The Greatest Alliance of Middle-Earth


This fellowship is designed to make Caldara's value increase immensely. How does one do such a thing? By employing a four-deck combo that I don't even know is legal. But if it is, the world shall know the power of Caldara.

The combo mentioned above is Desperate Alliance+ a good hero. And a lot of Doomed. The idea is to use threat raising effects to get the target deck up to a very high threat level, then have that deck play Desperate Alliance to pass their Spirit hero to the Caldara deck. Then, you use some kind of threat raising effect to push the deck to 50 threat, killing it. Now, normally Desperate Alliance would only work for one phase. However, if the selected hero has no deck to go back to, what happens to it? Is it discarded? That wouldn't make sense. I argue that it would stay under the control of the deck that received it for the phase. And with an extra Spirit hero, the Caldara deck can get back an additional ally with every discard of Caldara.

The decks are meant to die in a specific order, and each is designed to do something before death. The first deck to bite the dust will be the Idraen deck. It has the highest threat, and is therefore easiest to kill in the first planning phase. It can use Song of Eärendil to raise its threat by more while raising other players' threats by less when Doomed cards are played. Palantir and other effects that exhaust Boromir can be used to get more threat, because Boromir can spend threat to ready if he is exhausted. Then, before it dies, the deck will use Desperate Alliance during the first planning phase to give Idraen to the Caldara deck, and let that final Doomed card send it to its doom.

The second deck to die is the Cirdan deck. Similar effects can be used to threat the deck out as were used for the Idraen deck. However, this deck has a mission before it can die: pass the Caldara deck an Elrond's Counsel with Message from Elrond (thematic win in an Elrond deck!) so the Caldara deck doesn't accidentally threat out. If it has the resources, it could also play The Galadhrim's Greeting on the Caldara deck as well. Then, during the travel phase, pass Cirdan to the Caldara deck and let the threat raising effects kill off the deck. So far so good.

The third and final deck to die is the Galadriel deck. This deck's pre-elimination goal is to put as many side quests into play as it can (using card draw to find them). Then, it will use Galadriel to lower the Caldara player's threat, use Desperate Alliance to give Galadriel to the Caldara player, and use a Doomed effect to die. This should happen during the encounter phase.

Now the only deck remaining is the Caldara deck, which has 6 heroes under its control (7 with Sword-thain on an unique ally), meaning each Caldara discard nets 5 to 6 allies. Powerful. Very powerful.

A few quick notes:

• Each deck should mulligan for Desperate Alliance. That is the only card that matters in the grand scheme of things.

• Elven-light is in the three non-Arwen decks because it can be discarded to Eowyn if one of the decks needs an extra card.

• If this combo is illegal, someone please inform me and I will tell everyone to disregard the decks.

Enjoy the decks!


Jul 16, 2016 Some Sort 1728

I don't have an official dev ruling to link to, but I'm pretty sure this shouldn't be legal under current Desperate Alliance interpretation. If you Desperate Alliance away your last hero, you are not eliminated despite controlling no heroes, which suggests a continuing link between you and your hero even after you transfer control.

Based on that interpretation, it's possible that the DA'd hero gets removed immediately upon its owner threating out. At a minimum, it should return at the end of the round and go straight into the discard, (much like a Wandering Brandybuck who is put into play under someone else's control whose owner then gets eliminated).

Jul 16, 2016 emorlecallor 963

@Some Sort You're probably right, but I will cling to hope while I still can. The only problem with the "discard" interpretation is that it would have no discard pile to go to, so how would that work out? The "remove from play" approach after the deck threat-caps is more likely, but as I said I will wait for a ruling before I give up on the concept.

Jul 16, 2016 emorlecallor 963

The fellowship has no decklists right now because I am waiting for an official ruling. If the ruling lets this combo work, I will re-post the decks.

Jul 17, 2016 Some Sort 1728

An eliminated player still has a discard pile. From the rulebook: "When a player is eliminated, his hand, all of the cards he controls, and his deck are placed in their owners’ discard piles." So technically you're supposed to play it that the eliminated player remains at the table with all of his cards in the discard. (Which actually gives me kind of an amazing idea.)

The "all of the cards he controls" part leads me to believe that if a player threats after Desperate Alliancing away a hero, that hero sticks around until the end of the phase because he's not controlled by the eliminated player. But then control reverts and the hero hits the discard. But Desperate Alliance is kind of a weird card in a lot of respects, (such as the ability to remain un-eliminated after giving away your last hero, and the fact that if you take undefended attacks while in that state where you control no heroes, the damage just disappears).

Really, this is all just speculation unless we hear from the devs directly.