News for May 2011
Riders at the Ready 7
Presenting a spotlight for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 05 May 2011

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the Chosen Few deckbuilding contest. Today, we kick off our look at Forging the Chain, the next Chapter Pack in the Secrets of Oldtown cycle of expansions, with some insight into what's coming down the line for House Stark.

Seek and ye shall find

House Stark has many appealing strengths - powerful military challenges, targeted kills, and defenses that are difficult to get past - but one of its less obvious strengths is its deck-searching ability. While House Lannister may outdraw almost anyone, House Stark leads the pack in looking for specific cards and pulling them out of your deck and into your hand. Examples of this are cards like Family, Duty, Honor, Widow's Watch, and Jeyne Westerling.

Search cards provide a twofold benefit in that they not only let you get a specific card, rather than lucking into a draw for one, they also slim your deck for when you do draw cards. That is, with fewer cards in your deck, you are more likely to draw the one you are looking for. Moreover, House Stark search cards tend not to be symmetrical: Summoning Season may allow you to get exactly the character you are looking for in order to make your deck work, but its effect also allows your opponent to do the same. By contrast, an asymmetrical Stark search effect like Bran the Builder's Legacy gives you alone the benefit of searching (and slimming) your deck.

While search cards are useful in finding the cards you are looking for, they are less useful (and potentially a burden on your deck) when they don't have anything to search for. For example, if you are running Jeyne Westerling in order to search for your King Robb Stark, her usefulness diminishes if you happen to draw every copy of Robb in your deck, or if Robb is killed. This is even more true in the case of locations or events that search for cards, which don't have the benefit of also being usable in challenges. If you run out of Direwolves, Winterfell Kennels can do nothing else for you.

Enter Riders of the Red Fork. Their ability is sort of the inverse of a search effect. Rather than allowing you to search for something, they can be whatever you choose to find. Of course, if your deck depends on a particular card and you have the ability to search for it, by all means, do that. On the other hand, if you find that you've got all of your components in place but have "leftover" search effects to use, Riders of the Red Fork await your pleasure. An added bonus to Riders of the Red Fork is that they qualify for all search effects. If Building Season comes out and you don't need a location, Riders of the Red Fork can be pulled out instead. If you play To Be A Wolf, no matter what type of card your opponent names, you can still get Riders of the Red Fork.

More to come

Riders of the Red Fork is not the only search-related card for House Stark to come out in Secrets of Oldtown; it is not even the only search card in Forging the Chain. In addition to Riders of the Red Fork, Maester Luwin will also be appearing in this pack, adding his event searching skills to the Stark arsenal. Further into the Secrets of Oldtown cycle, there will be more additions to this theme: Rickon Stark, Karhold Rookery, and more. Watch this space for more information on them when they come!

Hopefully we've given you plenty to discuss here in the comments and on the A Game of Thrones Forums. Until next time!

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.

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Comments (7)

Published: 5/16/2011 12:35:40 AM
Published: 5/7/2011 12:07:23 PM

Really dig the "Riders" card!

I think it makes sense thematically that these cards are NOT "House Stark Only".

Has Luwin (for the LCG) been spoiled anywhere?  Looking forward to seeing what he does...


Published: 5/6/2011 2:43:08 PM

I'm really intrigued to see how this Maester/Chain theme to this series evolves.  This game is fantastic.  I truly wish there were more people in my area that played it, as our very small metagame gets really inbred at times.

Published: 5/5/2011 5:55:23 PM

Solid card indeed, and also really cool. My only complaint is that it should have been House Stark only. Same for Luwin : /


You'd be able to search for it, and it would attach as a duplicate.

Published: 5/5/2011 4:32:08 PM

What if I use Rhaegal's ability?

Published: 5/5/2011 4:14:13 PM

Yeah, very solid 3-gold card. This could make war-crest decks a little more consistent (with At the Gates)...especially non-Stark decks. Maybe this will fit nicely into a Targ war-crest deck? They've been in need of a few more warcrests.

Published: 5/5/2011 3:51:39 PM

 I see Riders of the Red Fork "At the Gates" in my near future.  So flippin' cool!

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