Deck: Three Kings, a Queen, and a Prince

One of the great things about The Lord of the Rings LCG is that it lets us play the game of What If?. What if Dain survived the battle of Dale at the end of the third age? What if Balin escaped Durin’s Bane in the mines of Khazad-dûm? What if Fili and Kili survived the battle of Five Armies at the end of The Hobbit? This deck is a fun trip through an alternate Middle-Earth, in which all of the above events transpired.

Arwen UndomielFaramirAfter the triumphant victory over the forces of Sauron at the Field of Cormallen, the newly crowned king Aragorn is taking his first journey back North. Along with his bride, Queen Arwen Undomiel, and good friend, Prince Faramir (sadly, no Eowyn ally yet exists to join him), the King will visit Balin, Lord of Moria, and Dain Ironfoot, King Under the Mountain at Erebor.

Along the way, they will meet many of the surviving members of Thorin’s brave company. Gandalf, in dire need of a resupply of Old Toby leaf, and inquisitive as to how the Hobbits are faring in the Shire, has decided to come along for the journey.

Strength of ArmsIdeally, this deck wants to rush through the quest as quickly as possible. With a starting threat of 32, we don’t exactly have a lot of time to sit around and wait for the staging area to fill with trouble. Fortunately, between Dain, Sword that was Broken and Faramir, the deck can muster a truly epic army for questing.

Global readying effects in Strength of Arms and Lure of Moria then allow most of our characters to act again in the same round. Many cards here highlight how powerful global effects can be, particularly in a mono-Leadership deck. Strength of Arms, in particular is a card that seems very much overlooked from the most recent adventure pack. True, the requirement of having all Leadership heroes is steep, but at a cost of only two resources, in a sphere with tons of resource acceleration, this card can be amazing. As you will see, there are all kinds of shenanigans that this cards allows for.

We Are Not IdleFor example, in the planning phase, we can exhaust Arwen and an Errand Rider to help pay for A Very Good Tale, allowing us to get a 3 cost dwarf into play for free and giving Dain +1 defense until the end of the round. The we can exhaust all of our dwarves to pay for We Are Not Idle which will allow us to play even more cards from our hand.

At the beginning of the quest phase, we can exhaust Faramir to give each of our characters an additional willpower (dwarves will be at +2 at this point, thanks to Dain). Then for two resources, we play Strength of Arms and ready all of our allies. We can then exhaust Faramir to trigger his ability a second time (all dwarves are now at +3 willpower until the end of the phase) and when Arwen commits to the quest, she can give Dain an additional +1 defense, bringing him up to 5.

If we manage to get Sword that was Broken on Aragorn, it should be possible for this deck to power through most quest phases in a single round. This is the beauty of mono-Sphere decks; concentrating on what a sphere excels at can lead to some tremendously powerful strategies. We won’t miss the things that Leadership lacks: healing and threat-reduction, for example, if we don’t stick around long enough for the encounter deck to take advantage of these weaknesses.

Narvi's BeltAragorn, along with dwarf allies boosted by Dain’s effect, should be able to handle most combat situations. Balin, erstwhile King of Khazad-dûm, will ensure that we aren’t taken at unawares by any nasty shadow effects. Once we get Steward of Gondor in play (on Aragorn if we are feeling thematic, or Balin coupled with Narvi’s Belt, if we want to be strategic) we should try to save resources on Balin as much as possible. As previously mentioned, Arwen bolsters our defense, and with a large enough number of duplicate unique allies, we can always chump block in a pinch.

Ultimately, the returned King is not interested in seeing his company mired in petty squabbles on his homecoming trip through Rhovanion. He wants to enjoy the journey and focus on the beauty of Middle-Earth, now freed from the shadow of Mordor. Questing is what this deck is good at, and at that it can be among the best in the game. If you want to get really silly, try splashing in a couple of copies of Untroubled By Darkness, just to see how high you can get your total willpower in a single turn. For the more combat themed quests, you can always pair this with something a bit more militant like the mono-Tactics deck that Ian has over at Tales from the Cards. Enjoy the deck, and happy travels!

Aragorn (Core)Dain IronfootBalin

Aragorn (Core)
Dain Ironfoot

Allies: 24
Errand Rider (HoN) x3
Arwen Undomiel (TWitW) x2
Longbeard Elder x3
Fili (THOHaUH) x2
Kili (THOHaUH) x1
Gloin (THOtD) x2
Dwalin (THOtD) x1
Bifur (THOtD) x2
Bofur (TRG) x1
Bombur (RtR) x1
Longbeard Orc Slayer (Core) x1
Faramir (Core) x2
Gandalf (Core) x3

Attachments: 13
King Under the Mountain x3
Steward of Gondor x3
Narvi’s Belt x3
Celebrian’s Stone x2
Sword that was Broken x2

Events: 13
A Very Good Tale x2
We Are Not Idle x3
Sneak Attack x3
Strength of Arms x3
Lure of Moria x2

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6 Responses to Deck: Three Kings, a Queen, and a Prince

  1. shipwreck says:

    I need to go back and look for myself to see if you addressed this previously…or, just be lazy and ask it here: how do you go about coming up with ideas like this? Do you just thumb through your cards and see ideas pop up? Or do you spring out of bed in the middle of the night with a big idea, eat some honey, and write it out?

    Good use of the word ‘erstwhile’ as well.

    • Beorn says:

      Erstwhile just doesn’t get enough love, in this bear’s opinion. As far as where my inspiration comes from, it really depends. In some cases, I really want to make a particular hero work (e.g. Mirlonde in Masters of the Forest). In others, it might be a particular combo or theme (e.g. the Elrohor + Steward of Gondor + Gondorian Shield idea that you showed me).

      In the case of this deck, I was thinking back to my Key Concepts article about Force Multiplication, and how Strength of Arms fit so well into the strategy of numerical superiority. I also must admit to being inspired by certain negative comments recently made elsewhere. This deck is in some part my attempt to prove that the Mono-sphere cards in The Drúadan Forest are not, in fact, garbage.

      I have been striving lately to really tie the decks together, thematically. That is such a rich and important aspect of this game, I don’t want to just throw decks together with all of the most powerful cards – I very much want my decks to be able to tell a story.

  2. TalesfromtheCards says:

    I really like this deck! Which is probably not surprising, given my love for mono-sphere. Spirit gets a lot of attention as the questing sphere, which is largely justified, but in my experience, mono-Leadership is potentially one of the most powerful deck types around for pure questing power. It can get to truly impressive levels. I’m also glad to see you backing up The Druadan Forest cards. I was starting to wonder if I was crazy since so many people seemed to write them off, but I think they’ll prove their quality as time goes on.

  3. Tiandes says:

    Happy that someone finally unerline the (too?) powerfull card that is Strenght of Arms.
    After my first version of an Outland deck that was secrecy-oriented having only Hurluin and Denethor as heroes, I put together an all Leadership heroes outland deck with Hurluin, Theodred and Aragorn (core).
    Wow is Strenght powerful, having all those outlanders being able to quest and/or defend and/or attack in the same turn makes you feel like leading an almost invincible army against the creatures of darkness and you know you’ll make them, pay…

  4. Pingback: Narvi’s Belt | Master of Lore

  5. Pingback: Poll Results: What is your favorite section of Hall of Beorn? | Hall of Beorn

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