Salt and Ice

Preview the Greyjoy and Stark Cards of Sands of Dorne


“Theon's fought bravely for us. I told you how he saved Bran from those wildlings in the wolfswood. If the Lannisters won't make peace, I'll have need of Lord Greyjoy's longships.”
–Robb Stark, A Clash of Kings

Dorne is a realm set apart from the Seven Kingdoms in more ways than one. The Red Mountains guard the borders of Dorne to the north, while the warm waters of the Summer Sea gird its boundaries in the south. Even more than this physical separation, Dornish laws and culture can seem alien to northerners, stretching back to the ancient mingling of Rhoynar and Andal bloodlines. These differences can form strange alliances… or bitter enmity.

Sands of Dorne is the fifth deluxe expansion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, bringing House Martell fully into the sun with a wealth of new characters, locations, attachments, and events. Yet House Martell is not the only faction to benefit from this expansion—every faction receives two new non-loyal cards in Sands of Dorne. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the new cards joining House Stark and House Greyjoy!

You can pre-order your copy of Sands of Dorne at your local retailer or online through our webstore today.

A Taste for Flesh

House Stark’s holdings are nearly as far as you can get from the sandy dunes and slow-flowing, murky rivers of Dorne—and no Stark castles are farther north than Last Hearth, the seat of House Umber. The Umbers are among the fiercest and most loyal supporters of House Stark, and in Sands of Dorne, Greatjon Umber (Sands of Dorne, 33) takes his place by his king’s side.

Greatjon Umber is already a very efficient character, coming in at just five gold for five STR, military and power icons, and the intimidate keyword. The ability to intimidate your enemies in House Stark has previously been limited to Direwolf cards like Nymeria  (Favor of the Old Gods, 61) or  Roaming Wolfpack (The Fall of Astapor, 41)—which can be difficult to include in a more traditional Stark deck. Greatjon Umber brings the intimidate keyword in a form that any Stark deck should have no trouble including.

The Greatjon boasts another advantage as well. He’s prepared to strike early and strike hard: after you win a military challenge in which Greatjon Umber is attacking, you can stand him if there are fewer than three plot cards in your used pile! Standing Greatjon Umber means you can attack again in the power challenge, potentially kneeling another character. And of course, if you’re using the House Umber fortress of Last Hearth (House of Thorns, 36), you can boost the Greatjon’s STR and kneel even more powerful characters.

Having Greatjon Umber fighting by your side may mean you don’t need to rely on Direwolves to gain the intimidate keyword, but you’ll still want to keep your wolf pack close at hand. A new Stark event, Taste For Flesh (Sands of Dorne, 34), lets you increase the carnage—by playing this free event after you win a challenge with an attacking Direwolf character or a character with a Direwolf attachment, you can choose and kill a defending character!

Perhaps the most terrifying part of Taste For Flesh is that your opponent may have no way to see it coming. It costs zero gold, so you won’t need to signal your intention by saving gold. And because you simply need to win a challenge with a Direwolf card, any defending character puts themselves at risk. Still, your foes can’t simply leave your challenges unopposed—or you’ll reap the full benefits of your intimidating Direwolves.

Attack from the Sea

House Greyjoy and House Stark have fought on opposite sides of many battles throughout A Song of Ice and Fire, but they may have cause to unite against House Martell with the release of Sands of Dorne. Whether they’re fighting alongside House Stark or not, the Greyjoys can strike back against Martell’s icon-stealing proclivities with  Fleet From Pyke (Sands of Dorne, 27). This Army offers a simple effect—whenever one of your characters discards a location or attachment with pillage, Fleet From Pyke gains a challenge icon of your choice until the end of the phase. There’s always room for an intrigue icon on Fleet From Pyke, but if the Martells are using tricks like Nymeria Sand (The Road to Winterfell, 35), then the Fleet From Pyke’s ability may be all that keeps it participating in challenges.

Alternatively, House Greyjoy may take advantage of the raging wars and secret schemes to set their sights on another faction… such as the Night’s Watch. Plundered (Sands of Dorne, 28) is a new attachment offered in this deluxe expansion, and it invites you to effectively punish your opponent’s locations.

You can play Plundered on any of your opponent’s locations, and it won’t do anything until you can break through the enemy defenses. As soon as you win a challenge as the attacker, however, you can kneel the attached location—shutting down powerful locations like The Wall (Core Set, 137), The Red Keep (Core Set, 61), Plaza of Pride (Watchers on the Wall, 36), or Flea Bottom (Oberyn’s Revenge, 98). Obviously, Plundered isn’t as permanent a solution as We Do Not Sow (Core Set, 83), but it’s much easier to simply win a challenge than to win an unopposed challenge. And if it turns out that you do need gold to play We Do Not Sow or another powerful event, Plundered gives you that option: after kneeling the attached location, you can sacrifice Plundered to immediately gain three gold.

Whether you’re sailing against House Martell or turning your sights onto another faction, the Greyjoy reavers are a force to be reckoned with.

A Chill Wind Blows

House Greyjoy and House Stark are just two of the factions to receive new cards in Sands of Dorne—and every faction will be testing their strength against the Martells’ newest tricks. Will you side with the Dornishmen of House Martell, or will you turn to their enemies?

You can pre-order your copy of Sands of Dorne (GT30) at your local retailer or online through our webstore today!

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