|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 11 February 2010|
"When I was a boy, it was said that a long summer always meant a long winter to come. This summer has lasted nine years, Tyrion, and a tenth will soon be upon us. Think on that."
- Old Bear Mormont, A Song of Ice and Fire, Volume I: A Game of Thrones
With great swathes of the Midwest and East Coast now covered in snow that you could lose a bear in (55" in DC! How's it going, DC Meta?), the mind drifts towards thoughts of the Long Winter and one wonders if it is ever going to end. Why, if only someone would play Black Raven and take us out of our misery.
In truth, this week's column is not so much on a single card as it is on a mechanic: the Summer/Winter mechanic introduced in the A Time of Ravens expansion. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Summer and Winter are binary global states (that is, it can only be Summer or Winter, for both players at the same time) that trigger effects on some cards.
Most cards that respond to Summer or Winter are stronger in one season or the other - for example, Summer's Champion , or Fairweather Followers (A Song of Summer, F9 and F11) - however, a particularly nasty example of a card that works both ways is Summer Tax (A Song of Summer, F3). If it's Summer, play it on your opponent; if it's Winter, play it on yourself; draw a card for free either way. (See? Nasty!)
A card that's bound to make its way into any deck that's going to make use of the changing seasons is Carrion Bird (The Winds of Winter, F35). Apart from being a 1-cost character with Stealth, Carrion Bird is one of the few cards that can affect a Raven card in play - the on/off switches for Summer and Winter. Half of building a deck around Summer or Winter is keeping it the season you want. Summer Tax can come back to bite you pretty hard if you play it on yourself in Winter and your opponent changes the environment to Summer. With Carrion Bird, you can at least switch off a season if you need to, or, if you've already burned through all of your Raven cards, shuffle them back into your deck and put them in a position to be grabbed by A Time For Ravens (A Change of Seasons, F59).
Why should all this seasonal talk be of any interest to those of you out there building your A Game of Thrones decks inside while waiting for the snow to melt (and those of you in sunnier climes as well)? Well, as we've been announcing over the last couple of weeks and months, the current expansion block, Defenders of the North, whose Wolves of the North has just been released, features a few cards that work well with the season mechanic, particularly Winter. One example is Winter Festival (Wolves of the North, F20). That's just one of many more to come, not to mention the cards that will appear in the next House expansion, Lords of Winter. If you're interested in building your deck around Summer or Winter, the coming expansions will have plenty of good stuff in store for you. Of course, they will have plenty of other cards not related to the seasons, too, but we'll look at those in a future card of the week. Until then, you can discuss this week's cards of the week in the comments here and on our A Game of Thrones LCG™ forums.
See you next week!
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.
I agree. I'm glad to see more winter/summer mechanic cards coming out. Just wish they were coming out faster!
A bit of a primer for the player not familiar with the Raven and Seasons cycle. The Raven cards in question (Black Raven for Summer, White Raven for Winter and the Carrion Bird) are found in the first two Time for Ravens chapter Packs A Song of Summer and The Winds of Winter. Each pack comes with 3 of the appropriate raven, and 3 Carrion Birds (yes, the birds are in both packs).
Nice to see we can expect more Winter mechanics in the next few months. Hope the next House Expansion and set contain some Summer cards.