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Total Votes : 29
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:23 pm
Joined: 15 Jul 2005 Posts: 3947 Location: Maryland
--- description ---
25 followers? No Free Peoples cards in deck after site 1? Gamling blows his horn (and Erkenbrand’s Horn too!), accomplishing mighty deeds in this Standard format deck.
--- end description ---

Note: The following decklist is legal in Standard, Expanded, and Open.


You’ve all probably seen decks that use cards like Saved from the Fire and Simbelmyne to try and filter out all the Free Peoples cards out of your deck, leaving a Shadow-heavy draw deck. But those decks are generally weak, and they rely on a good hand. What if I told you I had made a deck that cycles through EVERY Free Peoples card on your first turn, and can beat most types of Shadows?

You can accomplish this feat by abusing 2 cards:

0Erkenbrand’s Horn Rohan
Bearer must be a Rohan Man.
Fellowship: Exert bearer to play a follower from your draw deck. Reshuffle your draw deck.
Skirmish: Discard a follower from play to make bearer strength +4 (if bearer is Erkenbrand, he is strength +5 instead).

2 New Chapter Shire
Condition • Support Area
To play, spot 2 Hobbits.
Each time you play a follower, you may heal a companion (or heal Sam twice).

See the combo? Exert a Rohan Man to play a follower from your deck, and then heal that Man with New Chapter. Repeat this 24 times to play a total of 25 followers from your deck.

Wait, how do you get Erkenbrand’s Horn and New Chapter in play at site 1? Grabbing Erkenbrand’s Horn is easy with Gamling, Defender of the Hornburg. In order to take New Chapter, you need to use Dammed Gatestream to play Something Slimy from your draw deck, which in turn plays New Chapter from your draw deck. Voila! You can take every Free Peoples card out of your draw deck, without relying on drawing any cards for the combo.

So, for your starting fellowship you need:

• Two Hobbits for New Chapter (Frodo, Resolute Halfing and Merry, Swordthain)
• Smeagol, Scout and Guide in order to use Something Slimy
• Gamling, Defender of the Hornburg to fetch Erkenbrand’s Horn

That leaves you with 1 extra space in your starting fellowship. Two notable companions who could be included are Aldred, Eored Soldier and Aragorn, Strider. I ended up deciding to use Aldred, since Strider adds twilight with each move and after the first turn this deck really turns into a choke deck.

Which followers are included? Every single one, actually, except for Celebring, Elven-smith (his spotting requirement means that he can’t be played). Only one copy of each unique follower is included, but there are 4 copies of the non-unique followers.

So here is what the decklist looks like:

Blowin’ Horns Decklist

Ring-bearer and Ring
Frodo, Resolute Hobbit
The One Ring, The Ring of Rings

Free Peoples (33)
Aldred, Eored Soldier (starting)
Gamling, Defender of the Hornburg (starting)
Merry, Swordthain (starting)
Smeagol, Scout and Guide (starting)
Erkenbrand’s Horn
Gamling’s Horn
New Chapter
Something Slimy
Elendil’s Army
Faramir’s Company
Gondorian Servant, Denethor’s Handman
Deagol, Fateful Finder
Meneldor, Misty Mountain Eagle
Gwaihir, The Windlord
Alatar, Final Envoy
Pallando, Far-travelling One
Radagast, Tender of Beasts
Daddy Twofoot, Next-door Neighbor
Frodo Gamgee, Son of Samwise
The Gaffer, Master Gardener
Hobbiton Brewer, Maker of Fine Ales
Hobbiton Farmer, Lover of Pipeweed
Uruviel, Woodland Maid
Dinendal, Mirkwood Archer
Rohirrim Doorwarden
Rohan Stable Master x4
Rohan Worker x4

Price: $32.55 + 4 T&D rares + 1 T&D common

Which Shadow to Use?

When deciding which Shadow to pair with this Free Peoples side, keep in mind that after the first turn your hand will be completely Shadow cards. This is ideal for any combo-intensive deck, but it also really helps pretty much every type of Shadow side.

One very powerful Shadow side to use with this deck is Troll Swarm. This deck revolves around using Troll’s Keyward, Keeper of the Beast along with tons of Orc trolls, adding lots of twilight and then playing several big minions. For extra fun, use Vicious Warg to add more twilight, and Goblin Hordes x4 to give you a bigger hand of Trolls.

