2013 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Australian National Champion
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit."
Australian National Champion Colin Liang (right), with runner-up.
Who is Colin Liang?
Colin Liang first began playing A Game of Thrones: The Card Game in October of 2011, when a friend needed a distraction. Despite not playing many card games before, he seized onto A Game of Thrones, and hasn’t let go since. After placing in several Regional Championships, Colin decided to take part in the Australian National Championships. Colin led House Martell to victory in Australia, taking 7th place in the Melee, and 1st place in the Joust, guaranteeing him a place of honor in the Hall of Heroes!
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Australian National Joust Champion – 2013
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Australian National Championships 7th Melee – 2013
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Miranda Regional Champion – 2013
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Town Hall Regional Championships 4th – 2013
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Sydney Regional Championships 3rd – 2012
In His Own Words:
My name is Colin Liang, I’m 23 years old, and I’m not a card game player.
Or, I wasn’t until recently.
Two years ago, I got my start playing A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, when a friend of mine, recovering from a tough break-up and in need of a distraction, sent me a text message—“Dude, did you know there’s a card game for A Game of Thrones?!”
It was unusual of me to agree. You see, I was never really a table-top gamer. Never played D&D, no board games, and the only card game I dabbled in was Yu-Gi-Oh, and that just because it was the ‘hot show’ at school.
But I loved the Game of Thrones novels, and Yu-Gi-Oh did serve to whet an appetite for card games that went unfulfilled. So I tried it.
And loved it. Before I knew it, I was competing in leagues and tournaments, and I haven’t stopped playing since. I haven’t got a favourite House. I enjoy playing all Houses and Agendas (except for the White Book).
Outside of the game, I live in Sydney, Australia, where I work at a digital marketing firm. I’m the former world record holder for a couple of obscure iPhone games that nobody plays (Monster Magic and Jump Pack), and enjoy eating cereal for dinner.
On Preparing for Tournaments:
For me, this basically starts with picking three top tier decks and then testing each of them over a month or so. I’m an iterative deck-builder, so I’ll play and refine, play and refine, play and refine (mostly online or at my local league nights). Sometimes I’ll spend over an hour agonising over a single card choice.
However, it’s rare for me to play a deck simply because it’s the best, or choose not to play one because it has bad match-ups. I like to bring a deck that’s great, that can win in the right circumstances, that’s fun, and that I’m comfortable playing. That’s the sweet spot. Once I find such a deck, even if it is weak against other top builds, I’ll bring it anyway and back myself to win. While I do work a bit on my deck’s obvious weaknesses, I don’t worry too much about it.
Due to the nature of random chance, I may only run into players and decks against which I have a good chance anyway. Luck often plays its part in winning championships. The only variable I can control is the way I play. So I just choose to believe that I’ll be a good enough player to win in those bad match-ups if I get paired up against them.
Then the morning of the tournament, I listen to the Rocky theme music. ‘Cause Rocky is awesome. Yo, Adrian, I did it!
On the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Australian National Championship:
Where to start? Instead of writing highlights, I’ll just give some acknowledgements:
Mikey gave me one of my toughest games. He almost sent me home early during the Top 8 game when he rushed out to 14 power with his Baratheon Knights. On his side of the board was Melisandre, the shadows version of Knight of Flowers, Stannis, double-renown Robert, and the Viper’s Bannerman (which he stole from me with Seductive Promise). It was scary stuff. But a well-timed Valar Morghulis and three straight turns of Ghaston Grey abuse gave me enough time to build a winning board position.
Once I made it to the final match, I couldn’t have been happier to play against Greg; he’s a great player and friend.
Kieran was a great Tournament Organizer and ran the tournament without a hitch. We all know he would’ve rather played. Thanks for putting up with us, Kieran!
Finally, to all my opponents of the day: Josh, Steve, Nathan M, Ben, Nathan R, Mikey, and Greg. The Australian A Game of Thrones: The Card Game community is amazing. For such a diverse group of highly competitive players, it’s shocking to me how well we all get along. Even if I wasn’t playing A Game of Thrones, I would hang out with any of them. They’re a great bunch of guys.
The best part of the championship, though, would be during that last marshalling phase against Greg, when I knew I was going to be National Champion.
Colin Liang's 2013 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Champion Deck – Joust House: Martell
Restricted Card: The Viper's Bannermen
Plots (7): Calm Before the Storm, Manning the City Walls, Men of Pride, The Power of Blood (x2), Shadows and Spiders, Valar Morghulis
Characters (34): Arianne Martell (x2), The Bastard of Godsgrace, Carrion Bird, Doran Martell, Dornish Paramour (x2), Edric Dayne, Ellaria Sand, Greenblood Merchant (x3), Host of the Boneway, House Messenger (x3), Lost Spearman (x3), Maester of Lemonwood, Myrcella Lannister, Quentyn Martell (x3), The Red Viper (Princes of the Sun) (x3), Ser Archibald Yronwood, Ser Arys Oakheart, Ser Cletus Yronwood, Ser Gerris Drinkwater, The Viper’s Bannermen (x3)
Events (11): Choosing the Spear (x3), Condemned by the Council, The Hand’s Judgement (x2), He Calls It Thinking (x3), Nightmares (x2)
Locations (17): Flea Bottom, Ghaston Grey (x2), Lost Oasis (x2), Palace Fountains, River Row, Shadowblack Lane, Street of Silk, Street of Sisters, Street of Steel, Summer Sea (x3), Water Garden (x3)
Attachments (1): Oberyn’s Guile