sure other readers would as well.

From → Deck Spotlight

  1. Great deck! The only thing that makes me nervous is the single copy of Song of Battle. With all of the attachment-hate in recent scenarios, I would feel better about having a second copy, or some way of getting it back if it is discarded. You are absolutely right about this deck being fun to play. It’s good to see alternative strategies become viable and cards like Ranger Bow, which might seem weak at first, become powerhouses.

    • Yeah, I could definitely see that single song being a potential Achilles heel. I think when facing attachment-hating scenarios, it might be appropriate to bring along an Erebor Hammersmith or an extra Song of Battle. The horrible, and also great, thing about the development of the card pool is that it is getting harder and harder to cut decks down to 50.

      • I totally agree that card pool is getting so large that it is making it difficult to make 50 card decks. 10 new player cards per month (more if with the large boxes) can grow the pool quite quickly. And they’re also doing a very good job of not making new cards far overpowering old cards. They tend to just be giving you a choice of cost/effect ratios and bringing in new ways to play.

  2. Casey permalink

    I can’t wait to get ahold of Blood of Gondor to get Anborn and Poisoned Spikes! I made a trap deck recently with Faramir, Strider, and Beregond, and even though it started with a high threat, Gandalf helped a few times as well as Strider’s awesome ability. Even so, I felt like I needed just a bit more variety in my traps and ranger abilities, and after reading this I am even more excited to improve my ranger deck.

    Also, a brief side note – Boromir is my all-time favorite LotR character, so I really enjoy using him as a hero. I normally use the Leadership version, and at first his ability didn’t help all that much, but with the recent release of allies such as the Knight of Minas Tirith and Anborn, Boromir is becoming even better, effectively making those allies deal 4 damage a piece!

    • Pairing this deck (or a similar one) with a Leadership Boromir deck makes a lot of sense, both from a thematic and gameplay perspective. Having allies with 4 attack is absolutely nuts, and the Leadership deck can hopefully toss some resources over to the poor Lore deck.

  3. tomtom permalink

    Ranger flurry alert! It seems like every community member spent last 6 months in tank mode waiting for Faramir, Anborn &Co to justify Ranger/Traps deck creation 🙂 I did it too (on paper due to lack of AOO delivery) and came to the conclusion that all that direct damage looks impressive – but just on that paper, mainly due to lack of resource acceleration and lousy willpower, so drawing right cards at the right time would be crucial. I’d like to be wrong, but this deck will be similar to my beloved Tactics Archery Deck – awesome theme, killer combos, but not consistent enough to be called power deck.
    All the whining above won’t stop me of course from playing two handed with Rangers on my left and Tactics Bowmen on the right 😀 Tactics attachment that would allow Ranged characters to get rid of location (Gondorian Trebuchet?) – that’s what I already miss.

    • I know, the wait for Faramir and co. has been truly intense! Having played this deck myself and seeing similar decks played in multiplayer games, I think it’s safe to say that Ranger/trap decks can certainly be effective in practice and that at least some of the combos will hit each game. I think the issue is that this type of deck is much stronger in multiplayer (I would say especially 3 or 4 player games) than solo, because other decks can cover for questing needs and generate resources that can then be transferred over. They also can provide the breathing room and time this deck needs to get rolling. All that being said, I think as the card pool develops we are seeing the development of several tiers of power that decks can fall into, with Outlands and Dwarf decks (and possibly Vilya decks) falling into the top tier, others settling into the middle, and some languishing at a low level. I think that’s a natural and beneficial development, actually, as I don’t think we need every deck type to be a power deck. Some, like this one, will likely always be at the mid-range, but provide enjoyment and fill a niche that others can’t.

  4. I’m very jealous that you are able to actually try this deck out without placeholder cards. I play mostly online and the card just don’t exist there and I really don’t like making fake cards until the real cards come.

  5. mndela permalink

    This deck could add 3 copies of Mithrandir’s Advice. All mono-lore decks are good to include this drawing-card. In fact, this ranger-deck need some technic to draw cards.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Great suggestion! Mithrandir’s Advice is an amazing card that works great in mono-Lore decks. Unfortunately, I cut out card draw options to make room for cards that fit more with the Ranger/trap/direct damage theme. Sometimes the tension between power and theme is very real, and for more difficult quests, I might sacrifice the theme a bit and include some card draw.

      • mndela permalink

        For me, there are some drawing cards that not count for the total number of deck cards (if i add these cards my deck can get 53 cards, or 56), because when you use them, the effect you are doing is “only” drawing cards: Mithrandir’s Advice is one, other is Runes Daemon.

