Sauron the Dark Lord – Geektopia Games

Sauron the Dark Lord

Minor(s): 2 Mordor Orc Archers

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This deck is intended to be the strongest deck in the set and is probably stronger than any of the SWED decks as well, but maybe not due to the weak minors.  Play it against SWED decks and let us know how it does!

SAURON THE DARK LORD
by JAG and Roman, includes some ideas by Robert Moore

Sauron
22 HP
Modified Red Deck (10 cards, melee, A1D4 replaces A3D2)

2 Mordor Orc Archers
4 HP each
Weak (9 cards, ranged)

3x DARK MACE
A8.  After attacking, Sauron may attack each other enemy adjacent to him with this card.

2x MALICE AND HATE
A5.  For each point of damage done with this attack, draw a card, up to 3.

1x INVINCIBLE
A12.  Sauron may not defend or play SEARING TOUCH until the start of his next turn.

3x POWER OF THE RING
D15*.  *If the attack card is NARSIL, ANDURIL or BROKEN BLADE then the defense value of this card is 5.

2x LORD OF THE RINGS
Move Sauron and all other characters up to 3 spaces each.

1x SEARING TOUCH
Choose a character with 5 or fewer hit points who is adjacent to Sauron. That character is destroyed.

Notes:  I already told you he’s tough.  He is what he is.  Play him if you want to.

Here is another take on the deck by Robert Moore.  This is from the old Epic Duels forum and I just want his draft preserved for posterity.

4x MALICE & HATE
A7; For each point of damage this attack does, subtract that number from any defense card you use against an adjacent attacker before your next turn.

2x INVINCIBLE
D10; If Sauron takes no damage from the attack, then draw a card.

2x DARK MACE
All adjacent characters take 3 damage. Move each affected character directly away from Sauron (even diagonally) as far as possible, ignoring other characters and obstacles.

2x LORD OF THE RINGS
Draw 3 cards. Move all characters on the board up to 3 spaces each. Move Frodo or any Wraith characters up to 5 spaces each.

2x GIVER OF RINGS
Choose any adjacent minor character. Each character the chosen character is in position to attack takes up to 2 damage.

Notes:
The general idea is to play your MALICE & HATE cards with INVINCIBLE in your hand. This may seem counter-productive, but it may be the only way to defend at all after you play one of your A7s.

Another way to avoid the lessened defense ability is to combo like so:
1. MALICE AND HATE. A7
2. DARK MACE
This combo allows you to move your foes as far away from you as possible. It will be quite difficult for foes to close to an adjacent attack position after being smacked across the board.
GIVER OF RINGS will allow you to use any adjacent minor character (friend or foe) to launch a NTMTO style attack from that character (represents the corrupting power of the ring). The “up to” clause allows you to exempt any characters you choose from the damage. This card also makes it handy to keep your Orc Archers on hand so they can be used as launching platforms for the damage. A great combo involving GIVER OF RINGS is:
1. LORD OF THE RINGS
2. GIVER OF RINGS
This combo allows you to manipulate the whole board and get the most out of GIVER OF RINGS.

Some might say that Sauron is a great character to use for a single character deck, but let’s face it:
1. He was defeated by a mere human grieving his father’s death.
2. His penchant for using humanoid scum as underlings makes it almost impossible for him to appear without the cannon fodder of Middle Earth (Orcs) by his side.

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17 comments

  1. Parker Haskin says:

    I’ve tried making a Sauron deck and I used him as the only character. I included the One Ring as well but it exists without any HP and only has Normal Specials to play so it continues after Sauron’s physical form is destroyed. It doesn’t do damage so if it were the only thing left then the other team would be able to claim victory. Just my two cents. I love all of these decks on here and I discovered them after making about a dozen of my own LOTR decks lol but great alterations came of my discovery so thanks so much.

    • roman says:

      Hi Parker, thanks for your interest. We’d love to see your LOTR decks! You should upload them to the Wiki and I’ll create a section for them.

      There’s a LOTR board game, I think it’s called the Lord of the Rings board game, where each player controls a hobbit, and you play cooperatively to defeat Sauron. The game comes with an Eye in the Tower piece that I’d love to see a deck for. Perhaps you could convert your ideas to fit Sauron as an Eye, where this version is intended to be the Sauron from the very start of the FOTR movie.

