Where Was Gondor?

banania 410


I decided to engage in an Against the Shadow campaign (all 9 scenarios from the Deluxe and subsequent cycle) and do it with a full Gondor Fellowship. There are now many Gondor heroes and it's possible to have that line-up, as I consider Pippin to be kind of Gondorian, the only "stranger" here is Beravor, who is still a kinswoman to her fellow Rangers of Ithilien.

Be aware that my comments and piloting tips below are taken from my experience at replaying this cycle, which has lots of Battle and Siege questing. I don't know how it would consistently fare against a more standard cycle. I advise you try Against the Shadow with those decks, it's so epic!

In today's meta, Gondor is by no means the strongest trait, especially in a solo environment. Gondor does not have strong quester from the get-go, and is very dependant on getting allies out, bolstered by Visionary Leadership to muster enough . But, in a multiplayer environment, the trait is absolutely amazing. I've used cards in those decks I've never used before and to great effect.

Yes, Gondor is all about global boosting / readying effects and how to manage them. Especially, the cards For Gondor!, Strength of Arms or Light the Beacons. The first two events are already quite good with 2 players, but they are just insane with 4 players. Coupled with Boromir's ability and Visionary Leadership, your host of Gondorian allies should be Standard/Battle/Siege questing with absolutely no issue. Just ensure you mulligan for the right allies at the beginning of the quest depending on whether or not the first quest stage bears a keyword.

While Light the Beacons is seldom used, due to its hefty cost, it is a card that can win your game. In this fellowship, the deck has a support role, and is often left with enough resources to play the card, especially since Denethor can fuel resources towards it. I mean just read the card! Just Siege quest with every character and have Beregond defend everything for at least 6 (if not 8 if equipped with Gondorian Shield).

Playing monospheres also allows the use of monosphere cards: Advance Warning, Strength of Arms, Shadows Give Way, Thicket of Spears, Trained for War, Against the Shadow, Knight of Minas Tirith and White Tower Watchman, as well as all Record attachments. All those cards are clearly Gondor theme and really pull their weight to smooth those Battle/Siege keywords depending on what you have on table.

The Leadership Deck

This is the centerpiece of the Fellowship, because it plays nearly all the global effects. It's pretty straightforward, and Denethor makes it so easier to get the engine running from turn one. Hard mulligan for Steward of Gondor, Visionary Leadership if it's a normal quest, and then some allies. Having a For Gondor! in there is also always nice. Never, never, never hesitate to play Campfire Tales. 1 resource 4 cards is simply unbeatable.

The Lore Deck

Is a Trap deck, simple as that. Play your traps and benefit from it. You're also the healer of the group thanks to Warden of Healing and Ioreth, and you're in charge of card draw by holding back Beravor or having her being Wingfoot (since you're nearly always revealing an enemy, just name enemy). Don't forget Forest Snare can attach to enemies engaged with other players! The Advance Warning + Arrows from the Trees is real, don't underestimate it and have deck save 3 resources to get the full effect of it. If you can play it, just do it. 3 damage to every enemy is insane.

The Tactics Deck

Is obviously the combat deck, helped by the Rangers of Ithilien and deck. Armor attachment goes on Beregond, top priority, then just spread the love on Denethor, Eleanor, Mablung, etc. Prince Imrahil is good target for Heir of Mardil since he's good at questing with all of his stats and should be able to ready thanks to Denethor, then trigger his action, get a Knight of Minas Tirith and trigger Mablung resource generation.

The Spirit Deck

Is clunky but actually works pretty well. It's a control and questing deck. You can defend a bit and sometimes attack, but your primary role is to manage Treacheries with Eleanor and A Test of Will, Shadow Effects with Shadows Give Way and Hasty Stroke and threat with the The Galadhrim's Greeting. It's by no means not a Caldara deck, but it still includes some discard effects with Emery and the Steed of Imladris, so that you can ditch Caldara in favor of two strong questing allies in the late game.

A few side notes


Is global and includes:

Other cards worth considering


Apr 29, 2019 tickler 180

Nice idea! Just one thing. If you add Envoy of Pelargir to the leadership deck, you can use it to share resources to other players.

May 03, 2019 Olander 128

Mabye add 3 steed of the north for Mablung, Beravor and Faramir, in four player leather boots could do some work as well

May 04, 2019 banania 410

@ticklerShe would definitely go into the deck if I had more than 3 copies or her and if the game wasn't so lacking in Gondor allies. That will certainly be a net-decking move in the future. I hope next cycle will bring more allies.

@Olanderthe decks are already tight, but one could certainly cut down a few events of questionable efficiency I put merely for thematic and "epic moment" results. The cards you proposed are certainly interesting in their action advantage giving, though I'd argue that the goal of swarm decks is not to rely too heavily on heroes action advantage. Maybe Leather Boots could de facto replace one copy of Wingfoot since it's unique and you're bound to reveal location in 4-player games.