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The Things We Do For Love: Pack Review

by scantrell24
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Our staff has put together a first blush analysis of the final (?) Thrones LCG 2nd edition product,  “The Things We Do for Love” premium pack. Answers to frequently asked rules questions can be found on the individual card pages on thronesdb.com. Cards are listed in numeric order and scored on a scale ranging from one through five, with five being the best possible score.  

Ser Davos Seaworth TTWDFL (3.5 Average)

scantrell24 – 3 out of 5

I feel like Davos would be a lot better in Tyrell (because of the Knight trait) or Greyjoy (with offensive Valar M’s). Sure the stats and icons are great, but his ability could even backfire on occasion when you would prefer to kill Davos for military claim over a better character. The notable “cannot be killed” characters from 1st ed were either cheaper (Gran Goodbrother) or had renown or some other benefit in addition (Asha, Beric, Mad King).  

Hybrid92 – 3 out of 5

This card is fine. Nothing to write home about, and certainly not worthy of being in this apparent busted pack of classic cards. He will get played over Core Davos if you need the icons or it’s an aggro heavy meta. 

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

These cards are hard to rate, since compared to the average card they would all be 5’s or close. So I think I’ll rate in the context of this pack against itself. Where is Davos measured against these other characters? ⅗, to me. CBK is great, but with the Valar Morghulis danger being way, way less than in other editions it’s much less of an upside. Did you know: in CCG, you used to be able to choose Davos for claim and then not kill him since he’s cannot be killed? That would be nuts!  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

We’re going to be dipping in and out of serious reviews as we fill the pack warrants. Let us start with a prelude about the pack in general: Game of Thrones will soon cease to exist, So let’s publish some cards we’ve all missedNow I must be shrewd’bout which to includeOr just pick from the restricted list? Now onto Davos itself: The blandest beef incarnation of the onion knight,Will be a mainstay for the knights deck in any fight,Third with CBKs sheenOne of few tricons seenWhy did such a boring & ugly beatstick ever see the light?

Melisandre’s Favor (5.25 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Printing Mel’s Favor first time at the tail end of 1st edition was a mistake. Reprinting it is an inexcusable slap in the face. Stark, Night’s Watch, Targ and now Bara all have character theft and it’s all overpowered. I’m shocked we never got any counters like this old Roose Bolton.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

No doubt this card is very good, even with the cost increase (it was 3-gold in 1st Edition), but I think people are going a little crazy over it. Let’s step back a little bit and look at it in comparison to the two other famous character steal cards: Yoren and Ward. Yoren exists in a faction that can specialise in character theft and choke, and Yoren accentuates that choke element. When played in that situation, it’s extremely unpleasant because you’re losing your chuds to Recruiter, your gold to White Tree/Meagre, and then your important 5-coster to Yoren. Not to mention that Yoren’s steal is permanent as long as he’s in play. Ward, too, is permanent as long as it is attached, and is non-loyal so it can be (and certainly has been) used in conjunction with various aggro cards and kill effects so that Ward compounds the hurt. Mel’s Favour, on the other hand, comes into a faction with no choke, no other character theft abilities, and no aggro kill effects. Yes, Mel’s Favour is good, and might randomly win you the game in the specific situation where you’re on 12 power and you steal a character with 3 power on it, but apart from that, Mel’s Favour goes away before the end of the round and you get your character back with no harm done (assuming you don’t make a MIL challenge). TL;DR – please be calm, Yoren and Ward are more NPE than this card. 

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

I don’t know if I fully agree with SCantrell about this being a slap in the face, etc., since pretty much everything here is broken, but this one is nuts. It’s a better Yoren, Ward, since you can take a power-stacked character like Fat Cat and win! Crazy stuff. In the context of 2.0, this might be one of the strongest in the whole pack, which is truly saying something. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 6 out of 5

Marshalling victories make you want to throw your deck in the bin,From now to eternity too much power on a character will be a sin,Did they forget Melee existed?Or was it perhaps intentionally fisted?Alas, now you will often hear the words: “Yoink, I Win”.

Wintertime Marauders (4.25 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

You have to run Winter plots, but that’s a small price to pay for repeatable, targeted removal. Wintertime Marauders can hit characters or locations, including limited economy. Disgusting.  

Hybrid92 – 3 out of 5 

This card was really scary in 1st Edition. Now, with the prevalence of summer plots and with winter plots generally being bad (apart from their claim), this card isn’t as scary. It’ll hurt when it hits but I’m not sure the decks that would run it are top tier or even that common. 

OKTarg – 4 out of 5

It’s obviously amazing, but you have to run Winter plots for little other function (Fishwhiskers?) and they’re not great plots in and of themselves. This card was fantastic in 1.0 and I think it will still be strong in binpack formats, but not as tippy top as some other cards….just having a restriction puts it in a class by itself.  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Hated and loved NPE dominators of a foregone age,Non-Loyal so NW Kraken can be on the same page,Balanced ridiculously despite their fame,Yet still fundamentally “playing the game”,Now Winter Choke will once more incite rage!

