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Of Combos And Men 4: It's a Songspiracy

Of Combos And Men sirprim Spirit Lore Lord of the Rings Decks

Of Combos and Men is probably the logical next step after my deckbuilding articles. Here I will be talking about certain cards and combos, that I personally find interesting, underused or just plain fun. But more importantly I will try to point out what kind of strategic considerations each combo brings for your deck(s) and how to use them. After outlining the combo there usually will be a follow up article with an actual deck, so that people can get a better feel how I integrate my combos and maybe try the deck out themselves.

Songspiracy Deck

Following up on last weeks article, here is one way to build a fun deck around the Song of Earendil (RtR). Additionally the basic strategy is to avoid treacheries, hard-counter locations and soft-counter enemies.

Hero choices

So the main theme for this deck is avoiding treacheries and Eleanor (Core) does exactly that, I am adding some cards to support her, but treacheries have already taken a big hit by now. Next in line up is Aragorn (TWitW) as his combo with the threat manipulation in this deck is just so awesome. Besides from that I need a Lore hero anyway for all those cards like Out of the Wild (RtR). Last guy to round out the crew is Glorfindel (FoS), giving you access to very strong location control via Asfaloth (FoS) and maximizing the amount of threat Aragorn is going to reduce for you.
In earlier iterations I was testing with Bifur (KD) and Denethor (Core) and while Bifur was OKish, Denethors ability felt like overkill most of the time and in both cases I was somewhat reliant on Song of Travel (THoEM) for my own deck to get rolling, which finally brought me to Glorfindel.

The basic combo

The first two cards are pretty much a no-brainer, namely Wandering Took (Core) and Song of Earendil (RtR) (both 3x). Additionally you are going to need some Song of Travel (THoEM) (2x), so that you can play the Song of Earendil on another players hero in case they don't run Spirit (which they don't have to, running a Leadership/Tactics deck would obviously fit well I guess). I decided that two of those are enough, because you have strong searching capabilities in this deck.

avoiding treacheries

Since this is the main theme of the deck, I included a couple of cards here, most notably Out of the Wild (RtR) (3x) since I am a curious guy and the card seems to fit this deck very nicely. The next 6 cards are a mixture of avoidance cards from last article, namely Risk Some Light (SaF), Gildor's Counsel (THoEM) and Shadow of the Past (RtM) (each 2x). You can mix those numbers up, if you want to, because there seem to be many fans of Risk Some Light, but I really like the other two, so a mixture suits my personal style best.
Last but not least, I have included a small backup for uncancelable Condition-attachments (like Sacked! (CatC)) with one copy of Miner of the Iron Hills (Core). But on all honesty, this might be one of those cards you don't need too often and is usually one of the first to leave the deck should you want to change the deck.

hard-countering locations

This is going to be a pretty small section as there is not much needed these days. All I ever want in play is Asfaloth (FoS) (1x) and you are set with locations. If then one or both Northern Tracker (Core) (2x) show up, then locations are literally a walk in the park. Why Asfaloth only once you ask? Because this deck has such an easy time fetching it and I don't need to draw it on the very early turns.
Finally I added Glorfindels "personal" attachment Light of Valinor (FoS) (1x) and again only once, because I don't care if he doesn't get it on turn 1 as this deck can handle a bit of threat increase.

soft-countering enemies

A big part of enemy control is already present in your combo, since you can precisely dictate which enemies are going to engage who and when (at least once everything is up and running). Still you don't want enemies to pile up in the staging area, so there needs to be a way to deal with some of them.
One very simply method is Forest Snare (Core) (2x). A medium to big enemy showing up? Let him engage one player once you are ready and the Snare deals with him usually for good.
Another theme vs enemies is shadow card control, so I added A Burning Brand (CatC), which usually goes onto Aragorn and results in a good amount of safety across the board with his Sentinel. Additionally I added one Rider of the Mark (RtR), which also fits the deck really well. You want all enemies with your partner? Why not send him all allies, too! And since you give one of his heroes a Song of Travel (THoEM) anyway, might as well be able to use his ability now more than once.
Finally a card that is not exactly soft-countering, but nobody said that you are only allowed to do one thing :P
The card I am talking about is O Elbereth! Gilthonial! (SaF) (2x) which is super useful with your threat adjustment powers.

