Hazard Archetypes
Posted March 24th 2018 by CardGameGeek
 This is a list of Hazard Archetypes found at Trevorstone.org

Some of them might be outdated or no longer much effective since are all pre-Lidless Eye.

Hazards, while they don't acquire you MPs, can win the game for you by killing a wizard or ringwraith. Hazards have more purpose than just getting rid of your opponent's characters, though. The object of playing hazards is to tap your opponent's characters so that they can't play resources during the site phase. If they're wounded, they can't do anything for even longer. You must balance playability with power, and you must also make sure not to make a hazard portion that interferes with your resource portion.

 

 

Roadblock


If the idea behind playing hazards on your opponent is to prevent the play of MPs, this is certainly a good deck to use. It can be constructed from mostly common cards, yet can be devestating against many, many decks.

Required Cards:


River symbolizes this deck. If the company doesn't tap a ranger, they cannot do anything during the site phase. Call of Home can help take out the rangers (as well as item and event MPs), Chance of Being Lost can delay them a turn, No Way Forward and a ranger agent can send your opponent back to their site of origin (effectively wasting a turn). Baudila can do it on his own. Gnaw With Words straight out taps a character (assuming certain preconditions are met).

Helpful cards:


With careful planning, Long Winter and Foul Fumes can be deadly. Snowstorm can be rude, and if you plan right, you can let it snow while The Will of Sauron is out, making most decks stuck in the mud (or snow, as the case is). If you think someone's headed for the sea, use Drowning Sea and Fell Turtle. To fill out the Council of Lorien 12 creature min. you might want some cards that can take out rangers, the main threat to your strategy. Slayer or Assassin are good choices, Cave-drake works well, and Neeker-breekers may be the most effective card at tapping whole companies, even after they've been buffed up. No Escape From My Magic, aside from an awesome name, can slow down area-based decks. From Lidless Eye, So You've Come Back and Rebel Talk can mess up a company's influence scheme, making Call of Home easier to pull off and perhaps forcing the discard of a character. No Way Forward can prevent your opponent from getting where she wants to go, though it may do the same to you. Doors is quite helpful if you want to use Long Winter et al. and Twilight to protect the environments.

Variants:


This is sort of a purist version of hazards in general, every hazard portion tries to tap the characters, this just focuses on that one aspect. It's not as fun to role play, but it's often the most effective. One variant is to block certain areas. Several Ahunt dragons can make someone think twice about moving about in the north-east. There are several cards which hurt Coastal Seas or the Under-deeps, and there are a couple deadly cards like Mordor in Arms that hurt the Land of Shadows.

Compatible Resoruce Portions:


If you want a Long Winter/Snowstorm/Foul Fumes sort of environment, you'll need careful planning. With Long Winter, hang around Lorien and Edhellond. With Snowstorm you'll need either MordorGondor, or the sea. If you're just using cards like River and Chance of Being Lost, there aren't any permanent or long events that will hurt you, so you can put them with any resource deck, especially one that wants lots of speed because River and Chance of Being Lost and Call of Home et al. have a high rate of playability. Get Goldberry, if for no other reason than preventing your opponent from getting her. If you're playing a minion deck, Foul Fumes doesn't affect you (as per the rules listed in section IV of the Lidless Eye rulebook), and there are plenty of places you can go that aren't hurt by Long Winter.

Defenses:


Twilight! Include Twilights in every deck if just for the purpose of getting rid of Long Winters, Foul Fumes, and Snowstorms (Doors can be a good thing to be rid of too). Also, for no other reason than Roadblock decks, include at least one, better two, rangers in your starting company. If you're without a ranger and your opponent can pull an Uvatha/Mouth/River combo, it will take you two turns to get anything anywhere. Goldberry can let you travel through the snow without having to head back. If you center your deck around Gondor, Foul Fumes and Long Winter won't give you too much of a problem.

