In Defense of Gondor


This fellowship is near the top of the list when it comes to power and fun in a two player team. There are over a dozen broken comboes between the decks, but the primary goal is to simply lock down the encounter deck by recycling Ambush every round. Yet even without Ambush the tem can more than handle anything the encounter deck throws at them.

First, there is a rapid setup. Denethor can feed resources to Damrod so that the green player can put out early Master of Lore and Anborn. If those guys are out in the first 2 rounds then the green player can skyrocket in power very quickly. Meanwhile the purple player uses massive resources and A Very Good Tale to swarm allies. One trick is to use Reinforcements to put Gandalf and Elrond into play under purple control for a guaranteed hit on AVGT. Heed the Dream is absolutely insane in this team, getting either player the exact cards needed. Once Visionary Leadership and Faramir are out, the questing will be a breeze.

Second, the team can respond to almost any threat while the Ambush recycle is set up. Erkenbrand, Eldahir, and Armored Destrier all provide excellent defense, including shadow cancellation. Entangling Nets comboes extremely well with Haldir of Lórien while providing 0 cost card draw. Strength of Arms is particularly good in this team because there are so many great allies to ready with powerful effects, like Master of Lore, Anborn, or Faramir. Warden of Healing is also there, of course, to clean up any damage that sneaks through, or to keep Erkenbrand fresh for cancelling shadows.

In the end game, the power level of the team makes any quest look like a joke. You make sure all enemies go to the purple player, who can chew them up. The Ranger Bow on Ithilien Tracker allows you to soften up or kill extra enemies, so your second or third tracker are still worth playing. Even the Master of Lore and Warden of Healing allies can swith to questing for great effect. I haven't even been able to mention how good Beravor or The Evening Star are in the deck. There are just too many good cards and comboes to go over.

All in all the fellowship attains high levels of power in a way that remains thematically satisfying, because the decks feel strong in the spirit of Gondor (with a little outside help). I can assure you, this team can take on even the most fearsome quests.


Sep 03, 2016 Seastan 20592

Looks like fun! I will have to try this out.

How do the decks respond to treacheries that damage exhausted characters, considering that the MoL will take 3 turns to pay for itself, is always exhausted in the quest phase, and has 1 hit point?

Sep 04, 2016 DukeWellington 164

We've never taken such a quest on, but it would probably be annoying and require deck tweaks. I think probably Quick Ears would be the best fix, and maybe something like Interrogation to see it coming.

Sep 04, 2016 DukeWellington 164

Also, I know you like to point out that it takes MoL 3 rounds to break even, but the specific reason he works so well in this team is that, with Visionary Leadership, you get a 2 willpower ally, which is basically already worth 2 resources. If you add in Stength of Arms, he MoL can grant a discount and then quest for 2 (or more with Faramir) in the same round. The synergies make him work more than his inherent ability.

Sep 04, 2016 DukeWellington 164

Oops, for some reason I was thinking Quick Ears could cancel any encounter card and then remembered it only cancels enemy cards, so that would be useless. So, yeah, I think that skry effects would have to be the main plan, and I think Interrogation with Riversong would have to be the best bet. It's not the most satisfying answer, but it's the best I have. I think the effects you mentioned are a legit weakness of the deck.

Sep 04, 2016 Seastan 20592

Good point about Strength of Arms. I wonder if MoL would shine in a Narya deck where they can exhaust twice every round.