Guardians of the West

I want to get one thing off my chest. I so badly wanted to call this deck Defenders of the West, and I’m sure that I still could, but with that pesky unique neutral attachment running around I felt like I was copying a little bit and found myself scrambling for a new name. So here it is, Guardians of the West.

The chief Hero that inspired this deck is the recently released Erkenbrand. I have been in love with this card ever since he was spoiled. I love the art, I love his effect and I’m a huge Rohan fan (isn’t everyone it seems?). It didn’t take long for me to sit down and take a crack at building a deck that worked well with Erkenbrand. His being a quality defender may have gotten the best of me, as I have built a deck centered around nothing but defenders who are eager to take evil head on. Will this come to bite me in the end and will I find my Heroes falling in battle repeatedly? We shall certainly see.

This deck is not built for Solo play, at least on paper that was not my intention. It can’t quest very well and it’s primary role is to take care of combat, particularly defending, for the other players at the table. I have added a few other cards so that my Heroes can attack and not just defend, and I’m hoping with some tweaks this deck can be fine tuned into something a little more efficient. Only time will tell.

As you already know, Erkenbrand is one of the Heroes in this lineup. I’ve also added Leadership Aragorn to the list. He is still a very versatile card and even though his threat is a little high I’m hoping with another deck handling some threat management there won’t be a problem. The third Hero was the toughest for me to choose, and I’m still having a hard time with that decision. Right now the third Hero I’m sticking with is Mablung who was also just recently released and is portrayed by the same artist who illustrated Erkenbrand.

With these three Heroes we are looking at a dual sphere Leadership/Tactics Deck that relies on combat, defending for other players and engaging enemies away from the staging area and from other players in a pinch. How do we go about doing this? Let’s start with the allies.

The first ally on the list is another recent addition to the card pool: Warden of Helm’s Deep. His cost of three might be a bit much even with two leadership heroes so my three copies might be reduced to two at a later point. Next up we have the classic Gondorian Spearman. His sentinel ability is, of course, right in line with what I am hoping to achieve with this deck. His direct damage ability is an added bonus and depending on how he is used he could potentially destroy an enemy before they get to attack, though I imagine the latter not happening very often. Though this next ally doesn’t have sentinel he can certainly control what enemies go where and still provide the same sort of protection this deck is hoping to accomplish. That ally is the Westfold Outrider. With the outrider I can pull enemies out of the staging area to make sure the enemy’s threat doesn’t get out of hand or I can use him to pull an enemy away from another player in a pinch (though my sentinel characters should be able to take care of this already). Mostly I see him pulling enemies out of the staging area and acting as a way to “boost” this deck’s contribution to questing. The last ally I’ve included in this deck that pertains to supporting others is an ally I have yet to try, Guthlaf. Since I meet both of his abilities’ requirements I essentially have a low cost tactics ally with Sentinel which is exactly what I want with this deck.

I’ve included other allies in this deck but the rest of them have to deal with resource management. These are your classic Errand Rider and Squire of the Citadel. Since this is a dual sphere deck I am hoping to use these allies to move resources over to my one tactics hero should the need arise.

Now let’s cover some attachments. I won’t go into all of them in detail as this deck contains, as of right now, 29 attachments! This could be overkill, and with the growing trend of attachment hating encounter cards this could become a problem. To add to my resource generation I have included three copies of both The Day is Rising and Steward of Gondor. With these cards I can not only load up my Heroes with resources that will fuel some of my other attachments such as Gondorian Fire (3 copies) and The Heir of Mardil (3 copies) but I can also transfer any excess resources over to the other players via the Errand Rider. I’ve also included three copies each of Gondorian ShieldCaptain of Gondor, and Dunedain Warning. These attachments are primarily intended for Mablung. I would love to be able to throw Heir of Mardil on him but sadly he does not have the noble trait. Besides I’m sure this could make the combo a little overpowered. That being said with some readying effects like Cram, Mablung can fulfill the role of both attacker and defender.

As for events they are for sparse in this deck. In fact this deck only contains four! Three of them are the experimental and most likely to be removed, Tighten our Belts. Since, however, this deck is meant to be played alongside others, this 0 cost Leadership event can prove to be quite useful in the end. And finally we have a dash of flavor. At the time I was putting the deck together I only had 49 cards and needed one more to wrap things up. I decided to include just one copy of The Hammer Stroke. If things were dire and all the enemies simply had to come to me, then gosh-darn it I have the one card to do it. With some more re-arranging I’m sure I can remove this single copy of an event I most likely will never use for something more efficient but for now I’m not entirely upset with its inclusion.

I’m really excited to put this deck into practice. However I’m also curious what others may think? Are there any vital cards I am missing that could really help me out or are there some duds in here that I should swap for something else. Please feel free to let me know in the comments! The full deck list is below 🙂

Good Night Everyone!

The Secondhand Took

Deck: Guardians of the West

Hero: (3)
1x Aragorn (Core Set)
1x Erkenbrand (The Antlered Crown)
1x Mablung (The Nin-in-Eilph)

Ally: (17)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Numenor)
3x Warden of Helm’s Deep (The Antlered Crown)
3x Squire of the Citadel (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Gondorian Spearman (Core Set)
2x Guthlaf (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Westfold Outrider (The Voice of Isengard)

Attachment: (29)
2x Celebrian’s Stone (Core Set)
3x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
3x Dunedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Heir of Mardil (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x The Day’s Rising (The Antlered Crown)
3x Captain of Gondor (The Antlered Crown)
3x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Gondorian Fire (Assault on Osgiliath)

Event: (4)
3x Tighten Our Belts (The Nin-in-Eilph)
1x The Hammer-stroke (The Blood of Gondor)


5 thoughts on “Guardians of the West

  1. It looks like this deck could be a powerful bulwark of the West. I recently tried out Mablung and found his extra Tactics resource nearly every round to be huge! I had initially included Captain of Gondor in this deck as well and it wasn’t until the first time intended to play it that I realized it keys on the Warrior trait and could not go on Mablung.

    My suggestion is to lose the three copies (a thematic misfortune, I know) and replace them with Blood of Númenor. Celebrian’s Stone will give you access to Spirit for this card and it will allow you to block hulking boss enemies late in the game without a scratch. It also fits the theme perfectly!


    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I actually have a mono spirit deck that I was keeping in mind as I was designing this defender deck. The mono spirit deck does have 3 copies of blood of numenor in there. Do you think that would be enough?


  2. The other thing I’d suggest is getting some card draw in there. I think there is a good chance you run this deck and only see a dozen cards total from your 50 before the game is over. That’s no fun!


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