Home Articles Redesigns: Pack Review Part 3

Redesigns: Pack Review Part 3

by Richard Walker
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Hello again! We’re back with the third block of reviews on our redesigned cards, reviewing the cards from Targaryen and Tyrell. Thanks again for all of you who read the previous reviews, it is tough being 100% correct all the time but I’m sure you can all tell us where we have gone wrong with our analysis! So without further ado, let’s see what we thought about the next batch…

Daenerys Targaryen (3.3 Average)

Hagen – 2.5 out of 5

It’s one of the cards that has seen least play in its original version because it got promptly redesigned, and I was actually surprised of her rewording. Any deck would struggle affording a cost 8 with no keywords, and since big dragons are not really a thing she seems only a “for fun” card. Being named Daenerys doesn’t help, and when the Dothraki version will come out, she’ll always be the fourth choice.

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    Johannes – 4 out of 5

    Still a centrepiece of attachment-based decks or decks that want to run big dragons. Dany is good body with tutor draw and gives tempo advantage, which mitigates the high cost.

    hagarrr – 4 out of 5

    Poor Queen Daenerys, sitting sadly on a chunk of stone, trying to look relevant in this card game. I honestly do not think she is a bad card by any means; the ability to bring in a 7 cost dragon for a challenge phase is excellent. I believe she is unpopular because 8 cost is hard to justify in a meta with multiple available resets (sometimes all in the same deck!), and also because Pyro Dany is busted. Fortunately, there is more support coming for those big dragon decks and I am optimistic she will make a splash once again.

    Von Wibble – 4 out of 5

    More powerful than the original as you get that impactful yet costly dragon into play, at least for that challenge phase. Less powerful because the attachments have to be titles and if you go for the 3 cost dragons you don’t keep them in play. Feels like this is very much being steered towards the big dragons to help them see play. Newer cards like Field of Fire seem very much to be doing this too, so it looks like that theme is getting support for sure.

    Xelcor – 2 out of 5

    Daenerys Targaryen at 8 cost is a high price to pay. Maybe there will be more support for it in the future and the Big Dragons, but right now it looks not good enough to really be your Dany of choice.

    Drogon (4.6 Average)

    Hagen – 4.5 out of 5

    The only grown dragon able to permanently replace his little Core Set version it’s still played in almost every Targ deck after redesign. His huge power level was once mitigated by Martell icon control being more popular and a relatively higher presence of Nightmares. Today -4 or -3 doesn’t make much difference if you’re killing chuds to prepare a bigger military claim hit. Pair him with his new best friend Barristan to make the opponent cry.

    Johannes – 4 out of 5

    Drogon still ruins some decks completely and usually requires some attention from the opposing player. At least Drogon can’t kill very meaningful characters own his own but extra military claim is still really strong effect that justifies Drogon’s place in many of the Targ decks.

    hagarrr – 5 out of 5

    I think the Drogon nerf was necessary and an improvement for the game. I still think he’s just a great card. Most of the time he will be 2 claim military, with the ability to chew through dupes, killing your chuds so that better characters get claimed. Drogon Enthusiasts will say he’s rubbish when the opponent has no chuds to kill, but we all know there’s A Dragon Is No Slave in hand somewhere….

    Von Wibble – 5 out of 5

    Only hits characters without attachments and “only” reduces by 3 strength. Yep, that’s still good enough to effectively count as +1 claim in the military challenge, and still good enough to hit a lot of very useful characters. Sure, Drogon does have a habit of being 0.75 Iron Thrones when facing icon control, but you can’t have everything.

    Xelcor – 4.5 out of 5

    If you want a dragon that is not used to get knelt for Dracarys!, this is the best one. See it often, hate it a lot, putting icons on Drogon and standing him is terrifying. Strong Card.

    Hizdahr zo Loraq (2.0 Average)

    Hagen – 2 out of 5

    The good (?) days of when a Targaryen King ruled the Seven Kingdom are over. Discarding a card to basically gain 3 gold was a joke and broke the game stability for a while. He was 100% worth of redesigning, and even if he disappeared from the game I wouldn’t say the changes were too drastic. While the card type restriction is still tolerable, the limit to once per round instead of per phase it’s what killed him. But I couldn’t think of another way to fix this madness.

    Johannes – 3 out of 5

    Hizdahr is a card you don’t see much now days even though there’s even more discard tech in Targ. The body isn’t good enough and the limit holds him back too much to keep him in a deck that doesn’t require his King trait.

    hagarrr – 2 out of 5

    The days of Hizdahr throwing Missandei into play in marshalling so you could marshal Drogo, and then discarding something else so you can afford to ambush Drogon and Qotho are well gone. The limit once per round is probably the correct one, but the extra nerf of needing to discard a character card is probably unnecessary. He sorely needed an extra point of STR or a keyword to see play as he pales in comparison to other Targaryen 6 cost characters (except Pyat Pree!).

