Game of Thrones LCG - The King's Peace Review

So far so good on the LCG reviews so let's continue the Game of Thrones saga with The King's Peace, the third pack in the Westeros cycle. As more and more cards come out we're beginning to see some interesting deck builds, but it's still early days yet and the same factions are still dominating the tournament scene. However with packs coming incredibly fast and the first deluxe expansion (expect a typical Broken Meeple review for that one on release) for House Stark on the horizon the meta scene is quickly updating.

To repeat a previous disclaimer, I'm a casual player that enjoys the game and can hold my own in a local store tournament despite having much to learn myself. That's all. Take that for what its worth, but maybe that will allow me to consider combos and ideas that will be fun to use rather than simply dismissing anything that doesn't make a Tier 1 level deck or whatever! So that being said, let's start. You can already check out my Game of Thrones LCG review on my site. If you want to see all the images for each card, I recommend you visit thronesdb.com and use their search engine.





Ser Rodrick Cassel

This requires a second glance to understand it better, but generally most people love the Insight rule. Drawing cards is key to victory and Military challenges are what Stark love to do so already that's a good fit. However it's only in Military challenges that Rodrick is present in so it's a once per turn thing if you're fortunate enough to win the challenge. Attack with multiple unique characters and you should do so resulting in a lot of instant card draw, but of course that runs the risk of lowering your defences in a retaliation. 6 cost is also quite high and he's competing against the likes of Eddard Stark and Robb Stark who are both already good characters. There is potential, but you're going to need a strong economy and solid defences to utilise consistently.


Wolf Dreams

If you are playing a deck that's heavy on Dire Wolves you will be using this card no doubt. Whether you use 1, 2 or 3 copies however is up to you. The more wolves you have, the more you'll use, unless you're desperate to have a particular dog out nice and early. Doesn't cost any gold and merely requires your faction card to be knelt, which is only an issue if you're playing Fealty. Nicely done.


Ser Hobber Redwyne

I doubt I'll ever see a deck with more than two of this guy in, but he's pretty well costed for what he does. His STR is only one less than his gold cost, he has two icons and a pretty sweet tutor effect for a Lady character. In Tyrell alone this already gets you the Queen of Thorns or more importantly Margarey Tyrell. Most of the time Tyrells will banner with another faction though and that tends to be Lannister or Martell. So hello to Cersei and Arianne also. Personally I see better use with Stark as there are 3 Lady characters alone in that faction, all of which are good and did I mention the guy is a Knight? So pairing him with Lady Sansa's Rose and tutoring for her character upon marshalling him makes for a solid starting point for a Knight deck. He'll be popular I'm sure.


Mare In Heat

Knights just get better and better and we aren't even done with them yet. But this is going to make those cheap Knight characters with low STR really annoying especially the Arbor Knight who can pump himself just slightly higher than your opponent's cheap defenders if he has too many of them. Couple this with Highgarden and you'll be consistently removing people from challenges and most importantly, even on the defence.



Ser Alliser Thorne

Hmmm, The Night's Watch is starting to see some improvement in this pack. At first I feel he seems a little over-costed with only 4 STR, but then again it can be argued that for defensive purposes, adding icons is a good thing, as the Night's Watch do feature a lot of mono-icon characters. However when you then read his quasi-ambush ability it improves dramatically. In Fealty you will have to prepare this carefully, but I would happily pay 4 gold for this guy rather than 6 and it's not like you'll have to wait long for the opponent to initiate a Military challenge against you. Though of course regular players will realise why you're sitting there with 4 gold spare during a round so it won't be the biggest surprise ever, but it's something they will have to factor in.


Practice Blade

I wasn't as impressed with this at first and I still don't think it's groundbreaking. But it does have its perks. Ambush outside of Lannister isn't a common thing and the icon boost it gives can mean the difference between opposed and unopposed. It's cheap to play under normal means and will stack with boosts from other cards such as The Wall to make even the most basic of rangers a fairly formidable foe.


Moon Boy

I thought this guy was garbage at first glance, but then considered it a bit more. Card draw is already pretty good in Baratheon with The Red Keep and here we have a fairly low cost character with Insight that would actually receive a power boost from that location during his Power challenge. Suddenly a 4 STR Insight character for 2 gold doesn't seem that bad now does it? Just keep him away from any lost causes to avoid that annoying penalty.



The King's Peace


OK I'm just going to come out and say it, out of all the faction specific plots out there so far, this one is horrible. Firstly it is not difficult at all for a player to have his faction card ready to be knelt and secondly the penalty of giving you a power is likely a small price to pay for the havoc he's going to unleash in that challenge he wants to issue. Coupled with fairly limited statistics on the plot itself and you can see why this card is highly unpopular at the moment.

Ser Gregor Clegane

The character solely responsible for giving me one of the most traumatising 10 seconds of imagery in Game of Thrones. And in card form he's no slouch at all. The STR is insane, essentially winning all challenges he facts without some serious defending. Pillage and Renown to book and even a Knight for all of those boosting abilities they've been getting lately. But what really takes it to the next level is the ability. This turns his pillage into a multi-character killing frenzy. You have to trust to the luck of the deck mind, or do you? Bear And The Maiden Fair from Tyrell allows you to tailor the opponents deck, so why not combine the two? Even if you don't, this guy is fearsome and a Lannister favourite in most lists, providing you can afford to bring him out and protect him from conditions.


