Home Articles Redesigns: Pack Review Part 1

Redesigns: Pack Review Part 1

by Richard Walker
449 views

Hello everybody! Your 2nd favourite White Walker here, with some more written content generated for your viewing pleasure. Yes, I am aware nobody asked for it, however the excitement for the upcoming Mists of Memory cycle has led to some wonderful reminiscing about the chapter pack and cycle reviews from the olden days of early 2nd Edition. Who could forget when jcwamma rated Left and Right 1 out of 5? Haha what a n00b. 3 out of 5 for box Euron? Hybrid92 what were you smokin’? Let’s not talk about all those 1 out of 5 ratings given for pre-redesigned Return to the Fields either….

But what do we all love more than reading back on these pack reviews and laughing about how wrong the reviewers were? Well, probably nothing actually, but, I have managed to coerce some unsuspecting fools to resurrect the pack reviews in order to give us something to laugh about in 2026! Yay! We will start off easy, by bringing your our “expert” analysis on the redesigned cards, before moving on to subsequent releases. So without further ado….

Selyse Baratheon (3.0 Average)

Hagen – 2 out of 5

A fair redesign that hit this card harder than I was expecting. She’s still useful but as economy got better she stopped being an auto include even for those powerful Azor Ahai decks. It seems her great days are past behind us, but it’s a card that can only grow stronger if new R’hllor attachments are ever released.

Johannes – 3.5 out of 5

Selyse Baratheon has been changed from almost infinite econ boost to more reasonable 1-3 reducer for R’hllor attachments. It’s still really good in Qohor and other R’hllor attachment heavy decks but doesn’t lead to blowout starts anymore.

hagarrr – 3 out of 5

Selyse is a staple in every Bara Qohor deck you see, but outside of that she’s niche. She used to be much too strong, being able to drop all the R’hllor attachments in one go for a massive tempo boost, and then again next round if they came back to hand for whatever reason. I think getting an economy reduction once each round ability on a 4 cost 3 STR bicon with four useful traits is fine, and she will increase in value for every R’hllor attachment that gets designed. I also think the art is amusing; she looks like a posh housewife who set the kitchen on fire at her first attempt at cooking.

Von Wibble – 3 out of 5

A classic example of PALOI (Put A Limit On It) to curb the excesses of a card that otherwise is a bit too good. The obvious combo for this Selyse is with Azor Ahai Reborn and core Robert Baratheon, and this can still be very effective in Baratheon Qohor. Most of the other R’hllor attachments aren’t all that really. So overall, a decent card that fits nicely into 1 particular deck – in most others Queen Selyse is the better pick. 

Xelcor – 3.5 out of 5

She is still a good cost for icons and traits. I still see it played in the decks you would expect to see her.

Victarion Greyjoy (4.8 Average)

Hagen – 5 out of 5

The original looked like an awful joke and proved to be one of the best characters ever released, winning games by himself as it required almost no skills to build a deck around him. Despite the limits not much is changed, due to its incredible flexibility and easy triggering. The reason for his printed strength is still one of the greatest mysteries of our century.

Johannes – 5 out of 5

Original Victarion was very overpowered. The nerf for the card was quite subtle given how many good and flexible Warships there are available for Greyjoy. The stand is the most effective use of his abilities but especially the built in location control is huge and undermines natural locations like Ghaston Grey, which is a natural counter to big characters, completely.

hagarrr – 5 out of 5

Ahhh Big Vic. He’s still busted! Limiting his stand to twice per phase didn’t do too much I don’t think, as he can participate in 3 challenges with his massive strength. The added gravy of being able to kneel your opponent’s problematic locations at will (no limit!) and gain renown on him if nothing else to do with your boats is just great. In retrospect, the redesign should probably have limited his total triggers to two. With the subsequent release of Pyke furthering the popularity of Warships, don’t expect to be rid of this guy anytime soon.

Von Wibble – 4 out of 5

With enough Warships you get repeated challenge beef and some power on top, plus a bit of location control. When Breaking Ties was rife, being loyal also mattered a lot (also King Balon likes it, if you run that one). Undoubtedly a strong presence on the board, but I must admit I prefer Chintarion in most cases, especially given the changes to Iron Mines. You only want this version in Warships, though he does shine there for sure. 

Xelcor – 5 out of 5

Victarion Greyjoy For the low cost of 0 cost warships you can for example kneel the wall or red keep. Wanna do more challenges with a strong character, he is your man. On the 1.8 Restricted list and on the most wanted list for Greyjoy.

