Aggro Caldara v3

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Caldara 0 0 0 1.0
Blue zombie aka The White Walker's deck 5 2 0 1.0
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Beorn 7008

This is the latest iteration in my evolution of the Aggro Caldara archetype. The strategy remains largely the same as past versions (see the link above for more details), but is even more consistent thanks to uber-allies like Jubayr and Súlien. Gamling is included, to allow for Rohan-ally shenanigans with Escort from Edoras, Háma and Westfold Horse-Breaker. These particular combos are more of a bonus, and not strictly necessary for the deck to function. The sideboard should allow you to adjust to the particular demands of a quest: Power of Orthanc for nasty Conditions, The Galadhrim's Greeting for threat-raising quests, etcetera. This is the most consistent deck I've played but the absurd power level can make the game feel too easy. With that in mind, I reserve this deck for the more difficult quests, or when my friends want to play fun decks and know that someone else can pick up the slack. Enjoy!

I created and printed alternate art cards for this deck. You can read more about it at the Hall of Beorn blog.


Mar 10, 2017 Rouxxor 1089

Hi, I'm not sure about what you mean by consistent. I usually say that for a deck that can alway have a good start. For that my advice is to play noldor, he alway put Glorfindel in play on turn one, Gildor on turn two and small allies come on the same time. It is consistent because you can draw like 25 cartes on turn one (but you must discard the major part of them). If it good I find Gandalf / Elrond / Glorfindel way better. It can face every single situation. Even riddle, quest where you have less heroes... everything without any need of sideboard. Caldara is good, probably 2nd best solo decks but there is still a gap between them.

About your decklist I play Cirdan during a long time and I'm convinced that Galadriel is better. A high threat level at the beginning is a big problem. Galadriel mirror is also very good. When you have Galadriel Elven Jewelers become a must have. And this help a lot to have big turn one because you can now find what you need with mirror and can discard what you want with elven jeweleers. I is a 3 ally resurection in turn one.

I understand why you are playing imladris stargazer + zigil miner. Yes this deck want ressources. But you will pay too much to set up them. Caldara is very powerfull and you don't need to play a fortune or fate each turn. But you want to have even at the beginning allies that can deal with quest and/or fight. That why I play 2 Glorfindel, 2 Jubayr, 2 outrider, 3 ethir swordman but not any of the rohan ally except hama and elfhelm.

I post my decklist so you can see what change:

Mar 10, 2017 Beorn 7008

My comment about consistency related to the Caldara archetype as a whole. Of all of the archetypes I've played, Caldara remains the most consistent. I find it even more consistent that decks like Elrond & Vilya, simply because it takes less time to get setup and is not reliant on a single card (Vilya) so much.

I like your version of this deck, I understand your criticism about my single copies of key allies like Glorfindel and Jubayr. Older versions of this deck had extra copies, but I took them out because it got boring. I've included a sideboard that allows for extra copies for the harder quests. As it is, this deck makes the game feel like easy mode so the decision to go with single copies of most unique allies allows me to play more different cards (including Gamling and friends) rather than see the same cards every single game. Honestly, this deck has crushed the last several scenarios I've played it against, to the point where I have to retire it from use against most scenarios. If players want to further refine the ally choices, I encourage them to make their own versions.

I will say that Círdan the Shipwright over Galadriel was an intentional choice for several reasons. As the title suggests, this is an Aggro deck, so I don't much care about the extra starting threat. The Galadriel strategy is much more of a turtle approach, which I find mostly unnecessary with a deck as powerful as this one. The fact that you discard one of the extra card you draw (unlike Galadriel) is perfect for this deck, as it helps to seed the discard pile early on with your best allies. In general, Círdan is more versatile, as he can actually participate in all aspects of the game. Galadriel cannot do anything but draw cards and lower threat until she has her ring, which I see you have decide to leave out.

Speaking of Rings, Círdan can wear Narya. That card is powerful in this deck, as a majority of the allies are big. It also helps offset the issue of only have one copy of allies like Glorfindel and Jubayr, as the stat boost can allow lesser allies to fill those roles. Between Narya and Gamling, the deck plays a bit differently than your build, but I like that it has some flexibility to deal with different issues.

In any case, I appreciate your feedback. This is the version of the deck which I enjoy playing, so I wanted to share it. I would not claim that it is the most powerful version of the archetype, but it has performed better than any recent deck I've built. At a certain point, trying to optimize a juggernaut like Caldara just feels like overkill.