Conquer (3.1 Average)

scantrell24 – 3.5 out of 5

The 1st edition version couldn’t take Limited locations, but this one can for whatever reason, making it an option in choke decks. Stealing an Underground Vault or Dornish Fiefdom sounds nasty, but the list of good targets is short-ish.  

Hybrid92 – 2 out of 5

It’s fine. Steal a Roseroad or a Great Hall in a choke deck, seems okay. I think most of the decks that would want to run this end up running location discard effects like WDNS and Nightflyer which (in choke decks) end up targeting economy cards anyway so, whatever. Valyrian Steel might be the place for this card.  

OKTarg – 2 out of 5

You could probably make a gross choke deck with this and Marauders, which doesn’t sound fun, but this is probably one of the more balanced cards in the pack. Location steal is strong, though, so this will be worth its slots! 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Another power card leaves you choked,Greyjoy’s limited-hate fires get stoked,Between this and MaraudersThe dull grey-blue borders’NPE archetype done and got broked.

Spider’s Whisperer (2.5 Average)

scantrell24 – 3 out of 5

The premise of this pack was to reprint fan favorites, but Spider’s Whisperer has old Varys’s ability without shadows, stealth, the Lord trait, or a power icon…. It will mostly hit reducer chuds or a variety of non-unique characters who have already triggered their come-into-play abilities. Meh.   

Hybrid92 – 1 out of 5 

There aren’t enough allies in this edition of the game for this to be relevant. It’s almost like they forgot powerful allies (and the ally hate that comes with it) was a thing somewhere down the line. In 1st Edition some of the best cards were allies or mercenaries and, to balance their power level, ally hate was prevalent. 

OKTarg – 2 out of 5

Did they make a house-specific, double-sided option to control neutral Littlefinger alone? Seems an odd choice, and while I get that reviving the spirit of ally-hate is sort of fun, we don’t have any good allies to hit with it? As some in the FB group noted, it wouldn’t be a 2.0 pack without an inefficient intrigue monocon for Lannister! That said, when you hit the 2-for-1, it will be good value. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 4 out of 5

Balanced – If barely Motivated – By Littlefinger Hosed – Due to the horrendous art.

Wheels Within Wheels TTWDFL (5.25 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Why why why why why why why???? Going second and flipping Valar M after your opponent’s marshaling is just one of many crimes against humanity you can commit if you’re willing to sell your soul to the devil.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

This one needs no explanation. Automatically it’s one of the most powerful cards in the game, and probably a mistake to bring it back to be perfectly frank. 5 out of 5 isn’t high enough of a rating to illustrate how stupid this card is. 

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

LOL. This card has been broken and restricted in every format, and I wager a guess that this will continue in this one. It’s, in my opinion, not even broken in a fun way since plot phase stuff outside the plot phase leverages such an advantage over your opponent. Will this make Art of Seduction more playable? Who knows! But Lannister players everywhere will certainly find out. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 6 out of 5

Key features: Mid-challenge plot switching, on-demand plot resets, negating any drawbacks on strong plots, Wars to Come.  A fun game for participants, pin the comment on the Curmudgeon:“Remember when choosing a plot was a big decision?”“Why is this back??”“Snort. Hilarious shit bro.”“I hate everything about this.”

Prince’s Loyalist (4.4 Average)

scantrell24 – 4.5 out of 5

Another beautiful artwork from circa 2005. Repeatable cancels are pretty good, especially when combined with Tyrion or other ways to gain money in challenges. “Immune to events” prevents Dracarys and friends, Hands of Gold, Bloody Cup, Rat Cook, Bribery, Nightmares, and Put to the Sword, so it’s nice but not super relevant. Stealth is nice for both Blood and Rains.  

Hybrid92 – 4 out of 5

This is from the CCG so it doesn’t feel like an iconic card to me, but it’s pretty good. It’s got a bit of everything: a good mid-range loyal bicon with stealth, event immunity, and an in-built cancel. Great card.  

OKTarg – 4 out of 5

This isn’t from the era in which I played, and it seems sort of boring for a Martell representative character. That said, it will be good in decks that try to reset and Bleed, such as a Hollow Hill version. But, decks are too fast in 2.0 for that to be viable. Sort of an odd fit, I think. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

An exercise in 2 parts:  Picture a Martell non-unique, an interesting card balanced by the Prized-keyword, a card balanced to be an interesting but not dominating part of the game. What do you see? Now… Forget all about THAT. Instead, witness this exceptionally pushed and largely hated card that is simply strong as all hell.  How does it make you feel?

You Murdered Her Children (4.25 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

No longer prized 2 because reasons… Brutal against voltron and Prince decks. The influence cost was all that held it back in 1st edition, but that’s gone and replaced by a simple gold cost, same as Vengeance for Elia. 

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

Why does Oberyn look like a weird samurai? Anyway, this card didn’t see play in 1st Edition because unique characters were rarely 3x and there were more than enough ways to get them off the board. However, I predict it will be good in 2nd Edition because decks are geared towards having 3x copies of all the big boys. Powerful effect, and a Martell “lose-to-win” effect that actually feels punishing and isn’t simply “Haha I’ll just draw more cards with Dorne thanks” 

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

I remember when this was printed in 1.0 and people lost their minds. Then, you hardly ever saw it played. Deck construction is much more skewed in such a way as to be hurt by this in 2.0, but at the same time, I wonder if we will see this share the same fate as its predecessors. I think we will….I can’t wait to be proved wrong! 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

As your opponent slowly* sifts through your deckYou’ll see this event as a pain in the neckI hope you don’t relyOn one single guyOr surprise, which this card will just wreck *Emphasis on slowly. 

