3 Wise Men - Road Darkens

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Inspiration for
Two Wise Men and a Frodo 2 0 0 2.0
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ohuerc 284

ohuerc has a newer deck inspired by this one: Two Wise Men and a Frodo

Basically my standard Wise Men deck, but multiplayer, with only the cards published up through The Road Darkens. The big change is Gildor's Counsel and one Scroll of Isildur to go with them. Trying out one Lembas. Multiplayer calls for Campfire Tales; also, trying out one Desperate Alliance and one Message from Elrond. Most versions also don't bother with Bilbo Baggins, but Wizard Pipe is one of the best tools to go with Vilya and Zigil Miner.

Three Wise Men

Elrond plus Vilya plays anything that costs 3 or more, and occasionally costs of 2 as well. Gandalf plays Events from the top of the deck, especially those that cost 0 or 1. Liberal use of Zigil Miner, especially when Hidden Cache is on top, makes money to play the rest of the 2-costs.

Early Game

Look for Vilya, Zigil Miner, A Test of Will as early as you can, hence three copies of each. Flame of Anor makes Gandalf a combat wizard, saving our bacon every now and then. (I usually run 2x, sometimes even 3x, in the non-Gildor's Counsel version.) Other tools will show up bit by bit.

Mid-Game

Your tableau:

Gandalf->Unexpected Courage->Wizard Pipe->Gandalf's Staff
Elrond->Vilya->Unexpected Courage->Unexpected Courage->A Burning Brand
Glorfindel->Asfaloth->Light of Valinor
Arwen Undómiel questing and helping her daddy block
Bilbo Baggins questing
Beorn blocking if needed, mostly attacking and shuffling himself
Warden of Healing healing
Gildor Inglorion and the rest of the allies managing the deck

Late Game

Eventually the deck runs out. Use Will of the West, with Dwarven Tomb to fetch it if needed. Most likely, 2 to 4 of the tools have dropped to Zigil Miner, so zip through the deck for them, and beware of losing them again. Re-run all the A Test of Will and Gildor's Counsel and rejoice, along with Lembas and Campfire Tales etc.

Experiments

Desperate Alliance can send Elrond to someone else. This is mostly irrelevant, with Arwen Undómiel making him Sentinel, but if Imladris Stargazer checks someone else's deck, you can enable them to use Vilya.

Message from Elrond can send someone a card, if you have no way to play it in the early game. With Wizard Pipe and Gildor Inglorion to put it back on top in the mid-game, this is probably unnecessary - failed experiment?

Sideboard

Steward of Gondor, Faramir. Someone else is probably playing these.

Landroval, Haldir of Lórien. As always, I tried to jam too much in. These are less likely to be useful than most of the other Vilya targets.

Out of the Wild, Deep Knowledge. These belong to the Gildor's Counsel-Legacy of Númenor combo, but this deck isn't committing to the whole combo. Threat reduction is not sufficient to run a lot of Doomed, and Campfire Tales is just fine.

The rest of the sideboard: moving forward from The Road Darkens, swap in one copy of each of these when they become available. Sword-thain is for Gildor Inglorion, largely so that he can have an Unexpected Courage, manage your deck, and still quest or fight. It becomes pretty much irrelevant when Narya arrives. Heir of Mardil is cheaper than Unexpected Courage, and belongs to Elrond, especially when he is Steward of Gondor. The rest should be self-explanatory.

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