The Nazgul – Geektopia Games

The Nazgul

Minor(s): 2 Nazgul

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This design is really unconventional, yet it totally works!  This might serve as a model for decks with 3 major characters.

3 Nazgul – All are considered major characters
8 HP Each
Blue Major + Weak Melee Minor (Melee; shared by all 3 Nazgul – Geektopia Melee Minor deck)

2x A5D1
1x A4D1
2x A4D2
2x A3D3
1x A2D3
2x A1D4
3x A3D1
4x A2D2
2x A1D3

Nazgul Talent Cards (12, all shared):


A4*. *Attack value is increased by 2 for each of your Nazgul adjacent to the defending character besides the attacker.


A6. If the defending character takes damage from this attack, that character may not move on his/her next turn.


Move each Nazgul up to 5 spaces. Draw a card.


All opposing characters adjacent to any Nazgul takes 3 damage. Each affected opponent discards a card at random.


D5*. Increase the defense value by 1 for each Nazgul adjacent to the defender. If the attacking character is female, the defense value of this card is 0.

Notes:  You just have to play it because it isn’t like anything else, but FreakyMutantMan has remarked that his group has a lot of fun with this deck.  Also, Robert’s battle card for them is a work of art in itself.  I’m only not sure if I should allow them to all be minors, or if they should all be majors, but probably not both.  For now, consider them all majors, not subject to minor-affecting cards like Theoden’s HERUGRIM.

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.JPG layout for print:





  1. umondy says:

    Very interesting design with the three majors more or less. I have one specific question to your wording:

    On KNIVES IN THE DARK you specificly refer to “each of your Nazguls”.

    On all other cards you alway refer to the Nazguls in a more general manner: “for each Nazgul”, “for any Nazgukl”.

    Is this differentiation intentional or without any deeper meaning? It could make a difference if you are in 2v2 and the teammate also plays a deck containing some kind of Nazguls. Did you think about that or am I thinking too hard about that?

    • roman says:

      No I didn’t mean anything by it. A final pass on any deck, and collections of decks like LOTR, should include reviewing the consistency of wording, but I didn’t do that here. An interesting deck, indeed! As stated at the top, one of the decks I’m most proud of. I didn’t think it could be done, but then I did it.

      • umondy says:

        Thanks. I actually like the specific wording “your Nazguls” should have used this way more in the past tp prevent confusion.

        How strong would you rate this deck?

        • roman says:

          Deck strength is a tricky question to answer. The LOTRED set in general is on the weak side compared to our SWED decks and probably a tad weak compared to the average Tier 2 SWED deck. I also don’t have much experience with this deck, but for LOTR, I think it tends towards lower-middle strength, so probably Tier 3 by SWED standards. All the more reason to consider these “3 majors” so that minor-crushing cards don’t make a weak deck even weaker.

          • umondy says:

            One thing that crossed my mind regarding strength of the deck.
            Shouldn’t the deck be pretty strong as you have three characters thst actually can use ALL the cards? I remember this beeing a problem with solo decks and the reason those decks received those filler cards “heal your character by 1”.
            Wouldn’t this be an even bigger advantage /problem with the Nazguls as they also have three figures in play?

  2. umondy says:

    As I don’t care for LotR and don’t intend to include anything but SW in my ED collection would you mind if I copy your concept for a Star Wars design and share it on the wiki?

        • roman says:

          Sets like LOTRED and GOTED allow the creators to explore new concepts and sometimes, they end up working. When they do, I’d like to see them incorporated into SWED to expand the game a bit. The Uruk-hai Army is another game-expanding deck, but not as good as this one.

