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CardShark Content - John Curran (4/13/2003)

With the announcement of Standard Format and the X-List, people are trying to find the next big deck that will dominate the tournament scene. Most people take a look at what cards were banned and think that Nazgul will be the most dominate shadow side in Standard Format and they might be. This article is to help new and old players find Free People decks that will counter the Nazgul threat that is coming in the coming Standard Format games that most people will be playing in. This article will show how to use Rohan Culture cards to beat the Nazgul menace.

First we will take a look at the Rohan Culture and how they can deal with the Nazgul threat in Standard Format. The first and best defense from the Nazgul is Eomer, Third Marshall of the Riddermark. He is a beast against almost all shadow cultures. With Firefoot and his spear Eomer is really hard to beat. Against most Nazgul with 2 wounds on them Eomer is a 13 Strength and that beats most Nazgul but to put the wounds on them there is a couple of ways you can do it. First, is the mounts that most people think of when people say Rohan. All of the mounts make the opposing minions exert when the skirmish starts which for Eomer means a +2 strength before anyone can do anything.

The mounts also help the Elite Riders. Elite Riders are 6 strength and +2 strength when fighting a wounded minion, and when they have a mount the Nazgul will always have a wound. So with a mount and any Rohan weapon they will be a base 10 strength against any Nazgul. Then the allies are there to help the mounted Rohan warriors.

There are a lot of Rohan allies that don’t help in most decks but I will look at the ones that help you the most to win skirmishes. First, there is Hlafwine, Village Farmhand. He exerts to make any Rohan Man Strength +2 which is a great boost for dealing with the stronger Nazgul or when they play pump cards to help them win their skirmishes. After you use him, you can use the card Well Stored to heal all of the allies every turn. Next on the ally list is Leod, Westfold Herdsman. His ability is to exert him during a skirmish to make any mounted companion strength +2. He is a great card if you use other cultures with Rohan mounts or have other mounts for companions like Arwen and Asfaloth. You can use mounted companions of any kind and have Leod in your deck to help win a skirmish.

What happens if a couple of Nazgul win some skirmishes and get their conditions on your characters? Blade Tip and Black Breath is a deadly combo for your guys. There are a couple of ways to get rid of or get around those conditions. First, is the allies who heal your companions. There are a couple of them who do this. First would be Guma, Plains Farmer. This villager exerts during the fellowship phase of your turn to heal any Rohan Man. This is good for when you only have a Blade Tip on your character. You can exert this character and heal the wound that the Blade Tip puts on you at the start of your turn. Next, is Weland, Smith of the Riddermark. He is another balanced villager cause this ally works on any mounted companion. He exerts during the fellowship phase to heal any mounted companion. That means he can work on Aragorn, Arwen and any other companion that you want. He is another great Rohan ally.

When the shadow player finally gets those conditions on your character you need ways to get them off of your characters. The Rohan culture has two decent ways of getting rid of conditions. The first one and the one I like the best is Fortress Never Fallen. This condition can get rid of any amount of conditions on the table. Everytime a Rohan companion wins a skirmish you put a Rohan token on the condition. During the regroup phase you can discard the condition to get rid of one condition for every token you have on the card. This is a really great way of getting rid of conditions when Eomer is beating on a lot of weak Nazgul or any other minion they have out. The other way of getting rid of conditions for the Rohan culture is the event Let Us Be Swift. This event has to spot 3 Valiant men to play so it makes it a little harder to play. It lets you discard up to 2 conditions and liberate a site when you play it so it has a little different text than the other one.

Those are some different ways to deal with the new Nazgul threat with the Rohan culture. They are not new ways but they are the best way to deal with the new menace, but the format is still new to me so there might be more ways to help in the future. Next time I am going to take a look at the Gondor and Elf cultures and how they can deal with the Nazgul threat.

Thanks for Reading, and have fun with the new format. I think it will be really fun an overall better for the game.

John Curran
FrodotheBurdened@aol.com if you want to talk.

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