 




Corruption


One thing that distinguishes Middle-earth from many fantasy worlds, and this game from most other games, is corruption. Often someone will be fighting on the good side, but then think that he might be able to control men, and thus gets corrupted and fights against the good side. Or he might be offered a situation better than what he currently has, if he switches alignment or takes advantage of his former friends.

Required cards:


You should have lots of corruption cards. Lure of Nature, Lure of the Senses, and Lure of Expedience are some of the best. Weariness of the Heart causes corruption checks at the right time, as can Dragon-sickness.

Helpful cards:


There are a couple global corruption events you may want to include if you don't plan on using too many items. Traitor can hurt the hobbits that are otherwise pretty immune to corruption. Ren the Unclean can single handedly clean out a player's characters, especially with The Balance of Things. Lure of Power can be very nasty, especially against a small or mostly tapped company. If you are playing with Council of Lorien rules, undead like Corpse Candle are a good choice. Slayers go nicely to hurt faction strategies well. Itangast or Scorba at Home can make item toting more dangerous for everyone.

Variants:


A few corruption cards can go along with almost any deck. An undead deck is that much better with some corruption, a deck with Fog can make use of Lure of Nature. An all Hobbit deck might consider Lure of Power. Dispair of the Heart is a good choice if you've got a lot of dangerous creatures.

Compatible resource portions:


Corruption can be played without any chance of hurting you at all. Avoid Traitors, Lure of Power, The Balance of Things, Itangast/Scorba at Home, and Ren the Unclean and you can have any resource portions you want. But with the added stuff, go with a faction strategy. You can do it with items if you are careful about storing items frequently or giving them to Hobbits. And Fellowships are always good at helping corruption checks.

Defenses:


Hobbits are probably the best defense against corruption. Factions are also a good idea, but you do have to make sure not to have more than 50% faction points. Avoid low mind dwarves and other characters with negative corruption modifiers. There are also some cards that are good choices to deal with corruption. Elf-song can get rid of a lot of corruption, Wizard Uncloaked is also nice. Magica Harp can basically give +2 to anybody's corruption checks for the rest of the turn. And event helpers, like A Friend or Three or Old Friendship can save a character at the right moment. Marvels Told, which probably should be in your deck anyway, is nice and Fellowship can save all of your characters.

 




Auto-attack enhancement:


Eventually, everybody faces an auto-attack. If not, they probably aren't going to get any items, which means they will have some problems at the Free Council. Thus, if you can manage to make the auto-attacks really hard, they may not get through them untapped to play items.

Required cards:


Your staples will be the Minions and Denizens cards: Arouse/Awaken/Incite. If you can pull all three on one site, it would have to be a really weak attack in the first place if the company can stay untapped through all that. Often, you'll want to play an enhancer like Arouse Minions and then put Incite Minions on-guard. Once you have gotten your opponent a couple times on this one, he'll grow suspiscious and you can bluff. When you can make a really nasty auto-attack, make sure your opponent faces it twice with Tidings of Bold Spies, perhaps drawing out any auto-attack cancelling cards.

Helpful cards:


If you think your opponent will be playing a minion company, Arouse/Awaken/Incite Defenders can be nice additions, but maybe should be in the sidebaord of a general deck, as minion cards will hurt minions, but defenders cards won't hurt heroes. Choking Shadows isn't quite as good as Arouse Denizens, but it can sorta get around the three-per deck rule. Dragons at home and maybe the Balrog (though he's been killed on me one too many times) can be nice additions, though avoid Dragons that will hurt you. If you want Doors to be out, Eye of Sauron can be a nice addition to the other enhancers. Redoubled Force and The Moon is Dead can be really annoying with further enhancement, just make sure not to screw your own deck over or help your opponent too much. If you want to fill the Council of Lorien creature minimum, go with some border-attackers to stop faction gathering and maybe a couple keyable to ruins or shadow-holds so you can supply a second auto-attack for an underdeeps company.

