2009 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Champion – Melee
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one."
-Jojen Reed, A Dance with Dragons
Who is Jonathan Benton?
Jonathan Benton first began playing A Game of Thrones: The Card Game in 2007, and since then, he has accumulated a massive list of accomplishments. Jonathan assured himself a place in the Hall of Heroes after he led House Stark to victory at the North American Melee Championships in 2009. Although Jonathan claimed the championship with House Stark, he enjoys playing Martell, mainly because of the potential for icon manipulation. An impressive list of accomplishments illustrates Jonathan’s competitive nature and his passion for the writing of George R.R. Martin.
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Championships Top 16 Joust – 2012
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Championships Top 16 Melee – 2011
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Championships Top 8 Joust – 2011
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Florida Regional Champion – 2011
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Tennessee Regional Champion –2010
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Melee Champion – 2009
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Tennessee Regional Champion – 2009
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Origins Championships Melee Champion – 2008
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Origins Championships Joust Champion –2008
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game ChiCon Championships Melee Champion – 2008
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game ChiCon Championships 2nd Joust – 2008
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Tennessee Regional Champion – 2008
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Campionships 4th Melee – 2008
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Championships Top 4 Joust – 2008
- A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Championships 2nd Overall – 2008
In His Own Words:
I am a husband and a father of three, a teacher at heart who is blessed with an amazing family and the best friends anyone could hope for, many of whom I met while playing Game of Thrones. I have taught high school and college English for the past eleven years and am currently working as a trainer for a local hospital system. My passion for this game has been a wonderful melding of my competitive nature and love of the writing of George R.R. Martin.
I would like to thank my local playgroup: Wade Freeman, Chris Perry, Nathan Bradley, Tony Crawford, and my not-so-local playgroup, Rob Jones, Tony Sullivan, Greg Atkinson, and John Bruno for the constant support and friendship they've exhibited down through the years. My list of accomplishments would be much shorter without them.
On Preparing for Tournaments:
I play as many decks as possible, not just the deck that I am considering. I feel that to understand a deck and how to beat it, I need to pilot it, not just play against it. I'll often have much more experience with the decks I'm not running in a tournament.
On the 2009 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game North American Melee Championship:
The 2009 Melee Championship table was comprised of three very talented players – Will Lentz, Erick Butzlaff, and Kevin McClure. Will was running a Greyjoy rush deck with an “unopposed” sub-theme, Erick and Kevin were playing Baratheon rush, and I was playing a Stark build with a key out-of-house character: Melisandre (Core Set, 74). As the game wore on, it became apparent that either no one was running a reset or no one wanted to play it if they had it in their plot deck. I had enough influence on the board to use Arya Stark (Core Set, 7) turn after turn, stealing renown from Robert, Stannis, and Asha Greyjoy and slowing my opponents down tremendously.
When Erick used Core Set Varys to switch plot decks with me, I made the assumption that he would choose my Wildfire Assault to trim down the board as each of us had 8-10 characters on the board. Most of us had some key Noble characters, but I felt that I would have a slight advantage by playing Erick's Power of Blood. It did indeed play out that way, so the Wildfire Assault wasn't as effective as it could have been. Soon after, I played Melisandre, preventing Kevin from winning that turn, and closed out the game, with Arya being the overwhelming MVP for me.
Jonathan worked with the FFG LCG team to design the card Qhorin Halfhand (Lords of Winter, 40) after his victory in the Melee at the North American Championships in 2009.