By sprenger– January 15, 2013
I feel like I don’t blog enough about Lord of the Rings LCG. I really love this game and it deserves the spot light I just never can find the right topic or words to express my thoughts and feelings towards this game. I have posted single decks in the past and even tried my hand at a custom quest (which is still being worked on) However I felt like I needed to take the next step and start talking about 4 player decks and their synergies.
When my group first started playing the game, each of us bought every adventure pack and Deluxe Expansion, that way we could each have all the cards available to us. However since the game had just come out within the past year, the hero pool was very limited and often we found ourselves building decks around the same heroes which is kind of an annoying issue with the unique factor of the game. Ultimately the other players decided to stop buying the new expansions and instead relied on me to build decks for the group. Which is cool with me because deck building is one of my favorite parts of the game. So many options to choose from and I can put as much effort as I want into each deck. As time went on more quests and heroes became available so it made creating four different decks so much easier.
The only problem with one person creating decks for 4 players is that the mindset/strategy of the decks are lost in translation. People play games a certain way so it become the cliche of “if you lead a horse to water…” type of ordeal. However if your group plays the game enough and you pay attention to their playing styles it become very easy to build decks suited to their play style. That being said I want to talk about my latest decks I built.
[I use cardgamedb for deck building so that is where the links will take you for each deck]
When building decks for 4 players, there are a couple options you can go with. You can take the easy way out and built each deck based on a single sphere of influence. These are fun and effective decks but they lack the “cooler” combos that dual-sphere’s decks take advantage of. For these decks I wanted to go with theme first and deck type second. All four decks are dual-spheres but still heavily influenced by a single sphere.
I am a spirit player so I guess this would be the best place to start. My “Spirit” deck is centered around the mighty Rohan people. This is a typical Rohan spirit deck that is really good at Questing and Staging area control. With a splash of Leadership, Theordred provides a nice resource bonus and allows you to boost Dunhere with Dunedain Marks. By adding Stand and Fight, you can add Rohan archers to the deck and could even throw in the card draw Rohan lore ally.
This deck’s main flaw is lack of card draw. In our game the other night, this deck had the worst showing and I think it was mostly due to the lack of card drawing. Hopefully we will see some kind of card draw engines for the Spirit player in the upcoming shadows cycle.
The deck I’m most proud of is my new Tactics deck. This is a Tactics deck that is focused around Elves. Pretty straight forward, it is an all out attack deck that can enable all 3 of their heroes to be ranged. By adding Glofindel, it allows threat reduction cards and a secondary questing for the group. You can use the stargazer to rearrange your deck and Foe-Hammer for card draw.
This deck was super effective right out of the gate. The low starting threat paired with the threat reduction cards made it where the tactics player didn’t have to rely on the spirit player at all. The only thing that it really lacks is a solid resource engine.
The next two decks, could fall into either Lore or Leadership. Mostly because each deck was built around those two sphere. However once the game really started to heat up you could tell which main sphere each deck was. So when I say my “Lore” deck it is probably 65% Lore and 35% Leadership. This is a well rounded lore dwarf deck with a bit of Leadership. It has plenty of card drawing effects with Ori and Legacy of Durin. While it has healing cards like Healing Herbs and Self Preservation, it reallys on their Hardy Leadership and their trusty boots to raise their HPs from being killed off. As for resource generators, this deck only uses We Are Not Idle. If timed right you could easily pull in 8+ resources. The Dwarf allies have very powerful but limited abilities. And when needed to these dwarfs can quest with the bonus from Dain Ironfoot.
The last of the four is my Leadership. It wasn’t until recently did I even build a solid Leadership deck. It seemed like it had really power cards but not enough core building blocks to be effective. This on the otherhand is a Gondor Leadership deck that gets the most out of it’s Lore splash. This deck can do just about everything in the game but it’s real main focus is Defense. Dunedain Warning and Sentials are essential to this deck. It is also full of buffing cards and effects. Faramir, Boromir and Sword that was broken provide solid bonuses for your characters.
Together these four decks out performed my expectations. Each turn our fellowship was easily questing for 20+ a turn without having to sacrificing attack or defense. We played the 2nd quest from the Hobbit Saga, you know the one with the Stone Giants and Goblin King. After two plus hours we finally managed to beat it, all while keeping out threat and damage in check. Gandalf showed up a couple times throughout the game and his time couldn’t not have been any more perfect. At one point the Leadership player would have taken 3 Stone Giants during the engagement phase but big G showed up and got his threat back under with a timely sneak attack. Even when the goblins kept filling up the Staging Area, each sphere was able to hold their own and still make it out alive. It was a thrilling experience and I can’t wait to see what else Middle Earth has in store for our fellowship!