I Never Bet Against My Family

This is pairing well with the old Hear Me Roar event to create what I term as the Suicide Charge Lannister deck. Essentially it's a very cheap way to get an ultra powerful character into play by ambush tactics at the cost of discarding them straight after. This doesn't kill the character however to other copies can be brought back later. It's a move that is very powerful when used right but you need to have plenty of card draw to back it up to make it work. It's a fun type of deck to use that is certainly different from the typical Lannister decks going around and it works well with the new agenda which we'll get on to later.


Newly-Made Lord

Designed by a champion player, but I'm still not that sold on it. Location hate can take out some key elements though of a players strategy so it's worth splashing one copy in for those occasions, but 4 gold for a single icon is a hefty price to pay without some extra utility.


Fishing Net

A very cool attachment that's cheap and allows you to get your all-important Greyjoy unopposed challenges through. The fact it isn't terminal means it bounces back to your hand when the character is discarded which is a bigger bonus in itself. If anything the only problem is that it doesn't negate any of the characters text and when it comes to fitting in cards in a Greyjoy deck, there are just so many nice choices in competition. Though I do feel this along with Sea Stone chair has basically put the Throwing Axe to sleep now.


Crone of Vaes Dothrak

I thought at first that she would combo well with other decks that love to discard cards from opponents hands. However, there still aren't many Dothraki characters to kneel and other decks perform fine without her. A Lannister deck that focuses on intrigue challenges for example will likely stay within faction to use their unique plot card. She's not a bad card and it's a nice little bonus when it goes off, but chances are it's only going to be as a result of her own intrigue challenge.

The Silver Steed

I don't see this being used very often, especially when you have to sacrifice it in order to perform the second challenge. On top of that, it doesn't give you any additional boosts to win the challenges, it's unique and it doesn't look like it gives you a choice of whether to sacrifice it or not. When you do a power challenge, it's going away, deal with it. Very underwhelming and so I don't see this getting much use.


Attainted

In another faction this may not have been as good, but in the hands of Martell it's a beauty of a card. Martell are already very good as a controlling faction that likes to mess around with challenge icons. Intrigue is one of those icons that some factions struggle to find and to simply negate them with a simple attachment can really throw a spanner in the works. It cancels out the likes of Little Bird and can reduce the number of challenges made against you. Solid little attachment and it's not terminal.


The Boneway

This is getting mixed reviews on the internet, but personally I rather like it. It fits in nicely with the Martell style of taking early hits for a big counter-attack later. 3 Power is a big swing for essentially doing nothing but losing a few challenges over time and it makes your opponent think twice about letting you lose any challenge period. Remember it doesn't stipulate defending challenges so this works on the offence as well! Defend the challenge and give you a token or let it go through for normal claim. Coupled with their other cards like Sunspear and Ghaston Grey, this really causes the opponent to freeze in place thinking of what to do. I really like it, but it does have a flaw in that it really needs to come out early in the game otherwise it loses long-term effectiveness.




Hedge Knight

If you know you are already fielding plenty of Knights in your deck and let's face it there are plenty to go around, this this makes a solid fighter in the deck with his stat and icon boost. A purpose built Knight deck will use 3 copies of this card without any questions asked. Without his boost, it's too generic to see any play over alternatives.


Knighted

This depends on just far you want to go with the Knight spam in your deck. If the answer is yes, then this will be a must-have card even though the artwork is atrocious. However there are so many good Knight characters as it is that you don't really need to be creating more of them and it's fighting for space in a deck style that's already pretty constrained. I don't think it will see much play.


A Tourney For The King

A very good plot card again, if you are going for a purpose built Knight deck. Several Knights with Renown all attacking at once for a giant power rush move will certainly cause a big swing in the game. And best of all the opponent can't play some nasty event to screw them over this round. It will likely be used as a last turn rush move and therefore not played in the early game.


Lord of the Crossing

A new agenda! Finally something other than Fealty to use when going for a solo faction. And it's certainly a popular one. Many deck designs have come to fruition utilising the 3 challenges per turn motive of this card. However many of those factions using it are the ones that were already pretty powerful to begin with. You don't see Nights Watch or Stark utilising this agenda very often, instead it's the same old Lannister and Tyrell with a little bit of Martell thrown in. Tyrell is just sickness with this card combined with Randyll Tarly, enough to create a rush deck that's nearly impossible to beat. I just hope that other factions will find a way to make good use of this agenda.


Summary

This was a very solid pack with a lot of great cards included. Martell are really starting to come back into play again and even The Nights Watch got some half decent cards this time round. Again it seems the best stuff has been given to the biggest factions in the current meta which is a bit of an annoyance, but evidence from some tournament scenes has shown that other factions are starting to make a name for themselves. . . . well other than The Nights Watch anyway.


If you are interested in this game you can find a copy at your friendly local gaming store - http://www.findyourgamestore.co.uk/

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