If your Shadow side can play most of the cards in your hand each turn, then you’ll probably find yourself running out of deck before too long. This can be remedied by adding a 2nd copy of some of the unique followers, increasing your deck size. If you discard one set of your unique followers the first turn, you can play the second set of unique followers on your next turn, leaving your deck completely Shadowy.


Frodo has 14 resistance, and you need to play Dammed Gatestream to get the combo moving, so definitely bid enough to insure that you can go first. I seem to find that most players like to go second, so in your meta you may not need to bid much at all. If your opponents all know that you’re using this deck and they try to bid a ton in order to try and make you go second, just include a corruption Shadow and watch them die.

If you do end up going second, play Dammed Gatestream at site 2 or 3 and you’ll still get the combo moving.

Which followers will help you?

You won’t want to transfer every follower, since not all have useful text / stat bonuses for this deck, but there are some that can really help you:

• Deagol, Fateful Finder can play Gamling’s Horn on the first turn.
• Meneldor, Misty Mountain Eagle gives a +4 strength bonus.
• Gwaihir, The Windlord gives extra strength.
• Pallando, Far-travelling One can discard conditions.
• Frodo Gamgee, Son of Samwise gives extra vitality and strength (at a steep cost though)
• The Gaffer, Master Gardener provides healing against archery decks, as well as strength.
• Hobbiton Brewer, Maker of Fine Ales adds strength and has a nifty wound prevention ability.
• Hobbiton Farmer, Lover of Pipeweed adds strength.
• Rohirrim Doorwarden will give some extra strength to the bearers of horns.
• Rohan Stable Master gives a small amount of strength.
• Rohan Worker provides site liberation (4 copies of him can liberate 4 sites just by winning one skirmish!).

And here is one more way in which followers can help you: Fords of Isen. Frodo becomes VERY hard to kill when he bears 25 followers! Or you can have Pippin beating up on Sauron, Smeagol overwhelming Castamir, etc.

Extra Strategy

Make sure that Gamling has his horn, because it is killer. Discarding a follower will make Gamling strength +4 for the skirmish and another companion strength +4 till the regroup phase, so you won’t really have a problem in fierce skirmishes.

You can give Erkenbrand’s Horn to Aldred, Eored Soldier, but you won’t really need to use its text past site 1 so it won’t matter much. The main thing that it will affect is if you transfer Rohirrim Doorwarden to your companion, since the Horns are the only possessions in the deck.

Possession removal can’t really even touch this deck, since Merry, Swordthain can play the Horns back just in time for the skirmish phase. Merry can also return to your hand just to get rid of wounds, meaning that he can soak up 3 archery each turn.

You’ll be adding a lot of twilight at site 1, but you’ll also be completely set up and so you should be able to handle anything that is played. If you have to, though, Smeagol and Pippin make very serviceable speed bumps, and you can even throw away Aldred if you get swamped with minions. Once this is done you would only have 2 companions (Frodo and Gamling) and you could REALLY choke the twilight pool.

While this deck can work well in multi-player, it is strongest in a 2-player game since your opponent probably won’t be able to use all the twilight at site 2, whereas in multi-player there is a greater chance that you’ll get beat up. The one nice thing about multi-player is that if you survive the first turn, you’ll be able to multi-move to site 9 really easily (followers stay attached till the end of the turn!).


Here is how this deck would match up against some basic Shadow strategies:

Not a problem. With the horns, your companions will have massive strength bonuses, and since you won’t play anything past site 1 your opponent will not have much twilight to work with.

Frodo has 14 resistance with The Ring of Rings, and you can transfer followers that add resistance to Frodo when you move to site 9 (yes, followers stay attached at the end of the game). While this deck has no burden removal, it can stay alive simply by combining Frodo’s high resistance with massive twilight choke.

Two words: Gamling’s Horn. Each follower you discard makes Gamling AND Frodo strength +4, meaning that the 25 followers played at site 1 can convert into 100 extra strength for Frodo.

