Deck-Craft: The Lady, the Master, and the Captain

Since 2013, my most common companion in the world of LOTR: LCG is my Better Half (a.k.a. the Wifey, Dear Wife [DW], My First Wife [MFW]). Since I am traveling a lot for work lately, some of my two-player time has been taken up with nights away from home. As I’m packing for a few days away, I like to bring a quest and one pure solo deck that is incredibly versatile. So, without further ado, I present to you my most recent creation, The Lady, the Master, and the Captain.

I’ve been listening to the Cardboard of the Rings podcast almost since its beginning. In addition to the friendly banter and the antics of Brandon, the podcast’s founder, I really appreciate the deckbox that Sean, one of the hosts local to my beloved state of MN, has put together. Over the past few months, he and the other hosts have curated a number of great decks with piloting instructions.

It’s a long-running joke on the podcast how much Brandon loves Tactics Boromir, and he’s been playing with a deck called Boromir Shows His Quality, or variations thereof, a lot on their Twitch stream. But I wanted to see if this deck could be tweaked just a bit to make it more solo-friendly. With just a few minor changes and one hero swapped out, I’ve had stunning success against a variety of quests, including Peril in Pelargir, Into Ithilien, and The Nîn-in-Eilph. Kudos to the COTR guys for inspiring me!


Merry is angry because he’s shorter than everyone in this deck.

Total Cards: 50

Heroes: 3
1x Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
1x Merry (The Wastes of Eriador)
1x Boromir (The Dead Marshes)

Allies: 19
2x Silvan Refugee (The Drúadan Forest)
2x Vassal of the Windlord (The Dead Marshes)
2x Arwen Undomiel (The Watcher in the Water)
3x Zigil Miner (Khazad-dum)
3x Galadriel’s Handmaiden (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Numenor)
3x Imladris Stargazer (Foundations of Stone)
2x Bofur (The Redhorn Gate)

Attachments: 20
2x Hobbit Pony (The Wastes of Eriador)
2x Mirror of Galadriel (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
2x Nenya (Celebrimbor’s Secret)
3x Gondorian Fire (Assault on Osgiliath)
2x Gondorian Shield (The Steward’s Fear)
3x Blood of Numenor (Heirs of Numenor)
2x Horn of Gondor (Core Set)
2x Protector of Lorien (Core Set)
2x Captain of Gondor (The Antlered Crown)

Events: 11
2x A Test of Will (Core Set)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
2x Hidden Cache (The Morgul Vale)
2x Power of Orthanc (The Voice of Isengard)
3x Dwarven Tomb (Core Set)

In this deck, you are looking to get Boromir, Captain of Gondor, loaded up with all sorts of goodies: Horn of Gondor for resource generation, Blood of Numenor and Gondorian Shield for defense, Gondorian Fire for attack, and Captain of Gondor for a little bit of both. Meanwhile, Galadriel will exhaust to draw you cards and lower your threat, and Merry will be held back from questing in case an enemy is revealed, allowing him to drop your threat further. These two in tandem will help keep your threat at or close to your starting threat of 26, even while you are readying Boromir multiple times a turn.

In your starting hand, look for either Zigil Miner, Imladris Stargazer, or Horn of Gondor to get your resource engine going. If that doesn’t happen, consider a mulligan unless Mirror of Galadriel is in hand.

In mid-game, once your key attachments are on Boromir and he has become a defending, attacking machine, use a Nenya-wielding Galadriel to place Protector of Lorien on him. By this point, you may be swimming in extra copies of “one-of” attachments, and you can discard the multiples for bonus willpower or defense. If you’re not really looking for any more key cards at this point, you can even “dig” for resources with Zigil Miner blindly. Guessing one will almost always net you at least one more resource, since 23 cards in the deck are one-cost.

Throughout the game, look for the right moment to play Envoy of Pelargir, which can help smooth resources between Boromir and Galadriel, two Nobles of different spheres. If you find yourself with way too many Tactics resources, for instance, and not enough questing power, playing the Envoy with two Tactics resources can place one Spirit resource on Galadriel, which, when combined the two resources she and Merry are collecting each turn, can allow you to play Silvan Refugee and Galadriel’s Handmaiden in one turn, netting you four more willpower and a drop in threat.

Reward: With its nice mix of utility cards and interesting decisions, The Lady, the Master, and the Captain is really fun to play. One happy moment occurred just a few days ago, when I realized that since Galadriel allows allies to commit to the quest without exhausting on their first turn in play, my Vassal of the Windlord was going to Battle quest for three and be able to attack in the same round!

In a week or two, I’ll be making my first attempt at recording a play session using this deck. Wish me luck. Until next time, mára mesta: good journeys!