2016-08-31_14-59-17

CotR Deck Spotlight: Rossiel and her Ranger Escort

The introduction of RingsDB has invigorated the Lord of the Rings community, sparking creativity and enabling the sharing of ideas at a rate never before seen. With this explosive growth in new content, however, it is becoming easier and easier for interesting and exceptional work to fall through the cracks. The Deck Spotlight project is an attempt by the Cardboard of the Rings community to direct attention to deserving decks that, for one reason or another, have escaped notice. Join us today, as CotR shines a spotlight on…

Rossiel and Her Ranger Escort

by WanderingTook

Damrod (The Land of Shadow)
Mablung (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
Rossiel (Escape from Mount Gram)

Ally (17)
1x Booming Ent (The Antlered Crown)
2x Defender of Rammas (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Derndingle Warrior (Escape from Mount Gram)
2x Henneth Annûn Guard (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Ithilien Lookout (The Dunland Trap)
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
2x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (19)
2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Ambush (The Land of Shadow)
2x Cloak of Lórien (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Gondorian Fire (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Lembas (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Ranger Spikes (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Secret Vigil (The Lost Realm)

Event (14)
3x Feint (Core Set)
3x Keen as Lances (Escape from Mount Gram)
3x None Return (Across the Ettenmoors)
2x Secret Paths (Core Set)
3x Tireless Hunters (The Lost Realm)

Sideboard

Attachment (3)
3x Forest Snare (Core Set)

When browsing the forums or the CotR Discord channels, I often see Rossiel placed into specific deck archetypes: secrecy  and victory display control. Whole decks are formed around one or both of these concepts. A common frustration is that it takes time for Rossiel and her control cards to take effect and hard to make consistent use of her boosted stats. You know… it’s all valid. Rossiel can be very tricky to use effectively.

What if I told you that it didn’t need to be this way…

What I love about this deck is that Rossiel and the victory display cards are slotted into an auxiliary role. She is a “nice to have” element within the deck but the deck will survive without her input. Meanwhile there is a great combination of ents, rangers, and traps to keep this deck thriving.

The theme is great too. Two rangers of Ithilien struggle against the shadows of Mordor. But, the grace and beauty of the elves sweeps in at their hour of need with a army of ents roused for battle.

This deck is actually part of a very nice fellowship used by WanderTook (and you should definitely check it out). I opted not to spotlight both decks because of just how good his Rossiel inclusion is. Rossiel mixed with the tactics sphere is very rare on ringsDB and it’s refreshing to see how well they mesh together in this deck.

– thanatopsis

deck-spotlight-fellowship-on-the-dark-road

CotR Deck Spotlight: Fellowship on the Dark Road

The introduction of RingsDB has invigorated the Lord of the Rings community, sparking creativity and enabling the sharing of ideas at a rate never before seen. With this explosive growth in new content, however, it is becoming easier and easier for interesting and exceptional work to fall through the cracks. The Deck Spotlight project is an attempt by the Cardboard of the Rings community to direct attention to deserving decks that, for one reason or another, have escaped notice.

Selected decks and fellowships might be especially unusual, creative, unique, strategic, or thematic. They might be funny, illuminating, powerful, or noteworthy for any of a number of other reasons. In all cases, however, the decks are worth a closer look.

 

In these spotlight articles, we strive to cover as many deck and fellowship types as possible. One area we haven’t covered yet is saga play, so today we rectify that!

Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…

Fellowship on the dark road

by Arkane

http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/2227/fellowship-on-the-dark-road-1.0

 

Hero (3)
Aragorn (The Watcher in the Water)
Gandalf (The Road Darkens)
Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders)

Ally (18)
2x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
2x Dori (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Elrond (The Road Darkens)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
2x Gimli (The Treason of Saruman)
1x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
2x Ranger of Cardolan (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Wandering Ent (Celebrimbor’s Secret)

Attachment (28)
2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Armored Destrier (Temple of the Deceived)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
1x Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
2x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)
2x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
2x Fellowship of the Ring (The Road Darkens)
2x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
2x Narya (The Grey Havens)
2x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Sword of Númenor (The Dread Realm)
3x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)

Event (4)
2x Flame of Anor (The Road Darkens)
2x Frodo’s Intuition (The Black Riders)

 

If you’ve ever wanted to play The Road Darkens with a hero lineup from the Nine Walkers, then Fellowship on the dark road is for you.

