Tidings from the Windlord! It has been many moons since I posted a deck list, and I felt it was time to take a short hiatus from my Objective Opinions series. Thus, I built the deck that I have been waiting for since I first tore open my Core Set with my talons: Wielders of the Three. “Three” here refers to the three Rings of Power gifted to the Elves: Narya, Nenya, and Vilya. These belong to Gandalf (who received as a gift from Cirdain, its original wielder), Galadriel, and Elrond, respectively; these characters function as the heroes of this deck. Let us delve deeper!
Wielders of the Three – From *Gwaihir the Windlord*
1x Elven Jeweler (Escape from Mount Gram)
2x Galadhrim Healer (The Dread Realm)
2x Galadhrim Minstrel (Trouble in Tharbad)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Galdor of the Havens (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
2x Gildor Inglorion (The Hills of Emyn Muil)
1x Gwaihir (Trouble in Tharbad)
2x Mithlond Sea-watcher (The Grey Havens)
2x Warden of the Havens (The Grey Havens)
2x Elven Spear (The Treachery of Rhudaur)
2x Gandalf’s Staff (The Road Darkens)
2x Lembas (Trouble in Tharbad)
2x Mirror of Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Miruvor (Shadow and Flame)
2x Narya (The Grey Havens)
2x Nenya (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Shadowfax (The Treason of Saruman)
2x Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes)
2x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
1x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)
2x Vilya (Shadow and Flame)
2x Wizard Pipe (The Road Darkens)
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
1x Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water)
2x Gaining Strength (The Steward’s Fear)
2x Skyward Volley (The Grey Havens)
2x The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set)
3 Heroes, 55 Cards
Cards up to The Grey Havens
Deck built on RingsDB.
This deck may seem inconsistent at first; it contains only one three-copy card and incorporates numerous one-copy cards, not to mention cards that don’t match the spheres of the heroes! Nevertheless, Wielders of the Three is not only functional but powerful, provided a few key attachments come into play. The heroes are the real stars of the show.
Gandalf is set to do whatever the situation requires from the get-go, although he truly shines with all of his attachments (anything that has to do with wizards, mentions his name, or is titled Shadowfax or Steward of Gondor). Hint: make Gandalf rich, so that he can purchase cards from the top of the deck, especially ones from spheres other than Spirit or Lore. Galadriel serves but two purposes: draw cards/reduce threat until Nenya arrives, and then *quest* with her ring. Note that this is where a great deal of the threat control comes from depending on the game. Elrond will probably become a defender, albeit not the strongest one in existence. Unexpected Courage is actually meant for his use, so he can use Vilya’s action to put a card into play from the top of the deck and then still have an action remaining. The best perk is that you will know what the card is, as Gandalf requires you to play with the top card of your deck face-up! This summarizes the uses of the stars of the show; now on to the supporting cast!
Although they may seem sparse, most of these seventeen allies will actually see game time thanks to Gandalf, Galadriel, and card draw effects. The Mithlond Sea-watcher and the Warden of the Havens can be extremely powerful depending on what’s in the discard pile, hopefully determined by Elven Spear. Gwaihir, Gildor, and Galdor serve as targets for Narya, as they already have hero-like stats. A host of Galadhrim can find events (Minstrel), heal heroes (Healer), and reduce threat (Handmaiden). All of these allies will probably end up contributing to the quest. The Elven Jeweler serves as another form of discard control, as putting her into play by discarding two cards could bolster the stats of the aforementioned Sea-watcher and Warden.
Like always, the majority of my deck can be found in the attachments. Most are self-explanatory. As I mentioned earlier, if they mention Gandalf, attach them to Gandalf. Resourceful and Steward of Gondor should also be a part of the Wizard’s arsenal, though it may be more useful to attach the former to Elrond if the latter is on Gandalf. Elven Spear, Unexpected Courage, and Song of Battle also go on the Lord of Rivendell. The Elven Spear is not actually meant to turn Elrond into a frightening assailant, despite its doing so; I included it for the sole purpose of controlling the discard pile so as to boost the stats of the Mithlond Sea-watcher and the Warden of the Havens. The Mirror of Galadriel is meant for the Lady of Lorien herself while either Gandalf or Elrond will utilize Lembas.
The events, though few, leave their mark. Elrond’s Counsel offers threat relief and a small willpower boost. A Test of Will serves its standard purpose as The-Only-Thing-Separating-Me-From-Total-Destruction while The Galadhrim’s Greeting also turns back the threat dial (isn’t that a satisfying feeling?) Daeron’s Runes helps churn through the deck. Skyward Volley provides a way of dealing with enemies, and Gaining Strength can give much-needed resources to any heroes.
Wielders of the Three is one of my favorite decks. Not only is the lore behind it fascinating, it is powerful in a way that almost rivals good ol` Spirfindel and simply a joy to run. Granted, depending on the opening hand, things may get rough for a time, but the Wise of Middle-earth always pull through. “Farewell wherever you fare until your eyries receive you at your journey’s end!”
– Gwaihir the Windlord