Today we continue our foray into decks designed for saga quests, this time focusing on a two-player fellowship that was built to take on The Black Riders and The Road Darkens.
Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…
2x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Dúnedain Cache (The Dead Marshes)
3x Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
3x Hobbit Pipe (The Black Riders)
3x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
3x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)
2x Anborn (The Land of Shadow)
2x Barliman Butterbur (The Black Riders)
2x Beorn (Core Set)
3x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
2x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
2x Farmer Maggot (The Black Riders)
2x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
2x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
2x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
2x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
3x Elf-stone (The Black Riders)
3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
2x Hobbit Cloak (The Black Riders)
2x Song of Wisdom (Conflict at the Carrock)
Remember when you first opened The Black Riders, and wondered at the possibilities of the spirit cards? I sure did, but like many other players, I soon bowed to the awesome power of the Merry/Sam/Pippin trifecta, and left the spirit cards in the box. In my humble opinion, Fatty Bolger deserves more credit than he gets, but its hard to argue his inclusion in a deck archetype that he doesn’t synergize with. It would seem that you can’t have your second-breakfast and eat it too.
…or can you?
This is why I love fellowships, and prefer to play two-handed instead of one-handed in solo games: The possibilities really open up when you have more than three hero slots to play with.
In the Fellowship of the Ring Saga Fellowship, Seosaidh goes all-out with the Hobbit cards, keeping the “classic” Merry/Pippin/Sam deck, and slotting Fatty Bolger into the partner deck for access to the spirit Hobbit toys.
It makes a lot of sense. The Saga Power Deck is a heavily hero-centric deck that features gandalf and Aragorn, and as such, needs a low starting threat and access to the spirit’s threat-reduction cards. The Saga Hobbit Deck, on the other hand, relies on powerful allies and events, and as such, needs as much card draw as possible. Fatty Bolger, with his cache of Hobbit-pipes and events, fills both needs at once.
Suddenly, opportunities open up: The Saga Power Deck is free to play with doomed effects, such as combining Greyflood Wanderer with Northern Tracker; and Smoke Rings, while at first glance appears to be in the wrong deck, is perfectly at home because it triggers off of Wizard Pipe.
The culmination of these ideas is a Hobbit deck that wants to fight, and a Power deck that prefers to support from afar. It’s an interesting dynamic that allows for some fun card interactions. Fellowship of the Ring Saga Fellowship is worth a second look, perhaps over that second-breakfast you get to eat.