The Best Deck

Questlogs using this decklist
Fellowships using this decklist
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.
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

Glamcrist 178

This is the best deck in the game.

Obviously that is my own humble opinion, but I needed a tagline right? This is a Bond of Friendship deck, which I believe has surpassed Vilya as the most powerful player card in the game.

This is a certified one deck. It has beaten every quest, nightmare mode when available. I don't have any official numbers as I played through them all rather quickly, however I am making a youtube series "The Best Deck" where we can find the official numbers together. It will be the solo companion series to the "Lords of Gondor" co-op series I play with my brother.

This deck performs extraordinarily well in every quest but the most indisputable evidence I can offer of its "best deck status" is that while other one decks have to choose starting captives or tweak other aspects of NM Escape from Dol Guldur in order to get accurate numbers in a timely fashion, the Best Deck can beat it in one sitting without choosing captives or doing any other tweaks.

Thank you to all you great players out there who have inspired me and made me better with your decks, blogs, and videos. I've enjoyed myself immensely on our collective, baton-passing, never-ending journey to find the best deck in this wonderful game. I hope you will tune in from time to time and join me on my run for official numbers. Links for the prologue episode and first three nightmare quests are below. I would be honored to have you in my company.

Prologue - History of One Decks and Introduction to the Best Deck:

Ep 1 - Nightmare Passage through Mirkwood:

Ep 2 - Nightmare Journey Along the Anduin:

Ep 3 - Nightmare Escape from Dol Guldur:

Ep 4 - Nightmare The Hunt for Gollum:

Ep 5 - Nightmare Conflict at the Carrock:

Intermission - The Grima Issue:

Ep 6 - Nightmare A Journey to Rhosgobel:

Ep 7 - Nightmare The Hills of Emyn Muil:


May 29, 2021 Raiderjakk 40

Strider in a four hero deck is an interesting choice. I never would have thought to do that.

May 29, 2021 Glamcrist 178

I know, right? It entered the deck as a silver bullet for NM Escape from Mount Gram, but it ended up being a great draw early game in almost every quest. After I get my sixth character, I can use it as the target of a shadow effect that forces you to discard an attachment you control. If I draw it late game I usually just throw it on Beregond to give a little extra protection from shadow effects that specify discard an attachment from a defending character or keep it in my hand in the hopes it is the target of a forced discard, depending on the quest.

May 29, 2021 alandor 36

Interesting deck. What are your main targets for Helm of Secrecy?

May 29, 2021 dreadreaper 1

Is Daeron's Runes better than Heed the Dream? Or perhaps Gleowine?

May 30, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@alandorTypically I target Grima with Helm and switch him for Galadriel, either Eowyn, Balin, or Folco depending on what I need.

May 30, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@dreadeaper It's possible. IMHO I think heed is better because I often have to search and grab a threat control card. I also need Gleowine to help plow through my deck to set up Nori.

May 30, 2021 Legion5150 1

I'm starting out as newcomer to lotr lcg would this deck still work great in multiplayer like if it was in solo

May 30, 2021 Emmental 229

@Legion5150 probably not, because Gríma would increase the threat of the other players without giving them any benefit.

May 30, 2021 Legion5150 1

True ur probably right seem like a great deck use but guess I'll stick to one deck that can be use for more than 1 player

May 30, 2021 ira212 180

Cool deck! I didn’t expect to see this combo. I have a one deck that’s close to ready for publication with Gildor, Spirit Beregond, Tactics Eowyn, and Haldan. It’s been working quite well, and I see some similarities.

A few questions: Do you really need Golden Belt for Beregond? I guess Shield + Destrier, and then either Brand or Spear. Seems like it would take a while to come together.

Do you find that you actually get Song of Wisdom + Burning Brand frequently enough to make it worth it?

Do you have enough card draw? I guess Gildor draws a lot, but otherwise I don’t see much. I guess Helm into Galadriel? Once you do that, do you have enough questing power?

Helm of Secrecy seems valuable. I don’t have that in my deck, and I’ll definitely try to find a place for it. Cool idea!

Is Ranger Spikes worth it? Seems like something like Quickbeam could be better? I’ve only used Ranger Spikes in a trap deck, not in a “normal” deck, but maybe it’s worth reconsidering.

I’m surprised to see Warrior Sword over War Axe. I’m surprised no Feint. Is Revealed in Wrath better than Feint?!

Do you like 1 Ioreth + 1 Warden of Healing vs. 2 Wardens? I’ve considered both, but I have 2x Wardens in my current deck.

Does Nori matter? I guess for something like Under the Ash Mountains? It seems like you’d rarely run out of cards.

How did you do on Mount Doom? I guess with Strider, Celebrian’s Stone, and Silver Circlet you can get enough willpower without too high of a character count, but it seems tough... I guess Helm of Secrecy into Eowyn...

