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MECCG: Sample Fallen Wizard Deck

Copyright Nigel Buckle ©2001

Edited by Nicholas H.M. Caldwell for The Guild Companion

This article details a fallen wizard deck designed specifically against hero or another Fallen Wizard opponent, although the resource portion could be used against a minion with some modification to the hazards and sideboard.

When I see a deck list on the Internet or in a magazine, it is not always obvious how the deck should be played or why certain cards have been included (or excluded), so I will also explain how the deck is supposed to work. I have not included a site deck, as you should probably always include all the site cards you own. However this deck will use sites mainly in Arthedain, Cardolan, Rhudaur and The Shire, along with Lorien and the Blue Mountain Dwarf Hold and a few item sites further away, such as the Glittering Caves or the Ruined Watchtower or Himring, etc.

Character Draft

Bilbo
Fatty Bolger
Folco Boffin
Frodo
Glóin
Gulla
Merry
Robin Smallburrow
Sam Gamgee
Threlin

Minor Items

Cram
Horn of Anor

Starting Stage Cards (3 SP)

Gandalf's Friend
Wizard's Myrmidon
Wizard's Trove

With an ideal starting company being:

Bilbo (with Gandalf's Friend) controlling
Fatty Bolger (with Cram)
Sam Gamgee
Merry (with Wizard's Myrmidon and Horn of Anor)
Gulla

Split into two companies, the hobbits in one, Gulla in the other, the unused dwarven characters from the draft should be added to the deck and used to create a second company (along with the wizard). The Wizard's Trove is for storing the White Tree, which happens later on in the game. (You need to bring it in from the sideboard and also play a Sapling of the White Tree first.)

The idea is to use sneakin' (sic) and stealth to avoid creature attacks on your company of hobbits, and use the other cancellers to avoid automatic attacks. Don't forget the automatic cancelling ability of Fatty Bolger. The second company (initially just Gulla) either waits at the White Towers for additional characters, or is moved to draw cards.

Character Pool

Fallen Gandalf (x3), plus some characters from Draft

Resources (30)

A Nice Place to Hide x2
Awaiting the Call
Chambers in the Royal Court x2
Concealment
Dark Tryst x2
Earth of Galadriel's Orchard
Give Welcome to the Unexpected
Guarded Haven
Halfling Strength x2
Hillmen
Keys to the White Towers
Longbottom Leaf x2
Mistress Lobelia
Noble Hound x2
Rangers of the North
Ready to His Will x2
Sapling of the White Tree x2
Sneakin' x2
Stealth
Tom Bombadil
Torque of Hues

Use the company of hobbits to collect MP cards while waiting for Gandalf to make an appearance. If Bag End is used keep a character there at all costs – the idea of the deck is to turn Bag End into a Wizardhaven and play Mallorn there (so it untaps), then the other Bag End specific resources (Hobbits and Red Book) can be played and Mistress Lobelia can retrieve them from the discard pile.

Gandalf's ability to untap at the end of the organisation phase means you can usually tap him to sideboard a card, or even do it twice if you don't intend to use him for that turn (so being tapped is not a problem). Ideally you play Gandalf at Bag End, another reason to avoid discarding Bag End.

A Nice Place to Hide & Concealment: Both staple attack cancellers – sideboard in the second Concealment with Longbottom Leaf or by tapping Gandalf.

Awaiting the Call: This version is superior to the hero Await the Advent of Allies, as it remains as long as the character does not move (even if you play resources that tap the site). The limitation is you must play this card on a character not at a Wizardhaven. The aim is to play this on a dwarf at the Blue Mountain Dwarf Hold, then turn it into a haven with Chambers in the Royal Court, and then you do not have to discard it. Ideally you want this on Threlin as he has enough DI against dwarves to control Gulla, but any dwarf will do. All this character then does is influence the Blue Mountain Dwarves (after you sideboard them into the deck).

Chambers in the Royal Court: Play one on the Blue Mountain Dwarf Hold (you leave a dwarf there to keep the site in play), and one on Bag End – again you leave a character there to keep the site in play.

Dark Tryst: Awesome card, one of the best in the game, used to draw cards – play it at any appropriate time

Earth of Galadriel's Orchard: Crucial for playing Mallorn (which then allows you to untap Bag End and play Hobbits and the Red Book and Bill once you've sideboarded them in).

