Gandalf Deck

Posts: 671
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:26 pm

Gandalf Deck

Post by zarathustra »

OK, so this deck is made assuming you start with you avatar at your avatar's home site, plus 20 mind worth of characters. It has the following Victory Conditions:

G1: Play (and keep till the end) Gollum (unnecessary, but useful)
G2: Use the One Ring successfully to cancel an attack or make an influence attempt (i.e., survive the cc) (thematic)
G3: Play (and keep till the end) Phial of Galadriel (unnecessary, but useful)
G4: Play Riddling Talk on an opponent's company (interactive)
G5: Make an opponent's character turn Traitor (hazard)
G6*: Successfully play Cracks of Doom or Gollum's Fate.


Sam Gamgee



2 Concealment
3 Gates of Morning
2 Halfling Stealth
2 Halfling Strength
1 Mirror of Galadriel
1 Show Things Unbidden
3 Quiet Lands
2 Smoke Rings
1 Longbottom Leaf
2 The Cock Crows
1 Riddling Talk
1 The Riddle Game

2 Leaf-Brooch
1 Phial of Galadriel
3 Precious Gold Ring
1 Gollum
1 Scroll of Isildur
1 The One Ring


1 Alone and Unadvised
2 An Unexpected Outpost
2 Traitor
3 Twilight
1 The Balance of Things
2 Bring Our Curses Home
2 Lure of Expedience
1 Lure of Power
2 Lure of the Senses

1 Ren the Unclean
1 Itangast at Home
1 Scorba at Home
1 Saruman the Wise

1 Slayer
3 Cave-Worm
3 Corpse Candle
1 Ghosts
1 Assassin
1 Barrow Wigh


1 Cracks of Doom
1 Gollum's Fate
1 Mirror of Galadriel
1 Nenya
3 Old Friendship
1 The Cock Crows
2 Wizard's Test
1 Show things Unbidden

Other things to consider:

What hazards should it have, and what should the hazard VC be?


I think we should stick with making a universal hazard strategy, instead of making two (as initially discussed). If these decks are ever going to be played IRL in a tournament, I feel having one deck, no substitutions, should be the way to go.

Maybe you could make something with an elf-theme? Galadriel's Troops! Laughing


Gonna drop the Stealths and add 3 Many Turns and Doublings.

Elves might work... they seem too... strong for a deck like this.


Gosh.. it is starting to look a good bit like a deck I won a large (28 players?) tournament with once.

That turns out to have been all the way back in 1998, so it took me a good while to find and open this deck (anybody remember WordPerfect 5.1?). The title seems archaic by now, but back then not having Frodo or Bilbo with you as your ringbearer was a novelty.

Hobbits? I can dunk without them! - A tournament deck vs hero and fallen-wizard, way back from 1998

Starting character pool
Sam (ranger, sometimes ring-bearer)
Fatty Bolger (body-guard, mainly vs. auto-attack / Nazgûl / Cave Worm)
Círdan (diplomat, nicce influence)
Dáin II (Círdan's backup)
Haldir (runner Easterling-express)
Folco Boffin (draft-backup for the hobbits)
Éomer (1e backup runner, put in in deck)
Thranduil (backup ranger! for Sam)
Galadriel (backup, put in deck and play under wizard in Lórien)
Annalena (runner, put in deck)
Miruvor (Sam's ; often handed over to Fatty; usually drunk last turn)
Cram (Círdan's; often handed to another)

Pallando (o such wonderfull hand-size)
2x Radagast (the card-draw is nice, though he's not a runner in this deck)
Arwen (runner)
2x Precious Gold-ring (one in play will do, keep the other for Rolled down to..)
2x Leaf Brooch (believe me you can use both)
Scroll of Isildur
Gollum (can do without, but more fun with)
Three Golden Hairs (for Círdan)
3x Master of Esgaroth (card draw wet dream; early use helps opponent overlook it can take you to Mnt. Doom)
3x Gates of Morning
2x Fifteen Birds in Five Firtrees (for wizard, but also prolongs average runner life span)
3x The Cock Crows
3x Many Turns and Doublings (good vs undead, splendid vs hazard limit)
Dark Quarrels
Halfling Strenght
Old Friendship
Withdrawn to Mordor
And Forth He Hastened
2x Smoke Rings

3x Sellswords Between Charters (on shadow-hold on-guard, keeps opponent from using 15 Birds against you)
2x Thief
2x Assassin (too many forget to pack Forewarned...)
True Cold-drake
Daelomin at Home (yes, hazard-limit)
Lobelia Sackville-Baggins (and offensive too)
Nobody's Friend
3x Rank Upon Rank
2x Alone and Unadvised
Lure of the Senses
Lure of Nature
2x Lure of Expedience
2x Lure of Power (not in the least to hold on to my stuff)
2x An Unexpected Outpost
3x Twilight

The One Ring
Gollum's Fate
3x Wizard's Test (three is NOT luxury)
Wizard's Laughter
2x Old Friendship
2x Cracks of Doom
2x Test of Form
Marvels Told
Withdrawn to Mordor
Tookish Blood
Bane of the Ithil-stone
Rolled down to the Sea
Longing for the West
2x Pilfer Anything Unwatched
Seized by Terror
The Way is Shut
Power Built by Waiting
2x River
News of Doom (don't forget to use vs high faction players!)
Muster Disperses
Neither so Ancient Nor so Potent
extra vs fallen-wizard:
Mask Torn
Cast from the Order
2x Heart Grown Gold
Inner Rot
Ire of the East
Blind to the West
3x Echoes of the Song

Sam, Fatty and Círdan start as one group. They go for Gollum, a ring and possibly the Scroll of Isildur.

Haldir starts the Easterling Express. He gets help (well, usually replaced) from / by Éomer, Annalena and Arwen. With help of Master of Esgaroth this runner (or runners, as there can be two at work) generate massive card flow. This means no Far-Sight or such is needed and ample protection cards are available for the main group.

When the wizard arrives, he makes his way to Lórien to play Galadriel and sit to sideboard.

By the time you exhaust you should be under way the Mount Doom, usually via Death Marshes to pick up the Scroll. The wizard joins the main company for this, but Galadriel usually stays home (not a fighter anyway) to provide handsize and play fresh runners as needed.

The deck uses a fairly elaborate plot (with some cool cards) to destroy the ring shortly after cyling the deck. The opponent gets the massive draw too, so do play hazards, or he'll be over 25MP and call on you.

Specific care is given towards winning from another one ring deck on MPs, as you'll often screw eachother out of what's needed to dunk.

Ok, so why post this here? Well.. I guess to show that this type of deck can be quite strong and competitive. Perhaps too much so for the ICM. It does need the card draw engine for that though, so as long as you leave that out, you may be ok.


Still tweaking the deck. It lost its first game to the FW rad deck, so I don't think it's too strong (note that I dropped the Many Turns for more Quiet Lands).

I've added a hazard portion now. Let me know what you think.


Dude! I love The Riddle Game VP! It can be a strong card in this format!

A suggestion: how about making the Phial VP one that requires it's use to cancel undead instead of holding on to it? That could be the 'cool' VP imho.

And maybe using Gollum to play Concealment could be one? That would still be 'useful'... I think it would be better if it's clear when a VP has been achieved (instead of holding on to 'foo' until the end). Smile


1 Problem with Riddle Game: No Bilbo Sad

For Gollum VP: how about he just cancels an attack (so he could use his special ability or play a concealment)?

Phial: I suppose tapping to support a cc is not enough for you? Wink


Return to “ICD Development”