Seastan's Restricted Progression Mode

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Inspiration for
Seastan's Hardcore Progression Mode 16 10 14 1.0
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Seastan 42440

Seastan has a newer deck inspired by this one: Seastan's Hardcore Progression Mode

I like the idea of playing the game in progression mode, but what disappoints me is that pretty early in the card pool, you can build a power deck (Dwarf swarm, for example), and steamroll through almost all the rest of the quests without ever having to adjust your deck. So I came up with this concept of "Restricted Progression", where certain cards become unusable when you get to the point in the cardpool where you could build a power deck around them.

Restricted Progression is therefore meant for players who enjoy deckbuilding. By limiting your ability to build power decks, it forces you into continually updating your deck(s) as you go along, tailoring it to the specific challenges of the quest you are going to face.

Here's how it works: After each product in the following list, there may be a list of player cards. Once you get to that product in the progression series, you can no longer use those cards in your deck.

Most entries use the "&" symbol. For example, "Glorfindel & Light of Valinor". This means that you can have either Glorfindel or Light of Valinor in your deck(s), but having the combination in your deck(s) is banned. I do not want to ban a card outright just because of one specific interaction.

Note: I included some, but not all, of the cards subject to restrictions in the actual decklist so that it could be published as a legal deck. For a complete and continually updated list of the restricted cards, consult the list below:

Banned List

Core Set

The Hunt for Gollum

Conflict at the Carrock

A Journey to Rhosgobel

The Massing at Osgiliath

The Hills of Emyn Muil

The Dead Marshes

Return to Mirkwood


The Redhorn Gate

Road to Rivendell

The Watcher in the Water

The Long Dark

Foundations of Stone

Shadow and Flame

Over Hill and Under Hill

The Battle of Lake-town

Heirs of Numenor

On the Doorstep

The Steward's Fear

The Druadan Forest

Encounter at Amon Din

NM Passage Through Mirkwood

NM Journey Along the Anduin

NM Escape from Dol Guldur

Assault on Osgiliath

The Black Riders

The Blood of Gondor

The Stone of Erech

The Morgul Vale

NM The Hunt for Gollum

NM Conflict at the Carrock

NM A Journey to Rhosgobel

The Voice of Isengard

NM The Hills of Emyn Muil

NM The Dead Marshes

NM Return to Mirkwood

NM Khazad dum

The Dunland Trap

NM Over Hill and Under Hill

The Three Trials

Trouble in Tharbad

NM The Redhorn Gate

NM Road to Rivendell

NM The Watcher in the Water

NM The Long Dark

NM Foundations of Stone

NM Shadow and Flame

The Road Darkens

The Nin-in-Eilph

NM Heirs of Numenor

The Old Forest

Celebrimbor's Secret

NM On the Doorstep

The Antlered Crown

  • More than 6 total Ent cards

Fog on the Barrow-downs

NM The Steward's Fear

NM The Druadan Forest

NM Encounter at Amon Din

NM Assault on Osgiliath

NM The Blood of Gondor

NM The Morgul Vale

The Lost Realm

NM The Black Riders

The Treason of Saruman

The Wastes of Eriador

NM The Voice of Isengard

Escape from Mount Gram

The Ruins of Belegost

Across the Ettenmoors

The Treachery of Rhudaur

NM The Dunland Trap

NM The Three Trials

NM Trouble in Tharbad

The Battle of Carn Dum

Murder at the Prancing Pony

The Land of Shadow

The Dread Realm

The Grey Havens

NM The Road Darkens

NM The Nin-in-Eilph

NM Celebrimbor's Secret

NM The Antlered Crown

Flight of the Stormcaller

The Thing in the Depths

NM The Lost Realm

Temple of the Deceived

NM The Treason of Saruman

The Siege of Annuminas

The Flame of the West

NM The Wastes of Eriador

NM Escape from Mount Gram

NM Across the Ettenmoors

The Drowned Ruins

A Storm on Cobas Haven

The City of Corsairs

The Sands of Harad

NM The Treachery of Rhudaur

NM The Battle of Carn Dum

NM The Dread Realm

The Mumakil

Race Across Harad

NM The Lands of Shadow

Beneath the Sands

NM The Grey Havens

The Black Serpent

The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat

The Crossing of Poros

The Mountain of Fire


Jul 07, 2017 kypatzer 91

How about adding Mirror of Galadriel & Silver Harp, also If you meant to put tactics Boromir on the list he should be in The Dead Marshes.

Jul 07, 2017 Seastan 42440

While the Mirror+Harp is a good combo, in my opinion it's only broken if it's being used to search out some other broken combos, which are banned.

Tactics Boromir is banned only once Heirs of Numenor is released. You are free to use him up until then.