Give Welcome to the Unexpected: Great card in this deck as there are a number of unique 1MP cards that suddenly become worth 2MPs (Hillmen, Mistress Lobelia,  Bill, Hobbits).

Guarded Haven: Play on one of the sites you've played Chambers on.

Halfling Strength: Staple hobbit support card.

Hillmen: You can visit their site with Tom Bombadil.

Keys to the White Towers: Playable at Barrow Downs – another site you can visit with Tom Bombadil.

Longbottom Leaf: Essential to sideboard in two of the many cards needed.

Mistress Lobelia: Mainly in the deck to prevent your opponent playing Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, but you can use her ability to pull appropriate resources out of the discard pile.

Noble Hound: They are good protection for your hobbits, even if they don't last long.

Rangers of the North: Another faction within Tom Bombadil's movement area.

Ready to His Will: Used to cancel an assassin or slayer (and create an ally).

Sapling of the White Tree: Only one is really needed, two are in the deck to increase the chance of drawing it early, and also to have a backup if one gets 'lost' in some way (such as with Great Secrets Buried There - see the hazard deck for examples on how to ensure your opponent loses items). Do not use the Wizard's Trove to store a sapling – you must discard the sapling and use the Wizard's Trove to play the White Tree.

Sneakin' & Stealth: Both essential to protect the company of 4 hobbits – sideboard in the second Stealth with Gandalf or Longbottom Leaf.

Tom Bombadil: A great ally for this deck, with his ability and prowess his company has little to fear, and he's a sage, so you can use him for Marvels Told or even to fulfil the sage requirement for playing the White Tree.

Torque of Hues: Perfect complement to the hobbits, with this item in play you have a concealment effect you can use each turn.

Hazards (30) * indicates Creatures & ˝ Creatures

*Ambusher x2
*Indűr Dawndeath
*Mouth of Sauron
*My Precious
*Pirates x2
*Sellswords Between Charters x3
*Thief x3
*Űvatha the Horseman
Foolish Words x3
Great Secrets Buried There x3
Rank upon Rank x3
Revealed to all Watchers
Rolled Down to the Sea
Times are Evil x2
Worn and Famished x3

The hazards are designed to prevent your opponent gaining MPs from items - many of the creatures are intended to hit a Border-hold/Free-Hold strategy (and remove the few items that sort of strategy uses), the non-creature cards complement the creatures.

Ambusher: A good general hazard creature, especially with Rank Upon Rank in play, borderlands are a frequently travelled region, so this creature sees a high frequency of play.

Indűr Dawndeath: Play as a permanent event, either to access the sideboard, or as another way to force the discard of an item.

Mouth of Sauron: A staple hazard card – reuse a non-creature hazard.

My Precious: Token anti-one ring card, play this agent face-up to defend Mount Doom and prevent your opponent playing Gollum.

Pirates: With these creatures you are risking giving up MP points, best played when Rank Upon Rank is in play and/or you can play them keyed to coastal seas.

Sellswords Between Charters: Strong creature covering Border-holds and Shadow-holds, even more effective with Rank Upon Rank in play.

Thief: A good creature for stealing items – but only worth playing if the company has an item to discard.

Űvatha the Horseman: Play as a permanent event, either to access the sideboard, or to recycle a creature (such as the Mouth of Sauron).

An Unexpected Outpost: Use to recycle a hazard that is being effective, or to sideboard a hazard card.

Foolish Words: A staple hazard card – every deck needs at least one faction.

Great Secrets Buried There: Those items you can't discard bury in the under deeps.

Rank upon Rank: Vital enhancer card to make the 'men' hazard creatures a force to be feared.

Revealed To All Watchers: A staple card that seems to make it into all my decks – this card gives you significant card advantage, just make sure you don't shuffle your draw pile after you've put the resources back in the order you've chosen (unless of course the resources were useless at this point in the game). I cannot understand why this card is not used more frequently.

Rolled Down to the Sea: Anti-ring card, and getting a look at your opponent's hand is helpful too.

Times are Evil: An under-used anti influence card, be wary of it back-firing on you, as it will affect you on the turn after you play it (it's a long event). Probably the best use of this is as an on-guard card when your opponent is at a Border or Free-hold, reveal it in response to an influence attempt against a faction. Note this card can be duplicated on a given turn, so if you suspect your opponent is going to influence a big faction (visits the Southron Oasis for example) you can play one during the movement hazard phase, and another on-guard, for a cumulative –6 to the attempt. Its effect can be combined with Foolish Words too.