Samwell Tarly TTWDFL (3.9 Average)

scantrell24 – 4 out of 5

He’s not going to win the game by himself, but Samwell is great for setup, claim soak, card filtering, or even a cheeky intrigue challenge. The Steward trait is important for Rat Cook and a few other Night’s Watch cards too. Zero downside here.  

Hybrid92 – 3.5 out of 5

Seems good, a 1-for-1 that filters your hand and manipulates your deck. Cool.  

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

He’s fine, but not busted like some of these. I remember Summer King Tommen in late 1.0 and he wasn’t that great, and given that NW already has great card advantage and chud options, I think they’d have rather seen a bomb character here. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

There came this steward from the wallFor 1g and a weakling too tallCopied a banned Magic cardSlowing games down hardClearly he was not from this game at all

Old Bear Mormont TTWDFL (3.5 Average)

scantrell24 – 4 out of 5

Good value if you just stand a Ranging Party or Qhorin. Great value with voltron Jon or other Lords, including ones you might have stolen with Bound, Wall, etc. Old Bear doesn’t even have much competition from his previous versions.  

Hybrid92 – 3 out of 5

There’s a lot of value you can get out of this guy for just 3 gold. He’s not as oppressive or broken as some of the other cards in this pack, but he’s decent. 

OKTarg – 2 out of 5

This is good in a Jon Tron or if you get lucky and steal a Lord. Would be a good card in a regular pack and way under curve for this BinPack I think. I’m super bad at Night’s Watch so what do I know. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Heard in the Quill & Tankard Inn, late at night, with a circle of Maesters deep in their cups: Ire: “You know, he just doesn’t like kneeling. Up all day, if you get me drift.”Drakey: “…juz frisky for an old chap, innit? Anybody seen my chain?”JC: *Grumbling about petty players not meant to be so impactful.*Istaril: “It’s really that all three facets would barely be justifiable for the given price in a balanced system. But together, well shit.”JC: *Mumbles something about Lords and Banners. Orders more drinks.*Drakey: “Goddammit, I lost another chain? I’ll never hear the end of this!”Istaril: “You know what? This guy, he evokes a certain feeling in me. Tubthumping?”Everybody: “Tubthumping!”

Catelyn Stark TTWDFL (4.1 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

She’s like Dolorous Edd with another strength, that doesn’t kneel your faction card, that can also defend power challenges, that stays in play until the end of the challenges phase. Okie-dokie…  

Hybrid92 – 3.5 out of 5

One of the iconic cards of 1st Edition. Good old Jumping Cat. She’s still good, but now has to contend with two other versions of her which are just as good if not better.  

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

I actually think she’s not that great for a few reasons, mainly that the Cats we already have are pretty central, and also that Intrigue is less a weakness for Stark as it used to be as well as the fact that the Intrigue challenge matters less than it did in the other editions. So, she’s fun, but I think not that much above the other versions as you might expect.  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

This card is just Dolorous EddBut unbalanced, it needs to be saidIt counters stark’s themeOf weakness in greenSo we guess now the colour pie’s dead?

Snow Castle (4.0 Average)

scantrell24 – 4 out of 5

Relatively tame compared to the rest of this pack, but still great for Crossing, Prince, Blood, etc. Stark can easily swarm up to seven or eight characters. It’s like a better Last Hearth and I appreciate redundancy of effects. Now you can run both and have a lot of strength waiting to jump into any challenge.  

Hybrid92 – 3 out of 5

This is really good for those Stark Crossing chud flood decks that chain Passing the Black Gate with all those Bear Island idiots. Boring, but good. 

OKTarg – 4 out of 5

You know how annoying Abandoned Strongholds are in Builders? Yeah, I think this is even more annoying since it’s not as restricted in challenge type and easy to build the buff up. It’s also super cheap. It’s not exciting or iconic but it’s crazy efficient. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

**Committee Report**First council of the new decade While we would have preferred giving this suggestion a lower rating, it seems that the sheer impact of the offensive use of snow castles makes it worthy of inclusion in any scenario. This judgement is based on the prowess of one Dacey Mormont, as well as the relevant difference to using Valyrian Steel Swords. That said, the marketing package is found to be somewhat lackluster, with both the theme and art in need of further consideration.  Notable direct comments from the meeting: “Obscene”, “Beefmaker”, “Let’s just sit on my snow castle” and “Too Good to Pass”.

Mad King Aerys (5.25 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Really strong, but at least there’s some justification as he’s Bruno’s champ card. Interestingly the Mad King’s cost only increased from 4 to 5, leaving him in Yoren range but also easy to keep with Valar Dohaeris.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

Yeah, really strong. A lot of cards have had their cost adjusted to factor in 2nd Edition’s different cost curve (compared to 1st Edition), so I’m genuinely shocked to see that this card is 5-cost when it was 4-cost in 1st Edition… 6- or 7-cost would be more appropriate. Right now he’s undercosted and too efficient.  

