“I was not asleep, Master Elrond. If you want to know, you have all come out from your feast too soon, and you have disturbed me–in the middle of making up a song. I was stuck over a line or two, and was thinking about them.”
    –Bilbo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring

The Dwarrowdelf cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game has nearly arrived to its climactic conclusion. In Shadow and Flame , several of Middle-earth’s greatest heroes will find themselves forced to confront one of the deadliest demons from the days of Morgoth, Durin’s Bane ( Shadow and Flame , 150). For the heroes to survive, they’ll need all their skill, strength of arms, and strength of spirit. They’ll also need all the help they can get, with a good deal of it likely coming from many of the new player cards from the Dwarrowdelf cycle.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at some of the decks FFG staff members are playing through their games in the mines of Moria. We’re happy to share some of our deck-building tips and show off some of our favorite player cards from the Dwarrowdelf cycle, and we hope these examples will spur your creativity as you explore new themes and decks in your games of The Lord of the Rings .

Working Together in Harmony

The Dwarrowdelf cycle features a good number of Elves and Dwarves and cards to support those races, but it also introduced a strong new card in The Long Dark that gives strength to Middle-earth’s musicians. Love of Tales ( The Long Dark , 85) joins the game’s limited list of cards that can boost resource acceleration. Other such cards, like Steward of Gondor ( Core Set , 26), Horn of Gondor ( Core Set , 42), and Zigil Miner ( Khazad-dûm , 9), have become staple additions to many successful deck designs, but while the Love of Tales can provide some of the same boosts, it does so in a much more focused manner.

Today, FFG Marketing Coordinator Josh Grace presents a Dwarrowdelf deck built around the Love of Tales:

Beravor (Core Set, 12)
Bilbo (The Hunt for Gollum, 1)
Bifur (Khazad-dûm, 2)

1x A Burning Brand
2x Erebor Hammersmith
2x Erebor Record Keeper
1x Gildor Inglorion
1x Gléowine
1x Haldir
1x Henamarth Riversong
3x Love of Tales (The Long Dark, 85)
2x Miner of the Iron Hills
3x Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame, 134)
2x Protector of Loríen
3x Rivendell Minstrel (The Hunt for Gollum, 8)
2x Warden of Healing

1x Celebrían’s Stone
3x Durin’s Song (Khazad-dûm, 4)
1x Faramir
2x Sneak Attack
1x Steward of Gondor

2x A Test of Will
3x Miruvor (Shadow and Flame, 133)
1x Dwarven Tomb
1x Unexpected Courage
2x Will of the West

3x Gandalf
3x Song of Kings (The Hunt for Gollum, 10)
3x Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil, 81)

The deck’s strategy is pretty clear from its starting heroes. I’m addicted to card draw, and in solo play this deck provides you four cards every turn (since Beravor will always exhaust to draw). The card draw, along with the card search provided by allies like the Rivendell Minstrel and Master of the Forge, can set up combinations, feed Protector of Lórien (Core Set, 70), accelerate your resources, and fetch into your hand the cards you need when you need them. Plus, I’m a huge fan of having all those cards – and all those options – in my hand as I face the challenges the encounter deck has in store for me.

Love of Tales is a fun way for the deck’s sages to share their wealth of knowledge; they get rich as you play your Songs. There are nine Songs in the deck, six of which are attachments that provide the ability to play cards from other spheres, and three copies of Durin’s Song, which can turn Bifur into a quest-completing champion, especially when in combination with cards that can ready him, such as the new attachment, Miruvor.

Thanks, Josh!

Next week, developer Caleb Grace shows off more of the Dwarrowdelf cards with a pair of Dwarf decks built to work together.

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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