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CardShark Content - Carl Craig (5/14/2003)

Starting Fellowship:
The One Ring, Isildur’s Bane
Frodo, Reluctant Adventurer
Arwen, Daughter of Elrond
Legolas Greenleaf

Site Path:
1. The Riddermark (Pull Aragorn)
2. Wold of Rohan (Extra Twilight for my Nazgul if I go second + it’s a Plains)
3. Barrows of Edoras (Very useful when I get a great FP hand to play initially)
4. Westermet Hills (I can heal Arwen with Asfaloth here, but its important cause it’s another plains site)
5. Hornburg Parapet (Great for my FP archery total)
6. Hornburg Armory (I have a lot possessions)
7. Hornburn Causeway (Anti large fellowships and is great for my FP archery)
8. Nan Curunir (Good for my Nazgul with their Black Steed’s)
9. Palantir Chamber (Very handy should your opponent have any burden’s at this site)

Free Peoples (33):
1x Saga of Elendil
1x The Tale of Gil-Galad
3x Aragorn, Heir of Elendil
1x Aragorn’s Bow
2x Faramir Son of Denethor
1x Faramir’s Bow
2x Boromir, Lord of Gondor
3x Sword of Gondor
1x Elrond Herald to Gil-Galad
1x Galadriel Lady of the Golden Wood
3x Last Alliance of Elves and Men
3x Gondor Bowmen
1x Citadel of Minus Tirith
2x Swordsman of the Northern Kingdom
2x Swordarm of the White Tower
1x Gwemegil
1x Asfaloth
1x Sing, Baggin’s Heirloom
1x Sam, Son of Hamfast

Shadow (33):
3x Ulaire Cantea Lieutenant of Dol-Guldur
2x Ulaire Attea Keeper of Dol-Guldur
3x Ulaire Enquea Lieutenant of Morgul
2x Ulaire Otsea, Lieutenant of Morgul
2x The Witch-King Lord of Angmar
4x Morgul Gates
4x Black Steed
2x Blade Tip
4x Nazgul Sword
1x Bill Ferny Swarthy Sneering Fellow
1x Too Great and Terrible
1x The Pale Blade
1x Fear
1x Helpless
2x Grima Wormtongue

It doesn’t matter if this deck goes first or second as you have a lot of chances of still getting all of the Gondor guys (with their toys) out in a single game not to mention that ‘The Riddermark’ is the most common site 1 used in my area. For example, only 1 out of 10 decks at the Big Weekend tourney used a site other than ‘The Riddermark’ so that gave a probability of 90% that you’d come up against that site. If your meta game is different, then you may opt to go first just to get your Riddermark out for Aragorn, if this is the case then bidding 2 should suffice, with Sam being splashed in there to get rid of them before site 9 (In case of Palantir Chamber).

The Free Peoples side is quite simple really – in fact the whole deck is, perhaps that’s why it works well I’m not sure? Anyway – the key is to get your guys and possession’s out ASAP BUT be aware of Grima Wormtongue, he’s in nearly every deck out there – and he can surprise any one of us Soooooo…. To fix this, Saga of Elendil is meant for Faramir with his bow (remember he’s Ringbound so Grima WT cant touch him ;-) And in a worse case senario, if you were to pile up everything on Aragorn (eg. Bow, sword, last alliance + saga) then he’s always going to be the ONLY one that can be targeted by Grima WT. All other character’s are designed to only hold 2 possession’s at a time.

This deck doesn’t require athelas in case your wondering? With Elrond, Galadriel + Citadel there is more than enough healing between sanctuaries.

I’ve found that condition removal isn’t that important with my deck – as it is designed to run ahead when needed and to slow down the opponent with my Nazgul side of things – so Shadow condition’s don’t have much time to kick in if the game’s going fast (this deck can run well even against other Nazgul + Isengard Tracker decks).

You’ve got Swordarm of the White Tower for making a killer Aragorn and Swordsman of the Northern Kingdom to play on any Ranger, which includes Arwen for when you want to totally wipe out a Nazgul or 2 ;-)

The Shadow Nazgul side of things is also simple. It’s a classic beat em down style deck with a few minor twists. Its sole design is to slow your opponent down, which in effect gives you more control of the game although with a enough twilight at site 2 and 3 you can actually really hurt their fellowship.

Cantea’s there to discard weapons, with Grima WT to get rid of them in bulk. Enquea deals with large fellowship’s (which is why I opted for Grima Wormtongue instead of Chief Counsellor). Otsea is cheap and nasty with possession’s (make himself fierce). Attea is mean with a lot of twilight (or against Gandalf White Wizard type decks). Bill Ferny can really let Nazgul hurt your opponent at site 2. Fear’s there to get rid of Elrond’s and Galadriel’s mainly. Helpless shuts down decks that splash Sam in their decks but more importantly can really hurt Smeagol/Promise type strategies. Too great and terrible can be the quick answer to totally killing your opponents Gandalf heavy deck (those Servant of the Secret fire’s will only clog up your hand after that ;-)
There are plenty of Plains sites available in Two Towers to make your Black Steed’s really effective, and if your opponent happens to bid 3 burden’s or higher with no immediate way of getting rid of them then the Nazgul Sword kicks in too ;-)

Final Word:
This is a Very Competitive deck for Standard Format – it went 5 rounds undefeated at The Big Weekend Tournament (which was quite an important one for the year) here in Brisbane Australia against some of the top players. Please remember that your meta game maybe different to ours thus condition removal maybe extremely important so you might throw in a company of archers OR secret sentinels, or maximum healing might be important too so a few athelas might be a good idea? The main thin to remember though is to keep the deck size low when playing with Nazgul – you want to increase the probability of getting the right cards early in the game too so keeping it at 33 cards aside is just right.
Also notice how there are only 3 cultures in the FP side of things ;-) NO Grima Chief Counsellor is going to hurt you ;-)

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