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

Just great at this cost slot-he used to be a top of the curve guy and now is a midrange one. Renown can be great in Targ, but to use that you have to give up his Dominance action. Dom kill has proven less than amazing in 2.0, but still the diversity of his abilities means something good is always happening. I’ll be enjoying this one for sure until he gets Yorened. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 6 out of 5

The Mad King Aerys, second of his nameOnce more his presence graces this gameEasier to killMore will die by his willBruno’s legacy now part of this shame.

The Hatchling’s Feast (4.9 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Yes, it’s disgusting. Reducing multiple characters until the end of the phase can turn a challenges phase on its head, or outright win the game on a Blood of the Dragon turn. Dragonpit gets better.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

A total of -6 STR across three characters and no limitation other than the fact that they can’t have attachments? It’s an any phase action too, not limited to challenges like Dracarys. Really strong, probably should’ve been 3 gold. While Lannister got the best in-faction card of the pack, Targaryen came out as the best faction overall if you factor in both cards.  

OKTarg – 4.5 out of 5

I’m famous for underrating Targ cards, but Burn isn’t in a good spot right now. The wide-ness that this offers is really enticing, and certainly will be fun on a Blood of the Dragon turn. Two is preeeety cheap and the lack of restriction on participating characters really matters. This card can also be functional card advantage, as often playing one card to kill three of yours on a Blood turn is really solid. Yeah, looking forward to this 🙂 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Another card formerly found on the restricted listLikely makes A Dragon is No Slave quite pissedTogether so strongShall burn a throng Not the strongest of cards here – what a twist!

The Queen of Thorns TTWDFL (4.6 Average)

scantrell24 – 4.5 out of 5

Most cards that completely prevent your opponent from doing something are really good: Barring, King plot, Core Cat, etc. Intrigue challenges though have been relatively weak for a while compared to Military and Power challenges, but some decks will get totally shut down (Crossing, Rains) while others will be inconvenienced. .  

Hybrid92 – 4 out of 5

Negate one-third of the challenges phase for the low low price of 3 gold? Seems good. Will be utterly annoying for decks centred around the intrigue challenge.  

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

This is great. LOL at your Rains deck, your Lanni deck, and pretty much any deck that wants to do challenges. Super cheap to boot! One of the few things I like more about 2.0 as compared to the predecessors is the way that initiative matters more, and this fits right into that box! 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Highgarden’s strong old dameIs brought here on CCG fameStops your plans shortWith a prickly retortNot playing the game is so lame!

Olenna’s Study (2.4 Average)

scantrell24 – 3.5 out of 5

I’m not sure if Olenna’s Study is any good, but it’s one of the more interesting cards in the pack as a build-around type that could lead to new or underutilized strategies. Also non-loyal, so Box Cersei could benefit from a 3rd intrigue challenge when combined with Casterly Rock.  

Hybrid92 – 2 out of 5

Probably not worth three gold. Don’t really think there’s a Tyrell deck out there that wants to play this. Is Tyrell Rains still a thing? Even then… 

OKTarg – 1 out of 5

This feels like a strange build around restriction for not that amazing of a payoff. Why not play Olenna and be done with it? Maybe I’m wrong here, but this feels like it doesn’t mesh with the good Tyrell ways of playing….who can say. Maybe someone will break it but it won’t be me. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 3 out of 5

In salute to this aberration of a card, which seems to actually follow the game’s usual power-level balancing, let’s do something weird… a regular old review! All around card we like – pushes a theme, has some combo potential, requires build around to use effectively so not an all-powerful slot-in. Costs 50% more than Casterly Rock and is dual-sided to boot. The combo with the Olenna here seems a bit of a red herring. One part pulling this down is that most Tyrell decks are light on unique intrigue icons, largely due to better non-unique alternatives like Scheming Septon or Oldtown Informer.  See, we can sensible as well, if the cards deign to be!

Littlefinger TTWDFL (5.0 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Non-kneeling stealth bicon with built-in protection sounds like a great voltron target to me. There are now five Ally-hate cards: Bribery and Dissension (which Littlefinger can cancel), Ser Arys who doesn’t see much play, Spider’s Whisperer from this pack, and Daario Naharis.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

I don’t see why you don’t include at least 1-copy of this guy in all your cards. I’ll be including 3 copies of him myself. Stupidly powerful character.  

