The Sands of Harad & Haradrim Cycle

banania 1006



For our complete run-through, see:

  1. The Hobbit Saga
  2. Core Set & Shadow of Mirkwood Cycle
  3. Khazad-Dûm & Dwarrowdelf Cycle
  4. Heirs of Númenor & Against the Shadow Cycle
  5. The Voice of Isengard & Ring-Maker Cycle
  6. The Lost Realm & Angmar Awakened Cycle
  7. The Grey Havens & Dream-chaser Cycle
  8. The Sands of Harad & Haradrim Cycle
  9. The Wilds of Rhovanion & Ered Mithrin Cycle
  10. A Shadow in the East & Vengeance of Mordor Cycle
  11. Thematic Campaign ~ From Bag-End to Rivendell
  12. Thematic Campaign ~ Fly you Fools!
  13. Thematic Campaign ~ A Red Sun Rises
  14. Thematic Campaign ~ To Mordor

For this cycle, I struggled to find thematic decks that I liked. I --of course-- wanted to include the Harad cards and the deck pretty much builds itself, especially with the introduction of Messenger of the King than can transform an already overpowered card into an insanely overpowered card, naming Firyal. Since Na'asiyah joined us after she realizes Sahir was double crossing her, she is now on her path to redemption, helping bond our fellowship to their newfound Harad buddies.

The second deck was just built to support the first one. It's still centered around the Gondorian-Noldory-idea, but I kinda started running out of heroes (since I wanted to have the wider variety of heroes played throughout the journey). I settled for a line-up of Beregond, Glorfindel and Legolas. The lack of inspiration for this deck went as far as the deck's title.

The Path to Redemption

Greatly inspired in its theme by this deck but with lots of modifications, starting with subbing Wormtongue for (MotK) Firyal.

This deck just plays like a standard Harad deck. Get Steward of Gondor and Kahliel's Headdress as soon as possible on Kahliel and you should be alright. Card draw is provided by the still-best-combo-of-the-game Sneak Attack+Gandalf and the ever--auto-include Daeron's Runes.

In doing so, the first few turns can be a bit critical, but Firyal provides so much protection on the questing, even with two players, that my partner reliably could play Tighten Our Belts and netting 3 resources by withholding playing cards on the first turn. The Envoy of Pelargir also provides some early resource smoothing while Errand-rider provides the more constant resource smoothing.

Parting Gifts is a great card in this deck. Kahliel will eventually drown in resources and has 3 good targets:

  • A hero from the other deck, to provide instant card draw boost (Elven-light) and resource to play the drawn cards, since that deck will be struggling a bit with resource generation
  • Na'asiyah for a and massive surge end-game, to kill or defend a boss
  • (MotK) Firyal to fuel Warden of Healing redaying if a lot of damage has to be healed across the table

A Very Lame Deck

Well. It's a lame deck. Each character has a specific purpose. It's filled with generic cards. It's not shiny, but it works. It's admittedly not insanely fun to play.

There's no resource acceleration apart from Beregond's built-in ability, so you should actively annoy your partner for some lend-leasing. Card draw is given through Ancient Mathom, Foe-hammer and Elven-light. It's usually quite sufficient, and the Mathoms can be played cleverly to have your partner draw.

You're the support deck. You should be struggling while the Path to Redemption deck roll over the quest.


Overall, the cycle was a breeze and did not require any sideboarded cards:

  • Escape from Umbar: 1/1
  • Desert Crossing: 1/1
  • The Long Arm of Mordor: 1/1 (deck adaptation: I just chose random heroes to supplement those in the Path to Redemption deck. IIRC, Beravor and Glóin)
  • The Mûmakil: 1/1
  • Race Across Harad: 1/1
  • Beneath the Sands: 1/1
  • The Black Serpent: 1/1
  • The Dungeons of Cirith Gurat: 1/2, a lost just to some bad card draw honestly
  • The Crossing of Poros: 1/2 first loss because I had forgotten how intense stage 4A can be, and we had been a little bit two unconcerned about our threat level and the number of cards from other encounter sets shuffled into the encounter deck. We stroke a fine balance of treading waters and advancing the stage on our second attempt!