20 February 2014 | FFG Hall of Heroes

How to Claim the Throne

FFG Proudly Inducts Two World Champions into the Hall of Heroes

The 2014 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Store Championships are already underway, and as you pursue the Iron Throne, what strategies will you employ? You might take advantage of learning more about the battles, intrigues, and power struggles that took place at the 2013 FFG World Championship Weekend!

Last November, two champions claimed victory on the field of battle, defeating all opponents to stand as the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game World Champions. Today, Fantasy Flight is proud to induct these World Champions into the Hall of Heroes, and as the 2014 tournament season begins with Store Championships, you might learn some things from the victories of Ryan Jones and Álvaro Rodriguez.

At the FFG World Championships, Ryan Jones led his Holy-themed Greyjoy deck to victory in the Melee and reached the Top 8 in the Joust, claiming the renowned titles of Melee and Overall World Champion. In the Joust, Spanish National Champion Álvaro Rodriguez led the lions of Casterly Rock to victory, claiming the title of Joust World Champion for House Lannister.

2013 Overall and Melee World Champion, Ryan Jones

Despite a full battlefield, Ryan Jones battled his way to the top in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. Nearly every House was represented in the Melee, but the field was dominated by Houses Targaryen, Martell, and Lannister, with Greyjoy, Baratheon, and Stark present in smaller numbers.

Over a third of players in the Melee elected to use no agenda, but the House of Dreams agenda was also popular with many players, including the eventual Melee champion, Ryan Jones.

From the first Swiss matches, Ryan Jones fought his way to the final table, where he found himself matched against John Bruno, playing Targaryen Knights of the Hollow Hill; Chad Jamnik, playing Baratheon No Agenda; and Kyle Vancil, playing a Targaryen Heir to the Iron Throne deck. Ryan Jones writes his account of the final table below.

At the final table in Melee, I had a very slow start. My slow start combined with Kyle's near win on the first turn, made me a non-threat for several turns. In Joust, slow starts can lose you the game, but I almost prefer them in Melee, as it takes the heat off of you. For the first few turns, I just made a throw-away challenge to get my draw from Longship Iron Victory, then passed.

One of my most important choices happened on the first plot of the game. Chad chose me for Summoning Season, and I grabbed Moqorro (Valar Dohaeris, 29) over my heavy-hitters. Asha Greyjoy (Where Loyalty Lies, 70) or Victarion Greyjoy (Valar Dohaeris, 28) would have let me push hard early, but I was able to keep my small board alive with Moqorro, and he eventually won me the game when Bruno burnt the whole board on the last turn. As Moqorro was being discarded by the Thundering Calvary (Queen of Dragons, 12), Moqorro saved Asha from the same fate, preserving the two power on her while enabling her to later grab two more with Renown to win the game.

2013 Joust World Champion, Álvaro Rodriguez

If the field was weighty for Ryan Jones, it was no less so for Álvaro Rodriguez in the Joust. The final cuts of the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Joust Championships were dominated by House Lannister and House Greyjoy, with the other Great Houses present in smaller numbers.

In the Joust as in the Melee, decks without agendas maintained a strong presence, making up forty percent of the playing field, including Álvaro Rodriguez’s deck. Among the sixty percent of players using an agenda, Knights of the Hollow Hill, House of Dreams, and A Song of Ice led the way.

Álvaro faced a different agenda in the final match, however. After battling his way to the final, Álvaro faced Steve Simoni, the North American Overall Champion, piloting a Baratheon Black Sails deck. A Black Sails deck splits the deck into two pieces – one of which is known as the Hold. Álvaro needed to stop Steve from getting cards out of his Hold, and Álvaro describes that strategic final match below.

The final match was a game where I bet everything on an initial good hand. I had a setup of just three cards, but I decided to risk it and keep my hand, since I had the cards that I needed: Pentoshi Manor (A Harsh Mistress, 64), The Iron Throne (Lions of the Rock, 31), and A House Divided (Where Loyalty Lies, 65). My strategy was to systematically control Steven’s naval enhancements to prevent him from accessing his Hold. I played defensively for the first turns until I managed to control the table and impose my own playing pace. I enjoyed the final very much with everyone around us watching. And Steve was an outstanding opponent!

The Accolades of Victory

Ryan Jones and Álvaro Rodriguez both played excellently at last year’s World Championship Weekend, assuring them each a place alongside past champions. To read more about Ryan Jones or Álvaro Rodriguez, or to learn from their World Champion deck lists, visit their places of honor in the Hall of Heroes.

Since Ryan and Álvaro stormed the battlefield at the 2013 FFG World Championship Weekend, the meta for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game has changed dramatically. We’ve seen the completion of the Kingsroad cycle, and the Conquest and Defiance cycle has begun. You have new choices to make with every new Chapter Pack and every game.

A new tournament season is just beginning! Store Championships for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game and all our other Organized Play games are taking place around the world. Find a Store Championship near you!

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