The Full Muster of the Riddermark
"They are proud and wilful, but they are true-hearted, generous in thought and deed; bold but not cruel; wise but unlearned, writing no books but singing many songs, after the manner of the children of Men before the Dark Years."
-Aragorn (of the Rohirrim), The Two Towers-
I got the inspiration to build a 4P fellowship to bring to next year's Con of the Rings from The Purple Wizard who brought a 4P eagle fellowship to this year's Con. I wanted to build a Rohan fellowship that could take advantage of some global effects like Erkenbrand's ability, Astonishing Speed, Éomund, and Charge of the Rohirrim. The choice of heroes was pretty straightforward as there are 12 of them (including Lothíriel) with the ALeP content released to this point. My goal was only to include cards that were Rohan themed (or at least not explicitly themed other than Rohan). I know this has surely lead to a less than optimal fellowship, but I'm OK with that.
True to the culture of Rohan, these decks feature mounts heavily. Throughout the fellowship, Campfire Tales is used for card draw, and Need Brooks No Delay is used to search and accelerate your board state. I have also packed in quite a few A Test of Wills and plenty of threat reduction between Double Back and Secret Vigil.
Disclaimer: These decks were truly designed and tested as a fellowship with all of them supporting one another. I don't think any of them would make great solo decks.
The Muster of Edoras
This deck leans heavily into the Rohan discard mechanic, using Thengel to avoid the typical tempo hit of these style of decks. Thengel will typically get a Light-footed Steed from one of the other decks, he's also a target for one of the Song of Kings to boost his if he has a mount. Thengel will often quest early in the game until more quest power is built up across the decks. At that point he will mainly defend. Théodred will almost always quest and give his resource to whoever needs it. Háma will get a weapon or two and maybe a Rohan Warhorse once the Three Hunters contract is flipped. His ability is used to recycle Need Brooks No Delay.
Apart from all the allies with discard abilities, Snowbourn Scout is a great target for Rear Guard, Ride to Ruin, and Worthy of Remembrance. Gléowine can be played either with Thengel's ability or Need Brooks No Delay. A few of the decks can sometimes get resource starved so I added 3X Tighten Our Belts. It will often be played on this deck, but sometimes others will need it. It's nice to get the 3- and 4-cost allies into play with Thengel's ability so I typically try to avoid them in my opening hand.
Early game, this deck's main focus is helping flip the Three Hunters contract as quickly as possible. Once that is done, it focuses on setting up the staging area attack mechanic with Deeping Defender, Dúnhere, and Herubrand. Ideally, you will be able to get 2 Spear of the Marks on Dunhere, though one with a War Axe or Dagger of Westernesse will also do. Eowyn gets Windfola and can help with an early game enemy problem if needed since this deck doesn't have much . Eowyn and Herubrand will spend most of the game questing and Dunhere will snipe enemies in the staging area. Onward Into Battle is primarily intended for the Three Hunters deck to allow them to quest, though Thengel is a good target as well.
This deck's strength is questing and providing for big quest pushes with Éomund and Astonishing Speed. I'm usually happy with either Eomund or Horn of the Mark in my opening hand. With Lothiriel bouncing an ally every turn, Elfhelm is usually the first target for Light-footed Steed so he can quest and defend. He will also get a copy of Armored Destrier after Erkenbrand gets a couple. Théoden gets Snowmane, Herugrim, and is one of the options for Gúthwinë along with Hama or Theodred. Morwen Steelsheen is the only source of healing in this fellowship outside of the Three Hunters contract. Ideally, you will discard either a Snowbourn Scout or Westfold Horse-breeder to put her into play. The Horse-Breeders don't have many targets so they often whiff, but that's OK. They are cheap bodies that can quest and be boosted by Astonishing Speed or chump if needed.
Eomund is one of the keys of this whole fellowship, allowing you to quest with nearly all characters in play regularly. I have 3 copies of him plus 3 copies of Mustering the Rohirrim which are primarily intended to fish him back out of your deck. I would only ever put Eomund into play with Lothiriel and never actually play him. There are enough readying effects for other characters that if you don't see him right away, the decks will still function well. I'll usually hold my 0 characters back in case of an unexpected attack during staging.
This deck is the main combat force of this fellowship. With help from the other decks, this contract can usually flip turn 2. Ideal attachment distribution is as follows:
- Tireless Thoroughbred
- Rohan Warhorse
- Thorongil and Éomer (Ideally played with Need Brooks No Delay)
With this setup, Eomer will be able to attack twice at 8. If you can get Golden Belt and a War Axe, that jumps to 11. Tireless Thoroughbred is probably the most important of these attachment since the Light Cavalry and Cavalry Support decks both lack attack power, especially early on in the game.
He will be sentinel defending 3 times at 4 with shadow cancellation. One of those defenses can be up to 8 if the contract is flipped. Erkenbrand is also usually the first target for [Unexpected Courage].(/card/01057)
With this setup, Fastred has 5 and 5 and can attack for 3 if needed.
This deck is a bit -heavy so I'll often put a Steed of the Mark on Erkenbrand or Fastred so they can quest if they get resources piling up. If you have a spare Raiment of War, it goes well on Déorwine or Warden of Helm's Deep.
Looking for feedback. I plan to keep tweaking the fellowship as I continue testing it but wanted to get some outside eyes on it.