Glorfindel Finds the Ring, Loses All His Friends

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Snufflegator 274

Imagine the Ring of Power fell into Glorfindel's hands, perhaps if Frodo had not survived the Fords of Bruinen. Once he beheld The One Ring, might Glorfindel refuse to give it up? Such a powerful Noldor in possession of the ring could cause a panic among all of Middle-earth, and result in him being abandoned by his allies. Glorfindel would be forced to adventure alone against the Dark Forces, wielding the ring only when necessary as he attempts to banish the Shadow forever.

This deck came about as I tried to make a Glorfindel Grey Wanderer deck to play Dwarrowdelf, figuring that Glorfindel was a good thematic character to explore Moria and (of course) to escort Arwen to Rivendell. My original thinking was that the deck would include Elladan and Elrohir allies for extra theme, but having those cards out-of-sphere for Glorfindel was making that tricky. So then I thought...what if I made a true TRUE solo deck, with only one character?

Surprisingly, the deck works best while having Protector of Lórien as the Wanderer setup attachment, rather than Strider. The reason is that Glorfindel is going to need a LOT of toys on this solo adventure, so getting the Protector of Lórien + Elven-light card draw engine going right away is pretty much essential. (Plus, having PoL in play at the start of the game means you don't need to waste the Wanderer's off-sphere play on it.) Inner Strength is the go-to Master attachment to start with in-hand, for both shadow cancellation and because of Our Hero's totally inadequate 1 . Sometimes it is worth waiting a turn or two to play it, though, depending on the initial draw and board state.

You should always mulligan for Elven-light. In 15+ games, I have almost always gotten it right away or been able to grab a copy within the first few turns thanks to Heed the Dream and/or Daeron's Runes. The couple times I have not, I've still managed to win, but it is a LONG slog. Once you have Elven-light, use the Wanderer's resource generation to repeatedly discard & draw as much as possible in the first few turns.

Between the Wanderer's readying ability, The Ring of Power, Unexpected Courage, and Strider, you should be able to ready enough to get through most early turns. Don't be afraid to leave an enemy or two in the staging area, even risking questing unsuccessfully, as you build up Mega Glorfindel. Undefended attacks are also very reasonable with 5 and the Wanderer's healing ability.

Within a few turns, you should be generating 4-6 resources / turn, which gives plenty of & thanks to Elven-light and PoL. Enemies with high will present a problem, so Fair and Perilous and Strength and Courage are both super important in some quests. Silver Lamp is key when you have multiple enemies engaged, to know if it is a good idea to use or hold Inner Strength or The Ruling Ring, or if it is safe to simply take attacks undefended.

Late game, you'll usually have a ton of extra resources, so Lay of Nimrodel is very effective at the end of the game to make a big quest push. Ever wish you could quest for 20+ with a single character? Now you can! (My current record is 32.) Need to one-shot a big boss? Combo with Fair and Perilous and you're done.

My guess is the Golden Belt + Raiment of War will be the most controversial choices here. (Truthfully, I didn't initially realize The One Ring is restricted when I initially built the deck, so I got kind of attached to RoW.) Elven Spear and Cloak of Lórien are decent alternatives, and Captain of Gondor is another nice choice, though totally off theme. Any set of cards that give as good bonuses as RoW will require the extra restricted slot anyway, so I'm sticking with it. (The extra definitely comes in handy for undefended attacks!)

Asfaloth, being unique, cannot be played using the Wanderer ability, but PoL + Reforged makes it easy enough to get into play that I saw no need for Song of Wisdom or A Good Harvest. Once Asfaloth is in, use any extra Reforged copies to get the other off-sphere attachments in more quickly.

So far, I've played through the first 6 Dwarrowdelf quests 2x each, as well as Journey Down the Anduin and The Massing at Osgilliath, and won 100% of tries. I required some luck, e.g., somehow managing to avoid all Tentacle attachments in Watcher in the Water). Obviously some quests simply won't work well against this deck, though that's generally true for The Grey Wanderer decks with allies as well. I'm interested in trying it against some more modern quests and will report back in the comments once I've had a chance to do so.., .


Aug 04, 2020 doomguard 1323

i would add 1 hauberk and depends on experience with fighting, some warnings or mark of the dunedain. would discard ruling ring for that. perhaps a captains wisdom make it faster.

Aug 04, 2020 TritonWreck 236

I’ve been wondering what a Grey Wanderer deck without allies would be like but didn’t have the guts to build and try one. Well done.

Aug 04, 2020 Snufflegator 274

@doomguard Great suggestions! The nice thing about Hauberk & the dunedain signals is you can load them up piecemeal instead of needing to get the Belt before playing RoW. So I think they would all work very well as weapon / armor replacements.

In this deck, Ruling Ring tends to be redundant with Ring of Power (and you can't use both in the same turn), so you are probably correct that it isn't needed for most quests. However, it gives an extra 3 chances to have some way to both attack and "defend" early if you don't draw into Strider or RoP fast enough. That's probably situationally useful, depending on the quest.

Aug 04, 2020 Snufflegator 274

@TritonWreck Thanks! This Treebeard deck also exists, if you're interested in other single-character builds!

Aug 05, 2020 nelloianiro 906


Sep 21, 2020 Snufflegator 274

Belated update: The Long Dark and Foundations of Stone were also easy wins. The deck finally took its first (and second) loss getting crushed by Shadow & Flame. Ironic: The 5-threat deck's first loss was due to threating out! No Strider, and I needed to use the Ring early and often to ready & cancel attacks, so I needed to raise my threat by 4 each round. Needing to use Grey Wanderer to ready and heal, I was short on resources and couldn't get my card draw going with Elven Light. I lasted a rough ~12+ rounds before succumbing to location lock.

Next up, I tried Trouble In Tharbad, which I thought would be breezy fun due to the low starting threat. Not so: The Ring + Grey Wanderer threat raises counteracted most of the early progress, so I couldn't really make good headway against the quest until later with Lay of Nimrondel. I think I won once and lost once, but both were slogs and required a little luck.

I knew this deck wasn't going to keep up the unbeaten streak forever, but I was surprised at how BORING a game can be when it loses. No big flame outs, just a slow march towards location lock or that one extra enemy that finally sneaks out of staging and attacks undefended. (Though overall it is a super fun deck to play!)

Nov 18, 2021 Rosen2RC 96

Excuse me, how do you defend and attack with a single character? Does it depend on an Owner card to avoid an attack? And for this unexpected Courage, if you already have Strider.

Mar 01, 2022 Snufflegator 274

@Rosen2RC With this deck, Glorfindel can easily get 4+ actions per turn. Quest without exhausting via Strider, then use Unexpected Courage, The Grey Wanderer's ability, or the Ring of Power to ready as needed during combat. Also The Ruling Ring can be used to prevent an attack in the first place, and it is also safe to take attacks undefended against weaker enemies due to Glorfindel's high and The Grey Wanderer's healing ability.