Back in the Third Age of Man, even the Banks were better!
Not the Banks of Anduin, but the money-distributing, low interest charging, convenient branch-opening times and helpful employee containing Bank of Gondor! Every multiplayer LotR LCG should have access to a branch and by bringing together the deck presented in this article it is possible to build your own branch.
I’ll start by presenting the decklist, then talk about the key pieces and how they interact, move onto a few play tips for the deck and then round up with some alternative cards to hopefully avoid the uniqueness problem in multiplayer.
The purpose of this deck is to generate resources and then distribute them to the other players and then contribute to either Questing or Combat by having a Gondor-swarm. Thus not only do they release much needed capital into the world to help fund the Free People’s battles against the Shadow, but they also use their Employee Experience Programme to engage in those self-same battles.
The Bank of Gondor: Mono Leadership Deck
2x Anborn (The Land of Shadow)
3x Envoy of Pelargir (Heirs of Númenor)
3x Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
2x Pelargir Ship Captain (The Morgul Vale)
3x Squire of the Citadel (The Blood of Gondor)
3x Warden of Helm’s Deep (The Antlered Crown)
2x White Tower Watchman (The Drúadan Forest)
2x Campfire Tales (The Hunt for Gollum)
2x Captain’s Wisdom (The Thing in the Depths)
2x For Gondor! (Core Set)
3x Parting Gifts (A Journey to Rhosgobel)
3x Strength of Arms (The Drúadan Forest)
3x Valiant Sacrifice (Core Set)
3x Wealth of Gondor (Heirs of Númenor)
3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to The Thing in the Depths
Decklist built and published on RingsDB.
The Key Pieces
The first purpose of the deck is the resource generation, and it does this through:
- Direct Resource generation, such as Captain’s Wisdom and Wealth of Gondor
- Mono-sphere allies with a low-cost curve ally selection, which means you don’t pay as much for board presence and can spread the surplus around (Pelargir Ship Captain, Squire of the Citadel, Envoy of Pelargir)
- Repeatable resource generation from Steward of Gondor
- Denethor’s natural resource kickstart
I’ll talk about Steward a little later, but it should be noted that it doesn’t need to be played on the decks heroes or even in the deck if another player insists on bringing it in their deck. So long as the most useful hero in the group has it on them (for instance, someone packing Gondorian Fire) then it’s all gravy. In fact Steward being on a non-Gondor Hero gives the deck another target for it’s coins.
Once the resources start to pile up, they need distributing. The tools for this are also key and they are:
- Denethor’s action ability (to other Gondor characters)
- Parting Gifts (can move any amount)
These are the key pieces and therefore looking after the Errand-Riders (not chumping with them for instance) is a key consideration in the deck’s consistency.
The rest of the deck is about contributing to the rest of the game directly, cards such as:
- Ally Faramir
- Visionary Leadership
- Campfire Tales
- Valiant Sacrifice
- Strength of Arms
- Warden of Helm’s Deep
Are common in multiplayer decks and allow the deck to contribute to questing, combat or support card draw. Some targeted readying in the form of Heir of Mardil rounds out the deck.
Play Tips for the Deck
The deck is relatively easy to pilot: generate resources, see which other players are struggling with resources, move resources from your heroes to their heroes.
Stick Visionary Leadership on Boromir to maximise the single resource on him from his ability and the card.
Quest or combat as required, using Faramir as best suits, whilst cracking jokes about punitive interest rates, financial collapse and complex investment vehicles with differential credit-ratings hidden deep within.
You can chump block with pretty much any Ally other than Errand Rider. Keeping them alive allows you to provide resources to any other Hero and fulfils an important part of the game. Depending upon the quest you may retain one in your hand so that any ‘questing characters take damage’ effects don’t completely wipe the board of your transfer ability.
A key question is who receives Steward of Gondor. The rule of thumb here is that it should go on the hero that most benefits. Playing him outside of the deck on, say Erestor where cards are plentiful but resources tight, is a sensible play. It also grants the character the Gondor trait, and therefore Denethor will share his preferential rate of interest.
If there’s no clear hero that gains so much from the resources boost, I would recommend it going on Denethor so that the resources can be more easily spread.
In terms of the mulligan, you are really looking for Steward and at least one Errand Rider. After that just a reasonable cost curve so you can start to hit the board-state as quickly as possible. Filling in Visionary Leadership and Faramir are good starting moves as it allows the Gondor Swarm to contribute more quickly.
Dropping Anborn would not be a bad move, and the singleton of Rod Steward won’t hurt either. They can easily be replaced by three Sneak Attack for the oldest combo play in the book.
If Steward is contended at the table, an easy replacement would be In Service of the Steward, to grant Gondor traits to more Heroes.
Other cards that can be brought in maintaining the focus of the deck would be:
- Ranger Provisions
- Gaining Strength
- Any of the Dunedain attachments that grant basic buffs
In fact, any strong Leadership cards would not be out of place and any allies with the Gondor trait can help contribute to the success of the deck.
I hope that you found this article thought-provoking; the deck is at ringsdb (here, so feel free to like, favourite, comment etc.
Any other general comments are very welcome in the comments here as well!