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ArtAngel 74


I've decided to share some of the decks me and my friend group play with for particular cycles. This is Deck #1 in a 2-player fellowship, given to a friend of mine, while myself I'm playing the other deck. For more in-depth overhaul regarding structure and thought behind those decks please check out the fellowship description! (e.g. no shared cards in Decks #1, sticking strictly to the theme).

I would say that Haradrim cycle is the first one in the game that didn't have a dedicated archetype introduced (maybe apart from the first one, Shadows of Mirkwood). Instead we got a niche Harad trait and mostly support for already existing archetypes and mechanics. Thematically also no trait fits this cycle well (again, apart from Harad) which made pick for this deck quite hard. It doesn't also help that the most prominent archetypes were already used in previous cycle and two remaining I had already planned for the rest of the game content. So I was left with an archetype that is what I would say almost complete in the base game and those are either Eagles or Rangers. The first one doesn't fit really well thematically here and I already used them for the first cycle. Now Rangers, or more precisely "Traps", archetype fits here quite well in my opinion both thematically and most importantly mechanically. The thing with this cycle is that you really don't want to fight enemies in a conventional way since they either have "when engaged" effects (Haradrim), nasty buffs to stats (Orcs) or damaging effects (Creatures). And Rangers do that really well, that means keeping enemies at bay and methodically take them out. Another caveat is that previous Decks #1 were self-sufficient in a way they could fulfill most of the game aspects alone and Decks #2 either covered their weaknesses, strenghten them or helped in other ways. This time I have turned the tables around and this deck fullfils the role of the pure support. Which isn't suprising since it's mono-lore. What this deck brings to the table is control of the encounter deck, mostly in the form of traps. Naturally that means that you have lots of ways to deal with enemies by weakening them. Apart from that there are ways to manipulate encounter deck in form of Distant Stars, Interrogation or Scout Ahead. And lastly, what is a mono-lore deck without healing, so we have staples such as Warden of Healing and Ioreth.

Starting Hand

To really get this deck going what you need is some traps. Apart from their usual effects they start draw engine and threat reduction engine that is very vital for functioning of this deck. So in your starting hand you want to see at least some traps and most preferable are Ranger Spikes. In some quests with a lot of direct damage or archery you might want to fish out some healing as well.


Celador is a great addition from ALeP. It attemps to fix some of the problems of the trap decks which are willpower shortage and threat management. Since you want to leave enemies in the staging you have to somehow overcome their threat and keep your threat low enough to not engage them. With Celador you have a choice of either reducing your threat by one or reading him each time a trap is attached to an enemy. First option is mostly preferable since it can keep you at your starting threat (assuming you play trap card every round). You should ready him when you know you will need his 3 which is also ranged. His second ability removes some threat from the staging when you reveal no enemies which can be helpful to quest through. Since he has in-built reading and 2 you should always quest with him.

Damrod makes this deck through his ability. Cost reduction is nice since ususally doesn't have this kind of luxury. The card draw is however key here since it frees your deckspace from other cards. His stats aren't fantastic though and I would almost always advice to quest with him.

Faramir is a very controversial hero. He is obviously designed for this type of deck however he starts with 11 which is a lot. His stats are also over over the place. He functions as an attacker but has 2 and 2 with 5 . On the bright side this makes him very flexible. 5 is mostly notable and can take an undefended punch or quite a lot of archery. His ability can make him a formidable attacker in the late game and thankfully he has ranged to help the other deck. This is espiecially helpful when dealing with boss-type enemies that need a lot of to take down or are immune to player card effects. In the early game I tend to quest with him as well, later down the line you can leave him for some attacking.

The Deck

There aren't a lot of Ithilien Rangers so I've included them all here. Most important one is probably Emyn Arnen Ranger, hence 3 copies. He can really help with questing by either breaking even or providing additional when targeting enemy in Ranger Spikes. Guardian of Ithilien and Ithilien Archer have some bouncing effects that can push troublesome enemies to the staging. Ithilien Lookout has cool peeking ability to manipulate encounter deck, shame you won't be able to play him in secrecy though. Ithilien Tracker is very underated in my opinion. His ability is more of a blind luck however you have some deck manipulation options here to guarantee his value. When triggered he usually "quests" for 2-3 which is quite a lot. Unfortunately only one copy of this guy will work but you can put Ranger Bow on the other. His 3 is also very useful as an archery soak. Mablung has also some bouncing abilities but most importantly he quests for 2 . Anborn, although costly, can recycle your traps. Finally we have some healers here - Warden of Healing and Ioreth - since this cycle dishes out a lot of direct damage and archery.

Attachments here are mostly traps, duh. Most important one is no doubt Ranger Spikes. They basically nullify enemy for the rest of the game and feed Faramir and Emyn Arnen Ranger. Its only caveat, like with all those traps, is that it can attach to an enemy you wouldn't rather see in it. Entangling Nets is probably second in the line and it's a great help early game to weaken enemies. Poisoned Stakes, Ambush and Ithilien Pit aren't as powerful however they can come in clutch in some situations. In worst case they either lower in the staging or draw you a card and lower your threat. Ranger Spear boosts attack of Faramir and Celador even more. Ranger Bow seems very underwhelming but it saved me a few times so I will die on this hill defending it. Lastly Wingfoot should be attached to Faramir to get use of his questing and attacking when an enemy is revealed.

Events furthermore manipulate enemies or encounter deck. Coney in a Trap serves as a Feint here when some enemy slips through your defences. Forest Patrol, espiecially in combine with Ranger Bow, can do massive direct damage to enemies. Interrogation is a great card to setup for your next turn or peek at the shadows. Passing out on Mithrandir's Advice would be quite a waste, even with this deck's in-built drawing. Distant Stars is a very good card but in this cycle might seem like a waste since its locations have mostly forced effects instead of travelling cost. However in every scenario there is some location that is worth switching to. And that being: Haradrim Estate (travel cost, low quest points) , Desert Oasis (beneficial effect when explored, low quest points), Jungle Trail (high threat, beneficial effect when active, travel cost), Pitch Black Tunnel (massive threat when in staging, travel cost), The Serpent's Redoubt (high threat, when in staging effect, travel cost), Desolate Land (massive threat). Advance Warning is here as a one-off when things get too hot or for the grand finale of the cycle..

We also have one side quest, which is Scout Ahead. It suits really well with manipulation aspect of this deck.


That pretty much covers the basics of this deck. Please keep in mind it is designed to play with the other deck in a fellowship and for a particular cylce in a game. This decks is meant to represent most powerful combination of cards in a given archetype, but feel free to leave a comment regarding them, as even after some years of using them I change them slightly after some thought :) Feel free to try them, even with new players as I did!