News for January 2012
Is it the Heart or the Head Where Loyalty Lies? 7
An A Game of Thrones: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Joe Becker
A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 05 January 2012

His father slid his fingers under the necklace and gave it a yank so hard it was like to take Theon’s head off, had the chain not snapped first. “My daughter has taken an axe for a husband,” Lord Balon said… “It is as I feared. The green lands have made you soft, and the Starks have made you theirs.”
    “You’re wrong,” Theon said. “Ned Stark was my gaoler, but my blood is still salt and iron.”
   –George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

Note: This article contains some minor spoilers for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

I’ve said before that my favorite House in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game is Martell, but my second favorite house to play is Greyjoy. I enjoy running a raiding deck, watching as the cards my opponent hopes will help him win the game are tossed, one by one, from his deck to his discard pile. The last few cycles have given Greyjoy better use of the raiding theme, and this pack adds yet another arrow to that quiver in the form of a new version of Theon Greyjoy (Where Loyalty Lies, 69).

Inscrutable loyalty

Theon Greyjoy is one of those characters whose story continually changes in the books. He starts out as Robb Stark’s friend and ally, then becomes his enemy. He is believed to be dead, only to return in such as way that we wished he had died instead. And yet, he manages to find within himself the courage to seek redemption for the wrongs that he has committed.

This version of Theon appeals to me on multiple levels. He is a cheap noble character in a house with few nobles, and although he sees himself as stronger, his two strength is actually quite fitting. When he’s in your dead pile, he gains the passive ability to discard cards from the top of your opponents’ decks, and anytime a Unique character is discarded, Theon comes back into play. This is a very Nedly ability as, in Martin’s fiction, others believe Theon to be dead (or dying) for the longest time, only for him to return. Meanwhile, with the increase in good raiding abilities, the chances to bring Theon back into play have gotten pretty good.

Taking aim at your opponent’s deck

There are other ways to help stack the deck, so to speak, in your favor. Where Loyalty Lies introduces another new character to the game, Satin (Where Loyalty Lies, 79), a boy born and raised in an Oldtown brothel who later joined the Night’s Watch. Satin fits perfectly in a Greyjoy raiding deck. His ability lets you scout the top card of each player’s deck and then decide what to do with those cards–draw, discard, or replace them. If you have an ability to trigger during the Marshalling phase when one of those cards is discarded, you might consider this to be your best option, although you will lose one of your cards as well. If your opponent’s card won’t prove very useful, you can leave the cards in place, and use the Ghost of High Heart (Where Loyalty Lies, 77) to remove the best card from your opponent’s hand in exchange for a relatively unimportant card you can force him to draw. Alternately, because you know what card your opponent has coming up next, you can make sure one of your raiding effects will discard that card when you need it to trigger one of your other abilities. And since you can kneel any Night’s Watch character to trigger Satin’s ability, you might be able to get multiple uses from it.

By themselves, either Theon and Satin can be a solid addition to a deck, but together they make a great team that can help you find your way to win, as long as you know Where Loyalty Lies.

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)

Mighty Jim
Published: 1/6/2012 8:06:55 AM

 If you do trigger his response and put him back in to play, you can just use him for claim soak next round  - the only way to prevent it is for them not to come after you with military challenges. So either way, it's a win.

Published: 1/5/2012 3:59:54 PM

 OMG!  Theon, I loves you

Published: 1/5/2012 2:54:06 PM

Great cards for sure!

Published: 1/5/2012 2:22:00 PM

 Hahaha. One of the most thematic cards I've seen in a long time. Kudos!

Nitro Pirate
Published: 1/5/2012 1:13:38 PM

 This version of Theon is going straight into my Greyjoy melee deck... you don't need a raiding theme to see the benefits :-)

Published: 1/5/2012 12:06:27 PM

I think Theon is more useful in your dead pile! Once he was dead, I would leave his butt there and not trigger his Response. Let him just keep pillaging your opponents deck for free, especially if you have Motely Crewman out there too, your getting 2 discards on everybody each Dominance round.

Published: 1/5/2012 10:54:11 AM

Hehehe...that new Theon has to be one of the funnest cards ever!

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