The deck that eats threat

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Fellowships using this decklist
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Smoking Fellowship 2 1 2 1.0
The deck that eats threat 1 1 0 2.0
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askelad 193

askelad has a newer deck inspired by this one: The deck that eats threat

The deck that eats threat

what happens if you don't have enough willpower to quest succesfully? you raise your threat. What happens if you get attacked by enemies that are stronger than your defense? your heroes take damage. What if you have Frodo Baggins? you raise your threat. What happens if you can reduce your threat by more than 20 each turn? you get to play in a state of absolute relaxation.

This deck is designed to abuse Smoke and Think and Old Toby to draw insane amounts of cards and play them mostly for free.

The engine

card draw

Hobbit Pipe combined with a large collection of threat reducing events (Elrond's Counsel, Smoke Rings, The Galadhrim's Greeting and The Shirefolk)
generates a lot of draw and threat reduction. With the addition of Spare Pipe which is already a fine attachment by itself, we can control up to 6 pipes, which makes Old Toby a draw 6.

on top of that, we have Daeron's Runes, Deep Knowledge and Drinking Song which help cycle through the deck faster.

Daeron's Runes usually discards Glorfindel who can be played from discard and the first Will of the West.

Pippin will also draw us at least one card, as we don't mind tanking one enemy with Frodo Baggins. just make sure you only engage one enemy at a time since Frodo Baggins's ability only triggers once each phase.

(MotK) Bilbo Baggins lets us start with one Hobbit Pipe which helps with consistency.

resource generation

Many of our cards are relatively low cost, with only The Galadhrim's Greeting and our two noldors being above a cost of 2. However, we do not intend to actually pay for them:

Resourceful lets us generate extra resource per turn.

Good Meal helps us cast Old Toby or Smoke Rings for free, and Reforged gives us extra copies of Good Meal.

The star of cost reduction however is Smoke and Think, which once we have played most of our pipes lets us play anything for free, usually the noldors to play Elrond's Counsel and The Galadhrim's Greeting. On top of that Dwarven Tomb and Map of Earnil lets us recur Smoke and Think for even more cost reduction.

This overpowered combination of draw and resource generation usually lets us cycle through the whole deck by round 3, while playing the noldors and usually reducing our threat down to zero, even if we have raised our threat by taking damage on frodo since round 1.


While 2 will of the west will let us keep cycling for a couple more turns, we end up with so much threat reduction that the inability to go below zero becomes an issue, and we will have more spare Smoke and Think than needed. Also, even once the whole deck has been played, we still only have 5 characters in play, 3 of which are weak hobbits.

that is why the deck needs some extra payoff, ways to use the extra threat and cost reduction to develop enough power to finish the quest. There are several ways in which we can accomplish that goal, of which a few samples are in the sideboard, but feel free to come up with your owns!

the Gandalf package

a good solution in solo: add Gandalf, Shadowfax and Narya (as well as Gandalf's Staff and Wild Stallion if you feel like it): play Gandalf for free using Smoke and Think, equip him with Shadowfax and Narya(also played for free). The extra threat is irrelevant in this deck, and you will obtain 4 + 4 /+ a Narya trigger on himself and Gildor Inglorion or Glorfindel, which should help with questing power and attack.

The Song of Eärendil package

We have a ton of threat to spare, so this deck would do amazing combined with one or more decks that rely on increasing their threat to develop a lot of power: play Song of Eärendil and pair up with a doomed/high threat/Boromir/Palantir deck to suck up all of the threat increase of your team mates.

The Northern Tracker package

in a fellowship, include 3 Northern Tracker which you play for free with Smoke and Think, along with Song of Eärendil, and you have a deck which will handle location and threat control for the whole table all by himself, while the rest deals with combat and the rest of questing.

in the same vein, Firyal or Treebeard are also good but expensive allies which could benefit the whole table by being played early enough.

Just make sure you don't add too much, as it will harm the consistency of the deck. i've found myself doing fine with up to 4-5 extra big cards, but some cards like Song of Eärendil and Gandalf's Staff are actually not hurtful to consistency.


Nov 14, 2020 doomguard 427

would perhaps some healer. if pippin gets resourceful he can pile a lot and with some warden of healing dragonfire and heavy archery can be dealt with.

