A Shadow in the West

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pconnors 64

“No!” cried Gandalf, springing to his feet. “With that power I should have power too great and terrible. And over me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more deadly.’ His eyes flashed and his face was hit as by a fire within. Gandalf paused pondering the situation. He harbored a deep and resounding love for all things living. He made great efforts to protect and serve the denizens of middle earth. Surely, all that being true, he could take the one ring. Was Sauron not a Maiar like him? The ring may dominate lesser beings, but he was Gandalf the Grey, wielder of the flame of Arnor. “Give it to me, Frodo. We don’t have another choice. Give me the ring.”

Frodo shrank back against the wall of Bag End, suddenly feeling the change in the room. “Gandalf I…” In a quick move Gandalf closed the distance between them, a shadow flowing from his form to engulf the room.

“The Ring Frodo, do you not trust me?”

Frodo glanced down at the ring in his hand. Gandalf had always been his most trusted confidant and adviser. If he couldn’t trust him, who could he trust? “Alright Gandalf. You have long been a friend of the Hobbits, and of mine. If you ask me for it, I will give it to you.”

Gandalf took the Ring. Narya sprang to life as soon as his hand touched the One Ring. Slowly, Gandalf slid the ring onto his hand. A burst of knowledge spread from the ring. He could see into Rivendell and Lothlorien, Awareness of the nine sparked to life and a power grew over him as his confidence and power soured. “I shall save Middle Earth.”

Deep within the confines of the Istari’s mind, a small voice spoke for the last time. “Manwe help them.. I have failed.”

-Lord of the Rings, Shadow in the West

Shadow in the West

Welcome to my first attempt at a One Ring Deck! The whole purpose of this deck is to build Gandalf into a power that can rival Sauron! Every attachment in the deck is aimed at readying and buffing Gandalf. This deck has insane card draw and scrying abilities, and I’ve managed to get the key parts I needed early on each game.

Threat Management

This deck expects to play all 9 of the Master Cards included in the deck, meaning it expects to raise its threat by 9 during the game. It starts pretty low at 23 threat, and once Gandalf has no more need of the Hobbits, he can cast Folco aside to reduce his threat.

Readying

Essentially, this deck is trying to let Gandalf do everything, so readying effects are essential. Luckily, I haven't run into a case where I needed to ready Gandalf and I couldn't. Cram, Heir of Mardil, Magic Ring, Shadowfax, Unexpected Courage, Flame of Anor, The Ring of Power and Strider. With all the readying effects, it is easy to make use of Word of Command without worrying of leaving Gandalf exhausted.

Resources

Gandalf does need money to make sure the deck keeps going. This means that increasing his income is an important goal. This can be achieved in a number of ways, primarily Gandalf's Staff and Steward of Gondor.

Scrying

Gandalf has a ton of attachments, and most of them only have one copy in the deck. This means that being able to accurately dig the attachments out of your deck is crucial. I was worried about this before I tried the deck, but it has more than enough tricks to get what it needs. Expert Treasure-hunter, Gandalf's Staff help with card draw, while Master of the Forge and Word of Command allow specific digging into the deck.

Conclusion

This deck is fun for anyone that loves stacking attachments on heroes. It works well against combat heavy quests (Gandalf turns into a beast) and can handle a decent amount of questing, but can't ramp up to too high a questing total.

5 comments

Aug 12, 2019 pconnors 64

Oh, sidenote for those that enjoy the story aspect. While the card says Smeagol, In my head it is actually Frodo. After losing the ring, Frodo becomes obsessed with serving Gandalf and eventually trying to reclaim his precious.

Aug 12, 2019 ellipticaltable 14

Why Diligent Noble and Heir of Mardil instead of additional copies of Unexpected Courage?

Aug 13, 2019 Steinwill 9

Oh man what a fitting writeup to this deck! I love you have one of everything making the deck feel alot less gamey and more thematic! I look forward to take this for a spin!

Aug 14, 2019 The Broken Meeple 24

A fun idea! Would Celebrían's Stone work for this deck to give Gandalf a willpower boost for questing?

Aug 14, 2019 pconnors 64

I looked at celebrians stone but opted not to for the same reason I don't have glamdring. It's a restricted attacent so Gandalf couldn't use it and his staff