Gandalf's Noble Hunters

Questlogs using this decklist
Incomplete - Helm's Deep - 2 Players - 2020-12-23
Loss - Helm's Deep - 2 Players - 2020-12-23
Win* - Helm's Deep - 2 Players - 2020-12-22
Loss - Helm's Deep - 2 Players - 2020-12-23
Fellowships using this decklist
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Gandalf's Noble Hunters - Saga Campaign 0 0 0 2.0
Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
The gameplay simulator is an experimental feature and is currently only available for those that support RingsDB development on Patreon.
Gameplay simulator
In Play
Discard Pile

kattattack22 791

kattattack22 has a newer deck inspired by this one: Gandalf's Noble Hunters - Saga Campaign

This is made for Helm's Deep and Road to Isengard in the LOTR Saga campaign. Gandalf received the Noble Hero and Leader of Men boons.

This is a pretty straightforward 3 hunters deck. Get 2 restricted attachments out on each hero ASAP for the willpower boost. Ideally by turn 2. Open the Amory and Campfire Tales to help find more restricted attachments. Prioritize giving defensive attachments to Denethor so he can defend easily. Attack boosts on Glorfindl. Gandalf can take anything, but willpower boosting is better as he is the main quester.

Heir of Mardil is meant for Gandalf as it will let him ready after questing thanks to Leader of Men.

Earlier version of this deck had Orcrist, but I took it out for another copy of Gandalf's Staff.


Dec 29, 2020 ira212 262

Why isn’t there Steward of Gondor? I know that card goes in every deck, but you are actually using the Steward, so it seems fair... With Gandalf, I’m surprised Daeron's Runes isn’t maindeck. Maybe if you’re playing 4 player, Campfire Tales is worth it, but I think at lower player counts, you’re better off replacing it. I also wonder if it’s worth putting in 1 copy of Raiment of War for Glorfindel?

I’m working on a Three Hunters deck, so it’s nice to see this take on it!

Dec 29, 2020 kattattack22 791

@ira212 Grant runs Steward in his Rohan 3 Hunters deck for Éomer. Besides Ancestral Armor the cost curve is low. The contract and Denethor's acceleration provide plenty of resources. Gandalf also can gain extra resources from the Leader of Men boon. If anything I thought about putting in Gondorian Fire, but our decks haven't needed the extra attack power.

I've found playing cards quickly is so important with 3 Hunters. I didn't want too many off sphere cards potentially clogging up my hand if Wizard Pipe isn't in play. This is why I've avoided Daeron's Runes and many Tactics restricted attachments.

I've been impressed recently with how helpful Campfire Tales is to me when Grant plays it. I decided it was worth giving it a shot. Especially as his deck tends to top deck quite often. It still thins my deck which is helpful.

Dec 29, 2020 ira212 262

Interesting thoughts! I’m not convinced by your logic for Daeron's Runes. How can it possibly clog things? You can play it during any phase, right? Especially with the number of duplicates in your deck, it seems like you’ll often have a very easy discard.

Good thoughts re: cost curve! Thanks!

Dec 29, 2020 doomguard 2018

u made not much use of gandalf. neither for vilya, nor mining, nor fasten your deck because he can play every phase from the top.

poor gandalf he is not used to his full potential.

in a 3 huntersdeck the only wax to boost him, is, to put more events in, that he can play every phase.

so u sai, u dont want to have more outsphere because with that tecticattachements there are enough, thats understandable. but then u do not need 3 pipes. what do u want to do with 3 silver circlet? staff ob lebetron, it will not endure long that you can use it with a startingthreat of.

so what would i do to fasten this deck:


  • 2 pipes
  • 2 staff of lebetron
  • 2 silver circlett
  • 1 livery of the tower (evtl 1-2 acestral armour, do not know if they are payable)

what can be put in.

council and idle can be played every phase as soon as it appear on the top of the deck. these are 6 cards that fastens your build, and We Are Not Idle let you additionally draw a card. in this way, you will be much faster and get the important things earlier. perhaps you find more useful fastening events ;) (campfiretale in this way, to fasten the deck, is a good card, consider hidden cache.

if your partner plays rohan, he may discard many characters, consider Stand and Fight to get cheap allies back (if it lays on the top every time playable with gandalf)

Dec 29, 2020 kattattack22 791

@ira212There's no sphere match for Daeron's Runes if it is in your hand with this line up. It can clog up the opening hand when you want as many restricted attachments as possible. Especially if Wizard Pipe isn't in hand either.

Dec 29, 2020 kattattack22 791

@doomguard the idea is to flip the contract as soon as possible. Taking a turn to play several events to filter down to another restricted attachment to play next planning phase isn't that helpful. Adding more events also lowers the number of restricted attachments you'll likely have in the opening hand. We Are Not Idle seems fine since it is just deck thinning, but doesn't really add anything more than including more restricted attachments.

Gandalf is still very useful with his 4 willpower, 3 attack, and 3 defense. All of these stats get boosted thanks to the attachments and he can ready for combat with Heir of Mardil and Leader of Men.

Ancestral Armor is playable first turn thanks to Denethor's extra resources and contract's cost reduction.

The pipe is still important for resource smoothing to play muliple of the 2 cost attachments. It also lets you put Silver Circlet on Gandalf since he has a Spirit icon while played from the top. I also don't want to trust to one copy to be able to play the Golden Belts.