It should come as no surprise that a deck built to take on Balrogs is very powerful. When you’re going up against saga quests, you need to have all of your bases covered, and that is certainly the case here. Resources? Check: its got Steward of Gondor. Card draw? Check: Expert Treasure-hunter plus Gandalf’s scrying will have you swimming in cards. Defense? Willpower? Combat? Check, check, and check: Load Aragorn up with Armored Destrier, Protector of Lorien, and A Burning Brand, and he turns into a beast of a defender. While already a high-willpower deck, once you get Sword that was Broken and Fellowship of the Ring into play, Gandalf is free to do whatever he wants; if that means laying the smack down with Flame of Anor, all the better.

It even has some healing, in the form of ally Elrond. The only thing this deck doesn’t handle is locations; though, as a deck built to tackle campaign mode in solo play, it doesn’t really need it. Still, it’s something to think about if you plan on building a companion deck.

Not interested in the saga quests? Not to worry, for Fellowship on the dark road is playable outside of campaign mode! In the description, Arkane covers the adjustments to make for pickup games. Its a nice touch, and one that improves the practicality of this deck.

So no matter what type of game you are playing, this deck can slot in just fine. It’s powerful, fun, and worth a second look.

– WanderingTook

CotR Deck Spotlight: A Three Hour Tour

The introduction of RingsDB has invigorated the Lord of the Rings community, sparking creativity and enabling the sharing of ideas at a rate never before seen. With this explosive growth in new content, however, it is becoming easier and easier for interesting and exceptional work to fall through the cracks. The Deck Spotlight project is an attempt by the Cardboard of the Rings community to direct attention to deserving decks that, for one reason or another, have escaped notice.

Selected decks and fellowships might be especially unusual, creative, unique, strategic, or thematic. They might be funny, illuminating, powerful, or noteworthy for any of a number of other reasons. In all cases, however, the decks are worth a closer look. Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…

A Three Hour Tour

by Denison

http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/1521/a-three-hour-tour-1.0

Hero (3)
Arwen Undómiel (The Dread Realm)
Denethor (Flight of the Stormcaller)
Galdor of the Havens (The Grey Havens)

Ally (26)
3x Elven Jeweler (Escape from Mount Gram)
1x Erestor (The Long Dark)
1x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
3x Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller)
3x Guardian of Rivendell (Flight of the Stormcaller)
2x Imladris Caregiver (Flight of the Stormcaller)
1x Lindir (The Battle of Carn Dûm)
2x Lindon Navigator (The Grey Havens)
1x Quickbeam (The Treason of Saruman)
3x Treebeard (The Antlered Crown)

Attachment (3)
3x To the Sea, to the Sea! (The Grey Havens)

Event (21)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
3x Elwing’s Flight (The Grey Havens)
3x The Evening Star (The Grey Havens)

I’m a fan of fast starts. I’m generally of the opinion that the first planning phase is pretty much the only point all game where you’re free to do what you want without any interference from the encounter deck, (barring a particularly disastrous setup). So when I build a deck, I usually want to make the most of that opportunity.

Huge planning phases require lots of cards and the resources to play them. Because of that, there are a few heroes who lend themselves exceptionally well to this mindset. Arwen Undómiel and Leadership Denethor are the patron saints of early, on-demand resource acceleration. Erestor is the king of first-turn cards, and Galdor of the Havens is essentially the Erestor of combo decks.

While all of these heroes receive the praise that they rightfully deserve, they’re usually sprinkled in among other hero lineups to speed up existing archetypes. You don’t often see them all together in the same place in a deck that just says “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

In fact, of the 2443 decks currently on RingsDB, only three feature Denethor/Arwen/Erestor or Denethor/Arwen/Galdor- and one of those three has received the attention it deserves, reaching the Hall of Fame.