With no healing past site 1 (besides sanctuaries), archery can be an issue. But The One Ring, The Ring of Rings can convert archery wounds into burdens, and archery generally requires a goodly amount of twilight (which will not happen with this deck, except at site 2). Merry, Swordthain can also absorb 3 archery wounds each site.

Really, there are not many decks that can hurt this Free Peoples side. The main weakness is follower hate (Frenzy of Arrows and Whisper in the Dark). But against anything else, this deck will have a good chance of winning.

Alternate Versions

There are a couple alternate versions of this deck:

Expanded Format
Use Smeagol, Old Noser for easy double-moves. Your entire draw deck will be Shadow cards, so you are guaranteed 4 wounds each time you use his ability. Honestly though, that version of Smeagol is the only card that I would suggest adding for an Expanded format version.

No More Frenzyin’!
If your deck constantly dies to cards like Frenzy of Arrows, just include 4 copies of a unique Elven companion and 4 copies of Elven Armaments. No more archery! Twisted Evil

Saving Gamling
Gamling can die to directed wounding (Orkish Lackey, Hate, etc), but there are ways around this as well. One such way is to use Riding Armor (can be fetched from your draw deck by Gamling’s text!), which can prevent 2 wounds each turn. Another way is to use Eowyn, Lady of Rohan, since she can prevent wounds to Merry and Aldred as well. One of the best forms of wound prevention comes in the card Golden Glimmer, but this card is very vulnerable to condition removal.

Ultra Horn Blowin’
Instead of just one copy of each unique follower, include 4 copies of everyone, as well as 4 copies of New Chapter, and a couple extra copies of the Horns. This way, each turn you can discard tons of followers, and then next fellowship phase just play more from your draw deck. Multiple copies of New Chapter will insure that your entire fellowship stays healed, since each time a follower is played you will be healing multiple companions. The one downside to this deck is that it will be HUGE, which can make things harder for your Shadow side since you might not get the cards you want when you need them. But the Free Peoples side will be nearly unstoppable, so the best Shadow side would be one that just tries to slow down your opponent while you move to site 9.

The decklist would look something like this:

Ultra Horn Blowin’ Decklist

Ring-bearer and Ring
Frodo, Resolute Hobbit
The One Ring, The Ring of Rings

Free Peoples (93 - no, I didn’t miscount it, it’s really this big!)
Aldred, Eored Soldier (starting)
Gamling, Defender of the Hornburg (starting)
Merry, Swordthain (starting)
Smeagol, Scout and Guide (starting)
Erkenbrand’s Horn x3
Gamling’s Horn x3
New Chapter x4
Something Slimy x3
Elendil’s Army x4
Faramir’s Company x4
Gondorian Servant, Denethor’s Handman x4
Deagol, Fateful Finder x4
Meneldor, Misty Mountain Eagle x4
Gwaihir, The Windlord x4
Alatar, Final Envoy x4
Pallando, Far-travelling One x4
Radagast, Tender of Beasts x4
Daddy Twofoot, Next-door Neighbor x4
Frodo Gamgee, Son of Samwise x4
The Gaffer, Master Gardener x4
Hobbiton Brewer, Maker of Fine Ales x4
Hobbiton Farmer, Lover of Pipeweed x4
Uruviel, Woodland Maid x4
Dinendal, Mirkwood Archer x4
Rohirrim Doorwarden x4
Rohan Stable Master x4
Rohan Worker x4

Price: $93.65 + 14 T&D rares + 4 T&D commons

Not much can stop this deck. As long as your Shadow side doesn’t let your opponent move ahead of you, you’ll be able to cruise to site 9 with no problems.

The main problem with this Free Peoples side is finding a Shadow side that works well at 93 cards. Here is one such Shadow side:

Ultra Nazgul Decklist

Shadow (93)
Black Rider x4
Ulaire Attea, Black Predator x4
Ulaire Cantea, Faster Than Winds x4
Ulaire Enquea, Duplicitous Lieutenant x4
Ulaire Lemenya, Eternally Threatening x4
Ulaire Nelya, Third of the Nine Riders x4
Ulaire Nertea, Thrall of the One x4
Ulaire Otsea, Thrall of the One x4
Ulaire Toldea, Black Shadow x4
The Witch-king, Captain of the Nine Riders x2
The Witch-king, Morgul King x2
Ring of Asperity x3
Ring of Terror x3
Stooping to the Kill x3
Hatred Stirred x3
Lost in the Woods x3
Moving This Way x4
Unending Life x4
A Shadow Fell Over Them x4
They Feel The Precious x4
Ghastly Host x3
Out of Sight and Shot x4
There Came a Cry x4
Houses of Lamentation x3
Dark Approach x4
Minas Morgul Answers x4