Variants:


To be obnoxious, try to pull of Eye of Sauron, Fell Winter, Awaken Defenders, and Wake of War (with Will of Sauron). Every border-hold will have an auto-attack of 10 strikes at 12. Or check out what kind of deck your opponent is running and sideboard in the appropriate cards (works best in 2+ deck games).

Compatible resource portions:


If you're using long-events, make sure that you can avoid them. Perhaps visit ruins and include Awaken Minions but not Denizens. Or cancel your autos. You'll probably want to run mostly factions, though with a little planning you won't screw yourself too bad if you are running with a lot of items. Don't put Redoubled Force in and then plan on going to Buhr Widu, for instance (hey, I almost did that once...).

Defenses:


Withdrawn to Mordor can get rid of an on-guard card. Rebuild the Town can make your ruins & lairs problems go away, though errata has required you to enter the site first. Burgling can work, as can cancelling the auto-attack. And if you're going up north, make sure you have a way to deal with dragons at home, because Itangast at Home could end up twice at 6@27/9. And with Tidings of Bold Spies, you'll have a lot of combat to deal with.

 




Agent Influence


With Dark Minions came a new kind of card, and thus strategy, that of agents. In a way they combine hazard creatures with characters and they can cause some serious damage when you least expect it.

Required cards:


For an agent influence deck, you'll want several scattered agents at faction sites. The choice is up to you, but some nice ones are Dror, Wormtongue, Fori the Beardless, Daskun, Raisha, etc. You'll also want cards to let you do the influencing. Twisted Tales is nasty, Your Welcome is Doubtful can hurt quite a bit, Will Not Come Down can hurt even a deck with more than 10 GI free.

Helpful cards:


Good Sense Revolts can both influence something away on its own or it can give that added push to a normal attempt. Nobody's Friend lets your agents pop up all over the map, giving you more value out of fewer agents. Never Seen Him lets your agents get to more sites in time, as does Great Need or Purpose.

Variants:


The main variant is the agent attack, see below.

Compatible resource portions:


Since agents use up your sites while they're moving around, it's best to center your resources around one area and do the influence there by yourself. Agents also work well with a deck that wants to go fast, as you can slap an agent down when you draw it and then reveal it when necessary. If you're playing a minion deck you can include agents and either bring them out to mess with your opponent's deck or you can bring them out to help yourself.

Defenses:


The main defense is to keep some GI free, but that often means not bringing in a character of your own. I Know Much About You can be a good defense, requiring the discard of the offending influence card (though the agent stays in play). Withdrawn to Mordor can give the same effect, but puts the agent out of your misery (at least for a while). And since the influence agents tend to be weak, why not have a Slayer with a Hidden Knife? The best defense against agent influence, though, is to play a minion deck, as hazards which target agents cannot be used against ringwraith players.

 




Agent Attack


The other side of agents, attacking, can also be nasty. This strategy involves a bit of luck, as you get to roll for additional prowess.

Required cards:


You'll want agents like Golodhros, The Grimburgoth, Baudila, and Elerina. Since most of them have pretty high minds, you'll want Inner Cunning and Never Seen Him so you can get your agents to where you need them. One nice part of attacking agents is that you don't need a special card to do it, which means you can mess with minion companies.

Helpful cards:


You'll want some Cunning Foes for additional prowess. If you have some scouts in the mix, An Article Missing and Sudden Fury can be good additions. Since you are limited to 36 mind worth of agents, you may want to include some other hazards, either miscelaneous or perhaps coupled with a small group like wolves.

Variants:


See agent influence above.

Compatible resource portions:


Again, agents use your sites, so choose somewhere to go where your agents aren't going. The Rivendell metro area is usually pretty free from attacking agents, as is the sea. The good attacking agents can make nice company centerpieces for minion companies, and aren't leaders, so can go along with someone like a Lieutenant. Other than that, there's not too much you should or shouldn't do with your resource portion. Have fun!

