Ron Character Control
Seamus Finnigan x4
Ginny Weasley x4
Argus Filch x4
Professor Quirinus Quirrell x3
Professor Severus Snape x3
Hannah Abbott x3
Draco Malfoy x3
Fred & George Weasley x2
Colin Creevey x2
Professor Minerva McGonagall x1
Madam Pomfrey x1
Adventures + Spells
Caught by Snape x4
Magical Mess Remover x2
Dobby's Disappearance x4
The main strategy with this deck is to disrupt your opponent's setup, lock them with Caught by Snape, inflate their hand and then force them to draw the remainder of their deck through the effects of Peeves and Griphook. Unlike other decks that are looking to play lessons to ramp up to their main strategy, Ron is able to kick their main strategy off as early as Turn 1. Ron forces the opponent to make inefficient plays at awkward times and punishes them by returning the cards to their hand and locking them again. Ron's main weakness is that if the opponent is able to efficiently deal with Caught by Snape or set up an out to the lock Ron has a hard time stopping the bleeding in time to set the lock back in. Decks that aren't built to have extremely efficient early aggression, however, will find themselves having a very tough time dealing with Ron. This deck is certainly one of the Tier 1 gatekeepers of Classic, and belongs in any players' competitive testing gauntlet. Some of the Revival bans were inspired by the shenanigans this deck can pull off! This deck can be changed in many different ways and there are a lot of different characters you can swap in and out to suit your needs. But for a good starting point, here are the choices we made and why!
Starting Wizard: Ron Weasley
Ron is the starting character and his ability is the cornerstone of the deck. Ron’s ability to play Character cards for 1 action instead of 2 allows this deck to play a wide variety of powerful universal effects and will help you develop a large tempo advantage against your opponent. Turn one for a Ron deck includes dropping two (or three, if you hit Seamus Finnigan) characters on the first turn, essentially playing 4 or even 6 actions worth of cards on your first turn. While many other decks have the ability to generate additional actions, few of them can take advantage of them multiple times a turn on virtually every turn of the game, starting on turn one. Ron being the starting character is critical to ensure that they can never play another Ron Weasley or remove yours, guaranteeing that you will always have his effect online. Most of the characters in this deck have powerful effects that don’t require an action to use, allowing the Ron deck to do far more than two things every turn. This combined with the discount that Ron is giving Character cards creates a significant action advantage over your opponents which you can leverage into complete board control.
Ginny is second only to her brother Ron as the single most important character card that you are running in your main deck. Ginny works perfectly together with Ron allowing you to refill your hand to keep up with how fast you are able to play cards and also to help you find the key pieces of the deck. A turn-one Ginny often turns your draw step into a draw three for turn two, and it just gets better from there. Her effect is optional which is nice so you don’t have to use her ability if you are in danger of decking out. Ginny provides a significant amount of card advantage and will help you mitigate the effectiveness of popular hand-disruption strategies. She also ensures that you will always have extra cards to use for Hannah Abbot, Seamus Finnigan, and Draco Malfoy’s abilities. Ginny’s draw engine is the strongest in the game and is so critical to the deck running well that one of the best counter-strategies to the Ron deck is for your opponent to play a Ginny Weasley of their own! She is excellent in any decklist as a Photo Album on her own at worst, and gets better by adding some characters with excellent universal effects like Peeves and Madam Pomfrey. Consistency is key, and Ginny is the queen of consistency.
Seamus Finnigan is a character that helps us convert the card advantage Ginny provides into action advantage. Every game of HPTCG is won through the usage of Actions, and being able to consistently generate more actions to use on your turn is incredibly powerful. Seamus has wonderful synergy with Ron, allowing you to play three characters on your first turn if Seamus is one of them giving you a virtual 6-action turn one. Against popular adventures like Caught by Snape, Seamus helps you have enough actions left to have a real turn after breaking out of the adventure. He also helps mitigate other strategies that seek to create action advantage over you by denying you actions with cards like Vanishing Step, Fouled!, and Pep Talk. You also gain access to the ability to play an Adventure at full cost and still have an action left over to use. Much like Ginny, this piece is so critical that one of the better counter strategies against this deck is to disrupt their access to Seamus. One of the big swing plays that you can make with Ron as your starter is using a Dobby’s Disappearance to bounce your opponent’s Seamus to play a Seamus of your own, use Seamus’s ability to generate an additional action, and then play a Caught by Snape to stop them from doing the same back to you. Seamus without Ginny can be a bit taxing on your hand size, but this deck runs a few other ways to refill your hand just in case.
Argus Filch makes it in as the third and final character in this list that is at a full 4 copies in deck. The power of Adventures like Caught by Snape partially lies in their ability to stop you from playing cards that can remove them once they are down forcing you to solve them naturally. Argus Filch is a character that you can invest into your board early and will be a layer of protection against Adventure locks, forcing your opponent to first do something to remove Filch. Filch is a bit weaker than some of the other characters in this deck because he requires an action to use his ability, but the insurance against Adventures is too strong to pass up. One really unique thing Filch can do is use an action to remove your own adventure which can be used in this deck to keep your opponent stuck in a Caught by Snape lock in the absence of Fred & George.