draw engine

Combo decks usually need good card fetching abilities, be it plain drawing or direct searching or whatever. But fortunately this really is one of the strengths of this deck. Lore + Spirit got such sick possibilities to get to your cards faster, that it is hard to believe (and it's not going to get worse from here *g*).
First off is the recently available Master of the Forge (SaF), he alone is sooo good. Where decks before ran 3x each of cards like Light of Valinor, Asfaloth or Steward of Gondor, you can now cut most of these to 1x, if you have the Master instead. And that is exactly what is happening here. The point is: Even with only 1 copy of a given attachment, you will see it during a game. This frees so many slots...
Now the Masters best friend makes this even better, so adding some Imladris Stargazer (FoS) (2x) will make your draws even better. If you have both of them in play the Stargazer gets to see 5 new cards every turn! Pick your best non-attachment out of those and have the Master take an attachment and then shuffle again...
But some classic card draw might not hurt, so here we go with 2 each of Ancient Mathom (AJtR) and Erebor Hammersmith (Core). You usually can easily dictate, who is going to profit from the Mathom, so the card comes in pretty handy.
Last but not least rounding out the crew with some generally powerful cards like Daeron's Runes (FoS) (3x) and Gandalf (Core) (3x). This should make you find your combo in no time. (I actually think that this kind of deck would be interesting for the new version of Gandalf, because you can handle his threat increase well, somebody might like to experiment with that)

resource engine

Nothing fancy here. You got secrecy? Try Resourceful (TWitW) (3x). Quite powerful at its discount. Apart from that I added one Song of Wisdom (CatC) in order to pay for some Lore cards and one copy of Love of Tales (TLD) for Aragorn to get even more Lore resources. Now a valid question is: Do you even run enough Songs? I think yes, I have 6 Songs in my deck, so the Love of Tales gives me up to 6 resources over a game. Now realistically I have played two songs earlier, so that value lowers to 4, but with the Master of the Forge I can find all those Songs and 4 resources feel worth it for one card. Apart from that many other decks might have one or two Song cards as well.

being a nice multiplayer guy

I usually end up with some cards that help everybody, just because they pop into my mind as being useful. Those cards this time are Haldir of Lorien (AJtR) (1x), who is just a strong all-rounder, and Warden of Healing (TLD) (2x) since healing is usually always useful, especially when considering that your partner might end up with most of the enemies on his side. So it is a good sign of friendship, if you see to his wounds :)

Gameplay advice

First the biggie: There is usually no need to rush the combo, having a Song of Earendil early is often enough to control threat during early rounds. Remember once you hit your combo, you have instant secrecy for both players, it doesn't really matter if your threat has risen a bit since the beginning. Even if it rose more than just a bit, Aragorn can usually fix this!
On the other hand the Wandering Took is harder to find, so I tend to keep mediocre hands when I got the Took, while I mulligan mediocre hands without him.
When using Out of the Wild you want to target treacheries unless it is something really (and I mean really) mean, even Attercop, Attercop (RtM) loses its danger at a certain point in the game, especially if you still hold Forest Snares. So don't use it blindly, try to ask whether that card is really dangerous for your group and when in doubt go for treacheries, especially cards with surge.
Play the first Resourceful on a Lore hero, those resources are needed more than Spirit.
Using Shadows of the Past on Locations is probably the most common use I think. One less enemy or treachery to worry about and your Northern Trackers can go to town again.

I guess thats it for now, I had some good success with this deck, only thing left to say:

Play it while it's legal ;)

You can view the complete decklist here:
Songspiracy Deck


P.S.: To all 1-Core only players, the only card you are missing out on is the third Took. This may or may not make the combo too slow, but I think a 3rd Imladris Stargazer is a good substitute. Should you find the deck still be too slow, you could try and add 1 or 2 Word of Command (TLD), that should suffice.
  • Hastur360 likes this


Very interesting stuff. I'm also very sourprised to see Elanor in there, as she's always been a mistreated and undervalued hero, with the increasing power and number of the treatchery cards. Elanor might be the one saving everybody's ass in time! Sleeping Sentry (RtR)
    • adamdatman123 likes this
Agreed. She saves plenty of Bacon.

Additionally I think she really like that new Spare Hood and Cloak. Getting some good use out of her that way.
    • adamdatman123 likes this
I recently dusted her off for a pair of decks that I built to take on the first Hobbit quest, which has a ton of nasty treacheries. I think her value will only increase with the release of the Heirs of Numenor expansion.
    • sirprim, lpknight21 and adamdatman123 like this
Very interesting deck. I played a pair of decks awhile ago with the Song of Earendil/Wandering Took combo in it and it worked really well.
I don't get it. What's so amazing about the song/took combo?
May 07 2013 02:29 PM
joezim, I actually use a different version of the song and took combo. If you use the Aragorn that lets you restart your threat to beginning levels, you can pass the took back and forth until one person has 0 threat and the guy with Aragorn is at 49. Then during that refresh, they reset back to starting threat and you have one player at 0!
Thanks, I get it now. I'd never use something like that. Sounds broken. Of course, it's not as broken as it would be if you could get both down to 0, but stil not something I'd do. I doubt it'll be too long before this is errata'd
I can usually get threat to 0. My deck is similar to the one described above, but I don't use song/took nor Aragorn; instead I draw my entire deck and shuffle it back in repeatedly (Will of the West (Core)) while dropping my threat (and my friend's threat). It takes a while to deck myself, but the added draw power allows me to set up and consistently control the board.

The "Expert Mode" that's included in the rulebook (all quests, straight through) make the game way too easy and allow us to have negative scores (0 threat, 0 damage on heros, 0 dead heros, and tons of victory points).