Defenses:


Again, Withdrawn to Mordor and I Know Much About you can hurt this deck. Also, you can go to the area your opponent is in, forcing her to either use up her sites or not to attack you. Also, since you usually get to choose your defender and it's just one strike, a card like Magic Ring of Stealth can stop what your opponent put so much work into moving into place.

 




Creature decks


Some of the most common decks are decks built around a specific creature type. Most creature types have sertain global modifiers, making them nasty for your opponent but if your opponent is playing the same kind of deck...






Orcs



Many are the orcs in number, ranging from The Great Goblin to Orc-raiders. Orcs can be good finds in sealed deck, but they tend to be weak against a strong company. That is, until Dark Minions came along.

Required cards:


Obviously you want orcs. Most of the good orcs are playable at just dark and shadow-holds. Orc-watch, Orc-guard, etc are among these. Hobgoblins are playable in double wilderness, which is nice. Enhancers you'll want are Minions Stir (with Doors), and Two or Three Tribes Present.

Helpful cards:


If you want a big deck, throw in lots and lots of orcs. If you get enough enhacners, you can even do damage with Orc-warband et al. Host of Bats can do some killing easier, and if you want to put in Nazgul, Scimitars of Steel and Helms of Iron can make your orcs a nasty force. Clouds is another good long-event and you may want to put in the Will of Sauron. If you like combos, play (with Two or Three Tribes) an ordinary orc, an Orc-warband, an Uruk-lieutentant, and then an Orc-lieutenant. Angmar Arises and Reaching Shadow make normally safe places into orc-havens. If you don't include those, Choking Shadows and/or Morgul-night will make things SO much easier. If you want to hurt orc/troll auto-attacks REALLY badly, add Redoubled Force and Troll-purse.

Variants:


Adding trolls can make things nastier. Olog-hai trolls are bigger than the orcs, but have fewer strikes. And if you soften a company out with Two or Three Tribes of orcs and then strike with Gothmog, you can pick off a character or two. And the new trolls, Umagaur and Buthrakaur, can make orcs much easier.

Compatible resource portions:


You should plan to visit sites without orc auto-attacks, as you will be heavily enhancing them. This means hardly any shadow-holds for you, and you should also avoid shadow-lands, as if your opponent is playing orcs, 6 Scimitars of Steel can be sick. Factions work well, as do dragon-slaying decks. You can also hit ruins & lairs around Rivendell or head to the sea. You might also consider playing a minion deck, as most orcs which do come back to fight with you will only be detainment. Plus, then you can have an orc in every picture in your deck.

Defenses:


Indy Jones decks can both be hurt by orc decks and helped. They are usually pretty tough against orcs, so can get some MPs, but the enhancers make them think twice about staying untapped against the auto-attacks. If you are orc-paranoid, start with Elladan, Elrohir, Gildor Inglorien, and Thorin. Dark Quarrels is a nice defense, as is Trickery. Twilights take out the Doors and make the Wills of Sauron go away or just make the Minions Stirs lesser. They also take out the Choking Shadows, which is almost always a good thing. Marvels Told get rid of Scimitars, Angmar Arises, Reaching Shadow, and Minions Stir. Also, a minion company is pretty safe from the other tribes of orcs, assuming you stick to shadow and dark areas.

 






Trolls



In characters, there is a big difference between small characters with low prowess and big characters with big prowess. You can get more low-mind characters out, you can get more orcs out. Or you can pull a few big mind characters, or trolls, and perhaps do some more damage.

Required cards:


If you want to do trolls without orcs, you'll want all you can get your hands on. 3x Olog-hai, 3x Half-trolls, 1x Gothmog, Rogrog, Buthrakaur, Umagaur, Tom William, and Bert. This conviniently makes 12 creatures for the Council of Lorein rules. Add Wild Trolls from Lidless Eye to hit deep wilderness and ruins & lairs. You'll also want Minions Stir, Choking Shadows, Morgul Night, etc. so you can actually KEY your trolls to something.

