|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 26 January 2012|
“How many knights?”
“Few enough,” the maester said with a touch of impatience. “To be a knight, you must stand your vigil in a sept, and be anointed with the seven oils to consecrate your vows. In the north, only a few of the great houses worship the Seven. The rest honor the old gods, and name no knights… but those lords and their sons and sworn swords are no less fierce or loyal or honorable. A man's worth is not marked by a ser before his name. As I have told you a hundred times before.”
“Still,” said Bran, “how many knights?”
–George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows
Knights snag the imagination. Riding tall, astride snorting steeds, with armor polished and glinting in the sunlight, they can symbolize the great virtues of a bygone era. Strength, valor, honor, and loyalty to their vows and their lords. George R.R. Martin presents us with glimpses of such shining knights in his fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, but he presents us even more detailed looks at knights ridden with all the failings of humanity. False knights, pompous blowhards, cravens, spineless servants with no sense of decency, and monsters who abuse their power, taking what they will from the weak and the innocent.
The power of arms
A Game of Thrones: The Card Game provides us the opportunity to command many of these Knights, and as the A Tale of Champions cycle draws our focus to the great tournaments of Westeros, it’s only natural that we see more of these armor-clad figures appear. Trial by Combat, appropriately, introduces five new Knights. The Starks, Lannisters, and Baratheons each recruit one, while House Targaryen gains the service of two new Knight characters, the tireless Exiled Knight (Trial by Combat, 90) and the lethal new Dragon Knight (Trial by Combat, 89).
Just as lords and ladies need knights to lend strength to their armies, so do knights need lords and ladies to serve, and House Targaryen welcomes those Exiled Knights who swear their swords to the service of the mother of dragons. In A Song of Ice and Fire, two notable knights both sought out the Queen of Dragons to offer their swords after they had been exiled. First Ser Jorah Mormont and then Ser Barristan Selmy, the former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, swore their vows to Daenerys Targaryen.
Thematically, the Exiled Knight’s attachment to the Queen gives him purpose and strength. Mechanically, the Exiled Knight plays into one of House Targaryen’s classic strengths, the play and control of attachments. The Targaryens count some of the best in-house attachments, including Aegon’s Blade (Core Set, 102), Shade of the Evening (Queen of Dragons, 4), and the Bloodrider’s Arakh (Queen of Dragons, 3). Given any attachment, the Exiled Knight need not kneel to defend, and Shade of the Evening both grants him an Intrigue icon and allows you to take a card into your hand every time he wins a challenge.
Meanwhile, the Dragon Knight provides House Targaryen with another highly efficient addition to their constantly evolving burn decks. Indeed, because the Dragon Knight has Ambush, it offers you a tactical element of surprise and control. You can bring it into play during a challenge you initiate with an Exiled Knight wielding a Bloodrider’s Arakh, and kill any defender with a Strength of one or less. If you make it Summer with the Crown of Meereen (Queen of Dragons, 6), or if you have any additional burn in your hand, the Dragon Knight becomes even more lethal.
Separately, each of these Knights offers House Targaryen new strength, but in combination they reveal the true strength of arms a Knight can bring to the battlefield.
Exiled, doomed, bought, and false
Each of the Knight characters in Trial by Combat captures the spirit of the house to which it belongs, and the assembly provides a mix of the true knights, petty mercenaries, and corrupt swordsmen depicted in George R.R. Martin’s fiction. When this Chapter Pack arrives, its Knights will allow you to reenact both the gruesome slaughters and the heroic victories of A Song of Ice and Fire.
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.
Fantastic cards for Targ! I doubt we'll see either knight played much outside of a devoted deck, but 2/2 deadly with a power icon is pretty fantastic. The ambush character is great too...-1 STR is often all that's needed to finish off a character with a Flame-Kissed.
I wonder if we'll see muster out of Targ. There are worse things than searching for Ser Jorah or Selmy...especially if Meereen Tourney Grounds is in play.
Exiled Knight is pretty good, after all it's a knight with 2 icons and deadly, with an ability that may not be so bad after all. The only problem is that he's a Mercenary, but I guess you can't find many real Targaryen Knights... ;)
Dragon Knight is really interesting, time to start building a Targaryen Summer burn again?
If only we had more sources of Influence... still only 2 in-House cards that provide it. Red Keep is nice, but why can't Targ get just 1 more source... some of those little weenie Influence guys like Martell has maybe?
More useful Ambush cards, can't wait!
When you put it like that, I would have to agree. Very good points.
While I can see your point about Greyjoy getting knight screwed, that doesn't mean they are suffering. It means Knights are a weakness for the house. A Knights of the Realm deck against GJ will almost certainly get the 3rd card each draw phase, but GJ has their own themes - - choke, raid, unopposed - - that other houses can't compare to. I know it is only my opinion, but I would rather see the cards follow the source material more rather than try to "even out" the houses and traits.
Muster (Core set):
Marshalling: Kneel one of your Knight characters to search your deck for a Knight character,reveal it to all players,and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your deck.
Some jerk's probably gonna chuck your Knight's with trait hate, so you might as well get some use out of them before they get discarded. Pull out Barristan, Jorah, Queen's Knight or Griff. Alternatively, bring out more Dragon Knight's for more burn.
The problem with holding to canon is, GJ gets screwed. 5 of the 6 houses get Knights in this game. This particular trait is so important it has an agenda and plot cards dedicated to it. It can be in the game and be tangentially related to the story - in the interests of knight parity.
Greyjoy has exactly one Knight in the book -- The Knight. Forcing knights on Greyjoy would be like forcing direwolves on Lannister.
Targ needs knights for the newer knight plots to be worthwhile, so this is good. Plus they have more coming in the next cycle. However, I feel like Martell is lacking this cycle in Knight love. So far, Darkstar is the only one. I thought they would have given the Red Viper a Knight trait to help out in this cycle. Don't even get me started on Greyjoys dearth of knights.
I like the Exiled Knight because its cheep deadly, makes for a solid defender even without the attachment. Dragon Knight isn't too bad either. Muster is becoming a bit more viable in Targ now that you have some chud Knights to summon your more dangerous ones.