The Outlands' Best Kept Secret

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apparentlyalvin 42

"Little service, no doubt, will so great a lord of Men think to find in a hobbit, a halfling from the northern Shire." -- Pippin, The Return of the King

"Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter!
Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!"
-- Folco Boffin, probably

Outlands without Elrond? However will you pay for all of those off-sphere allies? Why aren't you rocking Prince Imrahil to double-dip all of those tribal buffs? How will you even quest if you don't use Stand and Fight to steal other players' Ethir Swordsmen? These are not questions that keep me lying awake at night.

I've had success with this deck against The Dream-chaser cycle, and the first adventure in The Sands of Harad. I haven't tested it elsewhere yet. This deck was played alongside Seastan's The Tower of Beregond, which bought this deck time to set up.

Opening Hand and Mulligan

First and foremost I look for draw in the opening hand. I love seeing a Lord of Morthond right off the bat. Rod of the Steward is reserved for emergency use, if all of your draws come up dead. I usually put it on Denethor, unless my Hirluin resource engine is already going. I usually use Gandalf as additional card draw, circumstances allowing.

A close second priority are the resource attachments. These all go on Hirluin.

After that, I like having some Timely Aid's for fast, cheap allies (especially Gandalf!), and a rainbow of Outlanders. Starting with an Anfalas Herdsman is nice, because Folco can pay for him before blowing himself up to lower your threat (all the way down to 15!)

Early Game

Try to avoid combat early on. Don't want to lose any of those allies if you can help it. Heralds of AnĂ³rien serve to get more allies out quickly, but also make handy chump-blockers. Denethor can also do some blocking.

If you don't have Lord of Morthond out, a Rod of the Steward can grant some early emergency draw. If you don't have Resourcefuls or a Steward of Gondor (other than Denethor) out, Errand-riders can get resources over to Hirluin to pay for those non-purple allies. Heralds and Riders also have the Gondor trait, allowing them to wield a Sword for some extra juicy stats.

Some Very Good Tales and Timely Aids can also help you establish a large ally base. Depending on what the board state is, I tend to prioritize either Ethir Swordsmen or Knights of the Swan when choosing from a pool of allies.

Questing and Combat

Because of this deck's low starting threat, other decks (in multiplayer, if that wasn't obvious enough) will take most of the aggro. Make sure that your buddies know that they are only there to serve as meat shields so that your deck can achieve its final, glorious incarnation, at which point nothing will be able to stand before it. Evolve past the need for mortal friendship when you start questing for 50+, with allies left up for blocks and attacks. Let Forlong soak up 5 damage from Archery and laugh.

Also make sure that your troops eat all of their vegetables, to prevent Random Acts of the Encounter Deck from killing them.


This deck has many means to both draw extra cards and either make extra resources or put allies into play on the cheap. This acceleration allows it to set up a powerful base of Outlands allies relatively quickly, allowing for consistent and powerful play, with a rather low starting threat.