Worn and Famished: As your resource deck is designed to mainly use Border and Free-holds, this card fits into the deck quite well, just be aware of its effects if your companies are at the affected sites or intend to move there.

Sideboard

Some of the sideboard cards should be played each game either directly from the sideboard or bought into the deck (using Long Bottom Leaf or by tapping Gandalf). Others are there for the second deck cycle, or as support cards against particular hazard or resource strategies.

A Friend or Three
A Malady Without Healing x2
Await the Onset
Balin
Bill the Pony
Blue Mountain Dwarves
Chambers in the Royal Court
Concealment
Drowning Seas
Grey Embassy
Guarded Haven
Hobbit-lore
Hobbits
Legacy of Smiths
Mallorn
Marvels Told x2
Mischief in a Mean Way
Náin
Red Book of Westmarch
Spells Born of Discord
Spying out the Land x2
Stealth
Taladhan
The White Tree
Twilight
Voices of Malice
Wizard's Trove

To be bought into the deck:

The White Tree, Mallorn, Hobbits (once Mallorn is in play), Red Book (once Mallorn is in play), Stealth, Concealment, Grey Embassy (once Gandalf is in play), Guarded Haven (once you have Chambers of the Royal Court in play), Mischief in a Mean Way (once you have enough stage cards), Await the Onset (once you have most of the requirements for this card in play, and think you can fulfil the remaining fairly quickly), Hobbit Lore & Spying Out the Land (once you have Gandalf in play), Blue Mountain Dwarves (once you have Chambers of the Royal Court in play on the Blue Mountain Dwarf Hold).

 

The Malady surprise

Spells Born of Discord and the two Malady without Healing are there as a little surprise for your opponents' companies if they are operating in the same area as your deck. Sideboard in these three cards, play the Spells Born of Discord and then Gandalf can cast the Malady without Healings, hopefully to remove vital characters – just make sure Gandalf has little or no sources of corruption, as the check of –5 is rather high.

 

The other cards are there if the need arises, the resource events to counteract certain hazard decks, the items and factions if you need more points in either of those areas.

As with most fallen wizard decks you need to be familiar with both the hero and minion resources and sites, and also you need to practice playing the deck, especially against Fallen Wizard opponents. Often Fallen Wizard decks appear to be doing poorly, with the majority of marshalling points only worth 1 point each – then a couple of key stage cards are played and suddenly your marshalling point count increases radically.

Anti-one ring strategy is mainly to use the hobbits (popular with one-ring decks). Should your opponent be playing a different type of one-ring deck then you may have problems as those decks rarely visit border/free holds. In this case you probably need to bring in the Malady part of the deck fairly quickly and use your Gandalf to influence your opponent's characters (especially those bearing rings or the Scroll of Isildur) and cast Malady without Healing on characters with the lowest body. Certainly you will want to get My Precious in play and hit your opponent with Rolled Down to the Sea to discard a ring and then repeat this by recycling the Rolled with the Mouth of Sauron. Don't overlook Taladhan too, he can move fairly quickly to Mount Doom to force another item discard. Also you can play the Sellswords Between Charters at Mount Doom so you might want to hold them in reserve for that purpose. Similarly unless your opponent is avoiding wilderness on the final move to Mount Doom, it's worth throwing Pirates at the company and hope a low roll forces an item discard – it doesn't really matter at that stage of the game if you give your opponent kill points, if the ring is destroyed you're going to lose 7-0 anyway.

Fallen Wizard Sideboard

Anarin
Nimloth
Elwen
Chill Them with Fear x2
Twisted Tales x2
Will not Come Down
Your Welcome Is Doubtful x2

This is a slightly unusual anti-fallen wizard sideboard – the idea is to get the Elf agents into play and use the support cards to remove your opponent's factions or characters/allies. Often Fallen Wizard decks will squat companies at sites, especially wizardhavens – Elf agents can move to wizardhavens. This strategy is quite slow, you have to get the cards from the sideboard into the deck and then move the agent. Probably the best bet is to halve the hazard limit to sideboard at the earliest opportunity to get the agents into the deck, once you have them in play then sideboard in the support cards.

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