You must have missed that the partner deck is also a Forth, The Three Hunters! deck. No allies for Stand and Fight.

Dec 29, 2020 ira212 262

Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing. Maybe it is better just to have more attachments. I’ll have to try it out and see!

Dec 31, 2020 kattattack22 791

@ira212 and @doomguard

I’ve been doing some testing using the Ringsdb gameplay simulator. I was curious if could verify my intuitions about events clogging up the opening hand with some data. I tested both of your suggested modifications (shown below with results) vs my published list.

Current List Results for Comparion

  • Contract flipped turn 2 in 18 out of 30 simulations or 60% of the time
  • Average restricted attachments in play 5.4 with standard deviation of 0.8
  • Mulligan rate 30.0%


  • Modifications
    • +3 Daeron's Runes
    • +1 Raiment of War
    • -3 Campfire Tales
    • -1 Staff of Lebethron (Ira didn’t suggest taking this card out, but Denethor had enough possibilities already.)
  • Results
    • Contract flipped turn 2 in 17 out of 30 simulations or 56.7% of the time
    • Average restricted attachments in play 5.2 with standard deviation of 1.2
    • Mulligan rate 63.3%
    • It could be quite variable how well it did with 2-6 restricted attachments in play by turn 2. Raiment of War ended up helping or hurting in about equal measure. Daeron’s Runes also was pretty mixed because it could end up a dead card so easily. When it worked, it could really get things back on track. I just don’t think it is consistent enough in this deck.


  • Modifications
    • -2 Wizard Pipe
    • -2 Staff of Lebethron
    • -2 Silver Circlet
    • -1 Livery of the Tower
    • +3 Elrond’s Counsel
    • +1 Hasty Stroke
    • +3 We Are Not Idle
  • Results
    • Contract flipped turn 2 in 15 out of 30 simulations or 50% of the time
    • Average restricted attachments in play 5.3 with standard deviation of 0.9
    • Mulligan rate 46.7%
    • I almost never saw Wizard Pipe with these modifications which is problematic with adding many more events. I couldn’t swap them on top say during the resource phase to grab a restricted attachment and hopefully reveal another before planning. It also limited options to smooth for Leadership resources and made it difficult to put Armored Destriers and Silver Circlet on Gandalf. The most harmful was that Gondorian Shield was often a dead card. It’s not trait restricted so it can go on any of the three heroes and fill in as needed.
    • Taking out the some of the restricted attachments for events hurt too. It drops the number of restricted attachments to 20 from 25. At that level it becomes very difficult to draw into more of them. Especially when you are starting at 3 or 4 in the opening hand which was quite common.
    • Elrond’s Counsel was very odd to use. I often had to play in the travel or resource phases to just get it out of the deck. Yes, it still provide threat reduction, but the temptation is to hold it from the quest phase and slow down the contract flip. Helm’s Deep in particular that +1 willpower would be welcome, but I’d rather have +6 permanent willpower and healing online sooner.
    • We Are Not Idle actually worked pretty well in the deck. It didn’t really matter if it was in my hand or top of the deck. I could filter the non-restricted attachments with it sometimes. I think swapping out some of the extra copies of the unique non-restricted attachments it would be a fine addition.

Overall Takeaways from the testing

  • Playing events from the top of the deck that let me draw and filter to restricted attachments is good. Leadership and Spirit options where I'm not relying on Wizard Pipe or top deck works consistently.
  • Also, having more restricted attachments in the deck is very helpful to make sure that critical mass of ~4-5 in the opening makes getting to flip a lot easier. If substitutions are to be made, it should be in the non-restricted attachment cards.
  • Gandalf's Staff should be played first before any other attachment. It's ability to draw or add a resource to get that next restricted attachment or add a resource can really accelerate flipping the contract.

A few footnotes about my testing.

  1. I generally took a mulligan if there were less than 3 restricted attachments in the opening hand. For Ira’s build I was also pretty aggressive at mulliganing if Daeron’s Runes or Raiment of War were in hand without Wizard Pipe.
  2. I would not use Glorfindl’s resource turn 1 if Test of Will was in hand. I also would assume that I would play Test of Will particularly if I could have from the top using Gandalf. It seemed too situational to assume that.
  3. I gave preference to playing the attachments as indicated in my write-up, but I often would make less optimal choices to flip the contract. Particularly on turn 2. Also I would not play a 3rd restricted attachment on any hero.
  4. This spreadsheet has all the results with general although incomplete notes about each simulation.

Dec 31, 2020 doomguard 2018

thx for the testing, with your information (we where not idle is good, but pipe and more restricted is needed i will offer a new modification):

mulligan for pipe out:

  • 2 staff of lebetron
  • 1 silver circlett
  • 1 livery of the tower
  • 2 ancestral armour you will not pay more than 1 in the firt 2 rounds
  • 1 heir of mardil


  • 3 we where not idle
  • 1 windfola
  • 3 elronds council/wealth of gondor (and yes play it from the top as long u have not 6 restricted.. ; )
  • 1 steed of imladris

and consider replacing 2 light of valinor with 2 Round Shield. with high probability of the pipe its a good card that can be used by every hero consider replace at least 1 Open the Armory with Word of Command. if only 1 is missing the chances to get an restricted is much higher, than a weapon or armor.