Assault from the Mountains

Preview the Clansmen of Lions of Casterly Rock


Tyrion would sooner have used some of his mountain clansmen to guard the manse; Chella's Black Ears perhaps, or the Moon Brothers. He had more faith in their iron loyalties and sense of honor than in the greed of sellswords.
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

The lords and ladies of House Lannister are widely known for their power and wealth. As Wardens of the West, the Lannisters command a quarter of the realm’s armies, but more often, their battles are fought in the intrigues of court. Through manipulation, lies, blackmail, and skulduggery, House Lannister has maintained its position of power against all challengers. Still, though they may be known for their subtlety, there are times when every ruler simply needs a blunt instrument—and the Lannisters found one in the clansmen from the Mountains of the Moon. 

In Lions of Casterly Rock, the second deluxe expansion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, you’ll be able to expand your forces and explore new deck types as the expansion greatly adds to House Lannister’s forces. In our last preview, we looked at House Lannister’s renewed focus on the intrigue challenge, and today, we’ll take a closer look at another deck archetype that begins to emerge: the Lannister’s Clansmen allies.

My Mind Is My Weapon

The mountain clans have long nursed a grudge against the Westerosi in general, and House Arryn in particular. Still, they lacked the power to pose a serious threat—lightning-fast ambushes and pillaging caravans was the extent of their damage. To play a larger role in the fortunes of the Great Houses, they needed a cunning leader to focus and unite them, so when chance brought Tyrion Lannister to the mountain clans, he quickly swayed them to join House Lannister.

It’s fitting that any Lannister deck focused on the Clansmen must inevitably center on Tyrion Lannister (Lions of Casterly Rock, 2). With this incarnation of his character, Tyrion takes his place among the game’s most expensive characters. Rather than devoting his wits to finding the money to support your schemes, here Tyrion takes his place as the de facto commander of the mountain clans. Not only does he gain a military icon, he gains a uniquely powerful Reaction: “After you win a challenge, return an attacking Clansman character to your hand to (choose one): draw 2 cards, gain 3 gold, or raise the claim value on your revealed plot card by 1 until the end of the challenge. (Limit twice per phase.)

The sheer versatility of Tyrion’s ability immediately sets him apart from other characters. If your hand is running low or you need to search for a specific card, you can draw two cards. If you’re plotting an ambush or preparing to play a devastating event like Put to the Sword (Core Set, 41), you can gain three gold. Or, if you simply want your challenge to hit harder and punish your opponent, you can raise the claim on your revealed plot card. The only price is that you must return one of your attacking Clansman characters to your hand, and as we’ve already seen with cards like Burned Men (Core Set, 91) and Moon Brothers (Lions of Casterly Rock, 11), your Clansman are master of ambushing your opponents from your hand. You may even use events like Hear Me Roar! (Core Set, 100) or I Never Bet Against My Family (The King’s Peace, 50) to bring Clansmen into play before you return them to your hand with Tyrion Lannister.

Another Clansman that you can ambush from your hand without warning is Shagga Son of Dolf (Lions of Casterly Rock, 9). Shagga can spring into play for free—so long as you control a Clansman character or Tyrion Lannister! Shagga’s battlelust often has unfortunate consequences, however. Whenever Shagga Son of Dolf enters play using ambush, you must choose and kill a Lannister character that you control. A sudden ambush at the right time could turn the game in your favor, but you’ll always need to weigh the risk and ensure you aren’t destroying your own forces without just cause.

As you’ve most likely noticed by now, the Clansmen are heavily focused on the military challenge. That doesn’t mean Tyrion can’t find a way for them to make their mark in other types of challenges, however, especially with the Mountains of the Moon (Lions of Casterly Rock, 18) in play. This location can be triggered whenever a Clansman character enters play to give that character a challenge icon of your choice until the end of the phase. With your Clansmen launching raids and retreating to the mountains under the direction of Tyrion Lannister, this location can be crucial to keeping your Clansmen involved in every challenge.

Hardened Killers

Not every Clansman prefers to stage unexpected ambushes, but these fearless warriors are no less dangerous. In fact, their willingness to stand and fight on the battlefield can make them significantly more powerful.

One of these Clansmen is Chella Daughter of Cheyk (Lions of Casterly Rock, 7). In the saga of A Song of Ice and Fire, Chella is known for claiming the ears of her enemies as a mark of her superior skill in combat. Chella has a similar habit in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game: after a character is killed during a challenge in which Chella is attacking, you can place an ear token on her. Chella’s STR increases for each of these ear tokens, and once she has three or more, she gains intimidate and renown. For only four gold, Chella can become a highly powerful character. All you need to do is set her loose against your enemies. 

Obviously, there are plenty of ways to kill your opponent’s characters with Chella in the challenge, including Put to the Sword, Ser Gregor Clegane (The King’s Peace, 49), or even a military challenge where you raise your claim with Tyrion Lannister. Still, you’ll find an uniquely Clansman way to kill your enemies with Timett Son of Timett (Lions of Casterly Rock, 4). 

Timett Son of Timett is known as the leader of the Burned Men and a vicious warrior. His ability reads, “Reaction: After you win a challenge in which Timett Son of Timett is attacking, choose and kill a character with printed cost X or lower. X is the number of Clansman characters you control.” As the mountain clans rally to the banner of House Lannister, Timett grows more and more dangerous, slaying your opponent’s characters with impunity. Even if you only have a couple Clansmen in play, the ability to clear out a low-cost character before military claim or kill a character during a power challenge can be essential.

The Clans Will Fight

House Lannister has a reputation as the power behind the Iron Throne, but when the lords of Casterly Rock need a brutal military force, the mountain clans are more than willing to fight. Call the clans around you as House Lannister, and join us next time for a look at some of the cards that the other factions receive in this deluxe expansion!

You can pre-order Lions of Casterly Rock at your local retailer today.

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