Copyright Nigel Buckle © 2004

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

"The idea of the deck is to have 2 small companies moving around the South (Harondor, Nurn, Khand) collecting factions and weapons"


Some players have commented that Elf-Lords are particularly effective hazard creatures against minion decks, so much so that you have to avoid building decks that go through shadow lands unless you are using a Doors of Night hazard strategy.

This is a sample deck that is specifically designed to counter a hero deck using Chill Them With Fear and Elves as hazards, although it's viable as a deck against other hero strategies.

Characters in Deck:
Ren the Ringwraith (x3)

Character Pool (* = starting characters, remainder are for the deck)

  • * The Grimburgoth
  • * Tros Hesnef
  • * Asternak
  • * Míonid
  • Anarin (agent - character)
  • Elwen (agent - character)
  • Nimloth (agent - character)
  • Súrion (agent - character)
  • The Mouth
Starting Minor Items:
  • Open to the Summons [for The Grimburgoth]
  • Blazon of the Eye [for either Asternak, or The Grimburgoth]
Resources (30):
  • Factions (4):
    • Variags of Khand
    • Nûrniags
    • Umbarean Corsairs
    • Southrons
  • Items (6):
    • Scroll of Isildur
    • Sable Shield
    • High Helm
    • Broad Headed Spear (x2)
    • Black Mail Coat
  • Allies (2):
    • War-wolf
    • Creature of an Older World
  • Support Cards (18):
    • Come by Night (x3)
    • Not Slay Needlessly (x3)
    • Weigh All Things to a Nicety (x2)
    • Voices of Malice (x3)
    • Dark Quarrels (x2)
    • Black Rider
    • We Have Come to Kill
    • Threats (x2)
    • Ancient Secrets

Hazards (30) [* = creature, or half-creature]

  • * Beorning skinchangers (x3)
  • * Daelomin at Home
  • * Rain Drake (x3)
  • * Thief (x2)
  • * Knights of the Prince
  • * Dwarven Travellers (x3)
  • * The Mouth of Sauron
  • * My Precious
  • Great Secrets Buried There (x3)
  • An Unexpected Outpost (x2)
  • Power Built by Waiting (x3)
  • River (x3)
  • Bane of the Ithil Stone (x2)
  • Revealed to All Watchers
  • Near to Hear a Whisper

Sideboard (incomplete)

  • Asdriags
  • Black Númenóreans
  • Helm of Fear
  • Morgul Orcs
  • War-wolf
  • Blackbole
  • The Iron Crown
  • Ancient Secrets (x2)
  • Long Grievous Siege
  • Dark Quarrels
  • Chill them with fear (x3)
  • Master of the House
  • Wandering Eldar (x3)


  • Southron Oasis
  • Nûrniag Camp
  • Dol Guldur
  • Easterling Camp
  • Gobel Mírlond
  • Haudh-in-Gwanûr
  • Minas Morgul
  • Raider-hold
  • Variag Camp
  • Tolfalas
  • Mount Doom
  • Barad-dûr

All other sites (for agents)

The idea of the deck is to have 2 small companies moving around the South (Harondor, Nurn, Khand) collecting factions and weapons. The hazard strategy is a mixed bag, with agents used to hunt down hero companies and attack them. If your opponent isn't playing an Elf/Chill Them With Fear hazard strategy, then you can bring some of these in from the sideboard to boost your agents and hit your opponent with some elf-detainment attacks.

Play the factions at the appropriate site, and possibly a major item weapon first (using Come by Night). Items are played at the other sites in the same regions, with a quick trip to Tolfalas for the Scroll of Isildur.

How Ren is used will depend on the hazard strategy you are facing. If the hazards are of little risk to the characters (such as detainment) and Elf Lords are not being used, hen you can bring Ren out at Barad-dûr and then sideboard in Helm of Fear and play both Creature of an Older World and Helm of Fear before moving Ren to also collect items (as he will be in Fell Rider Mode). If,on the other hand,you are facing Chilled Elf Lords or another strategy that means your characters are being killed, you probably want to bring Ren out at a Dark Haven so you can play characters at the Dark Haven rather than having to rely on We Have Come To Kill.

Allies are the weakness of this deck -- if you can't play Creature of an Older World, then you have to rely on War-Wolf, which can be easily killed, or bringing more allies in from the sideboard. Otherwise your opponent will double ally marshalling points.

