Lord of the Rings LCG: the road goes ever on

After yesterday’s blog where I decided that I wanted to play some Lord of the Rings LCG again, I did in fact get a game in with the first scenario from A Shadow in the East, The River Running. I was using two of my favourite decks to attempt the scenario, elves (headed by Legolas, Elrond and Glorfindel) and dwarves (Daín Ironfoot, Ori and Óin). These decks have been used for many years as I took on a variety of quests from early in the game’s run, always to quite magnificent results. The dwarf deck is something of a powerhouse when it gets going, thanks to the fact that dwarves as a theme have been so well-explored as a deck type. The elves do sometimes need a bit more planning, but the deck is still quite successful. Together, I thought they’d be tremendous!

Well, that was my first mistake. I think the reliance on cards from comparatively early in the game, when playing scenarios from the eighth and final cycle really showed how far things had come along! Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of cards from the core set that have retained their power throughout the whole life of the game, and thanks to my general confusion at times (it’s been almost a year since I last played!) I did manage to get through it in one piece!

But I’ve decided that I want to pretty much entirely redesign my decks, because there is a huge plethora of cards that I’m not using, and by sticking to themes so rigidly I’m missing out on too much. When I was building the two decks for my journey into Angmar, I took a wildly different approach to the norm, and it really paid off for me, I think.

I’ve therefore completely disassembled the dwarf deck ( which, in fairness, relied a lot on Underground/Mountain/Dark locations triggering effects, anyway), and the elf deck has been stripped down to be rebuilt with Aragorn in the mix. That’s right, original, core set Aragorn! Those old cards still have a lot of power, remember!

I like having him in a deck, even if his starting threat is pretty huge, though that is offset in a deck which also has the Spirit version of Glorfindel, because they still only start at 26 in total. I’ve got a lot of Spirit cards in the deck, but Aragorn has that stone attachment which also gives him specifically the Spirit icon, so it’s good that way.

I’ve pulled in cards from all across the history of the game, which is very exciting, so that I can get some interesting stuff going on – well, I hope it’s going to be interesting! One of the things that has surprised me with this deck is the extent to which I’m going to be able to buff willpower, but I’m hoping that it will be a good all-rounder, as the heroes have good attacking strength, too.

This deck is broadly still elves, then, with some more cards added in from the realms of men, to supplement Aragorn’s presence. I think I’ve tried, so far as possible, to have an equal spread among the three spheres. It’s something that I invariably struggle with in games of Lord of the Rings LCG, having one sphere where I either get no cards, or too many cards, so one hero ends up with all the resources because they don’t have anything to play.

I’ve tried to mitigate against that in my revamped Rohan deck, however, by using the full suite of Song cards to share out icons.

The major change to this deck came about when I decided to use the elf twins, Elladan and Elrohir, in some capacity. Elladan as a Tactics hero and Elrohir as a Spirit ally was running around my head, so the Rohan triumvirate of Dúnhere, Éomer and Theodred came to an end! But as with dwarves and elves before them, it had served me well! The original deck was dual-sphere, but I’ve decided to broaden things out with the addition of Faramir as a Lore hero. He brings with him the Gondor theme, as well as a bunch of interesting attachments. It’s another interesting, all-rounder deck, and I think it could be nice to run alongside the Aragorn deck to get a good Fellowship feel going!

At any rate, it felt like it was going to be A Task to build new decks for this game, but as it turned out, I’ve really enjoyed it! I think it’s definitely getting me excited for cracking on with the Vengeance of Mordor cycle, at any rate!! However, looking through the card pool has made me really nostalgic for the earlier quests