This week, in a departure from my usual schedule I’m delving into the new release for a Game of Thrones. I’m pretty keen to get testing these cards in decks but for the time being I’ll do a round up of what (if anything) is changing! I’m going to go through each faction and see what difference the new cards make at the moment. Sure there are things coming out that might make this card better or that card worse but I’m going to talk about here and now.
Starting in the frozen north with the Nights Watch who get Will as a much needed challenger, stealth plus insight is a very good combination. They also receive The Watch has Need which is already good and will get much better with time. The trick to it at the moment is knowing your deck inside out so you can name the right trait.
The Stark’s get two offerings that seem pretty good but are both pretty comborific. Lady is plus two strength for 1 gold and you can shift her around. That’s pretty strong but she really shines when Sansa is knocking about too. Maester Luwin grants the Stark boys some pretty decent abilities just for being on the board which makes him playable in any deck with more than one in. (Bit strange that Rickon gets pillage since he’s like 5 in the first book but whatever?) If you decide to run Luwin you’ll almost certainly want to run Here to Serve in your plot deck so you can fetch him up for those bonuses.
Greyjoy get probably the best card in the pack in The Seastone Chair which allows their stealth and events to really turn the screw by removing those problematic combo pieces or threats. They also get an awesome finisher with their plot Rise of the Kraken. They benefit from the inclusion of Support of the People since it can find the missing piece of the pressure puzzle and put it into play.
Lannister gain the Hound and what a monster he is! His forced reaction, which is clearly meant to be a negative thing might actually be his big strength! Plus he’s huge! Cersei’s Wheelhouse is in stark contrast a bit dull. I can see uses for it but they’re all not good enough yet!
Tyrell gain Arbor Knight which is pretty good, the pump effect (that only hits himself and one other card) is nice and again this will get much better with time. Pleasure Barge is good too, it draws you cards which are always a good way to win a card game but at a cost. I think that the later you can leave it the better since it’s impact will be less. If in time there’s a way to discard it yourself then all the better…
Martell gain a plot card in the form of The Long Plan. I’m not sold on this, it feels like a way of managing your gold better by not doing anything except losing challenges for a turn but is that good? Perhaps follow it up with Couting Coppers? I can’t decide yet, I’ll have to play with it a few times to see. They do get Bastard Daughter which is a decent little card to discourage challenges a little by giving you a sacrificial lamb with a boon.
Baratheon benefit most from Support of the People and the Here to Serve plot card I think. King Robert’s Warhammer feels a bit ‘win more’ on reflection (initially I was like “whoa that’s nuts”) and Renly Baratheon just doesn’t really fit in, though he may find a home in those decks using Banner of the Stag. I actually see them getting good use out of Street of the Sisters as well as a way to speed up the win a little.
That sends us across the narrow sea to Vaes Dothrak which frankly is awful. Situational at best and requiring a quite specific deck build to ensure you have enough attachments to use it. There other offering is almost as bad since the core set cards are just better; say hello to Merchant Prince. Then say goodbye to him as he sidles into your binder, never to be seen again.
That just leaves our last card Muster the Realm which I can’t see anybody playing yet. Perhaps Stark in the future so they can make use of all those armies? I’ll be convinced on that another day!
So the big winners (aside from us players) are Greyjoy and Lannister in Westeros . I’m off to do some brewing but check back next week for more cardboard goodness! -Mark
Oh, you should follow me on twitter coz sometimes I say funny things @BziMark