        PD: but this ranger deck is a lot of interesting! I wanted to create one so, but yours sounds great, i will “copy” your idea. 🙂

      • That definitely makes sense as a way to look at it, especially with Mithrandir’s Advice, where you are essentially netting 2 cards in a mono-Lore deck (Mithrandir’s Advice itself takes up space in your hand that could be occupied by something else, but then it grabs you 3 cards)

  6. Glowwyrm permalink

    Another deck option for good card draw would be Master of the Forge. With 20 attachments, you would find something every turn, and he would let you pick what you need most.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I very seriously considered Master of the Forge for exactly the reason you suggested, and I think he’s one of the best card draw options for such an attachment-heavy deck. Ultimately though, I left the Master out for the sake of theme, including the more “Ranger-like” Mirkwood Runner and Silvan Tracker instead. I think replacing either with Master of the Forge would be a good call to up the power of this deck (though at the expense of theme).

  7. Michael permalink

    I’ve tried multiple variations of the Faramir deck since finally getting AoO. I had the most fun with the very thematic Faramir/ Eowyn/ Beregond deck – well defined roles, but reliant on getting resource acceleration on Faramir quickly.
    Mechanically, replacing Eowyn with Spirit Glorfindel is even better: easy threat-reduction through Elrond’s Counsel and location control via Asfaloth.
    I’ve attempted Lore monosphere as well, but I really love the combination with Tactics. Faramir is made for Hands upon the Bow (attacking at least for 4), and as you wrote in your article, Spear of the Citadel (and Gondorian Spearmen) synergise really well with the Ranger/ Trap theme.

    Another alternative is to create a future (Fourth Age) Gondor deck I title ‘The King, the Steward and the Pip’. Leadership Aragorn, Faramir and Lore Pippin. Sword that was Broken addresses the Willpower trouble common to Trap decks, resource acceleration is easy (play Steward of Gondor on Faramir), and Fresh Tracks works fantastically with Ranger decks. Take no Notice is a wonderful card for this deck as you can play it at zero cost (2 Rangers, 1 Hobbit hero), and it increases enemy engagement cost by a solid 5. For threat reduction, Gandalf & Sneak attack are obvious. Add a very small splash of Spirit for when you get Celebrian’s Stone, and you’re good.

    • Ooooh, I really like that Fourth Age (Aragorn/Faramir/Lore Pippin) deck. I think Lore Pippin can be pretty handy in certain non-Hobbit decks (as can the other Black Riders Hobbit heroes), as a very low threat hero with a solid card draw ability and access to Lore. There’s actually a lot of room for some nice Hobbit/Ranger teamwork, either in a single deck or as paired decks.

  8. OnkelZorni permalink

    This deck is very unique since it only contains one single card (Denethor) from the Core Set. Strange days are coming 😀

  9. Mndela permalink

    How about Forest Snare? It is very good here. If one strong enemy scapes (dificult :)) you can “kill” him with this attachment immediately next start round…, and other character can do other things as commit to quest, wait next enemies…

    • I really like Forest Snare but the 3 cost puts me off. I think it would be worth a go when facing those quests that have truly nasty enemies.

  10. Tiandes permalink

    Too bad Damrod is spirit, his ability is just too awesome with the trap deck

    • mndela permalink

      More reasons for the other friend could be mono-spirit deck. For exemple, Unexpected Courage to Faramir, great characters to quest (the problem of ranger-deck), and low threat level (with habilities to decrease both threat level)

    • I think Damrod finally is finding a reason to exist with the arrival of this deck type. Before he was a truly marginal card, at least in my opinion, but with a trap deck, you’re planning to have a bunch of enemies in the staging area anyway, and threat reduction is always welcome.

    • Michael permalink

      Damrod is the main reason why I can’t wait to get the Elfstone attachment in The Black Riders! I also wonder if we’ll see a Mablung ally in the Morgul Vale and what he’ll bring to the Ranger deck!

  11. Tiandes permalink

    By the way, why not putting some Erebor Hammersmith to grab the trap you want when you need it.

    • I think Erebor would be a good fit in this deck, at least in gameplay terms, if not thematically. Not only could he help recycle traps, but as Beorn mentioned above, he could “protect” my Song of Battle against encounter card effects that discard attachments.

  12. mndela permalink

    Miner of the Iron Hills also could be good. Lol. You “discard” one of your traps in play (for ex. Poisoned Spikes, when the enemy attached is almost dead) and return by Hammersmith or Anborn, and put free in the staging area to the next enemy.

