“The Enemy still lacks one thing to give him strength and knowledge to beat down all resistance, break the last defences, and cover all the lands in a second darkness. He lacks the One Ring.”
    –Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

Accompany Frodo along a desperate journey as the fate of all Middle-earth hangs in the balance! The Black Riders Saga is an expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

The Black Riders recreates a selection of dramatic event as told in the first half of J.R.R Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring . It is the first of a series of Saga expansions that eventually will allow players to replay Frodo's epic journey from the Shire to Mount Doom, as well the dramatic events experienced by other members of the Fellowship.

Step into the beloved fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien, journey out of Bag End, and avoid the fearsome Nazgûl. In three new scenarios, you’ll sneak out of the Shire, meet strangers in The Prancing Pony , battle undead foes at Weathertop, and race for the healing halls of Rivendell. In addition to its three scenarios, The Black Riders introduces five hero cards and thirty-three player cards (three copies each of eleven individual cards) all drawn from the classic novel. At last, these cards offer players a wealth of deck-building options for strategies built around Hobbits !

Moreover, The Black Riders Saga Expansion is just the beginning of a larger story that carries throughout several Saga Expansions for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game . Accordingly, the expansion’s Campaign Mode transforms its scenarios from individual adventures into the first three chapters of your journey!

Campaign Mode

The three scenarios from The Black Riders allow players to help Frodo find passage out of the Shire, survive the enemies that hunt him in The Prancing Pony and atop Weathertop, and outrace the Dark Lord’s undying servants, the Nazgûl , along the last stretches of the road to Rivendell!

Each of these scenarios will challenge you with all-new quests and encounter cards, and you’ll be tempted at all turns by the power of the Ring. As your Ring-bearer , Frodo Baggins ( The Black Riders , 1) can spend a resource and exhaust the One Ring to cancel an encounter card, shuffle it into the deck, and redraw. This ability can even prevent punishing Surge and Doom effects, but it comes with a cost: many of the expansion’s encounter cards grow stronger if the Ring is exhausted.

While these scenarios all play well individually, you can also choose to link them together with the expansion’s Campaign Mode. In Campaign Mode, all your choices, both good and bad, carry consequences that reach far beyond your current quest. Will you travel with the same companions the entire way? Will you turn back if one of your heroes perishes? Will you take the shortcut offered to you? Will you be rewarded, or will you be haunted by the choices you make?

Two new types of cards in The Black Riders reside at the heart of Campaign Mode. These special Boons and Burdens allow you to track the consequences of your actions, weaving independent scenarios into a cohesive narrative.

Much like the treasures from the two Hobbit Saga Expansions, these cards serve as physical reminders of your accomplishments and provide deeper storytelling than the treasure cards. These new card types ensure that the decisions you make in any given scenario will have consequences in your later adventures, and they’ll stay with you, both good and bad, throughout your epic journey!

Leaving the Shire

“Among the Wise I am the only one that goes in for hobbit-lore: an obscure branch of knowledge, but full of surprises. Soft as butter they can be, and yet sometimes as tough as old tree-roots.”
    –Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

Hobbit fans have plenty of reason to be happy with The Black Riders ! Its heroes and most of its player cards lend direct support to new Hobbit -themed decks and strategies. With synergies built around raising the engagement costs of enemies in the staging area and engaging enemies with engagement costs higher than your threat, this iconic race proves that it is, in fact, full of surprises. Their low stats suggest that they’re soft as butter, but their tricks, their courage, and the resolve they gain while working together can make them tough as old tree-roots.

Still, there’s much more to being a Hobbit than being stealthy or resolute; there’s breakfasts, second breakfasts, and pipeweed! The Black Riders not only brings the game’s Hobbits to new heights as a playable race, it allows you to enjoy your daily comforts along your journeys. Among the expansion’s player cards, you’ll find weapons to aid you along your quests, but you’ll also find good friends and opportunities to puff out some Smoke Rings ( The Black Riders , 10). After all, you can take a good Hobbit out of the Shire, but you can never fully take the Shire out of a good Hobbit!

Play at Your Own Level

The Black Riders is the first expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game to clearly identify the cards players must remove to play in Easy Mode! Taken together with Standard Mode and Nightmare Mode (which was first introduced in 2013 Season One Game Night Kits), Easy Mode offers a level of difficulty that’s perfect for casual players, newcomers, or players running thematic decks that are not efficient enough for higher difficulty levels. Choose your mode of play, and design the ideal experience for your group of adventurers! 

In Standard Mode, you include all cards marked with the appropriate encounter set icons when you build your encounter deck.
Beginning with The Black Riders , a number of encounter cards will be marked with the "difficulty" indicator (a gold border) around its encounter set icon. To play in Easy Mode, you simply remove from these cards from the encounter deck.

Learn more about Easy Mode in the article Play at Your Own Level . The complete rules for Easy Mode (pdf, 2.9 MB) are hosted on the game’s support page , along with a full list of all the encounter cards you should remove from the scenarios from the Core Set through the Against the Shadow cycle in order to play them in Easy Mode.

Down the Road to Mordor

The Dark Lord’s strength increases. The Nine Riders travel openly, hunting the Ring. The Shire is no longer safe. Now, with The Black Riders , the time has come to begin the greatest journey of them all!

Accompany Frodo and his companions. Relive the early chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring . The Black Riders Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game starts you on your path through the classic novels by J.R.R. Tolkien!