News for January 2012
Stacking the Deck for Your Trial by Combat 6
An A Game of Thrones: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Joe Becker
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 19 January 2012

In my last spotlight for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, I got to introduce you to a Greyjoy and Night’s Watch combo that not only works well in games, but also highlights some of the themes I love to play. I’ve always loved building raid decks, and the first really competitive deck I ever built was for the Night’s Watch. As much as I enjoy the Defenders of the North cycle, it just needs some help to make the Night’s Watch a competitive deck for contemporary tournament play. The Chapter Packs from A Tale of Champions have been helping, and today I’m going to look at a card that I’ve felt is a long time coming.

Up until now, there have only been four non-neutral Night’s Watch characters. Some have made arguments that no Night’s Watch characters should have house affiliations, but I disagree. Attaching a Night’s Watch character or two to a particular house makes that house a strong choice to play with the Night’s Watch agendas. With that thought in mind, I’d like to introduce you to my new best friend, Cotter Pyke (Trial by Combat, 86).

Winter arrives at Eastwatch

Cotter Pyke is expensive at five gold. This rarified cost is generally reserved for the best characters in the game, but when we take a look at the abilities of the Commander of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, we understand why he’s worth the gold. His Melee keyword makes him effectively four Strength in any challenge, and thanks to his Intimidate, he can shut down most non-Army characters in the game. I also tend to see the No Attachments keyword as a disadvantage, but I love seeing it on him. It makes him immune to so many standard ways players have to deal with your big characters’ problematic text boxes.

The real reason for his high cost, though, is his passive ability to make it Winter. So far this ability has been restricted to attachments, which are subject to all forms of control. By placing it on a character, you now gain multiple ways that you can protect him and maintain Winter. He also gets around Winter’s one drawback, which is the -1 gold penalty. Meanwhile, Winter is good for your raid deck, and running Cotter Pyke in a deck with the Frostfang Peaks (The Wildling Horde, 78) and Motley Crewman (Illyrio’s Gift, 7) raids for three (or more) cards instead of one. Those are numbers that I like.

Corpse Lake

Still, one of the biggest drawbacks of the raiding decks is that, even with all the cool effects that have been introduced over the last year, discarding cards from your opponent’s deck just disrupted your opponent’s plans, but it hasn’t gotten you any closer to your victory. Well, I am happy to report that this is no longer an issue, thanks to Corpse Lake (Trial by Combat, 87). This card is cheap at one gold, and gives Greyjoy what everyone has wanted for a long time–power for discarding cards, in this case characters. The Lake’s effect is limited to three times per round, and it triggers only once per effect, so if a Raiding Fleet (A King in the North, 87) were to discard three or more characters, Corpse Lake would still only net you a one-power gain. But a dedicated raiding deck should be able to get three power each turn from this card. Combine Corpse Lake with Satin (Where Loyalty Lies, 79), the Night’s Watch crow from my last article, and you control when you get your power.

Amid the ever-shifting intrigues of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, it can be difficult to judge who is going to win and who is going to lose, but if you stack your deck with the power to destroy your opponent’s, you can win your Trial by Combat.

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: 2/13/2012 10:56:18 PM

i feel kinda sorry for the starks and the baratheons but these abilities make sense. save the making it winter ability. maybe im just stingy but i think it should only be house stark. then again hes a nights watch guy too. he is fairly expensive tho. over all a bit too powerful for me. wheres the love for the other houses though? cant cut em out just yet.

Published: 1/20/2012 11:40:00 AM

All hail greyjoy!  Martell is now in 2nd place.

Published: 1/20/2012 1:40:27 AM

Interesting, finally a way to have Winter without the damn raven for House Greyjoy too.  :)

Published: 1/19/2012 5:42:15 PM

Jesus, the designers have gone absolutely bananas designing incredible cards for Greyjoy. Every pack so far has had a new hotness for Greyjoy: Newly Made Lord in Tourney for the Hand; Euron and Captain of the Iron Fleet in The Grand Melee; Alannys and Nagga's Hill in On Dangerous Ground; Asha, Theon, and Finger Dance in Where Loyalty Lies; and now this!

Can't say I'm complaining, as Greyjoy's one of my favorite Houses, but come on, spread the love around! I feel bad for all the other Houses.

Published: 1/19/2012 4:46:13 PM

I was hoping Greyjoy would get a "Crown of Winter" way of making it winter. Prayers have been answered. I think I might play this house now!

Published: 1/19/2012 2:53:51 PM

Greyjoy is pretty solid as it is. Limit once per round woud be my suggestion. 

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