    • Unfortunately the Miner only discards Condition attachments. Now, if we could get an ally/event that lets you discard any attachments, then we’d really be in business!

  13. Tiandes permalink

    What about Master of the forge to grab traps?

  14. Jakub permalink

    Yes, Master of the Forge is great there. And I would always go for Warden of Healing instead of Silvan Tracker (I believe the latter is still lacking synergies).

    • I dearly dream of the day when we can flood the table with Silvan characters and benefit from some amazing Silvan Tracker synergy. Hopefully, this deck won’t be incurring too much damage between an impenetrable Denethor and keeping enemies in the staging area, but against a quest that goes bonkers with direct damage, like The Druadan Forest, I would definitely have to sub the Warden in.

  15. Jakub permalink

    I think the theme already suffers here, or in other words, it cannot be perfectly thematic with the hero line-up, though it is pretty good still.

    • True. The tug-of-war between theme and gameplay is a constant one, and I tend to swing one way or another depending on the deck (and the difficulty of the quest I’m facing!). I kind of imagine the Silvan “forest-y” Elves (like Mirlonde and the Tracker) fitting in with this deck thematically, in the sense that they would work in a very similar fashion to the Ithilien Rangers, although I know that’s a bit of a strange. I think of Denethor giving orders to and directing Faramir, who is getting help from Mirlonde and her band of Elves. Anyway, such are the back-stories we have to create to justify our mash-ups!

  16. Brian permalink

    I’ve been loving this new theme as well. I always build decks in pairs and never build with proxies, so I don’t have Anborn or the newest trap yet, but these two decks have built every scenario so far. (The only hard one I haven’t tried is Battle of Lake Town). These decks have been VERY fun to play!

    Rock and Root (Ranger Decks)

    Deck I

    •Faramir •Mirlonde •Denethor
    Threat 24

    Allies 12
    2x Rivendell Minstrel
    1x Haldir
    1x Gildor
    1x Henemarth Riversong
    1x Gleowine
    3x Ithilien Ranger
    3x Master of the Forge

    Events 11
    3x Gildor’s Council
    2x Advance Warning
    3x Mithrandir’s Advice
    3x Daeron’s Runes

    Attachments 27
    1x Love of Tales
    1x Song of Travel
    2x Song of Kings
    3x Burning Brand
    1x Steward of Gondor
    1x Asfaloth
    2x Forest Snare
    3x Ranger Spikes
    3x Ithilien Pit
    3x Ranger Bow
    3x Dunedain Mark
    3x Dunedain Warning
    1x Celebrian’s Stone

    Deck II

    •Beravor •Dunhere •Glorfindel
    Threat 23

    Allies 18
    1x Arwen
    3x Sylvan Refugee
    3x West Road Traveler
    3x Northern Tracker
    1x Gandalf (core)
    1x Gandalf (Hobbit)
    1x Damrod
    2x Ithilien Archer
    3x Warden of Healing

    Events 20
    3x Patrol of the Forest
    3x Infighting
    3x Elrond’s Advice
    3x Test of Will
    1x Hasty Stroke
    2x Stand and Fight
    3x Galadhrim’s Greeting
    2x Dwarven Tomb
    1x Radagast’s Cunning
    3x Secret Paths

    Attachments 6
    1x Light of Valinor
    2x Unexpected Courage
    3x Miruvor
    1x Protector of Lorien

  17. Nice, thanks for posting these decks! I’m particularly interested in the idea of pairing a Dunhere/Spirit deck with a Ranger deck to have maximum staging area attack shenanigans. Very cool. How does Love of Tales work out for resource generation?

    • Brian permalink

      Love of Tales is one of the cards that would be replaced by the BoG cards. I really enjoy finding ways to use underutilized cards though. I developed a house rule in my first weeks of playing that unique cards can only make a single appearance in one of the two decks. It keeps quests a bit more challenging, but its primary benefit lies in the way that I end up using a greater variety of cards in deck construction. It also remains exciting whenever a “power card” like Steward of Gondor shows up. In my games, Stewards aren’t anointed as a matter of course! 🙂

      These two decks give you the lore resources and card draw you need to really have fun with the goodies right out of the gate. Plus you have decent questing, healing, threat decrease, treachery cancelation, and readying effects to maximize your stud of choice.

  18. Mndela permalink

    If you have tactics’ song also is good to include Hail of Stones.

    But a very good idea is…: these are a lot of useless cards that in this deck are great! Infighting (great combo with Poisoned Stakes), A Light in the Dark (spirit), and return enemies to staging area to kill them; Fresh Tracks (leadership) and…. take care!: Beorning Beekeeper!!! lol Cool.

