Erestor has made quite a big impact on the meta-game since his hero version was released. By forcing you to discard all of the cards in your hand at the end of the round, he dramatically alters the value of many cards. For example, “safety net” cards like A Test of Will are less useful, since you can no longer save them for the optimal moment.
What he initially brought to the table was a mechanism to fuel the Noldor discard mechanic; however, since the release of leadership Denethor, the two have formed quite a partnership.
Here’s a fun game: Go to RingsDB and run a search for all decklists that contain those two heroes. There are a lot, and for good reason: tempo is very important in this game, and no two heroes get your deck rolling faster than Erestor and Denethor.
In today’s feature, we are going to explore a high-tempo deck with Legolas as the third wheel.
Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…
The White Tree of Mirkwood
Denethor (Flight of the Stormcaller)
Erestor (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
Legolas (Core Set)
1x Azain Silverbeard (Flight of the Stormcaller)
1x Boromir (The Road Darkens)
3x Elrond (The Road Darkens)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
3x Knights of the Swan (The Steward’s Fear)
1x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)
3x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
2x Arod (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Black Arrow (On the Doorstep)
2x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
3x Rivendell Blade (Road to Rivendell)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Heed the Dream (Flight of the Stormcaller)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
I chose The White Tree of Mirkwood for a few reasons: It’s powerful, it’s consistent, and it’s fun. At first glance, it looks like there are too many combo pieces required to get things running: Ultimately, you want to give Legolas two Rivendell Bows, Arod, Steward of Gondor, and Heir of Mardil, and that’s only one of your heroes! While you don’t necessarily need every piece, this is where Erestor shines. With three copies of the major attachments, and the insane card draw available in this deck, chances are that you will see all of the cards that you need, and fairly quickly too.
The drawback of having to discard your hand every round — especially that first turn mega-hand — can be pretty bad outside of Noldor decks, but this is where Denethor shines. Those extra resources ensure that you’ll get to not only draw, but play, those precious combo cards.
This is a deck that strikes a balance between allies and attachments. On the one hand, Legolas will be riding Arod and wielding two Rivendell Blades, while Denethor will be tanking with an Armored Destrier and a Gondorian Shield; on the other hand, you’ll be rolling out powerful allies like Azain Silverbeard, Boromir, Treebear, and Gandalf. I like this versatility, because it enables this deck to hold its own against encounter decks that focus heavily on either ally-hate or attachment-hate. The deck’s biggest weakness is that it does not have a ton of willpower, especially in the early game, so I recommend pairing it with a heavier questing deck in multiplayer games.
If this type of deck tickles your fancy, then I urge you to give it a try. The White Tree of Mirkwood is one of my favorite Erestor decks, and is certainly worth a second look.