Hello All! I’m glad (sort of) to say that I am back home, in the frigid cold and far away from the warm sunny weather of Florida. As you may guess I am more than ready for Spring to arrive. With my mini vacation now behind me it now means I must return to a life of normalcy, working from 9-5 and thankfully, being able to focus one of my favorite card games.
In a previous article I mentioned my desire to make a deck consisting of Frodo that is thematic as much as it is efficient. This is of course one of the more difficult puzzles to solve with this game as theme often gets in the way of consistency and overall effectiveness. The deck I initially wanted to set out and build consisted of Frodo, Aragorn, and most likely Sam and was to represent their trek through the wilds after they’ve left Bree. That pondering lead to this deck and so for now I have put that concept aside.
Right before I left for Florida however, I came up with a Hero to go along with Sam and Frodo that could be thematic and wasn’t Aragorn! I speak of course of the mystical and quite powerful, Lady Galadriel. Meant to represent Frodo and Sam’s journey to Mordor after the Breaking of the Fellowship, this deck that I’ve titled To Be A Ring Bearer consists of Frodo, Sam and Galadriel and is to excel at questing through the forces of evil. With the upcoming Angmar set and the eventually upcoming Saga Box after ToS sure to provide more valuable cards to the pool, I’m hoping that this deck can provide a nice shell that can grow and improve in the near future.
This deck is all about questing, and to that end we have three Heroes who are very well known for their ability to push forward in the darkest of hours. First of is of course Frodo Baggins, bearer of The One Ring and protagonist of the novels. Next up is Sam Gamgee, Frodo’s gardner and most trustworthy friend who is one of only two bearers of The One Ring to have given it up (SPOILER ALERT: Frodo isn’t even included in that list). Lastly we have Lady Galadriel, leader of the realm of Lothlorien and an inspiration to many members of the Fellowship, especially Frodo and Sam. Without the thought of Galadriel pushing Sam and Frodo onward through the treacherous lands of Mordor it’s clear that their quest would have ended in failure. The image of the Fair Lady allowed Sam and Frodo to overcome the shadows and make it one step closer towards their goal.
As I said, this deck wants to quest. Two of the three Heroes, Frodo and Galadriel, belong to the Spirit Sphere. Filling the third Hero slot, Sam Gamgee represents the Leadership Sphere and will allow us to not only bring out allies but also provide resource management and additional questing power.
Let’s get started with some key allies:
As I said, this deck wants to quest, and so I have included a few allies in particular that either enhance the deck’s main role or to compliment it. Included are Gandalf 2.0, Faramir, and Ethir Swordsman. All three of these allies can provide a significant boost in questing power. To play around with the questing there is also a couple copies of Galadriel’s Handmaiden (who offsets Gandalf 2.0’s threat cost nicely) and Arwen Undomniel who can turn either Sam or Frodo into more reliable defenders.
Moving on to the attachments we have a variety of tools at our disposal to turn our hobbits into sturdy defenders. Key among these cards are Hobbit Cloak, Unexpected Courage, Fast Hitch, and Silver Lamp. With these four cards Sam and Frodo can be readied more often than not and continually defend while another player hopefully picks off the enemies from afar.
But what if we need to do some of our own dirty work? This deck is all about questing but it doesn’t mean that it can’t throw a few punches itself, though I’ll admit it should be few and far between. Trying to have a little fun, I’ve added 3 copies of Small Target, a 1-cost Spirit event that can turn our enemies against themselves. Combined with a card like Silver Lamp we can ensure that when we play Small Target it will actually fire as opposed to fizzle. While we are discussing events I’d like to point out a few more that are in the deck. A Test of Will of course makes an appearance here as does the leadership event A Very Good Tale. Should any of our Heroes be pressed for resources, A Very Good Tale can potentially get us out of a pinch and cheat in valuable allies like Faramir or Gandalf.
To wrap things up I’ll just go over a few cards that go along with Galadriel. Not very surprisingly we 2 copies of Mirror of Galadriel and 3 copies of Nenya. While Nenya provides Galadriel the ability to really push our questing power forward it grants her access to the Lore Sphere which then gives us the opportunity to play Fast Hitch. I have toyed around with having a third copy of the Mirror but had to cut one to keep the deck at 50 cards.
This deck is certainly not an offensive oriented one and like most of the decks I seem to be building these days will need a complimentary deck to pick where this deck slacks. I have thought about adding the card Ride Them Down. The issue is of course that it takes away from the one thing this deck wants to do but on the other hand can allow the deck to pick off a few more enemies here and there. Whether or not this deck even needs to worry about this is of course up to debate. As for now I have put Ride Them Down in this deck’s “sideboard.”
Check out the deck list below and let me know what you think.
We are nearing the end of February and so our time with Frodo will be drawing to a close. What are your thoughts on Frodo and what sorts of decks do you usually put him in?
-The Secondhand Took
Deck: To Be a Ring Bearer
1x Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Frodo Baggins (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders)
2x Bill the Pony (The Black Riders)
3x Arwen Undomiel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
2x Hobbit Cloak (The Black Riders)
2x Mirror of Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Silver Lamp (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x Celebrian’s Stone (Core Set)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
3x Nenya (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Small Target (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
3x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Tighten Our Belts (The Nin-in-Eilph)