  2. JAG18 says:

    Earlier I had a crazy match of Sauron and the Witch-King (team mace) vs. Eye of Sauron and Smaug and I wanted to share a bit of how it went down.
    Sauron and Witch-King opened with bad draws, but still scraped together enough offense to kill off the Mouth and leave The Eye in a bad position especially since the Mouth didn’t get off any of his offense.
    Smaug’s BURNING BREATHE did nothing against the POWER OF THE RING and NO MAN CAN KILL ME.
    Double DARK MACE turned the tide in team mace’s favor in the mid-game.
    Without the Mouth all the Eye could do was throw CORRUPTION at his old self with OK effect, but the duel ended with Smaug in the corner getting pounded on by team mace and ultimately falling.

    One last note, I had to stop and think for a moment about what happens when ONLY DEATH’s effect meets WILL TO DOMINATE’s effect. I just assumed Sauron doesn’t get the card draw.

    • roman says:

      Awesome session report! A few observations:

      – Smaug is awfully strong, but he isn’t good matchup against characters with big power defense like Sauron and WK (or Gandalf). WK isn’t really that great but that was a good matchup for him.

      – Sounds like Sauron is the best, but shouldn’t he be?

      – I was afraid of CORRUPTION being too much but it’s actually slightly weaker than FORCE LIGHTNING and it doesn’t sound like the Eye is overly strong overall. Seems like the Mouth is such a big key to his game and I intentionally made him a bit easy to kill and that’s how it went. I’m probably ok if he struggles a bit against the other Tier 1 decks or when the Mouth gets KO’d early. How do you like this idea for CORRUPTION? 3 damage or discard 3 cards or a combination, plus one for each CORRUPTION card in your discard pile. It might seem stronger than the previous version but you’d rarely get more than 3 off in a game.

      – I agree that ONLY DEATH wipes out the whole turn, including the addition gained by WILL TO DOMINATE. I probably want to change WTD to something a little more traditional anyways, maybe use some of Robert’s ideas or something.

      • JAG18 says:

        -I’m sure someone would argue that Smaug is more powerful than Sauron, but I ain’t about to touch that discussion with a ten-foot pole. Maybe we can all just agree that those two are the top two most powerful characters. 😛

        -I’ve only seen The Eye in one other duel (with Gollum) against a team of Bilbo and Frodo, which is admitted probably a bad match-up. Based on what I’ve seen, The Eye is tough, just not tier 1 tough and it really depends on what he can get out of The Mouth. I think the change to CORRUPTION is a good idea even though The Eye got off all 4 copies in the duel above.
        The thing with that deck is it breaks two big rules of deck design. 1) The major needs to have enough killing power to win the game on his own (The Eye doesn’t) and 2) every deck needs 4 or 5 “killing cards”; The Eye has 0-8, but CORRUPTION and TAUNT are really easy to work around. Meaning the deck only has 2 reliable killing cards…and they both belong to the fragile minor.

        -WILL TO DOMINATE is neat, but if your going to replace it, maybe consider some more offense. Right now, Sauron kind of reminds me of your tweaked Obi-Wan deck; his only weakness is his lack of offense. Now, DARK MACE is good no doubt, but in most duels with Sauron (and I noticed this in my version too) he needs to go through his deck twice to get the win.

  3. roman says:

    Ran a couple of play tests of Sauron + Balrog. The first game, they defeated Isildur and Elrond, the second they defeated Isildur and Aragorn. Isildur didn’t draw much defense either game, and went down without doing much either time. This left too many HP for Elrond or Aragorn to dispense with on their own. Aragorn would have won the second game had the SHARDS OF NARSIL REFORGED been played early but it was the last card in the draw pile and Arwen had already been defeated.

    Sauron is quite tough but I’m not a fan of cards like WILL TO DOMINATE, like we’ve talked about. A simple offense card like A4 no action or perhaps direct damage would round his deck out. It’s not like he needs more strength, he’s tough to bring down and the LOTR + DARK MACE combo is very effective so A4-no action might be too good. He does need something else though, he really just stands around waiting to draw DARK MACE.

    The Balrog looks better with weak basic melee cards replacing FLAMES and 22 HP. He’s still a tough SOB but not so unbeatable. I think he’s looking pretty good. FIRE WHIP doesn’t really fit the deck but the card represents the whip from the movie pretty well.

    Isildur is pretty good but he doesn’t look overpowered. He really doesn’t have great offense unless there are conditions in his favor. If you were to kill all his allies and isolate him, he really don’t have much to beat you with, well I guess except an A8 and an A12 which is actually quite a lot.

