Lords of Gondor - Deck 1 (Eric)

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Lords of Gondor - YouTube Series
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Deck #1 from the YouTube series: "The Lords of Gondor."

The series will cover our attempts to take this Gondorian 2-Player Fellowship through every single quest in the game (Nightmare Mode where possible), without making any changes to the decks bewtween quests. Join us as we find out whether there is enough strength left in Numenorean blood to withstand the entire quest gauntlet.

We are trying for a "One Deck" approach ("Two Deck?") to deckbuilding, so these decks represent an attempt to bring a broad enough set of tools to the table to be able to weather whatever any given quest may throw at us. In that regard, they are not as consistent or optimized as they could be, because they are trying to be "generalists" rather than "specialists." As such, they feature several "silver bullet" cards (e.g. Strider) in them in anticipation of a particular challenge/challenges down the road that future quests will bring to the table (e.g. NM Escape from Mount Gram).

I will offer a broadstroke take on this deck here, though the Lords of Gondor series will feature a "big card breakdown" at the start of each episode that analyzes one or more cards from the deck in greater detail, including why it was included.

This deck utilizes Bond of Friendship which is, arguably, the strongest contract in the game. Having an additional hero and an additional resource on the board is hugely beneficial. The loss of consistency and efficiency that results from having to include 10/10/10/10/10 cards and only doubles is easily offset by the advantages, I think, especially when building a generalist deck that needs to have a wide suite of adaptive options at it's disposable -- this way you can run run the best cards from any sphere.

Gondor, broadly, is very good for Bond of Friendship for several reasons:

(1) They can resource smooth well with cards like Denethor, Envoy of Pelargir, and Errand-rider, which eases the constraints of being 4-Sphered.

(2) Lothíriel and Prince Imrahil also help indirectly resource smooth, because they can (temporarily) put-into-play allies without having to worry about the cost.

(3) Gondor can benefit quite a bit form Valour, so the high starting threat is less of a liability thanks to cards like (Honour Guard, Defender of Cair Andros, Angbor the Fearless, Veteran of Osgiliath, Soldier of Gondor, and The Red Arrow.)

The Swan Princess Lothíriel and her father Prince Imrahil are exceptionally good heroes, and paired together they become an even greater expression of Dol Amrothian might.

A lot of allies in this deck have entering play responses that Lothiriel/Imrahil can take advantage of (Envoy of Pelargir, Guardian of Ithilien, Knight of Belfalas, Mablung, and Soldier of Gondor). Imrahil also has a slew of powerful combat-phase allies he'd like to find (Defender of Cair Andros, Derufin, Anborn, Knight of Minas Tirith, Knight of the White Tower, Veteran of Osgiliath), and when these expensive cards end up drawn into your hand Lothiriel can put them into play as a quester for free before returning them back to your deck once again where the Prince may be able to find them in future combat phases.

This deck has decent card draw thanks to Damrod's seven traps, Soldier of Gondor, and Knight of Belfalas (who can not only retrun chump-blockers to your hand but can also retrieve Minas Tirith Lampwright and Derufin so that they can use their discard-abilities again.

In quests where threat-gain can become a problem, Derufin can seek to be recursioned as much as possible with the Knight of Belfalas, with Favor of the Valar, Double Back, and Beregond offering additional protection.