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CardShark Content - Scott Poster (6/12/2003)


Starting Fellowship:
Frodo, Son of Drogo
The One Ring, Answer to All Riddles
Gandalf, The Grey Pilgrim

Adventure Path:
Western Emyn Muil
Fangorn Forest
Golden Hall
White Mountains
Deep of Helm
Great Hall
Cavern Entrance
Nan Curunir
Orthanc Balcony

Free Peoples (40+1):
Companions (9)
Aragorn, Ranger of the North
Arwen, Daughter of Elrond
Haldir, Emissary of the Galadhrim
Legolas, Greenleaf
Lindenroot, Elder Shepherd
Merry, Learned Guide (2)
Pippin, Just a Nuisance
Sam, Proper Poet
Possessions (1)
Frying Pan
Allies (14)
Albert Dreary, Entertainer from Bree
Elrond, Lord of Rivendell (4)
Erland, Advisor to Brand
Filibert Bolger, Wily Rascal
Galadriel, Lady of Light (3)
Ottar, Man of Laketown (2)
Rumil, Elven Protector
Treebeard, Earthborn
Events (16)
A Wizard Is Never Late (2)
Curse Their Foul Feet!
Foul Creation (3)
Grown Suddenly Tall (2)
Severed His Bonds (4)
Swiftly and Softly (4)

Shadow (41):
Minions (25)
Lurtz, Servant of Isengard
Saruman, Keeper of Isengard (3)
Tower Assassin (2)
Troop of Uruk-hai (3)
Uruk Captain (2)
Uruk Lieutenant (4)
Uruk Ravager (4)
Uruk Regular (4)
Uruk Stalker (2)
Artifacts (2)
Palantir of Orthanc (2)
Conditions (6)
No Business of Ours
Saruman’s Ambition (4)
Events (8)
Abandoning Reason for Madness (2)
Saruman’s Power (2)
Savagery to Match Their Numbers (4)

