Seastan's Hardcore Progression Mode

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Seastan 39826

This is for those people that feel my Restricted Progression Mode did not go far enough.

As you make your way through the products on this list, you must abide by all the banned cards from that product and the products before it. I couldn't fit all the banned cards in the deck so you'll have to consult the list below.

Good luck getting through this gauntlet.

Banned List

Core Set

The Hunt for Gollum

Conflict at the Carrock

A Journey to Rhosgobel

The Massing at Osgiliath

The Hills of Emyn Muil

The Dead Marshes

Return to Mirkwood


The Redhorn Gate

Road to Rivendell

The Watcher in the Water

The Long Dark

Foundations of Stone

Shadow and Flame

Over Hill and Under Hill

The Battle of Lake-town

Heirs of Numenor

On the Doorstep

The Steward's Fear

  • Any Outlands ally

The Druadan Forest

Encounter at Amon Din

NM Passage Through Mirkwood

NM Journey Along the Anduin

NM Escape from Dol Guldur

Assault on Osgiliath

The Black Riders

The Blood of Gondor

The Stone of Erech

The Morgul Vale

NM The Hunt for Gollum

NM Conflict at the Carrock

NM A Journey to Rhosgobel

The Voice of Isengard

NM The Hills of Emyn Muil

NM The Dead Marshes

NM Return to Mirkwood

NM Khazad dum

The Dunland Trap

NM Over Hill and Under Hill

The Three Trials

Trouble in Tharbad

NM The Redhorn Gate

NM Road to Rivendell

NM The Watcher in the Water

NM The Long Dark

NM Foundations of Stone

NM Shadow and Flame

The Road Darkens

The Nin-in-Eilph

NM Heirs of Numenor

The Old Forest

Celebrimbor's Secret

NM On the Doorstep

The Antlered Crown

  • Any Ent ally

Fog on the Barrow-downs

NM The Steward's Fear

NM The Druadan Forest

NM Encounter at Amon Din

NM Assault on Osgiliath

NM The Blood of Gondor

NM The Morgul Vale

The Lost Realm

NM The Black Riders

The Treason of Saruman

The Wastes of Eriador

NM The Voice of Isengard

Escape from Mount Gram

The Ruins of Belegost

Across the Ettenmoors

The Treachery of Rhudaur

NM The Dunland Trap

NM The Three Trials

NM Trouble in Tharbad

The Battle of Carn Dum

Murder at the Prancing Pony

The Land of Shadow

The Dread Realm

The Grey Havens

NM The Road Darkens

NM The Nin-in-Eilph

NM Celebrimbor's Secret

NM The Antlered Crown

Flight of the Stormcaller

The Thing in the Depths

NM The Lost Realm

Temple of the Deceived

NM The Treason of Saruman

The Siege of Annuminas

The Flame of the West

NM The Wastes of Eriador

NM Escape from Mount Gram

NM Across the Ettenmoors

The Drowned Ruins

A Storm on Cobas Haven

The City of Corsairs

The Sands of Harad

NM The Treachery of Rhudaur

NM The Battle of Carn Dum

NM The Dread Realm

The Mumakil

Race Across Harad

NM The Lands of Shadow

Beneath the Sands

NM The Grey Havens

The Black Serpent

The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat

The Crossing of Poros

The Mountain of Fire


Jul 14, 2017 bzgaming 66

Yup. Dat be Hardcore for sure.

Jul 14, 2017 bzgaming 66

I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad to see such a low rate of "ban-worthy" cards in the later sets. Are they not good? Or they just that much better balanced?

Jul 14, 2017 emorlecallor 1212

@bzgaming The game was really designed to grow out, not up in terms of power level. After the first 2 cycles, the designers have established a good base of "power cards" and started focusing more on fleshing out traits and archetypes than giving us tons more power cards which would have just led to more power creep. Most cards nowadays either are good "support" cards, go into a particular trait, or are simply too specialized to really be useful in most decks. "Staple" cards stopped coming out a good while back. I personally don't mind this, as it has extended the life of the game and given us fun and interesting decks to work with, rather than brute power decks.

Aug 07, 2017 hon 401

@Seastan Definitely not the point of this exercise but if you were to try and do One Deck to Rule Them All with these restrictions what direction would you go with it? Nothing jumps out immediately to me but I wonder what you could come up with.

Aug 31, 2017 azgadil 7

@SeastanThank you Chris. This should have been out long ago. I have been playing with 'sub tier' decks for quite some time. No Steward of Gondor being the first restriction I enforced on myself. A 'published' restricted list excites me to explore deck building again. Thank you.

Apr 03, 2020 corvin 1

I love these concept as it encourages more interesting deckbuilding. In this second list, Light of Valinor is in the deck but not in the banned list. Is it banned or not ? Thanks.

Apr 03, 2020 Seastan 39826

@corvinNo, that's a mistake. Since Glorfindel is banned in the mode, there is no strong need to ban Light of Valinor.

Apr 03, 2020 corvin 1

Thanks for your response. I will definitively try this for the easier quests.

Some of the hard earlier scenarios (Escape from Dol Guldur, Conflict at the Carrock, The Massing at Osgiliath ...) will be out of my reach with this format.

If we drop the "progression" constraint for some scenarios, it will definitively makes things easier. But does it still makes sense ? Or does it loose most of its interest because you specifically construct the list with the progression style in mind ?

Perhaps some later cards, even if not banned here, can trivialize the earlier scenarios.

Apr 03, 2020 Seastan 39826

@corvinPrecisely. This only makes sense for progression play. The point is to maintain a challenge throughout, rather than getting to a point in the card pool where all future scenarios can be beaten by a single deck.

Jan 15, 2021 Sc0rpion 1

I dont understand

"Core Set

Éowyn Sneak Attack & Gandalf A Test of Will Steward of Gondor Unexpected Courage Henamarth Riversong Faramir Feint Will of the West"

This mean that I cannot use these cards already in the core quests? Or can I still use them in the Core quests, and then no longer? (The Hunt for Gollum and other)

Sep 12, 2021 Emmental 393

Which cards from the last cycles would you add to the ban list ?

Cycle 8 : Drinking Song, Reforged, Gaffer Gamgee ?

Cycle 9 : The One Ring, Host of Galadhrim, maybe contracts like Forth, The Three Hunters! or Bond of Friendship ?

And with errata i think some cards like Caldara or Wingfoot could be allowed again

Sep 14, 2021 babaarno 20

This looks like a fun way to get to learn some of the lesser used cards! Thanks for creating it.

I'm assuming that switching to two-handed for dol guldor would still be in the spirit of this exercise? And similar for return to mirkwood? Aside from examples like these, were you envisioning true solo for most of this?