Cirdan's Support Group

Card draw simulator
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The Purple Wizard 133

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 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.

~You won't be able to play Reinforcements until you get Narya in play (or Sword-thain on Faramir). Once it's in, getting an extra action and buff out of these overpowered allies is...rather nice. :D

~ 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.

~We Are Not Idle and A Test of Will are obvious inclusions. The former shrinks your deck, if nothing else, but can also get you an extra resource if that is needed.

~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!


Apr 10, 2018 Wandalf the Gizzard 435

I'm a bit surprised at the low number of bomb allies in this deck (you could also include the Harad trio and Legolas and Gimli). Do you usually use Reinforcements on the other players?

Apr 10, 2018 SecondhandTook 316

This looks interesting. I'm always a fan of decks that take on the "support" role. I've never seen Reinforcements used in my meta so I'd be curious to see how it would affect our games.

Apr 10, 2018 The Purple Wizard 133

@Wandalf the GizzardI'm a bit lost on what you think I should do with the Harad here. They're meant to enter play and stay in, not keep jumping in and out. The only one this deck could straight-up buy would be Jubayr, but I've already got shadow cancellation and by the time I've got that many resources I'd rather buy Glorfindel. I could drop down the number of copies I have of Elrond and Beorn, I suppose, but this deck doesn't need MORE allies for Reinforcements so much as it wants to find the BEST ones. Would you really rather bring in Yazan over Beorn just for one phase?

As for Gimli, I gave him some serious thought instead of Faramir. He's not a bad fit, but ultimately I decided if I'm trying to create a new leadership hero I want one whose value isn't in defending, where I could too easily lose him.

@SecondhandTookI'm with you on support decks; everyone loves a good teammate! And this one certainly breaks out of the typical support archetype. I'd love to hear your thoughts after you give this a go. :)

Apr 11, 2018 Aurion 95

This looks great. Will definitely give it a try. I've been looking for ways to get the most out of Descendant of Thorondor and Longbeard Orc Slayer. I think they would work really well with Reinforcements and Narya in certain scenarios.

Apr 12, 2018 The BGamerJoe 785

Cirdan is great isn't he?? He's become one of my all-time favorite heroes over the past 6 months! Very nice deck. Fun to see Reinforcements used so well!

Apr 12, 2018 The Purple Wizard 133

@AurionI could see that being very effective if you were to pair it with another deck that focused on direct damage, perhaps with Thalin and Argalad. Nice idea!

@The BGamerJoeAbsolutely. He's fantastic. I have a couple other decks featuring him that I haven't posted yet because some other parts of those decks' puzzles don't fit right and I don't play enough solo to really work them out. Maybe I'll tag you when I do and you can help me polish them up?

Apr 12, 2018 sappidus 372

Great deck. Another vote for Jubayr here—Balin is great, but Jubayr in a Narya deck is just sickeningly good, particularly in multiplayer.

Apr 12, 2018 The Purple Wizard 133

@sappidusHmmm...I'm starting to get outnumbered here. I'll have to give Jubayr a shot next time I play with this and see where it gets me.

Apr 14, 2018 The BGamerJoe 785

I just used this deck in a 2-player game of nightmare Thing in the Depths and it did great! So good. Beorn/Gandalf/Narya every turn is insane. I just wanted a Will of the West since I emptied my deck halfway through the game!

Apr 14, 2018 The Purple Wizard 133

@The BGamerJoeI went back and forth on throwing that in; you can see it's in the sideboard. In the end I decided my goal was to recur Reinforcements EVERY turn, which you can only do when you hit the bottom of the deck, but it's certainly a viable strategy with this deck to use WotW and aim for recycling rather than recurring.