Euron Crow’s Eye (4.2 Average)

Hagen – 4.5 out of 5

Another squid nonsense, a nightmare to play against. I believe here the redesign was more accurate than the one on the previous bomb, since he’s still pretty strong but with some deckbuilding restrictions. Limiting him also made a good job in bringing back Core Euron which was basically obscured by this one.

Johannes – 4 out of 5

Original Euron was a crazy tempo card. Tutoring and getting a 4 cost location in play in addition to solid tricon with intimidate. At least burn and especially Drogon made 4 strength Euron sound vulnerable but that didn’t really matter, since Greyjoy had an ability to go first and stand Euron multiple times. Redesigned version needs a deck built around him and more tools but is still effective. Free Warship gives a lot of tempo especially if it’s Silence. There are plenty of good Raider chuds to make him effective which clearly showed in 2022 Greyjoy Fealty dominant meta.

hagarrr – 4.5 out of 5

Tempo Euron now provides a lot less tempo than before. He’s still good, a tricon with conditional intimidate is nothing to sniff at, especially when you can search for his standing tech when you marshal him. As the first player, Euron can still dominate a challenge phase, and alongside Victarion he is really annoying to play against. It’s the Warships that make him really good though, that extra support is perfect foil for Euron to make his intimidate impactful.

Von Wibble – 3.5 out of 5

Considering him as a package with Silence, because a lot of the time the two will be in play together, you have a repeatedly standing intimidate tricon, and are probably going first because of the initiative pump – this isn’t cheap however! Yes, the generic Greyjoy deck takes the core version, but any kind of Warship build should be looking at this version.

Xelcor – 4.5 out of 5

I like this card a lot, getting ships is always fun. Now he doesn’t just give you 4-6 extra gold for free, good redesign balancing. Still a very strong card and a bit insane with Queen Alannys and Pyke (BtB). Not a 100% auto include I think.

Nighttime Marauders (3.2 Average)

Hagen – 4 out of 5

A minor but very welcomed fix for a card that shouldn’t belong to Greyjoy at all. Still a good choice for some annoying shadow decks, but everybody should be glad he’s not considered a goodstuff card anymore.

Johannes – 3 out of 5

Redesigned Nighttime Marauders seems a very balanced card. It doesn’t let you empty your opponent’s hand before marshaling but is an effective tool in the right deck. Getting information about an opponent’s hand is still valuable but you need shadow recursion effects or additional benefits for cards coming out of shadows to make the cost worthwhile.

hagarrr – 3.5 out of 5

A nice card in specific Greyjoy decks that don’t seem to have ever gotten too popular. I think these have a place in the reserve choke House Harlaw decks that exist, and also in the Raider tribal decks that focus on emptying your deck and hand so that they can mill you/steal your locations. The redesign to challenge phase based reaction was a necessary one, to keep this being used in the spirit it was intended, and I don’t think it hurt this card too much at all.

Von Wibble – 3 out of 5

If you can see your opponent’s hand or are facing a bounce to hand deck then these are a very useful control piece, which goes very nicely with First Snow of Winter. The challenge phase only restriction at least allows opponents to marshal what they drew earlier making this much fairer. Still a very solid option for a Raider deck or a Lannister Kingdom deck. 

Xelcor – 2.5 out of 5

With more reveal hand cards being added to the game I can see it being played more. It needs a deck to support it or some good shadow synergy to be good (Looking at you Lannister Kraken).

Drowned Disciple (4.5 Average)

Hagen – 4 out of 5

I just wanted to skip this one as I’ve never taken too much effort in understanding how Drowned God decks work. I just know this annoying guy is one of their win conditions as he gives powers for free so he should die as soon as possible. Or just get discarded. But then he dies.

Johannes – 4.5 out of 5

Changing the limit to max really made this card balanced but effective and stopped Drowned God decks from hoarding 10+ power a turn. The card is still the number one win condition for Drowned God decks even though they are not the meta currently.

hagarrr – 5 out of 5

Gaining power for resurrecting your characters is great! A maximum of two power per phase rather than the six power you could get pre-redesign is another necessary move. It always sucks to lose the game outside of the challenges phase, but this redesign has reined that interaction in and slowed down the Drowned God combo deck. Despite that, our favourite bearded wet bois are still excellent and are the linchpins of this entire archetype. Without them, Drowned God decks simply don’t exist.

Von Wibble – 4 out of 5

Only goes in 1 deck but does so much work. How many other non-unique cards give the potential for 2 power per phase? The only reason not to give 5 is that Drowned God isn’t that common a sight in the meta. 

Xelcor – 5 out of 5

Drowned Disciple does what it is meant to do, now not as fast as 1 turn solitaire victories. Still 100% in every drowned god deck (in melee you have to make deck building decisions though).

