Deck: Brave Explorers


As I play more three and four player games, locations are quickly becoming a thorn in my furry side. Nothing is more frustrating that having all of your soldiers lined up and ready for battle, only to lose to location-lock. With a high percentage of surge in modern encounter decks, it is not uncommon to reveal 5 or 6 encounter cards each round in a four player game. If three of these are locations and your party is not prepared with location-control and willpower-boosting, you are in for a rough time.

AsfalothWith that in mind, I wanted to build a mono Sphere deck for multi-player that focuses on location-control, threat-control and questing. Thanks to Idraen, it is now possible to create a mono-Spirit deck that can handle some combat as well. I share the community’s sentiment that Glorfindel is over-used. However, he fit into this deck for two important reasons. First of all, he is the best rider for Asfaloth, which really puts this deck over the top when it comes to spot location-control. The other important aspect of the ever-present elf is his three attack strength. Between Glorfindel and Idraen, this deck can take down medium-sized enemies without help from other decks. This is important for those games when locations don’t show up and you find yourself surrounded by enemies.

Galadriel's-Handmaiden-smallGaladriel is an amazing support card in multi-player games. Don’t underestimate the impact of being able to lower any player’s threat by 1 as an action. This can be vital for ensuring that the encounter phase works out to everyone’s advantage. With the ability to make sizable questing pushes, it is often possible to leave dangerous enemies in the staging area while you control the locations and the other players focus on easier targets. Once the combat-heavy decks are setup with their weapons and support, they can pull the larger enemies from the staging area at their leisure.

It bears mentioning that Idraen’s ability does not have a limit. With careful planning and a bit of luck, it is possible to ready her multiple times in the same round. West Road Travelers help you to avoid onerous travel effects and ensure that there is always an active location to explore during the quest phase. Locations in the staging area aren’t a problem either. Northern Tracker, along with The Riddermark’s Finest and Asfaloth can all explore those locations – the later two can even do so during the combat phase. Idraen’s well-balanced stats make her useful in all phases of the game.

Pelargir ShipwrightPelargir Shipwright is the workhorse of this deck. While the heroes have high-willpower (or a powerful boosting ability, in Galadriel’s case), it takes allies to create the huge questing pushes that will allow you to overcome a staging area filled with locations. This deck pairs well with a Gondor Leadership deck. For example, Visionary Leadership on another player’s Gondor Hero will allow the Shipwright to quest for 4 each round. In addition, if another player controls Faramir, they can choose you as the recipient of his effect for a huge willpower boost.

One interesting side-effect of Galadriel’s passive ability is that it prevents Arwen Undómiel from exhausting the round that she comes into play. It does seem a bit ironic that Galadriel would neutralize her granddaughter’s power but this is sadly true. Regardless, Arwen does fit well into the deck as she can boost Idraen’s defense to serve as a solid blocker. In addition, she joins other allies in the deck with more than one hit point to help deal with archery and direct-damage.

Imladris StargazerFielding all of these allies can get expensive. That’s where the classic Zigil Miner and Imladris Stargazer combo comes into play. While I wish that there was a more thematic means for mono-Spirit decks to get some resource acceleration, this combo is the best you can do without support from other archetypes. As an advantage, this does allow you to think your deck and search for vital cancellation and threat-reduction cards.

One last thing to keep in mind with this deck is a sideboard. While sideboards are more common in competitive card games, the card pool of the game has reached a point where there are extra cards worth considering. The sideboard is a collection of cards that are either scenario specific or that alter the strategy behind the deck in some way. For example, someone scenarios feature treacheries that turn into condition attachments. As we’ve seen in the Ring-maker cycle, many of these conditions can be very destructive. In these kinds of quests, Power of Orthanc is an invaluable card. Before you play this deck, be sure to take a look at the sideboard and consider if any cards would be useful for the challenge ahead. May you all have safe travels through Middle-Earth!


Idraen (TTT)
Galadriel (CS)
Glorfindel (FoS)

Allies: 23
Arwen Undómiel (TWitW) x2
Galadriel’s Handmaiden (CS) x3
Imladris Stargazer (FoS) x3
The Riddermark’s Finest (THoEM) x3
West Road Traveller (RtM) x3
Zigil Miner (KD) x3
Pelargir Shipwright (AoO) x3
Northern Tracker (Core) x3

Attachments: 17
Nenya (CS) x3
Ancient Mathom (AJtR) x3
Light of Valinor (FoS) x3
Miruvor (FoS) x2
Warden of Arnor (TTT)  x2
Unexpected Courage (Core) x2
Asfaloth (FoS) x2

Events: 10
A Test of Will (Core) x3
Dwarven Tomb (Core) x2
Hasty Stroke (Core) x2
The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core) x3

Sideboard: 15
Bofur (TRG) x2
White Tower Watchman (TDF) x3
Blood of Númenor (HoN) x2
Power of Orthanc (VoI) x3
Hasty Stroke (Core) x1
Lay of Nimrodel (TMV) x2
Light the Beacons (HoN) x2

This entry was posted in Deck Building, Deck Lists, Strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Deck: Brave Explorers

  1. Pengolodh says:

    Whoa. I just realized, looking at my cards, that Galadriel does not have a quote! Is she the first hero without a quote (not counting Baggins/Fellowship heroes)? I believe so!
    Down to business. Excellent deck, sir. And I would have never guessed that Galadriel would do that to her own granddaughter.

  2. Ecthelion III says:

    How do you pay for Asfaloth? I don’t see any Lore- splashing cards.

  3. Tony F says:

    I think I would try to find room for Hidden Cache since it works very well with the Miners and provides an extra boost to resource acceleration. I might drop the Galadhrim’s Greetings or Ancient Mathoms since Galadriel has both those areas covered.

    Another candidate you might consider is Strength of Will, which lets you get some extra progress from Idraen or Glorfindel on those turns that you don’t need to fight anything.

  4. MPK says:

    I built this deck and have played with it a bit, and find it quite enjoyable. Nenya is nice to have, but never needed, and Galadriel’s native card drawing is particularly excellent for spirit. I paired it with a spirit/tactics deck focused on Dunhere – Celebrimbor’s Secret never stood a chance.

    • Beorn says:

      Glad to hear it! This is now one of my go-to decks for multi-player and it has yet to dissapoint. Location control is becoming a more important facet of the game with each new release.

  5. Pingback: 5 Invaluable Cards for Multi-player | Hall of Beorn

  6. Dr. Biddix says:

    Just beat Deadman’s Dike solo with this deck, as is. Looking forward to tweaking a bit with the newer cards. What I lacked was a heavy hitter, (I’m thinking Fair and Perilous and Tale of Tinúviel, some card draw (maybe Steed of Imladris/Elven Light/Silver Harp) and a cheaper threat reduction (maybe Elrond’s Council for Greeting). Will of the West would have been good for that quest, as I cut it close. My only issue is that I hate messing with a good thing and am reluctant to make too many swaps!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s