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May 27, 2002 - June 03, 2002

6-03-02 Latest News

Camp Flinch Discusses Deck Elements
Flinch @ 8:11 pm EST

written by: Lao of Gondor

Sometimes there is nothing more frustrating than building a deck. Many times I have just blankly stared at my card binder wondering what to do to even begin the building process. Thanks to a few friends (and the advice of Mr. Spock) I have discovered a way to make the process both enjoyable and "logical". Have fun with your approach and let logic dictate the course of the building - in the end, you will have designed something that will be comfortable to play and difficult to beat.

REMEMBER: Play to your tempo! Only you can play this game at your speed and comfort level. So when you build a deck, play to your strengths and don't overextend yourself to what you can not strategically handle.

A. THEME: What is the purpose of this deck? What do want it to do?

B. CO-OPERATION: Do the Fellowship and Shadow components compliment each other and the overall theme? Don't think of the two sides of the deck as seperate components. Think of the OVERALL success that the deck can achieve.

C. KEY CHARACTERS: Who will lead the Fellowship or Shadow? The theme of your deck MUST revolve around KEY companions or Minions in order to achieve your goal. For example - Ranger decks must be built around Aragorn, Arwen and the rare Boromir. Twilight NAZGUL corruption decks must be built around twilight NAZGUL, especially the Witch King, Ulaire Nelya, Attea and Enquea - who all either wound the ring bearer to force the burdens.

D. CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS: Does this card really need to be in this deck? Can I really use this card in my strategy? Remember - don't add a card just to add a card for the sake of boosting the size of your deck. Streamlined decks hold no margin for error and cannot afford to place one-single unusable card in the deck. They tend to be very succesful and hard to beat since the deck theme manifests itself rather quickly!

E. ELEMENT OF SURPRISE: Can I catch my opponent off guard - forcing a mistake? There is the one hidden weapon in every deck design. Many players believe that a surprise Witch King, Balrog or Troop of Uruk-Hai is the answer to a possible stop. But remember will that surprise end up taking crucial deck-space - or does it add to the strength of the strategy?

There are numerous other things to consider when you are designing a deck. But I believe that the list I have provided outlines the very basics in Deck Design and basic strategy. I hope these tidbits prove helpful in some way.

Weekend Round Up
Xoanon @ 12:15 am EST

Weekly Ebay Items

FOTR Gets 3 Teen Choice Award Nominations

Weekly Cast Watch

FOTR May Hold Off AOTC In Box Office

Pre-Order DVD's In The UK

SHOP: TOPPS Collectors Update Edition Details

Teen Choice Awards Ballot

Fellowship Of The Ring And Bloom Win MTV Awards

Looking forward to LOTR's 50

Hall Of Fire Chats For June 1st & 2nd

Transcript Of Live Chat With Gary Russell

IMBD.com LOTR Trivia

Elijah Wood caught by E!Online's Fashion Police

6-02-02 Latest News

Weekly Cast Watch
Xoanon @ 1:29 pm EST

To get more information, use the sites I use like the ones below. Simply find
a movie or actor you want to see, go to one of the sites below and see if the
film is playing in your area. mydigiguide.com,
tv-now.com and

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

28 Days (2000) UK
Walk on the Moon, A (1999) UK
Pistola de mi hermano, La (1997)
Prophecy, The (1995)
Young Americans, The (1993)
Boiling Point (1993)
Ruby Cairo (1993)

Liv Tyler (Arwen)

Plunkett & Macleane (1999)
Onegin (1999) UK
Can't Hardly Wait (1998)
Stealing Beauty (1996)
That Thing You Do! (1996) UK

Ian Holm (Bilbo)

Bless the Child (2000)
Last of the Blonde Bombshells, The (2000) (TV)
eXistenZ (1999) UK
Shergar (1999)
Madness of King George, The (1994)
Frankenstein (1994) UK
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Alien (1979)
Juggernaut (1974)
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Fixer, The (1968) UK

Sean Bean (Boromir)

Don't Say a Word (2001)
Essex Boys (2000)
Anna Karenina (1997)
Black Beauty (1994) UK
Shopping (1994) UK
Field, The (1990)
Stormy Monday (1988)

Ian Mune (Bounder)

