Chasing the Dragon's Tail

Across the Seven Kingdoms Will Be Available Next Week

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The Dothraki named the comet shierak qiya, the Bleeding Star. The old men muttered that it omened ill, but Daenerys Targaryen had seen it first on the night she had burned Khal Drogo, the night her dragons had awakened.
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

A crimson comet burns in the skies above Westeros and Essos, slowly blazing its way across the heavens. As kings gather their armies and call their banners for war, many claim the comet as their symbol—a harbinger of victory sent from the gods. Perhaps the comet stands for one of the kings. Perhaps it means the end of summer. One thing is certain, however: before the comet disappears, the fields of Westeros will be drenched in blood. 

The events of A Clash of Kings are about to enter your games of A Game of Thrones: The Card GameAcross the Seven Kingdoms will be available at your local United States retailer on Thursday, July 21st! As the first Chapter Pack in the War of Five Kings cycle, Across the Seven Kingdoms sets the stage for the rest of the cycle, introducing a new focus on powerful King characters and bringing the seasons of Summer and Winter to a new level of importance. 

In our announcement, we looked at the two new Kings found in this expansion: Robb Stark (Across the Seven Kingdoms, 2) and Viserys Targaryen (Across the Seven Kingdoms, 14). Today, we’ll delve into the new ways that seasons can help your deck to thrive!

Summer or Winter

As summer draws to a close, Renly Baratheon flees to Highgarden and House Tyrell, in hopes of using their bountiful lands and massive armies to uphold his claim to the Iron Throne. If you support Renly’s claim to the throne, you’ll find another card that could dramatically increase the number of characters under your command at the Bitterbridge Encampment (Across the Seven Kingdoms, 5). 

The Bitterbridge Encampment offers a simple, yet effective ability: “Reaction: After a Summer plot card is revealed, kneel Bitterbridge Encampment. Then, each player may put a character into play from his or her hand.” Obviously, this ability can be profoundly powerful, giving you a way to consistently play the most expensive character in your hand, round after round. Of course, you’re also giving your opponent that same ability, so you need to find a way to ensure you have better options than your opponent. 

There are a few primary ways to make sure you’re playing higher quality characters than your opponent. First of all, you can build your deck with Bitterbridge Encampment in mind, giving you more freedom to include higher-cost characters, even if your plots couldn’t normally support so many expensive characters. Secondly, you can increase your options and reduce your opponent’s by filling your hand with cards and destroying your opponent’s hand through intrigue challenges. 

House Tyrell already has a variety of ways to gain a burst of additional cards, including  Pleasure Barge (Taking the Black, 6). You’ll find an additional way to fill your hand with cards by playing The Dragon's Tail (Across the Seven Kingdoms, 1). This event allows you to choose an opponent—both you and your chosen opponent immediately draw two cards! This can give you a much needed boost in a melee game, where you simply choose to help your weakest opponent, but if you’re digging for more characters to spring into play with Bittterbridge Encampment next round, The Dragon’s Tail could be the tool you need for your joust game as well. 

Of course, The Dragon’s Tail is only known by that name by the maesters of Westeros. Among the Dothraki in Essos, the comet is called shierak qiya, the Bleeding Star, and when you play as House Targaryen, you may use this star to inspire you and your forces to growing power. Shierak Qiya (Across the Seven Kingdoms, 15) is a free Targaryen event that invites you to press your attack and gain power without fear of leaving your best characters knelt. You can play Shierak Qiya and kneel your faction card any time you win a power challenge by five or more STR to immediately choose and stand one of your participating characters! Whether you launch your character into another attack or use it to defend against your opponent’s forces, the Bleeding Star can inspire your hordes to victory. 

If you’re already winning power challenges and triggering Shierak Qiya, there’s a perfect opportunity for you to take advantage of another non-loyal card in this Chapter Pack— White Raven (Across the Seven Kingdoms, 8). This character offers little on the field of battle, but after you win dominance, the White Raven allows you to immediately gain a power for your faction, so long as there is a Summer or Winter plot revealed! The downside, of course, is that you must sacrifice White Raven if you lose a power challenge. If you’re wise enough to forge an alliance between House Targaryen and House Baratheon, Shierak Qiya can help protect your White Ravens while giving you the freedom to participate in other challenges. 

Ruling the Realm

From House Tyrell, to House Targaryen, to House Baratheon, and beyond, all of the Great Houses are eager to win the game of thrones. The War of the Five Kings is about to begin—prepare for battle and pick up your copy of Across the Seven Kingdoms at your local retailer on July 21st!

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