The Ladies (#RCO)

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Ladies and Gentlemen (#RCO)
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RCO - Revised Content Only

"In that day Éowyn also won renown, for she fought in that battle, riding in disguise; and was known after in the Mark as the Lady of the Shield-arm." - The Return of the King

This deck is the questing-focused half of a semi-thematic two-handed fellowship ( using only cards from the Revised Content (primarily from the Revised Core and the Riders of Rohan starter deck). It is not designed for solo play.

Heroes -

-Arwen Undómiel - The Queen of Gondor does what she does best, single-handedly providing questing, resource acceleration, and card draw (w/Elven-light) in a combination that no other hero can match. She also provides a handy way to get Faramir into the discard pile so that he can Stand and Fight. Last, but not least, she enables the usage of Elrond's Counsel.

-Lothíriel - The newly-crowned Queen of Rohan fuels the questing engine of this deck by cycling in a steady stream of questing allies to keep the will-power ramped up. Equipping her with Horn of the Mark is one of the deck's top priorities. And, of course, she synergizes beautifully with her husband when he is on the other side of the table.

-Éowyn - As the best pure questing hero in the game, she serves as the final cog in a machine capable of putting out 11 on round 1 before any contributions from the other deck (or allies!). Her ability can also be used to get more copies of Elven-light into the discard pile.

*Eleanor - The major sideboard piece of this deck is the option to include Eleanor in place of Éowyn when the treacheries of a quest are more threatening than staging area . She was incredibly clutch (don't ignore her!) in my successful playthrough of The Dread Realm in preventing multiple Sorcery attachments from protecting Daechanar. Plus, it's always fun to utilize one of the more under-used (dare I say, ignored?) heroes in the game.

Allies -

Almost every ally shares either the Rohan or Gondor trait with Lothíriel, and almost all quest for at least 2 , allowing you to stay ahead of the encounter deck. Location management is provided by Rhovanion Outrider and West Road Traveller (few things are as satisfying as using Travellers to repeatedly swap locations to maximize beneficial effects and to dodge travel effects!). Envoy of Pelargir is a free resource when put into play by Lothiriel, and Escort from Edoras is an absolute steal at 4 when brought in by the Queen. Curious Brandybuck can serve as an emergency chump blocker, but is also nice tech in quests that mill through your deck, like Deadman's Dike. Westfold Lancer can be dropped in to contribute 2 and 2 damage on the same round.

Westfold Horse-breeder can fetch any of your three mounts, Galadriel's Handmaiden (think of these as Arwen's ladies-in-waiting) can help the combat deck keep its threat in check, and Faramir can Stand and Fight from the discard pile for huge questing pushes.

Attachments -

The first order of business is to get Horn of the Mark attached to Lothiriel so that your army of allies can be sustainable. Unexpected Courage will be thrown across the table to defenders or attackers (as your heroes are full-time questers). Ancient Mathom is a great way to spread card draw around (and to dig for that first copy of Elven-light if you don't have it yet). Steed of Imladris and Windfola can be fetched by the Horse-breeder to thin your deck, and they provide a nice questing boost as well.

Events -

Nothing too fancy here: Elven-light provides repeatable card draw, Elrond's Counsel keeps your threat low, and A Test of Will cancels things :). Hasty Stroke is not always needed, but it can be an absolute life-saver if you have it (and I find shadow-cancellation to be an under-rated part of the game). Stand and Fight is mainly to get Faramir out of the discard pile, but can also recur an Escort from Edoras if you need willpower or an Outrider if you need location control.

General Strategy -

An ideal opening hand will include: Horn of the Mark, Elven-light, and an ally that Lothiriel can immediately put into play. Other cards that are nice to see are Ancient Mathom, A Test of Will, and Unexpected Courage. The cost-curve of this deck is low enough that you should be able to afford to add one permanent ally (paid for with your resources) each round, preferably in addition to one temporary questing ally (via Lothiriel), which will then replace itself via Horn of the Mark. The combat deck should be keeping the enemies off of you, but there are times when it is strategic to leave one ally ready to chump in case of an unexpected attack. Try to save A Test of Will for direct damage treacheries, as low is the Achilles Heel of your heroes and allies.

Sideboard -

Most of these allies are one-ofs that I swapped in as tech against the discard pile hate of Deadman's Dike and The Dread Realm. Miner of the Iron Hills can be added for quests with nasty conditions, and Imladris Caregiver can counter quests heavy on damage (both would be played via Stand and Fight). I ran Gamling in some iterations of the deck, but was rarely able to get him onto the table in time to make good usage of his ability, so I swapped him out for more questing power. Lindir is another ally whose ability rarely came into effect. Northern Tracker can be added in for location-heavy quests.