2012 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Chinese Champion
My brother loved the fight for its own sake, but I only play such games as I can win.
–Doran Martell, A Feast for Crows
Who is Ouyang Bing?
Ouyang Bing (“Xiao Bing” or “Little Ice” to his friends) is the 2012 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Chinese National Champion. He has been playing since 2011, after first discovering it while hanging out in a board game café. Ouyang Bing came to the 2012 tournament after having qualified as number one in the 2011 competition and being defeated by that year’s champion, Terry, in the first round of finals. After a year of intense preparation, he was determined to win. Ouyang Bing had the following to say about his championship win, his strategy for victory, and the tournament itself.
On Readying Himself for Battle:
I prepared for a long time. This year, in a warm-up match in Shanghai, I won the top position using a Martell deck with the ‘summer’ agenda. House Martell has the advantages of drawing many cards and having great control, so it won’t be a weak deck. According to my experience with this game, in a Swiss system match, you’re better off using a deck with stable results (rather than a ‘rush’ or a ‘surprise’ deck), though a stable deck may not be as good for an elimination match. So I chose this Martell deck with ‘Knights of the Hollow Hill’ agenda, which is stable but slow to warm up.
Ouyang Bing is awarded his title by Terry, the 2011 Chinese Champion
On His Championship Match and His Deck:
At the beginning of a game, I am in a weak position. I mainly depend on ‘Favorable Ground’ to discard opponent’s locations and ‘Westeros Bleeds’ to discard characters in play. Many decks rely on the advantages that locations can bring to the later phases of a game. Once you suppress an opponent’s locations, it can be hard for him to make a comeback. I don’t think my deck is stable enough, and it has low fault tolerance. Once you lose control of the pace in the beginning of a game, it’s easy for opponents to catch a lucky break. In the qualification phase, I lost two games, but fortunately I struggled into the top sixteen.
First and foremost, my deck is most vulnerable to rush decks or hand controlling decks. [In the final match] my opponent used a Lannister deck with the ‘House of Dreams’ agenda. His deck also needed a long game, and depended on shadow cards and locations in order to win. So his deck had a pace similar to mine. I have two copies of ‘Favorable Ground’ in my deck, which can discard all non-limited locations. And most locations in my deck are limited and are for reducing costs, so ‘Favorable Ground’ does little harm to me. On the other hand, his Lannister deck’s main advantage was that most characters have high strength points, while my Martell deck’s main feature is returning cards to hand and removing challenger icons, thus making them not matter with the challenge itself. So I can control an opponent’s characters and locations well and restrain him. That’s the reason I can win easily.
From left to right: Qiao Ke, the third place winner, Ouyang Bing, the Champion, and Hu Ning, the runner-up
On the New Tournament Format at the Chinese Championship:
I feel that the Swiss system does a better job of protecting players with actual strength. In my case, I lost two games in the qualification phase, but my performance was stable overall and got into the top sixteen. The single elimination games brought more uncertainty. If you’re just talking about skill, Hu Ning (the runner up) may not better than Li Jieping (Hu Ning’s opponent in semi-final), in a single elimination match, a sudden lucky break will win.
Ouyang Bing's Championship Deck:
Agenda: Knights of the Hollow Hill
Manning the City Walls, Rule by Decree, Summoning Season, Valar Morghulis, Marched to the Wall, Bungled Orders, The First Snow of Winter
A GAME OF CYVASSE (x2), Westeros Bleeds (x3), He Calls It Thinking (x2), Parting Blow (x2), Red Vengeance (x3), Favorable Ground (x2), Paper Shield, The Prince's Plans (x3), Much and More (x3)
Dornish Fiefdoms (x3), Lord Doran's Chambers, Palace Fountains, Summer Sea (x3), The Red Keep (x2)
The Viper's Bannermen (x3), The Red Viper (Princes of the Sun, 1), Arianne Martell, Darkstar (Princes of the Sun, 4), Ellaria Sand, Harmen Uller, House Dayne Skirmisher (x2), House Messenger (x3), Orphan of the Greenblood (x2), Ser Arys Oakheart, Flea Bottom Scavenger (x2), Varys (Secrets and Spies, 97), Southron Mercenaries, Edric Dayne, Lost Spearman (x3), Maester Kedry, Starfall Cavalry, Benjen Stark (Core Set, 135), Carrion Bird (x2)