Variags of Khand = 2 MP faction that is in a fairly safe location. If your opponent is playing with Elf-Lords you might want to avoid Khand and stick to Harondor. The bonuses for this faction work well with the Nûrniags

Nûrniags = Another 2 MP faction, this time in a very safe location. The check is quite high, so it's better if you can get the Variags in play first.

Umbarean Corsairs = Another 2 MP faction, the automatic attack at Gobel Mírlond is a bit high, but you can cancel it with a Not Slay Needlessly or Dark Quarrels.

Southrons = This 2 MP faction is popular with some hero decks, so getting it into play, or influencing them away from your opponent can be quite significant.

Scroll of Isildur = Play this at Tolfalas. It is mainly in the deck as anti-one ring. Ideally best to store it at the earliest opportunity for the extra MPs.

Sable Shield = Useful major item, as it's a shield, you can play it at the border-hold sites before playing a faction if you use Come By Night.

High Helm = Probably the most useful item in the deck -- you definitely want to get this in play on one of the main characters to help recruiting factions. Like the Sable Shield, this item is playable at the borderholds.

Broad Headed Spear (x2) = Only a single marshalling point, but the prowess bonus is good for all the characters, and it's playable at the borderholds.

Black Mail Coat = Similar to the Broad Headed Spear, but Asternak is the ideal character for the Mail Coat to boost his low body.

War-wolf = The necessary ally, play it at Mount Doom.

Creature of an Older World = Ren needs to enter play at Barad-dûr or you have to use Black Rider to move him there to play this ally. Once in play, you can then move Ren around collecting items.

Come by Night (x3) = Use these to play a major item at the borderholds before recruiting the faction. Even if you haven't drawn the faction yet you can use this to either play 2 items at the site, or just one then revisit for the faction later.

Not Slay Needlessly (x3) = Staple canceller card -- if your opponent isn't playing the creature types, then you can use this on most of the auto attacks at the sites you'll use.

Weigh All Things to a Nicety (x2) = Use this to either access the sideboard or recycle a resource card that's proving useful, or even to recycle a discarded agent (as you treat them as characters until they are played).

Voices of Malice (x3) = Use this to discard any permanent/long events that are causing you problems.

Dark Quarrels (x2) = Mainly used to cancel the automatic attacks, it is also useful if your opponent is playing those hazard creatures. The third copy is in the sideboard.

Black Rider = In the deck to move Ren to Barad-dûr if you start him at Minas Morgul.

We Have Come to Kill = In the deck to allow you to play a character with a company, quite important if you've got Ren at Barad-dûr and you need to get another character out.

Threats = Staple faction recruiting support card, allows any/all of your warriors to have a good chance of bringing any of the factions into play.

Ancient Secrets = Only useful once Ren is in play, eiher to access the sideboard or discard a problematic permanent/long event.

Beorning skinchangers (x3) = Annoying roadblock card for heroes, also useful anti-one ring card, as it stops most hobbit-only companies.

Daelomin at Home = Fast hazard that has the great ability to raise the hazard limit.

Rain Drake (x3) = Coastal Sea, Ruins & Lairs and triple wilderness cover

Thief (x2) = Borderland/border hold coverage. In combination with Great Secrets Buried, it's possible to deny your opponent marshalling points from items.

Knights of the Prince = Anti Gondor hazard creature, great at tapping out the company with no risk of giving up MPs

Dwarven Travellers (x3) = Risk free creature (detainment) with a high frequency of play, do not expect them to be that effective.

The Mouth of Sauron = Staple card for most decks, recycle a hazard.

My Precious = Anti-one ring, be careful at Mount Doom if you have My Precious in play along with Near to Hear a Whisper, your company could be attacked by your own agent!

Great Secrets Buried There = Useful card, either strip out an item or you get to look at your opponent's hand.

An Unexpected Outpost = Use this to either sideboard hazards or recycle those that are working the best.

Power Built by Waiting = Hazard limit boosting card.

River = Mainly for Anti-one ring, but a useful card against most decks.

Bane of the Ithil Stone = You are not affected by this, so play it immediately -- 2 copies in the deck as it's highly likely the first will get removed quickly by your opponent.

Revealed to All Watchers = A good card for pulling hazards when you have a hand of resources. Also useful for stacking the top of your deck with known resource cards to help with planning movement next turn.

Near to Hear a Whisper = Allows all your agents to attack, even if the company decides not to enter the site. Especially useful with the Elf agents who can move to the Havens.