Allies, Schmallies

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The Purple Wizard 725

Who needs allies when you've got three of Middle Earth's finest on the job?

Allies are an integral part of this game. We're all so used to them by now that that inherent strangeness of a rogue Defender of Rammas popping up in the middle of our trek through Mirkwood, for example, doesn't even phase us anymore. Ents on a boat? Eagles in Moria? You can break so many thematic lines in this game without even trying. This deck is my attempt to regain some thematic ground back while still giving the encounter deck a good challenge. I first built it while taking a fellowship through Moria and found, to my surprise, it was really quite good! These three know how to handle themselves on any adventure.

Aragorn is the big star here, while Gandalf and Glorfindel have plenty to do but ultimately end up in supporting roles. Most of the attachments here are self-explanatory where they go, but Aragorn gets Steward of Gondor, Protector of Lórien, Gondorian Fire, Blood of Númenor, the first A Burning Brand, and all of the Unexpected Courage he can handle. Basically, picture Gandalf and Glorfindel convincing Aragorn to step into the fullness of his legacy and power and that's what you've got going on here.

To get going, you'll need to find Gandalf's toys first. In my first hand I look for Expert Treasure-hunter for card draw, Gandalf's Staff for early game shadow removal or resources, and Wizard Pipe so I can play the essential Leadership cards. What makes for a good first hand will change from quest to quest but those are the most essential parts of the deck's engine. Get Gandalf going and everyone else will follow. Again, pretty thematic.

Glorfindel quests every round, even when you don't have Light of Valinor yet, and rides his horses around taking out locations left and right. Occasionally he'll even tell the Tale of Tinúviel to inspire Aragorn to further greatness. (I would think Aragorn would be tired of that same story by now, but it seems to work every time.)

The three of them combined are a powerhouse. I think you'll be surprised at just how well a deck without allies can do. But don't just take my word for it, give it a try yourself!


Oct 02, 2019 bento 10

This deck would shine with the upcoming contract Forth the Three Hunters. If using that contract, this deck could swap in a few more restricted attachments and perhaps swap out a few healing cards.