Profile photo of Team Covenant By Team Covenant On May 11, 2012 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

AGOT LCG Preview: The House of the Black and White

Profile photo of Team Covenant
May 11, 2012

Yesterday we got our first look at one of the upcoming Chapter Packs of the cycle the has just begun this week.  You see them eyes?  Scurry!

“He has faces beyond count, little one, as many faces as there are stars in the sky. In Braavos, men worship as they will… but at the end of every road stands Him of Many Faces, waiting. He will be there for you one day, do not fear. You need not rush to his embrace.”
–The Kindly Man, A Feast for Crows

Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to announce the upcoming release of The House of Black and White, the fifth Chapter Pack for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game to arrive from Beyond the Narrow Sea!

For years, during and after the war, Arya Stark recited a nightly prayer. It was a list of names. They were the people who had done the most harm to her and to her family and whom she most wished dead. For a long time, her prayers went unanswered. Her father’s northern gods failed her. The seven gods of the southrons were no help. But in Braavos, at last, Arya thought she found the god she sought, the Many-Faced God of death, the god of the House of Black and White.

At the End of Every Road

The House of Black and White introduces sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty different cards) that further enrich the Beyond the Narrow Sea cycle and its exploration of the people, places, and events of Essos. Of course, Arya Stark (The House of Black and White, 81) and The House of Black and White (The House of Black and White, 82) feature prominently in the Chapter Pack, but players will also find a host of high-impact new locations for each House, as well as an arsenal of Weapons and other attachments.

George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is a sweeping epic that details the machinations of several Houses and spans both years and continents. However, it is simultaneously an intimately personal tale that traces the impacts that the story’s key events make upon its main characters. Some die. All change.

The House of Black and White allows you to change your characters (and your opponent’s) with a handful of House-specific attachments. Meanwhile, players who favor the saga’s unique personalities will find deadly new tools in The House of Black and White to help them cut through opponents’ non-unique minions. Though all must eventually find their way to the Many-Faced God, some may first live in such a way as to merit a song, or to shape the conquest of Westeros.


Arya found her way to the House of Black and White, seeking revenge for the deaths of her friends and family members. Now, as the Great Houses play their game of thrones, will Arya Stark be able to draw upon her lessons from The House of Black and White to slay her foes?

Look for Arya Stark, The House of Black and White, and a host of other locations, characters, attachments, and events to redefine the nature of revenge when The House of Black and White releases in the third quarter of 2012!

This chapter pack is already available for pre-order through the store, so you can be sure to have it delivered to your front door as soon as possible.  Or you can ensure you get this and all future chapter packs as part of the Chapter Pack Program.

You can catch the original preview here.

      1. I’m a bit iffy on The House of Black and White. The way I see that card, I’m dropping a card from my hand that does NOTHING for board control or hand control whatsoever. It is a nice power steal, but how did they get any power anyway?

        The good thing about it is that if I stack a power challenge with it, I can reign in a sprint-ftw deck pretty harshly. Easily I’m stealing 3 power from their house every turn, unless something is going wrong. But it feels like a gravy card… maybe if I need to slow their power gain and can’t win the power challenge?

        I don’t know about the new Arya. If that ability read “any Stark character”, I’d say she’s decent. It’s only unique ones, which seriously hampers the use of her ability. No military icon. And shadows Arya is better than Ser Kyle at absorbing military claim, once you get past the initial cost to get her in play — hard to justify running the new version of her.

      2. You play a pretty mean game if you’re locking down their ability to grab any power. I’ve still not been able to do that with my Stark decks. I really see this as great synergy with other cards. At 2 gold, it’s not really an expensive location for extra power grab. Get The Kindly Man in as an agenda, get Umber Berserkers killed, start killing and grabbing power. Very Shagga-rific!

      3. I like it as a fallback if things aren’t going well. You might be able to use this almost every turn, and draw out the game enough to get your footing again. It’s not great as win acceleration though — although if you built the deck around firing it off consistently it might be pretty decent for it.

        Stark has to be countered with something — a few choice plots, anti-military tech, etc. If you don’t they have the means to run you over. Targ’s burn could probably stand with Stark because they can dominate military challenge too, but Stark survives well and Targ doesn’t.

        Does anyone know of a circulating Greyjoy deck that centers (at least somewhat) around Naval Escort? That’s a very powerful card for them, and I think it could give people fits. With the right setup and first turn, you could just obliterate right out of the gate. I keep think that would be hard for Stark to fight, if it exists. They want to win challenges, not face giants.