Helpful cards:


Scimitars of Steel will make your attacks that much more nasty and Helms of Iron will make it so you will lose few MPs. Do whatever you can to key your trolls, and don't be affraid to make the terrain more dangerous for you too. Searching Eye can prevent the concealments, as when you get a troll in, you may only have one or two in your hand.

Variants:


Trolls, while possible on their own, are better with orcs. All the enhancers get both of them, Buthrakaur and Umagaur help them out and the orcs help Gothmog. You could couple Trolls (dark/shadow) with Slayers, Assassins, &c. (border/free). Then, throw in stuff against wilderness and runis & lairs. Of course, Wargs can hit border-lands, wilderness, and shadow-lands...

Compatible resource portions:


Don't use an Indy deck. You will be enhancing your own sites. Coastal seas is nice, as is Gondor and dragon-slaying. Avoid Buhr Widu. Be sure you can take a fight if you are enhancing and terrain-changing as much as you will want to be. Again, playing a minion company can make any troll attacks that come back at you detainment, and you can have fun with trolls in deep voices.

Defenses:


Unlike orcs, Indy Jones has trouble with trolls, as no character gets a bonus against trolls and cards like Orcrist don't hurt trolls as much as orcs. If you hang out around Gondor, there won't be as much terrain to change. Twilight can knock out those environment changers. Dark Quarrels and The Cock Crows can cancel any troll attack and can only be cancelled by Many Sorrows Befall. Or a minion company can fear nothing other than becoming tapped.

 






Undead



With Dark Minions came some serious undead enhancements, bringing life to a strategy that was almost, but not quite, really nasty. Now it is seriously nasty and perhaps the most feared hazard strategy in the game.

Required cards:


There aren't too many undead creatures, so you'll want two or three of Ghouls, Barrow-wights, Ghosts, Chill Dousers (very nasty), Stirring Bones, and maybe some Whisps of Pale Sheen and Corpse-candles. Second, you'll want undead enhancements. Plague of Wights is nasty, if you get The Moon is Dead in play first an attack of Ghouls becomes 12 strikes at 9, if you add three Chill Dousers first it becomes 18@12/-, something that does not sound fun (unless you're playing hazards).

Helpful cards:


You'll want something to get the undead into play. Angmar Arises and Reaching Shadow work well, and if you can get Morgul-night into play you can have a lot of fun. You may also want to have fun with Clouds to make some even nastier strikes. Pierced by Many Wounds can make the most of an attack, and Spells of the Barrow Wight can throw a company into chaos. Sleepless Malice can make your undead easier to play (and means that a Barrow-wight can be played at the Barrow-downs). There are some good corruption cards to add like Ice Knife, etc. Shadow Out of the Dark is the undead version of Two or Three Tribes Present. And it's permanent. Endless Whispers can REALLY hurt a company, especially if you hit its only sage.

Variants:


Go about half-half with undead and corruption. You can load a company up with Despairs of the Heart and then bring in a Corpse-candle. And with enhancement, the Corpse-candle won't be just giving away 1 MP. And since you've gone and converted things into shadows and dark, why not add a couple orcs for a good surprise?

Compatible resource portions:


Don't go coastal or anything else that involves lots of undead auto-attacks. Be prepared to fight back against your own strategy, because undead decks are popular, and I've seen two undead decks go head to head. It's lots of fun, but not a lot gets done. You might want to stick around Gondor and avoid the wilderness that's having its terrain changed.

Defenses:


Minions are normally only detained by undead attacks, but they will face a lot more of them, and won't get any MPs (though trophies are nice). Despite all the undead enhancemnt, there aren't too many cards for heroes that specifically hurt undead. There are no characters, for instance, that get plus against undead. Twilight can make Plague of Wights less nasty, and Marvels Told gets rid of The Moon is Dead. Star-glass is a nice starting item. Barrow-blade can do some damage as can Vanish in Sunlight! but both are probably best kept in the sideboard. Other than that, just try to avoid shadow/dark-lands/holds.