In Denison’s take on the lineup, the goal is to get out as many high-value allies as possible as quickly as possible. Gildor Inglorion and the ally versions of Erestor, Glorfindel, Treebeard, and Over Hill, Under Hill Gandalf are as good or better than any heroes. In addition to the speed offered by Denethor and Arwen, Denison uses To the Sea, To the Sea! for a huge cost reduction on any Noldor allies he might have.

Moreover, To the Sea! serves as another deck accelerator. Once per game, he can dump his entire hand at once and trigger Galdor’s ability to draw six new cards. He can also dump his entire hand to play Lindir for free and draw three new cards. Once a few of those high-cost Noldor are in play at a steep discount, they can tell A Very Good Tale to bring out some more of their peers.

Elven-light is around to take advantage of all that discarding, and cards like Elwing’s Flight and The Evening Star aren’t generally worth their cost until they have a few copies in the discard pile, anyway.

So if, like me, you’re addicted to life in the fast lane, I’d recommend slowing things down for a bit and joining me on a short leisure cruise- just three hours or so- with a speedy Noldor deck that is certainly worth a second look.

Episode 104 – Tactics Feint

Click here to download this episode!

–  Welcome to Derek aka Shipwreck!

– News

– Epic Multiplayer Mode Report

– Flame of the West Player Card Review

– GenCon Report!

– Patreon pledge drive, any amount helps!! https://www.patreon.com/cotr

– Sign off

fellowship-spotlight-let-them-come

CotR Fellowship Spotlight: Let Them Come!

The introduction of RingsDB has invigorated the Lord of the Rings community, sparking creativity and enabling the sharing of ideas at a rate never before seen. With this explosive growth in new content, however, it is becoming easier and easier for interesting and exceptional work to fall through the cracks. The Deck Spotlight project is an attempt by the Cardboard of the Rings community to direct attention to deserving decks that, for one reason or another, have escaped notice.

Selected decks and fellowships might be especially unusual, creative, unique, strategic, or thematic. They might be funny, illuminating, powerful, or noteworthy for any of a number of other reasons. In all cases, however, the decks are worth a closer look.

 

Delving deep into RingsDB has been beneficial in exposing me to deck compositions that I otherwise would not have considered. As players, we tend to settle into our own preferred playstyles, developing a tunnel-vision that has us playing with the same staple cards in the same style decks. I’ve certainly recognized this in my play, so in an effort to step out of my comfort zone, I took a random 2-handed fellowship out for a spin. And you know what? It turned out to be pretty good.

Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…

Let Them Come!

by Traveller

Let Them Come!

 

Riding Sniper

Hero (3)
Éowyn (Core Set)
Glorfindel (Foundations of Stone)
Legolas (Core Set)

Ally (29)
1x Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Curious Brandybuck (The Wastes of Eriador)
3x Defender of Rammas (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Gandalf (Core Set)
3x Imladris Stargazer (Foundations of Stone)
3x Westfold Horse-breeder (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm)

Attachment (10)
1x Black Arrow (On the Doorstep)
3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
2x Miruvor (Shadow and Flame)
3x Rohan Warhorse (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (11)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
1x Hands Upon the Bow (Shadow and Flame)

2x Stand and Fight (Core Set)
3x Unseen Strike (The Redhorn Gate)

 

Dunedain Support

Hero (3)
Beravor (Core Set)
Erkenbrand (The Antlered Crown)
Glóin (Core Set)

Ally (19)
2x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
3x Erebor Record Keeper (Khazad-dûm)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Galadriel (The Road Darkens)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)
3x Weather Hills Watchman (The Lost Realm)

Attachment (22)
1x Asfaloth (Foundations of Stone)
1x Boots from Erebor (Khazad-dûm)
3x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum)
3x Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Expert Treasure-hunter (On the Doorstep)
1x Path of Need (Foundations of Stone)
3x Ranger Provisions (Across the Ettenmoors)
2x Self Preservation (Core Set)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)

Event (9)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
2x Strider’s Path (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x We Are Not Idle (Shadow and Flame)

 

What drew me to this fellowship was the sphere distributions and deck roles. My personal approach is to split my fellowships into dedicated “fighting” and “questing” decks, usually with a sphere split of tactics/leadership for combat and spirit/lore or spirit/leadership for questing. In Let Them Come!, the decks share the combat responsibilities: Dunedain Support handles defense while Riding Sniper range-kills stuff with Legolas. Colloquially, this is known as the hammer and anvil strategy.

