The three Free Peoples of Rhovanion are represented in this deck - the Elves by Celeborn, the Men by Beorn, and the Dwarves by Dain. These heroes of the north embark on quest after quest, acquiring legendary item after legendary item from the lairs of the Great Worms, the Dragons of Middle-earth, and persuading the peoples and leaders of Rhovanion to unite in the fight against the Dark Lord, Sauron. The deck is fairly susceptible to corruption, so make frequent stops at Lorien to store high-corruption items. The hazards are a strong undead theme designed to kill, rather than corrupt, the opponent.
Starting Company at Rivendell
Beorn, Celeborn, and Dain form a small yet powerful company that can withstand all but the most determined of attacks, and with a hazard limit of three, there isn’t much your opponent can do to stop you. Beorn begins with Healing Herbs, and Dain II with a Dagger of Westernesse.
Suggested Sites for Resources
The Great Eagles – Eagle’s Eyrie (alternatively, play Gwaihir)
Iron Hill Dwarves – Iron Hill Dwarf Hold
Men of Dale – Dale
Wood-Elves – Thranduil’s Halls
Gwaihir – Eagle’s Eyrie (alternatively, play The Great Eagles)
Roac the Raven – Lake-town
King Under the Mountain – Any dragon’s lair
Reforging – The Wind Throne or Dimrill Dale
Arrows Shorn of Ebony – Framsburg (if unavailable, substitute with an additional
Dragon-Helm – The Under-leas (via Mount Gundabad)
Durin’s Axe – Buhr Widu (or with Reforging at Lorien)
Emerald of the Mariner – Irerock
Enruned Shield – Caves of Ulund
Orcrist – The Lonely Mountain
Wormsbane – Gold Hill
This deck is designed to counter one of the nastiest hazard themes there is: the Dragons of the North. Be advised, however, that corruption is a problem unless you get supporting characters out, and if your opponent is able to play a lot of Ahunt manifestations. Without Wormsbane and/or The Dragon Helm in play, this will be a short-lived resource deck against a lot of Ahunt manifestations. After getting some of the stronger items into play, however, the combination of Beorn with Wormsbane and an Old Thrush is enough to finish most dragons. As for wizards: it doesn’t really matter who you play because they are there mainly to influence factions in the end game and to control supporting characters. If you play Radagast, however, be sure to include Rhosgobel as one of your sites.
The deck is weak on allies, so Gwaihir is crucial – play him in preference to The Great Eagles at Eagles’ Eyrie. If you can, get Roac into play and use him to influence The Great Eagles before ever going to Eagles’ Eyrie.
Durin’s Axe is a great card for Dain II to have, especially if you can give him The Emerald of the Mariner to help with corruption. Once Durin’s Axe is in play, don’t worry about keeping your Bounty of the Hoard cards in your hand – it’s the only major item in the deck, and it’s easy enough to play Arrows Shorn of Ebony at Framsburg – it is the only minor item apart from the starting items. There is no point in holding onto this otherwise useful card in this deck. You may consider replacing some or all of them with additional combat modifiers or your favorite anti-corruption cards.
The combination of The Old Thrush, Block, and Risky Blow can take down almost any large creature attack with the strong characters in this deck, so count on getting some hazard creature kill points unless your opponent is playing a corruption-only hazard deck. In the face of a corruption hazard strategy, you need to get as many characters out as possible to share the corruption, and store as many items as you can afford to at havens. Not at Home is invaluable in getting items when the company is nearly tapped-out at dragon’s lairs.
Doors of Night is essential to the effective play of this undead hazard deck. Combined with Sleepless Malice and Choking Shadows, this allows your undead creatures to attack nearly any company anywhere (especially at Ruins & Lairs). Faces of the Dead, Endless Whispers, and Seized by Terror are designed to remove troublesome heroes from a planned onslaught of undead creatures which can then wreak havoc on the remaining characters. Sleepless Malice performs an additional task, allowing you to play more than the normal number of hazard creatures on smaller companies, and is helped along by Exhalation of Decay. The Moon is Dead and Plague of Wights make the undead creatures in this hazard deck even more deadly if played at the right time.
Even if you are unable to get Sleepless Malice into play, and your Choking Shadows are nowhere to be found, the combination of Chill Douser and a Stirring Bones can still be played at a Ruins & Lairs to devastating effect. The remainder of the creatures are standard undead: Ghouls, Ghosts, and Barrow-wights.
This deck does not rely on a sideboard for effective play, but if you insist on having one you might include some man and/or animal hazards for play against a Free-Domain hugging opponent and some of the more effective corruption cards to augment the effect of the undead creatures. As far as resources go, some major items (like Glamdring) couldn’t hurt, and whatever anti-corruption cards you can gather would help protect your laden characters. Since the deck relies heavily on item play, you might also include some helpful minor items like Healing Herbs and Cram. Don’t be afraid to use them at need, either, because your characters won’t need the additional corruption.
Bounty of the Hoard (x3)
Risky Blow (x3)
The Old Thrush (x3)
Not at Home (x3)
Emerald of the Mariner
Arrows Shorn of Ebony
King Under the Mountain
Roac the Raven
The Great Eagles
Iron Hill Dwarves
Men of Dale
Dagger of Westernesse
Stirring Bones (x3)
Faces of the Dead
Seized By Terror
Exhalation of Decay
Doors of Night (x3)
Sleepless Malice (x3)
The Moon is Dead
Plague of Wights (x3)
Choking Shadows (x3)
The Lonely Mountain
Caves of Ulund
The Wind Throne
Iron Hill Dwarf-hold
Post your comments on this article on the MECCG Discussion Board.