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Lord of the Rings TCG  »  Decks  »  Cheap Swarm with Sam/Gandalf Fellowship (Standard)
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I used this deck in the second online PSQ (March 27th 2004). I went 3-3 in the end: all three wins came at site 4 or 5; one loss was due to my weak fellowship being massacred; the other two losses were to big fellowships, which my swarm could not ... er ... swarm.  


This FP is all about setting up a good shadow hand, so use Sam to discard cards (and heal himself or Frodo, via Frodo's text) and Smeagol to get rid of other cards in skirmishes. The traditional 2-cost companion to pair with Sam in a swarm deck is Gimli, but I thought I'd try and be original and used the new Gandalf isntead; while he's around you can use Servant of the Secret Fire and Glamdring to help any companion in a skirmish and look at opponents hand (and remove twilight, if they're playing orcs), respectively.  

Ring Bearer  
1C290  •Frodo, Son of Drogo  (Shire Companion)  
1R1  •The One Ring, Isildur's Bane  (The One Ring)  
Free Peoples (35 cards)  
Starting companions:  
7R327  •Sam, Resolute Halfling  (Shire Companion)  
8R15  •Gandalf, Leader of Men  (Gandalf Companion)  
6C45  •Smagol, Poor Creature  (Gollum Companion)  
Backup people:  
1R89  •Aragorn, Ranger of the North  (Gondor Companion)  
1U97  •Boromir, Son of Denethor  (Gondor Companion)  
2x1R302  •Merry, Friend to Sam  (Shire Companion)  
2x1C286  Bounder  (Shire Ally)  
1U309  •Rosie Cotton, Hobbiton Lass  (Shire Ally)  
2x1R75  •Glamdring  (Gandalf Possession)  
2x5R116  •Sting, Baggins Heirloom  (Shire Possession)  
2x7C319  Hobbit Sword  (Shire Possession)  
3R34  •Narya  (Gandalf Artifact)  
4x2R112  A Promise  (Shire Condition)  
2x1C317  •There and Back Again  (Shire Condition)  
2x1U316  •A Talent for Not Being Seen  (Shire Condition)  
2x4R299  •Cliffs of Emyn Muil  (Shire Condition)  
4x1R83  Servant of the Secret Fire  (Gandalf Event)  
4x1C296  Hobbit Intuition  (Shire Event)  
Shadow (35 cards)  
The main Isengard swarm:  
4x3C56  Isengard Forger  (Isengard Minion)  
4x3C59  Isengard Shaman  (Isengard Minion)  
4x6C71  Isengard Tinker  (Isengard Minion)  
3x3U61  Isengard Warrior  (Isengard Minion)  
2x6C67  Isengard Journeyman  (Isengard Minion)  
3C62  Isengard Worker  (Isengard Minion)  
2x3R64  •Orc Commander  (Isengard Minion)  
6R127  Isengard Mechanics (AI)  (Isengard Minion)  
3U60  Isengard Smith  (Isengard Minion)  
Useful backup swarmers:  
3x1U178  Goblin Runner  (Moria Minion)  
3x2R75  •Bill Ferny, Swarthy Sneering Fellow  (Ringwraith Minion)  
7C59  •Gollum, Vile Creature  (Gollum Minion)  
2x7C53  Captured by the Ring  (Gollum Event)  
For big fellowships:  
1U231  •lair Enqua, Lieutenant of Morgul  (Ringwraith Minion)  
4U249  Southron Commander  (Raider Minion)  
For condition-based fellowships:  
2x1U136  Saruman's Power  (Isengard Event)  
Adventure Path  
7U333  Sleeping Quarters  (Site)  
7U337  West Road  (Site)  
7U339  Hall of the Kings  (Site)  
7U341  Anduin Banks  (Site)  
7U344  City Gates  (Site)  
7U346  Minas Tirith Fifth Circle  (Site)  
7U353  Osgiliath Crossing  (Site)  
7U359  Northern Ithilien  (Site)  
7U361  Haunted Pass  (Site)  

Make sure you go second and creep along with your fellowship. Do all you can to get a good hand of minions for site 4. For each burden, you can add +2 to any minion, so Bill Ferny on his own is sometimes enough to kill a weak Frodo.  


The perfect hand includes: Ferny, Captured By The Ring (for playing Gollum and adding a threat), Isengard Warrior (to prevent archery death) and any other Isengard orc - the more the better though. If it all goes wrong at site 4, try for 5, where Gollum can pump himself up by at least 8 strength (3 threats and one double-exert). A swarm can still work at sites 7,8 and 9, but the FP player will have probably unloaded a lot of companions by then, so you'll need either Enquea or the Southron Commander to thin them out first.  


Note: this deck dies to Merry's Sword decks, unless you can kill Merry early on. (I would have managed this in the PSQ using Gollum, but for the lack of loop resolution at the time.)  

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