    • roman says:

      Ah, I hadn’t seen that. The challenge in designing this deck is what you brought up: By letting each of the 3 characters access all 31 cards, it’s easy to design an overpowered deck. The way to mitigate that problem is to design the talent cards to be kind of weak, if you were to compare them to other decks. The offense consists of 3x A4*, 2x A6, and 3x 3 direct damage. That’s simply not much, unless you’re able to get higher values out of the A4*s. As the Nazgul player, you have the advantage early, but lose it as your opponent starts killing off Nazgul, something that’s not that hard to do with their 8 HP each. Once you’re down to your last Nazgul, you’re at a disadvantage against pretty much any major character, even with access to every card in your deck. I think if all 3 Nazgul had 9 HP each, this deck would actually be very strong.

      • umondy says:

        Ah u cee, now I missed your answer 😀
        It really is tough to balance out. With my interpretations I tried to stay as closely as possible with your design (as it is proven and well tested). Just thought about what you said regarding it beeing pretty weak in a possible SWED collection. That is why I exchanged the weak minor decks for a red (for the darkside deck) and blue (for the Jedi deck) minor. I just have the feeling both could make the decks way too strong. Do you share the same sentiment or do you beleive this could work?

        • roman says:

          So if I follow, you replaced the 9 melee minor basic cards with 9 minor Red or 9 minor Blue cards? I think you and I have discussed this, but I’ve come to realize that there’s a big difference between strong and weak minor cards. “Too strong” is a matter of how strong you want the decks to be, but they will definitely be substantially stronger than the Nazgul deck.

          • umondy says:

            That is exactly what I did.
            The problem is out of the standard minor melee decks I can’t find anything I like for that case. The Weak deck is ultra weak. I considered the strong or strong+ decks but they have way too much defense for my liking (for the Sith deck). I’d much rather use something around 23/17. Only deck that comes close is the brown one but this still has 5 defense more than a red deck.
            And for the blue deck I would like to have something around 20/20.
            I have always avoided using something out of the realm of OWJ Basic Deck Design article. Do you think it would be appropiate to go that way in this specific case? Just to hit the right mark regarding strength of deck or should I rather go with what’s out there?

          • roman says:

            So, for a deck like this with all majors, I think it’s important to have weak cards. Instead of “I’ll attack him but does he have defense or not?” it’s “I’ll attack him but I know he has defense, but is it strong defense or weak defense?”

            Otherwise, you’ll basically have an answer for everything, as long as you’re holding cards in your hand. It’s the 9 weak melee cards that prevent the Nazgul deck from being overpowered, in my estimation (not that I’ve tried stronger cards in their place).

            As for straying from standard basic decks… We count cards when we play, so we don’t stray from our own set of basics, which is smaller than OWJ’s set, and therefore, I’d advice against making custom basic decks BUT I also think there’s such a difference between Strong and Weak minor decks, that a “middle” deck could be a good addition.

  3. umondy says:

    Sounds reasonable. I have to admit the whole thing that made me think of increasing/improving from the weak minor deck was that you stated The Nazguls are PROBABLY below a Tier 2 SWED deck and I would like my versions to be at least a Tier 2 deck as they feature Three Jedi or Three Sith (dependig on which version you choose).

    I am absolutely on your side on trying to avoid any extra decks but like you said it almost feels as if it is necessary for this kind of deck if you want to just make it a little bit stronger than the weak version and especially don’t want to add to much defense.

    I pondered a little bit about the idea and came up with those “solutions” for each version: The 23/17 (which is supposed to be a scaled down version of the red deck): 2xA4D1; 2x3AD1; 1×3/2; 2xA2D2; 1xA1D3; 1xA1D4

    And the 20/20 (a weak alternative to the blue minor): 3xA3D1; 1A3D2; 1xA2D2; 2xA2D3; 1xA1D3; 1xA1D4

    Maybe I will print out both. This custom version and the original weak version and play test them both ways.

  4. Freaky Mutant Man says:

    These have always been big favorites of mine for as long as I’ve been playing with the LOTR sets (so as far back as, like, 2016/2017) – they just feel good to play, and always feel effective without being overwhelmingly so. When I don’t know who else to play, they’re a common go-to, and in my experience new players are often drawn to them even if their unconventionality might make them somewhat poor picks to introduce the game with.

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