Mar 11, 2017 dr00 10

this is very similar to what i'm running, but i think 3x Glorfindel is pretty compulsory because it's so good for the deck, having the most attack of any spirit ally and allowing you to discard more cards per turn.

i 100% agree with the hero choice though. i think Círdan the Shipwright > Éowyn here (or Galadriel, but i actually think she's not very good for this deck at all), since he lets you dig through your deck faster, quest for the same amount, and opens up great plays with Narya. once he has Light of Valinor, it really ramps up the deck

i had tried Westfold Horse-Breaker and found i wasn't using him that often (about once every 5 games). trying a few quests with Galadriel's Handmaiden to see if they make a difference. like you, i find overall that threat isn't an issue, however.

i've also completely taken out my Hidden Caches. with no other 0-cost cards in the deck (and none that i can think of that help the archetype), they simply don't have much of a benefit over other cards imo.

i have about 1/3 each of my deck cards that cost 2 and 4, so there's a very high chance of triggering the same two numbers on a discard

i also went down to 2x Dwarven Tomb but might consider lowering it even more. like the horse-breakers, i found myself rarely using it.

my favourite part about your deck and how it aligns with mine is the absence of Ethir Swordsman. they're very fragile and with just the Pelargir Shipwrights, Northern Trackers, and Rhovanion Outriders, i feel like it over quests for so much already.

and yeah, overall, optimising an already super strong strategy seems a bit silly at times. either way, Caldara has finally found the consistency she was missing when she first released. the deck may be powerful to the point of trivialising some quests, but it's still really fun to play

Mar 12, 2017 camipco 42

An awesome deck, as you say, consistent and powerful. And great fun to play. Deck builders are at their best when you get to break a janky looking card like Caldara

I don't have Jubayar yet - but looks very powerful.

On the topic of unnecessary optimizing, I find 3 Elven-light is more than I need. I run a full set of Map of Earnil over the 2nd Dwarven Tomb since map is quickly free. I also run the Damrod and 2 Erebor Guard and the 3rd Hidden Cache in the main - I find the extra resources make a big difference and the increased concentration of 4 cost cards helps with Zigil Miner (running slightly less 1 and 2ccs to fit). Finally, I find The Riddermark's Finest more useful than Westfold Horse-Breaker.

Mar 12, 2017 Aorakis 422

No need further talk about who got the longest one... : as Caldara's and Gandalf-Elrond-Glo2 are for pussies anyway :D

Mar 12, 2017 Rouxxor 1089

Beorn -> I'm sure that Elrond + vilya is way more consistent since Gandalf come to the party. But it is still not in top of consistent deck. A lot of racial deck are very consistend like dwarf, outlands with Erestor but the best you can find about that is: Because of it consistency I'm bored to play this after only a few times (6/7).

Thanks for your explanation about efficiency VS fun. I'm personally seeking for the best version possible for each deck and then I'm playing them against scenario of their level. So I play over and over the most difficult scenario. It is not overkill at all for me to optimize this deck because Caldara does not defeat easily Escape from Dul Guldur Nightmare or Battle of the five armies nightmare. I think your underestimate Galadriel ability to keep ally active on the turn the came out. That mean you can alway have a lot in quest and still take care of enemies. It allow you to be more turtle but you can be also aggressive as well. I don't like Narya because it only help in a good situation: if you already bring back big allies. I prefer mirror that help you to be consistent.

On the topic of dwarven tomb vs mirror I really prefer dwarven tomb. In most case they both cost 1. Dwarven tomb can also give me extra test of will. And I can't play several map (or a card then a tomb) on the same cards because the card is put on bottom of the deck.

Mar 12, 2017 Rouxxor 1089

Aorakis -> I don't see any problem about players who gets pussies. If the only thing you can bring here is sexism don't post. We are playing about game, not sexual identity.

Mar 13, 2017 Aorakis 422

@Rouxxor : Sure... but you know, Someday you'll have to sort out your internal problems and perhaps geting on ebay to buy some "humour" ?

'coz, seriously, it might help damn a lot on these days... As well as your game vision, wich is all about "wining" So you might also, understand other decks from other peoples with other points of view than the "ONLY BEST AND WINING VERSION" and then there, we might speak seriously about everything that bother you in this world, like sexism, terrosism, anarchist, fake boobs, electric vs water pokemons, and how to sort and store sockets right for winter season !

And i honestly say that in all peace.


And long live to all those "unperfect" decks from people playing a "GAME" for fun !

Mar 13, 2017 Aorakis 422

(Terrorism --- Socks)

Mar 13, 2017 Aorakis 422


i'm defenatly not a huge fan of Caldara's decks, as, as you said, those decks can you feel like, crushing the game hard and easy.

But i understand your point of view about Cirdan and his ability.

The only thing that makes me prefer Galadriel, his that i always get trouble starting too "high" in threat.

