Core Set: Dual Sphere, Dual Decks for Two Players/Two Handed
These 2 decks are intended for new players to use in the 5 scenarios in the Core Set and "The Dark of Mirkwood".
These decks are built only with core set cards and require either 1 revised core set or 2 old core sets. They are great for learning the fundamentals of the game and experiencing a balanced challenge through these 5 scenarios. Therefore, they are tightly built to be very powerful with core set cards but no other cards from later releases or other starter decks.
A few other notes about these decks: The general consensus is that 2 players (or two-handed) is the most balanced way to play this game in most scenarios. With a small card pool in the first 2 expansion cycles of this game, generally 2 dual-sphere decks with all 4 spheres represented (no duplicate-crossover spheres) as well as low cost cards (cost 2 and under) tend to bring more success. These decks are convenient because they can be built with simply 1 revised core set for a two player group.
Prior to the revised core it was typical for players to get multiple old core sets since some cards only had 1x copy in each old core set. Some players would even have 3 core sets. These decks eliminate the need for that. If you and your gaming partner each have just 1x of the old core sets (or one of you has 2x old core sets) these decks can be built. They use at most 2x of every card that came with just a single copy in the old core set. They also follow a classic deck building strategy to run no more than 2x copies of any unique card, with the exception of 'Steward of Gondor' and 'Gandalf', both of which are extremely powerful cards usually ran at 3x copies.
Lastly, the decks were also built to be self sufficient within their role and built without extreme gimmicks & combos in mind, where one deck assumes what another deck is using. This is to eliminate the need for each player to come to the session with an exact knowledge of the other player's deck and instead provide a more natural fun experience in your gaming session. Using no crossover spheres (or the same sphere in both decks) allows one player to provide the necessary play-set for the group and allows new players to learn and observe how all the spheres naturally work together.
In a two-player or two-handed game you can split the 4 spheres up into 3 different possible combinations. These decks use Leadership/Tactics in Deck 1 and Spirit/Lore in Deck 2. The following are links to alternative pairs of decks with different sphere combinations, that otherwise follow the same dual-sphere deck-building concepts and strategies: