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Are there must have cards for a deck

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:31 pm
by Galathon
Hello everyone.

I started playing a couple of weeks ago. I bought de Challance decks and a boosterbox Wizards.

Now I am bussy building a deck but I was wondering if there are cards that you must have in your deck to play agains some experienced players.

Please give me some tips. If you post cards put set en rarety of the card also with the title.

My idea for a deck is to make a faction deck. To collect as many factions, but I also put some allies and other items in the deck so the other player can't get double points for that.

Thank you


Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:03 pm
by Tegarend
Resource part :

A way of dealing with hazard permanent-events : either Marvel's Told (common from The Dragons I think) or The Cock Crows (from The Wizards, common or uncommon?)

Smoke Rings from Dark Minions

A Friend or Three if you plan on going with large companies to get an influence bonus against factions (and some corruption defense), muster otherwise (maybe Lordly Presence if you have lots of diplomats and no warriors, but I don't think that's feasible given normal diplomat prowess). (all commons from The Wizards I think)

No Type

2-3x Twilight (common)

Hazard Side

A lot harder to say ... I usually use these for sure :

Mouth of Sauron (Rare from The wizards)
Uvatha the Horseman (Rare from the wizards)
2-3 x An Unexpected Outpost (common ? from Dark Minions)

2-3x Sellswords Between Charters (common from The Lidless Eye)
3x Cave Drake (common from The wizards) unless I have a better :w: :w: creature.

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:23 am
by Zarathustra
On the hazard side (in addition to what kris said, if I miss any of it), I'd say if you just want a general mix of good hazards, go with:

3 River (C from TW),
1 Adunaphel (R from TW),
1 Mouth of Sauron (R from TW),
1 Uvatha the Horseman (R from TW),
1 Ambusher (C from TW),
2 Cave-drake (C from TW or LE),

1 Daelomin at Home (R from TD),
1 Itangast Ahunt (U? from TD),
maybe 2 Foolishwords (C from TD or LE),

2 Unexpected Outpost (C from DM),
1 Revealed to All Watchers (R from DM),
1 Baduila (R from DM),
1 My Precious (R from DM),

1-2 Sellswords Between Charters (C from LE),

1 Rolled Down to the Sea (R from WH),

1-2 Beorning Skin-changers (R from BA),
1-2 Unabated in Malice (R from BA).

It's a lot, but it's quite effective.

Key Cards

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:36 pm
by PallandoTwice
Many Sorrows Befall (Should be in EVERY deck)

Revealed to All Watchers (Best anti-One-Ring card. Allows a pick up of 6-8 hazards on a key turn and also finds your wizard faster. Strong in defensive, patient decks which hold resources like Galadriel or Elrond decks)

Rolled Down to the Sea (Best anti-ring card. The look at hand ability is also nice. This should be in everydeck or sideboard which has recursion ability.)

Mouth of Sauron: Return any hazrd. Obvious inclusion. The regrowth that hits back.

Baduila: Guards Goblin Gate and Gundabad not to mention Anduin Vales. Goblin Gate absolutely critical lest you allow your opponent to play 4 rings and an Aiglos on your sorry a$$) (TheOne, 2 Dwarven, and Aiglos add up to +24 DI, a number you are not likely to come back from)

The Balance of Things: Although not played by every deck, if you can't step top this card, your deck is jank. You must be able to cope with this card or LOSE.)

Resources are more difficult as many of teh best cards are specific to a particular strategy:

Favor of the Valar: (Finds your wizard faster, allows you to make the best of your hand and then swap. This card functions very similar to Revealed to All wAtchers and you are never sad to draw it even if you discard it to cycle for a new card.)

The One Ring: (Although this is controversial, one of teh best ways to stop the One RIng is to influence it away. Not playing the One is bad in more ways than one. Even if your opponent doesn't dump it, he can leave his company in a threanetening position. This forces you to play out your hazards much more conservatively so that he doesn't dump it under your nose. Control of this item is critical to high level play.)

Emerald of the Mariner: (This card gives you a free card every turn and +1 corruption bionus. Moreover it also makes a character safe from The Balance of Things which is the most devastating hazrd in teh game when combined with Ren the Unclean.)

The remaining cards are pretty specific to a particular angle or style.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:36 pm
by PallandoTwice
Oh Yeah Daelomin at Home is solid and pretty much every deck should utilize him.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:00 pm
by Peter
A few remarks on the cards already mentioned:

I don't agree with Emerald of the Mariner. A Greater Hoard Item requires a lot of support from the deck to get out, I don't see that happening in your average Gondor or Eradior based strategy (and let's face it, most hero faction strategies are of that kind).

One Ring: not in the deck if you're not gonna use it as a resource. It might be useful in the sideboard. I don't see it's use as an anti-ring card though, there are plenty of better anti-ring cards (Nazgul anyone?). Also remember that by the time the Ring gets out it's usually to late to do something about it (most common place for One Ring tests: Mount Doom).

