Bear Draft v3: Havens


The sheer volume of media based upon, or at least loosely inspired by, Tolkien’s writing is impressive. It speaks to the depth and detail of Tolkien’s world that there can be so many different, not to mention excellent, interpretations of Middle-earth. For some of us grey-beards, this fine LCG is not our first foray into a Tolkien-based card game. Middle Earth Collectible Card Game, by Iron Crown Enterprises holds a dear place in my heart, as I know it does for some others in the community.

At this point I believe it is fair to say that this game has far surpassed all other card games set in Middle-earth. Between deluxe cycles, Saga campaigns, Fellowship and Gen Con quests, there truly is something for everyone. The attention to detail continues to be what impresses me the most. As a lifelong fan of Tolkien, it is the little touches that remind me that the designers of this game, unlike many franchise-based games, have a deep affection for the source material.

MECCG LórienEven so, there are some elements from Middle-earth CCG that I miss. One of the aspects of that game that I really enjoyed was the way that locations had an impact, both geographically and in terms of the kinds of allies you could recruit. This allowed for a wide variety of deck strategies, and helped keep your enemy guessing about where you might travel next. I’ve taken inspiration from Middle-earth CCG’s concept of strategic locations in Middle-earth with this wrinkle to my latest draft format.

The idea is simple: after players have finished drafting, they will have the option of selecting a haven from which there party of heroes begins their quest. This takes places immediately after players select their General and add his signature squad to their draft cards, so the decision adds to the strategy of how you will finish building your deck.

Wellinghall-PreserverHavens are thematically and strategically tied to the group of beings which inhabit them. For example, Wellinghall is filled with Ents and Ent-related cards. On the other hand, Meduseld is where you will find the Rohirrim and their majestic steeds. Imladris is where you can find the household of Elrond have-Elven. Likewise the Grey Havens of Lindon house the shipwrights who take the Noldor to the undying lands. Any take of refuge from the horrors of the world would of course be incomplete without mentioning The Shire, bustling with the indomitable Hobbits.

Starting with whichever player last picked their General, players will choose a Haven from the list below and add those cards (in the specified quantity) to their draft cards and the signature cards for their General. All havens include six cards, just like signature squads, and players are encouraged to choose a haven which matches well with their choice of hero. For example, selecting Celeborn as your General and then choosing to start in the Haven of The Naith makes all kinds of sense.

Unless otherwise specified (e.g. x2 or x3), haven cards come with only a single copy of each card. Just as with signature squads, havens do not allow you to break deck-building rules of 3 per card by title, so players should keep that in mind when they are selecting. Each of these cards is optional – you can play with as many or as few haven cards (from your selected haven) as you want. With a wise choice, many haven cards will be beneficial to your overall strategy. As a final option, players can choose not to begin at a haven at all and take a more Ranger-like approach. Instead of receiving haven cards, these itinerant players gain one copy of Core Set Gandalf and 2 songs from this list: Song of Kings, Song of Battle, Song of Travel and Song of Wisdom.

For those interested in variant format and draft, be on the lookout for the final article in the series of Bear Draft v3, in which I detail the new draft pool. In the mean time, happy travels through Middle-earth – may you found yourself in many happy havens to rest your weary feet!

The Shire

Bree: Bill the Pony x2, Hobbit Cloak, Staff of Lebethron, Taste it Again!, Timely Aid
Bamfurlong: Farmer Maggot, Ring Mail, Dagger of Westernesse, Halfling Determination x2, Unseen Strike
Bag End: Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens), Hobbit Pipe x2, Smoke Rings x2, Hobbit-sense
Buckland: Curious Brandybuck, Wandering Took, Hobbit Pony x2, Elevenses x2
The Prancing Pony: Barliman Butterbur, Robin Smallburrow, Fast Hitch x2, Expert Treasure-hunter, Take No Notice
Chetwood: Strider x2, Resourceful x2, Vanish from Sight x2


Weather Hills: Dúnedain Signal, Dúnedain Cache, Dúnedain Mark, Dúnedain Warning, Dúnedain Remedy, Dúnedain Message
Amon Sûl: Halbarad, Guardian of Arnor x2, Son of Arnor, Heir of Valandil, Roheryn
Fornost: Dúnedain Hunter x2, Fornost Bowman x2, Tireless Hunters x2
Annúminas: Greyflood Wanderer x2, Warden of Annúminas x2, Northern Tracker x2
The Old Road: A Burning Brand, Elf-stone, Weather-stained Cloak, Strider’s Path x2, Quick Ears


