Hero of the Month Deck: Leader of Men

Hello! A quick disclaimer – as a recent twitter post may have indicated – I went a little crazy. The following list, though I’m sure it has it’s benefits and uses, was built on the fly and overall was a joy to make. I plan on testing it out and toning it down a notch if need be, as I’d like to see it become something more. Okay, with that out of the way here we go!

The following deck, titled Leader of Men, is the first of three decks I plan on building for January’s Hero of the Month: Aragorn! This deck in particular focuses on the Lore iteration of Aragorn and primarily his usefulness as a defender. Being of the Lore Sphere he offers access to a certain attachment that makes handling attacks much easier than normal.

As already stated, this deck uses Lore Aragorn, or LorAgorn. Many of the cards in this list are meant for him or affected by him. One in particular would be the shiny new Arwen Hero. Representing the Spirit Sphere she will give Aragorn access to an extra resource thanks to her inherent ability as well as some attachments and other shenanigans only found in Spirit. Lastly there is Theodred, giving the deck it’s third sphere being in Leadership. Theodred himself isn’t doing much other than questing, giving Aragorn his extra resource, and giving us access to a couple key Leadership allies and attachments.

arwen-undc3b3mielaragorn2thc3a9odred

Attachments:

sword-that-was-brokenThis deck is first and foremost all about Aragorn. Because of this, a lot of the attachments are meant for or play off of Aragorn as well. There are 26 attachments in the deck, represented by mostly two copies per card, and hilariously only 3 of the cards don’t go on Aragorn. The big ones are the artifacts, and mostly all of them give added perks when attached to Aragorn. Celebrian’s Stone and Sword that was Broken grant the Spirit and Leadership icon respectively and they both contribute to overall questing. The stone focuses just on Aragorn while the Sword can grow exponentially while we gather more allies on the table. Next on the list is the Ring of Barahir. This one cost Spirit Attachment unfortunately grants the Lore Sphere, which we already have, but it does give Aragorn +1 hitpoint for every artifact attached to him. With the three main attachments on Aragorn he will be looking at 4 willpower, and 8 hitpoints which is certainly nothing to scoff at. Lastly there’s the oddball Thror’s Map. It’s a one cost Lore attachment that can actually be very useful in location management and bypassing nasty travel effects. It’s main goal, however, is to easily tip the scale a bit further and bring Aragorn to 9 hitpoints!

blood-of-nc3bamenorMoving away from the artifacts, but still stuck on Aragorn love, we have the attachments geared for combat. Blood of Numenor and Gondorian Fire grant bonuses to Aragorn’s defense and attack based off the number of resources he has. Since we’ll have Arwen and Theodred giving Aragorn two resources a turn, this can get out of hand quickly. To take it a step further there is the (in)famous Steward of Gondor. This 2 cost Leadership Attachment will take the number of resources on Aragorn to new heights, taking full advantage of the previous two attachments. For readying and shadow cancellation there are copies of Unexpected Courage and A Burning Brand. Courage allows Aragorn to contribute two defenses, two attacks or one of each. Burning Brand, on the other hand (hehe.. rhymes), makes sure that any nasty shadow effect is good and gone before they can affect our good ol’ Aragorn. There are also two copies of Cram in the deck. I love this card. It’s 0 cost and does it’s job well. I particularly like it in the early game as it saves our resources while we build up our board presence.

visionary-leadershipLastly there are just a few more odds and ends. Song of Battle is included solely for the purpose of giving Aragorn the chance to use Gondorian Fire. With our hopefully decent card draw, this shouldn’t be hard to get our hands on when we need it. Visionary Leadership takes advantage of Aragorn’s resources but in a different way, though it is contingent on him having Steward of Gondor equipped. Where Blood and Fire were dependent upon the number of resources to be truly useful, Visionary Leadership only needs an easy 1 resource to function. Sometimes it’s not about the quantity! With most of our allies being of the Gondor trait this can add to some impressive questing, especially when Aragorn has The Sword that was Broken attached to him as well. And finally there are 3 copies of Light of Valinor. This is meant for Arwen, obviously, provides some nice action advantage if we need it, and works well with an event card I’ll discuss later.

