Profile photo of Robert By Robert On February 28, 2012 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

Two Guys – One Throne: Trial By Combat

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February 28, 2012

This week Steven and Robert discuss the latest chapter pack to hit the scene, Trial By Combat, and from the look of it, seems pretty good to us!

If you have any topics you would like to hear discussed or would like to come on and discuss yourself, please leave us a comment, or send me an email at robert@teamcovenant.com or just drop Steven or I a line at our respective pages (Steven’s or Robert’s). We’d love to hear from you.

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  1. Another awesome podcast! I think there is quite a bit of ally hate. Plus, now that we are starting to see more and more allies, its something that people are looking at including in their deck. So far you have the new Jorah, Varys, Aerys Oakheart, and the big one, dissension. Not to mention the fact that you can give things the ally trait with Old Nan, Tin Link, and Lion’s Gate. Dissension pretty much turns into discard ANY character at that point. So it really is starting to get more play, and Oakheart and Varys were already seeing play.

    Just to touch on a few cards from the new pack. I LOVE knight of Harrenhal. It is an ally, but who cares. If someone is going to waste their ally hate on this guy (instead of something like littlefinger or ranger of winter) then I’m still probably coming out ahead. Plus he’s non unique, so even better. I think the reward FAR outweighs the risk.

    Corpse Lake is pretty much just like you called it. Its that rug from The Big Lebowski. Really brings it all together. I’m pretty meh about all the melee only cards. I am much more in favor of cards like Meraxes that get stronger in melee. I mean at least I can still use it in joust! Cotter Pyke is HUGE! They HAVE to have a str 5 character if they want to defend against him. If they block with a 4 str character he wins. If they try and block with two str 4 dudes, he becomes a 5 and now its unopposed. Not to mention the str pumps in GJ. Sure he’s 5 gold, but he is worth every penny, imo.

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    1. Is the strength of all these ally hate cards amplified by the presence of so many “one of’s”?

      I was thinking much the same since the cast about Cotter too. He’s quite potent, a lot of fun math on the attack that makes him pretty scary. We’re prolly just reeling a bit since Steven has pioneered a low-cost GJ deck, so that 5 gold seems high, which it is, just disproportionately so.

    2. Yeah I agree that its pretty high, especially with a GJ deck since you try and run pretty tight on your gold curve. Throwing in one 5 cost character can really screw you on that front. Still shouldn’t be that hard to compensate. Depending on what exactly he’s running, he could look at Street of Silk.

      Yeah I mean the thing with the ally hate cards is that they’re so dang efficient. Varys and Oakheart are amazing characters in their own right. Give them the ability of targeted removal also and its almost an autoinclude. The presence of “one of’s” is definitely increasing and making the ally hate much more attractive. Especially since Lannister is coming back into popularity. They have some really strong Allies that they’re probably only going to be running one of, maybe two. Bronn, Amory Lorch, etc. Also even if you are hitting a non unique its still a two character swing in your favor. The event dissension is awesome because it can hit two refugees too. I think pretty much everyone is still using refugees at this point, so if you can hit two with one card, you just got a pretty big swing in your favor since they were probably counting on those for claim soak too.

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      1. Those cards ARE good by themselves, which is why the ally-hate makes sense. Old Nan is Stark only, and Oakheart is Lannister/Martell, though.

        Varys is really the universal threat. I can’t see people using a deck slot on Dissension without some kind of trait manipulation like Old Nan. Otherwise it just has too much “dead card” potential.

        Varys is certainly good – but at least Maester Wendamyr makes Greyjoy not care!

      2. Well Lannister was kinda just seen as “meh” before the release of the Lions of the Rock. I totally think they’ve been in the top three houses, people just didn’t play them. *shrug* I think the Lions of the Rock did make it WAY easier to build a good Lannister deck, whereas they weren’t the easiest to build previously.

        I’d like to point out that Old Nan and Oakheart can easily be run out of house. Especially since Old Nan has a Learned Crest and can be comboed with Inn of the Kneeling Man and Oakheart has renown. They don’t see MUCH play ooh, but the option is still there.