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

“If everything is broken, nothing is!” Well, this is broken. I would love to go first, attack twice with stealth, and then have on-demand cancel for anything you want to use to get rid of Littlefinger. You can also load him up with attachments in Qohor which seems fun, but man, what deck doesn’t want him?  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

“Uh oh, we might be putting too many powerful events in this pack.””Agreed. Not just events either, basically every single-“”Yup, too many powerful events, that’s the problem with it. But I think I’ve got a solution.””Balance the events?””Nope, a neutral auto-include that can cancel any event for free. That should make sure people stop trying to play with effects and just focused on smashing big numbers into each other!””…I see. How will you make sure it’s an auto-include though?””Make it the first character in the game to have stealth and unconditionally be able to declare as an attacker in multiple challenges, that should do the trick. It did in L5R, after all!””…I see. Anything else?””Yes, prepare Harrenhal.””……”

Vale Refugee (5.0 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Like Sam, Vale Refugee isn’t a game-winner, but he’s an obvious 3x in a large percentage of decks. You could win dom to keep the Refugee, or you could pay 2 gold, but odds are he’ll be dead by then anyways.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

Damn it’s good to have Refugees back. These guys will be ubiquitous as all hell but who cares, it’ll help smooth out setups, reduce the effectiveness of aggro decks with the cheap claim soak, and give you fodder for Harrenhal. Next time you build a deck, include 3x Vale Refugee and go from there. I, for one, welcome our new Refugee overlords. 

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

Slot 3 and you’re done. Mad about Targ playing tons of dudes for free? Fight fire with fire! Annoyed about paying gold and having to MIL claim them? No more! Cheap, efficient, and, sadly, a tad boring. It IS a great window back into the refugees of the past, which is some grade-A nostalgia for sure. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Arryn’s refugee makes its return,But for this card did anyone yearn?An auto-includeBecause it’s imbuedWith too much power – when will they learn?

King’s Landing TTWDFL (3.9 Average)

scantrell24 – 4 out of 5

Not for every deck, but limit three times per round is hardly a limit at all. King’s Landing could be an HRD location and then you won’t need any draw effects in the rest of your deck, just good cards. Lanni has a number of good locations such as Red Keep and Guild Hall. Tyrell and Greyjoy can flood with cheap ones like Jousting Pavilion, Pleasure Barge, Iron Fleet Scout and Scouting Vessel. Shame it can’t be combined with the other King’s Landing.  

Hybrid92 – 3.5 out of 5

A year or two ago I would have rated this card a 1.5 or a 2 and labelled it too expensive. But it’s a neutral draw effect that is quite easy to trigger. If Alannys Greyjoy has told us anything, draw cards off simply playing the game (ie, playing your locations) is pretty damn good.  

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

It actually seems pretty expensive, but the way Alannys has really made GJ pop makes me think I might be underrating it here. Houses that need that extra draw like Bara might want to take a peek. Still, 3 cost is some decent tempo loss so caveat emptor. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

In a pack of draw agendas, the most powerful one might just be House with the Red Door paired with this.

High Ground (2.9 Average)

scantrell24 – 3 out of 5

Too little too late for Armies. There’s no real unifying strategy for them besides “big beatsticks”. Raiding Khalasar, Host of the Boneway, and Wintertime Marauders are the most punishing ones who would be worth standing.  

Hybrid92 – 1.5 out of 5

Good for standing your Raider Khalasar up again. Otherwise it’s boring and probably pretty bad too.  

OKTarg – 2 out of 5

You get to use your keywordless beatstick twice, for the low cost of having to play it in your deck! It wasn’t good in 1.0, and I don’t think it will be good now, even with the lower cost (both absolute and relative). I mean, sometimes it will be good if you really build around it, but those decks just won’t be as good as the tippy top ones 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

A great card when running armies,Finally FFG are trying to pleaseVoters of the Red Fork,But all they could uncorkWas some neutral stand – whoopee!

Harrenhal TTWDFL (5.1 Average)

scantrell24 – 4.5 out of 5

I’m soooo glad the cost must be paid with a character you own (not one you’ve stolen). Harrenhal actually seems reasonably costed, at 3 gold and prized 2. With Targ Sea of Blood untouched by the restricted list, board presence is at a premium and characters cannot be thrown away without careful consideration.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

The defining card of 1st Edition. You either love it or you love to hate it, but it was a necessary evil that stopped the most degenerate of shenanigans. I look forward to killing my Core Shireen to cancel Doran’s Game or Mutiny. 

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

I really hated this card in 1.0. And, I’m sad to see it back. SCantrell is right that they took the worst abuses out of it, but at the same time, cancel heavy enviroments promote stasis rather than dynamism. For me, that’s no fun. If you like playing against Guildhall/Red Keep decks, you’re going to love Harrenhal…..  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 6 out of 5

Oh for pete’s sake. It’s time for another game of “pin the comment on the Curmudgeon!” “If you think it’s at all balanced by the cost/prized, etc, I have some first edition games I want to show you.”“This is some ridiculous shit”“I seriously cannot believe, even in a pack like this one, that Harrenhal got reprinted.”“This card made me quit 1.0” In both power-level and symbolic terms, this might be the card of the pack.

Sky Cell (4.5 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Like You Murdered Her Children, it’s another hit against voltron & big character decks. The double punishment of drawing fewer cards and having your best character knelt demands an answer quickly. Cressen can’t do anything against it either.  

Hybrid92 – 4 out of 5

This card didn’t see much play in 1st Edition as it was released so late in the piece, but I think it’ll be pretty good in this edition. The combination of kneel effect and -1 card on a single attachment is pretty oppressive, and the option to jump out of the sky cell to put yourself out of your misery is suitably thematic.  

