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Building Your Fellowship: Introductions

by on October 12, 2015

Rangers_of_the_North_by_WF74

Hello everyone, and welcome to what I hope to be a regular series of articles about my musings on The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. I’m hoping to not only post some decks that I enjoy to play (which, admittedly, may not be the most powerful), but also post some anecdotes and play reports which you may find entertaining and somewhat educational. As this game is a cooperative game, I will be looking at the game through the lens of a player who almost exclusively plays multiplayer. Not to say that I won’t be posting solo play reports from time to time, but I find the game at it’s most enjoyable when played in the company of others.

When I first bought this game, the main appeal for me (like a lot of others, from what I have read and spoken to people about) was that it could be played solo. I had played Magic: The Gathering for a few years when I was in middle school, as well as the OverPower CCG (a Marvel/DC deckbuilder that was a lot of fun), but I hadn’t picked up a game since. As a fan of the books and movies, I decided to give the game a shot. And, like so many others in the beginning, my first forays into the Core Set were marred with frustration. However, the first game that I played with my brother really showed what this game had to offer. I was immediately hooked, building decks for the both of us to try out, reading as much as I could on the forums (I don’t believe any of the blogs were being published yet), and listening to Cardboard of the Rings for insights on cards that I might have missed.

As much as I loved playing with my brother, I felt that it was time for me to branch out and find other players. I was lucky enough to find a few players in Tempe (I’m from Tucson), and soon began making monthly trips up there to play, trying out new deck ideas, seeing what other decks people were playing, and making new friends. As corny as it sounds, I almost felt like I was building a fellowship. However, each member of the fellowship needs to know it’s role, and that is where the challenges of playing multiplayer lie.

The main difference between deckbuilding for the solo game and the multiplayer game is specialization. In other words, how is my deck going to help beat the encounter deck? For the solo game, you would typically build a deck that is well rounded, able to handle combat and quest well. For the two player game, you would split those responsibilities, having a deck that primarily quests, and the other that primarily handles combat. For three and four player games, you not only can specialize your deck even further, but you can use cards that you wouldn’t normally use in a solo or two player game (Tactics Dori, anyone?).

Obviously I am speaking in very broad terms here. I haven’t given any decks, and I’ve only named one card that has been branded a bike spoke by the community. Don’t worry, I am planning on going more in depth on archetypes and deck specializations in future articles. For now, here is a deck that was built for a two to three player game, with some tips for playing:

Heroes:

Glorfindel (Spirit)                                                                                               Galadriel                                                                                                             Aragorn (Leadership)

Attachments (20):

Steward of Gondor (3)                                                                                   Asfaloth (2)                                                                                                         Celebrian’s Stone (2)                                                                                               Sword that was Broken (2)                                                                                       Dunedain Warning (2)                                                                                           Mirror of Galadriel (3)                                                                                       Nenya (2)                                                                                                               Unexpected Courage (3)                                                                                         Light of Valinor (2)

Allies (16): 

Arwen (2)                                                                                                             Faramir (2)                                                                                                           Errand-Rider (2)                                                                                               Escort from Edoras (3)                                                                                     West Road Traveller (3)                                                                                 Northern Tracker (2)                                                                                         Envoy of Pelargir (2)

Events (11):                                

Dwarven Tomb (2)                                                                                               Elrond’s Counsel (2)                                                                                                Hasty Stroke (2)                                                                                                     Test Of WIll (3)                                                                                                       The Galadhrim’s Greeting (2)

Side Quests (2):

Gather Information                                                                                               Double Back

Analysis:

This deck plays to the strengths of these two spheres, which are resource acceleration, questing, and threat management, with a bit of location control thrown in for good measure. This deck may perform okay as a solo deck, especially against earlier quests, but it definitely will shine paired with a combat focused deck. As a support deck with some built-in action advantage in the form of Light of Valinor and Aragorn’s ability, Unexpected Courage should go on the other side of the table (after you have put it on Galadriel, of course). There are a lot of resource smoothing cards (Celebrian’s Stone, Envoy of Pelargir, and Errand-Rider) that can help with the cost of the more expensive cards, as well as helping your partner(s) get their heavy-hitters down. Threat also shouldn’t be an issue, as there is plenty of threat reduction to go around. If there is another player using any of the new Valour cards, this deck would be perfect to keep them in that 40+ threat range and prevent them from threating out. In so far as an opening hand, I would look for Mirror of Galadriel to get the pieces of the deck in place for it to get going. Gather Information would also be a great card to see in your opening hand.

What changes would you make to this deck? What would you include in a sideboard? What kind of deck would you pair it with?

Until next time, keep your flagons full and your pipe filled with Old Toby!

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From → Deck Spotlight

5 Comments
  1. Andrew permalink

    I really like your multiplayer approach at the game, because I always play alone with two players decks. Can you please add some formatting to your deck list? It seems a bit messed up now.

    • fifthranger permalink

      Thanks for the feedback! When both Ian and I previewed the article, the deck list didn’t have any formatting issues. We’ll take a look at it and make sure that the issue doesn’t occur again.

  2. mndela permalink

    I would change 1 mirror copy for an Earendil song card. You would become a very good friend for a ‘valour’ players. When you said it about Greetings, i also thought in Earendil. Only 1 copy is enough i think, when players need it the game will be long and it is probably you have drawn it yet.

    • fifthranger permalink

      Good suggestion. I think that the addition of Song of Earendil may be more quest dependent, or dependent on what deck the other player was using. For example, if the other player is running Grima or Boromir, Song of Earendil would be invaluable during the game. Thanks for the comment!!

  3. Like the article and like the deck. Don’t have a chance to look into it too in depth but would you maybe want 3 copies of Nenya? Only to ensure that you get that before you have Asfaloth sitting in your hand?

    Then if you have extra copies in hand they could act as a buffer against the Mirror and if you’re playing alongside an Eowyn player you could of course always ditch those.

    The recently released Steed of Imladris could help with those extra copies too.

    Can’t wait to see more of your posts!

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