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Master of Lore 487
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.
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.
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!