Jun 26, 2017

AGoTLCG2: Our Melee decks

One of the main reasons I got the Game of Thrones card game was so I could obsess about deckbuilding again. My Lord of the Rings deck is humming along quite nicely, and I've even succesfully built a bunch of decks for other people to use that they've come back to play again. But they're kinda done for the moment. So I needed a new reason to obsess over cardgamedb.com. It was going to be Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, actually, but then Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop split ways, and I ended up with Game of Thrones.

Even though my primary interest here is collecting, and I really have no interest in competitive play whatsoever, it'd still be nice if the decks we collected made some amount of sense. So I did find some deckbuilding articles to look at. Here's one on the early metagame, and another on cost curve. The White Book has a decent introductory article here, followed by another one on building your plot deck.


I hope I made it sufficiently clear in my previous post that my loyalties are squarely with the true rulers of Westeros, House Targaryen. Starting with the core set, the first question is which agenda to pick: do I go for Fealty and only a single House, or a Banner that lets me include non-loyal cards from another House? (there are other agendas in the expansions, but we don't own any yet) While a Targaryen Fealty deck would admittedly be very thematic, the problem is that with only one core set, I'd have a twenty-card deck, plus neutrals, and I still somewhat dislike having to buy a pile of core sets. But also, I know exactly which house I want to ally with.

Why? Well, I do have an abiding love for all things nautical, but really, mostly because of Asha Greyjoy.

So far, we've bought some more or less random chapter packs - mostly ones that had characters we wanted in them - and the Lions of Casterly Rock deluxe. Annoyingly, that wasn't a proper cardboard box like the Lord of the Rings deluxe and saga expansions, but a useless and flimsy one, although it doesn't really matter so much since you won't really need it for anything. The excellently named All Men Are Fools not only gave us a handy Targaryen economy location and speed dating Margaery for my partner, but also the wonderful Ygritte.

My goal, then, is going to be to build a deck around three awesome women: Daenerys, Asha and Ygritte.

So this is what I've got so far:

House Targaryen
Banner of the Kraken

A Clash of Kings
A Noble Cause
Counting Coppers
Early Frost (LoCR)
Late Summer Feast (AMAF)
Summer Harvest (CtA)

60 cards; 12 Greyjoy, 12 neutral

Characters: 30 (16/7/7)
Daenerys Targaryen
Khal Drogo
Ser Barristan Selmy (LoCR) x2
Braided Warrior
Crone of Vaes Dothrak (TKP) x2
Doreah (CtA) x2
Ser Jorah Mormont
Viserys Targaryen
Asha Greyjoy
Drowned Men
Theon Greyjoy
Black Wind's Crew
Lordsport Shipwright
Maester Wendamyr
Salty Navigator
Wildling Horde
Ygritte (AMAF) x3
Wildling Bandit (LoCR) x2

Attachments: 11 (6/3/2)
Drogo's Arakh
Daenerys's Favor (LoCR)
Mother of Dragons (GoH)
Beggar King (CtA) x2
The Silver Steed (TKP)
Fishing Net (TKP) x2
Throwing Axe
Appointed (LoCR)
Milk of the Poppy

Events: 7 (3/1/3)
Fire and Blood
Waking the Dragon
Risen from the Sea
Put to the Sword
Put to the Torch
Support of the People (TtB)

Locations: 12 (7/1/4)
Plaza of Punishment
Slaver's Bay Port (AMAF) x3
Vaes Dothrak (TtB)
Illyrio's Estate x2
Iron Fleet Scout
Street of the Sisters (TtB)
The Kingsroad
Ocean Road (LoCR)
The Roseroad


My partner wanted to play Tyrell because of Brienne, but struggled to choose between a Stark or Lannister banner. Luckily, the release of the Alliance agenda, you can have both!

This is, quite simply, a fandom-based deck with our favorite road trip odd couples: Brienne and Jaime, and Arya and Sandor. We picked up the King's Peace to add knightliness, and may have to get Calm Over Westeros to add Bronn to keep Tyrion company.

House Tyrell
Banner of the Lion
Banner of the Wolf

Calm Over Westeros
Gossip and Lies
Naval Superiority
Supporting the Faith

75 cards; 18 Lannister, 13 Stark, 11 neutral

Characters: 45 (19/13/9/4)
The Queen of Thorns
Margaery Tyrell x3
Brienne of Tarth x3
The Knight of Flowers
Alerie Tyrell x2
Knight of Summer x2
Paxter Redwyne
Maester Lomys
Arbor Knight x3
Courtesan of the Rose
Garden Caretaker
Ser Jaime Lannister (LoCR) x3
Tyrion Lannister (Core)
Chella Daughter of Cheyk
Taena Merryweather
The Hound x3
Lannisport Moneylender
Tommen Baratheon
Eddard Stark (Core)
Vanguard of the North
Arya Stark (Core)
Jeyne Westerling x2
Sansa Stark (Core)
Bran Stark
Direwolf Pup
Tumblestone Knight
Rattleshirt Raiders
Silent Sisters (GoH)

Attachments: 7 (1/3/1/2)
Valyrian Steel Dagger
The Boy King
Widow's Wail
Seal of the Hand
Milk of the Poppy

Events: 12 (9/1/1/1)
Olenna's Cunning
"A Rose of Gold" x3
Growing Strong
Offer of a Peach x3
All Men Are Fools
"The Bear and the Maiden Fair"
For the North!
Quiet as a Shadow

Locations: 11 (4/1/2/4)
The Mander
Rose Garden x2
Lannisport Treasury
Harrenhal (GoH) x2
Ocean Road (LoCR) x2
The Kingsroad
The Roseroad


Speaking of fandom, Lions of Casterly Rock also enabled us to create a Lannister Fealty deck for the Joffrey fan in our lives (please don't ask).