OKTarg – 4 out of 5

Fun soft control option with a get out of jail option for the player affected, albeit at a steep cost. The older sky cells seemed worse and never really were played, so it’ll be interesting to see what this one feels like. Great in Valyrian Steel, that’s for sure. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

A card that’s excelling, thematic -Seriously that gaol’s got a wacky schematic -But the cost-curve’s too steepTo allow us to keepAn effect with such power, erratic

Heads on Pikes (4.25 Average)

scantrell24 – 2 out of 5

The Queen’s Retinue mill deck is currently soft banned with multiple restrictions, so Heads on Pikes gets a low grade, but that could change with future restricted lists. Another consideration is that Mill decks don’t usually kill a ton of opposing characters. Mine almost never initiated military challenges. 

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

The word ‘broken’ and ‘busted’ is thrown around a lot these days, but calling this card both is no exaggeration. It’s not even a fun ‘busted’ like Littlefinger. It’s straight-up game-winning and meta-warping. Build a deck around it and you can win in two turns with ease. Needs to be immediately banned. 

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

Mill is already dumb, and this is ridiculous. Nate’s letter admitted that PIkes could deck you in 2 turns; why do we want that again? I expect a future players committee to really consider banning this or even removing the rule about a mill-based loss.  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

We can’t figure out if this is a 2 (pushed down to being unplayable by how limited it is) or a 7 (finally pushes the NPE Bullshit du Jour over the edge), so we’re splitting the difference and just wondering who actually wants to win thus?

Narrow Escape (5.0 Average)

scantrell24 – 4 out of 5

Narrow Escape slots right into the Infinite Lysa Arryn deck, and is also an option for clearing negative attachments like Milk, Craven and Sky Cell. In theory it’s a good counter against Sea of Blood, but after the Targ player pitches his hand, any Womb, Fury or Overwhelming Numbers characters will jump back to refill it. I didn’t play much with this card in 1st edition because it was always restricted, and the card pool was large enough that it wouldn’t have been an auto-include anyways, good as it is.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

Yeah, super powerful card that negates board wipes. Probably not necessary considering how weak reset plots are in this edition, but anyway. 

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

You worked super hard to clear my board? JKLOL! Yeah, you can built-in cancel it, but tossing your hand to my one card seems a very fair trade. It’s really fun with things like Ramsey (I predict) and, with a less board-wipey environment, may turn out to be fair. (“Fair and Balanced”) 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 6 out of 5

JC: A kind of fun card to play. But it shouldn’t exist, so there’s that.Drakey: Feels like a “kiss my a$$” move, design balance-wise. Not even trying to masquerade as anything else.JC: No arguments here!Drakey: I really can’t even muster the humour to tackle this wittily. Whadda ya think?JC: It’s fine, Littlefinger can kneel to cancel it.Drakey: Words to die by, I guess.JC: And then come back from the dead pile?Drakey: Revolving door!

Seductive Promise (3.5 Average)

scantrell24 – 3 out of 5

It’s basically an exact reprint, but the metagame around it is different. There were far more impactful non-uniques in 1st edition, especially Armies (Castellan, Southron Mercs, Fleets, Hammerhorn Raiders, Clegane Brigands, Long Lances, King’s Landing Guard just to name a few).  

Hybrid92 – 3 out of 5 

I think this is a pretty fun card. Definitely not as good as the other cards in this pack because good targets are few and far between.

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

This is fun, but in this environment probably not amazing. Great to see the old art back, and add some attrition caution to Power challenges. Would be fun out of Bara, as the name evokes, but hard to see a top-edge use as the targeting is limited. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Despite the 5 this one actually is reasonable enough to get an honest review – amusing though it is for Nate to talk about how it was an important card because it made the power challenge relevant, when power has always been the most important challenge in second edition. Winning power by 5 is something you actually have to work to accomplish, and most non-uniques tend to be in the cheaper cost slots, but when this works it can be a surprising and impactful effect – and unlike most of this pack, does so without feeling cheap.

Westeros Bleeds (5.0 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Let it Bleeds. A metagame changer that’s easy to see coming but difficult to cancel. Hollow Hill decks will love it, again.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5

Welcome to the Hollow Hill meta. Unless you have Harrenhal, get your discard pile ready. 

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

Just great. It NEEDED to be this strong to give reset decks a chance. Either supplement or replace your Last Giants/Varys combo and let’s see if we can revive the good old days of Targ and Martell Hollow Hill. This might be a card that helps us revive Assault from the Shadows decks too, since you can keep this safe and fire off whenever you need it.  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

An attempt to placate control playersBut they favour effects that have layersJust dull spot removalWill find no approvalAll characters best say their prayers

Aloof and Apart (5.0 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

Valar Dohaeris is back on the menu! I’m glad to see each of these agendas reprinted, and I like the idea of allowing them even if the rest of the pack is banned. It’s disappointing that we never got any faction-specific ones this time around though.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5 

As Great Hall has shown us, a -2 cost reduction on big boys is really good. To have access to it every round from the first round, without fail, is immensely powerful. This agenda is boring but will be very effective, and probably pretty popular too.  