Allies

If there is one area this deck needs the most improvement it might be here. The ally count is a little lighter than I would like, coming in at 16, but I found myself tight for space when building this.

master-of-the-forgeOf the 16 allies, there are 14 that share the Gondor trait (among 7 different allies). The one non-gondorian, Master of the Forge, is no less vital. At two cost, this somewhat cheap Noldor ally allows us to dig through our top 5 cards and pull an attachment into our hand. Given the amount of attachments in this deck that will more than likely always hit something. Better yet, he allows us to shuffle away extra copies of attachments we don’t need. If we find that those extra copies make it into our hand they can either serve as replacements should a shadow effect make us discard one, or they can be used to fuel Arwen’s effect.

envoy-of-pelargirThough a lot of the Gondor allies in this deck are here simply because they have the right trait, they have other uses as well. To help with resource generation/smoothing, there are two copies each of Pelargir Ship Captain and Envoy of Pelargir as well as 3 copies of Errand-RiderWhen they’re not assisting with resources they will be committing to questing, with hopefully a +2 willpower buff thanks to Aragorn’s attachments.

ingoldSpeaking of questing, Ingold makes an appearance in this list. He’s a tad on the expensive side, costing 3 resources, but if he is fully buffed then he will be contributing 5 willpower to the quest, which is very good for a 3-cost ally! In a pinch, his hit points and meager defense stat can help in combat as well. He could be a chump or take a couple direct damage hits throughout the game. There are also a couple of copies of Faramir. Though he is far more expensive than Ingold, costing 4 instead of 3, his contribution to the quest can be far greater and thus justified his cost thanks to his ability! I also included a single copy of Veteran of Osgiliath as well. He may not stay in the list for long but in the late game he can prove very useful and we can take full advantage of our threat level, walking that razor’s edge until we have to use Aragorn’s ability and bringing us back down to our starting threat of 29.

mablungLastly we have Mablung. The only thing I don’t like this is card is the potential it has to clash with the Hero being in play. Otherwise I like his effect at 2 cost. He has the Gondor trait, will be helping with questing rather well, and can keep enemies in the staging area away from us or other players. If Aragorn is good and ready then Mablung can bring them down instead, helping with questing even more so.

Events:

One day, I’d like to try and experiment with a deck that has a larger than average amount of event cards. Not today though. This deck only has four different events across 8 cards.

tale-of-tinc3bavielThere is, of course, A Test of Will which does what it does best. We have shadows taken care of thanks to a Burning Brand, but one wrong treachery during staging and we’re done for! Elven-Light, of which there are 2 copies, is the best card we want to see for Arwen’s effect. There are 3 copies of Tale of Tinuviel to act as a stat boost/ or readying effect. This couples well with Arwen while she is equipped with Light of Valinor. She can quest unexhausted and then be used for Tale to add her 3 willpower to all of Aragorn’s stats as well as readying him. This card has a lot of potential in other builds, as I feel like this combination only scratches the surface! As a last ditch effort the Master of the Forge can also be exhausted to simply ready Aragorn, lending little to no willpower. And finally there is a single copy of Will of the West in the deck. I actually may consider cutting this in the long run along with a few others. In a Noldor heavy deck this card may prove more useful. But in a couple of quick tests I found I had very few cards in my discard pile. Even so, it’s card I often regret not having more often than not. Only time will tell.

Other Cards to Consider

When I was building this deck a couple cards kept coming to mind that I kept having trouble putting them in the list, often due to space. An easy one to consider is the Warden of Healing. He is an outstanding Healer, and if Aragorn takes too much damage, 8 hitpoints or otherwise, then there’s nothing we can do when he’s gone. He has the Gondor trait too so he can quest a fair bit when damage is light. In a more ally heavy build, A Very Good Tale, would help establish our board even quicker. This would also allow the deck to go down a more Noldor/Discard Pile focused play-style. Another is Daeron’s Runes, and I’m still not comfortable that it’s not in this list. If some cards get cut, this will be the first to come in. It makes Elven-Light even better and is hard to not use when you have access to the Lore sphere, no matter what style of deck you’re building.

Final Thoughts

This deck is a bit crazy, weird, and could use some tweaking. However, like I said in the beginning it was fun to build and I’d like to see it become more. Though the amount of power that can be given to Aragorn is fairly immense, having all of our eggs in one basket can prove detrimental and if Aragorn or a key attachment is lost, then the whole deck suddenly moves along at a puttering pace. But, I committed to building a deck with Lore Aragorn, and I couldn’t help but use Arwen and a host of Aragorn specific attachments. There’s something here, I’m sure, but it’s just not there yet. Of course if you have any thoughts and suggestions please let me know!

As always thanks for reading! In the next few days I’ll be posting a list using the Leadership Version of Aragorn!