Hall of Beorn: Glóin, Fili, Kili, Cram, A Very Good Tale, Second Breakfast
Bee Pastures: Beorn, Beorning Beekeeper, Honour Guard x2, Close Call x2
Rhosgobel: Radagast, Gwaihir, Winged Guardian, Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Support of the Eagles, The Eagles Are Coming!
Emyn Fuin: Henamarth Riversong, Mirkwood Runner x2, Silvan Tracker x2, Secret Paths

Erebor (and The Iron Hills)

Lonely Mountain: Glóin, Fili, King Under the Mountain, Hardy Leadership, “To Me! O My Kinsfolk!” x2
Gates of Erebor: Bofur, Veteran Axehand x2, Dwarven Axe x2, Heavy Stroke
Dale: Rhovanion Outrider x2, Celduin Traveler, Warden of Arnor, Scouting Party x2
Iron Hills: Erebor Record Keeper, Miner of the Iron Hills x2, Bifur, Legacy of Durin, Ancestral Knowledge


Trollshaws: Erestor, Rivendell Scout, Dawn Take You All! x2, Swift and Silent x2
The Bruinen: Trollshaw Scout, Watcher of the Bruinen, Rivendell Blade, Rivendell Bow, Elven Mail, Revealed in Wrath
Last Homely House: Elrond (The Road Darkens), Imladris Caregiver, Master of the Forge x2, Vilya, Lore of Imladris
Hithaeglir Foothills: Glorfindel (Flight of the Stormcaller), Woodland Courier x2, Elrond’s Counsel x2, Lords of the Eldar
Hidden Refuge: Arwen Undomiel, Imladris Stargazer, Ring of Barahir, Tale of Tinuviel x3


Dimrill Stair: Longbeard Elder x2, We Are Not Idle, Durin’s Song x3
Nanduhirion: Veteran of Nanduhirion, Longbeard Sentry x2, Dwarrowdelf Axe x2, Khazad! Khazad!
Zirakzigil: Zigil Miner x2, Ever My Heart Rises, Hidden Cache x2, Thror’s Key
Dimrill Dale: Longbeard Record-keeper, Longbeard Map-maker, Dori, Thror’s Map x2, Ancestral Knowledge


Orthanc: Saruman, Keys of Orthanc, Legacy of Númenor, The Wizards’s Voice, Power of Orthanc, Deep Knowledge
Wellinghall: Treebeard (The Antlered Crown), Quickbeam, Wandering Ent x2, Ent Draught, Entmoot
Derndingle: Treebeard (The Antlered Crown), Beechbone x2, Skinbark, Booming Ent, Boomed and Trumpeted
White Council: Gandalf (Core), Gandalf (Over Hill and Under Hill), Radagast, Saruman, Elrond (The Road Darkens), Galadriel (The Road Darkens)


The Naith: Galadriel (The Road Darkens), Orophin, Naith Guide, O Lórien! x2, Feigned Voices
Borders of Lorien: Rúmil, Marksman of Lórien, Galadhon Archer x2, Pursuing the Enemy x2
The Nimrodel: Haldir of Lórien (A Journey to Rhosgobel), Galadhrim Minstrel, Daughter of the Nimrodel, Lembas, Tree People, Waters of the Nimrodel
Cerin Amroth: None Return, Leave No Trace, The Door is Closed!, Out of the Wild, Keen as Lances x2
Caras Galadhon: Galadriel’s Handmaiden, Galadhrim Weaver, Nenya, Mirror of Galadriel, Island Amid Peril, The Galadhrim’s Greeting
Golden Wood: Woodland Courier, Lórien Guide, Children of the Sea x2, Lay of Nimrodel x2


Minas Tirith: Denethor, Ingold, Steward of Gondor, Rod of the Steward, Visionary Leadership, Captain’s Wisdom
Map Room of the Citadel: Emery x2, Map of Earnil, Shadows Give Way x2, Against the Shadow
Tower of the Citadel: Knight of Minas Tirith x2, Book of Eldacar x2, Thicket of Spears, White Tower Watchman
Library of the Citadel: Master of Lore x2, Palantir, Scroll of Isildur, Mithrandir’s Advice x2
War Room of the Citadel: Tome of Atanatar x2, Strength of Arms x2, Reinforcements x2
Houses of Healing: Ioreth x2, Warden of Healing x2, Healing Herbs, Athelas
Rammas: Boromir, Defender of Rammas, Gondorian Shield, Captain of Gondor, Gondorian Fire, Behind Strong Walls
Osgiliath: Faramir, Herald of Anorien, Veteran of Osgiliath, Visionary Leadership, For Gondor!, Grim Resolve
Ithilien: Anborn, Mablung, Ithilien Lookout, Ambush, Entangling Nets, Forest Patrol
Dol Amroth: Prince Imrahil (The Flame of the West), Emery, Pelargir Shipwright, Ethir Swordsman, Will of the West x2
Morthond: Forlong, Warrior of Lossarnach, Ethir Swordsman, Sword of Morthond, Lord of Morthond, Men of the West
Pelennor: Horseback Archer x2, Guthlaf, Westfold Outrider, Spear of the Mark  x2


