|Fire and Gold
The Black Friday V A Game of Thrones LCG Tournament Report
|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 08 December 2009|
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to present this A Game of Thrones: The Card Game tournament report from Chris Macias aka Stag Lord of the New York Meta. The event took place on Black Friday (November 27th) in Manhattan and included players from up and down the East Coast.
The heirs of Balerion sprang from the shadows and burned nearly all that stood against them, but in the end Lannister wealth and treachery were too much for them to overcome.
While bargain shoppers were fighting for the best deals on the day after Thanksgiving, the A Game of Thrones LCG™ New York Players group (www.AGoTNY.net) once again hosted the "Black Friday" AGoT tournament in New York City. Black Friday has over its five year history become a recognizable bellwether tournament for AGoT, bringing together competitive AGoT players from different parts of the Northeast for an enjoyable afternoon of "joust" (i.e., two player) matches. Falling where it does on the calendar, this event gives its participants (and perhaps the wider audience for the game) an opportunity to see the full range of a year’s worth of releases integrated into highly competitive decks. Hopefully this helps fans of the game gain a sense of where the Great Houses stand relative to each other.
This year, New York fielded nine players, including two past Black Friday champions. The Pennsylvania/Delaware group brought three players, all of whom frequently travel significant distances for AGoT competitions. The D.C./Virgina group fielded four of the strongest players in the region (including this year's combined AGoT World champion and last year's Black Friday champion, Erick Butzlaff), two of whom made the cut to the elimination rounds. And long time player Jay Kenney represented the far north, traveling down alone from Massachusetts to enter the lists.
With seventeen competitors, the organizers decided on five rounds of "Swiss" pairings, with a cut to the top four for the elimination rounds. All Houses were represented, although the actual choices were a little surprising. Specifically, given the prevailing assumption that Lannister and Greyjoy are the top two Houses in the current AGoT LCG™ environment, it raised some eyebrows when as many Stark decks as Greyjoy decks turned up (four of each). There were only three Lannister decks competing, but all three made the elimination round. Three Baratheon decks gave the House of the Stag the same number as the House of the Lion, but they did not enjoy the same success. Two Targaryen decks and a single Martell deck (aligned with House Greyjoy via the "Treaty with the Isles" agenda card) rounded out the field.
Most of the current Agendas saw some action: one instance of The White Book, two Treaty with the Isles, one Kings of Summer, one Shadows, and three Kings of Winter. None of the Winter decks made the cut, perhaps due to participants anticipating that it would be popular and building their decks to withstand them.
The cut to the top four saw two players from the DC/VA group and two from the NY group advance to the elimination rounds. Both Erick Butzlaff (DC/VA; "finitesquarewell"on the FFG forums) and Andy Wong (NY; "Sithlord"), each a former Black Friday champion, made the cut without a loss during the Swiss rounds. Filling out the top four were Dan Strouhal (DC/VA; "Twn2dn") and Paul Tapias (NY; "Red Terror"), each with only one loss (in both cases to Erick). Dan was the only non-Lannister player, running an innovative Targaryen deck built around the Shadows mechanic and eschewing the typical recursion engine theme that appeals to many Targaryen enthusiasts (Dan's deck list, rationale, and report of his matches follows in the downloads below). Dan defeated Andy to advance to the finals while Paul knocked off Erick, ensuring that there would be a first time Black Friday champion in 2009. The final match was extraordinary -extending over an hour and testing the mental endurance and skill of both players. In the end, Lannister control proved decisive as Paul brought the Black Friday Cup back to New York (Paul's deck list, rationale, and report of his matches are also in the downloads).
Overall it was a thrilling day and the East Coast groups were and are buzzing about the event. As for the state of the game itself, the consensus heading into the event - that no House succeeds at the Only Game That Matters better than the devious Lannisters with their gold, card draw, and kneel effects- seems to be reinforced. We look forward to seeing what the upcoming Defenders of the North Chapter Pack cycle brings.
Left: Paul Tapias receives the Black Friday Trophy from Chris Macias.
Full Black Friday V results as well as information about opportunities to play AGoT in Manhattan can be found at www.AGoTNY.net.
Download full decklists, session reports, and strategy tips from Paul Tapias (Black Friday V Champion) and Dan Strouhal (Black Friday V Runner-Up).
Black Friday V Decklists (PDF, 132 KB)
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Black Friday tournament! Thanks for promoting the game on the East Coast and on our forums. Extra special thanks to Chris Macias and Jason Nicoll for hosting the event and sending this report.
Discuss the current A Game of Thrones LCG™ metagame and tournaments on our forums.
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.