Lots of cool ideas in here! I’ll publish mine and perhaps you can take a look...

May 30, 2021 ira212 180

Here's the One Deck that I've been working on:

I'm currently stuck on Mount Doom (e.g. I tried once, the first time I ever tried the quest, and lost). So, not really "stuck," but definitely need to try it again to see how tough it really is with the current build.

I haven't had serious problems with others. Mount Gram was a little tight, but Eowyn could do it. NM Journey to Rhosgobel was also a bit tight, but I can cycle fast enough to get to the Warden + either Meneldor or Outrider (I'd expect your deck to have similar challenge with that quest, if you don't draw 1x Asfaloth.)

Either way, if you're willing to answer some of the questions above and look at my deck, I'd love your thoughts on my current build, since there are definitely some similarities! Thanks for posting a cool deck!

May 31, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@ira212 Hi Ira! When I was deciding on heroes I knew I was going to end up with either Sp Glorfindel/Ta Beregond or Sp Beregond/Ta Eowyn, so great minds think alike, haha!

I love Golden Belt for Beregond. I have four amazing restricteds for him and usually draw at least three in one game. Early game it's also a great free attachment to choose when I have to discard one.

I do get Song + Brand a lot. Two Heeds plus Gather helps me force my combos together, depending on which ones I need for the quest at hand. Many times I need to hold an enemy to use Thorongil Beregond, and I like having the Brand to minimize risk while I do so.

I find Gildor/Gleowine/Legolas is enough draw to work through my deck in most quests. If I do helm into Galadriel it's for threat. I usually have more than enough questing power with Celebrian's Stone Gildor/SIlver Circlet Glorfindel/Angbor/Firyal, but honestly, I often find myself questing completely unexhausted with Glorfindel and Angbor while I build. My playstyle is definitely to create an impenetrable board state.

Helm of Secrecy has bailed me out many times! I highly suggest it!

I like Ranger Spikes to pin those enemies with terrible engagement or “when attacking” abilities. I can scrye for them with Hennamarth or just take a chance when I know they are in the encounter deck. I can also hold an enemy in staging until a turn I desperately need to trigger Thorongil Beregond, Legolas, or Nori. They're also great to throw out before advancing to a quest stage where you know a horde is coming. I definitely see the merits in Quickbeam, and they feel pretty comparable in power. I went with spikes though.

Warrior sword usually goes on Legolas, Nori, or Angbor since Glorfindel reserves his slots for Valiant Sword/Silver Circlet. So in those situations, it's always better than War Axe.

I do think Revealed in Wrath is better than Feint because Tactics Beregond is a beast early and usually I will have no need of a Feint. Revealed helps me cancel the effects of engaging terribly annoying enemies like an Ungoliant Brood or Hummerhors, as well as allows me to kill "invincible" enemies like the Orc Trickster or Crazed Prisoner. And when I do get to use it well, it's so, so satisfying lol.

I like Ioreth + Warden over two Wardens because Ioreth is so perfect for encounter effects that make you exhaust a character you control. Also, when searching for a healer with Heed or Gather I can choose between spike healing or spread healing. With one of each I can pretend both are unique, too, which gives me great joy haha.

Nori is my favorite and probably best ally in this deck. He sets up some really broken combos when the deck is empty, like cycling Favor of the Valors, Sneak Attacks, Test of Wills, Revealed in Wrath, etc. He can also throw a Gandalf or Favor under the bottom of my deck that I can search for with Heed or Gather if I'm desperate.

When I beat Mount Doom I used Unexpected Courage/Light of Valinor and willpower boosts like Strider, Silver Circlet, and Celebrian's Stone. I remember not playing allies for a really long time. You are right, I do remember helming Grima into Eowyn at some point. I also took Seastan's advice to use the Willpower boosting Fellowship Frodo. It's a necessity! I don't remember needing to but I could also cheese a few extra turns out of Mount Doom with Favor of the Valors, since they're the only big threat reduction that works with Dire. Defintely a hard quest, though. Took me awhile to get the hang of it.

I like your deck! It’s definitely the ally-centric brother deck to my attachment-centeric deck. I highly suggest giving Light of Valinor, Celebrian’s Stone, and Strider a try. They’re great for Mount Doom.

May 31, 2021 ira212 180

Thanks for all the answers!

I missed that Warrior Sword goes on non-heroes, so that makes sense.

I’m still not convinced on Nori, but I could easily be wrong. Can you tell me more about it? How often do you really get to the bottom of your deck? It seems like that would happen really rarely. Maybe you’re doing Heed the Dream for 3 leadership?

And on that note, how often are you spending the 3 leadership on Heed? I’m assuming Gildor gets Steward, so maybe you have the extra 3 pretty often. I should likely consider that...

