Hello and welcome to the 2nd deck list featuring January’s Hero of the Month: Aragorn. In this list we will cover the Leadership version of the Hero. Not only is this version the first iteration of Aragorn to which we as players are introduced but it’s also the first card in the pool, as far as numbers go. It is literally the #1 card in the entire game, so it has to be a bit special.
And I’d say that holds true. Having access to the Leadership Sphere grants the player controlling this Aragorn to a variety of options. It gives that player access to two very powerful artifacts that cater specifically to him. It also gives the palyer access to a sphere that loves to have resources, which works well given his ability. This version of Aragorn may not be the best as far as raw power or ability but he may be the best in terms of his ease of use, his flexibility, and the options he provides.
Despite my praise, I struggled to build this list; Partially because I’ve had Aragorn on the brain for the past several weeks. It’s also that many of the lists that came to mind had elements I have already attempted/ posted about on the blog. For instance, I quickly wanted to throw Theodred into the mix, but stubbornly refused to do so since my last list contained him. To get to the point, I tried to make a deck that was fun and different for me and what’s been featured on the blog so far. While building this deck one particular attachment came to my mind and that was Lord of Morthond. I’ll get to it in more detail later but know that this leadership attachment was the catalyst for the whole deck, more so than Aragorn himself.
So yes, of course, this deck features Aragorn in his Leadership “form.” His ability to lend 2 willpower to a quest and be ready for combat with just a single resource is almost always reliable and useful and comes in a sphere that can attain the resources easily. There have been similar card effects, some very similar to that of Aragorn’s, but they have minor limitations that put them a step down in quality. Next up on the Hero lineup is the Leadership version of Boromir. I wanted to maximize on some global boosting effects and figured Boromir’s ability would help that along quite well, giving all Gondor allies +1 Att while he had at least a single resource in his pool. And finally there is Hirluin the Fair. I’ll admit I tried to think of an alternative to Hirluin that could make Lord of Morthond work but he seemed like the most efficient option. Not only that but he has a low starting threat which is needed in a deck that has 23 threat just from its first two Heroes. That aside, his ability to pay for any Outlands ally will work wonders with Lord of Morthond and should keep our ally and draw engine flowing.
Two thirds of our Heroes are practically useless without having allies to justify their abilities. With that being said nearly half the deck is stuffed with allies. In fact there are 13 different allies spread across 32 cards. Of those, 8 have the Gondor trait (across 19 cards) and 5 have the Outlands trait (across 16 cards). Those numbers may seem off but that is because the Hunter of Lamedon possesses both traits, making him very nice to have in this build. With some help from player cards and Heroes like Boromir, the Hunter of Lamedon can see several boosting effects as the game continues and can help us further those goals by fetching more Outlands cards as we need them.
Let’s also get the rest of the Outlands characters out of the way. The whole gang is here in this regard. There are 3 copies a piece of Ethir Swordsman, Warrior of Losarnach, Knights of the Swan, Anfalas Hersman, and the previously mentioned Hunter of Lamedon. Aside from the Hunter, each Outlands ally will boost each other, including their Hero, and can stack their abilities on each other if multiple copies are out. There is also a single copy of Forlong in this list. Since we have each sphere represented by our Outlands allies, we can take full advantage of Forlong’s ability without giving it a second thought. Normally his cost of 3 would be a little on the high side but having 3 leadership Heroes takes care of that issue easily.
On the Gondor front there is my go-to Errand-Rider. Though he normally shows up in dual or tri-sphere builds his ability still finds use in this Mono Leadership lineup. Each one of our Heroes likes to have a resource to spare. Hirluin needs them to pay for allies that our other Heroes cannot, Aragorn needs it for readying, and Boromir needs it for his global boost. The Errand-Rider ensures that the abilities we want to have online are online when we want them. Outside of his ability he is a relatively low cost ally that can become so much more once he receives some boosts. The single copy of Faramir is included to add some extra questing power in this deck. With just the Ethir Swordsman (all 3) and Faramir’s ability we can quest for 15 with just four allies.
Moving right along we have 3 copies of the Herald of Anorien. This 2 cost Gondor ally not only fulfills the trait requirement but assists in a similar manner to the Errand-Rider. For a threat increase of 2 he allows us the opportunity to play a 2 cost ally from our hand for free, sparing some of our Heroes from depleting their resource pool. The Pelargir Ship Captain, Squire of the Citadel, and Envoy of Pelargir also fill similar roles and again, help just by having the Gondor trait. Lastly there are two copies of the White Tower Watchman. Whenever I end up with a Mono-Sphere deck I ultimately throw him in just because I can’t see any reason to do otherwise. Being of the Gondor trait only makes him better!
