The Advantage of Action

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BeestThouNotInHaste 133

The Advantage of Action

I hope I'm getting my terminology right: Isn't readying called Action Advantage?


I find it helpful to categorize player cards based on what they do, sorting them into categories I call "deck powers" (I seem to recall Hall of Beorn had an article on a similar concept, but I can't find it right now). Some of these powers include Card Draw, Location Control, Ally Mustering, and more. One of my favorite deck powers is readying, having characters who are reliably ready to block an additional attack or commit to an unexpected test. This deck aims to capitalize on the benefits of action advantage using my cardpool of Shadows of Mirkwood and Ringmaker.


Starting Hand

I'm still settling on what exactly this deck needs in order to win, but it isn't hard to pick a couple standout cards:

  • [Treebeard](/card/08146) is extremely good, boasting huge stats and built-in readying. Once he gets up and running, the deck can reliable attack for 10.
  • [Steward of Gondor](/card/01026) can provide [Aragorn](/card/01001) with tons of resources, offsetting the cost of readying him. However, since I've purposely kept the cost curve very low, this isn't as good as in most decks.
  • [Celebrían's Stone](/card/01027) allows Aragorn to help pay for cards, though the deck does not rely on it. It will be much easier to drop [Northern Tracker](/card/01045) once Aragorn has this equipped, but apart from that, it's most just a nice +2


This deck seems to fluctuate on how well it quests, so I'll need to test it more to see if I need to include more high allies. Choosing which heroes to quest with takes a bit of practice, but this is what I've found in general:

  • Always quest with [Gríma](/card/07002), unless the quest has some really low enemy you need him to block.
  • Quest with Aragorn whenever you can afford to ready him. [Wingfoot](/card/08092) can go on either him or [Idraen](/card/08025) to more reliably ready them.
  • Quest with Idraen whenever their is an active location or Northern Tracker will explore something.

In practice, choosing who to quest with and who to ready is one of the hardest parts of using the deck optimally.


This deck can handle combat pretty well once it gets set up a bit. I haven't had time to test this against Ringmaker much, and Mirkwood tends not to have many enemies, but I've found readying really helps prevent the deck from getting overwhelmed by enemies.

  • Either Aragorn or Treebeard handle defending. [Dúnedain Warning](/card/02026) and healing help keep Aragorn alive, though shadow effects can prove problematic, as this deck has no cancellation yet
  • Just about any character in the deck can contribute to attacking. The trick is using the likes of [The Riddermark's Finest](/card/02077), Treebeard, [Swift and Silent](/card/08003), and [The White Council](/card/08010) to make sure you have enough ready.

Basic combat strategy: Engage early, retaliate quickly: don't let enemies build up and overwhelm you!

Moving Forward

This deck is still a work in progress, as I'm still not sure if I'd call it competent enough for my regular use. You can look in the sideboard for the cards I've yet to try in the deck.

It should go without saying, but if you have a larger card pool than I, you really ought not use this deck, as it really is more a personal deck. If you intend to use this deck, I have a few card suggestions:

  • [Orcrist](/card/19058) and [Glamdring](/card/19029) could replace a couple copies of [Dúnedain Mark](/card/02002), providing more powerful attack boosts and useful side effects. I haven't used Guarded cards, but I imagine this deck could handles an extra encounter card early game.
  • [Valiant Sword](/card/22083) and [Shining Shield](/card/22138) can also be used in lieu of the Dunedain signals, as this deck tends to reach 40 threat rather quickly.