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Guide: Gandalf/Elrond/Spirit Glorfindel

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I have been playing with this deck for a while now both in 2-player and solo games, so I decided to share the experience with the rest of the community.


Below you can find two pictures with the complete card-list. Keep in mind that I have only one copy of the core-set. The inclusion of multiple copies of cards such as Unexpected Courage can make things much easier.


Overall, this deck offers insane card draw, great questing and concrete defending/attacking. Rarely, it may have a slow start but usually with the right starting hand you can have a strong board in a matter of two turns. The majority of the cards I have chosen fluctuate between 0 to 2 cost in order to boost early game.


Card Draw


Since Gandalf is in the deck you are playing with your top card of the deck face up, which means that you essentially draw two cards on each round. The same happens each time you trigger and additional draw with other abilities/cards. Expert Treasure-Hunter becomes a no-brainer. You are able to draw the top card after every successful quest as you will be always guessing its category successfully with Gandalf’s help. If you manage to play both copies of the Expert Treasure-Hunter on your questing Heroes this adds an additional card to your hand. A great target for that attachment is Glorfindel especially after he gets the Light of Valinor. Peace and Thought can be easily be played once you attach some readying cards on your heroes allowing you to draw 5 (+1 due to Gandalf) cards. Finally, Daeron's Runes are Gleowine two additional draw mechanisms.


Readying Effects/Vilya


Miruvor, Unexpected Courage and Shadowfax are the readying triggers of this deck. Unexpected Courage goes almost always on Elrond so you can take advantage of either his defensive power or Vilya after you attach it on him. Shadowfax may be expensive but you can easily play him during the late game when your board will be booming. Gandalf will then become very effective with double defenses or attacks (to both yourselves and your team-mate). Miruvor gives you the choice to ready a character and place it on the top of your deck. A great combo you can do is to play Miruvor on Elrond and then ready him (during the planning phase) after he becomes exhausted to due the use of Vilya+Elrond in order to play the top card of your deck. This means that Miruvor will then return on the top of your deck, which allows you to play it (again during the same planning phase) with Gandalf’s passive ability (possibly on Elrond again in order to repeat this combo later). Having Wizard Pipe on Gandalf will allow you to decide which card you can bring in the game with Vilya. Vilya + Wizard Pipe + Gandalf’s passive ability is probably the strongest combo of this deck. This allows you to play expensive cards for free such as Beorn, Brok Ironfist or Gildor.


Wizard Pipe used for boosting Attack or Resource Acceleration


Wizard Pipe can also give Gandalf a great boost if combined with Flame of Anor. For example, play Flame of Anor on an exhausted Gandalf to ready him while burning i.e. Beorn (6), Brok Ironfist (6) or Gildor (5) and give him those cards’ costs to his attack power until the end of the phase. Depending on which version of Zigil Miner you play (errata’d or not) you can use those same cards with Wizard Pipe in order to make one of your heroes very rich! Wizard Pipe is also very effective when using it in order to play a 0 cost card from the top of your deck thus revealing the next one with Gandalf’s help.




For attack you have both Gandalf and Glorfindel as your main attackers each of which sports a 3-attack power. Bigger foes will fall with combined attacks once you bring some allies on the board. Three copies of Vassal of the Windlord (costs 1 resource) can be played directly with resources produced by Elrond or Gandalf if it’s on the top of the deck. They offer both a great attack value (3) and quest power when your are playing quests with the Battle keyword. During the late game (or with Vilya’s help) you can also bring in Legolas (Elrond can pay for him combined with Gandalf and Wizard Pipe’s help), which will help you considerably with his 3-attack power and ranged ability. He will also draw you a card for each kill he participates in.




Defensively you can use Gandalf, Elrond, Beorn and Gildor. The readying cards mentioned above can make some of these characters very effective defenders. Playing Burning Brand on Elrond is especially powerful especially when combined with Arwen’s ability to boost one character’s defense with +1. Additionally, there are a lot of cheap allies that can be used as champ blockers. Three copies of Warden of Healing will help you heal two characters each for two 2 damage tokens due to Elrond’s passive ability (a total of 12 heal if all three are on the board, which is very doable in the late game).


More Card Draw/ More Resource Acceleration/Resource Attribution


Gandalf’s Stuff can boost your gameplay in various ways. It offers card draw and resource acceleration to either you or your team-mate. I have often reached the 4 resources threshold by getting a resource by Gandalf’s Stuff during the refresh phase (preferably if not used to cancel a shadow effect) and one in the beginning of the upcoming planning phase (two resources produced by Gandalf’s Stuff + 1 already existing on the target Hero + 1 you get from the resource phase). Envoy of Pelargir will not exactly boost your resource pools but she will help you move Gandalf’s resource to either Elrond or Glorfindel who are both Noble characters. Remember that after you play Vilya on Elrond he gains the Spirit resource icon and thus you will want him to carry as many resources as possible if you want to play both Spirit and Lore cards more often.


