LotR TCG Wiki → Card Sets:  All 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 → Forums:  TLHH CC

Author Topic: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul  (Read 20243 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

December 08, 2013, 08:27:27 PM
Read 20243 times

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« on: December 08, 2013, 08:27:27 PM »
This is a close to finalized version of the deck idea I posted a couple of weeks ago, I'm very satisfied with it's performance after the last changes I made (ditching Elladan and Elrohir for Arwen and Gamling, adding Sudden Strike to the Shadow, changing Gandalf, Returned to MoW). Here is the list:

Ring-bearer: Galadriel, Bearer of Wisdom
Ring: The One Ring, The Binding Ring

Adventure deck:
Woody-End
Buckland Homestead
Cavern Entrance
Caras Galadhon
Mithlond
Dammed Gate-stream
Old Forest Road
The Prancing Pony
Sirannon Ruins

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
1x Arwen, She-Elf
4x Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor
1x Glorfindel, Eldarin Lord
1x Gandalf, Manager of Wizards
1x Radagast, The Brown
1x Smeagol, Always Helps
1x Aragorn, Heir to the Throne of Gondor
1x Aragorn, Thorongil
1x Gamling, Defender of the Hornburg
1x Asfaloth, Swift Blossom
2x Elven Armaments
1x Gwemegil
1x Gandalf's Hat
1x Erkenbrand's Horn
1x Aiglos
1x Galadriel's Silver Ewer
1x Gift of the Evenstar, Blessed Light
1x Nenya
1x Vilya, Ring of Air
4x Alliance Reforged
4x Forearmed
2x A Wizard Is Never Late
4x Something Slimy
1x Agility
1x Crashing Cavalry
1x Glimpse of Fate
2x Hosts of the Last Alliance
1x Into the West
1x Leaving Forever
1x Secluded Homestead
1x Songs of the Blessed Realm
1x Strength of Arms
1x Uncertain Future
1x Don't Look at Them
1x Follow Smeagol
1x Celebring, Elven-smith
1x Woodhall Elf, Exile
1x Deagol, Fateful Finder

Shadow Draw Deck:
1x Gollum, Old Villain
1x Shelob, Her Ladyship
1x Grima, Chief Counselor
1x Southron Leader
1x Bill Ferny, Swarthy Sneering Fellow
3x Morgul Squealer
3x The Witch-king, Morgul King
1x Úlairë Cantëa, Black Assassin
2x Úlairë Cantëa, Faster Than Winds
2x Úlairë Enquëa, Lieutenant of Morgul
1x Úlairë Enquëa, Sixth of the Nine Riders
3x Úlairë Lemenya, Eternally Threatening
3x Úlairë Nelya, Third of the Nine Riders
4x Úlairë Nertëa, Dark Horseman
1x Web
2x Nazgul Sword
4x Winged Mount
3x Ring of Terror
4x Captured by the Ring
2x Sudden Strike
1x All Life Flees
2x Evil-smelling Fens
2x Final Strike
2x They Feel the Precious
3x Saruman, Servant of Sauron

Bid 0, and mulligan aggressively for Gil-Galad, if you go first, start at Dammed Gate Stream and pull whatever you judge best suited for your hand (Don't Look at Them / Deagol / Something Slimy). Use Gamling's text to pull the horn, then get Celebring (primary target for him is Galadriel's Silver Ewer, whatever else you see fit if it was in starting hand), and Deagol (Woodhall Elf if you already have Deagol). I usually don't use Deagol until I see what exactly I'm playing against (to see if I need Gandalf's Hat, or can just simply go for a weapon).

The fellowship works with a lot of very strong interactions, like Gandalf, MoW + Forearmed + HKOTN, the various loops with Gil-Galad (including an infinite burden removal, infinite condition removal, and infinite draw ones) or something as simple as Always Helps + Don't Look at Them, but I still find myself finding more while playing it.

The shadow is a version of nazgul beatdown, mostly a metagame call (and also one of the few shadows that can remain consistent with a 106 cards deck), it is good at finding, reusing and protecting the most annoying nazzies (Dark Horseman mainly, og, that card is broken), or using up massive floods of twilight. I find that while it lacks in terms of sheer power sometimes, it has formidable stopping power, and hits where it hurts. The worst mathups for this shadow are choke decks with heavy focus on making the ringbearer strong (it is doing okay against Gorn/Durin defender versions, because of Dark Horseman). A corsair cycling shadow would be probably more effective, but I'm bored of them pirates :)

It is a very tall deck with it's 106 cards, but also has great cycling potential, and strong search cards, so I rarely find that an issue, and if the game goes to site 9, I'm usually still running out of cards to draw. It is probably the hardest deck, I ever piloted during my 12 years of playing the game, and I have loads of fun with it (even if not with doing the loop on Gemp...). I'd suggest it to anyone looking for a strong telepathy list, or simply just a deck that's challenging to play.

Possible additions:
Incited + Gollum, Skulker: I'm very happy with Sudden Strike, might want to reuse it if I can.

Led Astray: would help against choke.

Shadowfax, GOTM: assembling my burden removal loop may take some time, and while if I draw/fetch Songs of the Blessed Realm, I can remove a few burdens without the combo, corruption can certainly be an issue.

Ranger's Longbow / The Last Alliance of Elves and Men / Anduril, STWB: it'd lead me to adding more 'gorns, definitely something worth considering, but finding slots for all those cards....

Gladden Homestead: I haven't played vs Ninja Gollum yet, but I can see it being a problem, and this is a great card against those decks, although, Gandalf's Hat + replaying Leaving Forever plays nicely around Deceit.

