Northern Alliance

Card draw simulator
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Fellowships using this decklist
Derived from
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Authraw 1822

This is a thematic deck built for an ongoing series on my blog, Darkling Door.

Theme: Dúnedain and Noldor

Played Against: The Seige of Annúminas

"Then Aragorn, being now the Heir of Isildur, was taken with his mother to dwell in the house of Elrond; and Elrond took the place of his father and came to love him as a son of his own. But he was called Estel, that is 'Hope', and his true name and lineage were kept secret at the bidding of Elrond; for the Wise then knew that the Enemy was seeking to discover the Heir of Isildur, if any remained upon earth."

Appendix A, The Return of the King


This is an aggressive Erestor deck with a focus on powerful Noldor Allies.

The key card I mulligan for is To the Sea, to the Sea!. Once that's in play, I can dump the rest of my hand to play one of the more powerful Noldor Allies like Glorfindel or Gildor Inglorion any time I happen to see them. Because of Erestor's accelerated card draw, it doesn't usually take long to get a large swarm of elves in play.

In the early game, I might use Aragorn as my defender, or even take attacks undefended. As soon as I can, though, I switch over to using a 3-defense Ally like Gildor or Guardian of Rivendell. Once the deck starts rolling, these Allies can defend twice per round for an impressive 5 with bonuses provided by Arwen Undómiel and Narya.

The Dúnedain cards in the deck are primarily used for Enemy management. If I'm lucky, I may be able to cancel an attack with the Andrath Guardsman's ability on the turn he enters play. Even if I'm not engaged with an Enemy at the time, though, he still makes for a useful chump blocker either before I get my more powerful Allies set up or for those particularly nasty Enemies with 8+ attack strength. Ranger of Cardolan can serve a similar role if I find myself in need of an emergency chump-block.

It's worth noting that there are slightly fewer cards in the deck than and . For this reason, I usually use Erestor's resources to pay for the Neutral cards in the deck whenever possible. It's also worth pointing out that both Círdan the Shipwright and Aragorn can become dual-sphere ( / ) through the use of their particular Attachments (Narya and Celebrían's Stone) which helps to pay for some of those more expensive 2 and 3 cost cards later in the game.

As I'm playing, I have to pay close attention to the number of copies of Will of the West I have remaining in my deck. Whenever I draw into the last one, I make sure that I play it to shuffle my discard pile back into my deck for another go-around. I have found that I often need to do this at least once—sometimes twice—during a game to ensure that I don't run out of cards before the end of the game.

► For more analysis, check out my blog post on this deck.