    Von Wibble – 2 out of 5

    PALOI (Put A Limit On It) works here – once per round really reduces the reduction potential of this character, to the point where I can’t remember the last time he saw play. Still seems good in a shadows or Flea Bottom based deck but finding room is much tougher than it used to be.

    Xelcor – 1 out of 5

    Never saw it played, can’t be good… the end xD (just not playing him gives you 2 of his triggers and 2 cards!)

    Qotho (3.2 Average)

    Hagen – 3.5 out of 5

    A no gold ambush was an impressive tool considering the Targ ability to recycle used card. Against them you knew for sure he would have jumped in at some point of the game, regardless of the deck. This smart restriction thankfully fixes his ubiquity. He’s still a solid body for Dothraki decks, but also playable in any Targ that runs Summer plots.

    Johannes – 3.5 out of 5

    Qotho is another card that you don’t see much. Limiting his ability to Summer plot is a nice way to stop tempo created by Qotho to lead to blowout wins. I think there was a time in the meta, that Summer plots were so common that you could have taken a gamble with Qotho and run no Summer plots on your own. Now when Exchange is restricted and there are loads of good The Seven plots, Qotho is hardly worth a gamble.

    hagarrr – 3 out of 5

    Solid surprise free stat-stick on a Summer plot turn is still nice. Before redesign he saw play in all decks as a way to exploit explosive tempo gains, but now he seems to be visible only in dedicated Dothraki builds or if you really need more discard triggers. The restriction of Exchange of Information probably didn’t help either, as Qotho combines nicely to offset the low gold of the plot.

    Von Wibble – 3 out of 5

    Targaryen often run Summer plots anyway and Missandei is a Targ card, so its not a huge change from before, but enough of one to prevent him being an automatic pick. That said, if you have a few summer plots, why not?

    Xelcor – 3 out of 5

    Summer plots are not the most punishing to play, but you will not get him in on a double claim plot. Still good as a one-off at least.

    Womb of the World (3.3 Average)

    Hagen – 2.5 out of 5

    Another card that lived fast and died young. It felt like Harrenhal on steroids, and paired so well with the Dothraki plot in creating monstrous boards to make your opponent cry. The fix was needed but the card really suffered from it, as now the effect doesn’t justify the high cost and it will be very rare to play a bomb character. I guess Dothraki could still run it, but it’s not exactly winning games anymore.

    Johannes – 4.5 out of 5

    Womb was a great card originally and even redesigned version is really nice. Basically, it’s draw and an extra chud every round. Sometimes you get luckier, and Womb can win you games. Or you can build around Womb and not have Dothraki chuds in your deck at all. There surely is enough of bigger good Dothraki characters to get reliable enough trigger with Womb.

    hagarrr – 4 out of 5

    It seems like the re-designers really hated tempo gains for all Targaryen cards! I think the old version probably was fine if the card was discarded at the end of the phase, but in keeping the return to hand element (which is actually better with alternative Drogo) I think it was nerfed a little too hard. Now it is an unreliable 4 cost location, and in a game where consistency is king, who would take a punt on that? That said, it usually still draws a card and gives positive tempo.

    Von Wibble – 2.5 out of 5

    For a 4 cost location this is quite the nerf. Do you run a full Dothraki set and chance that the Horselords just turn up at the wrong time? Or do you run only stronger Dothraki and risk not getting a hit? Or do you just use the card slot for something a little less risky?

    Xelcor – 3 out of 5

    Just highroll and it is the same as the old card. Sometimes it is Raiding Khalasar, sometimes it is 2 strength 1 icon. It still sees play.

    Meereen (3.8 Average)

    Hagen – 3 out of 5

    Game changing card for Targ back in the old days. A great and flexible tool for seeing more cards in marshalling or protecting key cards in challenges at no real cost, as you could use it to activate the discard triggers. Now you can still do that for a reasonable cost, and it’s a shame it doesn’t see more play.

    Johannes – 4.5 out of 5

    Meereen was insane draw engine when it came out. Especially when you get discarded cards like Missandei on board as well. Redesigned version needs bit more building around it to shine and you have to think bit more when to trigger it. I like how it gives more options as well, like triggering it in Challenges phase during The First Snow or Mad King’s Command turn to bring Missandei into play as an extra character.

    hagarrr – 4 out of 5

    I am surprised this doesn’t get played more, but then having to lose a card every round to temporarily draw 3 cards isn’t always that palatable for a 3 cost location. Obviously it scales much better with cards that like to be discarded but I see simple brute force Targaryen decks to be more popular than intricate discard-based ones. If it was cheaper, or locations like Great Pyramid were better, then I’m sure it would be a staple.