        I also disagree on dissension. There are a LOT of allies out there (like every other card in Lannister and even quite a few in Martell) and almost everyone still uses refugees. The only downside is that it is an event, and I think the event slots in my deck are easily the most competitive slots. There are just so many awesome events out there, and only about nine slots in most of my decks, if that.

    3. Totally. Cotter Pyke becomes more of a hoss every time I look at him. The fact that it becomes Winter, too, really just ices the cake. It’s a much more appealing way to get that effect for me than the Raven play, especially with Carrion Bird.

      1. Yeah, it’s something we’re building to test against soon. I can already tell it’s ludicrous. Reminds me so much of Purple Haze from the Spoils. Crazy amount of control.

        Location hate is a big must these days.

  2. “Lannister coming back into popularity” – I’ll explain that one: They were always great, but for a long time, they were so dominant that everyone got sick of playing them, I think. Now that their box is out, they have some shiny new toys to play with and you’re seeing them a lot more.

    Regarding allies, it’s not so much that no one plays allies because of ally hate – most people still play their fair share of allies. That’s why Varys is an auto-include in a bunch of decks. And with Martell and Lannister’s immense popularity, you can almost guarantee that you’ll see Oakheart and Varys both in a lot of games, making the trait a definite liability in a tournament.

    Is that enough to make you stop running allies? Not at all, but it is enough to make you carefully consider which ones are worth running. It’s just such a huge tempo swing, especially for the ones that cost 3 or more. Even without trait manipulation and without doubling up with refugees, Dissension is really strong. In games where the opponent doesn’t have a ton of gold and/or draw, a “free” event that discards a character can be very useful, especially since it hits mercenaries as well.

    Greyjoy and Stark are particularly devoid of those traits, but against every other house, Dissension, Varys, and Oakheart are solid options.

    Now, your logic about allies probably holds true to a certain extent with regard to attachments. No one plays attachments because of Tin Link, and if it were a normal situation, that would cause the play of Tin Link to go down. Unfortunately, that’s not the case since you don’t have to put it “in” your deck with the Maester’s Path Agenda, and thus attachments don’t see a lot of play unless they are ridiculously powerful and thus worth the wasted slot against Maester decks.

    I think No Quarter may be the best card in the pack, personally. Someone (cough*Staton*cough) left it off of their podcast’s top 5, inexplicably. 😉 The Targ and GJ cards are pretty sweet too.

    Out of curiosity, which deck were you guys talking about at the end of the podcast that almost won on turn 1?

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    1. My GJ rush deck. It actually did win on T1 had I played it right. That is, I had the cards in hand to get a T1 win. It’s happened twice now. Most wins are T2 or T3 plot phase, though.

      1. lol Well dissension is totally a meta card. It does have the chance to be a dead card, and honestly it will be sometimes. However, when it isn’t a dead card, when you just play it and instantly remove a character, its huge. Still you’re right that it CAN be a dead card, but in the current competitive environment, I think more often than not you’re going to be hitting something good with it.

        Now I agree that No Quarter is amazing, but it doesn’t bring anything new to Stark. I mean does Stark really have a problem killing characters? I don’t think so. Its a great alternative, but that’s about it, imo. Something like Knight of Harrenhal, that not only brings a brand new mechanic but also lessens the impact on its biggest weakness as a house, brings a lot more to the table. Therefore I stand by my assessment that its not in the top 5 for that chapter pack. Still I think we all win, because that chapter pack was full of awesome!

      2. Nice. Is that with the Corpse Lake/Discard stuff? I used to have a GJ unopposed rush back in the CCG that I liked, but all my recent GJ decks have centered around other themes. Maybe I need to work on a rush build now. :)

    2. Alright, Benton, I’ll bite. 😛 Something that I’ve harped on and harped on for years is context. You have to look at the card in the context of its house, the other cards legal at the time, and the overall meta in general. Sometimes cards that are very powerful individually can become nigh unplayable due to outside factors. Other times its the exact opposite where previously unplayable cards become a silver bullet for certain popular decks.