Elrond, Venerable Lord: to replace Cirdan. As the deck gets better and better, I find myself very rarely resort to use Cirdan's text (and it is not that great in this build anyway). Also if I get trainwrecked on site 2 and Arwen dies before I can play another elf companion, I can't meet the spotting requirements for any of my elves, Elrond could help there (never happened yet, but it is a possibility).

Elrond, Lord of Rivendell: more card draw...

Replay Links:

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=B0r0m1r$ggah663yys31izsd vs. Mirek2507: I ended up losing this one, but it was a great game, and I think it's a fun game to watch. Next time I'll know better and hold on to Buckland Homestead :)

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=B0r0m1r$3sutnc4xfb11l7z7 vs. SgtDraino: many mistakes were made on both sides in this one, but it's a great example on how my loop/shadow side works, I managed to take the win in the end

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/game.html?replayId=B0r0m1r$d3zyf82s15g5s2uc  vs. Plimeus: my draw is nuts here, both fellowship and shadow sides go on a rampage. You can see how the deck does at it's best in this replay.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 12:01:27 PM by Shelobplayer »

December 09, 2013, 08:25:19 AM
Reply #1

ToPaxyGourouni

  • *
  • Information Offline
  • Orc
  • Posts: 25
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2013, 08:25:19 AM »
Don't play loophole decks. Just don't. There is open format for this. Your opponent NEVER has fun when you do this. They never want to play against this and if it were you in their position you wouldn't want to either.

Do not promote stuff that make for a bad gaming experience.

December 09, 2013, 08:47:03 AM
Reply #2

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 08:47:03 AM »
My deck is expanded legal, and the power of it's loop is nowhere close to the open loops, if you don't have fun playing against it, you have the option to request the game canceled or just concede, so as every other player. I like playing against horn filter and other various loops. You don't? Not my problem. I hate playing against choke - strike back!

Now, if you don't want to play against broken stuff, there is standard format for you, I personally love standard way more than expanded, but it has no player base on Gemp.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 08:50:55 AM by Shelobplayer »

December 09, 2013, 10:18:46 AM
Reply #3

ToPaxyGourouni

  • *
  • Information Offline
  • Orc
  • Posts: 25
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 10:18:46 AM »
I hate choke too. Same deal. Only with choke the opponent at least gets to play something, even if something little.

Loopholes on cards that were errated but were not errated enough because the company just packed up and left should not really be played, unless they are played as single cards.

You already gor Gil Galad bringing you back events and conditions non stop. Isn't it power level enough? Do you really have to go that deep and loop?

What would happen if the company shut down before they got the chance to put errata on Elven armaments for example? Would you still be playing it?

December 09, 2013, 10:59:25 AM
Reply #4

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2013, 10:59:25 AM »
I don't think this deck has the power level of say an IB/ What are they/ Madril , horn filter or Powerful Guide deck just to give some examples, it is way more vulnerable in almost every possible way, I'm playing it because I want to play something I haven't played before, and also something I find challenging to play.

To answer your question, I'd play almost any card allowed in a format (with the solo exception of LR in movie, and yet I don't mind playing against it), I'm a player with a competitive mind set, I enjoy it that way, and I enjoy like minded opponents. That said, if I think a format is unbalanced (open), I'm just simply not playing it, but expanded is in no means unbalanced by my definition.

Yes, I may take a minute or two at regroups, can't help it if my opponent is impatient, but if you check the replay links, I never play my loop to it's fullest because of how time consuming it would be (and I haven't built a full combo "I win" shadow side like LTTG or Mountain Troll megaswarm for the deck, that wins 90% of the time once I assemble a god hand - which I most probably could have done with very little time investment).

Can't say more than that. Haters gonna hate.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 11:07:30 AM by Shelobplayer »

December 09, 2013, 12:42:19 PM
Reply #5

ToPaxyGourouni

  • *
  • Information Offline
  • Orc
  • Posts: 25
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 12:42:19 PM »
Well suit yourself. Bear in mind though that making your opponent unhappy during the game is a bad idea of gaming. Might as well play on your own table without opponent.

Madril decks and powerful guide decks are by no means worse than what you are describing. They can be beasts in only one aspect of the game. Your deck gets to discard all conditions, draw all your cards, remove all your burdens and all your threats every single regroup phase. And if you add a copy of Ancient Blade inside, you get to kill all minions too. Every regroup. And you have your gil galad events for the skirmish.

And your point is that you are not broken because you do not play Mountain Troll Hypocrite much?

December 09, 2013, 01:27:31 PM
Reply #6

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2013, 01:27:31 PM »
Don't play with me bro. Also your forum posts are making me unhappy. It is a bad idea of forum usage. Might as well post on your own forums "king of open".

December 10, 2013, 03:18:28 AM
Reply #7

ToPaxyGourouni

  • *
  • Information Offline
  • Orc
  • Posts: 25
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 03:18:28 AM »
Sorry about that.

Man your deck is awsome! It seriously kicks arse! I love it!

There. Does that make you feel better?

December 10, 2013, 03:44:42 AM
Reply #8

sgtdraino

  • *****
  • Information Offline
  • Knight
  • Posts: 1030
  • Ranger of Ecthelion
    • Facebook
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 03:44:42 AM »
I've played against this deck a number of times. Yes, it can be time consuming, and it is tough to play against, but I don't think it's as bad as the Gamling horn filter, which is the only deck I truly regard to be totally unbalanced for Expanded. Gil-galad is key to this strategy, just kill him and the loop is over. This loop can do a lot, but it doesn't have healing.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 12:52:18 PM by sgtdraino »
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 10, 2013, 03:48:38 AM
Reply #9

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 03:48:38 AM »
People not trying to define what's fun for the rest of their community are making me happy.

