The Fellowship of the Ring

From LOTR-TCG Wiki
(Redirected from Fellowship of the Ring)
Promotional Set
Back to Main Page
Mines of Moria

The Fellowship of the Ring
NameThe Fellowship of the Ring
Release Date2001-11-06
Is OfficialYes
PlatformsPaper LotR-O GEMP mLOTRO Tabletop Simulator Lackey gccg

The premier Ring that one presumably Lords over.

The Fellowship of the Ring (commonly abbreviated as FOTR) is the first base set of the Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game, the first set in Fellowship Block, and the first set overall. It was released on November 6, 2001, one month before the theatrical release of the movie by the same name. The set contained 365 cards (121 commons, 121 uncommons, 121 rares, and 2 premium cards that only appeared in starter decks), all of which could appear in foil versions. Fourteen rares and one uncommon from the set had Tengwar versions produced. It began the pattern that would define the Movie block regular release schedule: for each movie, one base set to lay down the foundation followed by two expansions to fill in the gaps.

Themes and Mechanics[edit]

FOTR took most of its direction cues from the dramatic combat conflicts of the first movie. Elven and Gondor cards used many scenes from the prologue battle with Sauron, while Moria and Isengard were spearheaded by the likes of Cave Troll of Moria, Scourge of the Black Pit (1R165) and Lurtz, Servant of Isengard (1R127) . Being a fresh new game, most strategies relied on simple interactions on one side or another, which worked well with the new player base.

Many of the core mechanics took cues from the story of FOTR, which persisted throughout the lifetime of the game even when later blocks did not line up with their inclusion quite so well. For instance, Sanctuaries being at site 3 and 6 lines up with Rivendell and Lothlorien; the Rule of 9 restricting the number of companions that can be played comes straight from the Fellowship's canonical size; and an emphasis on protecting the Ring-bearer, Frodo, at the expense of all other companions.

Because the cards were released a month before the movie itself did, New Line Cinema prevented Decipher from releasing images they considered "spoilers" until after the movie. As a result, FOTR included some "prophetic" cards that referenced other cards yet to be printed. The Bridge of Khazad-dûm (1C349) was the only site 5 in the set, making it impossible to play without it, so you could imagine players' confusion as they looked down the spoiler sheet only to find that the Balrog was nowhere to be found! The first two versions of the Balrog were released in Mines of Moria four months later, but until then the site was a constant reminder of bigger and better things to come. Similarly, Sam, Faithful Companion (1R310) references Bill the Pony (3U106) , who was not released until Realms of the Elf-lords; and Gandalf's Cart (1U73) refers to Artifacts, which were not released until MOM and ROTEL.

A card used to promote the release. Note the early differences compared to the finalized Gandalf culture template, such as the flat Twilight icon.
The reverse side. Note the early differences compared to the finalized Moria culture template, such as the switched Culture icon / background watermark and brighter / more saturated colors.


As the premier set, this was the debut for each of the following cultures. All of the Free Peoples cultures would remain relevant throughout the game's lifetime, but each of the Shadow cultures would wax and wane at different times.

Free Peoples:


Starter Decks[edit]

FOTR released with two standard starter decks, a pattern which would be followed by most following sets, and also included a Deluxe Starter Set. The Gandalf starter is a proto-Rainbow strategy paired with Moria, while Aragorn is a Ranger deck paired with Uruks. The two decks are not particularly well balanced, with the Gondor fellowship doing a much better job of surviving, due to the number of possessions which can be played on each companion, and the fact that the Moria deck suffers with only half of its usual combo, and interacting poorly with the starter-only discard shuffle rule. The Deluxe Starter Set pairs Hobbits with Nazgul.


Free Peoples Cycles
Cycle Name Dwarven Elven Gandalf Gondor Shire
Card recurring allies Grimir, Dwarven Elder (1U17) Albert Dreary, Entertainer From Bree (1R69) N/A N/A Bilbo, Retired Adventurer (1R284)
Allies that exert to return a card of the appropriate culture from your discard pile to your draw deck or hand.
Pipes N/A N/A Gandalf’s Pipe (1U74) Aragorn’s Pipe (1U91) Bilbo's Pipe (1U285) and The Gaffer's Pipe (1U292)
Pipe possessions with an ability starting with "Fellowship: Discard a pipeweed possession and spot X pipes to ..."
Rare hand weapons Gimli's Battle Axe (1R14) Gwemegil (1R47) Glamdring (1R75) Blade of Gondor (1R95) Sting (1R313)
Rare (and unique) hand weapons that can only be borne by a named companion, and which grant +2 strength, damage +1 (with the exception of Sting) and one other ability.
Signet support N/A N/A Gandalf, The Grey Wizard (1P364) Aragorn, King in Exile (1P365) Frodo, Son of Drogo (1C290)
Companions that benefit the three signets available in Fellowship block. Each set in the block had a cycle like this, although this was the only set where the cycle contained companions.
Skirmish strength events Their Halls of Stone (1C26) Border Defenses (1C32) and Defiance (1C37) Mysterious Wizard (1C78) Swordarm of the White Tower (1C116) and Swordsman of the Northern Kingdom (1C117) N/A
Common skirmish events that make a companion strength +2 (or +4 if a certain condition is met). This cycle highlights the differences in costs for skirmish events in different cultures.
Shadow Cycles
Cycle Name Isengard Moria Ringwraith Sauron
Common hand weapons Uruk-hai Sword (1C160) Goblin Scimitar (1C180) and Goblin Spear (1C182) Nazgûl Sword (1U218) Orc Scimitar (1C269)
Common or uncommon hand weapons that grant +2 strength and another ability.

Notable Cards[edit]

Official Decipher Sets Promotional Promotional
Fellowship Block The Fellowship of the RingMines of MoriaRealms of the Elf-lords
Towers Block The Two TowersBattle of Helm's DeepEnts of Fangorn
King Block The Return of the KingSiege of GondorMount Doom
War of the Ring Block ShadowsBlack RiderBloodlines
Hunters Block The HuntersRise of SarumanTreachery & Deceit
Non-Block Sets ReflectionsExpanded Middle-earthThe Wraith CollectionAge's End
Unreleased Sets The Great EyeShelob's Lair
Unofficial Fan Sets Player's Council PC Kitchen Sink (V0)Shadow of the Past (V1)
Hobbit Draft Game Main DeckShadow PacksSupplementary Packs
mLOTRO MLOTRO Promo CardsMLOTRO Reflections II
The Journey Continues The Journey Begins