The Wise and the Winged (and the Bear)

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Eothrain 57

"What troubles you, Lord Elrond?"

"The Enemy's shadow is growing, and my heart is full of doubts. We sent thirteen dwarves to retake Erebor, while the wise and mighty enjoyed the safety of the Hidden Valley. What shall we do next? Send hobbits to Mordor? Not if I can help it, Master Glorfindel.

"The Misty Mountains are under threat again. Orcs multiply in the foul caves of Mount Gram, and darker things crawl out of the depths of Moria. The passes are no longer safe. And the eaves of Mirkwood grow menacing.

"It is time the Wise stood up and fought the tide of Mordor. I shall call upon the mighty eagles and their lords, Gwaihir and Landroval. Radagast the Brown shall help us, as he is learned in the ways of birds and beasts. Mithrandir may come too, as he is a master of will, weapon and wit. We shall depart as soon as all preparations are made."

"But what if the Eagles are late to your summons, my Lord? What will protect us from the swarm of orc and warg should they catch us defenseless?"

"I know of a powerful man who guards the northern fords of the Anduin. His hatred of orcs is truly inexhaustible."

"Very well. You have my spirit or my sword."

"No, Glorfindel, my friend. I will have both."

This an eagle-centric thematic deck designed for solo play with just one core set and a limited card pool. It is centered around Elrond's ability to pay for cheap tactics allies and spirit cards, as well as using his ring to put key expensive 5- and 4-cost allies into play. Beorn keeps the team alive the first few turns, and fits perfectly with the eagle theme. Glorfindel helps with questing and attack, and keeps the starting threat manageable.

The big allies all serve their purpose. Eagles of the Misty Mountains do the heavy lifting during the attack phase, with Winged Guardian and Vassal of the Windlord boosting them as they leave play. Radagast helps with both getting eagles in play and keeping them alive. Landroval ensures that Beorn can be recycled; and Gwaihir contributes all around good stats as well as the ability to recyle an eagle. OHaUH Gandalf helps with questing, whereas Core Gandalf is there for general utility.

All the necessary attachments are there, with Master of the Forge to get them or shuffle if Imladris Stargazer reveals slim pickings. You can replace Miruvor with more copies of Unexpected Courage for Elrond. Self Preservation is there only to heal Glordindel of Elrond if necessary.

Between Elrond's Counsel and The Galadhrim's Greeting you can reduce 15 threat. Feint, A Test of Will and Asfaloth help with nasty enemies, treacheries and locations. Ancient Mathom provides enough card draw when Stargazer shows cheap cards coming; I find it more useful than Daeron's Runes for this deck.

Finally, the combined presence of Gandalf and Radagast makes Word of Command an efficient way of finding key cards that make the deck work. Close Call is just life insurance for Beorn whenever Landroval is nor around.

The sideboard includes cards I do not physically own but which totally belong in this deck, like Born Aloft and Descendant of Thorondor, or cards which are thematic but not really that useful, like The Eagles Are Coming!.

The end result is a thematic deck that trades optimization for versatility. It has enough combos to be entertaining, but also enough power to get out of tricky situations. For your opening hand you want at least 2 of the following: Light of Valinor, Stargazer, Master of the Forge, or Vilya. The priority is getting Elrond and Vilya working as soon as possible.

Lastly, although this deck is intended for true solo play, it should work well in multiplayer: ranged and sentinel for combat, Elrond's healing boost, and Stargazer's scrying ability should all be useful to other players.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome!


Aug 24, 2016 Erisau19 26

Great deck and great right up :). Have you considered Support of the Eagles?

Aug 25, 2016 Eothrain 57

Thanks, @Erisau19! Unfortunately support only works for heroes, and Beorn can't have attachments. So oddly it's a great eagle card that does not fit in this eagle deck. The good news is I think there's enough attack and defense already.