Profile photo of tehkernel By tehkernel On March 26, 2013 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

A Word on The Long Voyage

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The Long Voyage. Wow. It’s getting a lot of hate, and to what end? I have to admit, even I thought it was a terrible card when I first saw it. But give me a chance to explain how amazing this agenda truly is…

Let me break it down for you: you get guaranteed draw every turn, no matter what. Oh, well there are a couple other agendas that do the same, you say? And their conditions aren’t hard to meet? OK, true enough for Kings of Summer, but you remember that pesky 4.0 FAQ? Personally, I don’t want my +1 draw to rely on both an in-game combo (plot + attachment) as well as my restricted slot.

Which brings us to Knights of the Realm. Anyone who has played a Knights build knows that this condition is not the easiest to maintain, what with trait manipulation and all kinds of other control effects. House Baratheon can pull it off in a rush build, but other Houses simply have to worry about the number of Knights, etc. Plus losing that extra card on a Valar turn or, God forbid, only drawing 1 card per turn due to a lack of characters, can quickly make your games go sour.

In comes The Long Voyage, which allows you to get that draw, no matter what happens. No characters? No problem. Wrong season? No problem… The advantage, however, is only obtained if you change your approach to deck-building.

How to build one of these monster decks is this: you still run the same draw effects, up your most powerful x2 cards to x3, then add every “Limit 1″ reducer location in the game. Now you’re only, what, a few events away from 85 cards?

Now I will throw some numbers at you: the probability of drawing a card at x2 in a 60 card deck first turn is about 10%. The probability for drawing a card at x3 in an 85 card deck? About 10%. Since there is no change here, I can’t find the downside to this agenda.

The Houses benefiting the most from TLV: Targaryen (burn) and Stark (all). The least: Baratheon and Martell. Greyjoy and Lannister will still benefit with the right build, probably mill and kneel, respectively. Look for my Lanni TLV deck coming next to this blog. Robert at TC has challenged me to prove this agenda is worthwhile, so once I have tested a few more games, I will post my experiences on here.

  1. I keep thinking about how it’s only 4-5 more cards during the course of a game, but you have to add 25 cards to your deck.

    I fully admit there’s something I’m missing, but if as you say, you should run your “same draw effects”, then why am I not better off running 60 cards? With the same draw effects, I’m getting them sooner and getting the cards important to my deck sooner (and not risking a bad setup or opening).

    Help me see the error of my ways with some detailed tournament reports, etc. :)

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    1. I will run it this week in tournament for sure! I just wanted to lay down the theory behind why this is such a good card. Notice how I said “same” and not “more” draw effects. This means you’re actually using less spots overall for card draw, again opening up more options for low cost characters or locations that play into the theme you’re building. I’ve been getting 5-6 card setups with my current 85-card build, so the size increase is not affecting me in that department, either. Maybe this is just one of those agendas you gotta try before you’re on board?

  2. Ok, I’ve not seen a lot of people saying it is terrible, I’ve seen a lot of people saying it isn’t really worth it and that it isn’t exciting. But not terrible. Heck, on cardgamedb I gave it the lowest rating it received, and that was because I thought it was very vanilla and boring rather than mechanically poor. Card advantage is huge in this game (as it is in most games).

    That out of the way, I’m not sure where you got the idea that drawing into a 2 of first turn is 10%, I believe it is significantly higher, you go through approximately 1/6th of your deck first turn (assuming a modest 3 card setup). That said, I do accept your premise that the odds of drawing a 2/60 isn’t significantly different than a 3/85 especially with the guaranteed extra draw first turn.

    I do disagree about the houses that get the most use out of it though. Targ has a shallow pool of good burn effects. OTOH Greyjoy has a super deep pool of good characters. (As a side note, because there’s not a huge pool of real good control cards in general, the agenda benefits aggro more than control. Ditto aggro over rush.)

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    1. I think I would agree with this Joshua. The agenda is mechanically sound but boring and vanilla as hell. I think I’ll try it with Greyjoy. There are so many great characters and Warships I always want to play but never get to since I want to keep their decks as streamlined as possible. I could have seen this agenda being good out of Martell if all their good cards hadn’t been restricted. lol

      Yes you can bump up the x2 cards to x3 and some of the really good x1 unique characters to x2 to get closer to those 85 cards. I would be careful about doing this too much since actually drawing that second copy of a unique out of an 85 deck is going to be less likely and once that unique guy dies the dead draw possibilities go up drastically. Ask any Bara rush player how much it sucks to draw those other two copies of a dead Robert or Stannis when you need ANY other character at all.

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      1. Yeah, it’s a different approach to deck-building. I think the key is to balance which ones you increase to 3, 2, etc. Generally I throw in a few 2 cost uniques at x1 in any deck, so instead I’ve got 3 or 4 at x1. So yeah, dead draw is still on my mind. All I can say is, Nathan, don’t knock TLV til you try it!

        So far my Lannister TLV build is 5-0 since Monday evening. Granted the games have all been online, but sometimes that can be more competitive, certainly more random. Look for my report on those gamaes coming up later today…

      2. Nathan, if you do run a lot of those warships make sure to run that new motto event! Then even if you don’t draw into too many characters you can have characters!

      3. Haha, that’s a good idea. That would be a 3x event for sure. Not so good on a TFtN turn vs Targ though. :)

        I’ll certainly try it out, but the deck is just an agendaless deck with one extra card draw each turn. Bleh. Boring.