Martyn Sanderson (Bree Gatekeeper Harry Goatleaf)

David Weatherly (Barliman Butterbur)

Marton Csokas (Celeborn)

Thea Hartwell (Child Hobbit)

John Noble (Denethor)

Virtual Nightmare (2000) UK

Noel Appleby (Everard Proudfoot)

Alexandra Astin (Elanor Gamgee)

Peter Mckenzie (Elendil)

Karl Urban (Eomer)

Price of Milk, The (2000)

Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Interview, The (1998)
True Love and Chaos (1997) UK
Babe (1995)

Miranda Otto (Eowyn)

What Lies Beneath (2000) UK

True Love and Chaos (1997) UK
Love Serenade (1996)

David Wenham (Faramir)

Cameron Rhodes (Farmer Maggot)

Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Bumblebee Flies Anyway, The (2000)
Radio Flyer (1992) UK
Forever Young (1992) UK
Child in the Night (1990) (TV)
Internal Affairs (1990)

Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)

Bandits (2001)
Gift, The (2000)
Pushing Tin (1999) UK

Talented Mr. Ripley, The (1999) UK
Elizabeth (1998) UK

Paradise Road (1997)
Oscar and Lucinda (1997) UK

Bruce Hopkins (Gamling)

Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

X-Men (2000) UK

Swept from the Sea (1997)
Richard III (1995)
I'll Do Anything (1994) UK
To Die for (1994) UK
Plenty (1985) UK
Alfred the Great (1969) UK
Touch of Love, A (1969)

Mark Ferguson (Gil Galad)

Hercules in the Underworld (1994) (TV) UK

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

Secret of the Andes (1998) UK
Protector, The (1997/I)
Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996) (V) UK
Great White Hype, The (1996)
Stargate (1994)
Canvas (1992)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing (1992) (TV)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam (1987) (TV)
Firewalker (1986) UK
Victor/Victoria (1982) UK
Sphinx (1981)

Andy Serkis (Gollum)

Topsy-Turvy (1999) UK
Among Giants (1998)

Stephen Ure (Gorbag)

Craig Parker (Haldir)

John Leigh (Hama)

Timothy Bartlett (Hobbit)

Harry Sinclair (Isildur)

Price of Milk, The (2000)

Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

Lawrence Makoare (Lurtz)

Robbie Magasiva (Mahur)

Ray Henwood (Man at Rivendell)

Dominic Monaghan (Merry)

Robyn Malcolm (Morwen)

Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) UK
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) UK

Megan Edwards (Mrs. Proudfoot)

Billy Boyd (Pippin)

Sarah McLeod (Rosie Cotton)

Sean Astin (Sam)

Sky Is Falling, The (2000)
Icebreaker (1999) UK
Deterrence (1999)
Bulworth (1998) UK

Dish Dogs (1998)
Courage Under Fire (1996)
Rudy (1993)
Encino Man (1992) UK
Toy Soldiers (1991)
War of the Roses, The (1989) UK
Staying Together (1989)
Like Father, Like Son (1987)

Christopher Lee (Saruman)

Sleepy Hollow (1999) UK

Jinnah (1998) UK
Feast at Midnight, A (1994)
Avaro, L' (1989)
Howling II (1985)
Arabian Adventure (1979)
Killer Force (1975)
Four Musketeers, The (1974) UK
Three Musketeers, The (1973) UK
Death Line (1972)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) UK
Devil Rides Out, The (1968) UK
Schlangengrube und das Pendel, Die (1967)
Gorgon, The (1964)
City of the Dead, The (1960)
That Lady (1955)
Scott of the Antarctic (1948) UK

Sala Baker (Sauron)

Brian Sergent (Ted Sandyman)

Meet the Feebles (1989) UK

Bernard Hill (Theoden)

Going Off Big Time (2000) UK
Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1999) UK
Loss of Sexual Innocence, The (1999) UK
True Crime (1999)
Titanic (1997)

Nathaniel Lees (Ugluk)

Brad Dourif (Wormtongue)

Storytellers, The (1999) UK
Urban Legend (1998) UK
Sworn to Justice (1996)
Color of Night (1994)
Amos & Andrew (1993)
Body Parts (1991) UK
Exorcist III, The (1990)
Hidden Agenda (1990)
Mississippi Burning (1988)
Ragtime (1981)
Wise Blood (1979) UK