About the deck's power level I can only say that my record with it is 17-11, while my Powerful Guide deck doesn't have a single loss (you can look up the list somewhere here, I posted it like a year ago, possibly two, I don't know), I don't play horn filter or Madril on Gemp (I sometimes sleeve them up irl), but I'm pretty sure if built well, those archetypes can do much better than this as well. Yes if you look at this deck in a vacuum, it is strong, and does a lot of things other decks may not, but it is almost completely open to any wounding strategy, and takes some turns to set up, and when Gil-Galad gets killed, it is just a pile of mediocre cards. Heck, even a single shotgun Enquea is a huge threat for this.

December 10, 2013, 12:53:51 PM
Reply #10

sgtdraino

  • *****
  • Information Offline
  • Knight
  • Posts: 1030
  • Ranger of Ecthelion
    • Facebook
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 12:53:51 PM »
Eh, a SINGLE Enquea? Probably not. Gil-galad is the key, and you've normally got too much vitality on him for a single Enquea to take him out.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 15, 2013, 10:07:43 PM
Reply #11

ramolnar

  • ***
  • Information Offline
  • Troll
  • Posts: 187
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 10:07:43 PM »
I saw this deck recently, though I was playing Trolls (not a good deck, by the way). I think Madril is better, because this deck has more weaknesses.
*It has one way to gain the necessary tokens besides conditions. I would get Gift of the Evenstar with Celebring - you need a safer token starter.
*Saurman's Power shuts things down for a site. Unlike Madril, this deck wants MoW for Forearmed, instead of being able to block with Wise Guide.
*The key card is not in the starting fellowship. 4 out of 106 can get pretty deep sometimes. I'd remove some of the side cards like Asfaloth for safety.
*Without its 1 Gandalf's Hat, it has trouble double moving. Corsairs will pitch that hat. Archery will pitch that hat.
*It discards stuff in regroup which can be too late against Greed or Rapid Reload. I'd run Gladden Homestead, like sgtdraino's Madril.
*There's more site-hate, like the mountain that stops tokens or the remove-from-game on discard sites. Madril has less site-hate because no site removes threats.

In real life, this deck is unplayable because it would time out frequently. Is it negative to play against on Gemp? Possibly but not really. Madril is NPE because it reverses the basic structure of the game - it takes something that's normally a negative and makes it a positive. This is not NPE.

December 16, 2013, 03:41:57 AM
Reply #12

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2013, 03:41:57 AM »
I saw this deck recently, though I was playing Trolls (not a good deck, by the way). I think Madril is better, because this deck has more weaknesses.
*It has one way to gain the necessary tokens besides conditions. I would get Gift of the Evenstar with Celebring - you need a safer token starter.
*Saurman's Power shuts things down for a site. Unlike Madril, this deck wants MoW for Forearmed, instead of being able to block with Wise Guide.
*The key card is not in the starting fellowship. 4 out of 106 can get pretty deep sometimes. I'd remove some of the side cards like Asfaloth for safety.
*Without its 1 Gandalf's Hat, it has trouble double moving. Corsairs will pitch that hat. Archery will pitch that hat.
*It discards stuff in regroup which can be too late against Greed or Rapid Reload. I'd run Gladden Homestead, like sgtdraino's Madril.
*There's more site-hate, like the mountain that stops tokens or the remove-from-game on discard sites. Madril has less site-hate because no site removes threats.

In real life, this deck is unplayable because it would time out frequently. Is it negative to play against on Gemp? Possibly but not really. Madril is NPE because it reverses the basic structure of the game - it takes something that's normally a negative and makes it a positive. This is not NPE.

Thank you.
That's about what I was trying to explain, but didn't go in to details. I play this deck, because I have fun with it, not because it is so strong. It is not in the same tier as Madril, Powerful Guide or Horn.

Edit: I'd like to add that I'm playing this fellowship to support the shadow side as it makes it easier to find the silver bullets against a lot of popular strategies. Right now my win ratio is around 65% which includes the games I played with the very first version of this deck, and the vast majority of my wins are shadow wins (22-13 over all, 7-2 with the latest version - since I ditched the elven brothers).
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 04:55:17 AM by Shelobplayer »

December 16, 2013, 01:11:27 PM
Reply #13

sgtdraino

  • *****
  • Information Offline
  • Knight
  • Posts: 1030
  • Ranger of Ecthelion
    • Facebook
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2013, 01:11:27 PM »
I've played against this deck a number of times. Yes, it can be time consuming, and it is tough to play against, but I don't think it's as bad as the Gamling horn filter, which is the only deck I truly regard to be totally unbalanced for Expanded. Gil-galad is key to this strategy, just kill him and the loop is over. This loop can do a lot, but it doesn't have healing.

Ya know, I'm starting to rethink this a bit. I still think it's a perfectly legitimate deck, but (based on my experiences so far) may be stronger than I initially gave credit. If you're careful, it really is very difficult to kill Gil-galad, and so long as he's in play, the strategy remains pretty strong no matter who else gets killed. Lately it's been easier to beat the Gamling Horn Filter than this deck, maybe because I've just figured out the best way to play against them. If this deck were to incorporate substantial healing capabilities, I think it has the potential to be one of the strongest things out there.

Yes if you look at this deck in a vacuum, it is strong, and does a lot of things other decks may not, but it is almost completely open to any wounding strategy, and takes some turns to set up, and when Gil-Galad gets killed, it is just a pile of mediocre cards. Heck, even a single shotgun Enquea is a huge threat for this.

I feel like you should be able to incorporate some decent healing capabilities into this design. I still think you'd be better off with Nenya, Ring of Adamant rather than the original Nenya. I don't really see what original Nenya gets you, since you already have as much card drawing in Regroup as you want. With Ring of Adamant and Hosts of the Last Alliance, Aiglos, and Vilya, it seems highly unlikely to me that Gil-galad could get killed.