    Even though I haven’t seen him lately, I was thinking about EYE OF SAURON and really, his ONLY DEATH card that skips a turn isn’t that great. You use one action and one card to deny your opponent 2 actions. It’s ok but nothing game changing like YOU WILL DIE. Maybe we can replace NO LIFE IN THE VOID and ONLY DEATH with some cards that give him more offense should the Mouth go out early. NLITV is actually an offense card but he might need more of a killing card, maybe A6-attack-from-anywhere or something.

    So I’d like to come up with another card for Sauron, maybe tweak the Eye and potentially come up with something different for Isildur, but otherwise I think all of this is coming together pretty well. You could play any of these 5 decks right now and have fun. We mostly just need to finish out Treebeard.

    • JAG18 says:

      Sauron: maybe give him a card that helps him get to his DARK MACE? Like 2x MALICE AND HATE: A5 For every point of damage done by this card, draw a card up to 3.

      Balrog: glad to hear that the weak melee deck is working out.

      Isildur: I agree he’s pretty good, but I unfortunately don’t have any ideas for this deck.

      Eye of Sauron: ONLY DEATH has its uses, but he does need something more, like that A6 you’re talking about. But, why stop at A6? Make it A7 or more if you really want him to be good.

      I’ve been meaning to make a testing version for Treebeard and take him for a spin. When I last saw him (a while ago) he seemed fine and his power level was about less than the other decks in this expansion, but better than all the other LOTRED decks.

      • roman says:

        Love your MALICE AND HATE idea, simple and effective and what he needs.

        So I made some adjustments to his deck, to the Eye and to Elrond. I think all 5 decks are now fine unless I get specific feedback on changes to make.

  4. roman says:

    So I ran another game, this time was Elrond and Isildur vs. Sauron and the Balrog. It was a heavyweight match it played out really well, with the dark side triumphing on the last turn by drawing his final DARK MACE, and it was just enough to power past Elrond’s D2 and eliminate his final 6 HP. Elrond would have won on the next turn with WATER HORSES which would have eliminated Sauron’s 3 HP.

    – Sauron had a pretty lousy draw but he still had enough to ultimately kill Isildur and Elrond. I was thinking he wasn’t tough enough during earlier parts of the game but he shone in the end. DARK MACE is so tough and MALICE AND HATE works well enough. Sauron was down to 7 HP when Elrond and Isildur had 13 and 14, respectively, but the power of the ring would not be undone.

    – Isildur had a pretty good game, getting his A8 and some A5s. Elendil got off his A6, then got killed, then Isildur used LAST HOPE to get it back and used it as an A12 on the Balrog, which took away Balrog’s last 8 HP. He didn’t get much defense and Sauron killed him.

    – The Balrog probably looked like the weakest of the 4 but these are the toughest of the tough and he didn’t look out of place. He dished out a good amount of damage but drew FLAME SWORD early before he really wanted it, so it took up space in his hand. Again, the lack of minors is a big deficiency in LOTRED, so I upped FIRE WHIP to A7 and I think he’s good to go.

    – Elrond is really good and steady. He was able to do some damage this game with HADAFANG and one WATER HORSES and he used MITHRIL to completely stop a DARK MACE. However, his IMMORTAL BLADE was completely countered by Sauron’s POWER OF THE RING.

    I might want to tinker with Treebeard but otherwise I think this set is really good, really fun, and about done.

    • JAG18 says:

      Great stuff! I tried out that duel a couple of times today and the teams went 1-1 (although the good side had terrible luck in their defeat). After those duels, I’d say I’m at where you are: the Balrog is probably the weakest of the bunch and the set is both top notch and almost done.

      One tweak on Elrond I want to suggest is removing the extra damage against Fire Pillars because they have 2 HP to begin with and so 3 dd vs 4 dd doesn’t matter at all. I guess you could argue that removing two words won’t reduce the card text that much and that there’s a one-in-million change that a deck might come along that increases a characters total health, but still I think it’s a change worth considering.

      • roman says:

        Actually the deck I’m not sure about is Sauron the Dark Lord. I think Elrond might be a tad tougher, and I’ll water down Water Horses just a little as well as change that wording, and possibly reduce his HP to 15.