House Lannister

A Game of Thrones
Calling the Banners
Filthy Accusations
Gossip and Lies (LoCR)
Late Summer Feast (AMAF)
Sneak Attack
Wildfire Assault

61 cards; 12 neutrals

Characters: 32 (28/4)
Joffrey Baratheon (GoH) x2
Tyrion Lannister (LoCR) x2
Tywin Lannister (Core)
Ser Jaime Lannister (Core)
Ser Kevan Lannister (LoCR)
Timett Son of Timett (LoCR) x2
Cersei Lannister (Core)
Chella Daughter of Cheyk (LoCR) x2
Grand Master Pycelle
Joffrey Baratheon (Core)
Moon Brothers (LoCR) x3
Shagga Son of Dolf (LoCR) x2
Stone Crows (AMAF) x2
The Queen's Assassin
Burned Men
Ser Lancel Lannister (LoCR) x2
Tommen Baratheon (LoCR) x2
Lannisport Merchant
High Septon (LoCR) x2
Silent Sisters (GoH)

Attachments: 6 (4/2)
Valyrian Steel Dagger (LoCR) x2
The Boy King (CtA) x2
Little Bird

Events: 11 (7/4)
A Lannister Always Pays His Debts (LoCR) x2
Hear Me Roar!
Insidious Scheme (LoCR) x2
The Things I Do for Love
Tears of Lys
Quiet as a Shadow (GoH)
Superior Claim
The Hand's Judgment

Locations: 12 (10/2)
Casterly Rock
Golden Tooth (LoCR) x2
Lannisport Treasury (LoCR) x2
Mountains of the Moon (LoCR) x2
Western Fiefdom x2
The Kingsroad
The Roseroad


Finally, for visiting players, we have a Night's Watch deck based on the one suggested in the core set.

The Night's Watch
Banner of the Stag

Building Orders
Early Frost (LoCR)
Fortified Position
Marched to the Wall
Marching Orders
Wildfire Assault
Winter Festival (CtA)

60 cards; 12 Baratheon, 9 neutral

Characters: 32 (19/6/3)
Old Bear Mormont (Core)
Jon Snow (Core)
Benjen Stark
Craster (GoH) x2
Ghost (Core)
Ranging Party
Dolorous Edd (CtA) x2
Eastwatch Carpenter (AMAF) x2
Maester Aemon (Core)
Ser Waymar Royce
Veteran Builder
Old Forest Hunter
Samwell Tarly
Sweet Donnel Hill (LoCR) x2
Messenger Raven
Steward at the Wall
Renly Baratheon
Ser Davos Seaworth (Core)
King's Hunting Party
Maester Cressen
Maester Pylos (CtA) x2
Bastard in Hiding
Edric Storm
Vanguard Lancer
Wildling Horde
Rattleshirt's Raiders

Attachments: 8 (7/1)
Craven (CtA) x3
Dragonglass Dagger (GoH) x3
Syrio's Training

Events: 8 (7/1)
Take the Black
The Sword in the Darkness
The Watch Has Need (TtB) x3
A Meager Contribution x2
Put to the Torch

Locations: 12 (6/3/3)
The Wall
Castle Black
Eastwatch-by-the-Sea (AMAF) x2
Bridge of Skulls (LoCR) x2
Chamber of the Painted Table
Dragonstone Port x2
The Iron Throne
The Kingsroad
The Roseroad


The idea behind these decks is to include a fairly wide variety of cards so we can try them out in friendly melee games. Our first try was a three-player Targaryen-Lannister-Tyrell matchup, where we were all still very much learning the ropes. I was lucky and got both Dany and Khal Drogo out fairly soon, but I got beat up pretty bad when both other players ganged up on me. Meanwhile, the Lannister deck was building up a pretty impressive army of Clansmen, but when Tywin fucking Lannister joined them, my partner put a stop to it with King Varys.

The only survivors were Timett Son of Timett, who died soon enough, Ygritte and the Hound (Tyrell). I played Summons and found Ser Jorah; he got me dominance, so I was at 11 power. Next turn, the Lannisters opened with A Game of Thrones, but I got initiative with A Clash of Kings, and marshalled Asha with the help of a Roseroad. Ser Jorah won the compulsory opening intrigue challenge, his Renown getting us to 12, and I managed to get an unopposed power challenge with Asha, which was enough to win. I was very happy, because Dany and her dragons played a big part before they got Varysed, Ygritte survived it and helped get us through until Asha delivered the finisher.


Moral of the story? If there are any Game of Thrones fans in your life, picking up a single core set of the second-edition Game of Thrones LCG and building some fandom-based decks to play Melee with is great fun. The game is easy enough for relative beginners to get into, and even though the start of a melee game can be a bit intimidating, you begin to pick it up quickly enough. The familiar characters and themes really help, and also facilitate personal mini-goals; killing Joffrey has been perhaps surprisingly popular in our group! Each deck can also be given enough of a gameplay theme to feel quite different from the others, which makes the gameplay even better. Treat this as a board game with a deck-building aspect and if you're anything like us, you'll enjoy yourself.

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