Jim Rygiel (SFX)

Anna and the King (1999) UK
Multiplicity (1996)
Scout, The (1994) UK
Batman Returns (1992) UK
Last Starfighter, The (1984) UK
2010 (1984) UK

Howard Shore (Composer)

High Fidelity (2000) UK
Cell, The (2000) UK

eXistenZ (1999) UK
Dogma (1999) UK

Analyze This (1999) UK
Cop Land (1997)
That Thing You Do! (1996) UK
Before and After (1996)
Striptease (1996)
Truth About Cats & Dogs, The (1996)
Se7en (1995)
White Man's Burden (1995)
Prelude to a Kiss (1992) UK
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
Innocent Man, An (1989)
Signs of Life (1989)
She-Devil (1989)
Moving (1988) UK
Fly, The (1986) UK
After Hours (1985) UK
Scanners (1981)

Peter Jackson (Director)

Meet the Feebles (1989) UK

5-31-02 Latest News

Deck Building for the Budget Minded
Flinch @ 9:15 am EST

It is always easy to drop a handful of devastating rares into your deck, and re-use the same tactic against your unwitting opponent, thrashing at their poor Dwarves with your Ringwraith's might, but what if thats not so easy to do? What happens when the rare pool dries up and you're left without the cards to prefect your devastation? Well thats the question many players posed, so I'm here to offer a low cost strategy option using only Common and Uncommon cards!

The Fellowship of the Ring

For our low cost Fellowship we're going to go with a Hobbit Culture Strategy, beginning with Frodo: Reluctant Adventurer, and the Common One Ring: The Ruling Ring, with the starting fellowship consisting of Sam: Son of Hamfast, Merry: From O'er the Brandywine, and Pippin: Friend to Frodo. The goal in this deck is to avoid confrontation, while still getting your Hobbit's on their way to Site 9. I've included Stealth events like Hobbit Intuition, and Hobbit Stealth that either add Strength to your Hobbit Companions or cancel a skirmish all together. I've also added Nice Imitation, which is handy when you just can't avoid a skirmish and end up taking a wound, simply discard this condition to prevent that wound. With use of the Hobbit Swords, the Tale: There and Back Again, and multiple Bounders; you should be able to rush your fellowship to Site 9 with little to no loss. Boromir: Son of Denethor has been tossed in as his ability to add 3 Strength to a hobbit comes in handy, and hes often a useful card to take damage away from your Hobbits!

Frodo: Reluctant Adventurer
The One Ring: The Ruling Ring

Frodo: Reluctant Adventurer [this is a second copy for healing purposes]
Sam: Son of Hamfast x2
Merry: From O'er the Brandywine x2
Pippin: Friend to Frodo x2
Boromir: Son of Denethor x2
Bounder x4
Hobbit Sword x4
There and Back Again x2
Hobbit Intuition x4
Hobbit Stealth x4
Nice Imitation
Not Feared in Sunlight
Extraordinary Resilience

The Shadow

With the Shadow Portion of our Deck I've gone with the swarm tactic using only common and uncommon cards to pit against your opponents Fellowship. Using multiple copies of Moria Scout, Goblin Spearman, Goblin Marksman, Goblin Scavengers, and Goblin Flankers you're never left without something to play. Including weapons like Goblin Spear and Goblin Scimitar allow me to boost these otherwise low strength minions to even the score against your opponents supported companions. The only condition in this deck is Plundered Armories as it allows you to keep your discarded weapons from going to waste. This swarm of minions coupled in with a copy of the common Balrog is sure to drop the jaw of your opponent when they struggle to decide where to assign all of Moria's Fury!

Balrog: Durin's Bane
Moria Scout x4
Goblin Flankers x4
Goblin Spearman x3
Goblin Marksman x4
Goblin Scavengers x4
Goblin Scimitar x4
Goblin Spear x4
Plundered Armories x2
Adventure Deck

With the Adventure Deck it is rather simple to stay within a budget as all of the cards you may wish to add are Common or Uncommon anyway, I went with the Locations that I did as I felt they gave a bonus of some kind to my strategy or as small of a bonus as humanly possible to my opponent.