Jul 07, 2017 bzgaming 66

What does Heirs of Numenor do to make Boromir banned? Why then? Is it just because the accumulation of all the cards that can support him have hit critical mass?

Jul 07, 2017 Seastan 42440

@bzgamingThere are a few reasons. Heirs of Numenor is the box where battle and siege questing are introduced. The challenge of these quests is to figure out how to handle combat when your primary attackers or defenders are exhausted from the quest. Tactics Boromir is an obvious power card for these quests since he can perform triple duty - quest, defend, and attack.

Furthermore, if he were not banned here in Heirs of Numenor he'd surely be banned in the very next expansion, The Steward's Fear, which contains Gondorian Shield. The ability to defend for 4 nearly unlimited times from turn one with a 1-cost attachment is too much of a power combo in my opinion.

Boromir's ability is the primary culprit, which is why he is banned outright rather than just banning certain combos. With a decent sized card pool it becomes too easy to boost his attack and defense - you'd need to ban the Signals, weapons, armor, Support of the Eagles, even Keeping Count. And threat reduction starts to become commonplace as the cardpool expands, making his drawback negligible. So that's why I decided to ban him where I did.

Jul 07, 2017 kypatzer 91

@SeastanOk, I understand the format now. @bzgaming - I would guess he banned Tactics Boromir after Heirs because of your point and Gondorian Shield.

Jul 07, 2017 bzgaming 66

@Seastan Thanks for the explanation.

I didn't have any problem with the outright ban of Boromir; it's totally understandable. I was just confused about the timing. Judging by your own arguments about building his attack/defense, I would expect an earlier ban, especially since threat reduction wasn't really enhanced much by any Heirs of Numenor cards and all the cards you specifically mentioned were released in the first cycle.

Battle and siege make sense, though, as a tip-the-scales reason to start banning him if you don't think it's necessary to ban him sooner.

Jul 08, 2017 _EricTheCleric 98

@SeastanDid you consider banning A Test of Will? Or adding a restriction such as Limit 1 per deck ?

Jul 08, 2017 Seastan 42440

@mikedrjI seriously considered it yes. Ultimately I thought that it would lead a slippery slope of banning all staple cards rather than just the combos that are cornerstones of "rule them all" decks. I think a list similar to this that bans all the popular staples could also be fun and interesting, but I didn't want to go that far just yet.

Furthermore, I feel that many people already have already played in progression mode with this idea in mind of avoiding power decks, and I didn't want to end up invalidating those decks by banning such a common staple.

Jul 08, 2017 emorlecallor 1264

I like the idea and this might actually make me try doing a "progression mode" which I haven't done before. A few suggestions on other combos that might need reining in:

Loragorn&Frodo: Even without Legacy of Numenor, Loragorn can be bonkers with Frodo and basically let you break defending. My Loragorn/Grima/Frodo deck I made two cycles ago still beats most modern quests easily.

Doughty Ranger & Eleanor/Merry & Wingfoot: I know it just got released, but this combo could do serious damage down the line and should be stopped. Ignoring treacheries for the entire game is reason enough to halt the combo.

Again, great idea and I'm ready to give this a shot.

Jul 08, 2017 Seastan 42440

@emorlecallorGood suggestions. Loragorn has the potential to be broken but in other decks he can be just fine. I'll see what I can do to curb combos with him.

Jul 09, 2017 Darkling Door 6148

I love it! Other games have a ban-list, why not LotR? Could go a long way towards fixing some of the minor balance issues that seem to have crept into the game.

I like that you tended towards banning combos rather than individual cards whenever possible. It's always sad to lose access to a card altogether.

I'm sorry to see Ents get a nerf, though. Are they really that much stronger than other traits?

Jul 10, 2017 Sechen 130

Great idea! I think you're banning the wrong Prince Imrahil with Caldara though, unless I'm missing something tricky.

Jul 10, 2017 Seastan 42440

@SechenThanks, fixed!

Jul 14, 2017 Seastan 42440

For those who think this is still not enough of a challenge:

May 04, 2018 Ratao69 1

I´m confused here, why you have Vilya on this deck if you don´t have Elrond?

May 06, 2019 Kristian 18

Thanks. This is a great idea! The order of the expansions here is that the "official" in-game sequence? For example the order of the saga expansions and POD expansions relative to the normal expansions? Or is there some other logic behind the ordering?

May 06, 2019 Seastan 42440

@KristianThe order here is based on the product release date.

I should mention also that many of the cards in this list have now been errata'd to make them more balance. So maybe there is no need for it anymore.

Sep 01, 2023 Sc0rpion 1

Which Boromir is banned? From the base game or from Numenor?

Sep 01, 2023 Beowulf_Cadmus 1