News for November 2011
Taking Revenge at The Grand Melee 6
An A Game of Thrones: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Joe Becker
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 03 November 2011

A spasm of anger rippled across her father’s face. “I warn you, Arianne, I am out of patience.”
    “With me?” That is so like him. “For Lord Tywin and the Lannisters you always had the forbearance of Baelor the Blessed, but for your own blood, none.”
    “You mistake patience for forbearance. I have worked at the downfall of Tywin Lannister since the day they told me of Elia and her children. It was my hope to strip him of all that he held most dear before I killed him…”
    –George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

One of my favorite of the Great Houses is Martell, both in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game and in the books. Something about this enigmatic House appeals to me. The books mention the Martells several times before we ever meet a character from their House. But when we do, what a character it is that we first meet: Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper of Dorne. Mysterious, exotic, deadly, with a burning desire for revenge. For many, the Red Viper is their favorite character. But he’s not mine.

No, to me the greatest Martell character is Doran Martell. When we are first introduced to him in A Feast for Crows, he appears to be a weak, cowardly, broken man. Yet we later learn that this is a man who is willing to wait decades to exact his vengeance. He is an intelligent and devious man, sharing his plans with only those who need to know. He is the true threat in Dorne, and this set gives us a version that is one to fear in a melee.

Vengeance… Justice… Fire and blood

This latest version of Doran Martell (The Grand Melee, 34) costs five gold, and for that we get three Strength, Intrigue and Power icons, a noble crest, and the Lord trait. As a result of his crippling gout, Doran has the No attachments keyword, so he’s safe from the pesky Milk of the Poppy (Core Set, 145). His Vengeful nature can allow the Prince of Dorne to defend against a challenge and then stand after you lose. And when you lose, that is where Doran shines. His Response, the ability to discard a card from the hand of each opponent, is worth his cost in gold in melee games.

What this Doran brings to the game is not so much a “Revenge” mechanic, at which Martell already excels, but a deterrent, a card that makes your opponents want to avoid attacking you. Every challenge you lose as a defender hits the hand of every opponent. Will players want to attack you, knowing what the cost will be if they win? Or will they attack you intentionally, knowing that each of their opponents’ will suffer the loss of a card from their hand?

Wise choices of the titles in a melee game can force your opponents to attack you. If you are the Crown Regent, you could redirect a challenge that would make you the only other legal target. Using Lord Commander, you can redirect a Military challenge at your House. Then, if you have Red Vengeance (Princes of the Sun, 25) in your hand, you can make your opponent fulfill the claim of the challenge… and discard a card as well. Throw in many of Martell’s other Revenge cards–Taste for Blood (Princes of the Sun, 18), Ellaria Sand (Princes of the Sun, 7), and Aero Hotah (Princes of the Sun, 5)–and you may find yourself in a stronger position by losing the challenge. Since Doran doesn’t have to kneel to trigger his Response, it can be triggered multiple times if you lose multiple challenges.  Last, if the situation warrants it, you can use him to trigger Ghaston Grey (Forging the Chain, 34) and return a character to a player’s hand.

During the chaos of battle in The Grand Melee, sometimes the threat that looks the weakest is actually the most dangerous. Doran Martell, for all his weakness, is one very strong character, and a force with which to be reckoned.

Thanks, Joe!

Remember to register now for Days of Ice and Fire 2011. This celebration of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and our Westeros-themed games includes a tournament for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, the winner of which will win a replica Arya Stark’s sword, Needle! The preregistration deadline’s this Friday, and you don’t want to end up among the weaselly members of honorless House Frey…

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 (6)

Published: 11/4/2011 3:07:23 PM

Daenerys and Bara Lords rejoice! A new  target for Condemned by the Realm!

Published: 11/4/2011 12:51:39 PM

Ugh, that No Attachments keyword is annoying for Targ. Thank goodness for Hatchling Feast + Threat.

Published: 11/3/2011 6:42:12 PM

 I see him just causing the players to keep military challenging you until he dies. Even with the discard.

Published: 11/3/2011 4:38:05 PM

Expensive or not, let's give Martell even more reasons to want to lose challenges!

Published: 11/3/2011 4:28:28 PM

I even like him in joust. More than that, I'm glad to see a Doran at last that I would actually play in one of my Martell decks. For such an integral character of the house in the books, he wasn't really well represented in the game until now, in my opinion.

Published: 11/3/2011 4:06:07 PM

 wow...a little expensive but I like him (in melee).

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