The Tower of Cirith Ungol - Trap - Specialist Deck Series

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The Tower of Cirith Ungol - Specialist Deck Series
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This deck is one of two that make up the Fellowship designed to beat The Tower of Cirith Ungol for my Specialist Deck Series. This deck is a support deck which aims to control the encounter deck, partly through the use of traps and partly with cards that look at and manipulate the cards in the encounter deck itself.

This is a trap deck so our first hero is Damrod. He'll keep our deck running with cost reduction and card draw. He's also a reasonable quester, which is what we expect him to do for most of the game. We are only running 9 traps in total to make room for other cards, so we will be relying on our copious amounts of card draw and some recursion to have enough to play one on most turns.

Next up is Argalad. He will contribute to our direct damage efforts which are otherwise found in the Partner deck or helpfully caused by the encounter deck. The Partner deck also contains attachments to boost his attack and increase the effectiveness of his ability.

Finally we have Folco Boffin. He contributes by being a low threat hero with decent stats. The game plan is for both decks to avoid engagement where possible, so his threat reduction ability may also come in handy later in the quest, although this was not necessary in testing.

Aside from our traps, we also have a number of ways of looking at or manipulating the encounter deck. These will be used if possible to make enemies attack each other, damage them directly, or discard them from play, as well as generally avoiding the worst encounter effects.

Otherwise, our heroes and allies will largely be looking to contribute during the quest phase, with the majority of combat being handled by the Partner deck.

Onto the cards:

Erebor Hammersmith - The hammersmith has mostly been chosen for his ability to retrieve our discarded trap cards. He also brings acceptable, if unexciting, stats and can chip in during questing or combat as needed.

Firyal - Quite simply one of the best allies in the game. Even if it wasn't part of our wider plan, her ability to manipulate the top card of the encounter deck is incredibly strong. We'll always be happy to play her.

Gléowine - Both of the decks have strategies that require particular cards in hand, so ensuring enough card draw is important to succeed. Gléowine has the advantage of being able to target either player with his effect.

Haleth - We have a decent attachment sub-theme and as a mono deck Haleth is easy enough to play, so she seems like an obvious inclusion. Not only do we want to find all our traps, but they will in turn draw us into even more cards.

Henamarth Riversong - He's not the powerhouse that he is in solo, but we still have several reasons to care what's on top of the encounter deck. Even at worst he's a cheap ally who can quest.

Ithilien Archer - The archer is included to beef up our attack power and also as a way to control the enemies. He can push them into traps or setup Dúnhere for an attack. Extra points if we manage to combo with Bloodied Courtyard.

Master of the Forge - Another way to dig for our traps. Even if there are no traps near the top, the shuffle gives a chance of moving one there.

Quickbeam - A super efficient 2-cost ally and good for both questing and attacking.

Robin Smallburrow - A decent questing ally. Given our strategy, there's even a chance we could use his ability.

Wellinghall Preserver - A very powerful ally for the cost and will make sure we can quest sufficiently. We have forgone other healing options, so we will need the Preservers to handle any incidentaly archery damage.

Entangling Nets - The first of our traps. This is the cheapest of all and Damrod can reduce the cost to 0. The effect should be enough to safely deal with the attached enemy and make them weak enough to finish off with Dúnhere if they weren't already.

Forest Snare - The next trap and the most powerful. If we can play this we effectively remove the enemy from consideration for the rest of the game (don't use on the enemy with archery!). Particularly useful early while we are setting up - later on we should be able to just destroy all the enemies in combat.

Ranger Spikes - This is probably the best trap for what we are trying to achieve with the decks. Holding the enemy in the staging area prevents it from triggering its 'on engagement' effects and means it can be picked off by Dúnhere, or left to be discarded by an encounter card effect.

Woodmen's Clearing - We want to keep our threat relatively low to pull off our strategy. There are also a number of encounter effects that raise threat in this quest, so these will help to combat them.

Advance Warning - One of the benefits of running mono . There will be turns where we really don't want to engage anything and this can make it happen.

Daeron's Runes - There's no more efficient card for digging through our deck, you can't beat free.

Drinking Song - With Folco in our starting lineup this is another incredibly strong card draw effect. In fact, it's only made more potent by the existence of our other card draw - if we need a particular card we'll be extremely likely to find it with this.

Far-sighted - 5 cards is a lot and this effect is very strong. We can easily plan out a whole turn or more with this card. It can be particularly useful to know the result of Stage 2B's forced effect in advance.

Mithrandir's Advice - Our other mono card. This one is great, 3 cards for 1 cost is incredible value.

Shadow of the Past - In this quest, this card is a great way to ensure favourable encounter draws. There are a number of powerful ways to take advantage of this ability, and any turn where we effectively cancel the staging step or combat phase is a good turn.

Scout Ahead - This quest is reasonablty friendly to side quests which allows us to take advantage of great effects like this. In two-player we get to setup the next 5 cards as well as remove the most troublesome in the top 6 - there are plenty of those, see for example the entire Deep Shadows encounter set. The 5 cards is plenty to setup an underpowered or completely neutralised turn for the encounter deck, which puts us in great shape.