News for February 2010
A Delicate Balance 3
A strategic look at the Princes of the Sun expansion for A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 04 February 2010

This week’s “card of the week” spotlight for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game was contributed by Will Lentz, and in it, he outlines some of the ways you can maximize your effectiveness as house Martell.

The release of the Princes of the Sun expansion has brought a renewed interest in the Southron Lords of Dorne. If there is any house that can match Lannister in downright sneakiness (and several of the same general strengths) it is Martell, and so it’s no surprise that they are often my second favorite house to play. One of their house themes is a focus on “revenge.” They love to retaliate at their opponents for daring to win challenges against them.

Of course this can be a dangerous method of achieving board superiority... or at least maintaining parity. Managing this “one step back, two steps forward” style of play takes an eye for detail and careful timing to maximize the impact of each effect.

One of the most difficult things to manage about this strategy is that it revolves around the loss of challenges, and the military challenge in particular tends to remove cards from your side of the board when you lose; enter the event Parting Blow. While it appears in the Princes of the Sun Expansion, it actually does not require a particular house and could honestly be useful in builds for nearly any house.

The key, however, is how nicely it slots into an even moderately tuned Martell deck in several ways. Thematically it triggers by one of your characters leaving play which fits revenge nicely, kneels an opponent’s character which provides control that Martell players love, as well as lets you draw a card to replace what was lost, which is a theme in which Martell is usually second only to Lannister.

While all of these things give Parting Blow perfectly legitimate reasons to be in a deck, higher level players will confirm that any effect that relies on an opponent’s actions to trigger is generally less effective than something that you can choose to use to attack your opponent. Luckily the House of the Sun has some tricks up its sleeve. A large handful of their more powerful effects reside on characters that must kill or discard themselves to use their abilities.

Dornish Paramour and House Dayne Skirmisher each remove themselves from play in order to gain you a bigger advantage in hand size. Orphan of the Greenblood is literally a cheap, throw away character to remove icons and temporarily stall an important character on your opponent’s board. The kicker now is when Parting Blow is combined with any of these cards. Suddenly, you have the ability to choose exactly when the character that is leaving play to trigger Parting Blow actually leaves play. Along with this newfound freedom to strike at an opportune moment, you compound the abilities -suddenly you’re drawing and controlling more of the board in a way that is truly greater than the sum of each part.

Thanks, Will! Princes of the Sun hit stores in December, so if haven’t picked up your copy yet, head to your local retailer or our webstore and grab it today!

Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic, A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game 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 (3)

Published: 2/9/2010 11:39:54 AM

Baratheon can become a better family in few month; but actually, Lannister kneel win tournament

Published: 2/6/2010 2:28:12 PM

Martell doesn't have to win by losing challenges but they can. The best plan is not to plan on losing the challenges, but finding a way to benefit when you do lose. Taste for Blood gets you power, Red Vengeance forces the attacker to resolve claim against themselves, many other abilities trigger off of losing challenges.

Martell is not so much about "losing to win," but instead making what appears to be your weak points actually your strong points.

Since Nate has in the past admitted as much, Lannister is his favorite house. But I don't know where Martell fits in his rankings. But saying that Lannister kneel is better than Bara Power Rush is a judgement call. When Bara can win on the second turn, Lanni kneel doesn't always have time to kick in. But it sure is a strong control house, and often an annoying one at that.

Published: 2/4/2010 11:49:23 AM

Martell have to lose their challenge to win? Joke?


Red Viper with Lost Oasis, and weenie charcater to absorb claim, is ever too strong


Lannister is favorite house of designer? And Martell?


Fun; Martell Vengeful and Lannister knell are better than other family actually ;D

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