    Von Wibble – 5 out of 5

    We know Targaryen do not necessarily mind discarding cards, and having an extra shot at finding that powerful burn/ambush card is really good. It is difficult not to see this card making decks, especially burn.

    Xelcor – 2.5 out of 5

    I cant say much here, I don’t think I have seen it often so I cant give it a reliable rating.

    Crown of Gold (1.3 Average)

    Hagen – 1 out of 5

    Not sure this was the right decision for a card that wasn’t problematic anymore. Yeah, we all wanted to flip the table in the first cycle when Tyrion or Arianne was killed in marshalling, but with time it proved to be less and less effective because of its cost and inconsistency. The redesign made it even worse but there are some cool uses, like making king your Prince Hot Pie so he can activate his ability in a King in the North round.

    Johannes – 1 out of 5

    I didn’t include it in my 100 card Long Voyage deck, which tells a lot. I theory it could be good but basically mostly worth it only during Blood of the Dragon turn and then it gives immediate power to you opponent. Being an attachment, it has too much anti-synergy for burn. And Targ has enough options for burn just to leave this card in the binder.

    hagarrr – 1.5 out of 5

    Crown of Gold isn’t the worst, but after years of kneeling a Dragon and paying 1 gold to give -4 STR and kill, this seems like unnecessary hard work. You can run it 3x now in your deck, but until there is an easy to apply “kill when STR is 0” card appears, this will probably stay in the binder. I love the gall of the re-designers removing the terminal kill effect, knowing that cards like Drogon and Plaza of Punishment will not be able to kill off the character with this attachment!

    Von Wibble – 2 out of 5

    The lack of kill effect makes this harder to justify, which is pleasing to those who like to play core Arianne or core Asha! It, together with the “no attachments” restriction on some of the burn effects, makes it hard to justify the price though. You get to include 3 copies of it now, unless of course you are running Valyrian Steel. I just don’t see it making the cut in a deck based around burn though. It could be good if there was an equivalent effect to Pyro-Dany that could trigger to kill a strength 0 character though!

    Xelcor – 1 out of 5

    DEAD.

    Gifts for the Widow (4.3 Average)

    Hagen – 4 out of 5

    Whole deck searches should not exist, at least not without paying a rich cost. Faction kneel seems the appropriate solution, since you can only do that once per round and also risk to kneel it for nothing if opponent has HJ. The card usage wasn’t affected by this change, as it’s still a staple for Voltron decks and the main reason to play Banner Dragon.

    Johannes – 4 out of 5

    Whole deck tutor is always good and since Targ has surplus of good and versatile attachment Gifts really shine in attachment heavy decks. Only negatives are the faction kneel that clash with 8 cost Dany and that opponent can cancel it free with Hand’s Judgment just when you’ve done a 3 gold investment for it.

    hagarrr – 4.5 out of 5

    This card always appears in decks that I just hate playing against; Voltron decks. Desperately need to stand your character three times in the challenge phase? Gifts got you covered. Need your Dragon Egg to fuel that? Gifts got you covered. Need your Valyrian Steel Armor so your newly assembled Euron voltron can never be Valar’d? *angry reacts only* 

    Von Wibble – 5 out of 5

    Deck search = win. Draw = win. This does both in Valyrian Steel and is also an autoinclude in Qohor.  The faction kneel loss isn’t ideal but this still lets you get the tool you need, as long as you have a Meereenese  Market ready of course!

    Xelcor – 4 out of 5

    I like Voltron decks, you will still have 3 copies in decks and Queensguard is not in a pod anymore. I think there will be lots of play for this card in the future.

    Mace Tyrell (2.4 Average)

    Hagen – 1.5 out of 5

    One of the most annoying card I’ve ever faced: 2 powers per round safely stored on a big Lord was too much to handle if you weren’t prepared for this. Considering he was released along with Hightower, he was basically grabbing passive powers for free. The fix is pretty simple and smart without changing the card mechanic, but since nobody wants to collect his powers on chuds he’s just lying in the bin waiting to be brought back (spoiler: with two good Maces around, that won’t happen anytime soon).

