Deck for New Players: Minimum Purchase Gandalf

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This deck is designed with newer players in mind, and is part of a series of decks that can be contructed using cards from only the Revised Core Set and one other purchase: The Fellowship of the Ring Saga Expansion.

This deck has a very low cost curve, with very nearly half the deck costing less than one, and the vast majority of cards costing either or resources. Gléowine and Gandalf's Staff will help with your card draw so you should see a steady stream of cards into your hand.

Wizard Pipe is integral to this deck, being the card that allows you to swap out any card in your hand for the top card of your deck, which Gandalf can then pay for as well. Mulligan for this Pipe, or for Bilbo Baggins who can search for it in your deck and bring it to your hand. Since Gandalf's ability can be used once per phase, putting an event on top of your deck, like Feint or Quick Strike, allows you to make the most of his ability more than once each round. Steward of Gondor ought to go on Gandalf as he can pay for all the different spheres.

Out of the gate players can quest for 8 , though it might be advisable to keep back Legolas so you can use his ability to place progress by killing enemies as opposed to questing. At least two, maybe three copies of Unexpected Courage should go on Gandalf to make the most of his truly impressive stats, with the third potentially going on Legolas to make the most of his ability. Your allies will primarily be questers as together Gandalf and Legolas will be able to handle nearly all the enemies the encounter deck can throw at you, especially when you consider Gandalf's Staff can discard Shadow Cards and Flame of Anor can ready him back up again with an increased attack. Now this is not to say that your allies can’t pitch in if needed, but your heroes will have most of it covered.

For more decks that can be built with only the Revised Core Set and one additional purchase, check out this article on Vision of the Palantir here:


Jan 13, 2023 NERD 721

Thank you for putting these 10 decks together; I imagine it took a while. Consider adding Beorn to show new players how high cost cards can work well with Flame of Anor. Even if it doesn't improve the deck, I think it would make it more fun. I would also have a third Veteran Axehand over the Gondorian Spearman or Erebor Hammersmith. Galadriel is also quite hard to play here.