Decks: The House of Elrond

Elrond's Family Tree

Of all the characters in Tolkien’s legendarium, Elrond is one of the most fascinating. The half-elven descendant of Beren and Lúthien, Elrond and his brother Elros were given a very unique choice. After the War of Wrath and the destruction of Beleriand, the Valar gave the twins the choice over their race and fate. Elros chose the “Gift of Men” and was blessed with the longest life of any mortal. Elrond chose to live as an elf and to one day return to Valinor with his kindred.

Elros founded Númenor, the kingdom which preceded Arnor and Gondor. This means that Elrond is not only Aragorn’s father-in-law, but also his great, great, great… uncle. That must make for some interesting conversations at family reunions. These decks are a thematic take at representing the House of Elrond, one of the last powers of the Eldar in Middle-earth.

Valley-of-Rivendell-by-Soni_Alcorn-HenderThe founding of Imladris was an accident of sorts. During the Second Age, Elrond and an army from Lindon were sent by Gil-galad in an effort to face Sauron in Eriador. Celeborn brought a detachment from Eregion to strengthen Elrond’s army, but even with the reinforcements, they were overwhelmed. Trapped near the headwaters of Bruinen, Elrond established Imladris. This stronghold would henceforth be a refuge for those seeking shelter from Sauron’s onslaught in the west.

By S.A. 1700, Sauron had overrun all of Eriador and Imladris was under siege. Gil-galad’s forces routed Sauron’s armies and drove him out of Eriador, lifting the siege. A Council held at that time made Elrond Gil-galad’s vice-regent in Eriador, and Imladris his seat. Imladris remained an Elvish stronghold in the region into the waning of the Third Age. Gil-galad bestowed Vilya upon Elrond in secret, and with it the lord of Imladris made it one of the centers of Elvish strength in the west.

The strategy behind these decks is fairly straight forward. The first deck takes advantage of versatile heroes and a multitude of readying effects to overwhelm any opposition. The second deck uses Vilya to muster allies and powerful attachments while proving support through healing and card draw. Neither deck has particularly low starting threat, but the heroes are powerful enough to handle themselves while each deck gets setup.

The two decks are definitely designed to work together. Elrond is a mighty Elven lord with the mastery of Vilya, but the Imladris Stargazer makes the ring much more effective.  Likewise, Elrohir is an valiant defender, but Elven Mail makes him much less vulnerable to enemy attacks. Asfaloth is similarly most effective when ridden by his master Glorfindel. I have included a sideboard with some options to help deal with specific scenarios, but these decks should be effective against many different kinds of challenges.

Deck #1: Watchers of the Valley


Aragorn (Core)
Elrohir (TRG)
Glorfindel (FoS)

Allies: 20
Rivendell Scout (TTT) x3
Naith Guide (TDT) x3
Arwen Undómiel (TWitW) x3
Imladris Stargazer (FoS) x3
Silverlode Archer (Core) x2
Orophin (CS) x1
Erestor (TLD) x2
Gandalf (Core) x3

Attachments: 20
Dúnedain Warning (CatC) x3
Ancient Mathom (AJtR) x2
Light of Valinor (FoS) x3
Miruvor (SaF) x3
Celebrían’s Stone (Core) x2
Steward of Gondor (Core) x3
Unexpected Courage (Core) x2
Sword that was Broken (TWitW) x2

Events: 10
Elrond’s Counsel (SaF) x3
Sneak Attack (Core) x3
A Test of Will (Core) x2
Hasty Stroke (Core) x2

Sideboard: 15
Blood of Númenor (HoN) x2
Dúnedain Mark (THfG) x3
Ancient Mathom (AJtR) x1
Celebrían’s Stone (Core) x1
Sword that was Broken (TWitW) x1
Valiant Sacrifice (Core) x3
A Test of Will (Core) x1
Hasty Stroke (Core) x1
Ride them Down (TAC) x2

Deck #2: Keepers of Imladris



Allies: 20
Henamarth Riversong (Core) x2
Trollshaw Scout (FoS) x2
Galadhon Archer (NiE) x2
Master of the Forge (SaF) x3
Daughter of the Nimrodel (Core) x2
Rivendell Minstrel (THfG) x2
Rumil (TTT) x1
Haldir of Lorien (AJtR) x1
Gildor Inglorion (THoEM) x2
Gandalf (Core) x3