What makes this approach work is that, by pairing tactics with spirit, Legolas can live in a low-threat deck, which turns Unseen Strike into an amazing event. That’s right: Unseen Strike. If you’re like me, and haven’t played this card since the Dwarrowdelf cycle, let me remind you that its effects last until the end of the phase. This means that, if you have Legolas loaded up with Rohan Warhorses, Miruvors, and/or Crams, you can repeatedly reap its benefits and put mega-progress on the quest.

Dunedain Support makes sure that Riding Sniper can do its thing, which means that it does everything else: healing, card draw, location control, resource generation, sentinel defense, and even more Legolas-buffing. Though unspecialized, this deck works because the obscene card draw from lore synergizes with the obscene resource generation from leadership. There’s no need to specialize when you have the means to play everything.

If you feel that you’re stuck in the comfort of your own playstyle, you may find this fellowship refreshing. If not, then you at least have access to another effective pairing. Regardless of where your experiences lie, this is a fellowship that is certainly worth a second look.

– WanderingTook

2016-08-17_9-55-11

CotR Deck Spotlight: Flame of the Support

The introduction of RingsDB has invigorated the Lord of the Rings community, sparking creativity and enabling the sharing of ideas at a rate never before seen. With this explosive growth in new content, however, it is becoming easier and easier for interesting and exceptional work to fall through the cracks. The Deck Spotlight project is an attempt by the Cardboard of the Rings community to direct attention to deserving decks that, for one reason or another, have escaped notice.

Selected decks and fellowships might be especially unusual, creative, unique, strategic, or thematic. They might be funny, illuminating, powerful, or noteworthy for any of a number of other reasons. In all cases, however, the decks are worth a closer look. Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…

Flame of the Support

By Osyluth

Flame of the Support

Hero (3)
Beregond (The Flame of the West)
Éowyn (The Flame of the West)
Haldir of Lórien (Trouble in Tharbad)

Ally (10)
2x Anfalas Herdsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
3x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (19)
2x Ancient Mathom (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Black Arrow (On the Doorstep)
2x Bow of the Galadhrim (The Nîn-in-Eilph)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Lembas (Trouble in Tharbad)
2x Raven-winged Helm (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Rivendell Blade (Road to Rivendell)
2x Rivendell Bow (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (21)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
2x Deep Knowledge (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Desperate Defense (The Flame of the West)
2x Feint (Core Set)
3x Foe-hammer (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
3x Sterner than Steel (The Flame of the West)

Player Side Quest (1)
1x Double Back (Escape from Mount Gram)

There I was at the Thursday evening Siege of Annuminas FFG GenCon event, teamed up with three completely random players for the second “middle” stage of the quest. We just sort of picked whatever combination of decks would not cause hero conflicts. Fortunately, I saw this deck from across the table.

Credit must be given to Seastan’s The Deck you Want Your Friend to Play for inspiring this deck, but this is a clever update that I’m spotlighting for a very timely purpose:

So often I just want to effectively use my new cards! Sure, I like the challenge of figuring out how to build a new deck with a new hero, but sometimes I just want a good deck to hit the table so I can see my new cardboard in action. This deck does just this. The new spirit and tactics events are in there as well as our new heroes. Heck, there’s probably even space to sneak in the new attachments is you would like.

Here’s why I love this hero combination:

  • Eowyn keeps your starting threat low to enable Haldir
  • Beregond is a great defender who reduces other player’s threat
  • Eowyn with the Rivendell Bow can smash an enemy from across the table

We absolutely dominated our portion of quest and we were in the fortunate situation to always decline Annuminas’s phase 2 bonuses and enable the other two player groups. Now, it was of course a team effort and the other three decks certainly pulled their weight, but this deck was clutch for us so many times.