Griphook shines in this deck as your most likely win condition, forcing your opponent to discard their hand and then draw the number of cards that they had in their hand previously. It is the single highest “damage” dealing card in the list. While playing Ron, you will be stopping your opponent from playing non-lesson cards and returning any non-lesson permanents to their hand with Dobby’s Disappearance and Professor Quirrell. Griphook also has the added benefit of helping turn Dobby’s Disappearance into pseudo-removal by getting rid of the card so your opponent cannot just replay the cards you bounced back to their hand. Griphook and Peeves work very well together in this deck. Peeves before Griphook can guarantee that your opponent draws a minimum of 14 cards, but you will likely be using Peeves after you use Griphook to make your opponent take maximum damage without allowing them to keep a large hand full of cards. Griphook is a primary target for the two Magical Mess Removers in the deck as well as a popular late-game target for Hannah Abbot. Using Griphook, removing it, and using it again in the same turn is the highest amount of damage that Ron can do at once. Griphook will be difficult for your opponent to play around under the Caught by Snape lock, but if they are trying to keep their hand size small you can inflate it with things like Dobby’s Disappearance, Peeves and Colin Creevy.
Peeves is possibly one of the best non-starting Character cards in the HPTCG. His uses are almost too many to name, but mainly Peeves serves as a way to both disrupt your opponent and refill your hand. Peeves is an excellent response to popular hand control strategies (especially Escaping the Dursleys) and provides a great backup plan for filling your hand with new cards if they remove your Ginny. Peeves also shines as a pseudo-burn spell, often reading like “Deal your opponent 7 damage and draw 7 cards” for one action in the Ron deck. A combination of Peeves and Griphook will be used to take your opponent down to zero cards in deck and is usually the way that Ron will win the game. Peeves is so strong in so many decks that your opponent may play one down before you. Against an opposing Peeves, keep in mind that they may use it through Caught by Snape lock to search for more lessons without using actions, and also remember that they can use it to reduce the size of their hand.
Hannah Abbot is a strong character that allows you to trade two (often unplayable) cards in your hand for any two non-healing cards from your discard pile. Her ability does not require the use of an action, making an early invested Hannah often the piece that ties it all together when you’re going for lethal. Using Hannah to get back Dobby’s Disappearance, Caught by Snape, Magical Mess Remover and Griphook are probably the four most popular choices you will make, but she also opens niche lines like getting lessons from the discard to help solve Caught by Snape, getting a Magical Mess Remover alongside another Hannah Abbot for a great neutral play mid-game (Hannah herself is not a healing card), and getting characters that you haven’t seen yet that your opponent was kind enough to put in your discard pile by dealing you damage. Hannah is a powerful piece of consistency and one of the best pieces of inevitability you can invest in on your side of the board. What we mean by that is when Hannah is down, your opponent knows that unless they remove her you will eventually use her effect to win the game.
Professor Severus Snape
Healing is important in mirror-matches or against aggressive decks that got a faster start than you. Professor Snape fits perfectly into our deck as a healing option that also helps us build up to the 4 lessons we will need to cast Dobby’s Disappearance. Snape by himself gives us access to enough power to use the ever-important Magical Mess Remover. Snape having a healing ability while also providing a lesson makes him an excellent two-for-one in our character deck, allowing us to play Snape for the same cost as a lesson but with all of his added benefits. Snape is much less popular as a starter than McGonagall is, which makes it okay to play three Snape. If I was worried about seeing more Snape in my meta or my area, I may cut one and add an additional Pomfrey instead.
Professor Quirinus Quirrell
Professor Quirrell is our insurance against heavy creature and item strategies. His ability to return all of those cards to your opponents hand walks them back a large amount of actions, and in the case of certain creatures decks it could walk them back even further by returning creatures that sacrificed ComC lessons when they were played. It is one of the few “board wipes” available in the game against creatures with the added benefit of not needing any amount of power to play him. Remember that by combining Quirrel with Peeves or Griphook you can remove the creatures not just from play, but also from your opponent’s hand.
Draco Malfoy is the card that helps you navigate the mid-game and tread water until you can go for lethal. Draco helps you manage your opponent’s large hand and remove potential threats as they are dealing with your Caught by Snape lock. He is also a consistent, proactive way to invest extra card and action advantage when you do not have an obvious play in mind but cannot yet Griphook combo for the game. He adds another annoying control layer to what is already a very restrictive archetype.
Fred & George Weasley
Fred & George are much like their brother Ron in the sense that they aren’t really interested in paying full price for anything. The twins reduce the cost of the other 2-action card type in the game: Adventures. Alongside Ron, Fred & George help perpetuate the action advantage you hold over your opponent as you are able to subject them to powerful Adventure control while still actively playing cards to develop your own strategy. Fred & George’s strongest ability is not their discount however, but their ability to replace an Adventure that is already in play with any other Adventure, including another copy of the same Adventure. Without some kind of inherent action advantage (Like Seamus Finnigan) your opponent isn’t going to be able to solve a Caught by Snape before you will be able to replace it with a fresh copy, setting their progress back to zero. Combined with the ability to use discarded Caught by Snapes through the effects of Hannah Abbot or your healing cards, Fred & George can take multiple turns completely away from your opponent as if things weren’t bad enough for them already!