      4. Yeah Theorist, it’s called every Greyjoy deck I build :)

        3x Naval Escort
        3x River Blockade

        That setup works very well in my Raider/Choke deck. Ambitious Oarsman makes it better for that deck, but it’s standard for anything, really. Both great on setup and both work great in tandem. Just don’t draw 3 River Blockades without seeing an escort :)

  1. Let’s see….put Icy Catapult on Lucas Blackwood, play this Arya then play House Umber Berserkers. Kill Lucas, Opponent kills a character, you choose and kill an opponent’s character for the Catapult, then discard Arya to kill another character. Finally, initiate a military challenge with Lucas’ response, all before the Challenge Phase. Why would you worry about MIL claim soak when you have combos like that? :)

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    1. Flatly? That’s 3 cards spent (Catapult, Lucas or random unique, Arya) for 3 killed enemy cards. I choose 1 (Catapult), choose another that is STR 3 or less (Arya), and the opponent sacs one (Berserkers). There’s no advantage won in cards — it’s a tempo gain. I have to then win military and/or intrigue challenges to get ahead in cards.

      Beyond that, I have to not eat military/intrigue challenges as reply to my offensive, or I’m still not winning. That’s where Arya and Kyle (and neutral Maester Aemon) to claim-soak come in, as well as jumpin Cat if I’m so inclined to run her. (Anyone unfamiliar with my deck might assume I’m holding her even if she’s not even in my deck — mission accomplished.)

      Claim-soak is huge when you are sending enough to make sure you win military every turn — you sometimes have to be able to eat a military challenge that comes at you instead of defending to keep your attackers unknelt, and you sometimes have to send all guys to where you won’t have anything to defend with when they retaliate.

      Without claim-soak, Stark’s murder engine can fall apart. One reset or just a couple of claim 2 military challenges, and they are staying very even with you in the area in the game where Stark should beat them.

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      1. Well, you lose 2 characters, they lose 3…THEN! They eat a Mil challenge(hopefully claim 2) so they lose 2 more. You just killed 5 characters before getting to the challenge phase. This being Stark, i’m sure they will have a couple more characters to challenge with while you most likely have none.

      2. Yes but I lose 3 cards — just because Icy Catapult isn’t a character doesn’t mean I haven’t expended a card. And yeah, Stark should have a character or two out before they murder everything. Whatever they play, win military AGAIN (thank Lucas for the bonus military) to keep them at nothing.

        Anyone who has never seen Stark hold somebody at NO characters over several turns hasn’t faced Stark at its meanest. You don’t jockey back and forth with Stark, you either repel them or die trying. It’s brutal.

      3. If Stark COULD consistently do that to all high-level decks, it’d be the only House said to have a high-level deck. I imagine some major restricting/banning would have happened to correct it too.

        I’m not claiming that Stark will auto-zero everyone’s board, but the reason that it won’t is that high-level builds are careful to respect what Stark (and Targ) are capable of doing to them. Whenever you build a new deck and don’t respect the murder capability of Stark, it’ll often hold you to no characters.

        When I say some people have never seen Stark at its meanest, it’s because Stark has the capability to be that brutal even against a deck engineered to stop the board zero from happening. You practically have to be on Coldhands to stop it, and they can even get rid of him. It’s a very similar weapon to choke, except you let them play their deck and just erase it as fast as it can come out.

        I’d conservatively say that Stark can kill 2-3 characters a turn every turn unless seriously checked. And 3-4 if they have Bear Island out. You have to repel that assault to beat them, or you won’t. You can’t draw out of that hole without some way to seriously shut/slow the kill-engine down.

        I like Greyjoy choke as a way to shut Stark down. A deck that can’t play cards can’t win, end of story.

      4. Greyjoy is a good counter at times. It all depends on the setup that Stark gets. Personally, I like Targ as a good counter to the current Stark builds. If I burn all your characters before you get to initiate a challenge, then it doesn’t matter how many No Quarters/Die by the Swords you have. :)

      5. Yep. Once I see that I’m facing Stark, I focus all burn on eliminating or negating the ability to win a mil challenge. If they’re unable to effectively pull a mil win, the murder events are really hard to pull off. Last two times I faced a murder deck, I neutered every mil challenge either before it could happen or after it was declared.

        Choke is still more difficult to for me if I don’t pull influence quickly and they get the choke running. Last game I played against choke, they pulled my only influence location on Turn 1 with Support of the Kingdom and then started stealing gold with Ice Fisherman because they had two Ravens in hand and I only had one. They made it winter, I made it summer and they made it winter on the following turn and I didn’t have an answer. I did eventually win, but it took 9 turns and it was brutal.

      6. I need to study Targ more, to understand the precise threat there — they seem to have lots of ways to kill things, as well as win/neutralize challenges via debuff. The appearance of Balarion the Black just to shut down the military challenge for a turn can really save some bacon vs Stark. lots of options in that house to survive and go at the wolf.

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