A Fellowship of Sheer Power

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None.
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Inspiration for
Demigods of Middle-Earth 0 0 0 1.0
A Fellowship of Sheer Power -- mio 0 0 0 1.0
gandalf elrond vilya 0 0 0 1.0
Arby's Vilya Deck 0 0 0 1.0
Tuki 0 0 0 1.0
A Fellowship of Sheer Power (My Tweaks) 0 0 0 1.0
Tuki 0 0 0 1.0
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Fantasty 2119

Concept

I first came up with the concept of this deck when I decided I wanted to make a deck combining Elrond and Gandalf. The natural synergy between the two of them combined with Vilya suggested they would blend really well together. An immediate and obvious problem was a daunting starting threat of 27 before even having picked a third hero. Luckily, there's always Glorfindel whenever you need to glue two heroes together. As an added bonus, he provides the crucial Spirit resource icon so that we have access to Imladris Stargazer and Zigil Miner for even more synergy with the effects of our heroes. Imladris Stargazer has always worked wonders with Elrond and Vilya, whereas Zigil Miner is guaranteed 1 success at all times thanks to Gandalf permanently revealing the top card of your deck.

The Usual Suspects

So with the basic skeleton and concept of the deck in place, there came the task of filling out the remaining slots. I started with a few no-brainers that are pretty much auto-includes alongside each of our three heroes:

The Vilya Factor

With those out of the way, we needed some power cards to benefit off of Vilya so that we could quickly assemble an army of the strongest allies in the game. For these spots, I decided on the following:

  • Beorn: He has amazing stats, but on top of that, his printed cost of 6 which makes him a very good candidate for Flame of Anor.
  • Boromir: Solid stats in both Atk and Def, with a built-in action advantage effect that is easily triggered in this deck.
  • Faramir: This deck can amass a large amount of allies in no time and Faramir shines in any deck that can do so.
  • Gildor Inglorion: He has just amazing stats, he's an additional target for A Burning Brand if necessary and his effect is similar to Imladris Stargazer so it synergises incredibly well with both Vilya and Gandalf.
  • Northern Tracker: This card alongside Asfaloth makes location control into a non-issue.

Of course, these are not the only targets for Vilya by a long shot, but they are arguably the most valuable ones. I've played Shadowfax, The Galadhrim's Greeting, Unexpected Courage and A Burning Brand through Vilya multiple times as well, but most of those cards generally aren't as important to your strategy as a whole, or they could more easily be played without Vilya than some of the allies mentioned above.

Action Advantage

In order to maintain enough action advantage despite having to exhaust Elrond when using Vilya, there's also 2 copies of Unexpected Courage. They should go on Elrond most of the time, though a single copy could also be put on Gandalf if Elrond already has one. Between Unexpected Courage, Shadowfax, Light of Valinor and Flame of Anor you shouldn't have a problem keeping all your heroes ready.

Threat

Despite the high starting threat, this deck actually has no problem keeping its threat low. Believe it or not, but most games I play with this deck, my threat at the end is actually lower than what I started out with. This is because Gandalf makes it just so easy to spam Elrond's Counsel. Just find a way to get it on top of your deck during an awkward phase in which you'd normally be unable to play any other cards, like the Planning Phase, Encounter Phase or Refresh Phase and you can lower your threat by 3 for absolutely no cost at all while thinning your deck at the same time! Add in The Galadhrim's Greeting, which you can play for free thanks to Vilya, and it's easy to see how threat should rarely be an issue.

Never running out of steam

There's no reason to be careful with your cards either, no reason to try and save them for when you need them most, because thanks to Will of the West you can just recycle all of your cards (except for Flame of Anor) and find them again in no time thanks to the ridiculous speed of this deck. Between Zigil Miner, Gandalf, Daeron's Runes and Vilya, you'll be burning through your deck in no time, so it's not uncommon for you to play 6-9 copies of Elrond's Counsel in a single game. If you then factor in Word of Command, which lets you search any card on command (pun intented), it becomes almost trivial to come up with a solution to whatever kind of situation you find yourself in.

Finalizing the deck list

Rounding out our line-up are a couple of cards I haven't discussed yet:

  • Arwen Undómiel is there mainly as a potential first turn 2 Willpower drop if you need it. The Def boost is definitely handy as well.
  • Bilbo Baggins helps search for Wizard Pipe in the early game and also provides 2 Willpower for a first turn drop.
  • Henamarth Riversong provides crucial scrying which makes questing a cakewalk in solo. No need to scry for shadow cards, because A Burning Brand takes care of all of those anyway.
  • Speaking of A Burning Brand, you will most likely put your first copy on Elrond, but if you play it off the top of your deck with Gandalf's effect, you can also put it on him since he's considered to have the printed Lore resource icon at that point.
  • And finally, A Test of Will is there because it's a staple and given how fast this deck is, you'll almost always have a copy available for when you most need it.