That's why i prefer galadriel in here, so i start at 26 minus 1 from gala's ability.

Wich also helps to put the deck into play.

But yeah, it's all about playstyle. And i guess being "aggro" here isn't bad as the deck is quite consistant enough.

Also, not a huge fan of miner, since we get arwen to generate some ressource and later on Sword-Thained Hero.

As Rouxxor said, you don't need to play fortune or fate everyturn.

Most of the time 1, to 2 times are way enough to violate the quest hard in the wood like an old dirty beard man with water boots !

But hell, Cirdan+Valinor+Narya can dish a lot of good stuff aswell ! And Cirdan brings more quest turn 1 wich is more and more helpfull these days where some game start at like 8+ cards to come in staging...

I also too much like those Rhovanion to only play 1 in the deck, at least i would bring an other of them. They're so good for their mid-low price !

So Good Job and i have to say, that i like some of the artworks you used with your alternate !

May i whisp you somewhere to find those images ? (wich are : Hama, Sword thain, Sulien, Elfhelm, Gamelin, Imrahil and Rhovanion) Would be cool if you could send those to me ^^

Cheers from Belgium.

(And keep up the good work on your website ! Always enjoyable to read articles there !)

Mar 13, 2017 D4rkWolf10 374

@Beorn thank you for posting this deck, I really like it and am planning on taking it for a spin this week if possible. I am curious, as I'm not too familiar with the archetype beyond the basic premise, do you find yourself able to defeat scenarios true solo with this deck, or is it primarily used as a questing deck in multi-player situations? Also, what would you consider to be a preferred opening hand?

@Rouxxor I have not seen you post often, but when you do, it seems to be mostly negative and/or critical of others, more often than not relating to how you have a "better" version of the deck they've posted and how they are wrong. I would like to encourage you to try to post only if you feel that you can constructively criticize or otherwise help improve someone's deck. So far (from what I've seen) your criticisms have been respectfully fielded by the people you've directed them towards, but that might not always be the case. Part of the greatness of this community is the lack of negativity/toxicity regularly seen in other games, and the sense of everyone pulling together to make each other better. I would appreciate it if you join with me and everyone else in this fine community to continue to make that a reality.

Mar 13, 2017 Beorn 7008

Thanks, @D4rkWolf10. I've played this deck both solo and multiplayer (though I do play more multiplayer these days) and it works quite well in either environment. You may need to use the sideboard to make minor tweaks for a specific quest, but overall the deck is very powerful and can handle most scenarios. When playing solo, if you find that you are lacking in the combat necessary to consistently kill enemies, feel free to sub in extra copies of Glorfindel and Rhovanion Outrider as others in this thread have suggested. Good luck!

Mar 13, 2017 D4rkWolf10 374

@Beorn thank you! I forgot to ask, have you by chance made your alternate set available on OCTGN?

Mar 13, 2017 Rouxxor 1089

@Beorn -> I finally found the word I was seeking for this deck. I think Caldara is the most resilient deck in all the lotr. I mean that no matter what happen (a hero have been killed? All my allies are swiped away? All my attachments too? I discard my hand?) you still can rise and still succeed. That the best deck I know who for doing that.

@D4rkWolf10-> Hum I haven't since feel this way until now. Thanks you for pointing that. I got this bad habit and it probably even worst when I write in english. I will do better. Not for things like sexism, that I really disagree with but about talking with nice people like you all seem to be. That some exemples of what I was thinking about but haven't take the time to post until now: @Beorn again -> Thanks for posting here and not only in your blog. It is more easy to answer and discuss. I feel inspired by some of your articles and I have given the links of some others to friends of mine :). If you have in mind the most powerful decks you made it can help me in my personal quest ^^. For this deck he contains thinks that I personaly try. I never thought about hidden cache with Círdan the Shipwright, it could be great. Since I try Galadriel and his ring I can't play Cirdan and the other ring anymore ^^. I got fun time with Tale of Tinúviel + Narya for multiple very big block + attack. But it was before some of the actual allies so it is may be useless now.

Mar 13, 2017 Rouxxor 1089

@D4rkWolf10 -> I considered Caldara to be the second best deck in solo mode and it is among the best multiplayer decks also. Because I'm obsessed to always get the right deck to the appropriate moment I have a solo and a multiplayer deck of Caldara if you want some examples:

Mar 13, 2017 D4rkWolf10 374

@Rouxxor I like both versions of your deck! Thanks for sharing them, and also for being receptive to what I had to say. I very much appreciate it. :)

Mar 15, 2017 Lecitadin 144

Caldara in your alternate artwork.... just amazingly beautiful... I'm almost in love!