Strategy Series – Devious Intentions
Hey everyone. I know I’ve been a ghost here for the past few months, but I didn’t want you to forget about me, so I decided I would write a few strategy articles for various games. I can strategize unfettered and fill in my review gaps! Anyway, to kick this off I thought I’d bring you a breakdown of my first successful A Game of Thrones LCG deck, which was a Lannister deck. Please bear in mind that I am not a competitive LCG player. I play with friends, and I am competitive, but I am not a tourney player. I am sure there are people out there who could find a zillion things wrong with what I write here. Suck it up. It ain’t your website! This article covers in detail my plot deck. You’ll notice from my discussion and the construction itself that I fight tons of Stark decks. The result is always the same. Winter comes, and then I punch it in the face.
House Lannister – No Agenda
Building Season (Core S195)
Hear Me Roar (Core L192)
Blockade (Core L193)
Fleeing to the Wall (Core B187)
Fury of the Lion (Arms 26)
A Song of Summer (Ravens 20)
The Winds of Winter (Ravens 40)
The Opening Gambit –
Without a doubt, Building Season stands out here. A properly constructed deck in my favored style should yield a setup hand with at least a few cost reducing locations right from the get go. The beauty of Building Season is that it is strongly favored as an opening gambit by many houses and through this is it extremely feasible to get all three “Street” locations in play, which is important for the Lannister mid-game.
Frequently my turn two and three are comprised of Hear Me Roar and Fleeing to the Wall, depending on the game flow. Hear Me Roar is a strong early game card, yielding 5 gold, and severely weakening the starting forces of less intrigue-heavy houses. This is possibly the single most important defense against a strong Stark rush in this plot deck, buying Lannister precious time to lay out the rest of its assets. Additionally, due to its frequently early use in game, it tends to avoid being blockaded.
As for Fleeing to the Wall, this is another important card for thinning out the possibilities available to opponents. This is particularly handy against Targaryen decks based on the core set style setup, and (again) Stark. While any Stark player in their right mind would not opt to discard their kennels, this will often yield a decrease in their overall income, especially if they play their gold yielding locations early in the game. Most importantly, Lannister players should not panic if they don’t get the full effect of these plot cards. Their inclusion is solely for the purpose of slowing down decks that are fast in the early game and in the case of HMR a quick infusion of income.
Blockade is a key mid-game card for Lannister. At a certain point, Lannister tends to receive almost obscene amounts of gold from characters and locations, as well as soft income from cost reducing locations. Frequently Lannister will be playing with a grand total of as much as 10 gold on a turn with Blockade once past the early stages of the game. Add to that the fact that Lannister will be playing a fair amount of unique character duplicates, and you have a lot of wiggle room (and hopefully defense against Valar Morghulis and Wildfire Assault). The four initiative on Blockade is actually quite high as well, opening up venues to soften up the power that other opponents have already stockpiled through the first few turns. A Song of Summer is also a strong mid-game card. Don’t let the plot effect concern you. While it adds a bonus when you are playing against a summer deck, this deck is largely season agnostic by design. The important thing here is the gold income and the high initiative. This card has a high chance of being Blockaded at this stage in the game, so if you lose the gold don’t panic. It can be handy, to be sure. What you need to take advantage of is the high initiative. Use this to strike a few meatier blows at this point, or alternately intentionally throw combats and take advantage of cards like A Lannister Pays His Debts if you have not already used them up. Thinning out the opponents lines is the key part of this point of the game. Your next two plots are designed to make you win the game, and it is not uncommon to take upwards of six or more power for your house in the last few turns.
This deck rarely goes beyond one rotation of its plot deck. If the plot decks reshuffle, this deck almost assures another player using Valar Morghulis or Wildfire Assault will open the next rotation with those cards, and additionally a Blockade will be highly likely. The Winds of Winter with it’s high claim value is very strong here. This will dissuade aggressive players from tapping out early in the phase if they earn initiative. You can use this to your advantage by liberal application of Lannister’s events-that-become-attachments during your part of the challenge phase. This is intended as a final thinning of the ranks before the death blow that is… Fury of the Lion!
This card is particularly strong against Stark and Martell, but not at this late stage of the game. This card has a whopping 7 initiative, which you should use to mow down your opponents early and aggressively. Go all out. At this point in the game, as long as you have had a proper flow going, you can tap out most of our available characters and still have enough things left to easily claim domination. If you haven’t won by this point, make sure you are well prepared for a very destructive 8th round. In the majority of games I have played with this deck, the game draws to a close violently when Fury hits the table. Most opponents can’t hope to avoid the rush that awaits them.
While this plot deck is designed to specifically safeguard against Stark’s harsh early beat downs, it also fares well against Targaryen and Baratheon. Next time I discuss AGoT LCG strategy I’ll either be bringing you more information on the deck that pairs with this, or a new shadows themed plot deck. Reader’s choice. If anyone out there wants to hear about a specific game or aspect of a game, leave it in the comments! Cheers!