This deck is an attempt a making a different kind of Rohan deck. At this point, there are so many Spirit cards that have synergy around the Rohan trait, it is easy to make a quest-heavy deck around that theme. As much as these decks can be fun to play, they do tend to be a bit one-dimensional. Taking a different track, this deck will focus on the abilities of two less-heralded heroes among the Rohirrim, Hama and Theodred. Because there are not enough Rohan cards outside of the Spirit sphere, we will also include Dunedain and Rangers to fill out the rest of the deck.
By excluding the Spirit sphere, we lose access to threat-reduction, so our choice of Aragorn (TWitW) as our the third hero is not only thematically appropriate, as he was the leader of the Grey Company, but it fulfills a role that these spheres would otherwise be unable to provide. Because our other two heroes give us access to Tactics and Leadership, we can also include some very powerful attachments that specifically mention Aragorn. Celebrian’s Stone, The Sword that Was Broken, and Rivendell Bow all will be used to good effect in this deck.
The minstrel of Rohan, Gleowine, will help provide card drawing to ensure that we can draw some of these powerful cards. Between Steward of Gondor and Theodred, there is plenty of resource generation in this deck. We will typically want to make Theodred the Steward of Gondor, and then we can use his ability, along with the Errand Riders, to make sure that everyone else has the resources that they need. Other than Horseback Archers, every tactics card in this deck only costs 1 resource, so most of the time, extra resources will go to Aragorn. In this case, Sword that Was Broken is doubly useful, as the Leadership icon that it grants him works perfectly with this deck’s strategies.
With Aragorn wielding the Sword that Was Broken and Celebrian’s Stone and Faramir along to help, we should be able to turn our collection of cheap, low-willpower, allies into a questing army. Also, with all of the resource generation, paying for Gandalf should not be a problem. The grey wizard can help us out of any rough situations that we find ourselves in. Depending on the draw, it is possible that only Theodred and Aragorn will be committed to the quest for the first few rounds. As long as we can get some resource generation or card draw, this should not be a problem. Even if we end up taking some early game threat from an unsuccessful quest, we can stall with Hama and Feint, and then use Aragorn to bring us back to our starting threat level. This deck is all about long-term strategy. Once we get either Faramir or Sword that was Broken, questing should be less of a problem.
The main solution to combat in this deck is going to be using Hama to recycle cards like Feint and Hands Upon the Bow. There are other solutions for dealing with the staging area. Ranger Spikes should slow the enemy onslaught a bit. Hail of Stones can also help deal with enemies that have nasty engagement effects. When the scouting is done, and the errands have been run, our lowly allies can always resort to rock-throwing. Tricks aside, once we draw a Feint we will want to get the Hama-engine running. With card draw and plenty of duplicates of unique cards, we should have an abundance of cards to pitch so that Hama will always have a Feint ready. Once we get Blade of Gondolin attached to Hama, a timely Foe-Hammer can also help replenish a hand that has been reduced to pay for his ability. Lastly, it is important to point out that Hands Upon the Bow can be used on allies as well as heroes, so if we don’t yet have Aragorn equipped with a Rivendell Bow, we can still use this card with the Horseback Archers.
Unfortunately, outside of Spirit, there are still not a lot of Rohan cards in print. Likewise, the Dunedain trait has yet to receive much love from FFG, so this deck is stretched a bit thin. Because of the weak early questing, it will probably fair best when paired with another, more traditional Rohan deck that features Eowyn and some treachery-cancelation. Fortunately, Rohan does look to receive some attention in the upcoming Against the Shadow cycle, so this deck should improve in the near future. In the mean time, those in the mood to try something a bit more thematic, might find a ride with Rohirrim and Rangers to be quite enjoyable.