Drowned God Fanatic (5.0 Average)

Hagen – 5 out of 5

Sure, redesign got rid of the annoying part. But let’s be honest, he was played because he was a free cancel before and he is still played as a free cancel now. I would never pack a Greyjoy deck without him.

Johannes – 5 out of 5

Drowned Card Fanatic redesign was nicely made but didn’t change the fact that cancelling character ability just by discarding a card is really strong. At least the recursion of the card is a bit more difficult without Nagga’s Ribs even though decks running this card might want to use Isle of Ravens.

hagarrr – 5 out of 5

Vince is still really really good. Having a free character cancel in your hand is great, especially when it can be flexibly used as a character in a pinch. Retaining the ability to return from the dead pile gives additional utility, and I think the redesign of placing the card in the discard pile is a real triumph, making it work more organically with the theme Fanatic is supposed to represent, Drowned God (with Nagga’s Ribs of course). A shame then, that DGF is still ubiquitous in Greyjoy decks irrespective of archetype.

Von Wibble – 5 out of 5

My favourite intrigue pull when facing Greyjoy, even beating out Risen. Free cancel is so strong. 

Xelcor – 5 out of 5

Drowned God Fanatic I don’t see a world where a 0 cost “in hand cancel” can ever be bad. Not making the 2nd ability easy to use was a good decision. It is not a card you would take 100% if restricted (see 1.7 RL), but it would be an auto include in nearly every GJ deck.

Raider from Pyke (1.6 Average)

Hagen – 1 out of 5

Useless before Pinch, useless after redesign. He’s back in the binder where he belongs.

Johannes – 2 out of 5

It’s pretty stupid that this card needed a redesign simply because FFG made a stupid ruling with the interaction with Pinch of Powder. Currently this card doesn’t see play outside jank because there are better Raider bodies around.

hagarrr – 2 out of 5

There is no longer any interaction with A Pinch of Powder, and also no interaction with this card and literally anyone’s decklist. Raider from Pyke has been relegated back to the binder despite having additional text that allows ambush of Items too. A fun card rather than a competitive card, and I think that will remain the case whilst Raider from Pyke is a 2 STR military monocon. An extra point of strength would have been welcome as the card fundamentally does nothing by itself, but alas, it’s probably better in most cases to ignore this and play a more flexible bicon instead.

Von Wibble – 2 out of 5

No more pinchy raiders, and quite right too! You still get to have fun with Throwing Axes and Corsair’s Dirks, and if you go for a banner deck then cards like Scorpion and Catapult are options. The problem is that there aren’t enough weapons to really make this card work consistently though. 

Xelcor – 1 out of 5

Stopped the pinch of powder “exploit”, never saw it played as the redesign, looks fun though if there are more weapon cards at some point.

Iron Mines (1.4 Average)

Hagen – 1 out of 5

What a downfall for the infamous Mines, from the glory of 1.0 to the oblivion of the post-redesign. I haven’t seen anybody playing them since,which is a bit sad for such a nedly and iconic card. I also miss the Lannister mindgames of getting a gold in plot phase to bluff a Treachery.

Johannes – 2 out of 5

Currently the redesigned Iron Mines doesn’t see much play. It’s mainly because most of the character killing is done by abundant resets. It doesn’t help against Varys (core) either. If the meta would swift towards challenge phase kill effects Iron Mines could see play. But this would probably require rotating Valar Morghulis out or restricting it or some kind of other huge controversial card pool change.

hagarrr – 2 out of 5

Iron Mines took a massive hit by not allowing plot phase use. Admittedly, it was annoying that Greyjoy always saved their big guys and won the game if you didn’t have saves, but unfortunately that just means all other saves are now superior to this. Still, they’re reasonable to soak claim, cheap, and trigger Alannys, so are they really that bad? Probably, yes.

Von Wibble – 1 out of 5

This one for me is over-nerfed, a simple cost rise would have done. This is now pretty much just insurance against a few challenge tricks that your opponents may not even run. 

Xelcor – 1 out of 5

Now it feels like a worse Risen from the Sea you show your opponent and can actively target with some cards (e.g. assault). I haven’t seen it being played.

We Take Westeros! (3.2 Average)

Hagen – 2.5 out of 5

The original was probably the strongest faction plot at the moment of its release. It’s been nerfed hard and the deck where it was supposed to go now never took off, limited by the usual goodstuff suspects. It still sees some occasional play thanks to its great stats, but there are probably better options right now.