I would consider putting in multiple copies of Celebring, keep killing my fellowship off down to 5 with Celebring on a guy, then using Gamling to pull out another Celebring to get another artifact. I'd also put in multiple hats, just to make sure I can keep getting it.

*It has one way to gain the necessary tokens besides conditions. I would get Gift of the Evenstar with Celebring - you need a safer token starter.

I agree. It seems to me that Gift of the Evenstar, Blessed Light is also the biggest key to being able to reset the loop if your conditions get discarded. And once it's out, it's basically impossible to get rid of, unless the opponent has Grond.

*Saurman's Power shuts things down for a site. Unlike Madril, this deck wants MoW for Forearmed, instead of being able to block with Wise Guide.

I agree here too. If I were you, I would swap out MoW for Wise Guide, and forget about telepathy for Forearmed. Once Smeagol is set up with Don't Look at Them, you can kill literally anything. Whatever's left over, you can probably deal with using the tokens on your conditions.

*The key card is not in the starting fellowship. 4 out of 106 can get pretty deep sometimes. I'd remove some of the side cards like Asfaloth for safety.

That's a good point. And yet, so far he's gotten Gil-galad sufficiently fast every time I've played him.

*Without its 1 Gandalf's Hat, it has trouble double moving. Corsairs will pitch that hat. Archery will pitch that hat.

Good points (although how does archery pitch the hat?). I'd add more copies of Gandalf's Hat, or have some way to get it back. The hat is key to the double.

*It discards stuff in regroup which can be too late against Greed or Rapid Reload. I'd run Gladden Homestead, like sgtdraino's Madril.

What about Namarie instead? Aragorn will put one token on it, which you can then reinforce.

*There's more site-hate, like the mountain that stops tokens or the remove-from-game on discard sites. Madril has less site-hate because no site removes threats.

Well, he's got Follow Smeagol, so he should be able to avoid most of those site hate problems. I think he can generally make it through a bad site or two.

In real life, this deck is unplayable because it would time out frequently. Is it negative to play against on Gemp? Possibly but not really.

I think he's said that it's actually faster for him when he plays it in real life, though that is difficult for me to imagine doing. All those interactions make my head spin.

Madril is NPE because it reverses the basic structure of the game - it takes something that's normally a negative and makes it a positive. This is not NPE.

I've never found Madril to be NPE, because it's pretty easy to prepare for, with a simple Ships of Great Draught. I do think this deck does drift a bit in that direction, because it can get pretty tedious waiting for the loooooooong Regroup phases to complete. However, I still think it is within the realm of legitimate strategy.

I'd like to add that I'm playing this fellowship to support the shadow side as it makes it easier to find the silver bullets against a lot of popular strategies.

In that way, it is a bit similar to the filter properties of a Horn Deck: Gives good Shadow setup, but does leave the Fellowship somewhat vulnerable... particularly to archery.

Right now my win ratio is around 65% which includes the games I played with the very first version of this deck, and the vast majority of my wins are shadow wins (22-13 over all, 7-2 with the latest version - since I ditched the elven brothers).

I think you can make it better. I totally think you can improve your Fellowship side even more.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 16, 2013, 01:52:19 PM
Reply #14

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2013, 01:52:19 PM »
I've been thinking of pitching the 1st Celebring to Erkenbrand's Horn then the next turn Gamling could fetch a Brego (then transfer it after it healed him) and find a 2nd Celebring, that sounds more reasonable than killing companions. That said, I do hate when he survives site 2. This could be done a 2nd time with a Coif, but leaving Gamling alive for 2-3 turns could REALLY hurt.

I disagree on that Gandalf's Hat is essential to the strategy, if I plan to double I can just get rid of conditions with Leaving Forever for a grand total of 0 twilight, and then do the full loop at the 2nd regroup. It is a nice addition when it is out, and often it makes my opponent misplay by going after Gandalf. I'm also not playing Ancient Blade in the later versions, because I didn't find it necessary at all for doing doubles: if I can get to skirmish without sustaining major damage in maneuver/archery I can usually kill the key minions, then get rid of conditions, move again, then loop, and if I do lose a companion (Gil-Galad) to maneuver/arhry tricks, I wouldn't double anyway in most cases. The primary use of my loop is cycling, I only have to do it once a turn, the rest is there because it costs very few card slots.

If I'd purely want to improve my win ratio I'd play it with Mountain Troll. Imagine what that shadow can do with a grip of 8 cards of your choice + a completely stuffed discard pile after I do the loop. However I do agree that the freeps can still be improved, I had very little experience playing elves compared to other cultures prior to this deck so I keep experimenting.

Namarie requires a hunter elf to use - I do have another version with hunters, but I'm hesitant to even try it.

Edit:
@SgtDraino: I think you are giving my deck some extra credit because of the shadow side, not because of the freeps. Your fellowship is vulnerable to many of the "silver bullets" I'm playing, and my deck's base concept is to always find the right minion to hurt the opposing freeps side the most. You are running 9 companions of 4 cultures with threats always maxed out, an give a lot of twilight - these factors are giving a lot of space for this particular shadow.
ps.: Burn that Wise Guide, I hate it :D
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 02:07:48 PM by Shelobplayer »

December 17, 2013, 09:41:07 AM
Reply #15

sgtdraino

  • *****
  • Information Offline
  • Knight
  • Posts: 1030
  • Ranger of Ecthelion
    • Facebook
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2013, 09:41:07 AM »
I've been thinking of pitching the 1st Celebring to Erkenbrand's Horn then the next turn Gamling could fetch a Brego (then transfer it after it healed him) and find a 2nd Celebring, that sounds more reasonable than killing companions.

