Realms of the Elf-lords

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The Two Towers

Realms of the Elf-lords
NameRealms of the Elf-lords
Release Date2002-06-19
Is Officialyes
PlatformsPaper LotR-O GEMP mLOTRO Tabletop Simulator Lackey gccg

Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith (3P122) was later reprinted in Black Rider.

Realms of the Elf-lords (or ROTEL) is the the second expansion set in Fellowship Block and the third set overall. It was released on June 19, 2002 in some areas and on July 3, 2002 in others (which ones?). The set contained 122 cards (40 commons, 40 uncommons, 40 rares, and 2 premium cards that only appeared in starter decks), all of which could appear in foil versions. Unlike the previous two sets, no cards had Tengwar versions produced.

Themes and Mechanics[edit]

Reams of the Elf-lords added a number of powerful Elven allies to the game, as well as a new subculture of minions with the Isengard Orcs. The set largely expanded the Sauron discard strategy and introduced several cards to keep the Fellowship healed. It also introduced Saruman as a playable character and introduced the three Elven rings of power, Narya (3R34) , Nenya (3R23) , and Vilya (3R27) .


All of the cultures from The Fellowship of the Ring returned, although Realms of the Elf-lords had a noticeable focus on the Elven, Gondor, Isengard, and Sauron cultures.

Starter Decks[edit]

The premium cards for the Realms of the Elf-lords starter decks were Boromir, Defender of Minas Tirith (3P122) and Legolas, Son of Thranduil (3P121) . With the release of these starters, each of the five non-hobbit nine companions that set out from Rivendell led at least one starter deck (Gandalf led two). The four hobbits were featured in the Deluxe Starter from The Fellowship of the Ring, but would not get premium cards printed until Siege of Gondor and Mount Doom.


Free Peoples Cycles
Cycle Name Dwarven Elven Gandalf Gondor Shire
"Reveal a card at random" events Storm of Argument (3C6) Friends of Old (3C16) His First Serious Check (3C33) Might of Númenor (3C43) Meant to Be Alone (3C109)
Events that reveal a card at random from an opponent's hand, then have an effect that scales based on the twilight cost of the card revealed. This is a double cycle, containing cards in all Free Peoples and Shadow cultures.
Signet support N/A N/A Trust Me as You Once Did (3U35) Voice of Rauros (3U47) Frodo's Pipe (3U107)
Cards that benefit the three signets available in Fellowship block. Each set in the block had a cycle like this.
Shadow Cycles
Cycle Name Isengard Moria Ringwraith Sauron
Alliance events Hate and Anger (3U53) Malice (3U79) News of Mordor (3U82) Get Off the Road! (3U88)
Events that reward a player for having more than one Shadow culture. These cards rarely saw play because game mechanics (specifically, discarding minions at the end of each turn) and cultural enforcement so strongly encouraged players to stick to a single Shadow culture.
Location conditions Tower of Orthanc (3R71) Depths of Moria (3R77) N/A Tower of Barad-dûr (3R104)
Conditions themed after locations that punish the Free Peoples player each time they move. It could be argued that The Ring Draws Them (3U83) and Our List of Allies Grows Thin (3R102) also belong in this cycle, but those conditions are both unique (unlike the rest of the cycle) and not named after a location.
"Reveal a card at random" events Coming for the Ring (3C51) Dangerous Gamble (3C76) They Will Never Stop Hunting You (3C84) The Dark Lord Advances (3C87)
Events that reveal a card at random from an opponent's hand, then have an effect that scales based on the twilight cost of the card revealed. This is a double cycle, containing cards in all Free Peoples and Shadow cultures.

Notable Cards[edit]

X-listed Cards[edit]

Realms of the Elf Lords featured several cards that were subsequently X-Listed in future formats, including:

Sharp-eyed readers will notice the overlap between this list and the Notable Cards from above.

Print Runs[edit]

Realms of the Elf-lords is one of the most difficult sets to find sealed product for; presumably in response to the over-printed Mines of Moria, Decipher cut down on the print runs for ROTEL and ran into the opposite problem: rather than overflowing warehouses, players literally could not get enough. Even in the later overprint distribution in Reflections, ROTEL remained underrepresented.

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