Mettle of the Strong

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WingfootRanger 2663

The / power deck is back and better than ever! This gritty, tough, resilient, and aggressive deck has been one of my top deck builds for more than a year now. Having toppled a wide assortment of quests from the Ringmaker, Angmar Awakened, Dream-Chaser, and Haradrim cycles and both normal and nightmare modes, it has shown its quality. Though it lacks any true overarching theme, I hope you enjoy its construction and power.

The Heroes

One of this deck's strengths lies in its heroes, which provide a solid start as far as stats. Beregond is hands down one of the best defenders in the game at 4 , and gets 6 when wielding a Gondorian Shield. He also keeps our threat under control, helping to mitigate the high start of 34. Círdan the Shipwright is insanely good in this deck for the 4 he has, the additional card draw he provides, and his availability to either attack or use Narya thanks to Light of Valinor. Beorn is the main attacker, and at 5 , he definitely starts us ahead of the curve that is responsible for limiting so many heroes to 3 . His ability to defend without exhausting and his 10 hit points make him the damage soaker we need in vicious quests.

The Deck

This deck is built so that the cost curve is low in order to compensate for the minimal resource acceleration. Thankfully, and have many wonderful cheap cards that allow for this kind of deck to flourish. With the exception of Bofur (who is included only for his flexible stats), Dúnedain Hunter, and Rhovanion Outrider, all allies in this deck only cost 2. The allies provide and the allies provide attack, so it is best to draw a couple of them in the starting hand so we can hit the ground running. Aside from that, Gondorian Shield, Light of Valinor, and A Test of Will are often the only other cards that are desired in the opening hand. However, this deck is not reliant on any one card to function properly. Rather, most of the cards always make a helpful contribution to victory.

Having Beregond as a sturdy defender is an important feature of this deck, so he gets his Gondorian Shield as well as Magic Ring and any Unexpected Courages that we draw. Desperate Defense and Hasty Stroke both help him do his job better, and Revealed in Wrath is not to be underestimated as an answer to the most problematic enemy text boxes. The trifecta of A Test of Will, Feint, and Thrór's Key grants an efficient and widely applicable batch of answers to nasty, back-breaking encounter cards. Once Cirdan gets a hold of Narya, even the bulkiest of enemies are usually doomed in the face of boosted archers or hunters attacking alongside the bear. At some point, the quest should fall prey to the stat power and efficient answers of this deck.

The Sideboard

There are many options for altering the deck to make it more suitable for the quest or your preference. The singleton spot that is currently occupied by Magic Ring has other options in Captain of Gondor, Windfola, Gather Information, Keep Watch, Double Back, or Justice Shall Be Done. Some common swaps I have done are exchanging ally Arwen Undómiel for 2 Honour Guards when another player is using hero Arwen. If you do that, I recommend swapping out Bofur for Lindir to maintain the careful sphere balance. Elrond's Counsel and Power of Orthanc have also been common cards to swap in for certain quests as well. The only reason I have Keen as Lances in here is because I sometime play the deck across from a victory display control deck, and it is a full replacement of Ancient Mathom in that situation.

Final Thoughts

This deck is flexible and plays well in either solo or multiplayer games. It excels at most quests that don't have unusual requirements (Journey to Rhosgobel) and gets right down to handling combat and contributing to questing very quickly. Among its weaknesses are encounter effects that spam threat gain to exceptional levels, such as that of solo Return to Mirkwood. It also lacks any healing outside of Magic Ring, so hailstorms of direct damage are sometimes not its forte either, especially when it targets allies. On the plus side, it wastes little time getting started and can brush aside much of what the encounter deck dishes out. So if you are looking for such a deck or want to give aggro decks a try, definitely check out this deck.


Feb 17, 2018 Onidsen 1109

I like it a lot! Curious, though - if Beregond intends on being the primary defender, would Sterner than Steel be a cheaper replacement for Hasty Stroke?

Feb 17, 2018 WingfootRanger 2663

It would, but since Beregond is not always guaranteed his Gondorian Shield, Hasty Stroke is more of a sure bet.

Feb 18, 2018 Wandalf the Gizzard 2430

Especially if a shadow effect comes up that would kill the bear.

Jun 03, 2018 Rimogard 283

Just an incredibly strong deck! It helped me totally annihilate the Dunland Trap and that's saying something! Chief Turch was staring at Beorn, Beregond, and Cirdan with disbelief!

Jun 04, 2018 WingfootRanger 2663

@Rimogard Thanks! I would say this deck is one of my strongest solo decks, it has handily beat so many quests. I'm glad you got good use out of it.