Price: $171.35

The main idea is to play a couple Nazgul, have them beat up on companions, and just have them generally discourage double-moving. There is a good amount of threat adding, and They Feel the Precious can remove those threats to prevent wounds (keeping your Nazgul alive for a double-move!). Out of Sight and Shot can retrieve your best Nazgul, and The Witch-king, Morgul King + Ring of Terror can both also grab any Wraith card from your discard pile.


These 2 decks centered around Horns are very strong, make your Shadow work extremely well, and are amazingly fun to play (who doesn’t love the idea of 25 followers?). They can be stopped by Frenzy of Arrows or Whisper in the Dark, but there is a good chance that those cards will either be X-ed or receive an errata.

Enjoy the deck, and I hope you have enough space in your support area! Very Happy

- AC


All comments and feedback are appreciated. If you see a glaring mistake, I’d be much obliged if you waited to vote until after I had a chance to fix it up. Thanks for reading!
Last edited by AnxiousChieftain on Thu May 10, 2007 8:59 am; edited 14 times in totalMODS RULE. - lem0nhead
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:35 pm
Joined: 03 May 2007 Posts: 5 Location:
Nice catch! I may have to give that a try. That’s just crazy.
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:43 pm
Joined: 15 Jul 2005 Posts: 3947 Location: Maryland
Thanks! It’s nice to see yet another person from the Decipher boards. Have a GP for your first article review! GP

- AC
MODS RULE. - lem0nhead
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:06 pm
Joined: 03 May 2007 Posts: 5 Location:
Yehaw! Smile

I’ve been lurking on Cobra for a while now, but just signed up for an account. Maybe I’ll be more ambitious and put in my two cents about the new cards more.

This deck is quite an interesting concept, though I’d have to trade for a lot of the followers to pull it off. Smile
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:25 pm
Joined: 28 Dec 2006 Posts: 5468 Location: I don't know...

This deck is sweet! Although one copy of Frenzy of Arrows would kill you. Twisted Evil

The deck is awesome, but the article needs a little more to it. Currently, a 4.
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Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:33 pm
Joined: 15 Jul 2005 Posts: 3947 Location: Maryland
Thanks NBarden, anything specific that you would like me to add?

- AC

EDIT: I added a small bit in the Alternate Versions section to counter Frenzy of Arrows.
Last edited by AnxiousChieftain on Wed May 09, 2007 1:44 pm; edited 1 time in totalMODS RULE. - lem0nhead
Aragorn, King in Exile
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:42 pm
Joined: 26 Mar 2007 Posts: 302 Location: Weare, NH
I love decks like this. I wish I had thought of this. 5 and a GP! Really cool! Pretty cheap too, it looks like.

One quick note though, with four copies of the unique followers, you won’t be able to play all of your free people’s cards in one turn.

Other then that, good work. Applause
Last edited by Aragorn, King in Exile on Wed May 09, 2007 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Lost Heir
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:48 pm
Joined: 01 May 2007 Posts: 225 Location: Ohio

I am boycotting T&D though so I’m not going to play against it. Whew!

But yeah, this is the craziest combo on earth. Applause
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Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:59 pm
Joined: 25 Apr 2007 Posts: 545 Location: Groningen, the Netherlands
Wow...just wow, I mean what else to say then: wow! It must be incredible to watch your opponent wet his own pants of laughter..... Applause Applause Homage Homage
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 2:04 pm
Joined: 23 Mar 2006 Posts: 7750 Location: somwhere, over the rainbow way up high. There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.
when I saw 93 cards I almost exploded...when i saw you could play every single one of them on site 1...lets just say IMHO this is broken.
There is one huge problem with this deck you overlooked. where are you going to put a 186 probably sleeved deck? wouldn’t if fall if you put it upright? I mean this is an important issue Wink
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