Nov 14, 2020 askelad 193

@doomguard true, in multiplayer throwing a few Warden of Healing in the mix would add some utility

Nov 14, 2020 Marcelf 1239

Nice deck, but you can't recur Good Meal with Reforged because the attachment must belong to one sphere, and thus not being neutral.

Nov 14, 2020 askelad 193

@Marcelf i went with my house rule on that one, forgot to change it before publishing. i guess you would cut reforged and replace with maybe a third Map of Earnil and complete with payoff cards

Nov 14, 2020 doomguard 427

or put in some weaver to shuffle them back in the deck

Nov 14, 2020 askelad 193

@doomguard yes Galadhrim Weaver would work too

Nov 15, 2020 Quetzal513 38

Really like the concepts here; especially like the toolkit with Gandalf for solo vs more universal effects for multiplayer.

All those pipes and Smoke and Think have me thinking of high costed cards that don't see much play i.e. Light the Beacons. Certainly any high costed ally would work with Stand and Fight

Nov 16, 2020 askelad 193

@Quetzal513 glad you like it :)

concerning Light the Beacons: this is a card that needs to be played with a certain timing in order to be good, which is problematic for the deck as we would need to assemble a lot of pieces in order to do so (5 pipes, Light the Beacons and Smoke and Think). That is why i think it is better to focus on allies or attachments for powerful cards.

in a 4 people fellowship, The White Council is a good example.

i would rather play a strong ally directly rather than Stand and Fight, so that i can play something even without an strong ally in a discard pile

Nov 17, 2020 Quetzal513 38

Sorry to have given poor suggestions; I'm only theory crafting since I don't own many of the cards needed to assemble this deck.

When you say "abuse Smoke and Think", with more than 3 pipes in play, I was drawn to cards costing more than 3 already. You already have Resourceful and Good Meal for some resource acceleration and really only 2 cards (your allies, although (MotK) Bilbo Baggins might technically count) in the base setup that cost more than 3 (since Resourceful and Map of Earnil you're not intending to pay full price for).

Certainly I can drop the Stand and Fight idea. I neglected to expound the Stand and Fight gambit (to sneak in powerful allies from other spheres, that was my thinking) but really there are few candidates (not Brok Ironfist, Radagast, Citadel Custodian, Dúnedain Wanderer, etc). Maybe Beorn or Yazan but they would still be the finishing piece of a long combo you couldn't execute until many other pieces are in play. Jubayr is in-sphere, so wouldn't require it; neither would Elfhelm if you wanted to have him to complete your threat eating team.

I was just searching through high costed cards for other candidates: Favor of the Valar made me chuckle (trolling). But there's really not that many other candidates not already mentioned out there. (Maybe Keen as Lances if you were doing one of those fellowships where everyone was running 3)

Last thought: it seems counter to massive threat drops to include Saruman as a sideboard hero. Wouldn't that break The Shirefolk and mess with most of your threat dropping effects? (even if Smoke Rings still triggers individually)

Nov 17, 2020 askelad 193

@Quetzal513 thanks for the input :)

so i've done more testing and thinking and i've come to several conclusions:

usually we have all the cards needed by turn 3, which really makes us work with very little resource (that is why i try to avoid cards like A Test of Will in the payoff section, really only Song of Eärendil and big costs are worth it). We usually see only a few cards on turn 1, turn 2 is where it starts exploding, so most of our Resourcefuls would barely pay for themselves by the time it matters, which is why i am tempted to cut them.

i also am tempted to cut Elrond's Counsel as by the time we play a noldor we already have all we need.

you are absolutely correct Keen as Lances should be a 3-off. since anything above 2 cost we pay for with Smoke and Think, it essentially functions as either a The Galadhrim's Greeting, a Old Toby or a "resource splitter", converting a Smoke and Think into 2 resources, which is exactly what the deck needs as we often find ourselves in the akward situation of having spare Smoke and Think and no resources but wanting to cast a Dwarven Tomb, a Song of Eärendil or Will of the West, and we now can include a copy or two of A Test of Will

i've also been thinking about a copy of Love of Tales, which should generate 1 or 2 resources on Pippin from Drinking Song and Song of Eärendil, which pays for an extra Old Toby, freeing up a Good Meal.

finally in the very speculative, i'm thinking about a copy of A Good Harvest for the big turn, in order to play Second Breakfast to get Good Meal back, Legacy of Númenor for extra resource and Gaining Strength, that would net a lot of resource but might hurt consistency real bad.