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CardShark Content - John Curran (4/25/2003)

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 Standard Format games in which many people will be playing. This second installment of the series will focus on how to use Gondor and Elf culture cards to help deal with those nasty Nazgul.

No Flaming Brand, no Filbert, no O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!, no automatic win at site 9, so what will you do now? How will you deal with the Nazgul that come down every site. Gondor and the Elvish culture have a couple of ways of doing this. The first thing most players think of when they take a look at those cultures is archery. Lots and lots of archery. Now most Nazgul players get between 2-3 Nazgul a turn, so you have between 6-10 wounds you have to deal to the Nazgul before they are all gone. That’s a lot, but it’s not impossible to get a couple each turn to make some of those minions go away.

Some of the best Archery cards in the game are for the Elf and Gondor cultures. Legolas, Greenleaf, Aragorn’s Bow, Double Shot, Gondor Bowmen ect..., but to effectively get rid of some Nazgul every turn you will have to use all of the archery cards effectively. To make the Nazgul die to the bows of Elves and Men you will most likely have to use a lot of archery cards as well as directed archery with Aragorn’s Bow and Greenleaf’s gametext. You can shoot up to 3 shots a turn with Aragorn and 2 with Greenleaf. That’s 5 archery shots with two guys, but then they are one wound away from death against the beefy Minions that they have to fight if they cannot kill them with archery. Now how do you kill them in the skirmish phase? First, you have to get weapons on your characters. Ranger’s Sword, Blade of Aragorn is good because it has a dual purpose against Uruks, Sword of Gondor will go on the other Gondor Men in the fellowship. A great way for Elves to win skirmishes is to use the underrated companion of the Lorien Swordsman. With the wounds on the remaining Nazgul, this swordsman will beat up on any of the Nazgul left to fight. The make any minion minus two strength for each wound on the minion. This companion along with the event Feathered, and Flashing Steel leaves not many minions able to beat the Lorien Swordsman.

Other ways of giving minions wounds are Defend it and Hope, Ithilien Trap, Ranger’s Bow. A Ranger’s Bow with Mablung means almost certain death to any minion he is fighting. Ring-Bound Rangers have many ways of wounding minions. New Errand gives a way for wounding a strong minions after a small minion is defeated. Gondorian Ranger making minions fighting Ring-Bound Men site plus 2 along with Sword of Gondor and War and Valor can make any minion die to damage bonuses. Four Gondorian Ranger’s can any minion roaming in the skirmish phase well past site nine. Which gives Ring-Bound Ranger’s a huge bonus when fighting them. One of the best cards when using Ring-Bound Rangers is Faramir’s Bow cause he can exert to wound any roaming minion or any man. Those cards can make any Ring-Bound Ranger deck a force to be reckoned with in Standard Format.

With Standard Format now out and being played all over the world, players are looking with new ways to win. This article and those that will come out soon will help players find new ways to win and find older cards that will help out in new decks. I hope that all players will have fun with the new format and with this game in the future.

If you wanna talk more about anything just E-mail at FrodotheBurdened@aol.com. AIM name FrodotheBurdened

Thanks for reading

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