Telepathy is an Elven strategy, usually meshed with other strategies like Elvents or Gil-Galad Looping. It originated in Movie Block, but remains strong throughout the rest of the formats. Telepathy focuses on manipulating the top cards of the deck with tools like and , then using your tailored top cards to win skirmishes with and similar cards.
Most versions of telepathy rely on the classic and combo. Paired with a high-costing shadow like Sauron Besiegers and Sudden Strike, you can place a high-cost minion such as on top of your deck. Usually the starting fellowship in Movie Block consists of and so you can forego against Nazgul and keep your fellowship healed.
Once you get to post-Shadows formats, however, the starting companions become more varied. With the rise of , meshing telepathy with his token looping abilities became the standard telepathy deck. As a bonus, he can recur your at the cost of threats. As such, threat removal such as or is necessary. In addition, the powerful can help to fuel or even recur your Elven cards.
Building the Deck
For a strong Movie Block telepathy deck, you generally will want either or as your Ring-bearer. If you start with Frodo and intend to run other Elven events, can be helpful. You will also want to start . That leaves you room for a two-cost starting companion. Legolas (e.g. or ) and Arwen (e.g. or ) are both popular. Some decks incorporate -based strategies by starting with , then burning him to retrieve and Manager of Wizards.
is the core of the deck, as are four copies of , since there are no practical recursion methods for the latter in this format. is a useful supplementary tool for rigging your deck. can serve as additional copies of Forearmed, but the fact that it discards the revealed card makes it less useful, and forces you to use it after any copies of Forearmed in your hand.
This deck is also a good candidate to (ab)use . Manager of Wizards allows you to activate Glimpse of Fate at will. can even let you refill your hand for more activations of Manager and Glimpse.
The rest of the deck is typically high-power, generally-useful Elven-culture cards. is popular and powerful if you're running many events, and you probably are. and are always strong, and Gil-Galad is a high-Twilight card in a pinch. may be more useful than the typical because of Cirdan and Lady Redeemed, or you may want to go with . Depending on your meta, playing counters to popular Shadow strategies like Southron Archery, Nazgul Corruption, or Corsairs can be beneficial, if you can find the space.
A variant of this deck also includes cards that want to find Elven cards on top of your deck, such as , , and , along with cards that place themselves or another Free Peoples card on top of your deck, like , , and . However, placing Free Peoples cards on top of your deck is not very useful with , so this version of the deck ends up being more complicated and more vulnerable to misplays or interaction.
In formats such as Expanded and Standard, the archetype changes dramatically. and are still keystones, but there are more options for the other cards. is usually the Ring-bearer, and you start to tutor Erkenbrand’s Horn to grab (which in turn grabs ) and . Arwen is usually the other starting companion, either or . Most cards from the Gil-Galad Looping strategy are incorporated, covering burden and condition removal, plus an infinite card draw loop. is rarely used, as you rely only on a few events, namely, and .
However, if you choose to mesh telepathy with Elvents, you often will take a different route. Most likely, you will start a similar fellowship, or you will play and . While you will probably still use , you will probably not use his loopable ability. After that, you will pack your deck with Elven events, plus Gandalf and .