Fellowship: Mount Up

It’s a little while now since Temple of the Deceived was released along with the hero version of Elfhelm. As someone who has very much enjoyed almost all of the mount attachments released in the game thus far, I was very excited to see this addition, but struggled for a while to come up with a deck I actually wanted to build using him. I mostly felt like it’d be nice to have someone else play him so I’d get bonuses for the mounts I was playing anyway. I had the idea of a pure support deck which would distribute mounts around the table, and also songs to make sure heroes were getting the right bonuses. I’m still tweaking it and haven’t gotten to testing yet, but I figured it’d also be nice to build something a bit more designed to actually do things rather than just make other people better at doing things. Of course Elfhelm is by his nature inevitably going to be much better in multiplayer, so a fellowship was much more feasible than just a single deck. A little thought led me to what I now realise is actually a very natural partner to Elfhelm – Tactics Theoden.

Tactics Theoden, as I mentioned when I covered him in the Anti-Coaster Challenge (an idea which I do still intend to revisit for other cards at some point) is basically just a statline a lot of the time. Elfhelm’s ability gives a passive boost to heroes’ stats. It’s a perfect match! So from there obviously I put in the Theoden toys we’ve been picking up in the saga expansions, Tactics Eowyn who is obviously the best companion to Tactics Theoden, and then rounded out the lineup on that side with Hama, whose ability to recycle events can keep certain combat options open (Charge of the Rohirrim being obviously a very suitable one to this whole idea) and also fuel some card draw. On the other side, I found myself very much wanting some Spirit (of course it’s the one remaining sphere boosted by Elfhelm and also gets me Horse-breeders), and in particular card draw and resources stuck out as potential issues. Well, and threat reduction, that being the other thing which pushed me towards Spirit in the first place, because in a context like this I’d always like to try and pull of Forth Eorlingas! Thus the ever-useful Arwen and Galadriel make yet another appearance to sort everything out for me.
Getting all these stat bonuses from Elfhelm meant it made sense to go for a powerful heroes route rather than spamming allies, so the two decks ended up fairly attachment heavy between mounts, some songs, and a few other combat-related boosts. In theory all 6 of the heroes can end up with multiple actions in a round, and they can make decent use of them at that, so long as all the pieces find their way onto the table.

Mount Up

Fellowship on RingsDB

Fear No Darkness

Eowyn (Ta)
Theoden (Ta)

Allies (12):
Legolas x3
Honour Guard x3
Master Ironsmith x3
Westfold Horse-breeder x3

Attachments (26):
Song of Travel x3
Snowmane x3
Herugrim x3
Golden Shield x3
Rohan Warhorse x3
Dagger of Westernesse x3
Spear of the Mark x3
Captain of Gondor x2
The Day’s Rising x2
Arod x1

Events (12):
Foe-hammer x3
Elven-light x3
Charge of the Rohirrim x2
Forth Eorlingas! x2
Hour of Wrath x2

Bofur (Ta) x3
Secret Vigil x3
Feint x3
Thicket of Spears x3

Decklist on RingsDB

Ride with the Eldar

Arwen Undomiel

Allies (8):
Galadriel’s Handmaiden x3
Westfold Horse-breeder x3
Gandalf (Core) x2

Attachments (30):
Steward of Gondor x3
Heir of Mardil x3
Armoured Destrier x3
Dunedain Signal x3
Dunedain Cache x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Song of Travel x3
Song of Kings x3
Steed of Imladris x2
Nenya x2
Steed of the Mark x1
Light of Valinor x1

Events (14):
A Test of Will x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Elven-light x3
Sneak Attack x3
Parting Gifts x2

