News for April 2012
Sneaking Past The Watcher in the Water, Part Three
A Secrecy deck list for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 16 April 2012

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.”
    –The Fellowship of the Ring

The Watcher in the Water is nearly here. As we get to the end of our wait, we take another look at Secrecy in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and how The Watcher in the Water is bolstering the strategy to the point where it’s finally viable.

In our last preview, we took a look at the neutral attachment, Resourceful (The Watcher in the Water, 62). A natural inclusion in any Secrecy deck, Resourceful helps players overcome the lack of resources that could haunt any deck running only two characters.

Don’t get lost

Still, Resourceful is hardly as efficient a card when your Threat strays over 20 as it is when you keep your Threat low enough to benefit from Secrecy. Even when you start with only two heroes, your threat will creep upward. Most often, it creeps up slowly, but the encounter deck can sometimes be a tricky opponent. The game has ways of uncovering your heroes, leaving them exposed and threatened…

It’s not enough for a Secrecy deck just to start with a low threat; it needs ways to keep that Threat down. In a previous spotlight, we saw that both Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water, 58) and Elrond’s Counsel (The Watcher in the Water, 59) are coming in The Watcher in the Water, and they can help you lower your Threat. There are other means, as well, to lowering your Threat. Gandalf (Core Set, 73) and The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set, 46) have been around since the game’s release, and The Redhorn Gate gave us Needful to Know (The Redhorn Gate, 9).

All these cards can be effective at lowering your Threat, but sometimes you just need a card that’s more of a guarantee. Maybe you need to know you can draw it, or just start with it. Maybe you need to know it will be strong enough to matter. After all, reducing your threat to 23 or even 21 isn’t good enough to trigger your Secrecy discounts. You need to be able to reduce it all the way down to 20, or lower. Maybe a hero…

Look foul and feel fair

“‘Strider’ I am to one fat man who lives within a day’s march of foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly… If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so.”
    –Aragorn, The Fellowship of the Ring

The Watcher in the Water introduces a new copy of Aragorn (The Watcher in the Water, 53), who appears much as he would under his guise of “Strider.” He lacks the Core Set ability to ready himself, making him the first Dúnedain hero incapable of doing so. But the ability he offers instead is a massive one. Once per game, as a Refresh Action, he can reduce your Threat to your Starting Threat level. It’s worth noting that the window for player actions opens up in the Refresh phase after players raise their threat, meaning when you use Aragorn’s ability, you’ll start your next turn at your Starting Threat level.

By now, many of you are probably dreaming up ways to combine Aragorn with Frodo Baggins (Conflict at the Carrock, 25) or Boromir (The Dead Marshes, 95), and these are both excellent ideas. Still, we’re looking at Secrecy this week, and Aragorn’s ability can ensure that you get your Threat at 20 or lower when you need it there.

Without further ado, here’s a deck list, featuring Aragorn, that can use Secrecy to great effect. With a little luck and a good dose of skill, you’ll play allies and other cards at tremendous discounts, keep your threat down, and avoid nearly all enemies while you make progress toward your quests.

We must be secret


3x Celebrían’s Stone
1x Faramir
3x Sneak Attack
3x Snowbourn Scout
1x Steward of Gondor
3x Sword that was Broken (The Watcher in the Water, 55)
3x Timely Aid
(Cards: 17)

3x Gildor Inglorion
3x Gléowine
1x Haldir of Lórien
1x Henamarth Riversong
3x Needful to Know
1x Protector of Lórien
2x Rivendell Minstrel
(Cards: 14)

3x A Test of Will
3x Ancient Mathom
1x Arwen Undómiel
3x Elrond’s Counsel
2x Will of the West
(Cards: 12)

3x Gandalf
3x Resourceful
1x Song of Travel
(Cards: 7)
(Total Cards: 50)

Use Aragorn to lead your fellowship to victory next week when The Watcher in the Water becomes available at retailers everywhere!

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.

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