There’s only 11 attachments in this list. The first, Lord of Morthond, comes in at 3 copies. Though we only need to see a single copy this one cost Leadership attachment allows us to draw a card anytime we play a non-leadership ally. Once that card is attached that essentially turns 12 of our Outlands allies into cards that read “after you play this card, draw a card.” It’s hard to say no to that.
The 2 copies of Steward of Gondor will ideally go to Hirluin the Fair. This not only gives him all the resources he needs to pay for our Outlands allies without fail but it has the added perk of giving him the Gondor trait, granting him a boost from Visionary Leadership. This particular attachment, which has 2 copies in this list, is best suited for Boromir. Now if Boromir has a resource remaining he will give all Gondor allies +1 Attack and all Gondor characters +1 Willpower.
Then there are the three copies of Tome of Atanatar. I’ve never had much use with these attachments from the Against the Shadow cycle, but I can see how fun they can be should you build to their requirements. Though naturally a 4 cost attachment, with our Hero Lineup the tome will only cost 1 and allows to play any event in our discard pile for free. This attachment is very versatile and gives us access to the cards we need when we need them.
And for fun there is a single copy of Sword of Morthond. Though there isn’t a specific target for the sword, the most ideal may be Faramir. Say we have each of our boosting outlands allies out, Boromir has a resource and has Visionary Leadership attached to him. Faramir would have 4 Willpower, 3 Attack, 3 Defense, and 4 Hitpoints putting him above and beyond Hero standards as far as stats are concerned. With even more Outlands allies out his stats get better! Realistically though, any Gondor ally can make use of this attachment when it comes out, turning even the Errand-Rider into a very powerful ally.
This list contains 7 event cards. There are two copies of A Very Good Tale to help us get out allies sooner rather than later, Sneak Attack for similar reasons, and Strength of Arms to ready us up after a big questing push. Then, like the Sword of Morthond, there is a single copy of Grim Resolve…. for fun. I would hope that we never play this card from our hand, and that we’ll see it discarded due to the Hunter of Lamedon or A Very Good Tale so that we can play it for “1-cost” using the Tome of Anatar. If we do have to play it from our hand for its full price then it’s not the worst in the world.
I didn’t see myself building another Outlands deck since my post back in October using Elrond as a Hero. Even so, this list was fun to create and I’d like to see it improve. I can’t imagine there will be cards added any time in the near future to raise the deck’s caliber, but only time will tell.
Despite the huge number of Allies this deck will struggle in combat, at least in quests where there is combat out of the gate. Many of our Allies can turn into mighty defenders but only after they’re built up by various effects. If those effects never come into play then all is lost. Also, any scenario that hates on Ally heavy decks will prove quite difficult for this list.
This deck can use work, and it will need a deck to partner with it that can handle fast and strong starts from the encounter deck, but it’s a nice starting point.
This deck may not be anything new to those who have been playing this game longer than I but it was a fun exercise for me, causing me to think about a few cards and interactions I normally wouldn’t see just out of personal preference. So if you have any questions, comments or suggestions please, as always, feel free to add them in the comments section below.
Though there are only a few days left in January, I’ll be posting one last deck list featuring the Tactics Version of Aragorn. That will most likely be out on Sunday!
Thanks for reading!
-The Secondhand Took
Deck: Aragorn, Lord of Morthond
Total Cards: 50
Heroes (starting threat: 31)
Aragorn (Core Set)
Boromir (Heirs of Númenor)
Hirluin the Fair (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
1x Faramir (Core Set)
1x Forlong (The Drúadan Forest)
3x Herald of Anórien (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Pelargir Ship Captain (The Morgul Vale)
2x Squire of the Citadel (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Warrior of Lossarnach (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Knights of the Swan (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Ethir Swordsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Anfalas Herdsman (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Hunter of Lamedon (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x White Tower Watchman (The Drúadan Forest)
3x Lord of Morthond (Encounter at Amon Dîn)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Sword of Morthond (Assault on Osgiliath)
3x Tome of Atanatar (The Blood of Gondor)
2x Visionary Leadership (The Morgul Vale)
2x A Very Good Tale (Over Hill and Under Hill)
1x Grim Resolve (Core Set)
2x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
2x Strength of Arms (The Drúadan Forest)