Weaknesses

While this deck can tackle pretty much every quest out there and it's practically impossible to lose once you're properly set up, the early game can sometimes prove to be somewhat tricky. There are quite a few pieces that need to be in play for this deck to be at its full potential, like Vilya, Gandalf's Staff, Wizard Pipe, Light of Valinor and arguably Unexpected Courage, A Burning Brand and Shadowfax as well. While it's definitely not hard to have most of them in play by the end of your second turn, some quests start out really brutal, so you have to play carefully until you get your preferred setup in play. This is where Arwen Undómiel, Bilbo Baggins, Zigil Miner and Imladris Stargazer all come in handy: they can all be played on your first turn and all of them accelerate your game plan enormously, making it much easier to either get to your combo pieces sooner or help stall for a while to buy yourself more time.

Sideboard

I normally don't mention the sideboard at all, but for this deck I'll make an exception. The reason for that is because the powerhouse allies in the main deck are by no means "the best" to play in this deck -- you could easily swap Boromir for Gimli for example.

Another thing I want to mention briefly is that for some people three copies of both Imladris Stargazer and Zigil Miner is a bit too much. I personally like it because you want to see both of them as early as possible to help you get out of the early game, which is the only phase of the game this deck can be a bit fragile. However, if you feel you can do with just two of both, that frees up some more space to fill with allies from the sideboard. Again, you can choose for one of the powerhouses listed there or you could play Silvan Refugee for another way of strengthening your early game. Basically there are a lot of options for tweaking the ally line-up here, so don't be afraid to adjust it to match your own preferences.

Conclusion

This deck is extremely powerful, fast, and most of all fun. It excels in pretty much every aspect of the game. On top of all that, it makes perfect thematic sense as it could easily be seen as an alternative fellowship to have been chosen for the task of taking the One Ring to Mordor. If at the Council of Elrond they had decided to forego secrecy and meet Sauron head on, this would not be a strange band of warriors to be chosen as the quest's leaders.

8 comments

Sep 03, 2016 Seastan 41344

Very thorough write-up! Looking forward to seeing more of your decks!

Sep 17, 2016 Fantasty 2119

Thanks for the feedback! I really enjoy writing out my entire thought process behind a deck I've built and it's cool to see other people like to read it as well :)

Oct 25, 2017 MikeGruz 50

This deck is insane. I haven't lost with it yet, and it is so much fun to play. Nice work!

Mar 12, 2018 joelvdc 14

I am a new player and I own every expansion up to the Dwarrowdelf cycle, including the hobbit boxes and the first 2 LOTR saga expansions.

After trying a lot of different decks with the cards I have, this one is without a doubt one of the most powerful decks. I have tried to build a Vilya deck with Elrond, Glorfindel and a third hero (Legolas, Beorn, Beravor, etc.), but Elrond, Glorfindel and Gandalf is definitely my favorite combination. The deck depends a lot on its attachments and stargazer, but usually I've been able to get 2 or 3 of them into play in the first rounds and we have powerful heroes to hold on until we have the full engine on the table.

Your deck description is awesome, especially for new players like myself, and the deck is thematic and fun to play. I do not own a second core set and I do not have Shadowfax, but I do have a third copy of A Test of Will :). So I made the following changes to your deck:

-1x Shadowfax -1x Unexpected Courage -1x Will of the West +2x Miruvor +1x Flame of Anor

All in all, this deck i one of my favorites so far. Really nice work!

Apr 12, 2021 Celtic Raven 1

Im struggling to see how this deck can deal with 3+ defence enemies. It seems like the only cards that can do damage to these are Beorn and Flame of Anor. Both of those are one shots (although I know Beorn goes back into the deck afterwards). Im trying to beat conflict of carrock with this deck and just cannot do enough damage to the trolls. Am I missing something?

Apr 12, 2021 Fantasty 2119

@Celtic Raven Glorfindel + Gandalf is 6 already. Then there are some allies with big like Beorn, Boromir. Finally, once you're setup, you can have some of the other allies like Zigil Miner, Northern Tracker, etc. join in on the attack. Even though they don't have that much by themselves, it does stack up.

However, one of the cool things about this deck is that if you feel you lack anything specific ( in this case), you can easily swap some of the allies in favor of high- ones like Yazan, Treebeard, etc.

Apr 12, 2021 Celtic Raven 1

@FantastyOh Man! This entire time I had been playing the game that each attacker has to resolve their value against the enemy separately!! I had no idea the attack value was pooled! No wonder this game seemed so hard...

Jan 26, 2023 inperator 1

este mazo me parece increíble, felicidades