1. Westfarthing
2. Buckleberry Ferry
3. Council Courtyard
4. Moria Stairway
5. The Bridge of Khazad-Dum
6. Dumrill Dale
7. Anduin Wilderland
8. Brown Lands
9. Summit of Amon Hen
This deck is far from unbeatable, but as you play against your friends and expand your collection, you will come to find new strategies and new twists that every collection can adapt to. Keep playing, and keep comparing cards, you never know when you might come up with the end all strategy!

What do you use to devastate your opponent? How do you get your Fellowship to Site 9 unharmed?
Tell us about it! E-mail Flinch at flinch@theonering.net!

5-30-02 Latest News

Pre-Order DVD's In Canada Too
Xoanon @ 10:02 am EST

Adrienne writes: I'm writing after reading the Pre-order DVD front page article about Blockbuster. I was just in the Blockbuster in my town (Toronto area, Canada) where I know some of the employees, and I was informed that the DVD will definitely be available to pre-order, and that as soon as mid-June (I actually think he said June 6th...but I can't remember 100% for sure...). Regardless, I guess that's some sort of confirmation that it WILL be available to pre-order soon! I don't know about give-aways with it, but they did it in Canada with Harry Potter too, so I would think they'll do it for this.

5-29-02 Latest News

Elijah Is Big In Japan
Xoanon @ 12:46 pm EST

Ringer Spy KT writes: Here are some more scans from Japanese magazines. Elijah Wood is VERY big over here right now, with mini booklets and posters abounding!

5-28-02 Latest News

Decipher Interviews Part 3: Joe Alread
Flinch @ 7:15 am EST

I must first congratulate you and the team on winning the Nigel Award, the game is very well deserving and thats thanks to the excellent direction and creativity of those on the team. I know you joined the team later in the game, how has it been jumping on board a game such as this that is different in many respects from your past projects?

Joe: First of all thank you for the congrats! While I wasn't on the design team for the first LoTR set, I witnessed a lot of people around me pour their heart and soul into this game, and it certainly shows.

There are actually quite a number of differences between this project and others that I have worked on before. I think the biggest difference revolves around staying true to Tolkien and his works. A literary property such as LoTR demands a lot of respect, and it takes a lot of work to make sure everything on a card has a good 'feel' not only with regard to the movie, but to the books as well.Flinch: Had you stepped into this project with a fair knowledge of Tolkien's works? Were you a fan of the series before hand?
Joe: While I've never been a big book reader, it was Tolkien's works that made me pick up a book for the first time in years! I've skimmed through the trilogy but have only given the first two books of the trilogy a detailed read (still working on it though).
Flinch: From your perspective which elements of the film were the most difficult to adapt to card game form? Was it difficult to stay true to the concept as presented on film, or did it come as a second nature having done similar work on the Star Wars TCG?
Joe: It really has been second nature so far, but I think I've been lucky in that regard. Most cards fit right into the game engine, while others might be a bit of a stretch. I think those stretches can be ok though as long as gameplay isn't sacrificed - it's all in the eye of the beholder. Coming up in The Two Towers though, the fact that the Fellowship is essentially broken up will be a fun challenge to try and integrate into our current game!
Flinch: What can we look forward to in regards to the next expansion Realm of the Elf Lords? I've been hearing through the rumor mill that Saruman will finally come into play, as well as Nenya and the other Rings of Power, any truth to popular things like this becoming available to us in the set?
Joe: Everything you've stated is true. Saruman will make an appearance along with the three Elven rings. Orcs from Isengard make their first appearance as well, and they will have their own cultural 'feel' to them like other cultures that currently exist in the game. Basically, if the Fellowship can't kill these guys in a skirmish, they're going to be in a lot of trouble...
Flinch: Of the characters in The Two Towers, who do you look forward to developing the most? Which aspects of each individual personality will play a role in the strategy and progress a player can make in the game?
Joe: I'm a big fan of Frodo and his dedication. The fact that ne never wanted the Ring, but took it upon himself for the sake of others is a big inspiration for me. There are a couple of cards that reflect this idea in Realms of the Elf-Lords and I'm sure we'll do a few more in The Two Towers as well.

