|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
Then Gandalf seeing the madness that was on him feared that he had already done some evil deed, and he thrust forward, with Beregond and Pippin beside him, while Denethor gave back until he stood beside the table within. But there they found Faramir, still dreaming in his fever, lying upon the table. Wood was piled under it, and high all about it, and all was drenched in oil, even the garments of Faramir and the coverlets; but as yet no fire had been set to the fuel. Then Gandalf revealed his strength that lay hid in him, even as the light of his power was hidden under his grey mantle. He leaped up on to the faggots, and raising the sick man lightly he sprang down again, and bore him towards the door. -from The Pyre of Denethor, The Return of the King
Denethor had served well as Gondor's Steward for many years, but a long time of gazing into a palantir at the hope-draining visions Sauron gave him led him to madness and suicide. Believing that death or slavery were inevitable in light of Sauron's strength, Denethor sought to ease his pain by taking his remaining son with him. Gandalf, Pippin, and Beregond arrived in time to witness Faramir's fevered body lying on top of a makeshift funeral pyre, which Gandalf promptly rescued so he could have a chance to recover in the Houses of Healing. They were unable to talk sense into Denethor however, who soon immolated himself on the pyre. To fill the void of authority and order from Denethor's passing, Gandalf takes charge, leading the defense of the city and bringing hope back to the defenders of Minas Tirith.
This thematic deck seeks to emulate most of the events that transpired in that chapter while being an effective deck in its own right. As you can see, it is a Gondor ally-swarm deck headed by Denethor, Gandalf, and Pippin as the heroes. While Denethor will be the main defender early on, his importance may wane as Gandalf acquires more combat duties as the game goes on and maybe you will get to sacrifice Denethor for The Fall of Gil-Galad, reducing your threat as you put his madness behind you. In Service of the Steward is for Pippin and grants and extra while Visionary Leadership is in play and allows for Denethor to pass a resource to him, but it can be switched out for a better card if you don't mind losing a little of the theme.
The Heroes This is pretty straightforward, Denethor defends, Pippin quests and Gandalf does whatever else you need him to do. I often quest with him in the early rounds until I get some allies out, then its time for him to go on the offensive. Keep in mind that Pippin's ability can grant you an additional round to stall against enemies if necessary or possibly net you some card draw. All the attachments go on Gandalf with the exception of In Service of the Steward and The Fall of Gil-Galad, and with Steward of Gondor, Narya, Gandalf's Staff, Wizard Pipe and Visionary Leadership our white wizard powers out the ally swarm. Shadowfax enables Gandalf to perform double duty, often by defending and following it up with attacking or using Narya. Shadowfax can be fetched with Word of Command and played on Gandalf to immediately ready him back up, and then later Word of Commands will be easier to pull off thanks to Shadowfax.
The Deck An ideal opening hand would include Steward of Gondor, Gandalf's Staff, or Narya to start off with along with some allies to help the deck have a good start. From there, the focus is on building up a swarm of buffed up Gondor allies while getting those aforementioned attachments on Gandalf. While most of the allies are suited for questing, Ithilien Archer is used as an attacker and Veteran of Osgiliath definitely has that capacity as well. Warden of Healing and Ioreth keep the allies and defenders healed, and Faramir does as Faramir does. If you need it, you inspire some more attack out of those allies with For Gondor!, and Gandalf can also burn foes with the Flame of Anor. A little Daeron's Runes is welcome card draw with the surplus uniques hanging around, and Word of Command offers the most awesome deck search effect, especially when Gandalf is astride Shadowfax or he can also shrug off the exhaustion with the Flame of Anor.
Final Thoughts Not only is it thematically satisfying, but it is also a capable deck on top of that. This deck defeated The Treachery of Rhudaur in solo, but it also seems to be a fine deck for multiplayer as well. Other decks at the table will appreciate the healing, support from Gandalf's Staff and Narya, and sentinel/ranged Gandalf while riding Shadowfax. Inspiring Presence would be a good card to sub in from the sideboard for multiplayer games, since every hero would get buffed due to Gandalf having the highest threat cost. To summarize, this deck has become one of my favorite Gondor decks, for its theme and its ability to play well on the table, two great things in a neat package.