Gulf of Lhûn: Erestor, Warden of the Havens x2, Mariner’s Compass x2, Anchor Watch
Ered Luin: Blue Mountain Trader x2, Ered Luin Miner x2, Hidden Cache x1, Well-equipped x1
Mithlond: Mithlond Sea-watcher x2, Grappling Hook x2, Skyward Volley x2
Lune: Lindir, Sailor of Lune, “To the Sea, to the Sea”, Elven-light, Elwing’s Flight, Lords of the Eldar
Lindon: Galdor from the Havens (The Treachery of Rhudaur), Lindon Navigator, Narya x2, Explorer’s Almanac, Evening Star


Harrowdale: Snowbourn Scout x2, Éothain, Sneak Attack, Mutual Accord x2
Westfold: Grimbold, Déorwine, Westfold Outrider, Rohan Warhorse, Charge of the Rohirrim, Forth Eorlingas!
Meduseld: Gléowine x2, Rumours from the Earth x3, Isengard Messenger
Hornburg: Gamling, Háma, Elfhelm, Snowmane, Steed of the Mark, Mustering the Rohirrim
Edoras: Eomund x2, Escort from Edoras, The Riddermark’s Finest, Ride to Ruin, Astonishing Speed

As a reward for those who’ve made it this far, here is the latest animal helper to join us at the Hall of Beorn: his name is Kitty.


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16 Responses to Bear Draft v3: Havens

  1. Patrick says:

    I assume the 4th item under Weather top is Dun. Warning? Also toward the bottom a few of the sets have more than 6 cards, but I’m guessing that’s by design and I missed something about it in the article.

    All in all I look forward to seeing it all put together. Great work!

  2. This looks awesome! Can’t wait to get the updated list. Might have to print my own proxies and make a self-contained pool of draft cards.

  3. Gizlivadi says:

    I loooove this idea! I too miss so many things from MECCG that I think would make this game so much cooler, like actually having cards that represent good locations. I remember creating and posting my own version of Haven cards a while back, but the mechanic was completely different. Here’s my take for the record:

    • Beorn says:

      Thanks Gizlivadi! I really like your take on Havens. The desire to see good locations is why I love Across the Ettenmoors so much. If it’s not too much trouble, do you think you could share the images that you used for your havens? Secondhand Took has suggested that I make some custom cards to represent these havens, and you have some great art on your cards.

      • Gizlivadi says:

        Aboslutely no problem! Just give me a while to find and/or make full images of some of the pieces of art, and I’l link them to an Imgur album.

      • Gizlivadi says:

        Here’s hoping I was not too late, here’s all the pieces of art I used for my Havens! Some of them, like Pelargir and Dol Amroth I had to scan from a MECCG card, hence it took me a while to get it done. Hoping some of these are useful! —

      • Beorn says:

        Thanks! I appreciate your help with this.

  4. gdrouill says:

    I absolutely cannot wait to see the final bear draft! I am in the process of building high quality proxies to flesh out my collection as well as to support this project.

    One question: have you only done the draft with 8 players? Any luck with 6 or 4 player variants? With 4, I imagine you could have each person build two decks then pilot them ‘2 handed’ but that is also generally more finnicky.

    • Beorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words! I have run the original Bear Draft with only 6 players and we just randomly left some of card pool out so that the numbers worked out. I suppose you could run a draft with four playersand have each person draft two decks. Alternatively, you could allow the players to draft twice as many cards and then increase the minimum deck size from 40 up to the standard 50 cards. I will make a point of discussing this options when I post with the draft pool and drafting instructions.

      • gdrouill says:

        Fantastic! I’d also be curious to know what specific quests you think are best for the format. As you said in V1, something on the easy side is best, so I would tend towards some older Mirkwood or Darrowdelf era quests. However, these quests vary substantially in difficulty from 1 to 4 players. I don’t personally have much experience with 4P quests. Generally speaking, I’d be curious to know what you think are the best quests with 4 players.

  5. Pingback: Bear Draft v3: Card Pool | Hall of Beorn

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