Gandalf Carpet Bomb

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Derived from
Galadriel Plays Gandalf Every Turn 22 9 4 1.0
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alinktothezack 271

Then Gandalf...stood upon the hill-top and called; and down to him came the great eagle, Gwaihir the Windlord, and stood before him.

'Twice you have borne, me Gwaihir my friend,' said Gandalf. 'Thrice shall pay for all, if you are willing. You will not find me a burden much greater than when you bore me from Zirakzigil...'

'Yo, I'll finna drop you like a bomb on some fools again and again,' answered Gwaihir, 'I mean dang, whatever you want, you don't gotta be so extra about it. Even if you was made of, I dunno, a rock or something you'd be living rent-free in my talons.'

--Gandalf and Gwaihir in The Return on the King (...kind of...)

Purpose

This deck is meant to set you up to drop Gandalf in every round. It does it pretty well though it requires a bit of setup. This isn't meant to be a power deck, but it IS meant to be fun! With that in mind, even if you COULD win just by playing the Eagle allies, you SHOULD wait and get yourself to launch Gandalf like a heat-seeking missile from the claws of an Eagle every round instead.

Heroes

Radagast and Elrond make it really easy to flex their resources to pay for Eagle allies. You will want to use Radagast as your main defender until you are capable of comfortably defending with a Winged Guardian or an Eagles of the Misty Mountains. Radagast is also extremely helpful for access to Wizard Pipe. Elrond also gives you access to Vilya which sort of functions as a missile silo in this deck. Éowyn is here to give us chunky willpower and more Tactics resources.

Dropping Istari Bombs 101

Get Wizard Pipe out ASAP. Master of the Forge, Heed the Dream, and Word of Command will help you search for it and Vilya.

Now, you have some options. You can blindly fire-off Vilya and Gwaihir's Debt in the hopes of running into Gandalf. (The latter option requires you to have one of your Eagles in play already). There are more consistent options though.

If you have enough resources, you can pay for Gandalf outright. This is generally your solution later in the game when the resources will be more likely to pile up on your heroes. Radagast's Staff and Vilya will save you a bunch of resources so it isn't uncommon for this to happen. Be sure to use Born Aloft to call Gandalf back home before the end of the round!

You can also pop Gandalf onto the top of your deck using Wizard's Pipe and Vilya him into play. This works especially well during Planning so that you can put Born Aloft on him.

Gwaihir's Debt is another option. For best results, get Gandalf into your hand with Word of Command or Gather Information, put him on top of the deck with Wizard Pipe, and launch him from the top of Zirakzigil to show Sauron you aren't afraid to fight dirty.

You can keep this up for a long time. Blow stuff up. Draw some cards. See how low you can get your threat. Gandalf is a special kind of awesome.

Other Considerations

I tried using Resourceful with Vilya just to see how it felt to generate a bunch of resources and pay for Gandalf and other cards that way, but every time I got Resourceful in my hand I just wished it was something more useful.

You might try running a copy of Light of Valinor to give Elrond some flexibility. I used Magic Ring for the same purpose.

Originally I was trying to make an Eagle deck without Gwaihir Hero, and it accidentally turned into this. It ended up becoming focused on Gandalf because I got inspired by the Galadriel Plays Gandalf Every Turn deck!

Feel free to leave comments or suggestions.

10 comments

May 26, 2023 alinktothezack 271

I forgot to mention in "Other Considerations" that it might be fun to try this deck with some copies of Ally Saruman.

May 26, 2023 NERD 802

While you would lose questing power, Merry might be more fun for Drinking Song. The song may still be worthwhile without a hobbit too.

May 26, 2023 alinktothezack 271

Cool, I might give it a shot.

May 27, 2023 doomguard 1955

Erebor Hammersmith can let you reuse Born Aloft

May 27, 2023 alinktothezack 271

True. By the time I have used Gandalf 9x I find the game is over, but that is definitely worth trying.

May 27, 2023 NERD 802

Actually, (MotK) Pippin would be even better.

May 27, 2023 alinktothezack 271

That would be fun to try. He doesn't give quite as much Willpower as Eowyn which could be a problem in some quests.

May 28, 2023 RegisF 6

How can you manage to play 9 times Gandalf ?

May 28, 2023 alinktothezack 271

@RegisF Gwaihir's Debt three times and Gandalf will come back to your hand at the end of the round.

Born Aloft three times and Gandalf will come back to your hand at the end of the round.

Then for the last three you can always hard cast each of the three Gandalfs.

May 28, 2023 doomguard 1955

in my gandalbombdeck (in that times with sneack-doomed) i needed more than 9 gandalfs to manage carn dum and the Erebor Hammersmith has ood stats too): ringsdb.com