 






Nazgul



Perhaps the epitome of fear is to have your company tapped out except for your hobbit who is holding all of your company's items. Then, all of a sudden, a Nazgul comes Out of the Black Sky weilding The Pale Sword and shouting Words of Power and Terror. This strategy can cause some serious damage, but doesn't tap companies with a great frequency and a little card can throw off a big attack.

Required cards:


You'll probably want all 9 Nazgul in there, and you NEED something to get them into play. Fell Beast is good, as is Morgul-horse and Morgul-night, though the latter is prone to Twilights. Out of the Black Sky lets you keep your Nazgul on the table instead of cluttering your hand, and the Witch-king's ability makes keying much easier.

Helpful cards:


You'll want The Nazgul Are Abroad with Doors of Night. Searching Eye means that your 25 prowess attack won't be Concealed. Morgul-kinfe and The Pale Sword can help an attack out. Since you're trying to pull big combos, Daelomin at Home can give you the extra two hazards you need to pull off the combo. You will probably want agents like Bill Ferney to make your Nazgul come up in fun places (you THOUGHT you just needed to look out for Slayers at Bree). And if you can pull a Wrath Lord, all hell (Mordor, actually) can break lose.

Variants:


The Nazgul abilities are probably better than their creature states. Include Dwar of Waw in any spider/animal/wolf deck, Ren in a corruption deck, etc. Their abilities can combine nicely, though. For instance, with a few normal creatures, you can have Hoarmurath give it an extra strike and then tap a character with Adunaphel and then when the character is wounded, make them discard with Indur Dawndeath. And with all the Nazgul out, tap Khamul to force your opponent to discard his hand, bring him back with The Nazgul are Abroad, and do it again next turn. Your opponent will cycle fast, but won't be able to keep any semblance of strategy.

Compatible resource portions:


This is mainly a deck for hero vs. hero, as when a ringwraith hits the table, so long to any hope of playing that nazgul. You may want to start with some of the ladies like Peath and Eowyn so that your opponent doesn't get them out and so if your opponent starts using your Nazgul Are Abroad you won't be totally screwed. You might consider using an Elven Kings strategy with Pallando, the Book of Mazarbul, and the Emerald of the Mariner so you can hold those big combos in your hand.

Defenses:


Nazgul attacks rely on one big creature. Well, how cooincidental that one concealment can ruin a couple turns worth of planning. Peath or Eowyn can give you 6 MPs with a little help, and cards like Vanish in Sunlight can be a pain. Wizard's River Horses, Praise to Elbereth, Barrow-blade, Twilight, Marvels Told, The Cock Crows, etc., etc. A minion player can stop the Khamul Nazgul Machine dead cold by bringing out Khamul the Ringwraith. In short, Nazgul decks are easy to deal with, though they can be nasty. And no other deck lets you attack Gandalf and say "Your powers are weak, old man. You should give up and turn over to the dark side of the force."

 






Dragons



Not all that is a threat to the free peoples is controlled by Sauron. While he may have some sort of pact with the dragons, they act largely on their own, for want of gold and jewels.

Required cards:


You'll want most of the unique dragons, and probably some Cave-drakes too (if you don't mind spoiling the unique theme). Dragon's Desolation is a must, unless you KNOW your opponent will head up into dragon territory. Doors of Night is also a good idea.

Helpful cards:


There are several dragon enhancers for you to choose from, so take your pick. Passion of Wrath, Deftness of Agility, and Prowess of Age are some good choices. Half an Eye Open can let you select your targets, Foes Shall Fall can make for an annoying journey, and a bunch of cards in the Dragons expansion are good. Searching Eye can cancel those pesky Concealments and Long Dark Reach can be a nice move. From the Pits of Angbad can let you recycle your dragons and Uvatha can let you get the dragon you want when you want it. Memories Stolen and Dragon's Curse can be pretty annoying (and fit a Simarillion theme well). Rumor of Wealth can either do some serious damage or foce a company to waste a turn. You might want to add a few drakes for frequency of play. To fill out your deck, look through your MetD hazards and see which ones fit.