  3. I think most houses can do something with this. My first thought was Lannister control, but Martell, Stark aggro, Greyjoy aggro, and perhaps even Targ aggro (like Dothraki or something) could work with this.

    I’m less inclined to think that Targ burn will work with it, but you know I’ll give it a try 😉

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    1. Martell would’ve loved this agenda back when we didn’t have nearly a dozen cards on the restricted list. Now I’m not sure, I think our best deck is probably Quentyn. That gives us the best chance to rush while still being able to play to a long game with taking our restricted slot like summer does.

      Speaking of restricted cards though, that’s one of the weaknesses of a deck like this, anything that you’re wanting to draw in a hurry, things you’d run at 3x in a 60 card deck, has a significantly worse chance of being drawn. (Sure your draw every turn is better, but the 11 cards from setup and draw back up account for a significant number of the cards drawn over the course of a game, and those matter less in an 85 card deck than in a 60.)

      And that’s why I think this agenda’s better in aggro than anything else, in control you need your best control cards in hand, in rush you just don’t have a deep enough character pool, but in aggro all you want is threats, the more the merrier. Any threat, a 1 strength military chud can still force a 7 strength guy to defend if your claim is high enough and they don’t have anything else out.

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      1. ??? really quentyn is better then kothh? i still don’t by that (totally not talking about agenda sorry haha) but that statement seemed pretty odd to me ha.

      2. The format has changed a lot since the FAQ. Rush is back in a big way. Martell KotHH doesn’t have the ability to handle that with enough consistency any more. What’s KotHH going to do against 3 claim 2 intrigue challenges on a first turn fear of winter? Its just going to roll over and die. Martell now needs a setup to have a chance against extremely fast decks.

      3. Ah man i haven’t been keepin up with the game that lanni pbtt opening? I still probably be stuburn nd stay with kothh love my events to much. So would forgotten plans be smart plot to have

      4. There’s a couple of PBtT builds around right now, I generally open either with Blockade or Fear, then go into the other or power of blood and win third turn. The other builds are just as mean however, but they’re more long game oriented.

        But yeah, forgotten plans is good against pretty much everyone not running city plots.

      5. It has a fair share of low cost dudes, but no, its based around non-kneeling nobles. Cersei ideally, but littlefinger and Asha (post turn 1) do the trick as well.

      6. they can get out a 4 cost guy and 2 five costs guys in three turns with fear of winter and blockade as first 2 plots?? i know they can get gold but really? may need you to play this deck against me sometime if u play on octgn haha

      7. Only because the Refugees are restricted. It still has it’s place in a good Maester deck, or any deck with a trait manipulation angle.

      8. Its funny, not many people in the Tulsa meta play dissension. I tried it for a bit and just was not impressed with it. I prefer all hate with legs and other, more powerful, events.

  4. Decks I think will work best:

    Stark Search- good character base, and search works better with bigger decks
    GJ Warships – Like Nathan said above, it’s hard to fit a critical mass of ships into a standard deck without cutting characters.

    I think Lanni would be the worst to use it out of – they can already draw cap fairly easily.

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  5. One of the key things about Thrones that isn’t often mentioned is how hand destruction is built into the game itself with the Intrigue challenge. This isn’t standard. In other games, only specialty decks are nuking your hand. That means you get to keep your cards and play them when you need to. It’s a different kind of card advantage – an advantage of more options and more potentially good plays.

    That does certainly exist in Thrones as well, but there’s also another slant to card advantage, and that’s simply being able to spend your gold and put things on the board. When you’ve got a few cards in your hand, the difference between drawing 2 and drawing 3 isn’t about consistency or setting up your combo, it’s about surviving and retaliating effectively. That’s why this agenda might need to be viewed in a bit different light, and why Greyjoy/Bara/Stark players seem more keen to it. Once you’ve drawn 3 from Summer or Knights out of those houses, you realize how much better it feels.

    1. I partly agree. Let’s say you’re planning a noble’s rush deck out of Bara, you want to draw into your nobles, you’re running them all in triplicate, you’re running cards to protect them, and you don’t want another 25 cards diluting your deck.

      On Aggro though, you don’t care what character you draw, you just want to draw characters. That’s where the long voyage shines.

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    2. Targ Dragons! They can make the best out of duel resources, they have search events, they have card recursion, they have 21 dragon traited cards, and can get more draw through very low cost locations. Dragon egg can increase the effectiveness of duel resources as well.

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      1. Dragons have 3 characters (or 4 – 5 if you count Balerion drop or non-kneeling Danny) they want to get in play. IMO, they’re the perfect example of what to not play with Long Voyage.

      2. Sadly, Joshua is right on this one IMO. I want more than ANYTHING to have playable dragons in Joust, but you have to choose either The Maester’s Path to get the exact opposite effect of TLV–deck thinning–or Heir to the Iron Throne to try to rush to the win.

  6. Just a quick clarification regarding drwawing into a 2x card in turn 1. Using the hypergeometric calculator, ( a 60 card deck will give you at least 1 copy of a 2x card 22% of the time. If you assume a 4 card setup, plus the 2 you draw for the first round (total of 13 cards), that increases to 39% for at least 1 copy.

    With an 85 card deck runing 3x of a card, the chances of getting at least one copy is 23%. Assuming the same 4 card setup, and the 3 you draw with TLV, your chances of pulling at least one copy of a 3x card are 42%. Even if you assume your setup is only 3, your chances only drop to 39.6% – a slight improvement over not running TLV.

    Overall these are small margins, but since your deck thins faster, your chances of getting your 3x cards get even better as the game wears on.

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