|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
Círdan the Shipwright has gradually become my favorite hero; everything he does is useful! When I'm trying to solve a deck-building dilemma he has all-too-often been the key that unlocks it. Case in point, the mono-leadership decks that intend to recycle Reinforcements endlessly. I love those decks...so much fun...but my success with them has been entirely dependent upon if I can find King Under the Mountain early on or not. If I don't, then leadership just doesn't have enough card draw to make the deck reliable. Enter, Cirdan. His extra card each round is CRUCIAL to getting all the cogs in place to this machine, not to mention everything else he and Narya do so well. You're my hero, Cirdan!
Thanks to Cirdan, this deck has turned into one of the most powerful support decks I've seen. Ideally you're partnered with a deck that can handle early game combat so you can just quest and focus on putting all the pieces together. It usually takes me three rounds, sometimes four, to feel like I'm fully operational, but once I'm there HOLY MOLY DOES THIS DECK DO SOME RIDICULOUS THINGS!!! Between Gandalf, Elrond, Beorn, and Faramir you should have a solution for almost everything the encounter deck can throw at you. Add to that the ability on Reinforcements to bring them into play under ANY player's control and you can drop Beorn where the battle is thickest, or have Gandalf reduce somebody ELSE'S threat or draw them cards. Narya gets extra actions out of these powerful allies along with a nice buff! Did I mention our goal is to be able to do this EVERY turn? Yeah. Not too shabby.
So how does this deck work? Normally I would start with what kind of start you're hoping for, but here it may be most helpful to begin with your end goal. When you reach the bottom of your deck you should be able to play Reinforcements once every round, so long as you have either it or Second Breakfast in your hand and Tome of Atanatar in your hand or in play. This will cost you either 5 or 6 resources each round (depending on if you have Sword-thain on Faramir or not). Gandalf, Elrond, and Beorn are your primary targets for Reinforcements.
How do we get there? Well, lots of card draw helps. King Under the Mountain is a great card to see in your first hand, so is either or both of Sneak Attack and Gandalf. If I don't see any of those I'll likely mulligan. Beyond that first decision, you'll be making tough calls the rest of the game on what to keep and what to discard. Let's do a run down of the rest of the cards to give the full picture of their use here:
~Silver Harp lets you keep the extra card you draw each round. A second one on Cirdan can save you from the encounter deck messing with your hand or it can ready Glorfindel. (Sadly, it won't save the discarded card from King Under the Mountain since that card never makes it into your hand.)
~Steward of Gondor goes on Cirdan.
~ Heir of Mardil, Magic Ring, and Unexpected Courage are all there for readying. The first one you find goes on Cirdan to enable both questing and Narya's use. Given Heir of Mardil's limitations, that probably goes on Cirdan too whenever you find it. After that, the rest likely go on someone else's heroes. Once Faramir is a hero, one of these on him can bring someone's questing up to bonkers levels.
~I've mentioned Sword-thain a few times already, but it's here because it pays for itself many times over by the time you finish. Without it, you have to spend all six of the resources you gain (through Steward and Théodred) each round to pay for the Reinforcements loop you're aiming for. This doesn't leave any left for Balin's always helpful ability, nor for you to pass to others through Theodred or Errand-rider. Once Faramir gets Sword-Thained, the math changes---you now can gain seven resources a round and Tome of Atanatar costs one less, reducing the cost of your recurrence loop to 5 resources each round.
~Errand-rider doubles as a chump blocker/safety valve and a way to share the wealth of Gondor. It's a great first round buy.
~Glorfindel will give you at least two actions each round, if not more. By the time he's in play you'll have plenty of extra cards in hand, plus that second harp mentioned earlier.
~Imladris Stargazer was the final piece of the puzzle for me. She helps you prevent tough calls on what to discard as well as help you find your essential pieces quickly. I also find that there are many times where Narya's readying isn't really necessary anywhere, so those rounds you can ready her and let her help someone else out with their deck.
~Finishing up with the sideboard, Erkenbrand can replace Theodred if you are up against a quest that won't let you escape combat right away. Legacy of Númenor can replace We Are Not Idle if the rest of the fellowship doesn't mind the threat. The allies are there to swap in when some of the unique characters here are used as heroes elsewhere. Some quests punish you for running out your deck, so in those you can swap in Will of the West for Second Breakfast. This would lose the recurrence loop but would provide several other new options.
You could try this deck solo, I suppose, but this version is definitely intended for multiplayer. I am working on a solo variation and will post that when I've given it enough testing and feel comfortable with it.
Have fun and good luck!