Needless to say though that the endless list of personalities that are in The Two Towers will certainly play a big role in the next set. I think it's great that we as designers enjoy exploring different personalities extensively so that in the end every character has their own look and feel to them, not only story-wise but gameplay-wise as well.

Flinch: Of all the elements present in the LOTR TCG what have you been most proud of in regards to how it's been received by the general public and by the fans of both book and film?
Joe: I think the twilight pool beautifully represents the current 'danger level' in Middle-Earth. Not only does it make sense story-wise but gameplay-wise it has its own unique feel to it that no other CCG has done.
Flinch: Again I must congratulate you and everyone on the team for making such an accomplished card game as the LOTR TCG. Not only is it the most sought after card game on the market but I'm even hearing that it has the highest female following of any card game to date, which is no easy task when talking games such as this. I look forward to speaking with you in the future as the game expands in future sets!
Joe: As do I!
Make sure to stop by #Havens Thursday May 30th to speak with Joe about the upcoming release: Realms of the Elf-lords!

What are you looking forward to with the LOTR TCG? Tell us about it! Drop Flinch a line at flinch@theonering.net.

5-27-02 Latest News

Camp Flinch tackles Deck Building
Flinch @ 6:52 am EST

For months now we've collected them, we've sought out that rare character, or that elusive event, yet many players of Decipher's Lord of the Rings TCG ponder, what now? Your next step, of course, is to build a deck of these cards to compete with those you deem worthy. "Wait, you want me to build a what?" rolls off of your tongue as you stare blankly at the screen. Yes indeed! For the next so many bad cliche's and Legolas jokes we'll be discussing just what goes into building the powerful stack of cards that will devastate your friends, or rush your Ring Bearer along the site path.

Let's start out with the rules. Your Deck will consist of three parts that will equal 71 Cards, A Ring-Bearer, with The One Ring, 9 Location Cards in an "Adventure Deck", and an equal number of Fellowship and Shadow cards [at least 30 for each]. We now face our first decision.

The Fellowship of the Ring

"Nine walkers set out from Rivendell..." or were there? With the LOTR TCG you're given the option to rethink the council of Elrond and craft your own group to include anywhere from two to nine companions [including the Ring-bearer]. This is where the various factors involved in this game start to be confusing. You can be selective with the Culture of Companions you bring into your fellowship, most cards of the same culture have effects or bonuses that work well with other cards of that same Culture, other cards promote equality [ie Shoulder to Shoulder] and work well when two Cultures are present in the Fellowship at the same time.

Flinch: I went with the combination of Aragorn: King in Exile, and Arwen: Daughter of Elrond. Powerful due to numerous support cards for the duo [ie The Choice of Luthien, or Arwen's Fate]. Not only are both of these powerful characters Rangers, thus allowing use of 'Spot a Ranger' effects, but with Aragorn's ability to heal a companion with the Aragorn Signet at the start of each of your turns the duo can remain mostly healthy throughout your quest!

I also added Legolas: Greenleaf for his Archery ability [Exert Legolas to wound a minion; Legolas does not add to the fellowship archery total], Sam: Son of Hamfast for his burden removing ability, Boromir: Lord of Gondor because he is not easily overwhelmed, and Merry: From O'er the Brandywine because when bearing a weapon his strength is +2. This collection gives me no more than 6 in my Fellowship, although when I have four on the table I try not to deploy more than this if at all possible due to cards like Ulaire Nertea which can bring minions from your discard pile back into play when your Fellowship is of more than 4, cards like this become a penalty to those with a large fellowship.

With the proper balance of members in your Fellowship comes a successful journey. Bear in mind how one card works with another and try to combine strategies if at all possible to ensure that your Fellowship moves easily past Sauron's Minions.

Support Cards

With your Fellowship moving the distance that they do, it is vital to equip them with tools to make their quest easier, or inspire them with Tales of the past that bring out a new found determination or vitality. Weapons such as Sting, Ranger's Sword, Blade of Gondor, and Hobbit Sword can enhance your companion's Strength and benefit them in combat, where cards like the Tale of Gil-galad, The Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and Endurance of the Dwarves offer Statistical Enhancements in the form of a Condition.