    Johannes – 2.5 out of 5

    One of the most powerful cards in the game turned into mediocre niche card. There are so many resets in the game now days, that flooding power gain really isn’t viable. Also, the restriction that the character has to be unique is rough for Tyrell, since there isn’t much unique jumpers and tricks to do this make the overall deck just worse. The ability is nice but not enough to justify paying 7 gold. Then again, I don’t think many players are actually missing Mace. The old one got really bonkers and limited also the design space a lot. You still see Mace sometimes as a 1-off.

    hagarrr – 3 out of 5

    I think this redesign of Mace is okay, but probably a bit lacking for a 7 cost lynchpin without a keyword of his own. The power on unique characters does put something of a clock on the game, as paying a gold for a power is certainly within the capabilities of every Tyrell deck, seeing as they never fail to set up the Arbor! The reaction is neat, every more “enters play” effect that gets printed on a Tyrell unique will make this card better.

    Von Wibble – 2 out of 5

    Far more fragile than before, where you just had to get him out duped and basically had a clock on the game for your opponent. Now the power goes onto characters who probably have decent enters/leaves play effects themselves, and obviously using Mace on the same character multiple times will limit your power gain. The unique character stipulation means a lot of previously effective targets such as House Florent Knight and Hightower Spy can’t be recurred. All of this together with the lack of keyword makes Mace take a back seat compared to a lot of other big Tyrell characters. The fact that Mace Son of Gloin provides competition for him means he is so much harder to include in a deck.

    Xelcor – 3 out of 5

    I haven’t seen it being played so I cant say much. BUT with the new Margaery maybe he gets some space to be used. You heard it here first. (or you make people hate you with Orton).

    The Queen’s Retinue (3.2 Average)

    Hagen – 3.5 out of 5

    It’s one of the few cards that got better after redesign. Unless you were playing them in a mill deck (which wasn’t the main purpose) now you can often see your opponent turning down the draw if they have low reserve or already a full hand. It doesn’t see much play because the whole shadow theme is underplayed (see my future KoS review), but the fact you can activate your shadow triggers for free and also get a solid body on the board is not to be underestimated.

    Johannes – 2.5 out of 5

    The card didn’t see much play other than mill decks before and now it doesn’t really fit mill decks either. But as many don’t miss Mace decks, I doubt even fewer people miss mill decks. Sometimes you still see The Queen’s Retinue in a deck to get a cheap shadow body in play even though cost of giving 2 cards to your opponent is rough.

    hagarrr – 2.5 out of 5

    This would be a great ability for a House Harlaw character! Alas, it’s a Tyrell ability. I suppose the idea is that Tyrell has so many golds and resources to shit out more cards to the board that they simply do not care for the cards they give you. And that idea would probably be right. But who wants to give opponents cards? It’s the principle of it!

    Von Wibble – 4 out of 5

    For shadows decks only, but a great “free” trigger for those, especially if your opponent already has plenty of cards to minimise their advantage from the effect.

    Xelcor – 3.5 out of 5

    Still a very good shadow trigger, you cant force your opponent to draw but that’s it. Good with Knight of Flowers and all the new Shadow shenanigans, I like shadow stuff.

    Oldtown Informer (3.8 Average)

    Hagen – 3.5 out of 5

    Apparently this redesign was not needed if you looked only at normal decks, but it fits well the “Mission against Combo” theme which was rightly pursued by the Committee. 2-cost ambush would be good even without an effect, so everything else written on it is just a pleasant addition. The birth of Spies decks also made her better.

    Johannes – 4 out of 5

    Oldtown Informer didn’t see that much play after Scheming Septon came out. But now that Scheming Septon is podded, there’s more value to Oldtown Informer. Re-design nerf was just to prevent combo but bigger nerf to it game with Flea Bottom and Breaking Ties. It’s still a really good ambush body that can filter your deck effectively.

    hagarrr – 3 out of 5

    Ahhh Jackie, she’s still got it. Solid ambush ability that triggers herself, filters cards for you, and has a now-relevant Spy trait. A shame then, that Steve the Scheming Septon has an extra icon, repays back the two gold over you’ve used him, as well as drawing an early card. Unless you value the ambush or Spy trait, I expect you pick Steve instead.

    Von Wibble – 5 out of 5

    Classic PALOI – such an easy fix. The Spy trait has received a lot of love too, it’s all good.

    Xelcor – 3.5 out of 5

    I don’t see it played, I can imagine that you used it like a free Gold Mine every phase. There is now more Spy support and with Goldengrove standing Flea Bottom, I can see a deck abusing this a bit.

    Unexpected Guile (3.7 Average)

    Hagen – 3 out of 5

    Similar to Skagos, this card didn’t show its full potential on paper until it was exploited by someone. Repeatable strenght buff and insight for 1 gold was ridiculous, also allowing multiple shadow triggers. Was that forced reaction timing really needed? Today it’s still a good tool for shadow decks but the fact that you’re paying 2 gold every turn limits its use. But it makes great combo with Sparrows.

