News for March 2012
A Paper Shield Against A Poisoned Spear
An A Game of Thrones: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Joe Becker
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 01 March 2012

Robert managed a weak red smile. “At the least, they will say… this last thing… this I did right. You won't fail me. You’ll rule now. You’ll hate it, worse than I did… but you’ll do well. Are you done with the scribbling?”
   “Yes, Your Grace.” Ned offered Robert the paper. The king scrawled his signature blindly, leaving a smear of blood across the letter. “The seal should be witnessed.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
As we enter into the final chapter of A Tale of Champions for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, we might expect some more great characters to enter into the game. The Lords and Ladies, Knights and Mercenaries, Allies and Traitors have all played their roles in this story, and all have left their mark. We’ve seen new decks sprout from dangerous ground, and challenged assumptions of Houses and Loyalties. Today, let’s look at some attachments that will have as much of an effect as many of the characters we have already seen.

Attachments and control

Attachments play a major role in deck design, as they provide some of the best control in the game. Milk of the Poppy (Core Set, 145) has long been a staple in many tournament decks because it can shut down the best characters your opponent can put on the field. Frozen Solid (Lords of Winter, 4) and Freezing Rain (Forging the Chain, 23) are great for blanking locations, and the recent addition of Bastard (Lions of the Rock, 39) has given players the ability to protect themselves from decks that make super characters by loading them with multiple attachments.

Seal of the Crown (A Poisoned Spear, 117) is one of the few attachments that attaches to your House card, protecting it from the simplest form of attachment removal, the death of the character to which an attachment is attached. If you’re not running an Agenda, Seal of the Crown allows every player to draw one additional card during the draw phase. This extra card counts towards your draw cap, so it won’t make a draw engine more powerful, but it will hurt anyone who is using a powerful draw engine.

When the Seal is in play, any time another card effect allows a player to draw a card, that player must also discard a card. This can be brutal against someone running multiple copies of Golden Tooth Mines (Core Set, 57), as each card is a separate effect that triggers the discard effect. Players might soon find themselves choosing not to trigger optional draw effects just to avoid having to choose a card to discard. Characters like Eddard Stark (The Tower of the Hand, 41) can still cancel an effect targeting a character with the Noble crest, but when the draw part of his ability triggers that player will have to discard a card as well. Unless a player gains multiple cards from a single draw effect, the Seal of the Crown limits that player’s card advantage from a raw number of options to simply being able to sort the best options early. Still, players will likely wonder if the cards they discard to the Seal of the Crown are the ones they’ll need later in the game.

There are still ways to get rid of the Seal of the Crown. Since it is a Condition attachment, characters like Maester Cressen (Core Set, 77) and Maester of Lemonwood (Beyond the Wall, 31) will discard it easily. Frozen Solid can blank the Seal, and there are any number of events that can discard an attachment. Yet while this card remains in play, each player will receive an additional card as a benefit, and you may even find certain players in a melee match doing what they can to help keep the Seal in play.

Is the quill mightier than the spear?

When confronted with A Poisoned Spear, a paper shield is not much protection. But when that paper can protect you from the strike in the first place, it can be powerful indeed.

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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