Duh! Great idea! I should have thought of that.

That said, I do hate when he survives site 2. This could be done a 2nd time with a Coif, but leaving Gamling alive for 2-3 turns could REALLY hurt.

Why? Why not just keep him alive, if you can? How does it hurt to have him around? You could play Deagols and Celeborns over and over, getting everything you need, and then discarding them as powerups.

I disagree on that Gandalf's Hat is essential to the strategy, if I plan to double I can just get rid of conditions with Leaving Forever for a grand total of 0 twilight, and then do the full loop at the 2nd regroup. It is a nice addition when it is out, and often it makes my opponent misplay by going after Gandalf.

That's an interesting point. Based on my experiences playing you, it generally seemed like you had a tendency to generate a lot of twilight in that first regroup, but maybe you simply chose to do that.

I'm also not playing Ancient Blade in the later versions, because I didn't find it necessary at all for doing doubles: if I can get to skirmish without sustaining major damage in maneuver/archery I can usually kill the key minions, then get rid of conditions, move again, then loop, and if I do lose a companion (Gil-Galad) to maneuver/arhry tricks, I wouldn't double anyway in most cases. The primary use of my loop is cycling, I only have to do it once a turn, the rest is there because it costs very few card slots.

It occurs to me that archery should generally have very little effect on you. You could just put on the ring, take the archery as burdens, and then take the burdens off in Regroup.

If I'd purely want to improve my win ratio I'd play it with Mountain Troll. Imagine what that shadow can do with a grip of 8 cards of your choice + a completely stuffed discard pile after I do the loop.

Well, I can only speak for my own deck, but these days I feel more threatened by Nazgul than by Mountain Troll tricks.

However I do agree that the freeps can still be improved, I had very little experience playing elves compared to other cultures prior to this deck so I keep experimenting.

I think I may have found the answer to healing: Trust. If his text is accurate, Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor should be able to pull any skirmish event, not just Elf ones. Thanks to him and Aragorn, you have the potential to pull 4 of these every time you move, and heal 4 wounds each time. Then you just take the threats off in Regroup!

Namarie requires a hunter elf to use - I do have another version with hunters, but I'm hesitant to even try it.

So, put in an Elf Hunter! Are all of those current guys really that vital? What's so great about Glorfindel? Or even Arwen, for that matter?

I think you are giving my deck some extra credit because of the shadow side, not because of the freeps. Your fellowship is vulnerable to many of the "silver bullets" I'm playing, and my deck's base concept is to always find the right minion to hurt the opposing freeps side the most.

I actually have a question about that: How do you always find the right minion? Is it just your two copies of Sudden Strike you are relying on? I've heard you talk about how you can stack your hand with exactly the minion setup you want, but I'm still not sure I understand how you accomplish that. By the way, you also might consider the option of using On Your Doorstep to retrieve key Gollum cards (like Sudden Strike), as well as Not Easily Avoided to get key Smeagol cards (like Something Slimy).

Here's an idea I'm toying with...

Deck Out + Birthday Present + Dear Friends + On Your Doorstep + Elrond, Lord of Rivendell + Gollum + Evil-smelling Fens + Watcher/Tentacles/other "silver bullets" = swarm potential as well as the ability to recycle everything in your FP side
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 17, 2013, 11:58:31 AM
Reply #16

ramolnar

  • ***
  • Information Offline
  • Troll
  • Posts: 187
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2013, 11:58:31 AM »
Talking about companions and Gamling:

Namarie requires a hunter elf to use - I do have another version with hunters, but I'm hesitant to even try it.

So, put in an Elf Hunter! Are all of those current guys really that vital? What's so great about Glorfindel? Or even Arwen, for that matter?

Why? Why not just keep him alive, if you can? How does it hurt to have him around? You could play Deagols and Celeborns over and over, getting everything you need, and then discarding them as powerups.

Shotgun Enquea and Greed are dangerous for this deck. It wants to stay at five companions. Of the noncritical options, Gamling is generally least useful, compared to Arwen, Glorfindel, Smeagol and Aragorn. Arwen removes tokens to win skirmishes. Glorfindel removes threats during the skirmish phase and wins against Troll's Keyward on Warg. Both are more useful than Namarie.



If I'd purely want to improve my win ratio I'd play it with Mountain Troll. Imagine what that shadow can do with a grip of 8 cards of your choice + a completely stuffed discard pile after I do the loop.

Well, I can only speak for my own deck, but these days I feel more threatened by Nazgul than by Mountain Troll tricks.

That makes sense. Nazgul have multiple cards that hurt the Madril deck - Buckland Homestead, Nelya, Bill Ferny who blocks the first Ithilien Blade/What are They? , possession-removing Cantea, Enquea. All of those cards are generally playable, too, not bullets like Grima Chief Counselor.


I think I may have found the answer to healing: Trust. If his text is accurate, Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor should be able to pull any skirmish event, not just Elf ones. Thanks to him and Aragorn, you have the potential to pull 4 of these every time you move, and heal 4 wounds each time. Then you just take the threats off in Regroup!

Gil-galad has errata, according to the wiki. Elven skirmish events only.

December 17, 2013, 12:54:07 PM
Reply #17

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2013, 12:54:07 PM »
The way I find the minions I want to is with my regroup loop, I just keep drawing/discarding cards until I have a grip that has the potential of doing damage. Sudden Strike, Morgul Squealer, Evil-Smelling Fens are just making the process faster. If you pay attention to my deck size in our longer games, you usually see my 106 cards draw deck run out of cards.

Gil-Galad can't recycle trust, and couldn't do it without the errata either (the original text has no restriction to skirmish events).