Reasons for specific card choices:
1. Frodo, Son of Drogo: Merry, Learned Guide does a wonderful job of removing wounds from Frodo, then discarding and healing in the process.
2. The One Ring, Answer to All Riddles: Even though the Cavern Entrance can be your downfall, the extra vitality is useful with Merry’s ability.
3. Gandalf, The Grey Pilgrim: His card drawing ability sets up both the Fellowship and Shadow strategies in this deck.
4. Western Emyn Muil: Puts Faramir at 2 vitality, keeping him from fighting effectively, and does not hurt your own deck. You do not need to pull any companions, and would need to draw an unbound companion to do so anyway.
5. Fangorn Forest: Treebeard is a key to the deck. Also thins the deck out.
6. Golden Hall: The one Frying Pan is your only weapon. Stops opponent from getting his companions built up.
7. White Mountains: Makes the 3 vitality companions suffer against Uruks.
8. Deep of Helm: Many times you either win or severely cripple your opponent here.
9. Great Hall: Does nothing, helping no one.
10. Cavern Entrance: A secondary kill site.
11. Nan Curinir: Twilight!
12. Orthanc Balcony: Guaranteed Saruman all the time.
13. Aragorn, Ranger of the North: The one card that disobeys the unwritten rules of Chief Counselor, you can use Curse Their Foul Feet! and Foul Creation to play him safely. Playing him is most beneficial against Moria for site 7, and Uruks for site 5.
14. Arwen, Daughter of Elrond: Nazgul are still out there, and she is an elf for purposes of Galadriel, Curse, and Foul Creation.
15. Haldir, Emissary of the Galadhrim: Good against decks that can’t control sites, better against those who do; and he is an elf for purposes of Galadriel, Curse, and Foul Creation.
16. Legolas, Greenleaf: Still the Elven superstar, and he is an elf for purposes of Galadriel, Curse, and Foul Creation.
17. Lindenroot, Elder Shepherd: Great against Isengard in any form, and gets the unneeded cards out of your hand.
18. Merry, Learned Guide: Saves you many times, and with ents forms a great team. Possibly the true “heart” of this fellowship.
19. Pippin, Just a Nuisance: Should only be played against Uruks, generally your tenth companion.
20. Sam, Proper Poet: He tales on multiple minions, and can cancel with stealths. Having a second ring-bearer never hurts either.
21. Frying Pan: Moria can hurt, this keeps them from stacking their minions.
22. Albert Dreary, Entertainer from Bree: Good against Moria and Isengard.
23. Elrond, Lord of Rivendell: The set-up man for this deck helps you see what you need.
24. Erland, Advisor to Brand: Helps you cycle by avoiding the Palantir.
25. Filibert Bolger, Wily Rascal: Good against almost any deck.
26. Galadriel, Lady of Light: Free elves are good, and she is an elf for purposes of Curse Their Foul Feet! and Foul Creation.
27. Ottar, Man of Laketown: Cycle cards like mad in combo with Elrond.
28. Rumil, Elven Protector: More anti-Moria.
29. Treebeard, Earthborn: Saves your discard hobbits, and wins skirmishes easily at sites 2 and 8.
30. A Wizard is Never Late: 4 different choices on who to pull, thins the deck and gets what you need.
31. Curse Their Foul Feet!: Shuts down orcs before their key sites, and you get to plan ahead.
32. Foul Creation: Shuts down Isengard before their key sites, draws cards, and you get to plan ahead.
33. Grown Suddenly Tall: Kills Moria and other condition based decks.
34. Severed His Bonds: While only canceling at 3 sites, becomes more useful in the late game.
35. Swiftly and Softly: Cancels skirmishes half the way, including site 5 against Uruks.
36. Lurtz, Servant of Isengard: Biggest minion in the deck, does 5 possible wounds, and with Savagery can be a one man wrecking crew.
37. Saruman, Keeper of Isengard: Great minion, but does not win games by himself. Still, your key minion.
38. Tower Assassin: Kills pesky allies.
39. Troop of Uruk-hai: Big vitality gets around weapons. Puts the wounds on.
40. Uruk Captain: Good minion, great ability. Gets your choice of Uruk back.
41. Uruk Lieutenant: Big man in the swarm.
42. Uruk Ravager: An evil wizard’s best friend aids in the swarm.
43. Uruk Regular: Makes the swarm not only possible, but also probable.
44. Uruk Stalker: Good, but when allies die, he is a beast.
45. Palantir of Orthanc: Keep events from ruining your day, as well as slow your opponent. Gives you something to do while setting up your hand.
46. Greed: Control their size without Ulaire Enquea.
47. No Business of Ours: Shuts down Foul Creation.
48. Saruman’s Ambition: A staple of all Uruk decks.
49. Abandoning Reason for Madness: Dumps useless stuff and sets up your kill.
50. Saruman’s Power: Stops many free peoples strategies without hurting yourself too much.
51. Savagery to Match Their Numbers: Best strength adding event in the game, can overwhelm many companions with this alone.

Game Play:
Start by bidding one at the most, unless you know your match-up. You chose to go second if possible but could win either way.

Free Peoples:
Avoid getting 2 burdens before site 9, as that will only help your opponent, and in open that could mean an Ulaire Nertea, which means more minions. Grima, Chief Counselor could hurt you, so be careful with your Aragorn. Let him die if you fear Grima. Your stealth events will let you live on little at the start, but play what you get, and don’t worry about twilight or Ulaire Enquea. Use your Foul Creations, Curse Their Foul Feet!, and Aragorn when you need them most, which is moving to 5 against Uruks, and 7 against Moria.

Ideally, your fellowship will allow you to set up the perfect hand. Hold a Saruman, along with Regulars, a Captain, Ravagers, and Lieutenants. Everything else can be dropped as soon as possible, keeping some flow. The Palantir will allow you to slow them up while putting minimal pressure on them. After you get to site 5, drop it on them. Your hand should be nearly full of minions every turn following, so they will have little time to recover. You would be amazed how well an early Saruman will stop them alone, with the threat of a swarm.

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