Deck #49 Three Rings for the Elven-Kings Under the Sky

This supercharged  deck was created and shared on RingsDB by user Aurion. It features 3 of the most powerful characters in Middle Earth along with their powerful toys! three rings list.JPG

First Impressions

This is a wild deck and I’m looking forward to trying it! The list is packed with power cards and contains lots of single copies. I’m guessing getting a good starting hand will be important.

The high starting threat is clearly a consideration but Galadriel should help mitigate that issue. It’s certainly unusual to have an eagle deck without any Tactics heroes, but both Elrond and Gandalf can help pay for them. It’s also unusual to run this many eagles without Support of the Eagles, but with no Tactics heroes here, it would be a little tricky to get into play.

Just looking at the list I’m guessing the deck will be weakest during the first couple turns but if it survives, it will start to dominate.

Test 1 – Passage Through Mirkwood

This deck is certainly out of my comfort zone so I’ll start with a comfortable quest.

I had a great opening planning phase! Eight resources of cards into play on turn 1!

rings first turn

With Steward on top of my deck, I played the Staff from my hand, added a resource to Gandalf, played Steward on Elrond, revealed Vilya, drew it with Galadriel, played it with Steward’s resources, played a Unexpected Courage off the top of the deck with Vilya!

turn 2 rings.JPG

Planning phase of second turn: 19 resources of cards in play.

I totally crushed it! I killed Ungoliant’s Spawn on turn 5 with an incredible amount of power on the table. Finding both Vilya and Steward of Gondor on the first turn was pretty lucky, but still, that play impressed me!

rings mirkwoo win

Turn 5 I dropped a nice 22 damage on Ungoliant’s Spawn

Test 2 – Escape from Umbar

Wow, this deck crushed it again! I didn’t have as good of first turn as last time, but with Vilya in my opening hand, I still set up fast enough and crushed it badly.

Escape from Umbar 3 rings.JPG

I beat the quest on turn 11 with every single ally in play, a threat level of 24, 1 card in my deck (second time through the deck), and only 3 cards in my discard. The deck doesn’t produce massive amounts of willpower, but it doesn’t seem to need to… As long as it can keep on top of the locations, it should be able to maintain control of the staging area.

So far the deck has surpassed my expectations!

Test 3 – A Storm on Cobas Haven

This quest is a killer at any player count. But the deck won again! Once you have those big allies in play with Gandalf’s readying, taking out Warships full of Raiders isn’t even a problem! Beorn is a monster in this deck. You can trigger his ability, maul something for 8 attack, then ready him with Narya, maul something with 9 attack, then shuffle him back into the deck, grab him again with Mirror of Galadriel, use Wizard Pipe/Vilya to play him for free and do it all over again! With an eagle powered up to 7 attack and defense, I could get two actions each out of Beorn and the eagle and take down whatever came at me during the combat phase.

This deck is crazy!

3 rings cobas haven.JPG

Card Choices

This deck is well crafted and I don’t have many comments! It’s very complicated and intricate with lots of different cards in play at once, but it’s not hard to find the key cards that get the engine going. Between Gandalf’s ability, Gandalf’s Staff, Vilya, Galadriel, and the Mirror of Galadriel, you can go through 3-8 cards of your deck every turn!

The one card I never used in my testing was Word of Command. It’s a strong card that can really help if you’re having trouble finding Vilya and it’s even stronger here since Gandalf has easy readying and we can even use Radagast to trigger it once he is in play.

Radagast is a pretty bad card overall but I think he fits in this deck. I’ll even say he’s good in this deck. He’s easy to play for free, 5 resources aren’t that hard to come by in the late game, he can trigger Word of Command, he can smoke another Wizard Pipe and he is the only source of healing in the deck. With no standard healing effects in the deck, you want to keep damage hitting your eagles rather than heroes. With Elrond’s boost, Radagast can keep the eagles healed up just fine.

The deck tends to build up lots of copies of duplicates in hand by the mid/late game so Protector of Lorien is a useful card, but I only used it once in my plays. It’s a good source of extra willpower and if you decided to put Burning Brand on Gandalf or Elrond, they could be 6 defense defenders with shadow protection. While useful, I wouldn’t consider it essential and it might be worth considering replacing it with another copy of Narya (I’m addicted to Narya).

I thought 3x Elrond’s Counsel would be needed, but with Galadriel’s maintenance and the speed that you burn through the deck, it didn’t really need that third copy in spite of starting at a scary 36 starting threat. I kept holding copies in my hand waiting for a moment when I needed that +1 willpower or really needed the threat reduction, but it hardly ever happened. Two copies is just fine!

Summary

  • Willpower: Heroes, Gildor, Radagast, Light of Valinor
  • Defense: Gildor/Burning Brand, Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Beorn, Gandalf, Elrond, Winged Guardian, Narya
  • Attack: Beorn/Narya/Mirror/Harp/Vilya, Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Gandalf, Vassal of the Windlord
  • Card Draw: Galadriel, Gandalf, Vilya, Wizard Pipe, Gandalf’s Staff, Mirror of Galadriel, Word of Command
  • Threat Reduction: Galadriel, Elrond’s Counsel, Will of the West
  • Cancellation: Test of Will, Burning Brand

Solo or Multiplayer?

This deck should work well in either context. With some good Ranged and Sentinel allies it can support a group, but it does claim a lot of strong unique cards so it might not be a great deck to bring to a casual game with other players.

Final Analysis

This deck is incredibly strong! It seems to handle even some of the most difficult quests with ease! It’s also consistent. With aggressive card advantage effects, you’ll find the cards you need make everything work. Some openings were better than others, but I consistently had a strong board position by turn 2-3.

The deck is packed with power cards. A Test of Will, Steward of Gondor, Light of Valinor, Burning Brand and Unexpected Courage are some of the strongest cards in the game so if you’re tired of some of the “staple cards” that get used a lot, you might not enjoy this deck too much, but it also contains some cards you rarely see like Word of Command, Radagast, Gwaihir, Descendant of Thorondor. It also omits some of the standard strong cards that power most eagle decks (Support of the Eagles and The Eagles are Coming) so it has a much different feel.

This deck made me appreciate (again) just how good all three of these heroes are. “Elrond is soo good” as I play Beorn for free for the 3rd time. “Galadriel is sooo good” as I grab a Test of Will with her Mirror and drop my threat to 23 on round 15. Gandalf is soooo good!” as I ready a 9 attack furious bear and a flock of eagles to massacre every enemy engaged with me! The designers did an extraordinary job making each of these powerful characters strong, unique, and thematic and this deck has their power on display!

While any deck with these 3 heroes and rings in it will be good, this is a very well crafted deck that runs smoothly, quickly and consistently and I highly recommend it, especially  if you every need to rage quest through some of those quests that keep destroying you!

Thanks to Aurion for creating a sharing a solid deck! You can find it right here on RingsDB. Head over and check it out!

Gwaihir.jpg

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