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The BGamerJoe 1316
This is a specialized deck built to support a group by playing The Free Peoples at key moments during a game. It’s best as a multiplayer deck, but it’s a reasonable solo deck as well.
I wanted to keep the deck in the Lore and Leadership spheres to have the best access to card draw and resource acceleration cards. Haldir of Lórien and Denethor are both easy choices since they have 3 Traits each, their threat cost is reasonable and their stats are useful. Glorfindel is a little expensive but he brings the Trait count up to 8 with heroes alone and his Noble traits let’s him use Heir of Mardil to ready after questing and utilize both his attack and willpower. Glorfindel could be swapped out for a standby like Bifur if you want to start at 24 threat and 7 traits instead of the current 29 threat and 8 traits. Since Glorfindel will be our Steward here, Denethor can send him resources and you can even use his healing ability if needed since he tends to have an abundance of resources.
The Main Event
Once you get any ally (excluding Faramir and Errand-rider) into play, you’ll have the 9 needed traits to play The Free Peoples. Ioreth can even facilitate a turn 1 Free Peoples! The fourth hero a Saga quest gives you also fills out that 9th trait so you could play Free Peoples on turn 1 if you wanted.
Once you have your nine traits, you need a good supply of resources and reliable card draw to make sure you have access to the key event when you need it. For resources I’m relying on the unbeatable brute force of Steward of Gondor while card draw is provided by Deep Knowledge, Mithrandir's Advice, Gandalf, Daeron's Runes and Gléowine.
The next challenge is timing The Free Peoples for maximum effect. I find it most helpful to play it when your confident that you’ll be able to finish the current quest card (it shouldnt be hard to either massive willpower boost you’ll have) and progress to the next quest stage. So many quest cards fetch new enemies and what better way to greet those enemies than with every character on the board ready for the combat phase?
When you plan to play The Free Peoples, make sure to trigger Faramir’s effect, then play the event, then you can trigger Faramir again for a total of +3 for all your characters (or someone else if the math is better).
The massive effect just one play of The Free Peoples can have in a game is truly epic (well, as epic as you can get considering we’re just shuffling paper rectangles around on a table).
The Normal Stuff
While this deck isn’t conventional, it can still contribute to the combat phase and can even hold its own as a solo deck against many quests. Both Gildor Inglorion and the Wellinghall Preserver can be excellent defenders, especially when supported by A Burning Brand and Ent Draught. If another player can spare you a Gondorian Shield, Denethor can be helpful as well.
Haldir and Glorfindel will be your primary attackers but will sometimes need the assistance of an ally to take down the larger enemies.
- Willpower: Glorfindel, Haldir, Allies, The Free Peoples, Faramir
- Defense: Denethor, Wellinghall Preserver, Gildor Inglorion, A Burning Brand, Ent Draught
- Attack: Glorfindel, Haldir of Lórien, Quickbeam
- Resource Generation/Smoothing: Steward of Gondor, Elf-stone, Errand-rider, Denethor
- Card Draw: Mithrandir's Advice, Daeron's Runes, Gandalf, Master of the Forge, Gléowine, Gather Information
- Cancellation: Firyal, Miner of the Iron Hills, A Burning Brand
- Readying: The Free Peoples, Wingfoot, Heir of Mardil
- Healing: Warden of Healing, Wellinghall Preserver, Glorfindel
- Threat Reduction: Gandalf, Sneak Attack
I’ve had good success with the deck in multiplayer and solo games. That moment when you crush the whole board with the Free Peoples is always epic and satisfying! In one particularly overpowered play I quested for 120 + at the end of a quest with this deck alone!
Feedback is welcome! Give it a play and let me know how it works for you!