Starting the Journey
Announcing New Starter Decks for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
Every adventure begins with the first step. For many new fans of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, the Revised Core Set is that first step. But what about the next step? Or, beyond that, what if your friend is the one with the Revised Core Set, and you want a deck to call your very own? Not to worry, because there won’t just be one deck for you to choose from—there will be four!
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce four The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game starter decks!
These starter decks are Dwarves of Durin, Elves of Lórien, Defenders of Gondor, and Riders of Rohan. Each deck is built around a different theme and playstyle, and they all can provide the perfect jumping-off point for players who want to try the game with a friend or dabble in deckbuilding beyond what is available in the Revised Core Set. In addition to having fully pre-built player decks that are usable from the moment you open the box, each of these products also includes multiple additional cards that can be used to enhance any decks you build yourself. Whether you plan to use these decks yourself or lend them to a friend who’s trying the game for the first time, there is no doubt that you will want to add these starter decks to your collection!
Note: For longtime fans of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, if you already own all of the game’s expansions, you will not find any new cards in any of these starter decks. However, you may find it helpful to have one of these decks on hand when you introduce a friend to the game, since these decks have been tailor-made for new players.
Dwarves of Durin
First of these starter decks is Dwarves of Durin, a deck heavily featuring the Dwarves of Middle-earth and their signature deck-delving style of gameplay. Use allies like Ered Nimrais Prospector (Dwarves of Durin, 9) and attachments like King Under the Mountain (Dwarves of Durin, 16) to discard cards from the top of your deck (a practice often referred to as “delving”), then call upon the Erebor Hammersmith (Dwarves of Durin, 6) to add those cards to your hand. Some cards, such as Ered Luin Miner (Dwarves of Durin, 8) and Hidden Cache (Dwarves of Durin, 21) automatically come into play or grant bonus effects when they are discarded from the top of your deck, encouraging you to delve as much as possible while playing.
Outside of delving, this deck also heavily focuses on the kinship of the Dwarves, their strength, and their pride. Heroes like Dáin Ironfoot (Dwarves of Durin, 1) and Ori (Dwarves of Durin, 2) rely on having multiple Dwarf characters in play in order to truly excel, while the Erebor Record Keeper (Dwarves of Durin, 7) can make sure important characters like Dáin or Dori (Dwarves of Durin, 5) are always ready when you need them to be. By working together and building off of each other, it is clear that these Dwarves are a force to be reckoned with!
Elves of Lórien
Next, we have Elves of Lórien, a starter deck focused on the graceful adaptability of the reclusive Wood-elves. This deck is full of Silvan allies like Greenwood Archer (Elves of Lórien, 8) and Naith Guide (Elves of Lórien, 11) who have one-use abilities that trigger upon entering play, as well as cards like Orophin (Elves of Lórien, 12) and The Tree People (Elves of Lórien, 23) to help you get multiple uses out of those abilities. This can lead to some impressive combos, especially if you use the Galadhrim Minstrel's (Elves of Lórien, 5) ability to pull powerful events like Host of Galadhrim (Elves of Lórien, 24) into your hand. With that particular combo, you could trigger all of your current Silvan allies’ “enters play” abilities a second time, including the Minstrel’s, who then could allow you to find another Host of Galadhrim to repeat the combo on your next turn! Just make sure you have enough resources to pay for it.
The heroes of this deck also synergize with allies repeatedly entering play. Celeborn (Elves of Lórien, 1) increases the stats of any Silvan ally that enters play for the rest of the round, which means if you can return an ally to your hand and play them again on the next round, you can keep that boost going. Likewise, Galadriel (Elves of Lórien, 2) grants all of your allies the valuable ability to quest without exhausting on the round they entered play, and with Nenya (Elves of Lórien, 16) equipped, she can greatly increase an ally’s willpower during that quest. With quick wit and sharp strategy, you can use all the Elves of this starter deck to maximum effect!
Defenders of Gondor
The Kingdom of Gondor has been beset by enemies for centuries, and Defenders of Gondor builds upon that theme with a starter deck that thrives when your back is against the wall. In The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, you are eliminated if your threat ever reaches 50 or more, which means you normally want to keep your threat as low as possible. However, many cards in the Defenders of Gondor starter deck, such as Angbor the Fearless (Defenders of Gondor, 4) and Soldier of Gondor (Defenders of Gondor, 5), truly shine while your threat is 40 or higher. With threat that high, you’re going to be engaging a lot of enemies, but fortunately you have stalwart defenders like Gondorian Spearman (Defenders of Gondor, 12) and Defender of Rammas (Defenders of Gondor, 7) ready to hold the line. Bolster your defenses even further with Behind Strong Walls (Defenders of Gondor, 21) and Gondorian Shield (Defenders of Gondor, 16), and no matter how many foes you face, Gondor will never fall!
Of course, in order to truly keep the armies of the Enemy at bay, Gondor will need strong leadership, and fortunately the heroes of Defenders of Gondor can rise to the challenge. Prince Imrahil (Defenders of Gondor, 2) can avenge your fallen soldiers as they leave play, while Mablung (Defenders of Gondor, 3) gives you more resources to work with as you engage with enemies. Use the Envoy of Pelargir (Defenders of Gondor, 13) to ensure that Boromir (Defenders of Gondor, 1) has a resource in his pool, then use his innate ability in tandem with Visionary Leadership (Defenders of Gondor, 20) to power through quests and enemy forces alike!
Riders of Rohan
Finally, rounding out the starter decks, we have Riders of Rohan. The Rohirrim are renowned across Middle-earth for their cavalry, and this starter deck’s playstyle draws inspiration from a cavalry charge. Some allies like Escort from Edoras (Riders of Rohan, 5) and Riddermark Knight (Riders of Rohan, 9) rush into quests or combat with wild abandon, and then retreat with self-discard effects. Others, such as Westfold Horse-breaker (Riders of Rohan, 11) and Westfold Lancer (Riders of Rohan, 13), can discard themselves to grant you useful effects, while Éomund (Riders of Rohan, 4) can ready all other Rohan characters on his way out of play.
While having your allies constantly leaving play may seem like a detriment, the heroes of this starter deck ensure that it is nearly always worthwhile. Lothíriel (Riders of Rohan, 3) can let you play an ally for free when she quests, and when that ally gets shuffled back into your deck, Éomer (Riders of Rohan, 1) becomes a powerhouse with 5 attack until the end of the round. With support from Firefoot (Riders of Rohan, 16) and a War Axe (Riders of Rohan, 19) equipped, Éomer can tear through swathes of enemies by himself, which means you will always have an answer to enemy forces even while your allies are mustering for another charge.
Kickstarting Your Adventure
With their own distinct playstyles and a plethora of cards for deckbuilding options, the four Starter Decks for
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game have something for anyone looking to enhance the start of their journey with this beloved game. Be sure to grab the starter deck (or decks) of your choice when all four of these products hit store shelves in Spring 2022!
You can pre-order your own copies of Dwarves of Durin (MEC103), Elves of Lórien (MEC104), Defenders of Gondor (MEC105), and Riders of Rohan (MEC106) at your local retailer or online through our webstore today!