While conditions are great to leave a permanent mark on one of your companions, salvation often comes in the form of single instances in time, or in this game Event Cards. With cards like Defiance, Cleaving Blow, Swordsman of the Northern Kingdom, and Halfling Defenses to enhance strength during an individual skirmish, you can often get that ray of hope that can mean the difference between a victory or a defeat.

Flinch: With the Aragorn/Arwen combination I added weapons like Ranger's Sword, Gwemegil, and Asfaloth to boost them above their attackers. The Tale of Gil-Galad comes in handy to boost Arwen's Vitality, where The Last Alliance of Elves and Men offers Aragorn +1 Strength for each elf you can spot (limit +3). My Hobbits are equipped with Hobbit Swords, but I left out the Stealth events to make room for Ranger boosting events like Pursuit Just Behind, Swordsman of the Northern Kingdom and An Able Guide which play off Arwen, Aragorn and Boromir.

Combining Possessions, Conditions, and Events can often turn a Hobbit Walking Party into a march of devastation that your enemy will not soon forget, but weapons and stories alone might not be enough to succeed against Sauron's Will.

Assistance from Allies

Invaluable were the words and protection from Galadriel in Lothlorien, or the council and wisdom of Elrond in Rivendell. With ally cards you can gain benefit from knowing people in high places as well! Using cards like Rosie Cotton, Farmer Maggot, and The Gaffer you can easily keep your Hobbits in fighting shape with their ability to remove wounds and burdens from your halfling party members [This works well with the Rare Frodo: Old Bilbo's Heir card as it allows you to heal a hobbit ally at the start of each of your turns].

Flinch: Because of cards like The Last Alliance of Elves and Men, I included Elrond: Lord of Rivendell; with Arwen and Legolas already in play, these elves can boost Aragorn or Boromir up to 11/10 Strength even without a weapon in their possession. Sam's ability to remove burdens is handy, but with his Aragorn Signet and Aragorn: King in Exile's ability to heal a companion with that Signet, Sam becomes a burden removing machine without the need to include excess Hobbit Allies.

With the proper assortment of Allies in your collection, your companions can receive the support benefits that they will come to rely on along their journey to site 9. You can choose to call to the woods for support from the elven archers of Lorien, or the wisdom and assistance of friends made along the quest like Barliman!

The Ring-Bearer

Throughout the Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo is left with the burden of the One Ring. With the LOTR TCG we're offered a chance to select which elements of Frodo's personality we want to bring with us on our journey. At the release of the Mines of Moria expansion, there were three versions of Frodo: Old Bilbo's Heir, Son of Drogo, and Reluctant Adventurer. With the release of new expansions we will see new versions of Frodo to develop decks with.

Flinch: I used Frodo: Reluctant Adventurer with my favorite Deck. When playing cards like Sting, Mithril Coat, and Hobbit Sword this Frodo allows these possessions to deploy with -1 to the twilight pool. This Frodo also has the Aragorn Signet which comes in handy with Aragorn: King in Exile.

Depending on where you want to take the rest of your deck, you can select a Frodo that plays well with your Fellowship and its support cards.

The One Ring

There are currently two versions of The One Ring: Isildur's Bane [+1 Str, +1 Vitality], and The Ruling Ring [+1 Str]. The rare card: Isildur's Bane, which with its Vitality Point bonus requires you to take 2 Burdens instead of a wound, where the common ring The Ruling Ring only adds one burden.

Flinch: I try to put in as many support cards to prevent Frodo from needing to take a wound as humanly possible. With this being said I went with the Rare Ring to boost Frodo's Vitality. Depending on how often your Frodo will be hot in combat, you may go with either ring, but a well protected Frodo always benefits from that extra Vitality point.

With your Frodo now clasping The One Ring and your Fellowship thuroughly supported, you are now well on your way to completing your deck. Can we allow for all the fun to be had by the good guys? No sir!


This section needs NO introduction. These cards exist for one reason, recapture the One Ring, and kill the one who wields it. But... Frodo... No! That's right, your goal as the shadow player is to work your minions into the position of killing Frodo and his friends, as difficult as it may be to purposefully kill Frodo or the dreamy Legolas, without doing so you cannot claim victory over your Fellowship Opponent.

