Derek Shoemaker

2012 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Overall World Champion

“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”
    –George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Who is Derek Shoemaker?

Derek Shoemaker is the 2012 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Overall World Champion, winning the title at the first FFG World Championship Weekend hosted at the FFG headquarters in Roseville, MN.

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 in the Joust with a Stark deck built around the agenda, Knights of the Realm (Kings of the Storm, 39).

  • A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Overall World Champion – 2012
  • A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Regional Champion (DC) – 2012
  • A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Regional Championship, Top 4 (NY) – 2012

In His Own Words:

I am happily married to my wife, Rachel, and we are expecting our first child, a girl, later this month. We have two dogs who are basically children to us, an American bulldog named Nittany and a Siberan Husky named Sapphyre. I am a manager at the local grocery store where I have worked for about six years. 

I am an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves and also enjoy playing video games in my free time. My favorites at the moment are the
Dragon Age series and Skyrim.

I actually started playing
A Game of Thrones with a few local groups in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh back when it was a CCG, but I was unable to travel for many tournaments then since I was still in school. Since I’ve gotten back into the game, I have been able to participate in more organized play and tournaments.

Preparing for Tournaments:

When I am preparing for tournaments I tend to play cards in my all my spare time. Mostly, I play over OCTGN and play with my wife. In a given week, when we are doing tournament preparation, we play over twenty games between the two of us. I like to play online because it helps me to grasp a variety of decks, what I can do well against them and what I can not do well against them. Then, I like to get my wife to play the deck that I plan to play in the tournament, and I test other decks against it to see if I can find the weak spots. If I am having trouble against a certain type of deck, I tend to build that deck and play it for awhile; I feel like if I play the deck for a few weeks, I can find out how it runs and what I can do against it to beat it.

On the 2012 World Championship Tournament:

The atmosphere at the FFG World Championship Weekend was amazing. Maybe it was because it was my first major tournament, but I thought it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed playing against former champions and getting to hear stories about previous tournaments and epic games.

I saw a good deal of what I expected, mostly Stark Kings of Winter and Targ Knights of the Hollow Hill, but I also saw two players make the Top 16 with Lannister Power Behind the Throne, which I can honestly say took me by surprise. I knew that deck can be powerful, but I did not think it would match up well against Stark because of its ability to kill or blank Cersei, and I figured Targ would easily be able to burn her down.

My favorite match-up of the day came in the next match against a fellow Stark player, Dan Machado, though he was playing The Siege of Winterfell (
Lords of Winter, 48). I had recently managed to defeat Dan twice in an OCTGN tournament, once in Swiss and again in the finals. Our Worlds match-up would not turn out any better for him, as I was able to beat him for the third time, but I was pleased to learn that he had taken my advice from the OCTGN tournament and added Borderland Keep to his deck with a little success.

Derek Shoemaker during the 2012 A Game of Thrones Melee World Championship

Derek’s 2012 World Championship Decks:

My melee deck was designed to win quickly because, in practice, most of my melee games were decided by turn three, and in the actual tournament, I did not have any games go past the second plot. I even managed to win the first table on turn one because I played four epic phase events to get the victory.

House: Stark
Agenda: The Siege of Winterfell
Restricted Card: Make an Example

Plots (7):
After the Mummer’s Ford, Counting Favors, Fury of the Wolf, Loyalty Money Can Buy, Storm of Swords, Summoning Season, Wildfire Asault

Characters (33):
Arya Stark (Core Set, 7), Bolton Refugee (x3), Carrion Bird (x3), Catelyn Stark (Lords of Winter, 7), Damon Dance-for-Me, Eddard Stark (Core Set, 5), Greatjon Umber (Where Loyalty Lies, 61), Guard at Riverrun (x2), Hodor, Hungry Mob (x2), Jeyne Westerling, King Robb’s Host, Lucas Blackwood, Meera Reed, Northern Cavalry Flank (x3), Rickard Karstark, Robb Stark (Lords of Winter, 8), Samwell Tarly, Sansa Stark (Tales from the Red Keep, 61), Ser Jorah Mormont (Princes of the Sun, 39), Syrio Forel (x2), The Blackfish (x2)

Locations (12):
Frozen Outpost (x2), Great Keep (x3), Narrow Sea (x3), River Row, Street of Silk, Street of Sisters, Street of Steel

Attachments (1):
Formal Petition

Events (14):
Battle of Ruby Ford, Battle of the Bay (x3), Distraction (x2), Make an Example (x3), The Battle of Whispering Wood (x3), War of Five Kings (x2)

Total Cards: 60

Derek Shoemaker during the 2012 A Game of Thrones Joust World Championship

I was extremely excited for the joust, which was to my mind the main event, though I was also nervous. I had a bye from winning the DC Regional Championship, so during the first round, I got to spend time with “Darknoj” and Mike P. and talk about what we expected. We all expected a lot of Stark Kings of Winter and Targ Knights of the Hollow Hill, but we all felt that our decks could deal with those if the cards fell correctly.

House: Stark
Agenda: Knights of the Realm
Restricted Card: Narrow Escape

Plots (7):
At the Gates, City of Soldiers, Forgotten Plans, Rule by Decree, The Power of Arms (x2), Twist of Fate

Characters (36):
Bolton Refugee (x3), Brienne of Tarth (Princes of the Sun, 37), Carrion Bird (x3), Catelyn Stark (Lords of Winter, 7), Damon Dance-for-Me, Greatjon Umber (Where Loyalty Lies, 61), Hedge Knight (x3), Hungry Mob (x2), Jory Cassel, Knight of Harrenhal (x2), Knight of the Red Fork (x2), Knight of the Tumblestone (x3), Maester Luwin (x2), Meera Reed (x2), Old Nan, Riders of the Red Fork, Samwell Tarly, Ser Edmure Tully, Ser Jorah Mormont (Princes of the Sun, 39), Ser Kyle Condon, The Blackfish (x2), Varys (Secrets and Spies, 97)

Locations (13):
2x Borderland Keep (x2), Great Keep (x3), Harrenhal, Narrow Sea (x3), River Row, Street of Silk, Street of Sisters, Street of Steel

Attachments (2):
Frozen Solid (x2)

Events (14):
Die by the Sword (x3), Dissension (x2), Narrow Escape (x3), Nightmares (x2), No Quarter (x3), The Price of War

Total Cards: 65

Champion Cards:

As a World Champion, Derek Shoemaker earned the right to work with FFG's LCG team to design a card for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game.

“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, it seems I may be back to square one, trying to come up with a good idea that is more streamlined. Of course, I want it to benefit House Stark!”





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