Sauron Grind is a Shadow Sauron culture deck strategy that focuses on a mix of indirect wounding and direct wounding. It is a strategy vulnerable to condition hate, as most of the grinding is done by conditions, namely, Under the Watching Eye (1C281) and Orc Bowmen (1R264). The other key component is the direct wounding card Hate (1R250), which is used to snipe a companion at low health.
The core of the deck is a cycle of Fellowship Block Sauron cards, all focusing on wounding. Under the Watching Eye (1C281) slowly exhausts your opponent's fellowship, making them more vulnerable to your other tools. Orc Bowmen (1R264) capitalizes on those exertions with archery to finish off companions. Hate (1R250) is icing on the cake, assasinating a key companion like Aragorn or Gandalf, or potentially killing a healer like Elrond, Venerable Lord (10R9) or Legolas, Archer of Mirkwood (5P121).
Fleshing Out the Deck
To play your Under the Watching Eye (1C281), you'll need Sauron trackers. Some of the most popular trackers are Orc Scouting Band (1U270), Orc Cutthroat (5U104), Orc Patrol (5U107), and Grishnákh, Orc Captain (5R100). Additionally you can play the initiative trackers from Return of the King, on the off chance that you have initiative.
To deal with condition hate like Secret Sentinels (2R20), Galadriel, Lady Redeemed (10R11), and Grown Suddenly Tall (4R92), you can recur your conditions with Dead Marshes (5R95) and deal with either the healing Galadriel, Lady of the Golden Wood (3R17), or the condition-tossing Galadriel, Lady Redeemed (10R11), you can play Terrible as the Dawn (3R103) to either kill Galadriel or cripple their fellowship. As a bonus, if they're playing Galadriel, Bearer of Wisdom (9R+14), a well-timed Terrible as the Dawn (3R103) can even win you the game.
You will also need high-vitality minions to play Hate (1R250) in the maneuver phase. Some good choices would be Orc Archer Troop (7U294) with its inherent archery wound, Orc Seeker (7R306) with the added bonus of being a tracker, or even Orc Slaughterer (10R95) for the strength.
Finally, an answer to a Rainbow Freeps is an option. Sauron is not strong in the realm of multicultural hate, but splashing a minion like Southron Leader (7R166) or Gríma, Chief Counselor (5R51) is an option. To combat large fellowships like Ents or Noble Leaders, you can play a classic Úlairë Enquëa, Lieutenant of Morgul (1U231) to put pressure on them.
- A Fellowship Block Sauron Grind deck by Merrick_H
- A Movie Block version by Odin
- An Expanded version by TheJord