Whispers and Politics
New A Game of Thrones FAQ and Tournament Rules are Available
Whispers start in the shadows. Then they become rumors swirling about the streets of King’s Landing and eventually, they spread across Westeros. Those who give heed before whispers become something more are rewarded. Those who do not risk failure, and worse.
These changes will go into effect on July 29th, 2015.
A Word from the Developers
Hello A Game of Thrones players,
One of the great qualities of the Living Card Game format is a game that evolves over time. There are a number factors that drive this evolution in card games: new products that add cards to the environment, cards leaving the environment through rotation or restriction, and finally the natural evolution of a metagame as players attempt to anticipate and adapt to what they feel other players are (and will be) doing.
With the announcement of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition and the completion of The Wardens cycle, the A Game of Thrones LCG has reached a unique place where we now have the complete card pool — every card that will ever be a part of this edition of the game is now available. Additionally, the first edition has no rotation policy, so the environment will not churn with the exit of a block of cards. And while Regional Championship data has shown that the game has a remarkably adaptive and resilient metagame, it does still require attention from time to time to ensure that major events like Gen Con and the World Championships are played in a field that is as diverse and enjoyable as possible.
To that end, we are releasing FAQ 5.5 to set the table, so to speak, for the final North American championship at Gen Con later this summer. In preparing this document, we have reviewed data and feedback from both the Store and Regional Championship seasons, and simultaneously working with playtesters, to identify places where the environment has grown stagnant. From there, we have implemented a small number of surgical adjustments with the aim of refreshing the metagame.
To quickly look at some of the reasoning behind these changes, let’s take a look at how this FAQ affects each of
We’ll start with Greyjoy, as Warship decks — built around either Longship Maiden's Bane (A Hidden Agenda, 105) or the Naval Escort (A Sword in the Darkness, 48) — were probably the decks that people were most concerned about as a dominant force in the metagame. As both of these cards were already on the restricted list, an errata was in order, and we found a relatively clean solution that works similarly on both cards, essentially limiting their interactions, so that instead of working with any Warship location, these cards now only work with other unique Warship locations. This puts a ceiling on the STR boosts these decks can generate, and also checks their efficiency, but does not fundamentally change the spirit of either card.
Next, we’ll turn our eyes to House Stark, the other faction in which an already restricted card, Meera Reed (Tourney for the Hand, 2), has been treated with an errata. For House Stark, Meera Reed had become the restricted card of choice, appearing in an overwhelming number of Stark decks and effectively pushing out other restricted cards. To bring her closer to the rest of the field, we have changed Meera’s “Any Phase” ability with a standard “Response” effect, that basically means she now has to follow the standard game rules for bringing a card out of shadows. As an added benefit to the balance implications, this change simplifies Meera, and makes a number of interactions that had required additional clarification in the Q&A section considerably easier to understand.
Houses Lannister and Targaryen are both in a pretty good place, although one card for each House was identified as a little too much of an easy auto-include in the current metagame: Harry the Riverlands (Forgotten Fellowship, 3) and To Be a Dragon (Sacred Bonds, 48), which is particularly nasty in conjunction with The Aftermath. To better challenge each of these Houses, these cards have both been added to the restricted list.
House Martell features a trade of two cards, with the Princes of the Sun Red Viper (Princes of the Sun, 1) being added to the restricted list, and A Game of Cyvasse (A Change of Seasons, 57) coming off the list. This change should cause players to re-evaluate the House and lead to some fresh Martell schemes at GenCon.
The final faction, House Baratheon, was underperforming relative to the rest of the field, and for that reason no changes were made to their card pool. The reasoning here is that as each of the other Houses was presented with a new challenge, the Baratheons should be able to make some headway in closing the gap.
In addition to the faction specific changes mentioned above, a couple cards have also been removed from the restricted list to add additional considerations to the metagame. The first is The Conclave (Called by the Conclave, 57), which helps to reinvigorate Maester decks that have been a bit of an afterthought in the current meta. Second, we have removed Crossing the Mummer’s Ford (Spoils of War, 20) from the restricted list — the errata on the card still stands — to make River plots a better option.
With this document, the competitive environment is now set for Gen Con. We’re looking forward to seeing
Fantasy Flight Games
Will you heed the whispers and prepare now for the future? Or will the politics of Westeros overtake you as others move forward without you? Download the new FAQ and tournament rules today so you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.
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