Master Frodo

Being a huge fan of the novels and the movies I have a hard time straying away from theme when building decks for this game. For Frodo I wanted to build a deck that consisted of Heroes that were part of Frodo’s journey to Rivendell. This could include any of the Hobbits (except Bilbo probably), Aragorn, and even Glorfindel.

To go even further into the theme I figured I could go with a deck that managed locations and questing, bringing out more of that theme of Frodo trudging through the wilderness with Aragorn after they’ve left Bree. This led me to a trio of Heroes that I encountered before, and was a deck that I used to help get me over the hurtle everyone seems to feel starting out that this game is too hard.

It’s a deck by none other than Glaurung, a well known LOTR: LCG player who excels at making Solo decks that can handle a great number of quests. The deck he created contains Frodo Baggins (obviously), Lore Aragorn or Loragorn, and Spirit Glorfindel. He calls this deck: Master Frodo. Check out his deck list below!

DECK: Master Frodo

Hero (3)
Aragorn (TWitW) x1
Frodo Baggins (CatC) x1
Glorfindel (FoS) x1

Ally (19)
Arwen Undomiel (TWitW) x2
Elfhelm (TDM) x1
Escort from Edoras (AJtR) x3
Gandalf (OHaUH) x3
Gleowine (Core) x2
Haldir of Lorien (AJtR) x2
Henamarth Riversong (Core) x2
Warden of Healing (TLD) x2
Master of the Forge (SaF) x2

Attachment (17)
Asfaloth (FoS) x2
Fast Hitch (TDM) x2
Forest Snare (Core) x2
Good Meal (TRG) x2
Light of Valinor (FoS) x3
Resourceful (TWitW) x2
Song of Wisdom (CatC) x2
Unexpected Courage (Core) x2

Event (14)
A Test of Will (Core) x3
Dwarven Tomb (Core) x2
Elrond’s Counsel (TWitW) x3
Fortune or Fate (Core) x1
Stand and Fight (Core) x2
The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core) x2
Will of the West (Core) x1

Glaurung describes the deck as “all about Frodo.” Using Frodo as the key defender our threat will go up quite frequently. If we don’t manage to get a Light of Valinor on Glorfindel our threat will go up all the more quickly. However Glaurung includes many cards, and LorAgorn as well that can help mitigate this threat gain often. Gandalf 2.0 is also included in this deck as a pseudo 4th Hero that can help out quite a bit with the deck. His cost of increasing our threat by 2 each turn is again made rather trivial given the number of tools we have in regards to threat reduction.

Being a Solo Deck this deck has to do a lot to make sure we can even play the cards that we draw. Considering that this Hero Lineup keeps us very much out of the Leadership Sphere means that it’s going to be difficult trying to get to the right amount and kinds of resources we need. Thankfully, as I mentioned, Glaurung is quite crafty at making Solo Decks and even with a deck that is two years old, there are quite a few options we have at our disposal. A very simple one is the 4 cost neutral attachment, Resourceful. This can be attached to any of our Heroes to ramp up our resource gaining. This would most likely be placed on Aragorn, especially if we don’t hit our Song of Wisdom to turn our Spirit Heroes into Lore ones as well. Another interesting option is the not so often used anymore Good Meal. This can be attached to Frodo and then discarded, making the next event we play from Frodo’s Sphere have a cost reduced by 2.

Another big factor in having a successful Solo Deck is having plenty of action advantage since our Heroes and allies will be doing more work than usual and we are certainly not short on card choices for this either. Glaurung includes Fast Hitch, Unexpected Courage, and Light of Valinor to assist us in this endeavor.

Lastly we have a few allies that round out the deck. Given how dependent this deck is on having the right attachments, Glaurung has included two copies of Master of the Forge so that we can continuously dig for the right attachment at the right time. Gleowine provides some consistent card draw, Warden of Healing provides damage reduction, and Arwen Undomniel can turn either Frodo and Aragorn into an even better defender. Arguably the best card in this deck would be Henamarth Riversong. In a game with two or more players his utility can wax and wane. In a single player game, however, his usefulness can rival that of the three Heroes, having the ability to peer into the encounter deck and allow us to plan our turn to the letter.

This deck is a blast to play, and as I’ve said this was one of the decks I discovered early into my experience with the game. I did not have all the cards required unfortunately, but I was able to make do and play a deck that was fun to play and decent at handling most scenarios. What also made this deck ideal for me was that it had some strategy that I had to focus on via the threat increases and threat reduction. It was a strategy that I could sink my teeth into and it’s theme could be seen throughout most of the cards included in the deck list.

With the newer cards that have come out though it’d be interesting to think about what can be added or removed in the list since we’ve had a whole cycle come and go since then. Doing a quick search on Hall of Beorn I have found a few interesting choices. Though most of them are in Spirit there are a few Lore cards that could make for interesting changes to this deck.

Let’s start with Spirit first.

Silver Lamp seems like a decent choice in a deck containing Frodo. Having access to a readying effect such as Fast Hitch can help ensure that Frodo is ready to trigger Silver Lamp’s effect, giving us insight into every shadow card dealt to our enemies.

Though not an auto-include, Power of Orthanc, could make for a nice sideboard option on any quest that has nasty condition attachments. The doomed keyword is obviously better suited for Solo play, and given that this deck is ready to reduce it’s threat already having a simple way to get rid of condition attachments with 0 resource cost seems too good to pass up.

An ally that could help us with our threat and still quest is the simple, yet useful, Galadriel’s Handmaiden. Her ability is pretty straightforward: drop her on the table for 2 resources, quest for 2 willpower, and reduce our threat by 1. This combines well especially if our Gandalf 2.0 is in play.
Lastly is an event card that, like Power of Orthanc, may be better suited as a sideboard card than an auto-include in our mainboard. This event card would be Free to Choose, a 0 cost Spirit Event card that was introduced in the Trouble in Tharbad AP.
Moving onto Lore is a card that has been a favorite of mine since it was released and that is the 1 cost Lore Attachment, Wingfoot. This cheap lore attachment takes advantage of Aragorn’s Ranger trait. Since we don’t have a card like Protector of Lorien or Eowyn to pitch extra copies of cards we may only need 2 copies of this card as opposed to 3.
Finally there’s a card that may or may not be needed at all but could prove useful. I am speaking of the Galadhrim Minstrel who’s similarities to Kristen Stewart will forever ruin the artwork for me a bit. Thanks COTR! Her low willpower may not be ideal but her ability to fetch events is certainly nice. Should we need to dig for an extra copy of Test of Will the Minstrel will do just that.
I hope you enjoyed looking at Glaurung’s approach at Frodo Baggins. If you are a fan of this type of deck and of Solo decks in general, I recommend checking out his Youtube Channel!
In a few days I will be heading down south to Florida for about a week! The break away from the cold will be most warranted and though I will be taking a much needed vacation from many things, I will be getting one last deck list posted before I head out, or maybe right before I board the plane 🙂
-The Secondhand Took
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