News for September 2011
Blackmail, Bribery, and Victory 6
A preview of the sixth Chapter Pack for the Secrets of Oldtown cycle
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 08 September 2011

His marriage was a daily agony. Sansa Stark remained a maiden, and half the castle seemed to know it. When they had saddled up this morning, he'd heard two of the stableboys sniggering behind his back… Either Sansa had been stupid enough to confide in one of her bedmaids, every one of whom was a spy for Cersei, or Varys and his little birds were to blame.
    –George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

Information yields power when it falls into the right hands. In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, few wield more power earned from lies, slander, and blackmail than House Lannister. Here to Serve continues to translate the Lannister’s deceit into A Game of Thrones: The Card Game with a couple powerful new cards.

Breaking the chains

As the Secrets of Oldtown cycle continues to expand the power quietly wielded by Maesters, The Maester’s Path (Gates of the Citadel, 19) has made many characters powerful, as they become apprentices and sift through the Maesters’ lore for means to defeat their enemies. In fact, decks built around The Maester’s Path have quickly become part of a powerful archetype, recently taken to the pinnacle of tournament play by Brett Zeiler, who won the Gen Con 2011 Joust Championship with a Baratheon deck.

In the first and second parts of his tournament report, Brett explains how he used Robert Baratheon (The Tower of the Hand, 46) and Chain attachments to his advantage en route to the championship.

Brett’s deck benefitted not only from The Maester’s Path and Chain attachments; it also benefitted greatly from Robert Baratheon’s Renown. It’s fine and dandy to design a deck with a powerful character capable of winning many challenges, but the game is won by earning 15 power for your House. Robert Baratheon’s Renown meant that each challenge he won moved Brett closer to victory.

But what if you could take Robert’s power away? The Baratheon deck would slow down. While it wouldn’t be destroyed, it might be hamstrung a bit. One of the stunning new Lannister cards from Here to Serve allows you not only to take power counters off a character, but to spend them as though they were gold tokens in your gold pool! Slander and Lies (Here to Serve, 104) does just that.

For just one gold, Slander and Lies can drastically change a game based around one or two powerful, Renowned characters such as Robert Baratheon, The Red Viper (Princes of the Sun, 1), and Beric Dondarrion (Ilyrio’s Gift, 17). And while a character wielding a Tin Link (Called by the Conclave, 58) can discard Slander and Lies, House Lannister can work some attachment control of their own with cards such as Ill Tidings (Illyrio’s Gift, 19), Let My Porridge Fly (Princes of the Sun, 55). These cards allow them to remove their opponent’s Tin Link and protect their Slander and Lies. After all, blackmail works best when the threat remains…

Pay your way to victory

As The Maester’s Path triggers only when a player wins a challenge, another way to beat the deck is to win every challenge in the game. Of course, this is far simpler said than accomplished.

However, Lannister gets another new card in Here to Serve that can help them win the early challenges that might decide the later game. Corrupt Contender (Here to Serve, 103) appears, at first glance, a fairly mediocre character for his three gold. With only two strength, two icons, and no keywords to make him stronger in challenges, he’s not the sort of character to pull his weight.

However, as the card’s flavor text reminds us, “…however strong or fast or skilled a knight may be, there are others who can match him.” Prowess is one thing, luck is another, and sometimes it just pays to bribe your way to victory. The Corrupt Contender’s special Challenges action immediately clarifies why you might include him in a deck. During a challenge, he can gain ten strength until the end of the challenge, after which he’s discarded.

Triggering this ability to win a key challenge can change the entire trajectory of a game, either by preventing your opponent from attaching a Chain from The Maester’s Path or by winning a Military challenge to force your opponent to lose a key character to your claim.

Coming to serve you

Slander and Lies and Corrupt Contender are just two of the exciting new cards soon to release with Here to Serve. Other cards from the Chapter Pack strengthen existing strategies or focus on shoring up your weaknesses, limiting your opponents’ advantages in card draw or characters on the table.

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: 9/12/2011 1:42:37 AM

It would be interesting, if it wasn't for the maester cards coming out with the chapter pack, going to power up once more the already powerful maester decks. This time it's about intrigue challenges, as if they needed any help.
I can already imagine a very powerful Lannister-Maesters deck, with the upcoming Lions of the Rock...

Published: 9/9/2011 11:29:38 AM

 LOL. Someone did some sneaky edits. I think this article was fine the way it was. Even though Compelled by the Rock was banned, you can still play with it casually. Now it just looks like they screwed up and it doesn't make sense with the neutral cards. Attachment manipulation through gold used to be a Lanni theme. I don't think it would be bad to introduce a few very conservative cards with that theme again.

Published: 9/9/2011 3:15:58 AM

 Hehe. The sentence about Lannister attachment control doesn't make as much sense now after the edit, as now they only can list neutral cards. It's also kind of cute how they're trying to convey "look, there's ways to deal with über-maesters!" I don't know if the spoiled cards are really effective in that regard, but I do appreciate that they want to let players find ways to deal with the threat without going for the errata right away.

Mathias Fricot
Published: 9/8/2011 8:52:05 PM

That would have been insane. Eat power off two characters? zomg.

Published: 9/8/2011 6:53:59 PM

Its a new Card Called Compelled by the ROOK.

Published: 9/8/2011 5:45:03 PM

 Last I checked, Compelled by the Rock was banned. Is this subject to change, or just an oversight? Otherwise Slander and Lies looks like an amazing attachment, even if it is a condition.

[ADMIN: Compelled by the Rock remains banned. The article has been edited.]

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