Attachments: 22
Expert Treasure-hunter (TH:OtD) x2
Dagger of Westernesse (TBR) x2
Rivendell Blade (RtR) x3
Rivendell Bow (TWitW) x2
Elf-stone (TBR) x2
Lembas (TiT) x2
Elven Mail (TTT) x2
A Burning Brand (TWitW) x2
Asfaloth (FoS) x2
Vilya (SaF) x3

Events: 8
Daeron’s Runes (FoS) x3
Feint (Core) x2
Mithrandir’s Advice (TSF) x3

Sideboard: 15
Ranger Bow (AoO) x2
Wingfoot (NiE) x2
A Burning Brand (TWitW) x1
Asfaloth (FoS) x1
Ranger Spikes (HoN) x2
Foe-hammer (TH:OHaUH) x3
Feint (Core) x1
Quick Strike (Core) x3

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16 Responses to Decks: The House of Elrond

  1. Pengolodh says:

    Wow, can’t wait to try these decks against The Lost Realm, when it comes out. Strangely, I never though of pairing one brother with Aragorn and the other with Elrond. It is just me, or is Miruvor getting more use? I find myself including it in a lot of spirit decks. Just being able to ready a hero (which is the effect I use most often) and get a resource, +1 willpower, or put it on the top of your deck to use again is great. And for just one resource! It could essentially pay for itself. Also, I enjoyed the history at the beginning. Especially the family tree.

  2. diedertk says:

    Cool post!
    Like the decks very much and also the somewhat Master of Lore kinda history in the beginning ->really enhances the theme of the deck and with what thoughts you made this.
    I will certainly load them up in OCTGN and see how they fare. I actually never really played a twin deck before, so quite excited!

    P.S. Will you post about the new FAQ? Interested in your opinion!

  3. Tonskillitis says:

    Nice thematic decks that look balanced and fun to play. Do you find the Rivendell Scout playable outside of secrecy? I guess he’s in the right sphere… I need to try these out on a quest: something fairly combat heavy is always fun when you’ve got the elf twins. Have you got any quest recommendations where these decks will be able to show their mettle?

    • Beorn says:

      No particular recommemdations, though these decks are fairly versatile with lots of readying, so they should work for many quests. Rivendell Scout is purely included for thematic reasons. Feel free to swap them out for other more powerful allies. All things considered, 2 resources for 1 willpower, 1 attack and 2 hit points is not a bad deal.

  4. Gwaihir the Windlord says:

    So . . . Arwen is Aragorn’s cousin a dozen or so times removed?

  5. Pingback: Metagame: Part 5 – FAQs and an Evolving Metagame | Hall of Beorn

  6. Oh man, these decks are ticking all the right boxes for me. It’s been so long since I really used Elladan and Elrohir. Time to get back to my roots I think, thanks for the inspiration.

    • Beorn says:

      You are most welcome; I am glad to hear that you like the decks. It’s nice that Mirlonde allows for an Elrond deck with a starting threat under 30, without having to resort to Spirit Glorfindel.

  7. Pengolodh says:

    Do you have any idea if these decks would hold up well against the Nin-in-Eilph? Just suffered yet another painstaking loss using the brothers, and I like the decks I’m using, but just thinking that these might be better.

    • Beorn says:

      It’s worth a try, though you may have to make minor changes for that scenario. One of the keys that I found was to ensure you can kill enemies immediately, especially the snakes. You don’t want to let them build numbers and overwhelm you. Good luck!

  8. Pengolodh says:

    Wow, that was quick! Thanks for the response. Last time my partner threated out and very graciously gave me two enemies on top of a third, and of course, with one hero already in the discard pile, that worked out just great. Gandalf jumped in, but I was still swamped (no pun intended).

    • Beorn says:

      Yeah, in my experience this is the most difficult quest of the cycle for multi-player. At some point I will probably build a deck specifically for this quest like I did for Into Ithilien.

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