Rolled Down to the Sea is indeed very, very nice. If you can play it on the turn your opponent moves to Mount Doom there's a fairly high chance it will get his One Ring away (since his hand will be full of cancelers, ring tests, and corruption check helpers). Combined with Many Sorrows Befall and played after the main hazards (to tap out as much chars as possible) it can really rock.

A few extra ideas:

Horns, horns, horns (DM, Common). If you're playing a faction strategy it's a great recycler.

Horn of Anor (TW, Common). It's playable with the starting company and it gives +2 on faction rolls (making those a whole lot safer). Combined with a high DI character like Aragorn II can make most faction rolls easy.

And Forth He Hastened (TD, Common). To keep up the speed in your deck, and to untap your wizard (who's likely gonna be the most important influencer).

Healing Herbs (TW, Common). Let's face it, your characters will get wounded, but if you have to return to a haven for that you'll lose precious speed. Also this card allows you to untap a character at the expense of tapping the bearer, effectively an expensive Cram.

Depending on where you are going Elven-cloak (TW, Common) can be a real life saver (use it on your main influencer to keep him out of trouble).

If you can deal with the corruption and travel in dangerous lands (double wilderness and worse) the Torque of Hues (TW, Uncommon) can be a very good investment.

Goldberry (TW, Uncommon) is the ally of choice when traveling though many wildernesses.

A possible defense against One Ring decks is the Scroll of Isildur (TW, Uncommon). It's greater, but that's managable (with a trip to the Stones (TW, Rare) or another Greater Item site). The nice thing about the Scroll of Isildur is that it's essential for a decent chance of getting the Ring out. It's also a quite reasonable 4 MP item (though Orcrist (TW, Uncommon) has a slightly better MP/CP ratio.

Glamdring (TW, Uncommon) is about the best weapon in the game for non-Indy-Jones decks, it's only a major item, gives just 1 CP, gives 2 MP's and a prowess bonus high enough to make Elladan a cheap 8/8 ranger/warrior.

In general a good source of info is the Card of the Day: and

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:14 pm
by Zarathustra
On the One Ring issue:

I agree with Peter. Although influencing the One Ring away is always devastating when accomplished, the likelihood of actually doing so is quite low. Better targets are the opponent's characters. Hobbits have low mind, so they're easy to target. Influencing away Sam or Fatty when he bears the Scroll (much easier than waiting for the One Ring, which usually only shows up in the last site phase of the game) is killer.

One instance when having the One Ring in your sideboard is useful is the (I'll admit -- rare) situation in which you are playing moving Balrog against a hero). Have Big Red show up in Strangling Coils mode with a Heart of Dark Fire and Mine or No One's, and that's +24 DI (+19 after accounting for the cross-alignment -5 penalty). Of course, just killing the heroes with your Balrog is also a good idea....

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:43 pm
by PallandoTwice
In defense of a few of my choices.

The EMerlad is quite easy to get as long as you oppoent is not holding smaug. Token of goodwill also gets its easily. Putting together a two card combo shouldn't be hard. The item is the most devastating in teh game. Lonely Mountain is reachable from Loren and rivendale in one turn.

If your deck is limited to one region/one strategy it will flat out lose to any good deck. It is important to diversify. If you play southern factions, a good deck will slaughter you with only a few cards from teh board. No Escaoe From my Magic can shut down th eentire sounthern region. Using insurgents to influence away their factions will trash them. Essentially you just want to damp their MP production and you will take the lead and hold it and carry an easy win. Limited startegies are relally easy to double up MP in other categories as well. Just influnce away the two items they have or that one ally, etc.

The One ring is like I said controversial. But Pallando with a Wizard's Ring and Wizard's Voice will do the trick fairly easily. If you reveal the One it gives you a considerable bonus. I play Elrond so maybe this skews things. Use Vilyas and reveal the One. It's easy and devastating. Obviously you would like to impeed him anyways by taking the scroll etc. beforehand. Nazgul suck at defending against the ring when you use them to attac, they are fairly wimpy and at most might injure someone (like most critters). Injuring someone just doesn't cut it when they are going to win this turn. Only Ren really does a good job.

As for Mount Doom being the best place to test the one, I think that reflects only one One Ring deck. Many don't actively seek to detsroy it. They use it and Scroll for a massive 10 MP and as i said to not allow you to play your best hazards. Decks designed around dumping the ring as fast as possible useally suck and are beaten easily by a good hazard strategy. If you don't overload your deck with pointless critter attacks you will crush such a strategy. If my opponent goes to mount doom versus me with a hand full of attack cancelers and tests, he will lose most of his cards in play. Trying to influence the Hobbits is also good as well, but you may not be able to reveal them to get the huge bonus. (My deck has Frodo and Bilbo in the board.) Of course Old Friendship then works. The best way to beat the One is to influence away the One or its component features.

So no they are not in every deck, but you should really consider these two cards for every deck. Obviously if you have no influence, and no easy movement, influencving away the ring is no good. But a deck with no influence and no easy movement is really no good to begin with.

