News for October 2011
The Dark Horse of the Tourney for the Hand 7
An A Game of Thrones: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Joe Becker
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 13 October 2011

   Arianne led her queen-to-be to the final member of her little band. “Last, but first in valor, I give you Ser Gerold Dayne, a knight of Starfall.”
   Ser Gerold went to one knee. The moonlight shone in his dark eyes as he studied the child coolly.
   “There was an Arthur Dayne,” Myrcella said. “He was a knight of the Kingsguard in the days of Mad King Aerys.”
   “He was the Sword of the Morning. He is dead.”
   “Are you the Sword of the Morning now?”
   “No. Men call me Darkstar, and I am of the night.”

–George R. R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

As we await Tourney for the Hand and the subsequent Chapter Packs of the A Tale of Champions cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, guest writer Joe Becker introduces the tournament’s dark horse champion.

Joe owns and operates Gamer’s Den, a game store in Cambridge, MN, where he’s hosted numerous regional events. He judged at Gen Con 2010 and is a longtime player, playtester, and promoter.

Joe Becker on Darkstar

I’ve always been one of those players best described as a “Ned.” When I first started playing A Game of Thrones back during the CCG days, I loved building decks focused on the Night’s Watch. I don’t like to splash cards from outside houses, and often don’t even play key neutral characters if they don’t fit the theme of my deck. I’ve also enjoyed building decks based on the arrangements of the great houses. After reading A Feast for Crows and seeing how Doran Martell had agreed to a pact with the Targaryens shortly after King Robert’s Rebellion, I’ve always wanted to build a deck allying Houses Martell and Targaryen.

In last week’s article, we were introduced to the latest version of Ser Barristan Selmy (Tourney for the Hand, 10), and I thought this might be the card that helped make my Martell and Targaryen deck come together. The first thing that came to mind was discarding Darkstar (Princes of the Sun, 4) to trigger Selmy’s ability and get a free character (or duplicate) into play. It’s a fun combo, especially since there are very few burn effects that are not House Targaryen Only, but then I got a look at the newest version of Darkstar (Tourney for the Hand, 12).

Darkstar has always been one of the iconic characters for House Martell, and this version is a strong addition to those ranks. At four gold, he keeps his three Strength, as well as his Military and Intrigue icons, but this version takes advantage of the new Joust keyword. Combined with his Stealth, you can sneak by an opponent’s stronger character, helping to ensure a victory in the challenge. And Martell has all kinds of great attachments to boost Darkstar, like Taste for Blood (Princes of the Sun, 18) to increase his strength and Dornish Chariot (A Clash of Arms, 20) to further weaken your opponent’s defender.

But sometimes with House Martell, you may lose the challenge to win the war. Instead, you could take advantage of Darkstar’s passive ability to stealth past your opponent’s character with power, moving one of that power onto him. You may now give your opponent the ability to win the challenge, but he will have to kneel a stronger character to do so. If you’re running Ellaria Sand (Princes of the Sun, 7) you can steal another power from an opponent’s character, netting a two-power swing without even winning the challenge, and if you’ve attached Oberyn’s Guile (Secrets of Oldtown, 92) you get to reveal and add a card to your hand. Your opponent may win the challenge, but you’ve just put yourself in position to win the game.

Whether you plan to use the new Darkstar from Tourney for the Hand to win your challenges, or to trigger your revenge effects, you’ll find that he can be an excellent addition to your deck.

Thanks, Joe!

Keep checking this site for more A Game of Thrones updates. Next week, we’ll look at an upcoming card for House Stark that support the House’s classic strengths while providing some interesting new possibilities.

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 (7)

Published: 10/18/2011 5:58:46 PM

 Considering how generally powerful the character has been, I'd been interested to see if he ends up dying like a punk early on.  It's not like he's got the "renown" or history of skill at arms like the Blackfish.

Davy Back Fight
Published: 10/14/2011 8:38:53 AM

@ire: Time will tell, but old Darkstar is just more useful without additional support. Depends on what you're looking for regarding keywords but again, in and of itself, it looks like the previous iteration would be more consistent. If you build your deck to accommodate this one I'm sure it'd be great, but PotS one can be thrown into any Martell build and still be a good draw.

Published: 10/14/2011 5:45:03 AM

Seriously what do you guys want your 4 cost charaters to do O.o it is 3str has two keywords that go well together with each other and an awesome (but situational, btw the old darkstar has that aswell, ability).


For me this is how uniq cards should be created you don't get a new uniq that makes the old one obsolete, but you have a one that works in different deckbuilds better than its counterpart. This is good example of it, there are few deck types already for martell where I will gladly run this one over the old one as it fits better with it. So I say nice card and well designed :)

Published: 10/14/2011 1:33:04 AM

Come on. There is no comparison to old Darkstar. He is 0 gold renown, vangeful. What we get here is very expensive one which has situational effect.

Mathias Fricot
Published: 10/13/2011 8:25:24 PM

 I want some more Darkstar in the novels.


Published: 10/13/2011 3:06:02 PM

'Better than PoS Darkstar. He is not."

Published: 10/13/2011 2:41:31 PM

Stealth + Joust is kool but old Darkstar is so good...

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