Burning on the Sands
Preview the Martell and Targaryen Cards from Wolves of the North
“Vengeance.” His voice was soft, as if he were afraid that someone might be listening. “Justice.” Prince Doran pressed the onyx dragon into her palm with his swollen, gouty fingers, and whispered, “Fire and blood.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows
The lords and ladies of House Stark have commonly held themselves apart from the sordid intrigues of court. Though they often shy away from politics and secret dealings, the machinations of other Houses may soon draw them onto unfamiliar ground. After all, even the mightiest army can be undone with a few lines on a page or the stroke of an assassin’s dagger.
With the Wolves of the North deluxe expansion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, you gain a host of cards that you may use to grant House Stark their rightful place as Kings in the North. However, this expansion also offers two non-loyal cards to each of the other factions, alongside an assortment of neutral cards and plots.
You may use these new cards to ally with House Stark or to brutally destroy their plans. Today, we’ll take a look at how some factions may oppose House Stark by previewing the Martell and Targaryen cards from Wolves of the North!
Blood of My Blood
House Stark rules some of the coldest regions of Westeros, and they even seem to draw strength from the winter itself. With the advent of Wolves of the North, you can be sure that House Stark has an incentive to run plenty of Winter plots, especially with cards like Winterfell (Wolves of the North, 17) and As Hard as Winter (Wolves of the North, 22). You may find your Stark opponent searching his deck for a Direwolf with A Time for Wolves (Wolves of the North, 46) or even launching a full onslaught with The Long Winter (Wolves of the North, 49).
One good way to combat the power of Winter is simply by supporting the opposite season. If you want to crush the servants of the Usurper with House Targaryen, for instance, you may play Aggo (Wolves of the North, 35), a new Bloodrider character introduced in this expansion. Aggo can attack on the field of battle or subtle intrigues—or even both! As an Action, Aggo allows you to choose and stand any Bloodrider character, provided that there is a Summer plot revealed. When Aggo joins Rakharo (The Road to Winterfell, 33), you can be sure that any opponent will fear the power of the Dothraki.
Alternatively, you could unleash your dragons’ fire on your enemies with Dragon Sight (Wolves of the North, 36). This event simply reduces the STR of each participating non-Dragon character until the end of the challenge. On its own, Dragon Sight may just allow you to win a challenge, but combined with effects like Dracarys! (Core Set, 176) and Blood of the Dragon (No Middle Ground, 75), this event can prove lethal to even the most powerful characters.
His Viper Eyes
In the volatile politics of the Seven Kingdoms, even Houses whose domains lie countless leagues apart may find that their ambitions lead them into direct conflict. As a Prince of Dorne, House Stark may seem distant, but it’s wise to prepare, and the new Martell cards in Wolves of the North can help you battle your foes.
The first card you gain is none other than Quentyn Martell (Wolves of the North, 31), the son of Doran Martell. Quentyn Martell naturally supports House Martell’s proclivity for going second—while you are not the first player, Quentyn Martell’s STR is raised and he gains stealth, allowing you to slip past your enemies all the more easily.
Stealth can help you evade the defenders of House Stark, but the Starks are also known for killing your best characters. If your enemies choose to slay Quentyn Martell, however, they must prepare for the consequences—when Quentyn Martell is killed, you can choose and kill any character with a lower STR. Normally, this ability might be unable to target your opponent’s most powerful characters, but Quentyn Martell is also a Lord of House Martell. When you combine him with Doran Martell (Core Set, 105), Quentyn’s STR can reach high enough for him to target nearly any character in the game when he dies.
If there’s one thing you can count on from House Stark, it’s that they’ll prefer to focus on military and power challenges whenever possible. It’s safe to assume that you’ll lose some of these challenges, but you can make the most of it by playing His Viper Eyes (Wolves of the North, 32). This free event can be played after you lose any military or power challenge as the defending player to look at your opponent’s hand and choose a card to discard!
Gaining full knowledge of your opponent’s tricks and discarding his most powerful card is dangerous enough, but His Viper Eyes can work even more to your advantage. Because House Martell’s preference for playing second is so well known, many players may choose to make you the first player to counter some of your schemes. This does have a subtle benefit, however—it gives you the first chance to trigger Actions and Reactions throughout the game. If you’re the first player, you play His Viper Eyes immediately after losing a military or power challenge, before your opponent has a chance to play a card. Then, you can discard whatever card would do the most damage, whether it’s a copy of Put to the Sword (Core Set, 41) or Lady Sansa's Rose (The Road to Winterfell, 24).
Melt the Ice
From the sands of Dorne, through the alleys of King’s Landing, and north to the Wall and beyond, change is coming to Westeros. Wolves of the North introduces a host of new cards and tactics to the game—will you fight for House Stark and establish their might, or will you attempt to bring the Starks to their knees? The choice is yours.
The Wolves of the North deluxe expansion will soon be available for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game! Pre-order your copy at your local retailer today.