|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|Fellowships using this decklist|
|None. Self-made deck here.|
A beginner-friendly (or at least not-used-to-expert-friendly) deck for defeating the Balrog on Expert difficulty and unlocking its quest rewards.
This decklist is based off of Shorogyth's guide but there are some deviations and alternatives discussed at various points. The overall goal with this deck is that the player be able to defeat the Balrog in a very comfortable manner without worrying about having bad luck. The decklist does assume that you have made good progress in Campaigns 1, 2, & 3, but does not assume that you have unlocked all hero award cards. In cases where you might not have the card, alternatives are discussed.
You want to be able to absorb the damage from the Balrog's main attack at the start of every turn. There are two ways to do this:
- Have Dis guard and gain Protect
- Have an ally guard, take the hit, die, and be replaced later (if you have Fangorn, I recommend using him instead of Arwen as his saplings are great for this!)
Next, you want to be able to kill Sauron's minions as he plays them. Ideally they will be killed before they can attack you.
Finally, once Sauron passes, you want to deal with the objective object (using your willpower characters) and attack the Balrog with your physical characters. Once the objective object is gone, you can have your willpower characters charge the fate meter to get you more cards. Once the fate meter is depleted of cards, replace your willpower allies with more physical allies.
This will take a while, but you should eventually draw Gandalf as time goes on. Once the Balrog is at low health, play Gandalf and have Gandalf attack it to deliver the killing blow.
Important: At the time of writing, using Gandalf's 3 damage ability to finish off the Balrog does not count for completing the quest. Gandalf needs to finish off the Balrog with an attack for it to count!
- Dis: Guard at the start of turn when possible to stop the damage from the Balrog's main attack.
- Dain: Buff all dwarves passively and then attack once all of your other dwarves are exhausted.
- Fangorn/Arwen: I recommend using Fangorn if you have him. At the end of each turn you can use his power to generate a sapling and have it guard should Dis be exhausted. If you don't have Fangorn, then Arwen is a reasonable alternative. Arwen can help with healing and either hero is good at doing willpower tasks.
- Gandalf: Needed for one of the quests. Also a decent unit with good overall stats and a nice arrival ability. You'll usually use his arrival for the -3 threat just to get more time to kill the Balrog.
- Narya: For if you want Gandalf to be on your board permanently (not just for the final turn). Make sure to give Gandalf Block or otherwise watch his health (you can also use Arwen's ability on him).
- Heed the Dream, Mithrandir's Advice, and Reinforcements: These help you get through your deck faster and thus make it much more likely that you will have Gandalf when the time comes to finish off the Balrog.
- Gondorian Shield, Self-Preservation, & Armor of Erebor: Give Block or health regeneration to your characters so that the Balrog's splash damage does not kill them over time. Only one copy of the Armor of Erebor is included since you don't want its Guard to be interfering with Dis' role in stopping the damage from the Balrog's main attack.
- Erebor Watchman, Dwarven Sellsword, & Dismounted Rider: These are allies that all come with Block and will thus not take any of the Balrog's splash damage. If you are missing either Dwarven Sellsword or Dismounted Rider, then you can use Iron Hills Sentinel as an alternative. With the Dwarven Sellswords you should pay extra attention to your resources (but if they do fleet, that's okay! We have more allies!). Erkenbrand is another alternative, but it does have a similar problem as the Armor of Erebor so watch out for that!
- Zigil Miner & Sword of Numenor: These help you gain resources so that you can afford to play events that draw cards as well as your expensive allies. Shorogyth's guide does suggest using Elf Magic but if you don't have it, these cards will still get the job done. Once you have a surplus of resources, it's okay to just let the Zigil Miners die and be replaced by better allies. Resourcefulness is a reasonable alternative to the Zigil Miners but is not really an improvement.
- Erebor Record Keeper: Some more card draw and willpower. Feel free to replace this with Northern Survivor if you have it. In both cases, their main role is to do willpower tasks and then be replaced with physical allies.
- Beorn's Hospitality & Imladris Minstrel: Some healing should you need it. Beorn's Hospitality will mainly be used for its 4 health heal while Imladris Minstrel will heal other characters, do willpower tasks, and then be replaced with a physical ally.