|The Horn That Wakes
Announcing the Fourth Chapter Pack in the Kingsroad Cycle
|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 01 July 2013|
“I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
The Great Houses of Westeros have thrown the Seven Kingdoms into turmoil. The War of the Five Kings has ended, but the Great Houses continue to battle each other, weave elaborate webs of lies, and forge allegiances of convenience. In order to secure the Iron Throne, they will use every resource, every weapon, at their disposal. They forget no grievances. They forgive no wrongs. They will pursue their conflicts across the seas and overlook no possible weakness, nor potential threat, except, perhaps, the greatest threat of them all…
In the north, winter is coming. The dead walk, and the fate of all the Seven Kingdoms, perhaps the fate of the whole world, depends upon the vigilance and valor of a few sworn brothers of the Night’s Watch.
As a part of the Kingsroad cycle, The Horn That Wakes revisits the Night’s Watch, the Wildlings, and the intrigues and threats of the North. Eleven of the pack’s twenty new cards (three copies of each) support the Night’s Watch and Wildling themes, as well as a host of other dynamics build around The North agendas. You’ll find new copies of such notable characters as Jon Snow, Janos Slynt, and Coldhands, as well as the LCG’s first version of Ygritte. Additionally, twelve new characters, three new events, and two new plots ensure that each House finds plenty of reason to rejoice, even those furthest removed from the Wall.
Of course, as fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire are well aware, several of the Great Houses have closer connections to the events at the Wall than others, and The Horn That Wakes introduces plenty of new action in the North for House Baratheon, House Lannister, and House Stark. Does this mean that A Game of Thrones: The Card Game will see a resurgence of decks built around The North agendas, either for the Night’s Watch or the Wildlings? It might.
Among the many reasons that The Horn That Wakes provides for players to look forward to building new Night’s Watch and Wildling decks is a new version of Jon Snow (The Horn That Wakes, 73). Like both existing versions, Jon Snow costs three and possesses a Military icon, a Power icon, and the Night’s Watch trait. However, where both of those previous versions set Jon at a base of three Strength, the new Jon Snow from The Horn That Wakes comes in at a base Strength of two. Yes, this makes him vulnerable to a Venomous Blade (The Battle of Blackwater Bay, 115), but in the right deck, this vulnerability is a risk well worth taking.
This new Jon Snow is made to be the centerpiece of either a Night’s Watch or Wildling deck. His unique abilities provide blanket boosts to all characters with either trait, including himself, for in addition to being a member of the Night’s Watch, this new Jon Snow is both a Bastard and Wildling.
To all your Wildling characters, Jon Snow grants a constant Strength boost of one. Typically, a Wildling deck will gain a similar effect from the agenda, The Last Giants (The Wildling Horde, 79), but running the agenda forces you to score an additional two power to win the game. Now, Jon Snow can either replace the agenda, reducing the amount of power you need to win the game, or you can play him in addition to The Last Giants to grant all your Wildling characters two extra points of Strength, making your Wildling horde a truly fearsome force.
Meanwhile, Jon Snow grants all your Night’s Watch characters immunity to events. This powerful ability provides an entire deck’s worth of characters with tremendous protection against some of the game’s most lethal surprises, including direct kneeling, targeted kills, some forms of icon removal, and much of Targaryen’s dreaded “burn” effects. A Game of Thrones: The Card Game is full of surprises, but this ability offers members of the Night’s Watch as much protection against surprise as you’re likely to find anywhere in the card pool.
Betrayal at the Wall
While we’re on the topic of surprises, perhaps the most surprising of the new cards in The Horn That Wakes is the new plot, Betrayal at the Wall (The Horn That Wakes, 79). While a few plots, such as The Power of Blood (Core Set, 194), alter the rules of deck-building, allowing you to include more than one copy in your plot deck, Betrayal at the Wall is the first plot that actually changes the size of your plot deck.
The plot’s first line of text reads, “Increase the size of your plot deck by 1. (Limit 1 per plot deck.)” This is not an optional ability, so if you include Betrayal at the Wall in your plot deck, you will have a plot deck of eight cards. While this may not seem like a drastic change, it can keep your opponents guessing. Though your opponent will be able to determine that if your plot deck is eight cards, one of them must be Betrayal at the Wall, it also means that you’ll have more control than ever over when to play a “reset” plot like Valar Morghulis (Core Set, 201). Normally, anyone who includes a Valar Morghulis in the plot deck must face it by turn seven at the latest. Now, you can theoretically stave that doom until turn eight.
More importantly, Betrayal at the Wall presents some interesting numbers for Wildling and Night’s Watch decks. At just one gold and one claim, you might not think it would be an aggressive plot, but it is. Betrayal at the Wall features an initiative value of “11,” which is large enough to win the initiative in the vast majority of cases. Then, if you control two or more Night’s Watch or Wildling characters, you choose and reveal a new plot card. Not only do you then get the chance to choose a plot with higher gold and claim values after you’ve already won the initiative, you get to do so with full knowledge of your opponent’s plot!
Your Watch Begins
You’ll soon have your chance to swear your vows and take your watch along the Wall. The Horn That Wakes is scheduled to arrive early in the fourth quarter of 2013!
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.