      I don’t think its nearly as extreme in this case though. Now I do also want to say that we discussed the top five for this chapter pack for HOURS before coming up with a solid top 5, and I think both of us still didn’t agree 100%. When discussing we did decide that we needed to look at not only raw power level, but how much the cards boosted their respective houses or respective builds. So knowing all that, let’s look at No Quarter.

      Targeted kill is easily the best character control in the game. However, the event slots (as I’ve mentioned before) are easily the most competitive. You really don’t want to run more than 9 (maybe 12 in the right deck), and there are SO many good events. Now Stark has already had access to Die by the Sword, which is pretty much the same as No Quarter just replace war crest with unique character, and it gets some fairly solid use in my experience. So right there you already have competition for No Quarter. Personally I think Stark decks are already probably running at least a mild war crest theme for things like Price of War and Power of Arms, so I feel like Die by the Sword fits in a bit better than No Quarter. But hey, maybe you want to use both, right? I mean if 1 dead Lannister character is good, then 2 dead Lannister characters are awesome! Again though, I’d probably still go in a different direction here. If I want six targeted kill events, I think I want to give myself as many options as possible. So I’m looking at Guilty over No Quarter actually, just because of the sheer number of challenge denial and cancel. Against Martell and Lannister, its going to be really really hard to actually win a challenge. Lannister will kneel you all day long and Martell will be damned if you even try to get a challenge off. Now I’m sure you’ll be able to get a few challenges off, its not reasonable to assume they can stop every single military challenge, but it’d be nice to have an option to kill something without having to wait for that opening. Guilty allows you to create that opening at your choosing, rather than letting them just run out of gas. Also, it can’t be canceled by He Calls it Thinking, so even better in my book.

      All in all, I’d say No Quarter is a very good card, but just doesn’t bring as much to the table as something like Knight of Harrenhal. That guy is just crazy good, and is perfect for the house he’s in! If this were a Lannister character, I’d call it one of the worst cards ever printer, but its not! Its Stark, and that makes all the difference. Context, context, context! In the end, I think the top 5 cards we had just brought more to the table and helped bolster their houses better than No Quarter did. Still, really good card.

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      1. Which WAR crests are you running in your Stark decks that makes Die by the Sword so reliable? I always have to search and scramble to get enough quality ones to run that card. I’m usually playing 3 Flanks, possibly Jory,
        Riders of the Red Fork, and Bastard’s Elite if it’s a Siege of Winterfell deck.

        Yeah, in a Bolton deck, it’s an easy play. But every other deck I build in Stark has way more uniques than WAR crests. I can’t tell you the number of games that I’ve sat with Die by the Sword in hand with no WAR crest on the board, and they are usually the first ones knelt or controlled. If you are running more uniques on average than WAR crests (and in a non-Bolton build, I think you are playing inferior characters if not), then No Quarter is easier to trigger.

        It’s bonkers with Stark/Wildlings and I’ve used it a ton with Meera and her stealth. After having proxied it for the past few weeks, I think No Quarter is by far the most consistent event kill option Stark has available to them. Maybe it’s just the kind of Stark decks I like to build, though.

      2. Yeah Stark Wildlings would be pretty nuts with No Quarter. Good call there.

        Anyway, Host of Bear Island x3 (with Karhold Rookery and Bay of ice, total no brainer.)
        Knight of the Tumblestone x3
        Red Fork Riders x3
        Randyl Tarly x2
        Flank x2
        Infantry x1
        Bastard’s Elite x3
        Steelshanks Reserves x3 (just too good not to use. I almost exclusively go first)
        I also had two flayed men that I recent took out. I also have unique war crests, but figured that would just fuel your side of the argument. 😛

      3. No Quarter is the kind of event I look at and say “amazing”.

        I’d easily run it alongside Die By The Sword if your Stark deck is War-focused. If it isn’t, No Quarter is A+. Such a good event. One of those that is never a dead card (unlike Dissension, which I still say is a waste of time).

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