Shadow Effects/Questing


Gandalf’s Stuff will also help you cancel shadow effects triggered by cards played on non-unique enemies (which is the majority of the enemies anyway). I prefer playing the Stuff for cancelling those and if I don’t need to play it, I use it for one of it’s other benefits. A Test of Will, is also very helpful with canceling shadow effects and can also be played by Gandalf when in the top of the deck (where you can bring it with the Wizard Pipe). Rumour from the Earth and Henamarth Riversong will give you information on whether you will need to use the cancelling effect. These two card can also help you arrange your questing points. For questing you can count on allies such as Arwen and Bilbo and of course your Heroes. Light of Valinor will make either Elrond and (more preferably) Glorfindel solid questers (3 willpower each). Bofur is also a card that offers great quest power (2 willpower) and can be played as an event (for 1 resource) too with the possibility to keep him in the board if you fail the quest. Once brought on the board, Gildor can also boost the quest with his 3 willpower. Gandalf too can help with his 3-willpower especially when Shadowfax is there to help.


Threat Reduction


Starting with 32 threat you must pay caution. Luckily both Elrond's Counsel and The Galadhrim's Greeting can help there with a total of 21 threat reduction (if you use GG solely on you). I rarely worry for threat with those cards in my hand. You can you exploit the heavy card draw the deck offers to dig them up quickly. Elrond's Counsel (sost 0) as mentioned above can be combined with the Wizard Pipe and then play it from the top of your deck for additional card draw. It also offers +1 willpower as you control two Noldors (Elrond and Glorfindel).




As the deck carries 17 attachments, Master of the Forge can help you dig them up much faster. He can also be used as a cheap champ blocker when you are overwhelmed by enemies.


My Strategy


The cards I am usually looking in my initial hand are the stronger attachments, namely the Light of Valinor (to be played immediately on Glorfindel), Vilya (which will give Elrond the Spirit resource icon and his OP ability to play any card from the top of your deck no matter the cost) and the Wizard Pipe (which helps me manipulate the card draw). I always mulligan if I don’t get at least one of them immediately. For early allies, Arwen is my favorite as I can play her on the first turn with Glorfindel’s resource and Elrond’s one (due to his passive ability to play allies of all spheres). On the first round she helps with the questing (2-willpower) and buffs either Gandalf’s or Elrond’s defense in anticipation of any potential engagements. From there, I am adding allies on the board until I get my hands on the readying cards.


The next step is to get those readying effects in order and control the board. Any combination of those will help me defend or attack in order to clear any engaged enemies. They are essential for Vilya too, in order to get the most out of Elrond with either an attack or more preferably a defense.


Once you get the board under control the deck’s tempo rises and then you can do literally magic. This is when Vilya will make crazy things by bringing in expensive allies that will further help controlling the board with powerful attacks and defenses.


Finally Will of the West will bring back to your deck your whole discard pile when you have burned most of your cards.




I think I have covered most of the gameplay offered by this deck. I didn’t touch on some of the allies but most of them are self-explanatory. If you have any questions, I will gladly answer them. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as well! I will also update any information that I can share if something additional comes up in my playthroughs. 


By the way can you guys help me find a name for the deck?


I hope you enjoyed this small presentation!


Cheers! J





Edited by dimile

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Brok Ironfist?  :o 

Besides Brok, this version of this deck seems pretty, pretty, pretty cool!


Thanks :)


I usually feed Brok to the Flame of Anor (combined with Wizard Pipe) in order to buff Gandalf and take out a big enemy. Plus my brother usually plays a Dwarf deck with Dain and he kinda becomes a big deal once you bring him on the board (I never pay for him though, I use Vilya).

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I've been working on deck using these heroes for solo play and it seems like a strong deck. The first deck I built is this:


Mark I.





Glorfindel (Spirit).



Arwen Undomiel x2.

Bilbo Baggins x3.

Bombur x1.

Daughter Of The Nimrodel x3.

Dori x1.

Galadriel's Handmaiden x3.

Gleowine x1.

Henamarth Riversong x1.

Master of the Forge x1.

Miner Of The Iron Hills x2.

Northern Tracker x1.

Warden Of Healing x3.

Westfold Horse-Breeder x3.



Asfaloth x1.

Cloak of Lorien x1.

Gandalf's Staff x2.

Light Of Valinor x2.

Self-Preservation x2.

Shadowfax x1.

Star Brooch x1.

Unexpected Courage x1.

Vilya x1.

Wizard Pipe x1.



A Test Of Will x2.

Flame of Arnor x3.

Power of Orthanc x3.

Waters of Nimrodel x3.



Gather Information x1.

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