A Namarie version is easily doable, and I've seen working standard versions of that build on GCCG a couple of times (in standard it's pretty much where you have to go to with Gil-Galad imo), but I'm not sure how good that'd be for expanded. Basically I'd want to start with Smeagol + Faramir, CoI + a hunter elf (probably Elven Guardian), which would leave me without Gamling. It could have potential, but I think it'd be more gondor heavy with The Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and maybe a bit more focused on archery than skirmish, because I have trouble seeing how Gandalf would fit in to that one.

I'm still thinking that a Gandalf, BoO version is doable with SftF, and I'm gonna work on that one after my finals are over.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 12:56:27 PM by Shelobplayer »

December 17, 2013, 04:14:49 PM
Reply #18

sgtdraino

  • *****
  • Information Offline
  • Knight
  • Posts: 1030
  • Ranger of Ecthelion
    • Facebook
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2013, 04:14:49 PM »
Shotgun Enquea and Greed are dangerous for this deck. It wants to stay at five companions.

Namarie can take care of Greed. Most of his guys have too much vitality to worry about shotgun Enquea, especially with Hosts of the Last Alliance to prevent wounds. If he included Nenya, Ring of Adamant, he'd have even more protection. All he really needs is better healing capability.

Gil-galad has errata, according to the wiki. Elven skirmish events only.

Ah, weird. Usually gemp has the updated text, while the wiki has the original text. In this case, it's the other way around: Gemp has the old text, the wiki has the updated.

Ah well, back to the drawing board!

The way I find the minions I want to is with my regroup loop, I just keep drawing/discarding cards until I have a grip that has the potential of doing damage. Sudden Strike, Morgul Squealer, Evil-Smelling Fens are just making the process faster. If you pay attention to my deck size in our longer games, you usually see my 106 cards draw deck run out of cards.

Ah. So there's not really that much cycling, beyond the Witch-king/ring shenanigans.

A Namarie version is easily doable, and I've seen working standard versions of that build on GCCG a couple of times (in standard it's pretty much where you have to go to with Gil-Galad imo), but I'm not sure how good that'd be for expanded. Basically I'd want to start with Smeagol + Faramir, CoI + a hunter elf (probably Elven Guardian), which would leave me without Gamling.

Not necessary. You can start an Elf Hunter with Gamling, use Prancing Pony to pull Ranger/Hunter Aragorn, and then use East Wall of Rohan to pull another Elf Hunter. This shouldn't be too tough with Follow Smeagol. That would give you another 3 token condition, with condition discard in maneuver.

ETA: Okay, what about multiple copies of Farewell to Lorien for healing? Another idea I had was Uruviel, Woodland Maid, with Voice of Nimrodel to cancel skirmishes. Gil-galad can cycle VoN, and you even get to take burdens off when you play it, since it's a tale. Just cancel all the hard skirmishes, and then discard all the minions in regroup with Ancient Blade. And since you can take off all threats every regroup, I'd also be inclined to add Aragorn's Bow, Ranger's Longbow.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 04:44:17 PM by sgtdraino »
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 18, 2013, 05:45:22 AM
Reply #19

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2013, 05:45:22 AM »
Ah. So there's not really that much cycling, beyond the Witch-king/ring shenanigans.

I can draw any number of cards in my fellowship's regroup, I fail to see how that is "not much cycling", when I pass in regroup, I usually do it with 8 shadow cards in hand, but should I need one specific card from my deck, I can just keep reusing Leaving Forever or Gladden Homestead until I get it. Sudden Strike, Morgul Squealer and the recycling cards are mainly there so I won't have to spend THAT much time in regroup and to avoid the risk of decking myself too early, and so I can keep reusing cards like shotgun Enquea, Southron Leader or Chief Counselor.

I've seen others using Voice of Nimrodel, and I never really understood why. In skirmish I can usually win or even overwhelm about anything, protect my companions from tricky minions with Crashing Cavalry or just simply kill with Smeagol. The deck is already very tall and I wouldn't want to increase it's size for something that won't make a real difference, or help my overall cycling potential.

Farewll to Lorien is a great card, but I think it is good for fellowships that want to keep the overall company healthy. I don't care if anyone dies as long as Gil-Galad lives, and I have no way of cycling it, the relevant part in most cases would be 3: heal G-G if he has res 5 or more, not great imo.

Asfaloth, Swift Blossom is one decent way to heal the boss, Nenya, Ring of Adamant would be okay, but again, I don't want to further increase the deck's size, and as a one of, I prefer the original version by far (it'd also lower my cycling potential).
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 05:48:04 AM by Shelobplayer »

December 18, 2013, 07:48:28 AM
Reply #20

sgtdraino

  • *****
  • Information Offline
  • Knight
  • Posts: 1030
  • Ranger of Ecthelion
    • Facebook
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2013, 07:48:28 AM »
I can draw any number of cards in my fellowship's regroup, I fail to see how that is "not much cycling",

My apologies, I meant recycling.

I've seen others using Voice of Nimrodel, and I never really understood why. In skirmish I can usually win or even overwhelm about anything, protect my companions from tricky minions with Crashing Cavalry or just simply kill with Smeagol. The deck is already very tall and I wouldn't want to increase it's size for something that won't make a real difference, or help my overall cycling potential.

Your ability to overwhelm is mostly due to Forearmed, which is mainly helped by Gandalf, Manager of Wizards. I was trying to find a way for the deck to be effective with Gandalf, Wise Guide instead, so that you are better protected against a number of different strategies that you are presently weak against. My thinking was that the deck could possibly be even more effective if you simply eliminate the Forearmed and elven telepathy strategies, and replace them with the ability to cancel skirmishes, remove burdens, and then discard the minions in Regroup with Ancient Blade.

