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|Saga Deck 12.1: The Passage of the Marshes||1||0||0||13.0|
I used this deck for the thirteenth quest of my Saga Campaign. I am going to try and keep it as thematic as possible, stemming from the 'What If?' of 'What if Gandalf didn't escape from Orthanc in The Fellowship of the Ring?' Please note, I don't own all the cards, so am not able to make the most powerful thematic deck theoretically possible, but constrained by what I have, here is my best attempt.
Having evaded the Nazgul in the Dead Marshes, the Ringbearer and his companions make their way south to the pass by Cirith Ungol, hoping to gain entrance to Mordor by that way. Led by Gollum, they soon find themselves on the road leading to Ithilien, where they find themselves not the only travelers on that path. Despite drawing off the Nazgul for them earlier, Denethor's servants remain devoted to their mission and continue to track Isildur's Bane on its way south. And a great host of Harad are marching on that same highway, though their way lies north to the Black Gate of Mordor. But the sons of Gondor will not allow such trespasses to go unpunished, and an ambush has been set by none other than Boromir, Denethor's heir and Faramir's brother. An ambush set for the Southron intruders; but an ambush that Frodo is about to walk into.
This deck's focus is defense. There will be a lot of enemies coming at us, so getting out Keep Watch will be crucial in this game. Muligan hard for it, to the exclusion of every other card (within reason. if you get a hand with Steward of Gondor, Feint, Gondorian Shield, Visionary Leadership and Hobbit Cloak, you should probably keep that hand). If you can get out that side-quest, things will go a lot smoother for you. Hobbit Cloak and Staff of Lebethron are essential for Sam Gamgee, who will probably be doing a fair bit of the defending. Defender of Rammas can help shore up your defense, as can Boromir, who can quest and then ready for defending if assigned a point of Archery damage.
Counter-attacking tools include Dagger of Westernesse, which is probably best on Faramir because of his ranged ability, giving you more targets to trigger Foe-hammer off. Mablung should get Gondorian Fire as he has his own personal source of resource generation, so this can get highly charged rather quickly. Hunting Party may prove to be powerful in this game, as it triggers after characters are committed to the quest, but before staging. What this means is you can discard the enemy that has just come out from The Crossroads before it can even contribute its threat. Now you will have to reveal another encounter card, but if its a choice between effectively giving the first encounter card surge or discarding an Oliphaunt, I'd discard every day of the week. The tricky part is getting a unique Warrior and Scout, in these decks you're looking for Boromir and Fearless Scout to be able to pull it off. So its situational, but it could be lifesaving.
This deck represents Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee and Faramir as they make their way through the country of Ithilien. Hobbit Cloaks shield them from unfriendly eyes and some Staff of Lebethron lend speed to their path. This deck also represents Boromir as he leads the garrison of Osgiliath in a preemptive strike against the Southrons, leading Veteran of Osgiliath and Defender of Rammas, supported by the Steward of Gondor himself as they seek to Delay the Enemy from reaching the Black Gate alive. Will the Men of Harad battle through Boromir's trap, or shall the RIngbearer get caught in the cross-fire and lose his life among the hill country of Ithilien?
The play-through using this deck can be found here: https://theroadlotr.wordpress.com/the-saga/