 

deck-spotlight-top-10-songs-of-3016

CotR Deck Spotlight: Top 10 Songs of 3016

The introduction of RingsDB has invigorated the Lord of the Rings community, sparking creativity and enabling the sharing of ideas at a rate never before seen. With this explosive growth in new content, however, it is becoming easier and easier for interesting and exceptional work to fall through the cracks. The Deck Spotlight project is an attempt by the Cardboard of the Rings community to direct attention to deserving decks that, for one reason or another, have escaped notice.

Selected decks and fellowships might be especially unusual, creative, unique, strategic, or thematic. They might be funny, illuminating, powerful, or noteworthy for any of a number of other reasons. In all cases, however, the decks are worth a closer look.

 

If you listened to Episode 103, you heard me talking up the “inspired by” feature on RingsDB, which allows an author to link to a deck that it was derived from. Not only does this give credit where credit is due, but it also lets future deck-seekers trace a deck’s lineage; maybe some cards were changed to support a specific strategy, or maybe the deck was being updated to a more current version of the cardpool.

In honour of this feature, today I will showcase a fun little ditty that was derived from an FFG staff deck, and one from which I have myself drawn inspiration.

Join us today, as CoTR shines a spotlight on…

Top 10 Songs of 3016

by wilecki

http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/2411/top-10-songs-of-3016-2.0

 

Hero (3)
Bifur (Khazad-dûm)
Bilbo Baggins (The Hunt for Gollum)
Gríma (The Voice of Isengard)

Ally (20)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
1x Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
2x Isengard Messenger (The Voice of Isengard)
1x Longbeard Elder (Foundations of Stone)
1x Longbeard Map-Maker (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Longbeard Orc Slayer (Core Set)
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
3x Rivendell Minstrel (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x Warden of Healing (The Long Dark)

Attachment (17)
1x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Forest Snare (Core Set)
3x Love of Tales (The Long Dark)
2x Miruvor (Shadow and Flame)
1x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)
3x Song of Kings (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Thror’s Map (Over Hill and Under Hill)

Event (13)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x Durin’s Song (Khazad-dûm)
1x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)
1x Lay of Nimrodel (The Morgul Vale)
2x Mithrandir’s Advice (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)

 

Decks in the Dwarrowdelf, Part One, originally published in an FFG staff deck article, was brought to RingsDB by Amerithrash (thank you for that). While the original played on Love of Tales, wilecki has taken the song deck in a darker direction. Top 10 Songs of 3016 adds Grima as backup vocalist to cash in on Middle Earth’s gothic rock movement.

The idea works rather well.  Like most resource advantage in the lore sphere, Love of Tales is slow to get going. Grima speeds things up considerably.  By mitigating the early-game tempo hit, you can cash in on Love of Tales in the mid-game without having sacrificed your board state.  That means you’ll have loads of cash to spend on your high-cost allies, Lay of Nimrodel, or Longbeard Map-Maker.  Know also that this deck has been hardened by fire.  The author has finely tuned this deck, and the current iteration is capable of completing most of the Dwarrowdelf quests.

The only really downside is that significant deck space has been given up for the auxiliary support cards necessary for solo play, and you will only be playing solo, because, well… you’ll be using Grima a lot.

It’s fascinating how much wilecki has managed to alter the feel of the original deck with only a few changes.  This just goes to show that, despite the relatively small size of the player card pool (compared to the competitive LCGs), this game is rich with possibilities. So, if you don’t mind playing solo, or if your name is Brandon and you like grief-decking your friends, this deck is definitely worth a second look.

 

Now, just as wilecki drew inspiration from FFG for his deck, so to have I drawn inspiration from Top 10 Songs of 3016 (you can see my derivation here).  How about you?  Does today’s spotlight spark any ideas in your head?  Perhaps someone can find a way to make this deck more multiplayer-friendly, or maybe update it to take on The Battle of Carn Dum.  Just remember to copy one of these decks first; that way RingsDB will automatically fill out your deck’s parentage.  One day it’ll be fun to dive through the family tree to see how player strategies have evolved.

– WanderingTook