|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 24 June 2010|
His fire was as black as his scales, his wings so vast that whole towns were swallowed up in their shadow when he passed overhead.
- A Song of Ice and Fire, Vol. II: A Clash of Kings
Hello and Welcome Back, Loyal A Game of Thrones Fans!
This week we continue our look at the final Chapter Pack of the Defenders of the North cycle of expansions, Return of the Others. Even though the sunny grasslands of the Dothraki Sea are thematically distant from the frozen North beyond The Wall, there have still been some cool additions to the House of the Dragon in this expansion set: new versions of Khal Drogo and the Hatchlings, Stalwart Shield, True Power, and more. This week we take a look at one of the last two House Targaryen cards of the cycle.
This card was voted into existence by the players of the first A Game of Thrones LCG league. The intention of that ballot was to bring into the metagame a "legendary" character, that is, one whose existence is legend or history to the current people of Westeros. Among the legendary representatives were Bran the Builder of House Stark, Lann the Clever of House Lannister, and more. Naturally, each voting player cleaved to their favorite House and this time around House Targaryen won impressively with Balerion the Black. We would like to thank all participating league players for voting Balerion into being, but more importantly for supporting A Game of Thrones in their local gaming community.
There is not much to say about Balerion the Black that is not immediately apparent on the card; among the first thing you will notice about him is that he is very expensive. As such, he is something of a closer, something you bring out once you've managed to save up enough gold to really let him loose. In which case, you bring him into play, kneel everything else, and then do a big, renowned power challenge for the win.
Of course, there's no reason why you wouldn't bring out Balerion sooner if you can. If the stars align and you manage to pull all of your Seas and Conscriptors early, then by all means, give 'em the old Black Dragon shock and awe. If you already have the other Dragons in play (or characters with Blood of the Dragon (Core, T100) attached), you can really go to town on your opponent when Balerion drops.
When it comes right down to it, Balerion is one of those cards that shares the same sort of space as Raiding Fleet (A King in the North, F87) or House Dayne Reserves (Princes of the Sun, F17): big, expensive cards with huge, impressive effects that are difficult to actually put into play, because of the expense or the conditions contingent on playing them. Nevertheless, on the rare occasion when you pull it off and they do come out, it's usually awesome and that makes it all worthwhile.
So that's it for this week's card spoiler. Come back next week for more A Game of Thrones!
Bonus Question: What is your favorite expensive and splashy card - the one card you hope will cause your opponent's jaw to drop the moment it comes out?
Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, playable by 2-4 players, brings the beloved heroes, villains, locations, and events of the world of Westeros to life through innovative game mechanics and the highly strategic game play. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Chapter Pack expansions to the core game.
My favorite High Cost Card right now is Viper's Bannermen...
Blood of the dragon does not work with Balerion, but Rhaegar's Harp, for example, does…
Blood of the Dragon: “While participating in a challenge, attached character gets +6 STR and gains the Dragon trait.”
Rhaegar's Harp: “Attached character gains all Traits.”
Previously, when there have been such expense cards to put in to play, there is usually is a card to compliment it, to help reduce the cost of playing it. Hopefully that card (whatever it may be) will come in the Targaryen Deluxe expansion (whenever that will be).
Which Red Viper? I still say WED Red Viper was the best one ever and I'm glad he'll never be reprinted.
The Red Viper is currently the biggest jaw dropper. If you include errata, then it's Jaquen H'gar. I may make a silly gimmick deck to get Balerion out in play; otherwise, I don't think he'll be seen to often with the current card pool.
Blood of the Dragon: In challenges, attached character gets +6 str. Character gains the Dragon trait.
Bad punctuation and wording on card.
Re: bonus question. Not as hard to play as Balerion, but I love dropping Ser Arthur Dayne. Since he's neutral he's harder to put into play than an in-house character, but he's so cool.
Blood of the Dragon - While participating in a challenge, attached character gets +6 STR and gains the Dragon trait.
It doesn´t help me in marshalling or there is some twist?