Honor and Glory
Preview the Knights and Ladies of House of Thorns
His plate was intricately fashioned and enameled as a bouquet of a thousand different flowers, and his snow-white stallion was draped in a blanket of red and white roses. After each victory, Ser Loras would remove his helm and ride slowly round the fence, and finally pluck a single white rose from the blanket and toss it to some fair maiden in the crowd.
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
The lands of the Reach are renowned as the most beautiful part of Westeros. Anything can grow in the rich, fertile soil, and the beauty of the earth is rivaled only by the nobility and chivalry of House Tyrell’s lords and ladies. As stewards to the Gardner Kings, the Tyrells served with distinction until the conquest of Westeros by Aegon Targaryen. When the last of the Gardeners were burnt to ash on the Field of Fire, the Tyrells were raised to lordship—and their fortunes have grown with their ambitions.
The House of Thorns deluxe expansion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game brings House Tyrell forward into the sun with an influx of new cards, playing on their major themes. Perhaps more than any other House, the Tyrells embrace a dual nature—they are seen as the epitome of nobility and grace, while working behind the scenes to push their secret agendas. Today, we’ll look at the first side of House Tyrell, exploring how your Knights and Ladies can battle honorably to speed you to victory.
Jousting for Victory
The ideals of knighthood have a long history in Westeros—but all too often the ideals are utterly different from reality. Still, there are benefits to fulfilling these ideals, especially for House Tyrell. The Tyrells have many knights with honorable and valiant reputations, even among the sons of Mace Tyrell. Beginning with House of Thorns, Ser Garlan Tyrell (House of Thorns, 3) has the ability to spur your Knights to gallant deeds. Aside from being a doughty warrior in his own right, Ser Garlan has the potential to make every challenge more impactful. As an Action while your Knight is attacking alone, you can simply discard a card from your hand to raise your claim during this challenge!
Ser Garlan’s ability makes every challenge you make potentially devastating. Since you don’t need to trigger Ser Garlan Tyrell until after your opponent declares defenders, you needn’t worry about discarding a card for nothing. Combined with a two-claim plot like Retaliation (Watchers on the Wall, 47) and cards like Mare in Heat (The King’s Peace, 44), Ser Garlan Tyrell can inspire your Knights to unmatched feats of strength.
Jousting with your Knights by attacking alone may inspire you to choose the Core Set version of The Knight of Flowers (Core Set, 185), but you can give his ability to any Knight by equipping them with a Tourney Lance (House of Thorns, 21). A Tourney Lance makes every challenge a joust—so long as the attached character attacks alone, your opponent can’t declare more than one defender. In fact, Tourney Lance is an ideal attachment for the efficient Jousting Knight (House of Thorns, 16), who won’t even contribute his STR to the challenge unless he’s attacking or defending alone!
Of course, the downside of attacking alone is that your opponent is usually under no such restrictions, which can make it difficult to win. Fortunately, you have ways to either increase the rewards or force your opponent to meet you on your own terms. Jousting Contest (Core Set, 14) turns every challenge into a joust—an arena in which your stronger characters are sure to prevail. Alternatively, you may use Name Day Tourney (Watchers on the Wall, 51) to seize power as your Knights fight for the favor of your Lords and Ladies.
Still, to win a one-on-one joust, your character needs to be stronger than your opponent’s champion—and that’s not always guaranteed. You may rely on a character like Margaery Tyrell (House of Thorns, 6), clearing the way for your Knights by kneeling one of your opponent’s most effective defenders. Alternatively, you may simply boost your Knights’ STR to ensure they can win any challenge— Jousting Pavilion (House of Thorns, 19) is a free, non-unique location that increases the STR of your Knights whenever they attack or defend alone. Or, the new Wardens of the South (House of Thorns, 46) plot raises a Tyrell character’s STR whenever it’s declared as an attacker or defender! With no limit on the number of times this plot can be triggered, all of your characters attacking or defending in every challenge can benefit from increased STR.
And finally, if your opponent insists on turning your challenges into an undignified melee, House Tyrell gains the tools in House of Thorns to beat your opponent at his own game. Melee at Bitterbridge (House of Thorns, 22) lets you pay any amount of gold to choose an equal number of participating characters. The chosen character with the highest STR gains renown—and none of the other characters count their STR for the challenge! If you need a single formidable character to prevail against a horde, Melee at Bitterbridge is the perfect challenge trick to leave you standing victorious alone.
The Tourney Begins
No matter how skilled your opponent may be in the joust, House Tyrell has the martial prowess and the undeniable skill to lead you to victory.
Join us for our next preview of the Tyrell intrigues, and look for House of Thorns (GT29) at your local retailer early in the fourth quarter of 2017!