Hasty Stroke x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3

Decklist on RingsDB

Firstly a note on the sideboards – obviously Vigils and Greetings are for if one is more concerned about threat. Hasty Stroke likewise for shadow effects. Feint and Thicket of Spears are obviously great choices for a mono-Tactics deck, but the ability to recycle them with Hama can just be so brokenly powerful I intentionally omitted them from the main deck because I thought it’d be more interesting to go without. Finally Bofur obviously functions as more draw to draw the other draw – he finds weapons which let you power Foe-hammer. But I figured between Galadriel helping out cross-table, ally Legolas, and also the possibilities of Foe-hammer and Elven-light (with Song of Travel and Hama), my draw would be pretty good regardless.
Now to the main decks. A lot of the attachments are intended for Theoden – Snowmane, Herugrim and Golden Shield obviously, but also Steward of Gondor, Captain of Gondor, Heir of Mardil, The Day’s Rising, Songs of Travel and Kings and a Dunedain Cache. Maybe Arod as well for good measure. For those not keeping track, once he has all of that he can, every round, quest for 4, optionally engage, defend for 8, and attack for 9. Or if the other deck engages instead he can defend for 7 and attack for 8.
Getting a Song of Travel onto Theoden is very important, which is why there are 3 copies in both decks. With that and Steward he can draw with Elven-light once you have that going. He can also afford to pay the whole cost of the Master Ironsmith by himself, thus triggering the response to put Herugrim on him from hand or discard (this of course will work even if you don’t have the Song yet which is the main reason why the Ironsmith is in the deck). Getting him the Song of Kings to play Day’s Rising (and have an extra point of defence) is less critical so it maybe depend on the board-state at the time whether you want to give the first Song of Kings to Theoden or Arwen. Though if you’re having a shortage of resources in the second deck Theoden can also still be a good choice because once he’s a Leadership hero you can then use Parting Gifts to take resources from him over to the other deck. He’ll probably be stacking them up after a while with Steward.
In theory the other definite attachment assignments would be Steed of the Mark and Song of Travel on Eowyn, mostly for the willpower boost and resource smoothing, but if you need an extra 2 attack she can ready with the Steed. Hama gets a Warhorse, a Dunedain Cache and a weapon for Foe-hammer. Arwen gets Song of Kings, a Steed of Imladris, and potentially Light of Valinor since she’ll be able to defend for 3. Elfhelm gets an Armoured Destrier and a Dunedain Signal. Galadriel obviously gets Nenya and Unexpected Courage. Additional Songs of Travel can go on Elfhelm and Hama and they can also get Unexpected Courages so they can quest and still be ready for combat. Then obviously there are still a few spare mounts to assign as you wish or discard to Arwen/Hama. The theoretical setup this fellowship is working towards is pretty crazy, but practically I don’t think you’re ever going to reach it before the game ends one way or another unless you deliberately stall out for ages. I tested the fellowship against Celebrimbor’s Secret and beat it quite handily, but I was only maybe halfway kitted out by the end. Theoden had just about everything and then I had a smattering of the other stuff around.

Additional possibilities for these decks, not much springs to mind as they are. Maybe Asfaloth to throw on Galadriel once she has Nenya and give her that extra point of willpower when using Nenya. Mirror of Galadriel and Silver Harp obviously would be effective to just dig out key combo pieces, maybe Gather Information for the same reason. Deckspace is tight though. The main thing I’d say the decks really lack is healing which of course isn’t particularly accessible given the sphere setup.
On the other hand, one point I have realised is that while I designed this as a two deck fellowship, Fear No Darkness could with some slight tweaks be a pretty effective solo deck (albeit maybe a bit draw-dependent); or in the opposite direction I could turn the two deck fellowship into a three deck fellowship by adding in a Lore deck, which could provide healing, a bit more card draw to spread around, and given the number of Songs happening, Love of Tales might work out pretty well. I may well try and figure out these alternative versions of the setup at a later date, but for now I’m pretty happy with the two decks as is. Hope you guys find them interesting as well!

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3 Responses to Fellowship: Mount Up

  1. Joe says:

    Beat me to it. I was working on a 2-player fellowship that used Elfhelm and a billion attachments to make Theoden into a god. Was doing alright, but I was working to balance the spheres more. I like your twist on the decks. Thanks for sharing


  2. Qwaz says:

    Nice decks. I like making use of tactics theoden who is, when not built around, a touch underwhelming. 4 monosphere mount based decks would be interesting.


  3. Pingback: Fellowship: Mount Up [3-player version] | Warden of Arnor

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