-The Secondhand Took

*Featured Art Image from Jusaaa at PixIv/ZeroChan

Rivendell Councilroom – Leader of Men

CardgameDB – Leader of Men

Deck: Leader of Men

Total Cards: (50)

Hero: (3)
1x Theodred (Core Set)
1x Arwen Undómiel (The Dread Realm)
1x Aragorn (The Watcher in the Water)

Ally: (16)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
2x Ingold (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Pelargir Ship Captain (The Morgul Vale)
1x Veteran of Osgiliath (Escape from Mount Gram)
2x Mablung (The Land of Shadow)
2x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame)
2x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Numenor)

Attachment: (26)
2x Celebrian’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Cram (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Visionary Leadership (The Morgul Vale)
2x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
1x Thror’s Map (Over Hill and Under Hill)
2x Blood of Numenor (Heirs of Numenor)
3x Light of Valinor (Foundations of Stone)
2x Ring of Barahir (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes)
2x Gondorian Fire (Assault on Osgiliath)

Event: (8)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Elven-light (The Dread Realm)
3x Tale of Tinúviel (The Dread Realm)
1x Will of the West (Core Set)

Side Quest: (0)

 

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9 thoughts on “Hero of the Month Deck: Leader of Men

  1. That is some crazy questing power right there. Sword that was Broken is amazingly powerful and I love that card for pure will power quests. I remember taking it over the Redhorn Gate without breaking a sweat (or catching a chill).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kypatzer

    I would definitely put the Dearon’s Runes in, with so many redundant uniques you would hardly ever be discarding something you need. You could also take advantage of Aragorn’s threat reset ability by using some doomed cards like Deep Knowledge and Legacy of Numenor to give you extra card draw and resource acceleration.

    Like

  3. perg1224

    I really like playing the “fat Aragorn” builds, and this one looks great. 2 things I’d consider is dropping some of your attachments for allies (a third Master ot Forge would make him more likely to draw sooner and get those attachments out to play, Warden would be a nice addition, and I generally feel better with more allies out than less) or events (Daerons Runes, as you mentioned), although that could hinder Arwen discarding ability a bit. Also don’t forget that Sword gives Aragorn +1 WP too (each character…) which takes him to 5 base WP with it and CStone).

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    1. Yea I think the Wardens have to go in. With Aragorn being so heavily involved in combat, and with the treacheries these days dealing direct damage, this deck is certainly lacking on the healing front and the Warden accomplishes a lot for this deck (more allies, more gondor, more healing).

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

  4. Gwaihir the Windord

    Ah, attachments. they always end up being the dominant card type in my deck builds, too. Alas that events are also sparse in my decks, except when I play Spirit; there are so many valuable events to choose from in that Sphere. This looks like a fun deck; can’t wait to play it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gwaihir the Windlord

    I am currently running this deck alongside my friend’s Legolas/Tactics Merry/Elrond combo against The Dread Realm. Aragorn has eleven attachment rights now, including Blood of Nùmenor, Gondorian Fire, Rivendell Bow, and Steward of Gondor. So, he’s ranged, sentinel, and rich. What more could one need? For the first nine rounds, we made slow but sure progress on the first stage, trying the rid the board of enemies but ultimately failing despite Legolas killing one or two every round. Aragorn was powerful enough to attack but spent most of his time defending due to a lack of other solid options. We used Legolas’ ability to advance at the end of round nine when six enemies were in play. Lo and behold, out comes Daechanar, accompanied by two reanimated cards. Nine enemies? both of us over forty threat? We felt our doom sealed. Dismally, we drew our cards, mine being an Errand-rider. It would be nice to have a sacrifice, but due to Heavy Curse and two copies of it in the discard pile, he cost five. Not desirable. But my friend drew a card neither of us thought he would ever see (as she included only one copy) or use (it’s pretty expensive): Hour of Wrath. Valour or not, I highly recommend this card for any Tactics player with at least two Tactics heroes of the board, as it is frankly spectacular. One other enemy was revealed during staging for a grand total of ten on the board. My friend played Hour of Wrath, and the fun began. Aragorn, with nineteen defense and nineteen attack, laughed off several double-digit attacks and proceeded to smash every enemy (except Daechanar, of course) single-handedly. It was the most fun I have ever had playing this card game all thanks to your fabulous deck and a little help from my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ChasmosaurusChris

    A little late to the party here, but what an interesting deck. I really like how you’ve incorporated the Gondor army theme into a deck that doesn’t utilise Leadership Boromir. Did you have much luck with it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never too late to the game. Thanks for reading! I only got to do one solo game which went well but didn’t have much luck testing it out in a multiplayer game and against more modern quests. However if you look in another comment from a certain Giant Eagle it has done well!

      Like

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