Where the Stars are Strange

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Master of Lore 500

For you "slaves to theme" out there looking for a Tolkien-approved party to take into Harad, this is the deck for you!

The Haradrim cycle is boldly daring to take us where few Free Peoples of the West have ever gone before. In fact, only two of our heroes are known to have traveled to the Far South in all of Professor Tolkien's legendarium.

The first is Aragorn, who shares at the Council of Elrond that he has "crossed many mountains and many rivers, and trodden many plains, even into the far countries of Rhûn and Harad where the stars are strange."

The second is none other than the the Grey Wanderer himself, who Faramir tells the hobbits has earned the name of Incánus, which means "North-spy" in the Haradrim's tongue.

This deck represents an adventure of Incánus and Strider where the stars are strange alongside the new Southron hero and allies created by FFG.

Aragorn is the chief defender in this deck and should eventually get the Dúnedain Warnings, A Burning Brand, Blood of Númenor, and Protector of Lórien. Run that high treat up even more with with Deep Knowledge and then use the Ranger to drop it back to a cozy 36 after a few rounds.

Gandalf is Gandalf, using his wizardry to play the Spirit cards from the top of the deck and his Ring of Fire to inspire the newfound Haradrim allies to greater courage. He does, of course, need the ubiquitous support of the Steward of Gondor, a thematic concession perhaps, but necessary resource generation for the deck to function (and a condition for a mulligan).

Finally, we have Kahliel and his tribe of Southrons who know this land like a Wood-elf knows the forest or a hobbit knows his vegetable garden. Try to find Firyal first and don't forget that Aragorn has brought along an Elf-stone to attract these new friends to the company.

The first Unexpected Courage usually goes on Gandalf so that he can quest with Expert Treasure-hunter and have a remaining action to wield Narya or issue a Word of Command to pull out key singles like Sword that was Broken, Kahliel's Headdress, or Athelas.

The only other allies are a couple Silvan Refugees who got turned around on their way to the Sea and the Warden of Healing who is seeking to craft new remedies in the Far South.

This deck has proven successful in the first two quests of the Sands of Harad box as well as the first adventure pack of the cycle. Let us hunt some mûmak!


May 02, 2017 Authraw 2438

This deck looks great! I totally forgot that Gandalf had been to Harad. I love the way you incorporated the theme here.

Have you considered Flame of Anor? With one of those expensive Harad allies on top of the deck, it could pack quite a punch.

May 03, 2017 Master of Lore 500

I've definitely thought about it, but haven't found myself hurting too badly for attack strength and I'm not sure what I'd cut to find the space. Any suggestions?

May 03, 2017 Authraw 2438

Ah, yes. The age-old question of "What do I cut?" That's a tough one.

You only have 1x of Protector of Lórien and Athelas, maybe those are good candidates. Flame of Anor also provides readying, so maybe you could shed an Unexpected Courage for it.

If you're not hurting for attack power though, maybe it's a red herring.

May 03, 2017 donkler 59

I like this deck a lot! The only thing I would change would maybe be replacing copies of Word of Command with Heed the Dream instead. Between Sword that was Broken and Narya you should have several characters with Leadership resources to pay for the secondary effect if you need it.

May 03, 2017 Master of Lore 500

I like the idea of swapping out one Unexpected Courage for Flame of Anor and one Word of Command for Heed the Dream. Although there is only one copy of Protector, it is pretty handy for Aragorn and often a target for Word of Command.

Athelas could probably go on quests without Condition treacheries, but I had it in here since I was most recently playing the Mûmakil and it's a great remedy for High Fever. An earlier version of this deck didn't have the Wardens and played around with Rune-master and Dúnedain Remedy instead as more thematic choices. It was more fun, but the Warden is just too good!

Sep 08, 2017 GoblinKing 50

Great deck MoL! I am indeed a slave to theme. I'd love to see other solo hero combinations you would come up with for each cycle. For example I've played the Grey Havens and its cycle with a Cirdan, Prince Imrahil, Outlands deck. But I really wanted a Gandalf and hobbit theme because Bilbo mentions that the Gandalf from the stories takes good hobbits off and takes them sailing. It is in the "good morning" exchange.