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TftC Mailbag: Deck Building #1

by on September 23, 2013

bilbo mail

Now and then, I receive mail from readers asking for advice or suggestions. I always appreciate this opportunity to talk about the game with players, especially those who are fairly new and looking to get to grips with deck building or strategy. This is important to me, as while LOTR LCG is absolutely fantastic, it certainly can be an unforgiving experience for those just starting out. One of the reasons I started this blog was to make sure that such players would have a place to go for strategy and to ask questions. With that in mind, now and then I’ll post one of these e-mail exchanges, as hopefully it can prove helpful to those in similar situations.

The mail today comes from a player who recently picked up the Core Set (along with an assortment of other packs) and, as with most players, found that the starting mono-sphere decks were not a very good starting place for trying to beat the first three scenarios:

I ended up going ahead and getting the core set several weeks ago. I’m just now getting a handle on it, but it’s been a lot of fun! I got my rear end handed to me the first several times, but I was using the tactics deck, which I found out later is not the best one to start with. I then switched to the leadership deck, and beat the first quest in easy mode, though I realized later that I used one of the cards incorrectly, which gave me an unfair advantage. But I am enjoying it, and am glad that I picked it up! I ending up getting several other sets too, since I was wanting some more elf action. Your buying guide was very helpful! 

By the way, do you have any recommendations on deck building using the following:

Core Set (with additional “2 of” cards)
Watcher in the Water
Foundations of Stone
Shadow and Flame

I know you talk about deck building on your site, and I’ve seen other sites that do as well, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to deck build with just the sets that I possess.

Thanks again for your help!

This provided an interesting challenge of trying to build a useful deck using just a small selection from the card pool. My response was as follows:


I’m glad you picked up the game, and have been enjoying it so far. With the cards that you have, I recommend trying to build the following types of decks: a Mono-Leadership deck, an Elven deck, and a Dwarf deck. Of the three, the Elf one will probably be the strongest with the cards you have. I built a sample deck using the cards you own (I believe you said you own one Core Set, so you may have to replace a couple of these cards with something else):

Hero (3)
Elrond (SaF) x1
Glorfindel (FoS) x1
Aragorn (TWitW) x1
Ally (19)
Arwen Undomiel (TWitW) x2
Gandalf (Core) x3
Henamarth Riversong (Core) x2
Northern Tracker (Core) x2
Gleowine (Core) x2
Imladris Stargazer (FoS) x3
Master of the Forge (SaF) x2
Miner of the Iron Hills (Core) x3
Attachment (15)
Asfaloth (FoS) x2
Light of Valinor (FoS) x3
Protector of Lorien (Core) x3
Unexpected Courage (Core) x2
Vilya (SaF) x3
Self Preservation (Core) x2
Event (16)
A Test of Will (Core) x3
Daeron’s Runes (FoS) x3
Elrond’s Counsel (TWitW) x3
Hasty Stroke (Core) x3
Radagast’s Cunning (Core) x2
Secret Paths (Core) x2
This deck has some very strong cards, especially the combo of Unexpected Courage/Vilya/Elrond and Asfaloth/Light of Valinor/Glorfindel. Just those cards alone can get you far. Another deck I really like uses Core Aragorn/Spirit Glorfindel/Eowyn, and is strong in both questing and combat. When building your own decks, I recommend playing around with Elrond, Spirit Glorfindel, and a third hero of your choice. Include the attachments and events that work well with Elrond and Glorfindel. Sprinkle in the allies that seem the most useful to you. 20-25 allies, with about 10-15 attachments, and 10-15 events, is a good rule of thumb.
I hope this is useful. Don’t hesitate to ask, if you need any more advice!
Hopefully, those in similar situations or who have a similar assortment of packs will find this exchange helpful. For any readers out there who have similar questions, or just want to drop a line, don’t hesitate to click the Contact TftC tab above!

From → TftC Mailbag

  1. Thomas permalink


    That’s funny: As a beginner, I was really thinking about making a deck focused on deck, with the 3 heros you selected. The funny sthing is that the result is pretty much the same (see down there). I guess the difference comes from the fact that I only have one core set, and that I made some choice to make the deck as thematic as possible (and I have to keep 2 Gandalf for my other deck.)
    (The sad thing is that I realy want to play this deck, but I do not have the extension yet :-(. )

    On another subject, I must thank you for pointing us the deckbuilder, it is really usefull and time saving!
    And thanks for your buying guide also, which I found really helpfull, as I will not buy everything in the game. Even if some of the lamest scenarios still seem to have interresting player card. Yep, I am looking at you Emyn Muil and descendant of thorondor.

    Glorfindel (FoS) x1
    Elrond (SaF) x1
    Aragorn (TWitW) x1

    Ally (24)
    Arwen Undomiel (TWitW) x2
    Daughter of the Nimrodel (Core) x3
    Gandalf (Core) x2
    Haldir of Lorien (AJtR) x2
    Henamarth Riversong (Core) x1
    Imladris Stargazer (FoS) x3
    Lorien Guide (Core) x2
    Master of the Forge (SaF) x3
    Mirkwood Runner (RtM) x3
    Silvan Tracker (TDM) x3

    Attachment (15)
    Asfaloth (FoS) x2
    Forest Snare (Core) x2
    Light of Valinor (FoS) x2
    Protector of Lorien (Core) x2
    Self Preservation (Core) x2
    The Favor of the Lady (Core) x2
    Unexpected Courage (Core) x1
    Vilya (SaF) x2

    Event (11)
    Lore of Imladris (Core) x2
    Lorien’s Wealth (Core) x2
    The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core) x2
    A Test of Will (Core) x2
    Elrond’s Counsel (TWitW) x3

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I’m glad you’ve found the features here helpful! Nice deck, Glorfindel/Elrond/Aragorn is certainly a very powerful combination that can tackle a variety of different challenges.

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