Variants:


There are two variants to the creature dragon theme: ahunts and at homes. Ahunts can slow down a company in the right spot, unless they're amazingly strong and can take -3. If you get The Will of Sauron out, you can hit over half of the regions permanently. You'll want some of the same cards for a normal dragon deck, and you might want to combine them. At homes aren't usually sufficient as the backbone of a hazard portion but they can be a nice addition to an auto-attack deck or to compliment resources. You can play Legendary Hoard on Daelomin, for instance, and then play Daelomin Ahunt a couple times, then go in and rape the site. They also work for King Under the Mountain/Returned Exiles.

Compatible resource portions:


If you're going to be hitting the north-east pretty hard, head down south to Gondor. If you aren't going to use Earcaraxe Ahunt, the sea is a nice place to go. You might consider a Rivendell deck if you don't put in Scorba Ahunt (or if you do and can kill him yourself). Dragon decks aren't too common in serious play, so you might head near dragon territory (like on the eastern border) and follow the advice of those "No Fear" shirts. And hey, if you can grab Wormsbane, your opponent can't. Dwarven King Under the Mountain/Returned Exiles can be both effective and fun, though you usually only need one or two At Home dragons.

Defenses:


The Dragons expansion brought several dragon and dragon-helping cards, but it also brought several dragon defenses. There's two ways to deal with dragons: fight or flight. The first is helped by cards like Wormsbane, Black Arrow, The Old Thrush, etc. The more common (though cowardly) way is to run, and if you can't run, you can hide. Concealment is nice here, but you get more style points for playing combos like Secret News/Riddling Talk, using Flatter a Foe or Dragon's Hunger, or flustering your opponent by not going up east (I played with someone for a while who would say "If you want some MPs, go to Withered Heath..."). Minion decks tend not to go to a lot of dragon areas and aren't as prone to Dragon's Desolation.

 






Drakes



The other major hazard strategy that came along with The Dragons was drakes. While not as big and nasty as dragons, drakes are worth fewer MPs, aren't unique, and tend to be easier to play.

Required cards:


Probably the best drakes in constructed deck are Rain Drake, Were-worm, Winged Cold Drake, Cave Worm, Nameless Thing, Cave-drake, and True Cold Drake. Half an Eye Open can let any drake hit a character of choice. Dragon Feuds lets you rape and pillage hoard sites or cancel other drake/dragon decks. And Two or Three tribes of drakes can be a scary meeting. And Marsh-drake can hit minion companies with decent efficiency.

Helpful cards:


Look at the drakes you choose (you should get a wide range of attack possibilities). If you have several which want two or three wilderness, include Withered Lands (with Doors and Twilight). Doors is also needed for Nameless Thing. Many of the dragon-helpers can help drakes too, Foes Shall Fall and From the Pits of Angbad being two of the best.

Variants:


Build an elemental deck. Winged Fire/Cold-drake, True Fire/Cold-drake, and Ice-drake. Or you could build an area-drake deck. Sea Serpent for the coasts, True Cold Drake for the north, Cave Worm for the center, Sand-drake for Mordor, Were-worm for Rivendell, Nameless Thing for the Under-deeps. Now hope they don't go to Gondor...

Compatible resource portions:


With Dragon Feuds you can head up to the north-east. If you grab Fram, you can't be hit with him. Fog can give you the wildernesses that you need to work with. Other than that, your only assistants that stay in play are Doors and From the Pits, so have a ball!

Defenses:


Like dragons and Nazgul, there are several defenses to drake decks. Riddling Talk, Token of Goodwill, Dragon Feuds, and Wormsbane to name a few. Twilight can stop Doors and Withered Lands. The Old Thrush can take some of the drakes down to size. Aside from normal avoidance cards and a few specific cards, you can't really avoid a drake deck, though, unless you head to Gondor.

