This deck won me the 2004 World Championships, so I’m willing to bet it’s about as refined as it can get:

Return of the Faithless Stewards:


Dorelas *
2 Ill-Favoured Fellow
Lieutenant of Dol Guldur *
Nain *
Ugluk *
Blazon of the Eye *
Strange Rations *


Ill-Favoured Fellow
2 Orc Captain
Ulkaur the Tongueless

3 Awaiting the Call
3 Dark Tryst
3 Open to the Summons
2 Orders from Lugburz
3 Sauron
3 Voices of Malice
3 Weigh all things to a Nicety
The Dark Power
Orcs of Dol Guldur
Orcs of the Red Eye
3 Blasting Fire
Liquid Fire
Great Bats

Alone and Unadvised
2 An Unexpected Outpost
2 Bane of the Ithil-Stone
Mordor in Arms
Redoubled Force
Revealed to All Watchers
3 River
Rolled Down to the Sea
2 Unabated in Malice
2 Beorning Skin-Changers
Daelomin at Home
Itangast Ahunt
Lobelia Sackville-Baggins
Mouth of Sauron
My Precious
2 Assassin
2 Cave-Drake
Corsairs of Umbar
Sellswords Between Charters


Long Grievous Siege
3 Faithless Steward
Sudden Call
Orcs of Gorgoroth
The Dark Power
Tribute Garnered
Call of Home
DurinÂ’s Bane
In the Heart of His Realm
Khamul the Easterling
Lost at Sea
Lost in Free-Domains
Lure of Expedience
Lure of Power
Lure of the Senses
Muster Disperses
Nameless Thing
Pilfer Anything Unwatched
Seized by Terror
Smaug Ahunt
Spider of the Morlat
The Balance of Things
The Roving Eye
The Way is Shut
Worn and Famished

To understand this deck, you have to think of it as a puzzle or a factory.  It’s unlike pretty much every other deck currently on the market.  The basic idea is to have the Lieuy squat at his home site playing Voices of Malice and giving you +1 hand size while Ugluk squats at Barad Dur to pick up three factions, and the little sages take a ride on the «Mordor Merry-go-round», swapping Cirith Gorgor and Mount Doom between them (allowing you to draw two while your opponent only draws one).  Play the Orcs of Dol Guldur whenever you happen to draw them, and put the Open to the Summons’d agents into the Lieuy’s company.  He can drop downstairs with another 5-mind, 2-MP leader under his DI to pick up Aiglos whenever you happen to draw it.  The detainment attack is no problem because he has bread to untap him after the auto-attack.  Use Sauron’s sideboarding ability (along with the three Weigh All Things) to pull the three Faithless Stewards, Sneakin’, and a Sudden Call (and some other niceties if you have time… though you shouldn’t…) over from the sideboard, then split off two agents  to move away, play Sneakin’ with one, and drop the third agent into their company just before they move (a cheezy trick, but effective) to the Easterling Camp (all three have that as a home site).  If you play Orders from Lugburz on Ugluk’s company, you can bring in Ulkaur at Barad Dur (his home site), have both leaders await the call, and thus allow Ulkaur to control Ugluk, thereby protecting him from single-strike attacks or Stench of Mordor (as well as giving him +1 to his ccs in case there’s a Lure of Power to worry about).  The little sages can pick up one or two of the techno items (or all four, if you happen to draw into them in the right order at the right time), as well as the Great Bats (best done at the Nurniag Camp — no auto attack).  It doesn’t seem all that impressive, but with the 9 misc points from the Faithless Stewards and the 17 character points, it really adds up.

MP breakdown:

Characters: Lt of D.G. controlling Orc-Captain (5), 3 agents (6), Ulkaur/Ugluk (4), Dorelas/Nain (2) = 17,
Ally: Great Bats = 1,
Item: 2 Techno items + Aiglos = 5,
Faction: 7 (usually more like 4-5),
Misc: 9 (up to 11 with L G S, and T B),

== 37+

Considering the fact that the deck usually exhausts in 3-4 turns, that ain’t bad at all.