Breaking the Uniqueness Rules

This game has a number of fairly precise rules and restrictions. Obviously, all games have rules, that’s what makes them function properly. But then out of curiosity, playfulness, or a desire to better appreciate the well put together structure of the game, it can be interesting on occasion to break some of those rules and see what happens. Breaking the rules helps us understand why they’re there in the first place. Alternatively, sometimes it’s just funny.
This was a line of thought I took a while back, starting from the thought of what would happen if you ignored the Restricted keyword, and allowed a single character to have as many weapons and suits of armour as they felt like. Certainly it would help out deck types which revolve around turning one single character into a superhero, but there would be a fair few instances where it would just be brokenly powerful to have more than two restricted attachments on the same character stacking up all their bonuses together. It could still be interesting to play around with and find some of these broken rule-breaking combos though. Following on from that other limits which can be broken would be Limit 1 per hero, Limit 1 per deck, and of course the overlord of play restrictions, unique.
Now, I’ve seen once or twice instances of people advocating for sometimes ignoring uniqueness, at least between multiple decks – simply so that one person’s deck can’t invalidate another’s. So one player using hero Galadriel for card draw and threat reduction won’t stop the Leadership player using ally Galadriel to dig out Sword That Was Broken for free, as an example. And of course the potential for such clashes will only get more significant as the game goes on and we get more characters with multiple versions. So I can certainly understand that sort of approach (indeed I’ve done it myself on occasion, when I decide to play a saga quest only to realise my deck contains ally Bilbo or Spirit Frodo, as applicable, but I don’t want to use a different deck or monkey around with the content of it – I only do this in solo play anyway). On the other hand, applying it beyond unique characters would be excessive. Multiple copies of Steward of Gondor on the table, however nice they might be for keeping everyone’s resources in line, would represent too much of a boost in power to the players to really be fair.

There’s more I could say on this subject, and I may well come back to it in a more analytical mood at some point, but in this particular case I’m just using the subject as a preamble to this particular instance of disregarding the uniqueness rules which I built a few days ago because the idea amused me, and because this is the first opportunity we’ve had for this sort of rule-breaking build. I’m not sure if this deck is actually any good, but then I didn’t intend it to be good, I intended it to be a funny idea. Without further ado, here is a deck which I like to call…


Aragorn (Ld)
Aragorn (Lo)
Aragorn (T)

Allies (19):
Dunedain Hunter x3
Sarn Ford Sentry x3
Galadriel x3
Gandalf x3
Arwen Undomiel x2
Elrond x2
Weather Hills Watchman x3

Attachments (21):
Celebrian’s Stone x2
Sword That Was Broken x2
Rivendell Bow x2
Ring of Barahir x1
Unexpected Courage x3
Steward of Gondor x3
Dunedain Mark x2
Dunedain Warning x2
A Burning Brand x2
Wingfoot x1
Captain of Gondor x1

Events (11):
Ranger Summons x3
Tireless Hunters x2
Sneak Attack x3
Feint x3

Side-Quests (1):
Gather Information x1

Set Aside (3):
Ranger of the North x3

For bonus points, play this deck against Treason of Saruman quests once it’s released. It’s up to you whether you want to leave the ignoring of uniqueness to simply your hero selection, or if you want to go the whole hog and let all three versions of Aragorn have their own copies of his unique attachments – of course that would require you to bump them up to three copies each, so you’d then have to cut other things and end up with a somewhat different deck to mine. If anyone does this, or just has their own version of the three Aragorns deck, I’d be somewhat interested to see. While it didn’t help that I ended up constraining myself somewhat with thematic concerns (hence for instance the inclusion of Arwen despite having no sphere-match until Celebrian’s Stone is in play), I had a hell of a time just getting this deck to a point where I felt it was functional, and as noted, I still don’t think it’s that good.

Also, for the record, I have built regular, legal decks with the cards from The Lost Realm, and beaten quests with them, I just wanted to share this one because I thought it was an amusing idea, and as I said this is the first time we’ve been able to do something like this – the first time we’ve had three different versions of the same hero.

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4 Responses to Breaking the Uniqueness Rules

  1. Gwaihir the Windlord says:

    I will play this when Treason is released and let you know how it goes. It looks like fun, and I’ve always had a hankering to break the rules once in a while.


  2. Pingback: Deck Spring Cleaning: Gimmick | Warden of Arnor

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  4. Pingback: Ignoring The Rules: The Zigil Miner Errata | Warden of Arnor

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