 






Wolf/Spider/Animal



While it's possible to run these as seperate decks, they work best as a group. Like drakes they are keyable in a fairly diverse selection of places and like orcs, can be pumped up quite a bit. Plus, they can hit both hero and minion companies efficiently, and aren't detainment nor worth MPs to minions.

Required cards:


Your staples here are Wargs, Wolves, Dire Wolves, Giant/Lesser Spiders, and Neeker Breekers. To help out, include Wake of War, Dwar of Waw, and Spider of the Morlat. Most decks also include Watcher in the Water, Bairnax at Home, and Shelob.

Helpful cards:


This is one deck that can work well without Doors or even better with it. Wake of War is better for wolves with Doors, Morgul-rats are greatly helped, and Shelob requries it. More nasties can be gained with Flies and Spiders, Fell Turtle, Wolf-riders, and Spider of the Morlat.

Variants:


You can concentrate on a couple areas instead of all three kinds of creatures so you can include some of another strategy. Spiders/animals seem to work well together. You can add to that a few drakes and Worm's Stench, add a few Corsairs for Mumakil, etc.

Compatible resource portions:


It's pretty hard to run away from Wargs, being as they are keyable to all but 14 regions, and other creatures here have similar ranges. So, to avoid your own hazard portion biting you on the butt (wolf/spider/animal decks are pretty popular), have a medium sized company with decent prowess. Have Marvels Told to get rid of Wake of War at the right time. Get Lindion the Oronin to cancel spider/animal attacks and so your opponent can't get it. If you've got Spider of the Morlat out, don't head to Mirkwood (duh). If you're a minion player, do whatever possible to avoid Shelob (and playing Last Child of Ungoliant doesn't help either).

Defenses:


There aren't very many cards that hit this deck very hard. Lindion the Oronin can cancel, Noble Hound can prevent Flies and Spiders, and Twilight/Gates can get rid of Doors and Marvels Told gets rid of Wake of War. Having a big tough company can usually prevent much damage, though you may end up tapped quite a bit. Other than that, head to Gondor or the Sea.

 






Men



Before Lidless Eye, Men were unique in being the only group that can be both a resource and hazard portion. They tend to be specialty creatures, but can be pretty nasty as a normal attack.

Required cards:


You'll want most of the man creatures. Pick-pockets, Theives, Dunlending Raiders, Corsairs of Umbar, Ambushers, and Assassins can all be nasty creatures, especially with Rank Upon Rank. Lawless Men and Sellswords Between Charters from Lidless Eye have more range than most of their brothers. Despite what it might seem, Dunlending Raidres, with Rank Upon Rank, is 6@9/- and playable at a company leaving Rivendell.

Helpful cards:


If you want Doors in play, you can add Giants and Thunder Spirits to be helped by Rank Upon Rank. Mumak can go along nicely with Corsairs. If you want, Nazgul for Scimitars/Helms can help. There are a few more men you might want to add like Brigands and Abductor, both of which can be helped by Clouds. For more flavor, add Slayers and some man agents. Thrice Outnumbered can let you recycle the men you can play for the price of discarding the ones you can't.

Variants:


Go for a kleptomaniac deck. Theives, Pick-pockets, Brigands, add Were-worm and agents with An Article Missing. You might also want to go for an "Uncle Sauron wants YOU" deck. Assassins, Slayers, Ambushers, Pick-pockets, add a few drakes, etc.

Compatible resource portions:


For the role playing feel, go with a man resource portion as well. Man factions, man creatuers, man agents, man characters. Or if you fear another player using a man deck, go with a mostly item strategy, as men tend to hit border-holds, though Lidless Eye has started to change some of that. If you can get Moon into play with Gates, you can make men easier to play.

Defenses:


Dark Quarrles can cancel any man attack, and with some luck Token of Goodwill, Flatter a Foe, Riddling Talk, Trickery, etc. can cancel as well. Leaf Brooch can prevent the item stealing, I Know Much About you can deal with Assassins and Slayers, and More Alert Than Most can lower the strikes on many of the attacks.