Filling out my Fellowship

I am looking for good filler cards to make up the rest of my new Lord of the Rings Card Game deck.

I now have a fighty Tactics hero to help take out the Mirkwood spiders, but this means I am without a Lore hero, and so I am missing healing and card drawing.

What I need to do is go through all the sets and see what is available to do this sort of thing from the three spheres I do have.

While I am at it I will list all the abilities, not just healing and drawing. This should come in handy in the future as a reference.

Here is the list. I couldn’t get it to look right in a table, so I have attached it as a pdf.

Lord of the Rings Card Game – Card Effects by Sphere

The first thing that hits me is that there is no real healing outside of Lore. (Radagast only heals creatures). This is a mighty pain. Without healing, getting into fights is very dangerous. I need find other ways to stop my heroes dying.

Necromancer's ReachOne way is to prevent getting wounded in the first place.

I noticed most damage occurs when a particularly bad shadow card is added to an enemy during a fight. A shadow card is a surprise card that can give that enemy an extra random bonus. Even a tough defender can be beaten by a bad shadow card.

The other common source of damage is from treachery cards. These are like shadow cards, but are revealed during quests. Some of these are truly awful. I’m looking at you, Necromancer’s Reach.

The strategy for avoiding both of these is to use cancellation effects. Luckily, both Spirit and Leadership have cards that can handle this role such as Hasty Stroke, A Test of Will, and Dunedain Watcher.

Dunedain WatcherAnother approach is to not avoid damage, but to bring my heroes and allies back from the dead. Spirit and Tactics have ways of doing this, but they are very expensive. I’m pretty sure my heroes can’t afford these effects. I will stick to cancelling bad cards.

So now I have a plan for keeping my heroes alive, next I need a plan for drawing more cards. This is my plan number two, which is the second plan that I need. Ahem.

Currently I am using Ancient Mathom, which lets me draw cards after I explore a location. (‘Mathom’ is a hobbit word for a bundle of stuff squirrelled away for the future).

Another option is Valiant Sacrifice, which gives me cards when an ally dies.

I can’t help thinking that getting cards when things go wrong is better than getting cards when things are going well, so I will add in some Valiant Sacrifice.

BofurBofur (one of the thirteen dwarves from The Hobbit) is a nice fighting ally and he has the ability to search my deck for weapons. This isn’t exactly card draw per se, but he gets cards out of my deck which is known as ‘thinning’ the deck.

So now I have some cards to fill in the gaps. Putting these together with the partial list from last time gives me this 50-card deck list:

  • 3 x Gandalf
  • 2 x Gondoran Spearman
  • 2 x Vassal of the Windlord
  • 2 x Veteran Axehand
  • 1 x Bofur
  • 3 x Rivendell Blade
  • 3 x Feint
  • 2 x Goblin-Cleaver
  • 1 x Blade of Gondolin
  • 3 x Sneak Attack
  • 3 x Snowbourn Scout
  • 3 x Steward of Gondor
  • 3 x Guard of the Ciradel
  • 2 x Dunedain Watcher
  • 2 x Valiant Sacrifice
  • 2 x Arwen Undomiel
  • 2 x West Road Traveller
  • 2 x Riddermark’s Finest
  • 1 x Ancient Mathom
  • 2 x Unexpected Courage
  • 1 x Light of Valinor
  • 3 x A Test of Will
  • 2 x Hasty Stroke

“Hi-Ho! Hi-ho! It’s off to Mirkwood we go…”