    PD: if you include Master of the Forge, instead, i prefer Expert Treasure-Hunter, it’s cheaper and in this deck is not bad.

  19. Landroval permalink

    Decks with lots of traps/bows are super-cool IMO, however, regardless of how many creatures you trap, direct damage you apply, and traps you recycle they do not put green tokens on the quest.

    For this reason, they are only really feasible as multiplayer decks IMO.

  20. Tracker1 permalink

    Here is a ranger trap deck I just put together. Working okay, but definetly has it’s weaknesses. here is a link to the strategy if you want to read about how the deck is intended to work.

    Hero (3): Threat 27
    Bifur (KD)
    Elladan (RtR)
    Elrohir (TRG)

    Ally (19)
    Anborn (TBoG) x2
    Rivendell Minstrel (THFG) x2
    Gildor Inglorion (THoEM) x1
    Gleowine (Core) x2
    Ithilien Tracker (HON) x3
    Master of the Forge (SaF) x3
    Warden of Healing (TLD) x1
    Erestor (TLD) x1
    Faramir (Core) x1
    Gandalf (Core) x3

    Attachment (19)
    A Burning Brand (CatC) x1
    Forest Snare (Core) x1
    Protector of Lorien (Core) x2
    Ranger Bow (AoO) x3
    Ranger Spikes (HON) x3
    Song of Wisdom (CatC) x2
    Celebrian’s Stone (Core) x2
    Steward of Gondor (Core) x3
    Rivendell Blade (RtR) x1
    Gondorian Shield (TSF) x1 E

    Event (12)
    Daeron’s Runes (FoS) x3
    Forest Patrol (AoO) x2
    Strider’s Path (THFG) x2
    Take No Notice (TBR) x2
    Sneak Attack (Core) x3

    Total: 50

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Nice, unique build for a ranger deck. I’ll definitely have to try it out. After playing rangers and traps some more, while I do like Faramir, I think there’s a lot of potential for building these types of decks without him included, as you did here.

  21. Rob permalink

    I have built a copy of this deck because i loved the art of the Faramir card (and the character in the story) and i wanted to see if i could make it work. I play the deck two handed with a leadership Aragorn/spirit Glorfindel/Frodo deck that is low threat can quest like crazy (sword that was broken, aethir swordsmen, sneak attack Gandalf) and at the same time it is good at fighting (Aragorn and Glorfindel are ready after questing and Frodo defends) and battle questing and to my great surprise this combination has turned out to be the two decks to rule them all. I have beat all the hardest quests (from nightmare Escape from Dol Guldur to the Heirs of Numenor quests to Massing at Osgiliath) in the game with these decks and the key is Denethor plus Gildor’s council (played again again with Scroll of Isildur) wich just lets decide how to tackle the quests at a slow pace of your chosing i cannot overstate how good it is in this deck.

    Faramir himself is a beast in this deck; he has massive strength (i affectionally refer to him as the hammer) which lets him take out the big enemies of HoN singel handidly and at it also lets him battle quest like crazy, his high hit points is essential against archery (in Druadan Forest or Siege of Caer Andros) as Mirlonde and Denethor only has three and it also allows you to take undefended attacks. There has been a of people saying that the new Haldir hero is the way that Faramir should have been he could but for this deck he would be way to weak to function (i freely admit that Haldir is a more flexible hero and therefore works in a lot more decks)

    I have removed all the tactics from the deck as frankly it is not needed and i have added healing (wardens of healing and mirkwood trackers) to manage archery and Asfaloth to toss at Glorfindel to handle locations. I have removed all the really expensive cards (Haldir, Anbor) and have added Protector of Lorien to help questing (both normal and siege) as you will allways draw more cards then you can play and it is a critical card versus the dunlendings of VoI.

    As powerful as it is it is also very fun as it really rewards skill and it does not play itself like the cheesy power decks like Thorin and company and outlands. So thanks for turning me unto the deck and try to play it with Gildor’s council sometime.

  22. sweetnesswhachacha permalink

    Great article!

    Yeah Faramir was a hero that really got me excited, and my build was incredibly similar to yours with the exception of tactics cards. I went solo lore as well specifically to use advanced warning. And to use the green event replayer for forest patrol and advanced warning.

    I’ve been wanting to do a companion deck to this one, that can lower threat and cancel treacheries, but also add on those tactics cards that you have in used here, so something spirit and lore

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  1. Deck Spotlight: Palantir Support | Tales from the Cards
  2. Deck Spotlight: Traps of Ithilien Revisited | Tales from the Cards

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