    Johannes – 3.5 out of 5

    I like how you can bring Guile out of shadows for free now days but that’s about it. The nerf was very big to admittedly very strong card. Bit sad that this also hurt quite a bit one of my melee decks where it wasn’t such a big problem. Guile is still an ok card which just feels bit clunky to use comparing to the original.

    hagarrr – 3.5 out of 5

    We have all learned from Clever Feint that shadows recursion is the absolute worst. Fortunately this attachment will now effectively cost you two gold to do it every time, and will only recur one character. A much better balanced and appropriate cost for the effect in my view, but with the attachment returning to hand every time, in contrast to the artwork, does feel a little inelegant.

    Von Wibble – 4 out of 5

    Losing insight is definitely not nothing, but Shadows 0 is a really strong keyword in itself. You do lose the free shadow placement, which was so predictable as to be Expected Guile, but the lack of forcedness to the reaction allows more options – you can either use this just to buff a beatstick further or to return a character with a nice (nasty) enters play ability. Obviously only fits in Shadows decks, but is very good in those. 

    Xelcor – 4.5 out of 5

    You play shadows, you play this card, maybe not 3 times but it will be in the deck.

    All Men are Fools (2.8 Average)

    Hagen – 2.5 out of 5

    This event received the Doran’s Game treatment and we’re all glad of this. There were times when this was used outside of combo, but without a proper limit it would have always been too tempting to be ignored. Now only fits a thematic deck which is not performing very well, therefore it won’t see much play unless ladies gets boosted somehow.

    Johannes – 3.5 out of 5

    I think the nerf dropped this card below 4 but it’s good to have limits on cards. Ladies decks haven’t been great for a while and it’s not that easy to win challenges by 5 with them anyway. Ok rush card, not much anything else about it.

    hagarrr – 3 out of 5

    I expect this is pretty easy to trigger and a nice source of power gain in Lady-traited decks. Or at least it would be if someone was to build one. I don’t think I’ve seen any in the wild but the incentive is always there with every Lady that enters the card pool. The requirement to win by 5, max once per phase, and needing to spread that power across your board stops this event from being truly busted.

    Von Wibble – 3 out of 5

    PALOI. Job done.

    Xelcor – 2 out of 5

    No more 5 ladies and 3 challenges insta-win with 0 gold? If you play the Lady deck you still play this card and it will be 100% 3 times. But the deck itself will be weak-ish, and it is not playable outside of it.

    To the Rose Banner! (2.4 Average)

    Hagen – 2 out of 5

    This event received the Mission to Essos treatment and we’re all glad of this. A whole redesign for a combo decks’ favourite that had no reason to exist considering the available wealth in this faction. Similarly to Mission, I love the design and the way it tries to push different strategies, like the synergy with House Florent Knight. At the same time, it’s the kind of card you will always struggle to find slots compared to more flexible and useful stuff.

    Johannes – 3.5 out of 5

    The complete re-design made this card a playable one that compliments Tyrell theme. I love blinking House Florent Knights with it. That been said, it’s pretty conditional and requires faction kneel. Most times The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due is just better option.

    hagarrr – 3.5 out of 5

    I really like this event. As a way to remove negative attachments it is much more flexible than events like Arya’s Gift, and has the additional upside of being used to re-trigger ‘enters play’ effects again. I think if Sweetsleep didn’t exist, Tyrell players might consider this a lot more than they do.

    Von Wibble – 2 out of 5

    Easy pick in Dark Wings. Not a bad shout for Orton Merryweather, though note you don’t trigger his first reaction when he comes back as he was neither marshalled nor played. In a lot of cases where you would use this TIBWHID will do more work, but this doesn’t kneel the faction card and does give you the enters play effect of the character in the challenges phase. Still hard to justify for most decks though.

    Xelcor – 1 out of 5

    If it would be an interrupt to a phase beginning I could see it as a good card. With it being an action I don’t recall it seeing play ever.

    Card Averages

    4.6 Drogon

    4.3 Gifts for the Widow

    3.8 Meereen

    3.8 Oldtown Informer

    3.7 Unexpected Guile

    3.3 Daenerys Targaryen

    3.3 Womb of the World

    3.2 Qotho

    3.2 The Queen’s Retinue

    2.8 All Men are Fools

    2.4 Mace Tyrell

    2.4 To the Rose Banner!

    2.0 Hizdahr zo Loraq

    1.3 Crown of Gold

    We will be back again next month with our final opinion piece on the neutral card redesigns. Thank you for reading! <3

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