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CardShark Content - Scott Poster (12/27/2002)

With the introduction of Two Towers, the possibilities for competitive open decks have exploded. I will be taking a look at several successful Fellowship Block decks, and updating them for the open environment. I will be starting with Canadian Patrick Malboeuf’s Trust Me As You Once Did / Saruman Uruk Beatdown deck that was used at the World Championships.

The Deck:

Patrick Malboeuf

Frodo, Old Bilbo’s Heir
The One Ring, Isildur’s Bane

Adventure Deck:

Green Dragon Inn
Ettenmoors
Rivendell Terrace
Hollin
Bridge of Khazad-dum
Caras Galadhon
Anduin Confluence
Gates of Argonath
Slopes of Amon Hen

Free Peoples: 32

Gandalf, Friend of the Shirefolk x4
Legolas, Greenleaf
Gimli, Son of Gloin
Aragorn, Ranger of the North x3
Boromir, Lord of Gondor
Sam, Son of Hamfast
A Wizard is Never Late
Servant of the Secret Fire x4
Flaming Brand x2
Gimli’s Helm
Gimli’s Battle Axe
Bow of the Galadhrim
Long-knives of Legolas
Sting
Narya
Glamdring
Ranger’s Sword
Armor
Trust Me As You Once Did x2
Albert Dreary, Entertainer from Bree
Athelas
Sleep, Caradhras

Shadow: 32

Saruman, Keeper of Isengard x4
Uruk Ravager x3
Uruk Captain x3
Uruk Lieutenant x4
Saruman’s Ambition x3
Saruman’s Power
Abandoning Reason for Madness x2
Savagery to Match Their Numbers x4
Bred for Battle
Lurtz, Servant of Isengard
Orthanc Berserker x2
Troop of Uruk-hai x3
Uruk Warrior


Since Patrick’s Free Peoples side is built around the Gandalf signet, the first change I see to make is replacing Frodo, Old Bilbo’s Heir with Frodo, Tired Traveller. His ability will only be used once at most, but that is one more time than the previous version. The ring will stay the same, as I feel Isildur’s Bane is still the most versatile One Ring.

Next comes the biggest change for open, the new site path. Many players are discouraged by having to use nine new sites, but it really makes the game feel new again. With no way to play Sam from the deck, site 1 is now The Riddermark. Aragorn is still a force to be reckoned with. Site 2 is Wold of Rohan, as you need the twilight to aid your shadow. Barrows of Edoras is my choice for site 3, as I have lost games because I could not find Gandalf, or my hand was shadow heavy, and this aids in both cases. For site 4 I chose White Rocks, for added twilight against the annoying Eomer and his mounted companions. Site 5 was a difficult decision. Play Saruman from the deck, or make an Uruk cheaper. I decided on the Deep of Helm, as more often than not I am holding the Keeper of Isengard in my hand, and that with him the cheaper Uruk method is more effective. Caves of Aglarond is my site 6, as once again, it aids the Uruk fight. Site 7 was not a given also, but after testing, I concluded that Hornburg Causeway is a good choice, because with my Uruks being naturally Damage +1, they are short on vitality at this point. If they managed to keep more than 3 unbound companions alive, this will likely exhaust one of them. Wizard’s Vale (site 8) was another easy choice, even though I have found its text may as well read blank. At least it’s better than letting the Dunlending players draw cards, which is your only other choice. Finally we come to site 9, Orthanc Balcony. This will ensure your ability to put up a fight at the end.

There are few minor changes in the Free Peoples deck. I have replaced Boromir, Lord of Gondor with Eowyn, Sister-daughter of Theoden. Eowyn serves several purposes, including avoiding the dreaded King’s Room. She is also good at moving cards out of your hand, in the case you are clogged. I have taken out A Wizard is Never Late and added an “experimental” card, Well Met Indeed. I have found that if Gandalf dies, you hand clogs and you slowly lose the game. This will keep this from happening, though at an expensive cost. I have found it to be worth the twilight so far. I have removed a Flaming Brand, Albert Dreary, and Athelas, which were all wise meta-game choices at worlds, and replaced them with Betrayal of Isengard, Gandalf’s Staff, and The Tale of Gil-galad. I replaced the Ranger’s Sword with the Blade of Aragorn version, and Sleep, Caradhras became Grown Suddenly Tall.

On the Shadow Side, I also made a few changes. I replaced one of the Uruk Captains with another Uruk Ravager, as Saruman is more consistent with this site 9, and having multiple unique minions can clog your hand. I also added the fourth Saruman’s Ambition, and removed the Bred for Battle. I found Legolas, Dauntless Hunter hurts this deck, so anything to cheapen your events will help. I also replaced one of the Orthanc Berserkers with the last Troop of Uruk-hai, mostly for the uniqueness reasons. I also dumped both of the Abandoning Reason for Madness, and added a Grima, Wormtongue to slow some decks, and an Uruk Spear to kill Firefoot. Orthanc Champion replaces Lurtz, and an Uruk Stalker replaces the Uruk Warrior.

So here is the current deck list:

Scott Poster

Frodo, Tired Traveller
The One Ring, Isildur’s Bane

Adventure Deck:

The Riddermark
Wold of Rohan
Barrows of Edoras
White Rocks
Deep of Helm
Caves of Aglarond
Hornburg Causeway
Wizard’s Vale
Orthanc Balcony

Free Peoples: 32

Gandalf, Friend of the Shirefolk x4
Legolas, Greenleaf
Gimli, Son of Gloin
Aragorn, Ranger of the North x3
Eowyn, Sister-daughter of Theoden
Sam, Son of Hamfast
Well Met Indeed
Servant of the Secret Fire x4
Flaming Brand
Gimli’s Helm
Gimli’s Battle Axe
Bow of the Galadhrim
Long-knives of Legolas
The Tale of Gil-galad
Sting
Narya
Glamdring
Gandalf’s Staff
Ranger’s Sword, Blade of Aragorn
Armor
Trust Me as You Once Did x2
Betrayal of Isengard
Grown Suddenly Tall


Shadow: 32

Saruman, Keeper of Isengard x4
Uruk Ravager x4
Uruk Captain x2
Uruk Lieutenant x4
Saruman’s Ambition x4
Saruman’s Power
Savagery to Match Their Numbers x4
Orthanc Berserker
Troop of Uruk-hai x4
Grima, Wormtongue
Uruk Spear
Orthanc Champion
Uruk Stalker

Please reply to sgposter@msn.com with questions and comments. Suggestions are more than welcome, they are appreciated! I hope to have my next deck “conversion” up soon, as well as a few Two Towers decks. Let me know if you have a deck of deck idea you want covered!


Scott Poster
Sgposter@msn.com




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