|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 29 April 2010|
Hello and welcome back, loyal A Game of Thrones fans!
Those of you who have been following this column for the last few weeks might have been expecting a Champion card spoiler from 2009 Joust World Champion, Greg Atkinson, continuing our series that started with Erick Butzlaff (2009 Overall World Champion) and Jonathan Benton (2009 Melee World Champion). While we would love to show you Greg's card, it is several Chapter Packs deep into the Brotherhood Without Banners, and we wouldn't want to spoil that expansion before the first pack has hit stores yet. Don't worry. You will not be disappointed when you see Greg's card - it's a real killer.
In the meantime, we considered posting the deck that Greg used to great effect at our Regional championship tournament, but then we realized that Greg will probably be using that deck some more this season, so we didn't want to give anyone an unfair advantage over him by creating an anti-Greg deck based on the information we posted here.
Nevertheless, we thought it would be fair enough to take a look at one card from his deck: the City of Shadows agenda.
About a year ago, A Game of Thrones' lead developer Nate French wrote an extensive article on the Shadows mechanic just before the release of the King's Landing expansion. (Read the original article.) It's pretty good, so we won't rehash it here, but suffice it to say that Shadows creates a whole new layer of complexity in A Game of Thrones and it creates some really sneaky deck-building possibilities in all Houses.
Because terrific Shadow-crested cards and cards that interact with the Shadows crest exist in all Houses, it might make it hard to choose which House to go with when creating a strong Shadows-themed deck. Enter City of Shadows (City of Secrets, F20) and its partners, City of Lies (City of Secrets, F19) and Twilight Market (A Time of Trials, F39).
With the City of Shadows agenda as part of your deck, all of the best Shadows-crested cards are now open to you: Venomous Blade, Tyrion Lannister, The Queen of Thorns, Qyburn, Arya Stark, etc. Granted, using "House X Only" cards through City of Shadows can get expensive, so if you plan on using this agenda, be sure to bulk up your gold supply. To that end, House Lannister makes a natural fit with this agenda, given the massive wealth of Casterly Rock at its command, but any House could pull off a Shadows assault with prudent gold management. With City of Lies and Twilight Market, the cost to put cards into Shadows (2 gold per card) drops significantly, thus saving you gold during Marshalling that can be better used during other phases to bring cards out of Shadows.
One of the nice things about Shadows cards is that they make a terrific threat against your opponent, lying coiled and ready to strike once they're out of your hand and into Shadows. Even cards that you don't intend to bring out of Shadows anytime soon loom dangerously since your opponent doesn't know what they're capable of: you could fill your Shadows area with Gold Cloaks, but to your opponent, they are all Venomous blades waiting for a target.
Playing against an opponent with a bunch of cards in Shadows can be nerve-wracking as they are just as mysterious as cards in an opponent's hand, with the added bonus of being difficult to get rid of; they are, for example, unaffected by Valar Morghulis and intrigue challenges without By the Light of the Sun. If your opponent has unspent gold at the beginning of any phase and cards in Shadows, watch out!
And that will just about do it for this week's card spotlight. For those of you who are already well-acquainted with Shadows, rest assured: we haven't seen the last of this mechanic yet. And so we don't leave you without an upcoming card spoiler, let us present you with a card that elicited much response from the participants of our Regional championship tournament when we previewed it, Deep Freeze from the upcoming A King in the North. See you next time!
Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, playable by 2-4 players, brings the beloved heroes, villains, locations, and events of the world of Westeros to life through innovative game mechanics and the highly strategic game play. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Chapter Pack expansions to the core game.
@Tobogan - give it a rest already, seriously. The card when matched with the plethora of other effects was overpowered for the LCG. The fact that these decks have been winning more tournaments than all the others combined since the card was released is proof enough of that. That a deck built around the mechanic anyway still won the most recent tournament shows the build is still strong.
@Oldben - The card will be good in a Stark control deck. They don't have tons of renown anymore and the additional power is added to your opponents win condition without having to have won a challenge and would be an additional way of slowing down a rush deck. I would not put this in place of a kill effect, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't play with it at all... especially if I was making a social deck (not every card must be useful to a competitive deck, their are far more social players than competitive and there always will be).
@Tobogan: Exactly my thought... oh well, i do know what i would prefer ... :-)
@Gualdo: I don´t think the card is particulary strong. It could be good in a melee match to slowdown a direct opponent for the win ( kind of a situation where two players have 12-14 power on their house card).
In a joust matchup these situations are rarely seen in my opinion, i would rather have another good card which helps my deck instead than running deep freeze. Just consider "make an example" or a good renown charachter, any other effect which lets you claim 2-3 power. Or if you find it´s necessary to stop your opponent from winning you could also play that kill/discard/remove event/attachment etc. to get rid off Robert Baratheon, Red Viper etc. which stores 3+ power.
Card spoiled seems very strong inmy point of view... strange it is not unique or "limit 1 per house card"
Don't know which is better, showing your decklist to people who maybe will face you, or nerf a core card in your deck and every Lannister player in the world's decks.