Colin Creevey is a neat character card allows you to use one action once per turn to make you and your opponent both draw three cards. Colin ends up being much less fair than he seems in this list, as we are restricting what cards our opponent can play and when they can play them. Inflating their hand by three helps Griphook deal more damage and also deals them three “damage” itself. Colin is also a nice emergency backup plan for if they remove or replace your Ginny Weasley with one of their own. His biggest drawback is that he requires an action to use his effect, but once Seamus is down this hardly feels like an issue.
Prof. Minerva McGonagall
Professor McGonagall is powerful for many of the same reasons Snape is, except with an even stronger ability. Her ability to solve any adventure without the use of an action makes her much better at it than Filch (although she cannot remove your own adventure) but the drawback of course is the popularity of McGonagall as a starting Witch. Because she is such a popular starting character, we only main-deck one copy of McGonagall in this list. If you know your opponents will not be using her or you are playing with sideboards however, it’s hard to argue against 3 or 4 copies of Minerva in your deck.
Another powerful healing card, Pomfrey is a nice piece of insurance that can also be used to refill your deck with threats. She heals 5 more cards than snape at the cost of not generating a lesson. Healing is rarely required in this deck so she is sitting at one copy, but again if you are playing with sideboards putting a second copy in to swap out for some copies of Snape is never a bad idea. One thing to mention when healing while playing this deck is to make sure that you leave one of each of your critical threats in the discard pile for Hannah Abbott plays.
Caught by Snape
I feel like I could probably write an entire article about this single card. Caught by Snape is, in my opinion, the most powerful Adventure card in the Harry Potter Trading Card Game. Caught by Snape dictates at a minimum the next three actions from your opponent, and when played with good timing will often steal even more. Caught by Snape is more powerful than most other adventures because it prevents your opponent from playing a lot of the answers. Caught by Snape protects itself in this way from anything other than a McGonagall or Filch card already on the board. The ability to replace Caught by Snape with another copy after your opponent has already invested two actions in solving it is a crippling amount of action disadvantage for your opponent. Caught by Snape can lock people out of entire games if they do not have a plan for it, and can severely punish greedy deck builds and opening plays. Caught by Snape adds insult to injury by rewarding the player who solves the adventure with the ability to play extra lessons from their hand for free. If they weren’t already having a hard time scraping three lessons together to solve Caught by Snape, playing additional free lessons from their hand just puts them in a worse position for the following Caught by Snape.
Magical Mess Remover
Magical Mess Remover is a really neat niche card that shines in this list specifically. Being able to remove characters that have used their once-per-game ability and play another copy of them is extremely potent in this deck. We run a smaller amount of them because you will likely not need to use it more than once, and you won’t need access to it early on. By the time you need to use Magical Mess Remover it is likely that Ginny has helped you draw into it, or there is one sitting in your discard pile waiting for Hannah to pick it up. This card is most often used as part of a kill-turn combo with Griphook or Peeves.
Ah, good ol’ Dobby’s Disappearance. This is another card that could have an entire article dedicated to how ridiculous it is, and I’m really not sure what the thought process was as they were designing it. In my opinion, Dobby’s Disappearance is the best card in the HPTCG by a landslide. Dobby’s Disappearance basically allows you to undo one (or two!) of your opponent’s actions for free, as it replaces the action that you use to cast the card. Combined with cards like Hannah Abbot to get them back from the discard and Seamus Finnigan, Dobby’s Disappearance can easily enable you to use upwards of 6 or 7 actions in a given turn, while walking your opponent back multiple actions as well. Dobby’s Disappearance works on any permanent, most importantly able to return Adventures and Characters to the opponents hand for even more action advantage over them. Dobby’s Disappearance and the existence of opposing Caught by Snapes are the chief reason that this deck even runs lesson cards. Ginny Weasley promises that you will see plenty of your Dobby’s by the time you get to a fourth lesson, especially because this deck wants to develop Characters more than it wants to build Lessons. Often times you will be sculpting your hand around holding on to multiple Dobby’s Disappearances waiting for a big swing turn. Thanks to Seamus Finnigan and Dobby’s Disappearance you will be able to take turns where your opponent has restricted you to one action and still use 3 or 4 actions. When Seamus or Fred & George aren’t on the field, Dobby’s is one of the only ways that you can remove a card from play and follow it up with a Caught by Snape to lock the card out of play. Don’t be afraid to toss an early Dobby’s to generate actions with Seamus or to an early Peeves, they’ll be waiting for you in your discard pile when Hannah Abbot hits the table. They are one of your primary healing targets along with Caught by Snape, but make sure that you leave at least one in your discard pile if you have a Hannah in play or in hand.