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

Just great for Greyjoy Goodstuff and really anything that wants to play bigs. Built in Great Hall seems just as good as advertized! The Prized 1 rarely hurts, since Bigs decks are good at the Power challenge anyway. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

In first edition this agenda was created because expensive characters were too weak and needed the boost. We suspect the niche may already be a touch filled-in this time round. Still, at least this card encourages you to build, rather than flipping the middle finger at existing cards?

Dark Wings, Dark Words (4.6 Average)

scantrell24 – 4.5 out of 5

Objectively worse than Valyrian, but still both playable and interesting. From memory, Greyjoy, Lanni and Stark were some of the best factions for it previously.  Now, Bara has a solid control package with Stannis’s Wrath, Consolidation of Power, Bend the Knee, etc. Greyjoy could try unopposed but their events look a bit scattered. Lanni and Martell both have a good number of marginal tricks are a lot better when the card replaces itself. Night’s Watch doesn’t have quite as many events, and they’re split between defense and steal dudes. Stark looks playable for sure, with cards like Wolf Dreams and For the North! providing big card advantage. Targ is in a tricky spot because you don’t want to be limited to 1x each of the burn events, but they have some other easy triggers like Gifts, Dance, and Waking. Tyrell doesn’t need the agenda to draw cards, so they’re probably better off elsewhere.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5 

I loved this agenda in 1st Edition. DWDW doesn’t have the flexibility or efficiency of Valyrian Steel (DWDW doesn’t give gold and attachments can be replayed) but events have the potential to be powerful and game-changing one-off effects. Looking forward to playing with this one.  

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

I heard you liked Valyrian Steel….howbout another, just like that? I loved this agenda and how it promoted play of cards that were good but not good enough (Wolf in the Night! Off to Gulltown! etc.) I look forward to seeing more of that. It’s not as broken as Steel, IMO, but we’ll see. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 4 out of 5

A notch below Valyrian Steel, but it’s a clear notch. The gold costs on events make this a different kettle of fish to first edition. Additionally, most attachments are non-terminal, meaning you’re getting the card/gold round after round, whereas with events you just aren’t. Granted, the part about not triggering events from your discard pile inexplicably got removed, but still, by the standards of this pack we feel this could’ve lost the 75 card deck limit and been fine.

Knights of the Realm (3.5 Average)

scantrell24 – 4 out of 5

Tyrell is the obvious target, followed by Lanni and Bara, but most Knight decks will prefer the speed of Crossing to the consistency of this agenda. A slower, more control-oriented Knight deck might work. Bara could make it work with kneel, Lanni with hand attrition, and Tyrell with remove from the challenge effects.  

Hybrid92 – 2 out of 5  

I had a lot of fun with this agenda in 1st Edition but unfortunately it’s simply not going to be as good in this edition. The best faction for this agenda is Tyrell, and I’m not sure they run it over their other agenda options. It’s not like they need the cards, anyway. Baratheon and Martell could also potentially run the agenda, but it’s risky as they have so many unique knights. All the good non-unique knights have ended up in Tyrell.  

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

Cards are good! But I don’t think this is pushed enough compared to the others.  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

It’s tougher to get hosed in a non-mirror than it was in first edition (fewer of the top decks are running knights incidentally), and while draw is freer, that doesn’t mean an agenda giving you an extra card a round isn’t still really good.

The Long Voyage (3.1 Average)

scantrell24 – 3 out of 5

The faction kneel hurts quite a bit, because you’ll already be stretched thin to find 100 good cards, and now any card with a faction kneel is ruled out as well. I won’t say Long Voyage is bad, but Valyrian Steel is almost always better.  

Hybrid92 – 1.5 out of 5 

1st Edition: Mocked on release Found to be busted Soft-banned to oblivion 2nd Edition: Mocked on release ?????? 

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

This was widely panned in 1.0 and then it was discovered that this was actually broken. They’ve upped the decksize minimum by quite a bit, but drawing every turn is (you might be surprised) quite good. We have a few other great draw agendas, though, so we’ll see how Long Voyage turns out. This might be good with a goodstuff Targ Dragon deck, but I think it will do more to make good decks stay good than take new decks and make them good for the first time. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Take part on this legendary sea journey, taking you from the shores of “my deck works less good” to “my deck works way better” through enchanting scenery such as screams and revulsion from 1.0 players, people undervaluing it due to the 100-card downside and all the same scenery we saw dominate earlier! Enjoy the evening’s festivities from your host Istaril as he wearily explains flip-charts and graphs to a fascinated and lightly-entertained audience! Book your tickets now for an early-raven discount, and imagine yourself taking in these magnificent views!

Rioting (3.5 Average)

scantrell24 – 4 out of 5

I don’t think Rioting will sees much play, but it will be effective when it does, especially with “cannot be saved”. Might be time to try characterless Martell Stag again.  

Hybrid92 – 2 out of 5 

Seems good in some sort of hyperkneel deck using Selyse into Withering Cold into Rioting or something like that. The stats on it are really really bad though.  