Johannes – 4 out of 5

The effect got nerfed pretty significantly with redesigning the plot. However, the pure stat line of the plot is so good it’s still a staple in many Greyjoy decks despite new great plots like Bran the Builder.

hagarrr – 2.5 out of 5

This card is okay, but a bit lacklustre for an in-faction plot card. Don’t get me wrong, the stats are great, but the effect requiring you to sacrifice board tempo to steal a location goes directly against the whole Greyjoy ethos of being a tempo-oriented faction. Sure, I could kneel an Eager Deckhand to steal your Kingsroad, but that’s not really why we play plots is it. I guess there’s no real downside to including this in your Raider deck, except for the opportunity cost of actually playing an impactful plot that does something.

Von Wibble – 2.5 out of 5

Chances are the kind of Raider you are OK with kneeling has a cost of 3 or lower. Taking a Kingsroad with this makes the plot loosely comparable with Fallen From Favour, you sort of get 1 more gold and 2 more initiative, and you only kneel a character rather than sacrifice them. Which is fine, but given you aren’t necessarily guaranteed the right cards in the discard pile without building your deck significantly around this effect, is it impactful enough?  

Xelcor – 4.5 out of 5

You want initiative but don’t want a drawback, good reserve, good gold. Yes for the effect you need to kneel a raider, the horror. Solid Plot you can’t go wrong with it.

Taena Merryweather (1.8 Average)

Hagen – 1.5 out of 5

This lady was a combo favourite, but it took just a minor fix to make her disappear from the game. I never thought she was bad per se in a faction that struggles with draw (hence the 0.5 bonus), but the presence of Gold Mines makes you forget she even exists.

Johannes – 2 out of 5

Taena got nerfed purely because of combo decks trying to win in a single turn. It was rarely used outside of those decks and nowadays rarely used at all. Lannister doesn’t have many event-heavy decks so it doesn’t make sense running her. Nerfing Flea Bottom made Taena worse as well.

hagarrr – 1.5 out of 5

Poor Taena, you really got done dirty didn’t you. Whilst the redesign dealt with her combo enabling ability, it failed to get some Raider from Pyke treatment to actually try and make her playable. She’s basically a shit Grand Maester Pycelle, or a really conditional Gold Mine that can participate in challenges. I think at the very least Taena should have been a 3 cost 3 STR bicon, but the only thing stopping this from being a 1 out of 5 is the fact that she has a power icon and the Lady trait.

Von Wibble – 3 out of 5

PALOI, but still a nice effect and you will want multiple copies of her in Dark Wings Dark Words. A rare instance of a non-loyal card that draws cards as well. 

Xelcor – 1 out of 5

I haven’t seen the old card, but it looks like a lot of card draw you can loop. Never saw the redesign played, can’t say much.

The Red Keep (4.9 Average)

Hagen – 5 out of 5

Free Treachery every round? Yes please! I wonder if the original version was even tested before release.

Johannes – 4.5 out of 5

Original Red Keep paid for itself really quickly on top of excellent ability. Now it’s only funding the ability. I think it still ruins a lot of decks relying on triggered abilities. I would rate it still 5 but there are a couple of good characters with Assault that makes using The Red Keep more difficult. And at least nowadays there’s a way to play around the ability.

hagarrr – 5 out of 5

A permanent Treachery that pays for its own effect is excellent, especially when you can play Treachery alongside it and completely control your opponent’s most troublesome cards. I don’t think the redesign did this card any damage at all, and for those that would complain that 4 gold is expensive and is too much of a tempo hit, well, that’s why we play economy plots, right? If you think I’m wrong for giving this 5 out of 5, just remember how loudly you groan every time your opponent sets this up…

Von Wibble – 5 out of 5

Repeatable cancel is arguably even better than free cancel, and once it’s down on the table, probably cheated in by Kevan, it is usually paying for itself. Of course, to get the best marshaling cancels you probably need to go first, but even with your opponent knowing it is there this still pulls a lot of weight. The printed gold makes it far more setup friendly than most expensive locations.

Xelcor – 5 out of 5

I see it all the time and also play it myself. I don’t see a reason to not have it in every Lannister deck and Lion Banner. Very strong, begging brothers and Alchemists’ Guildhall gives you so many cancels. 

Card Averages

5.0 Drowned God Fanatic

4.9 The Red Keep

4.8 Victarion Greyjoy

4.5 Drowned Disciple

4.2 Euron Crow’s Eye

3.2 Nighttime Marauders

3.2 We Take Westeros!

3.0 Selyse Baratheon

1.8 Taena Merryweather

1.6 Raider from Pyke

1.4 Iron Mines

We will be back in the not-so-distant future with our hot-takes of the Martell, Night’s Watch, and Stark redesigns. Thank you for reading! <3

You may also like

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Mastodon
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x