You make a good argument for Ranger Spikes and Revealed in Wrath, especially with Henamarth Riversong in mind.

I like Feint because it stops all the “when this event attacks” effects, and it gives action advantage. Beregond can only defend if he’s ready, and sometimes I get 2-3 enemies before he’s powered up with Destrier and Unexpected Courage. Your deck has more consistent 5-6 attack early game, so you can clear out enemies. That’s harder for me to muster unless I use Eowyn’s ability, so it might make sense that I need the Feints more.

I like your idea about Ioreth + Warden, especially when you consider Heed. I’ll give that a try.

I also need to think more about fitting in Golden Belt, second Destrier, Brand, and Song of Wisdom. That could be good.

I’ve been thinking more about Helm of Secrecy. If you trade Grima for Galadriel, you’re giving up 2 for 1 threat per turn. But why not play something like Keen as Lances to just save 5 threat all at once? I guess the flexibility of Helm is worth the extra cost? I’ll play around with it more.

How does your deck handle some high threat quests, like Nightmare Return to Mirkwood? I guess you can get through it pretty quickly, avoid using Grima too much, and Heed into Gandalf for threat reduction. I think Heed seems pretty important.

Thanks again for the ideas. I think the biggest thing my deck has that yours lacks is The Free Peoples. It’s just super powerful and solves many quests. But overall, the ideas are similar - Bond, have a buff defender, quest and attack respectably, and win. :)

Jun 01, 2021 alandor 36

I think you will have a problem with two quests: the first quest of the voice of Isengard and the Treason of Saruman. These quests already include Grima, which I believe will force you to use a different hero for those quests. Did you already think of this?

Jun 01, 2021 ira212 180

As long as those quests are beatable without using Grima at all, then it's OK, I think!

Jun 01, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@ira I can't say enough great things about Nori. Even just for player morale he's fantastic. Forced to discard a 1 of? No worries, Nori can get it back eventually. I almost always pay 3 leadership for heed too, unless I'm really desperate. It's true I don't always get to the bottom of the deck, but when I do is usually when I need Nori the most.

I think I beat Return to Mirkwood fairly easily which was surprising even to me. Staple Elfhelm to Gollum, Helm to Galadriel, Thorongil Beregond and your threat's only going up 1 a turn. Sneak Gandalf, play Gandalf, and Favor while you build.

Jun 01, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@ira The Free Peoples does seem like a fantastic addition. I just don't know where I fit it in my version.

Jun 01, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@alandor I can beat those quests without Grima. Not the most pleasant experience but it's worth his acceleration in all the others.

Jun 01, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@Legion5150If you're worried about Grima in multiplayer you could always switch him for Thurindir or Bifur. Both work well.

Jun 01, 2021 ira212 180

I looked again, and Nori only works on the top card of your discard pile. So, that seems pretty tricky to get all the timing to work right. But maybe I'm still underestimating it. Maybe it's a bit like Strider - plenty of times when you draw it, it's not going to be that useful. But, you still include it in your deck because when you need it, it's awesome.

For The Free Peoples in your deck, maybe you'd need to add a few more allies to hit it reliably, since you start with only 6 traits. But if you wanted to try it, I'd probably cut Blood of Númenor and replace it with Elrond's Counsel, which could free up 1x Favor of the Valar to be a Free Peoples instead. But obviously you know your deck best. It seemed to me that Blood of Númenor was most likely the card that was overkill and could probably be cut/replaced. :)

Jun 01, 2021 GreenWizard 186

@Glamcrist Did you consider Treebeard?

Jun 02, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@GreenWizardI did. He's a fantastic ally but usually if I need defense or attack power I'm pretty desperate and an ent that enters play exhausted wouldn't help me too much. He is cool though and I wish he could fit. He's probably 13th down the list for Neutral, Keys or Orthanc and the Free Peoples being 11th and 12th.

Jun 11, 2021 HuckmanT 1

I’m having a great time playing this deck, it’s really quite a cool machine! I’ve pretty much waltzed through the Angmar Awakened cycle ... and then I hit Fortress of Nurn and it is chewing me up and spitting me out. Did you make any swaps for this quest specifically? The Hero layout isn’t strong for an important turn 1-2 Battle Quest against 6-8 threat in the staging area. Very curious to get your thoughts on this one. I’ve lost in pretty much every way you can lose - threat to sorceries, orc swarm beyond what Beregond can handle, location lock. Thanks in advance for your advice!

Jun 11, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@HuckmanT I'm glad you are enjoying it! You're talking about Battle of Carn Dum and not Fortress of Nurn, right? The best advice I can give you is to play the long game. Don't worry about questing successfully too much at the start, you want to be in stage 1 for about 12-14 turns. Since you're playing the long game the most important card to mulligan for is usually Steward. Maybe Asfaloth the accursed battlefield if that's giving you trouble. Do the sidequests. Clear enemies when you can to avoid shadows and destrier the ones you're going to take undefended. Once you've built a Beregond that can tank a flipped Thauridir the quest kind of loses its teeth. Question - are you playing it nightmare or standard?