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

This feels fun out of Bara Qohor or a Selyse deck or something. I look forward to trying it out! I don’t think it will do as much to make the challenge phase double-edged as it seems more like it will usually be good to just not do challenges.  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Oooh, Watching kneel players get lairyIt’s not very pretty I tell theePlaying without stand’s quite scaryAnd not very sensible eitherA friend of a friend he got knelt outGot turned the wrong way by Mel, devoutWould never have happened to YgritteA wildling character Ahhhh, lalalalalaI predict a riotI predict a riotI predict a riotI predict a riot I tried to stand all my cards, seeAn evil old plot card attacks meIt says that it triggers before meAnd wants to clear all of my board, seeGirls scrabble round with no dupes onFailing to dodge the forced reactionNiche combo with Expanse that is frozen,It’s not very sensible Ahhhh, lalalalalaI predict a riotI predict a riotI predict a riotI predict a riot And if there’s anybody left on-boardThey won’t last long that’s assured Oooh, Watching kneel players get lairyIt’s not very pretty I tell theePlaying without stand’s quite scaryAnd not very sensible Ahhhh, lalalalalaI predict a riotI predict a riotI predict a riotI predict a riotAnd if there’s anybody left on-boardThey won’t last long that’s assuredI predict a riotI predict a riotI predict a riotI predict a riot 

Rule by Decree (2.25 Average)

scantrell24 – 3 out of 5

In a normal scenario, you’re taking 2-3 of your opponent’s worst cards if they finished the previous round with a full hand of 6-7 cards. Rule by Decree could have been great with higher initiative to beat Return, Exchange, etc.  

Hybrid92 – 1 out of 5 

No pre-plot action window = no Rule by Decree.  

OKTarg – 2 out of 5

The reserve mechanic knocks this down a ton, and not having pre-plot shenanigans will also mean that this probably isn’t great. You used to be able to take actions in plots before plots were revealed, and events were usually free, so you could, say, nightmares something in pre-plot turn one and make your opponent start the game with 4 cards. Or, as John Wright’s worlds 1.0 deck discovered, you could Wheels into RBD in draw phase for even worse things! Some of those options are still there, but it’s way less good than it used to be. Would have been great to see the Scheme trait for Rains synergy. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 3 out of 5

Given that we have reserve already, this feels weirdly not-pushed. Like, you still get to keep 4? Why not just read “set each players’ reserve value to 4” or something? In a pack of absurd cards, the choice to bring back this one is just weird.

Search and Detain (4.6 Average)

scantrell24 – 4.5 out of 5

Another great plot for KotHH and Greyjoy as well. Might be too risky elsewhere, with the average initiative value higher in 2nd edition. First turn though, opening plots are usually pretty low initiative, so there’s a case to open with it.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5 

This card was powerful in 1st Edition and will be powerful in this edition too. It might be even better in this edition given how common it is for lots of power to get stacked up on expensive characters nowadays. On demand character removal (even if it’s temporary) with no cost restriction is amazing. Hollow Hill and Greyjoy decks will love this card.  

OKTarg – 4 out of 5

I hated this card. It was everywhere. In 2.0, it seems more balanced, somehow, but still pushes the initiative decision. One corner use was to save one of your own characters from reset, but the environment is so different you’ll usually use this offensively which will make it a better unexpected delay on average.  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

The initiative can make it whiffBut at this card you shouldn’t sniffBouncing bigs is quite roughAnd choosing isn’t toughIt’ll bounce any threat in a jiff.

The Art of Seduction (3.5 Average)

scantrell24 – 3.5 out of 5

Best when combined with Wheels Within Wheels or other manipulation like Crow Is a Tricksy Bird. High ceiling low floor. 

Hybrid92 – 2.5 out of 5 

I remember playing this card in my Bara Noble Cause deck back in the day. It was the quintessential anti-reset rush plot. Not sure if decks will want to run it these days as resets are pretty weak and this card has bad stats.  

OKTarg – 3 out of 5

Not sure–people use their plots enough for stats that this may not matter. It was great for forestalling a reset another turn for rush decks, but we will see how it turns out.  

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

Choosing plots correctly’s a craft,But if you flip into this you can shaftSo many effects,It’s a pain in the neckAnd quite frankly a little bit daft.

The Gathering Storm (5.0 Average)

scantrell24 – 5 out of 5

There is entirely too much 2 claim. Sea of Blood and Free Folk decks were already difficult to play against, and now they have basically a 2nd Vanquished in the later rounds. The drawback isn’t much of one at all – flip this, go first, trigger it before your opponent’s plot.  

Hybrid92 – 5 out of 5 

Another good 2-claim plot for Free Folk and Sea of Blood, like they needed another one. I remember back in the good old days when 2-claim plots were mostly Winter plots with bad effects, low initiative, low gold… now we’ve got You Win or You Die, Vanquish the Unbelievers, and now this. Disturbing. 

OKTarg – 5 out of 5

I’m really not sure how any plot deck will leave this out. Can you imagine this in Dothraki Sea? LOLOLOL. Yeah, the opponent gets a free when revealed, but since plot resets are so much weaker it won’t generally matter. Just sick. 

Q&T Curmudgeons – 5 out of 5

The rest of us sighed and moved on, but Istaril, who remembers this from CCG, is just a little more depressed than the rest of us.

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