Two Guys, One Throne: Can You Play It?

Where you claim on power just for listening.

Profile photo of Robert By Robert On March 27, 2012 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

There’s a bunch of cards out there that some people say you can’t play just because of what it is, a Condition attachment, an Ally character, etc.  But is that really the case?  Steven and I aren’t quite so sure.  What do you think?

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. You guys took my post and made a whole podcast out of it…awesome! I’m so flattered. :)

    I want to start of by saying one thing….Condition attachments are NOT UN-playable.

    However, there are two widely used cards out there that are designed to specifically target that trait of attachment. You say that you have seen plenty of decklists and that no one is running these cards. And that no one in your playgroup is using them. Well if you aren’t seeing a lot of Martell Maester decks or Bara decks then yeah you probably aren’t seeing it. I for one play Maester Cressen in every Bara deck I build because there is always the possibility that someone will Milk your Robert or Knight of flowers and you need an answer for that. Is my thinking…”Oh my GOD, I must run 3x of this guy because i need to remove condition attachments?” NO, that would be absurd. 1x of him is just fine.

    As for Maester of Lemonwood, he really isn’t played that much outside of Martell Maester decks. He’s never played out of house that I have seen and GG Martell decks don’t really run him because they need too many other cards to keep the lock down and GG is better than him anyway at getting rid of attachments. But in TMP decks he should be at least a 2x if not a 3x just so you can have a maester that can take chains off the agenda. Maybe with the nerf to GG we will see more Maester decks arise from Martell. Only time will tell. But one thing is cerain, as long as Martell is the house to beat(and it is for the foreseeable future) this guy will see a lot of play. Which makes condition attachments all that much more vulnerable. Just so I’m clear however, I’m not saying don’t play conditions.

    Now, on to the ally discussion…

    I actively play Varys in EVERY deck that I build. He is just that good. Do I play him 3x just so I can hate on ally characters or because there is some great need for me to get rid of allies? No, but over the past three years since he has been out I have learned that characters that give you a 2 for 1 like Varys, Aerys Oakheart, the new Ser Jorah Mormont, and Daario Naharis are very strong. Do I care what ally I discard? Usually not. Just the fact that I am gaining a character while at the same time discarding a character that you spent probably 2-4 gold to play is something I just cannot pass up. Plus, all of those characters I mentioned have great abilities other than the discard. Varys with the Stealth, Aerys with Renown and no attachments except Weapon, Jorah with Joust and Daario with Melee. All of this characters are amazing in my eyes.

    Also, it seems that you laugh at the inclusion of Dissension as if it’s a crap card. There are so many great uses for this card I don’t even know where to start. The first being against Martell. Martell runs so many ally characters and refugees that you are never lacking for a target. Discarding an Orphan of the Greenblood can be crucial if timed correctly. Not only that but their Lost Spearman is a refugee so taking out a 3 STR character with a military icon can take out the ability for them to initiate a military challenge at all. Not to mention you have discarded what was most certainly going to be claim soak for the turn. Meaning that some other character will have to bite it(if you can get through a mil challenge that is). This not only applies to Martell but other houses as well. Taking out two Bolton refugees can mean that Stark can’t even initiate or defend INT challenges. And all this is without even taking into consideration the ability to manipulate traits. Something that any Maester deck can do with ease and is even easier for Lannister with Lion’s Gate and You Killed the Wrong Dwarf added to the mix. Now does any of what I’ve said here make me want to take Pyatt Pree out of my Targ deck? Hell no. But more times than I can count he has bitten the dust to Varys or Aerys Oakheart. Sucks that I spent that 3 gold on him just to have him go away so easily. But that’s the risk you take playing allies.

    Oh and P.S. – Allanys can still cancel effects from shadow cards. The fact that they are shadows makes no difference. It’s still a triggered effect and she can stop it.

    1. Good defenses!

      My issue with Dissension is that it’s not contributing to YOUR deck in the least. It CAN have an effect, yes, but it CAN also be completely worthless in your hand the entire game. It CAN take out an Orphan of Greenblood at the right time or it CAN, again, have very little impact. A coveted event slot spent on a contingency that:

      1) Doesn’t push your deck further, but instead tries to hinder your opponent’s deck (and hopes that it has characters that makes your card useful)

      2) May well do nothing the entire game

      seems like a bad play. The Top 8 Worlds lists seem to agree. Which is what I mean when I say that I just haven’t seen it.

      http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_nrep.asp?eidm=10

      Cards like Varys and Aerys ARE great cards, and if you need a slot for something, it’s a decent choice. But there are also drawbacks. What if an ally or mercenary isn’t out on your opponent’s side? There are situations where these cards, also, are not terribly desirable and will actually hurt you if played.

      The grand irony, of course, is that the cards that make allies risky are allies themselves. It’s a spinning wheel.

      What seems to be at the heart of all of this is a conflict between what a deck truly should be, and how to build a good one. There’s one school that builds decks to beat what hopefully is in the other decks, that includes cards to “trump” the meta. There’s another that builds decks to accomplish something, to assert themselves on the meta. To the latter, cards like Dissension and a deck full of 1-ofs doesn’t make sense!

      Thanks for the heads up on Alannys! I forgot what exactly was said in the cast, but I know you can’t respond to things like Newly Made Lord coming into play, so that was the parallel in my head.

  2. Yes, it is correct that Dissension CAN sit in your hand the entire game and do nothing. It’s true that it does nothing for YOUR deck or board position if there are not ally characters on your opponents side. Would I actively play Dissension in a deck that wasn’t built specifically to take advantage of the effect? Probably not, because each house and their archetypes have events that are probably more crutial to the deck as a whole and will have a greater impact on the game more often than Dissension. Does that mean that Dissension is a BAD play in the environment right now? I honestly don’t think it’s a BAD play for certain houses. Bara has very little in the way of direct character removal(neither does Greyjoy or Lanny for that matter. Well other than terminal schemes) so Dissension may not be a terrible play with the abundance of martell and lanny decks in the environment and the resurgence of Targ with the bevy of great cards they just received. All these houses play allies. Some of which are very powerful i.e. Pyatt Pree, Varys, Orphans, Lost Spearmen, Lannisport Steward, etc…

    As far as the top 8 decklists are concerned…those are from 2010 and Dissension wasn’t released. But if you look at the lists on that link 7 of the top 8 ran 1 copy of KL Varys. That’s not a coincidence or a mistake in any way. :)

    As for 2011’s Worlds…I was there. 5 of the top 8 were Martell decks, 1 Greyjoy choke, 1 Targ Maesters, and 1 Bara Maesters. Over 35% of the field ran Martell decks. Most of these decks don’t have a need for Dissension. Bara had an awesome combo with lead link, robert and Threat from the North. Targ had burn so no need there, and Greyjoy had choke so you shouldn’t have many characters on the board anyway. So when a good number of the the Martell decks are running ghaston grey… Lol i don’t think i need to go any further as to why you don’t see Dissension. They just don’t need it. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad card however. It’s great out of Lanny because they can use trait manipulation to make your best character an Ally, then poof…gone. THAT is the kind of deck thy should use Dissension. I think it’s an awesome card in the right deck. You just have to build around it.

    1. See, Nathan – all of these “after the podcast” discussions will have me trained into a master in no time! Thanks for the heads up on Dissension. I thought that was 2011 Worlds lists!

      I think we’ve come to a conclusion though, at least about Dissension. My issue with the argument (not necessarily from you, but the community as a whole via comments on agotcards and otherwise) was that Dissension meant you didn’t really want to run allies. But as you’ve stated, every House has cards, especially event cards, that are going to have more of an impact on the game than Dissension. So, being hesitant with Allies due to Dissension actually shouldn’t happen, as it won’t generally be seen unless a deck is built around it – in which case I agree, fantastic card.

      Dissension + Trait Manipulation is outstanding. Dissension without trait manipulation is a questionable include at best.

      As for the 1-of with Varys…it hurts me. I need to take at least a week long break from that discussion though!

  3. lol, that’s what I’m here for. 😀

    I definitely don’t think you should be hesitant with allies. Allies sometimes have the strongest effects that are in a given house. I’m just saying that no one should be surprised to see Aerys Oakheart, Jorah Mormont, or KL Varys played against them. Even just as a one of. Just ask anyone on the FFG forums or agotcards.org and they will tell you these two-for-one characters have some of the strongest effects in the game(regardless of being reliant on a certain trait).

    Dissension is another story. Probably only gonna see it in a dedicated trait manipulation deck. And if you do you will come to respect that card as I do. :)

  4. Some pedantic stuff : Burned and Pillaged won’t actually remove gold from a KotHH deck. Cards they control cannot provide a gold bonus, and (unintuitively) a negative gold modifier is still counted as a ‘bonus’. You won’t be able to use Naval Escort to help win dominance either, there’s no windows for player action before strength is counted.

    I mostly agree that ally hate is overstated. Yeah, many decks use Varys, all Martell/Lannister decks use Arys but only 1 copy. Like Nathan said above I rarely see Dissension unless there’s trait manipulation. It’s a negative but not a HUGE one. Something like Wex Pyke, he’s an ally but only 2 gold for a great effect. He’d still go in my decks. I’d be more worried about his 1 str. Whereas the new Bronn is an ally but also 4 gold, so despite having strong text I’d be worried about losing that big investment.

    Attachments I’m less positive about. Not just Conditions but any attachment. Maesters are still very popular, and so was Ghaston Grey until the recent FAQ (it’s still a powerful card so it may still be popular). Any attachment I include has to have an immediate and powerful effect.