|To Rule the Seven Kingdoms
The Hall of Heroes Celebrates the 2012 A Game of Thrones World Champions
|FFG Hall of Heroes | Published 14 January 2013|
“The winters are hard,” Ned admitted. “But the Starks will endure. We always have.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Registration has begun for the 2013 Regional Championship Season, and that means it’s time for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game players around the world to start exploring new decks and testing their strategies.
However, those who would be future champions would do well to mind the examples set by the champions of the past. When you compete in a tournament for A Game of Thrones, you’ll want to build and bring the best deck possible, but winning the Iron Throne takes more than simply owning the right cards. For years, the game’s champions have exemplified talent, innovation, intuition, and sportsmanship. The latest World Champions were no exception, and today the Hall of Heroes celebrates three 2012 World Champions for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game!
The 2012 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game World Championship
During the first FFG World Championship Weekend, held last November at our headquarters in Roseville, MN, players gathered from around the globe to vie for the Iron Throne. The field was a truly impressive collection of top-quality competitors, including multiple Regional Champions, National Champions from France and Spain, and a handful of former World champions.
House Martell dominated most of Friday’s Melee as a dozen players from the D.C. meta arrived with copies of a powerful deck built around the combination of Hellholt Engineer (Called by the Conclave, 53) and The Scourge (On Dangerous Grounds, 55). In the end, however, it was the Dragons of House Targaryen that conquered the field with blood and fire. The Melee format has traditionally proven more popular in Europe than in North America, and it was French National Champion Mathieu Hosatte who carried the day. With a plot deck designed to broker early deals and a Dragon deck designed to rush to power, Mathieu earned the title of 2012 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Melee Champion.
Mathieu Hosatte during the 2012 A Game of Thrones World Melee Finals
The Martells may have been the most popular of the Great Houses during the Melee, but they took a back seat to the Starks during Saturday’s Joust. Eighty-one of the world’s finest players competed, seeking to navigate their way through the day’s battles, intrigues, and power challenges in order to earn a place in the final confrontation. In the end, the field narrowed to two former World Champions, John Bruno and Erick Butzlaff. Erick had beaten John earlier in the day with his Stark Kings of Winter deck, but the finals saw John take great advantage of the experience he gained against the deck. His Targaryen deck was built around the Knights of the Hollow Hill agenda and provided him all the tools he needed, at the times he needed them, during the finals, and John Bruno walked away from the table with his second A Game of Thrones: The Card Game World Championship, this time as the 2012 Joust Champion.
Erick Butzlaff (left) and John Bruno (right) during the 2012 A Game of Thrones Joust Finals
Winning the War
“I have won every battle, yet somehow I'm losing the war.”
–Robb Stark, A Storm of Swords
House Stark may have collapsed under Robb Stark’s rule, but it enjoyed a resurgence in the 2012 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game World Championships. Not only were the Starks the most popular of the Great Houses over the course of the weekend, but they claimed the ultimate prize. Derek Shoemaker made great use of their military strength to claim the Iron Throne as the 2012 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Overall World Champion!
Derek began playing A Game of Thrones during its CCG era but was unable to participate in many tournaments at that time. Since his return to the game, he has proven not only his quality but also his understanding of Northern tactics. At the 2012 World Championships, he claimed the Iron Throne with a pair of Stark decks, taking third in the Melee with a Stark Siege of Winterfell deck and placing in the Top 8 of the Joust with a Stark deck built around the agenda, Knights of the Realm (Kings of the Storm, 39).
Now, as a World Champion, Derek has earned the right to work with the LCG team to design a card for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. Of course, he wants his card to benefit House Stark!
“I came up with a few good ideas that Nate French and I seemed to like. However, instead of picking one of them and trying to push forward, I tried to roll them all into one, and it came out poorly. So for right now, I’m working to come up with a single good idea that is more streamlined.”
2012 A Game of Thrones World Overall Champion Derek Shoemaker
Hallowed in the Hall of Heroes
FFG offers its congratulations to each of the 2012 A Game of Thrones World Champions and to Derek Shoemaker, the newest member of the Hall of Heroes!
In FFG's Hall of Heroes, we celebrate those champions, past and present, who have etched their names into the histories of their games.