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:56 pm
by PallandoTwice
I wouldn't trust Card of the Day too much either. It's a good starting point, but Favor is clearly underappreciated and Nenselde the Windgild is one of the best cards in the game, not a 4-6. Play Adrazar, Play Nenselde, Tap Nazgul to bring Doors, Will, + other env. hazards into the discard pile. Use Nenselde to get a +5 Card Advantage and bring in a doors/lock strategy from the board. Other examples of poorly rated cards are fairly easy to find.

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 4:18 pm
by Zarathustra
You guys have to be kidding....

Let's play on GCCG and I'll show you how a deck that only moves once wins every time....

Or a One Ring dunk deck....


Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:00 am
by PallandoTwice
Now I am curious. What makes your dump deck so diferent from teh one's I regulary murdered Zarathustra? It is had for me to conceive o adeck that wins with one move every time regardless of what I draw and what you draw. You must have some secret construction. If you do please share a bit of your wisdom so I can at least sure my deck up if it is teh case.


Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:41 pm
by Peter
PallandoTwice wrote:I wouldn't trust Card of the day too much either. It's a good strating point, but Favor is clealry underappreciated and Nenseld the Windgilde is one of the best card sin eth game, not a 4-6. Play Adrazar, Play Nenselde, Tap Nazgul to bring Doors, Will, + other env. hazards into the discard pile. Use Nenseld to get a +5 Card Advanatge and bring in a doors/lock strategy from the board. Other examples of porrly rated cards are fairly easy to find.
I wouldn't say you shouldn't trust the COTD to much, but it's important to remember what time it was written in. Most of the TW, TD and DM reviews were written before the advent of minion, fw and balrog play.

Also it's very hard to correctly rate a card, and often cards that seem very powerful turn out not to be (for an example my last review included a clearly too high rating).

That said I don't think the COTD authors misrated many cards. I've read the reviews of the cards you mentioned again and I find myself completely agreeing with the COTD authors. A small remark is that Nenselde has become somewhat more useful in hero vs minion play since the minions won't be able to profit from it's effect.

I wonder though what you mean with the +5 card advantage and using Nenselde to bring cards a doors/lock strategy in. Remember that Nenselde can only be use for environment resources.

Favor has indeed seen little play lately (as far as I can see), but I don't think that's weird since it's a card that is only useful in some very bad situations. If there was a way to get cards from the sb directly to hand I'd rate it sb but as things are now it's just not likely enough to show up at the right time. Still, if you have a deck that has a high chance of unusable hands (many combo's etc) it's worth a shot.
Zarathustra wrote:You guys have to be kidding....

Let's play on GCCG and I'll show you how a deck that only moves once wins every time....

Or a One Ring dunk deck....
My experience as a newbie is that the greatest deck is worthless if you can't play it well (the Challenge Decks are generally regarded as quite good, but most of them are worse than my own decks for me). The implication I make is that the effective strength of a deck is always dependant on the strength of the player and it's hard to see what's the power of the deck and what's the power of the player. So your deck (which I trust is extremely well constructed) will probably be worse than my own decks for me.

Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 3:57 pm
by Jambo
PallandoTwice wrote:Now I am curious. What makes your dump deck so diferent from teh one's I regulary murdered Zarathustra? It is had for me to conceive o adeck that wins with one move every time regardless of what I draw and what you draw. You must have some secret construction. If you do please share a bit of your wisdom so I can at least sure my deck up if it is teh case.


I think you'll find this deck zara is talking about lurking in some dark room that should be carefully labelled 'hazardous'. That or try the decks forum and look for a 'minion red hills/worthy hills' deck. ;)

Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 4:19 pm
by Jambo

I'd actually argue that the majority of the challenge decks are fairly poor and wouldn't compete too well with a solid constructed deck.

I'd also argue that if you understood the mechanics of one of zara's decks that you were playing, you would do very well with it. You see, it's not the deck itself, but rather the way you play them, and I mean that in the most generic of senses.

One of the things I initially had heaps of problems with in MECCG was discarding. I always wanted to hold onto that killer hazard/resource combo waiting for the exact moment to play it for full effect. I use to to hold onto certain cards turn after turn, while my opponent raced through their deck and all the while I was wondering 'how'd he get that so quick', or 'you always seem to have the right cards available'...

Don't get me wrong, sometimes one does need to retain the right cards (e.g. when trying to stop a good One-ring deck), but one of the most skilled attributes I think is making the right decision about which cards to discard. This can obviously be aided by knowing your deck extremely well as well as the basic ME environment. But most importantly the discarding decision is made easier by good deck flow, and this is quite often the difference between an average player like me and a good player like Mark or Joe.

Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 4:46 pm
by Peter
Jambo wrote:I'd also argue that if you understood the mechanics of one of zara's decks that you were playing, you would do very well with it.
I know, but it still depends on whether the style suits you. Of course it helps a lot to know the strategy the deck designer had in mind, but you still need to be able to play that strategy well enough.