Good day travelers of Middle-earth! The North wind blows gracefully unto you this day, as it pleases the Lord of the Winds to release a new video play-through of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. In this video I play-through the first quest in the Voice of Isengard deluxe expansion: The Fords of Isen. I have constructed a new deck to showcase the latest tactics hero released from the Ringmaker cycle, Mablung. Since he hails from the men of Gondor, I decided to use him in a Gondor themed deck. Below you can read more about the deck and see the list of cards I included. In the future, I will be going through the entire Voice of Isengard deluxe expansion and subsequent Ring-maker cycle, so keep your eyes set on the eyries of the Eagles of the Misty Mountains for more to come soon!
The Deck: For Gondor!
This deck features the new tactics hero Mablung. The initial reactions of him have been mixed, both good and bad. I myself really like this new Gondor ranger and his well-balanced stats. His ability is also very good in my opinion, as it enables him to shine in multi-sphere decks, as the one I used in the video. Since he is very balanced, at 2 stats each, he can quest, then ready with Wingfoot for the combat phase (always choose enemy unless you know what the top card actually is). With Visionary Leadership on Boromir, Mablung can quest for 3, and then ready for combat if an enemy is revealed and either defend for 4 (Gondorian Shield) or attack for a decent amount depending how many resources he has (Gondorian Fire). His ability ensures that if you do engage an enemy, you will have at least one resource to play Feint or Behind Strong Walls to ensure that you can handle the assault of the enemy. All in all, I really enjoy using Mablung in this deck and think he is one of the better tactics heroes to include in multi-sphere decks.
I decided to pair him with Leadership Boromir and Lore Pippin in this deck, filling out the Gondor theme (if you remember from the books Pippin is the one who went to Minas Tirith and served as Guard of the Citadel). Since in almost every instance tactics Boromir is the better hero, I wanted to try to make Leadership Boromir have a chance to, like his little brother, “show his quality.” He works well by giving access to Leadership cards (esp. Visionary Leadership and Steward of Gondor). Pippin is included to provide the much needed card draw (both with is own ability and with Daeron’s Runes and Deep Knowledge). Pippin also pairs nicely with Mablung in that when you engage an enemy, their abilities trigger. Granted, Pippin’s requires the enemy’s engagement cost to be higher than your threat, but since the deck begins at 27 and Pippin’s ability adds 1 to every enemy, his card draw ability triggers more often than not.
The point of this deck is to get Visionary Leadership into play as soon as possible (preferably on Boromir) and then play as many Gondor allies as you can to have questing and combat power. Gondorian Shield and Fire can go either on Mablung or Boromir, as both can become reliable defenders and powerful attackers due to all the resources that will pile up on them. Steward of Gondor and Horn of Gondor could go on any hero, but I mostly play them on Boromir so that he has at least one resource to trigger is ability. Westfold Outrider is included not only for his decent attack, but also his ability can net Mablung a resource during the quest phase as well as pull an enemy down to make more progress on the quest. The last note about this deck is that I included Pelargir Ship Captain over and against a number of different Gondor allies because not only can he quest and attack for 2 in conjunction with Visionary Leadership and Boromir, and not only does he have 2 hit points to soak up archery or survive a nasty treachery, but also because his ability is a great way of ensuring Boromir has that one resource vital to the deck. And yes, there is only one copy of For Gondor! It is a nice card, but not vital to win, so I included one copy merely for thematic purposes. And also note that I use only one core set, so many cards I only have 1 or 2 copies of. Here is the deck list below: