Profile photo of Max Ogden By Max Ogden On March 07, 2013 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

Blog 2.5: Ease me into AGoT

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March 7, 2013

Dear all,

I come here with a humble request. I need your help getting into AGoT. I’ve played it a few times, loved it, and want to get further into the game. I’m here to ask you how.

I don’t have any particular house affiliations: I bought the Martell starter, but have no particular interest in them.

If I want to get into the game, would it be best for me to pick a house and roll with it OR simply buy the decks I like the look of, a la Magic the Gathering. I actually don’t mind either way, as I both enjoy the variety of decks that Magic used to offer me (no interest in the game any more, but the attitude towards it has obviously carried over), but on the other hand I enjoy the deck building opportunities that Netrunner has offered me (which would only feasibly be available if I chose a House and collected all the cards for it).


So, which would you advise I take? Any help would be mucho appreciated, as I wanna get going before Regionals end here in the UK; if I win a regionals, it may be a sneaky 21st gift to myself to get myself to Worlds. Or GenCon. Who knows…

As for normal blogging schedule, I have an event on Saturday at which I will be running the decks I wrote about in blogs 1 and 2 (Criminals and HB), and will probably be doing a report or analysis or something along those lines.

Until next time!


    1. I’ve played a bunch with the starter set and the House Expansion sets for each of the Houses. I know a fair amount about what each House does etc, this was more about approaching the game from a competitive stand point; do I choose a House and go with it, or pick and choose the decks I like the look of?

  1. honestly costs the most i will strongly recommend getting all the cards. now you don’t need to do this probably to start or even first tournament, but makes a big difference. And although the house packs on TC is a great thing if your like me you’ll buy all the cards for one house but then relise you don’t want toonly play one house and buy all the cards anyways haha currently its about 600ish to get all the cards i think maybe bit more but since read you played magic believe you’d see that as a good deal for ALL the cards and increases so many options

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    1. While this sounds fantastic, that is an exceptionally large amount of money for a game that has a relatively limited following in the UK. But you would recommend choosing a house and going for it?

    2. id agree droping that much money is alot but if you get really into it like me you probably will end up getting all the cards and thats why i would recommend staying away from the house packs since i did at first and then bought all the packs anyways so waisted really additional 150 bucks or so, unless you belive only want to play one house like some do and then its an amazing deal

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      1. I think i’ll either be gambling and choosing a house, or buying a single deck. Hopefully I won’t be tempted by them all, but we all know how that’ll go.

  2. AGoT is a deep game, with lots of cards and lots of room to explore. I personally enjoy dabbling in all the different houses, but I certainly focus on Targaryen more than the others.

    Team Covenant offers the house pack products, which is a good way to get the full playset of cards for a given house pretty quickly, but I’d either target packs that fill out a deck you’re interested in or pick up two full cycles of chapter packs. If you got, say, the Defenders of the North cycle and Tale of Champions cycle along with the Stark deluxe box, you’d be able to field a very good Stark deck for your regional, while still retaining lots of space to build on from other houses. That, of course, is just an example off the top of my head–there may be better cycles or houses to choose from, but that’s what I did more or less and I’m pretty happy with where it turned out.

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    1. This sounds like an excellent half-way house. Would you be able to give me a similar example for each house, and maybe what decks I could make with them? I know thats a huge ask, but it would be fantastic, and if you can’t the one example you’ve given me is a huge plus.

      As far as I’m aware, the UK scene isn’t a…strong one, shall we say. I’m a fairly experienced CCG/LCG player, and the skills are all relatively transferrable, so I expect to do well. But a good deck always goes a long way to help.

  3. Hey Max! Welcome!

    Ok, so getting started in AGoT can be daunting. They JUST released a new FAQ putting a lot of the auto-include power cards on a restricted list so building a good deck at this point probably just got a little cheaper since you won’t need to buy so many packs to become competitive.

    If you want to go straight into tournaments and building competitive decks I would say that it really doesn’t matter what house you pick at the moment. With the new FAQ everything is up in the air as to which house is going to be best(though most people suspect it will be Targaryen). So I would just go with a House that you like the look and play style of. Personally, I’m a Targ player like, Buz but I do actively play all the houses….except Baratheon. They suck and their play style is just boring as hell to me. :)

    Some houses will cost more to build a good deck than others. If you want a good competitive Lannister or Targaryen deck then I would suggest buying 3 Core Sets(or just 2 Core Sets and a House Pack for Lanny and Targ from Team Covenant) since there are cards that you will want to have 3x of for both of those houses that come in the Core. Otherwise, for Stark and Bara you can probably get a way with only 2 Core Sets.

    I would recommend looking at some cards at or and seeing what you like the look and feel of. Then check out some decks that others have made and see what you might want to put together. Then, go buy the chapter packs for the cards that you want/need.

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    1. Thankyou for the help. I think I’m liking the look of Greyjoy, but being competitive is more a focus with this than choosing a house I like the look of; I’d rather play a deck I didn’t have any connection to, that was powerful, that a deck full of my favourite characters from the books.

      Cost wise for a single deck isn’t too big of an issue; it was only recently that I stopped playing MtG, so everything feels so delightfully cheap.

      EDIT: Obviously, if there is a competitive Greyjoy built that would obviously take a slight priority over, say, a Baratheon deck of equal competitiveness, as I prefer the Greyjoy look. But fluff wise, my preference goes no further than that.

      1. Many people think that Greyjoy Maesters will be a very strong build. Maybe the top deck with Targaryen Knights of the Hollow Hill. I would recommend buying the Kings of the Sea expansion, the Secrets of Oldtown chapter packs, and the Tales of Champions cycle. Those two cycles will give you a great build for Greyjoy. There is also one chapter pack from the King’s Landing cycle(Tales from the Red Keep) that you will want that has a card in it called Distinguished Boatswain. Great card for setups.

  4. I’d agree with what most people have said here. My advice is to pick a House you want to focus on and start there. It’s what I did. Yes, I eventually got all of the cards over time, but I still primarily play Targaryen because I love the themes and that was my first House. My second House was Baratheon (which Nathan to this day is baffled by) and I still play a good bit of Bara.

    But, I digress… a player (who has since left the game) wrote a series of articles over on called First Tilt: Which House is For You? I would recommend reading those if you haven’t read them already.

    I’ve taken over as a cowriter of that series over there, but I didn’t specifically write those House articles. I did, however, help write a series of articles on constructing decks with a smallish card pool that you might find helpful. Those are titled “Expanding House [House name]” and we construct decks with 2X Cores, 1 House Expansion and no more than 6 packs. While those aren’t going to win tournaments, they should allow you to push in and get a solid start to understand how certain interactions work to get a feel for the particular play style and deck type you would most enjoy.

    I hope that’s helpful.

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    1. It’s helpful to a degree. The question was more focused on getting a competitive deck together. With that in mind, should I choose a house, get the cards together and then master that house. Or should I buy Targ KotHH, as that’s quite good, and then Bara Holy rush, as that’s good, and continue like that.

      Also, thanks for the Expanding House articles, I’ll go and give them a read asap.

      1. If you want to win then Targ KotHH is certainly the way to go right now. it’s widely considered the top build. That or Greyjoy Maesters or Lannister House of Dreams running Tunnels of the Red Keep.

      2. I’m not sure I’d put Lannister House of Dreams Tunnels in the top until after we see how the meta shakes out with the new epic battle. I’m not normally a fan of silver bullet decks but that’s such a good one, it is super useful even against non HoD decks.

      3. If Siege / Black Sails gets popular (and I can’t see Black Sails not being popular by the next chapter pack) HoD may end up being just a short diversion in this game’s history. What a sad fate for a championship card.

      4. Well, being that I love Targ… I’d always say go Targ KotHH. 😉

        I was only trying to give a wider perspective that every house has specific strengths and some have different playstyles so that it might help to look over those articles to see which house seems to fit your previous CCG experience and type of decks you found most enjoyable: Hard Control (character removal), Soft Control (challenge denial), Rush, Pure Aggro, Hand Control…

        Every House can field a competitive deck and most houses can do one or two of those things well while some really excel at one type more than another. Nathan can give a more historical view of which House does what best – but here’s my take:

        Hard Control (character removal through card effects): Targ is probably best at this with Greyjoy Winter able to also do it quite well (though that deck also tends to use a hybrid of challenge denial and option denial)

        Soft Control (challenge denial): Martell and Lannister Kneel

        Rush: Baratheon, Targ Dragons (Rush hasn’t won a Joust competitive field in a while)

        Pure Aggro (character removal through challenge wins): Stark, Greyjoy

        Option Denial (hand control or income control): Lannister Power Behind the Throne (hand), Baratheon Asshai (hand), Greyjoy Choke (income)

        But… that’s my take.

      5. I would agree with MOST of what Larry said. The only thing being Greyjoy Winter having direct character removal. They have Wintertime Marauders, which most people agree is their best card(with Support of Harlaw it’s out of control), because when it’s winter that duo can wreck your opponent’s entire board…quickly. I don’t think I would put that into Hard control though. That’s more Aggro. Everything else he said is spot on.

        Targ is basically a house that can look at the board, say…”I don’t like that character”(and sometimes “those characters”) and just play 1-2 cards and that character is no longer alive. That’s why I like them. :)

      6. If you’re looking for a deck to start with, I’d say some iteration of Wildlings. Stark or Bara is likely the best house, and I’m partial to the stark or Targaryen Wildling builds.

        I’ll try to put together a template for one of these later today if I have time. Basically, 2x Core, relevant deluxe, defenders of the north cycle (6 packs) and then a few more. The few more is what I’ll have to work on 😉

      7. That’s fair… I almost left them out, but then thought a Greyjoy player might point out Wintertime Marauders. But, you’re right, that is truly more Aggro because it’s a challenge win-based effect.

    2. I think I’m going to go Greyjoy. They seem to have the perfect balance between control and aggression, with a cool aethetic and a competitive nature. Assuming i’m going Greyjoy, what packs should I get first?

      Black Sails looks to be incredibly powerful, on a side note. Thankyou for all of your help guys!

      1. Well, if you are settled on those dirty scumbag Greyjoys then I guess you’ll need to decide what archetype you want to play, then you can get the chapter packs that coincide with that archetype. Here are the top Greyjoy builds…

        Maesters – probably the top build for them, but hard to play correctly for a new player. Probably not the smartest play with Targaryen being the most popular house. They can just burn away your Maester characters and make it where you can’t win at all.
        Winter Choke – a close second to Maesters. Basically you make it so that your opponent has almost no gold or reducer locations to play things with, while you play anything you want.
        Winter Aggro – Hasn’t seen much play lately but might see a resurgence after the new FAQ.

      2. There’s all kinds of cards you are going to want, the new stuff is good if you’re looking for black sails, the third one won’t be out until the end of April.

        Tales from the Red Keep gets you Distinguished Boatswain and that’ll be in pretty much any greyjoy deck you ever make.

        Winds of Winter & Change of Seasons & The Raven’s Song gets you white raven, Samwell, ice fishermen and wintertime marauders. Good choices if you like the winter theme.

        Tourny for the Hand, On Dangerous Grounds, and Where Loyalty Lies, nets you Asha, Alannys, and newly made lord, which are also pretty much auto includes for Greyjoy.

        Otherwise, go with the maesters pack and run maesters.

      3. How do the numerous 1 and 2of treat you? I’m a big fan of consistency, and would rather be running 3-ofs of a few people than lots of 2 and 1ofs.

      4. Well, unlike MTG if a character dies in this game you can’t play another copy if you happen to draw one later. So one ofs reduce the likelihood of dead draws. Dupes are unrelaible in general and vs Targ burn they do you no good as you can’t save from their kill effects. Running 3x of a lot of unique characters is really only useful if there are characters that you MUST have for your deck to function. Otherwise, 1x and 2x of some of the better ones is the way to go.

      5. Yes, exactly! Plus you do draw 2 cards/turn base and up to 3 more till you hit the draw cap, so you’ll see a lot more of your deck over the course of the game. That increases the odds of drawing a 1x or 2x card before the game is over.

      6. What I need to find is two or three cycles that I should get and then work from there. Or just bite the bullet and get singles. WHO KNOWS

      7. just get the whole cycle. Sooner or later you will want all the cards. For Gayjoy I would start with the Tales of Champions and Secrets of Oldtown cycles. Those will boost you the most.

      8. Nathan I’m always seeing well constructed decks with clever titles and descriptions on AGOT cards, is that always you? 😉 I KNEW IT.

  5. I recorded a video basically answering your question:

    In short, I’d get the Greyjoy and Martell expansions – Princes of the Sun and Kings of the Sea – first, as it will quickly give you six playable decks rather than four.

    After that, pick up a second core set and use the decklists found here for great decks for the four core set houses –

    After that… well, make sure you enjoy the game with those decks first!

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  6. Greyjoy and Targ were the least affected by the new Faq. The new reader is awesome. Amazing for geyjoy maester and to trigger some mill effects for Alannys. Greyjoy at the moment is the most balanced. And you don’t have to worry about burn. With Maqarro and mines and risen fro the sea. People are all predicting Targs to be strong. Don’t make decisions on how they performed last worlds. Greyjoy is the best prepared to deal with burn. and which means you don’t need 3 of kinds like you may think. With new Victarion, new epic battle and new plot, greyjoys are going to be a beast. Stark will be ver;y dangerous as well. I play stark and greyjoy anyway. Tons of fun. I’d use them even if i believe they were not the dominant house. But now, it’s going to an awesome time to be greyjoy. Let the bandwagon jumping begin!

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    1. Moqorro will be the first to die. One simple Flame-Kissed and he’s a goner(unless you hit him with Risen from the Sea, of course). Mines don’t do anything vs burn and you have no saves vs Threat From the North. Targ has a lot more burn than you have saves anyway. Greyjoy basically has to run Marsters to even have a fighting chance vs Targ. If anyone is waiting on the bandwagon jumping it’s Targ(or Lanny HoD Tunnels to counter Targ). I think we’ll see those three houses dominate this regional season.

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      1. Nate, I find myself struggling to use my burn events with duped Alannys and Fingerdances, combined with military claim soak of Thrice-drowned. Knowing local meta would obviously help tech against this a priori, but how do you deal with cancel-heavy decks?

      2. I’m not sure Maesters really are the “fighting chance” against burn since Targs can just focus burn the Maesters. If you can’t move chains, you can’t win.

        As for cancel heavy decks, maybe include a few cancels of your own? A few paper shields to deal with finger dance and maybe a blood rider or two to shut Alannys up.

        Or more burn! Dragon pit + Threat from the North + Lyanna Stark can clear boards of non-unique characters and there is nothing to cancel there. Then March Alannys to the wall!

      3. Always look for the Ironborn to see the viability of Finger Dance. I do expect to see more maindecked links this Regional season… so still expect to see Maester’s with chains.

        Bloodrider and Paper Shield are good includes in the current meta, I think. The 2 influence cost of Bloodrider can hurt if you don’t get enough influence out early (because you end up having to choose between the cancel and the burn). But the first time they see Bloodrider come from hand… it has a psychological effect because it means their character abilities are no longer completely safe.

      4. Cancels are tough vs. burn for sure. Alannys and Fingerdance being some of the toughest. Like Larry says, a well-timed Bloodrider can kill Alannys and don’t forget that Ambush can’t be canceled according to the FAQ. That means attachments being ambushed in or played from hand are safe. Flame-kiss Alannys on your Threat From the North turn and times are good. As far as Fingerdance and like events, sometimes you just have to deal with that, but you should have 8-10 burn events while they have three fingerdances. You’ll run them out of them before too long. Remember, KotHH is playing a long game, so just running them out of cards is good while you take control of the board and seek to win on plots 6-10.

      5. @Pips – a duped Allanys can be a nuisance. Remember that you have to have 3 non-unique cards in your discard pile for her to work. If they get her out T1 then T2 is the turn you want to go Threat from the North and give her a Flame-Kissed. She can’t cancel that and can’t save from that. Then you just have to force them to waste their Finger Dance’s on less optimal choices. I like to plat Parting Blow in my Targ decks. Use that on Allanys and they are forced to kneel her or cancel a PB with FD. Either way it’s good for me bad for them. :)

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