Jun 11, 2021 HuckmanT 1

@Glamcrist Yes, Battle of Carn Dum is what I meant - it was late when I asked the question (oops!) - that is very helpful advice, thank you! I was trying to go too fast through stage 1 for sure. I am playing standard - this deck is a ton of fun to play, but still learning how to best pilot things like Thorongil and Helm of Secrecy. I’ll try all that and let you know how it goes!

Jun 12, 2021 HuckmanT 1

That worked thank you! Very exciting - I lost once more and then trounced it. Beregond + Shield + Song of Wisdom + Burning Brand = lockdown and roll. Thanks again for this very fun deck.

Jun 12, 2021 The Mormegil 1616

A very nice and interesting effort, I really enjoy some very clever deck building decisions! I played a couple of quests and there are some really great techniques against a lot of difficult quests in here.

The quest(s) I find almost impossible to beat is NM Lonely Mountain (and to a lesser extent NM Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim) ... what is the strategy you used against those quests? I have probably missed some Helm-interplay or something of the like, so I would be very thankful if you could help me out there

Also, you metion in your video about Dol Guldur that a first-try-win is atypical for this deck, so having played it much more than me, what would you guess is your approximate "win-rate" for this quest? I am interested because I am trying to find the ideal BoF combination for this quest at the moment and I would therefore be really happy if you could help me out with your experience concerning this combination.

I am also looking forward to the rest of your videos, I really like them, I find the way you comment your gameplay very pleasent and enjoyable! I am also curious to discover how the numbers turn out to be compared to the other playthroughs out there!

Jun 13, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@HuckmanT Congratulations! A lot of people think Standard Carn Dum is harder than Nightmare, so very well done. Burning Brand on Beregond is definitely worth it's weight in mithril in that quest.

Jun 13, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@The MormegilThanks for watching, trying the deck, and for the kind words!!! So the dreaded nightmare Hobbit quests, huh? (I think I'm alone in loving those quests, though admittedly the Best Deck is especially good at them).

NM The Lonely Nightmare - This quest becomes far easier when you realize Gildor (and Gleowine) is a master thief. There is an action window between Step 2 and Step 3 during a burgle where you can spend Baggins resources to draw the card and reveal the next. Only do this if that particular card is vital to your build. Instead, use Gildor to draw that card and discard it to complete the burgle. Sweet, sweet cheese.

NM Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim - I find this the harder of the two, but far from impossible. Be super selective about which riddles you answer and which cards you stage. Build up Baggins resources and wait for an easy riddle like White Wargs and go hard. Use Honour Guard to tank an incorrect riddle whether it's just too hard or you just don't want to stage the card (cards in the riddle area are immune to player card effects but the damage is not). Since you probably don't have the deck memorized like me I'd suggest printing the list out and crossing them off when you draw and discard. As far as distribution I know off the top of my head there are 37 attachments, 17 cards cost 1, 17 cost 2, 6 Ld 2 cost cards, 5 Ld cost 2 attachments. As one decks go, it's far from being the worst for answering riddles. You definitely want to build the progress on the attachment ones. Good luck!

For both quests there is a helm trick (there's always a helm trick, isn't there?) if you run out of cards. Switch Grima to Tactics Merry. Build up two enemies and use Nori to kill them both and stack up a two card deck. You'll draw the first card and you'll know what the next one is!

Jun 13, 2021 Glamcrist 178

@The MormegilI would like to say Nightmare Dol Guldur takes me about 5 tries. Totally dependent on the flops though.

Jun 13, 2021 The Mormegil 1616

Thank you, that really helps! I was aware of the action window, but only ever used it for Wizard Pipe/Stargazer etc. ... I never realized that drawing and choosing the same card was possible but after looking into the rulebook, I see nothing preventing you from doing it, very fun interaction! I judged this quest to be a lot harder for my One Deck playthrough then, I should probably update my deck description :D.

That explains a lot, because even though I looked at the list while burgling, I couldn't handle the random burgles coupled with either the major questing deficit or the attacking pressure by Smaug. And I found Nori not that helpful there because there are only 6 enemies in the encounter deck. But the insight into how to use the action window makes it much easier of course, even if some of the Burgles are still difficult to solve, a lot of them become auto-successes or really manageable.

Concerning Dol Guldur, that sounds somewhat realistic (I do not know the deck that well, but it is by far my most played quest so I know the quest by heart) ... of course, if you build for that quest in paticular, your 50 cards would look somewhat different I would guess :). Revealed in Wrath is a great idea for this quest and went straight into my current deck, thanks for the idea!