Farewll to Lorien is a great card, but I think it is good for fellowships that want to keep the overall company healthy. I don't care if anyone dies as long as Gil-Galad lives, and I have no way of cycling it, the relevant part in most cases would be 3: heal G-G if he has res 5 or more, not great imo.

Right, I realize that. I'm proposing a version where you don't want Gamling dead, where instead you keep everyone alive. With your ability to remove burdens in Regroup, you can heal everyone every Fellowship phase. It can be recycled with On Your Doorstep. If one of your current weaknesses is lack of healing power, Farewell to Lorien may be the answer.

Asfaloth, Swift Blossom is one decent way to heal the boss, Nenya, Ring of Adamant would be okay, but again, I don't want to further increase the deck's size, and as a one off, I prefer the original version by far (it'd also lower my cycling potential).

Don't you have unlimited cycling potential in regroup, though? I'm not seeing what good an extra 2 cards will do, when you can already draw as many as you want. Is it just cycling you need prior to setting up the loop?
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

December 20, 2013, 07:26:34 AM
Reply #21

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2013, 07:26:34 AM »
So I was thinking about that hunter version with Namaries... it'd indeed have a great advantage: an almost unkillable Faramir, CoI and Gil-Galad duo. I just had this game on gemp when I realized that Elven Guardians can technically heal Gil-Galad if they heal Faramir first (and obviously I'd also get Steward's Legacy, meaning that no minion could ever pass the maneuver phase with it's special abilities working, if I have Faramir and an Elven Guardian heal each other a few times). It'd also mean that Farewell to Lorien can technically heal Gil-Galad multiple times via Faramir/Guardians as long as I have no burdens. The main fighters could be Aragorn and Faramir with The Last Alliance of Elves and Men, but at that point the deck would still need some extra power in the form of skirmish tricks, archery or Madril + IBs. Ofc I'd still use the Smeagol package. I'm not sure if it'd be able to be as consistent as the current version though.

I'll work out a list soon.

December 20, 2013, 08:44:59 AM
Reply #22

sgtdraino

  • *****
  • Information Offline
  • Knight
  • Posts: 1030
  • Ranger of Ecthelion
    • Facebook
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2013, 08:44:59 AM »
Nice! I like it!

I'd put in Gandalf Wise Guide with the original Gandalf's Staff for more skirmish canceling potential, and I'd still go with Voice of Nimrodel, which works well in conjunction with taking off burdens. Ancient Blade kill 'em in Regroup. Wise Guide will help keep your Smeagol package working.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

January 23, 2014, 06:11:01 PM
Reply #23

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2014, 06:11:01 PM »
Quick update:
I'm running a list with Brego and 2 Celebrings for a while, and I'm not sure if they worth the slots. The deck can do well without it's conditions in case if I have no access to Blessed Light, #$&*@! I can even survive without Gil-Galad for a good while giving my shadow time to kill. I'm thinking about cutting them along with another few cards to give more space to Gandalf goodstuff, and maybe some Lothlorien Guides, since sometimes regroup is too late to discard conditions.

Current record with a list very similar to the one in the opening post is 17-3, 7 shadow wins, 1 freeps win and 9 concession (most because of preassure from shadow side, people should play more Dark Horseman protection, I'm getting way too many free wins with him vs elves and dwarves).

Here is my current list:
Ring-bearer: Galadriel, Bearer of Wisdom
Ring: The One Ring, The Binding Ring

Adventure deck:
Woody-End
Buckland Homestead
Cavern Entrance
Caras Galadhon
Mithlond
Dammed Gate-stream
Old Forest Road
The Prancing Pony
Sirannon Ruins

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
1x Arwen, She-Elf
4x Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor
1x Glorfindel, Eldarin Lord
1x Gandalf, Manager of Wizards
1x Radagast, The Brown
1x Smeagol, Always Helps
1x Aragorn, Heir to the Throne of Gondor
1x Aragorn, Thorongil
1x Gamling, Defender of the Hornburg
1x Elrond, Lord of Rivendell
2x Elven Armaments
1x Gwemegil
1x Gandalf's Hat
1x Brego
1x Erkenbrand's Horn
1x Aiglos
1x Galadriel's Silver Ewer
1x Gift of the Evenstar, Blessed Light
1x Nenya
1x Vilya, Ring of Air
4x Alliance Reforged
4x Forearmed
2x A Wizard Is Never Late
4x Something Slimy
1x Agility
1x Crashing Cavalry
1x Glimpse of Fate
2x Hosts of the Last Alliance
1x Into the West
1x Leaving Forever
1x Secluded Homestead
1x Songs of the Blessed Realm
1x Uncertain Future
1x Don't Look at Them
1x Follow Smeagol
2x Celebring, Elven-smith
1x Woodhall Elf, Exile
1x Deagol, Fateful Finder

Shadow Draw Deck:
1x Gollum, Old Villain
1x Shelob, Her Ladyship
1x Grima, Chief Counselor
1x Southron Leader
1x Bill Ferny, Swarthy Sneering Fellow
3x Morgul Squealer
3x The Witch-king, Morgul King
1x Úlairë Cantëa, Black Assassin
2x Úlairë Cantëa, Faster Than Winds
2x Úlairë Enquëa, Lieutenant of Morgul
1x Úlairë Enquëa, Sixth of the Nine Riders
3x Úlairë Lemenya, Eternally Threatening
3x Úlairë Nelya, Third of the Nine Riders
4x Úlairë Nertëa, Dark Horseman
1x Web
1x Ships of Great Draught
2x Nazgul Sword
4x Winged Mount
3x Ring of Terror
4x Captured by the Ring
2x Sudden Strike
1x All Life Flees
2x Evil-smelling Fens
2x Final Strike
2x They Feel the Precious
3x Saruman, Servant of Sauron
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 06:12:47 PM by Shelobplayer »

