Not technically a "block" format, Movie Block refers to the Standard format as it existed immediately before the release of Shadows in November 2004. It allows all sets 1-10 (all of the sets available at that time) and uses the King Block site path. This format adds the initiative and threat rules, as well as the rule that Ring-bearer skirmishes cannot be cancelled.
"Movie Block" was the name for the format on Decipher's Lord of the Ring Online platform. Although it was not offered much support, it was unique in that it was supported by Decipher at all -- no other legacy Standard format was. The TLHH forums and GEMP carry on the somewhat confusing nomenclature of calling it a block. It was perhaps named in anticipation for what sets 11-19 were supposed to bring: a single "block" sitepath that encompassed more than three sets in contrast to the movie-driven block formats of 1-10 which changed with every film. On mLOTRO, the format is called "King Standard" (not to be confused with Return of the King Standard). mLOTRO has its own separate "Movie" format, which includes sets 1-8 and set 10 but not set 9.
Today it is the second-most popular format on GEMP, which has been attributed to many reasons: the nostalgia of playing the game during the heydey of the movies, the "goldilocks" card pool size, the later decline of Decipher itself. Above all else, it stands in direct opposition to War of the Ring Block. Every new block brought changes, but Shadows caused many fundamental shifts and was, in many ways, a reset to finally divorce the game's mechanical potential from its narrative beginnings. These alterations were divisive enough to mark this as the most inclusive of the "old" formats, with anything coming after called "new" (new site path, new cultures, etc.) even today. As with the Fellowship and Towers formats before, a portion of the player base wasn't interested in playing a new version of the game and instead continued to play the one they had come to enjoy.
The following cards cannot be included in Movie Block decks, with new additions to the X-list since Towers Standard noted with the reason. For more details, see X-list.
- Elrond, Lord of Rivendell (1R40)
- Galadriel, Lady of Light (1R45)
- Ottar, Man of Laketown (1R80)
- No Stranger to the Shadows (1U108)
- Savagery to Match Their Numbers (1R139)
- Úlairë Nertëa, Messenger of Dol Guldur (1U234)
- Forces of Mordor (1C248)
- Sting (1R313)
- Flaming Brand (2R32)
- Aragorn, Heir to the White City (3R38)
- Horn of Boromir (3R42)
- Saruman, Keeper of Isengard (3R68)
- Relics of Moria (1R195) - to curb the effectiveness of Moria
- The Palantír of Orthanc (3R67) - to prevent initiative abuses
- Frying Pan (3C108) - to counter-balance the ban to Relics of Moria and give new Sauron Orc strategies some breathing room
- Bill the Pony (3U106) - permanent resource denial with no cultural enforcement
- Steadfast Champion (7U49) - loop with Treebeard, Keeper of the Watchwood (10R18)
- Gondorian Captain (7C96) - loop with Base of Mindolluin (10U117)
- Aggression (8C1) - undercosted
- Mordor Fiend (10C91) - loop with The Dark Lord's Summons (1U242) or The Underdeeps of Moria (1R200)
- Memories of Darkness (10U2) - loop with Reckless Pride (7U13) and anything able to discard cards in the regroup phase, which in turn allows abuses with the other initiative conditions of set 10 and various regroup actions
A group of 5 promos known as The Weta Collection were released just after Mount Doom and, in a first for promo cards, never appeared in any set. They were allowed in organized play beginning August 30th - a week after the Worlds tournament, but two months before the release of Shadows and the start of War of the Ring Block. This has left their legality in the format an open question. While they were legal in the Standard format for a brief period, they were not during the biggest event of the year which left them detached from players' memories. They also use the resistance icon, a decidedly Shadows feature. Since Movie Block is, above all else, a format to play the game as it was, these cards have been variously included or excluded in different communities.
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