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CardShark Content - Josh Bader (8/27/2002)

Frodo, Reluctant Adventurer
The One Ring, Isildur’s Bane

Adventure Deck
1 - Shire Lookout Point
2 - Ettenmoors
3 - Rivendell Waterfall
4 - Dwarrowdelf Chamber
5 - The Bridge Of Khazad-Dum
6 - Galadriel’s Glade
7 - Anduin Confluence
8 - Pillars Of The King
9 - Slopes Of Amon Hen

Free Peoples (36)
Gimli, Dwarf Of The Mountain Race
Legolas, Prince Of Mirkwood
Gimli’s Battle Axe x2
Merry, Friend To Sam
Gimli’s Helm
Sam, Proper Poet
Aragorn, King In Exile
Aragorn, Ranger Of The North x2
Thror’s Map x2 (Long Knives x2 post-errata)
Boromir, Son Of Denethor
Bow Of The Galadhrim x2
Glamdring x2
Flaming Brand x2
Pippin, Hobbit Of Some Intelligence
Sting x2
Gandalf’s Cart
Ranger’s Sword
Gandalf, Friend Of The Shirefolk x3
Gandalf’s Staff
Sleep Caladhras x2
Mithril Coat
A Wizard Is Never Late x2
Albert Dreary, Entertainer From Bree
Armor x2

Shadow Side (36)
The Balrog, Durin’s Bane
Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant Of Morgul x2
Ulaire Nelya, Ringwraith In Twilight x2
Orc Inquisitor x2
Saruman’s Ambition x4
Savagery To Match Their Numbers x4
Uruk Captain
Uruk Scout x4 (Uruk Warrior x4 post errata)
Troop Of Urukhai x4
Uruk Rager x4
Urukhai Raiding Party x4
Beyond The Height Of Men x2
Alive And Unspoiled x2

Strategy –
I bid two most games although in the final confrontation I switched my bid around each game (2, 1, and 3 respectively) The biggest advantage of the Shire Lookout Point is that it really doesn’t help most opponents, but it can help you a little. The cart gives this deck some fantastic cycling on the fellowship side.

Vs Nazgul – Well I won this match up the one time I faced it during the TOC, but I went about 50-50 with it in play testing. Both shadow sides are designed to slow down your opponent, so often the critical distinction comes in who goes first. Try to keep the fellowship small (4 companions) against Nazgul

Vs Urukhai – One of your better match ups. Gandalf’s huge size and strength combined with Aragorn’s strength and armor will often make it difficult for your opponent to do much damage with less than 3 minions.

Vs Moria –This deck destroys Moria every single time (lost one of the final confrontations due to no Aragorn, Gandalf, or Boromir before site 7) Drop all the companions and remember to use the Battle Axe and the Bow to whittle down their minions.

Vs Sauron – Also an excellent match up. I handily defeated the Bowmen deck I faced. The 2 Sleeps and the sheer number of pin cushion companions will make his life very difficult.

The one big errata that hurts this deck is the loss of Thror’s Map. By far the most powerful card in the game, it needed the errata. Several of my wins at the TOC I credited solely to an early game Map draw. Having your sites and being able to move quickly is a huge advantage. For those of you looking to build it now, you may want to consider how to add in Speak Friend and Enter or Pathfinder if Moria or Nazgul are popular in your area. (These are the decks where the site control is often most useful.)
My other big advice is to always evaluate your Balrog’s potential before you play anything to the bridge. If it looks like your Balrog will kill two companions or exhaust a critical one and kill another, play him. Otherwise don’t (unless what you have in hand isn’t going to do much either.) Remember your trying to slow your opponent down, not necessarily kill him.

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