January 24, 2014, 06:25:35 AM
Reply #24

johnthespud

  • *
  • Information Offline
  • Goblin
  • Posts: 6
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2014, 06:25:35 AM »
can i ask why the heck does anyone play bill ferny like  whats the point

January 24, 2014, 10:47:05 AM
Reply #25

sgtdraino

  • *****
  • Information Offline
  • Knight
  • Posts: 1030
  • Ranger of Ecthelion
    • Facebook
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2014, 10:47:05 AM »
Quick update:
I'm running a list with Brego and 2 Celebrings for a while, and I'm not sure if they worth the slots. The deck can do well without it's conditions in case if I have no access to Blessed Light, #$&*@! I can even survive without Gil-Galad for a good while giving my shadow time to kill. I'm thinking about cutting them along with another few cards to give more space to Gandalf goodstuff, and maybe some Lothlorien Guides, since sometimes regroup is too late to discard conditions.

Dark came up with a really good variation on this deck that is not reliant on Gil-galad; He paired it with Besiegers, controls some sites, uses the brothers, and then is able to constantly cycle Fleet-footed and Still Needed with or without Gil-galad, to basically murder anything you throw at him, thanks to Woodhall Elf, Exile. I told him about your loop stuff, and he's incorporated that in there to make his deck even better.

can i ask why the heck does anyone play bill ferny like  whats the point


Bill Ferny is a good early game counter to Madril decks. He's also excellent to use against decks which use alternate Ring-bearers (like Gimli, Isildur, etc.), because (like Dark Horseman) you can play him over and over with Morgul Squealer to force an assignment to that Ring-bearer, and trigger some burdens or threats or wounds.
"I would have followed you, my brother... my captain... my king." - Boromir

January 24, 2014, 05:26:57 PM
Reply #26

Shelobplayer

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Bowman
  • Posts: 433
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2014, 05:26:57 PM »
Dark came up with a really good variation on this deck that is not reliant on Gil-galad; He paired it with Besiegers, controls some sites, uses the brothers, and then is able to constantly cycle Fleet-footed and Still Needed with or without Gil-galad, to basically murder anything you throw at him, thanks to Woodhall Elf, Exile. I told him about your loop stuff, and he's incorporated that in there to make his deck even better.

I haven't seen a besieger shadow standing up against top tier expanded decks, but I yet have to see his version. I highly prefer Gamling + Arwen over the elven brothers. When I started working on this list, I started with the elven brothers as well, that list now has a 60% win ratio in about 30 games, the version with Gamling + Arwen is on 85% atm, I'm convinced that for what I want to do, this setup is better. I really hated drawing Still Needed instead of shadow cards...

July 01, 2016, 07:52:57 AM
Reply #27

ilazul

  • *
  • Information Offline
  • Goblin
  • Posts: 21
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2016, 07:52:57 AM »
I've been trying this deck out for a multiplayer group and really just want to put in a bit more healing and protection against shadow effects (mostly just shotgun).

I'm not super familiar with the cardpool as I'm fairly new to the game. Any suggestions?

July 03, 2016, 03:10:34 AM
Reply #28

Dictionary

  • ****
  • Information Offline
  • Marksman
  • Posts: 526
  • Duplicitous Deckbuilder
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2016, 03:10:34 AM »
More Hosts of the Last Alliance or Nenya, Ring of Adamant seem to be the best anti-Enquea options. Other [Elven] healing options include Shadow Between and Elrond (Venerable Lord or Herald to Gil-Galad)
Visit LOTR TCG wiki for strategy articles and extra card details, contributed by various community members. All set 1 cards finished.

May 19, 2019, 11:02:19 AM
Reply #29

ilazul

  • *
  • Information Offline
  • Goblin
  • Posts: 21
Re: High King loop/telepathy - Nazgul
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2019, 11:02:19 AM »
I don't think shelobplayer (or anyone) really posts here much anymore, but I've started up with a group again after a year hiatus and have put a bunch more time into Gil-Galad.

I tried a fellowship that started Galadriel, Bearer of Wisdom ,  Gandalf, Leader of Men , Ordulus, Young Warrior , Lorien Elf, and sometimes a Smeagol. Goal is to grab Saved From the Fire asap and nuke the elves to get Gil-Galad, Woodhall Elf, and the artifacts. It starts faster for sure, but the slots that the non-elf cards take up ended up removing a lot of late game power.

It also gives off a lot of twilight in the mid game as the goal is to SFTF gandalf and both starting elves. If you don't grab SFTF you're just out of the game as the starting fellowship can't skirmish well. This ended up taking more slots with Long-Stemmed Pipe and some Barliman Butterbur: PPP. Again, more non-elf cards.

So I went back to a starting fellowship of Bearer of Wisdom with the Binding Ring, Glorfindel, Revealed in Wrath , Gamling, Defender of the Hornburg , and have been trying Smeagol, Slinker.

Binding ring to pull Nenya after Gamling grabs Woodhall Elf gives you a massive amount of card cycling every turn. Draws Gil-Galad and other cards without issue, and dumps conditions in the grave to replay in regroup. I've also found that sometimes I have too many skirmish events from GG, and Nenya helps dump them. Slinker is nuts in a deck that can peel off burdens every turn. I'm also now 100% sold on playing two Celebring, ditching the first to horn and grabbing a coif turn 2.

It seems like no matter how I build it, I really can't go over 5 companions. GG decks just don't have the control over the maneuver phases that Madril or Powerful Guide do. I also tend to never go above 3 FP cultures for the same reason, so no Aragorn or Gandalfs.

Awesome deck all around though. I find I get most of my wins from the shadow side due to all the draw / cycling power.