        Sauron has A) only 5 attacks in addition to his Blue deck and B) weak minors, so he’s not THAT strong. Also, Elrond has his A11 and Isildur his A12 and it seems like Sauron is lacking something there. At the same time, he has SEARING TOUCH so all he has to do is get you to 5 HP.

        • JAG18 says:

          Yeah, Sauron’s offense has always been a bit wanting even in my original deck on the wiki. If it’s a problem of quality then maybe increasing MALICE AND HATE to A6, might do the trick; since it has a 3 card draw limit I’m not worried about the effect becoming unbalanced. On the other hand, if it’s a problem of quality (as in you want him to have a big attack), then we either need to drop SEARING TOUCH or something else. What to replace it with, I have a few ideas like maybe:

          1x CRUEL SWING
          A10: After attacking, you may move the defender any number of spaces in a straight line.

          • roman says:

            I like SEARING TOUCH because it’s like the end of the movie. Maybe must change it to an I’VE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS A LONG TIME type of card that takes 2 turns to play, but is an A10 that bypasses power defense? That’s a finisher. You’d need to pair it with a LOTR to make sure you’d be in attack position the second turn, but you have 3 LOTRs so it should work out.

            I also kind of think he should just have more attack cards he can use, instead he kind of has to sit around while his Orcs aren’t really good for much. Elite Orcs would go a long way towards making him better, and giving him more offensive options, but I feel like making Sauron the star. So we could just keep Searing Touch as is, add your A10, and I guess drop a LOTR?

            Another idea I have is give him a modified Red deck swapping the A3D2 for a second A1D4, so he has those 4x A5s to work with, plus the 5 power attacks he has now, plus the 2-turn A10 that bypasses defense, all 3 LOTR. This might be the most interesting.

  5. JAG18 says:

    First, I’m glad to hear that someone got what I was going for with SEARING TOUCH. On the subject of that card, something I’ve been mulling over is changing it to a special card. I mean, it’s basically a direct damage card anyway, so if include your changes then it would be something like:

    1x SEARING TOUCH (Special Card)
    Place this card face up on the table as one action. On any subsequent turn you may use an action to play this card. Destroy an opponent’s character adjacent to Sauron with 10 hit points or fewer remaining.

    Lots of directions we could go with this deck, but I think I like your final suggestion the most: modified red deck, 3 LOTR, and the new SEARING TOUCH.

    • roman says:

      10 points of direct damage is too much. Even 5 is too much without some mitigating factor, but there are 2 here: 1. It (now) takes 2 turns to play and 2. You’re restricted to characters with 5 or fewer HP. So it’s “A10, use one action to play face up, any turn after this one, you may play this attack against an adjacent character with 5 or fewer HP, they may not defend.”

      I made in an A10 because I feel he lacks a big attack, but this isn’t really an A10, it’s a 5-direct-damage card that says it’s an A10 just for flavor.

      But, by adding the “1 turn” delay, I’ve actually just made SEARING TOUCH weaker and worse, not really my intent. The modified Red deck will help but I kind of feel like there’s no big attack of Sauron’s to fear like there is with Elrond and Isildur. We have some options but I’m not finding any really appealing as of yet.

      • JAG18 says:

        Yeah, I was wondering where you were going with that tweak to SEARING TOUCH. Although, honestly I don’t see much point in making SEARING TOUCH an A10; I’d rather have an actually A10 than a card that says 10 on it, but is actually a weaker version of a card that used to be in the deck.

        If we want to give Sauron a big attack to fear, then maybe we should go the route of replace a copy of LOTR with another attack card; maybe something like:

        1x HOPE FADES
        A13: Sauron cannot defend until your next turn.

        Now, I’m imagining this duel where Sauron uses this card to knock off Elendil and then plays SEARING TOUCH face up in order to kill Isildur next turn, but on his turn Isildur pulls out the BROKEN BLADE and finishes Sauron off first.

        With the new card we could either go back to the blue deck and an A5 SEARING TOUCH (but keeping the new effect) or maybe keep those changes too, I’m not sure.

        • roman says:

          I guess that’s where I’m at: He needs another big attack, just for the threat of it as well as the theme of it, and his deck would probably play a bit better with one more offense card and one less movement. The current setup of 6 defense + movement cards is a lot. I guess I’ve been afraid to make him too strong but it’s Sauron, there is no “too strong,” especially with 20 HP and weak minors. I’ve seen the “big attack but can’t defend next turn” mechanic before and I like it a lot. I gave him an A12 and I think he’s done.

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