|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
A thematic One Ring deck using the new cards from the latest deluxe, A Shadow in the East.
I am still struggling to build a true "Dead Marshes" deck, with just Frodo, Sam, Smeagol, and no allies. In the meantime, I settled for including various characters that Frodo and Sam met throughout their journey (exception being Ioreth, as options for healing were quite limited).
The One Ring pairs well with Sméagol and The Master Ring both thematically and mechanically. By starting with The Master Ring in hand, you'll be ready to cancel the first copy of Stinker whenever it appears, and you should draw into another copy before you see the second Stinker. This ensures that you can keep Smeagol unflipped the whole game. (In 4 player this might be a different story, as you go through many more encounter cards. For that reason Smeagol gets progressively worse with player count.)
Since I was filling the deck with unique allies anyway, I also decided to make it a Fellowship deck. It achieves the contract conditions remarkably quickly, sometimes as early as turn 2, mostly thanks to Timely Aid, A Very Good Tale, and free allies like Ioreth and Bill the Pony. It is worth taking a mulligan for these cards (or equivalently, Drinking Song), as they really jumpstart the deck.
Questing is well taken care of here, as most of the heroes and allies are decent questers, especially once Fellowship activates or Faramir hits the table. With Frodo, I normally send him on the quest every round and ready Smeagol in the early game and Gildor Inglorion in the late game. His threat reduction is great as it buys me a couple extra turns to get out my Resourcefuls/Timely Aids.
For defense, you again have a lot of options. Once everything is set up, Frodo (2) with Fellowship (1), Hobbit Cloak (2) and Rosie (2 + Fellowship (1)) can get him up to a repeatable 8 , which is just crazy. Of course Sam+Rosie and Gildor are solid defenders as well.
Attacking comes from Anborn, Glorfindel, Gildor Inglorion, and Sméagol mostly, possibly with Sam+Rosie joining in. Again, Fellowship just adds so much here. Glorfindel can attack twice for 4 with a discard. Awesome.
The one tricky bit, which I ran into particularly with The Temple of Doom quest, is how hard that loss of a character can be mid-round in a fellowship deck. Especially if one of your characters gets discarded right at the beginning of the quest phase. Ouch. This is why you see 3x Sneak Attack in a Fellowship deck, which might seem like an odd choice. If you never lose a character, then sure, it's a waste, but you probably win in that case. The Sneaks are there for that surprise loss of a character, when you can just pop Gandalf in for the quest phase or the combat phase to get your Fellowship online. Then, next planning phase, you can hard-cast an ally and get yourself back on track (A Very Good Tale can also be used mid-round in a similar fashion).
Resource generation is good here too. A single Resourceful can fund Frodo's ability every turn. Sadly Resourceful can't go on Smeagol, so I actually found myself with a surplus of Leadership resources in some games, as once you've got your 9 characters out there isn't much else to pay for apart from a few attachments. But it's fine. I found that sacrificing some allies in the decklist to make room for more attachments would just slow down the activation of Fellowshp and wasn't really worth it.
The deck is capable of beating all the quests in the deluxe box. I think the Temple of Doom is definitely the hardest, but not so much because the deck not being strong enough, but because it can take a few attempts to discover how to handle that quest, such as when to turtle and when to power through.
Best of luck, and don't let the power of the ring get to your head!