News for September 2011
Valar Dohaeris 5
A preview of the Secrets of Oldtown Chapter Pack, Here to Serve
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 15 September 2011

“The Red God has his due, sweet girl, and only death may pay for life. This girl took three that were his. This girl must give three in their places. Speak the names, and a man will do the rest.”
    –Jaqen H’ghar, A Clash of Kings

(Contains minor spoilers for A Clash of Kings.)

In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the Faceless Men are elite assassins who worship the Red God, also known as the Many Faced God, a god of death. Possessing some magical abilities, they can assume new faces as easily as they assume new names, making them killers able to blend into any society, any situation.

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game has already given us Jaqen H’ghar (Forging the Chain, 35), the Faceless Man who gave Arya Stark a strange coin and a strange phrase, “Valar morghulis,” meaning “all men must die.” These items permitted her entry to the House of Black and White in Braavos where she was able to begin her training.

As a neutral character with the ability to come out of Shadows and assume the identity of any character an opponent just placed in his dead pile, Jaqen H’ghar is a shapeshifting assassin of the highest calibre. Still, no matter which identity he assumes, Jaqen H’ghar is just one man, and all men must serve–valar dohaeris.

In the service of the Red God

“A god has his due. And now a man must die… My time is done.” Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His cheeks grew fuller, his eyes closer; his nose hooked, a scar appeared on his right cheek where no scar had been before. And when he shook his head, his long straight hair, half red and half white, dissolved away to reveal a cap of tight black curls.
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

Here to Serve, the final Chapter Pack from the Secrets of Oldtown cycle introduces another Faceless Man (Here to Serve, 113). On his own, the Faceless Man is no one. Having forsaken an identity, the Faceless Man draws no undue attention to himself. His base strength and icons are fair, but not strong, for three gold. However, the Faceless Man is a master of assuming the identities of others and rises to match the situation. For each crest you control, the Faceless Man gains additional abilities, potentially becoming a three cost character with four strength, all three challenge icons, stealth, and deadly.

While this may provide you enough incentive to build a strategy around using multiple crests to boost three copies of the Faceless Man, one of the design goals of the Secrets of Oldtown cycle was to encourage more combinational play, and the Faceless Man offers exciting combinations with some older and less common cards.

The neutral character Jack of All Trades (Kings of the Sea, 46) gives any player the ability to gain a crest of his choice in any phase. House Greyjoy has an additional option with Driftwood Crown (Mountains of the Moon, 52). Meanwhile, Greyjoy already have a host of strong War crest characters, including Victarion Greyjoy (Kings of the Sea, 5), Euron Crow’s Eye (A Song of Silence, 67), and Nute the Barber (Beyond the Wall, 27). A Driftwood Crown on any of these characters, or other Greyjoy War crest characters, would let you boost your Faceless Man to four strength and grant him your choice of deadly or a Power icon.

With a focus on War crest icons, your deck naturally benefits from The Power of Arms plot card (Core Set, 200), and Driftwood Crown’s ability to grant a Noble icon, combined with The Power of Blood (Core Set, 194), gives you a measure of protection against kills.

Because players can trigger the abilities of Jack of All Trades and Driftwood Crown during any phase, you can wait until such a time as serves you best. This gives you tremendous flexibility, especially during the Challenges phase, and keeps your opponents on their toes.

Then, if Jaqen H’ghar steps out of the Shadows to assume the identify of an opponent’s character, he adds the Shadows crest, and your opponent’s dead characters can fuel your collection of crests. Valar morghulis–all men must die. Valar dohaeris–all men must serve.

The Faceless Man arrives later this month, with Here to Serve.

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.

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Comments (5)

Published: 9/16/2011 10:04:19 AM

I am so impatient!

Published: 9/16/2011 3:30:23 AM

Uber cool, can't wait!  I love the artwork.

Published: 9/16/2011 1:59:43 AM

Nice card, and cool picture!

The interpretation of the quote from Clash of Kings on the other hand... As I understand it it's not the Red God that is known as the Many faced God, but the other way round. The God of Death has a different face in every religion, but is there in every religion. So in the religion of R'hllor, the face of the Many-faced God is that of R'hllor himself. Since the Red God "likes" sacrifices made through fire, Jaqen mentions this one face of the many-faced God. But the faceless men worship not R'hllor, but the Many-faced God.

Sorry for nitpicking.

Published: 9/16/2011 1:54:09 AM

im so excited ...

and i just cannot hide it ... ...

i want i want i want i want i want

I WANT U    uhu hu

Published: 9/15/2011 6:34:59 PM

This seems like a fun layer to add to a sneaky deck that has a lot of Stealth keyworded characters already.

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