Flinch: I've been known to sacrifice Frodo to keep Arwen out of harm's way. Let Sam deal with the ring as long as Arwen is safe! Well okay so maybe Arwen's bit the bullet a few times in play but it never leaves me in a civil mood.


Without the aide of the countless minions of the Dark Lord, the Ring can never be reclaimed. Make right where the Dark Lord made wrong and set your minions to work in the evil tasks of delivering the One Ring back to its rightful owner. Selecting your evil is entirely up to you, if you so wish to bring a swarm of Moria Orcs into battle with your Fellowship Opponent you are more than capable, or if you so desire to send the Nine after the ring, you are free to do so as well.

Flinch: I'm a fan of big evil, and including the likes of the Nine was an easy choice. I went and chose Ulaire Attea: Ringwraith in Twilight, Ulaire Unquea: Ringwraith in Twilight, Ulaire Nelya: Ringwraith in Twilight, Ulaire Nelya: Lieutenant of Morgul, Ulaire Toldea: Messenger of Morgul, and Ulaire Attea: Keeper of Dol Guldur. I use the Twilight Nazgul as a benefit to It Wants to be Found, as it automatically adds a burden just by spotting a Twilight Nazgul, and the other selection is based on Strength and Card Text.

Cards like The Balrog, Cave Troll, and Watcher in the Water give us a chance to destroy one or two companions in one turn with little loss. Where the Balrog is a MUST for most decks, you may choose to toss in the Cave Troll, or the Watcher depending on your other minion usage.

Choosing an army of the Dark Lord is often rewarding as you watch your opponent struggle to defend against a swarm of Moria Orcs, or evading the charge of the Massive Balrog. Oh, but it gets better!

Support Cards

This section may need to be retitled to 'de-support cards' as they will become a constant detriment to your opponent's attempts at rushing to site 9 undamaged. You're given the opportunity to have your minions wield items that they so wielded in book or film, with Lurtz' Sword, The Balrog's Sword, and Whip of Many Thongs, these cards can make an already devastating minion that much more difficult to defend against and can often bridge the gap between a victory and an overwhelm.

With Conditions you're given the right to be Nasty, and no, I don't mean you can say cruel things to your opponent! With conditions like Blade Tip, Saruman's Snows, and Drawn to its Power, you are more than able to leave a bad taste in the mouths of your opponents fellowship by leaving burden increases and wounds after common actions like a Nazgul winning a skirmish.

Flinch: Back to that whole "Flinch is evil" thing, I come out with Nazgul cards like Blade Tip and let them wreak havoc on my opponent, and cards like Saruman's Snows that can keep Gandalf's Support Cards from being used in the Balrog combat. This is also a good reason to include a short supply of minions from the Isengard Culture. I used Uruk Messenger as it is cheap and still of some use if you didn't manage to get Snows in hand by Site 5.

Using Conditions can devastate your opponent's chances of getting very far in their quest, this can also be added with the use of Events that work the same as the Fellowship events except to benefit your Shadow Minions. Your Fellowship and Shadow Cards have been assembled, now you're on to the last step of this little tour.


You are required to have an "adventure deck" of nine cards, order 1 through 9. With each location comes a different benefit, so if you are planning to use a devastating Nazgul Deck, then you may want to include Locations that make it easier to bring your Nazgul out into play, but beware, a location in play benefits both you and your opponent, so choose wisely.

Flinch: The key to my deck revolves around site 1, The Prancing Pony. Without the ability to add a burden and play Aragorn: King in Exile much of my Strategy is lost, so starting off I use Arwen and Sam as my starting Fellowship and bid anywhere from 3 to 5 as my starting bid. This brings Aragorn into play and lets me use Sam's ability to remove burdens to take at least three of those off of Frodo at the end of my first Fellowship phase. Early in the game it is unlikely for your opponent to be able to play enough minions to overwhelm both Aragorn and Arwen so if you only move once this turn or make a run for Rivendell, Sam's Exertions become a thing of the past and I began scott free.

You now have a full deck built with enough power and strategy to lead your thoughts further down the path of deck building, perhaps you can come up with new combinations and show us a thing or two!

What do you use to take on the Fellowship? How do you rush your ring-bearer to Site 9? Tell us about it! E-mail Flinch at flinch@theonering.net.

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