“The Second Sons are an old company, and not without valor, but under Mero they've turned near as bad as the Brave Companions.”
–Ser Jorah Mormont, A Storm of Swords
–Ser Jorah Mormont, A Storm of Swords
Guarding the Realm, the second Chapter Pack in the Blood and Gold cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, is now available at your local United States retailer and online through our webstore! Like the other packs of this cycle, Guarding the Realm follow the events of A Storm of Swords, bringing key characters like Melisandre and Wex Pyke of House Botley to the foreground. If you’re going to protect the realm, there’s always a price to pay… and with new economical options and the bestow keyword, it’s up to you whether you’ll pay in blood or in gold.
so lets pop it open, and take a look at the cards inside.....
Firstly lets talk about the new keyword...
With the onset of the Blood and Gold cycle, a new keyword—the first since the Core Set—enters the game. This keyword is “bestow,” and it gives you a new level of control over your card’s power level.
For example, one of the first cards to feature the bestow keyword is the blind seneschal of House Martell, Ricasso (All Men Are Fools, 15). Ricasso costs three gold to play, but he also bears bestow (2), which means that when Ricasso enters play, you may move up to two gold from your gold pool to Ricasso. You’re never forced to move this gold, but once the gold is placed on a character, you cannot spend it and you’ll lose the gold if the character leaves play. Still, as we’ll see in a moment, bestowing gold on the right characters is always beneficial.
Placing gold on a card with bestow has no inherent effect, but the purpose of the gold is defined by the rest of the card’s text. In this case, Ricasso’s ability reads, “You are considered to have X additional plot cards in your used pile. X is the number of gold Ricasso has.” Obviously, bestowing gold on Ricasso has powerful implications for cards like Doran Martell (Core Set, 105), Doran's Game (Core Set, 119), and Starfall Cavalry (Called to Arms, 35), but it’s up to you to decide exactly how much you want to invest in Ricasso.
Marriage pact is a 3 cost attachment that is pretty good, as the attached character cannot participate in any challenges against you, so great for locking down big heroes, though of course, the downside is when the attached character leaves play you must sacrifice one of your own characters too.
Lord Renly`s Ride is a 1 cost event that as an action lets you pick a character who gains X strength and intimidate where X is the printed strength of the top character in your dead pile. When played at the right time can prove brutal to power damage through or using intimidate take out a high power target from the challenge phase.
Gily is a 2 cost character with 1 strength, intrigue and power icons, and bestow 3. As an action you can spend a gold from her to choose a steward character you control to gain stealth.
The Hands Solar is a 2 cost location that has the actin kneel it to choose a character to gain an intrigue icon.
Light of the Lord is a 2 cost attachment for Baratheon or R`hllor characters only and it lets you stand the character and gain a gold after the dominance phase begins, which works great with Melisandre adding her huge strength to dominance, and the hideous results that follow
Scorching Deserts is a 1 cost location that as a reaction after a character with less then 2 challenge icons is declared as an attacker or defender, you can kneel and sacrifice the desert to remove the character from the challenge, potentially letting you slip through and win the challenge.
A dragon is no Slave is a 2 cost event, that has a challenge action.. choose a character with no attachments and they get -2 strength until the end of the phase, and then if you win a challenge with a dragon character, or Daenerys involved pay 1 gold to return it to your hand. Nice
Wex Pyke is a 2 cost and strength character with military and intrigue icons and bestow 8. While he is attacking each character with a printed cost of X cant be declared as a defender, where X is the number of gold Wes has. You can also move a gold to him in the dominance phase. He looks to be good at shutting down big characters.
Lastly we have the Dornishmans Wife a 1 cost event that has the action that lets you choose an opponent. If they have a higher power then you, gain 2 gold, if they have more cards in hand, gain 1 power, and if they have more characters draw a card. Played at the right time this can pay for itself, and give you plenty more too.
One new plot appears in the pack. The Annals of Castle Black its a 4 income and initiative 1 claim 7 reserve legacy card. It lets each player play event cards from their discard pile as if they where in hand, but at the cost of removing them from the game.
This is another solid pack, some highlights are the new version of Melisandre, shes a beast! and the new type of cards letting you play them from the discard pile as well. These kind of cards mean you will have to manage your money tighter to ensure you can, but if you have multiple targets for your gold, they can really confuse and surprise your opponent.
To learn more about A Game of Thrones the card game second edition take a look hereand check out our articles on Factions and plots to give you an idea of how they play, and take a look at some of the upcoming chapter packs that add more to your game.
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Head on over to your local game store to pick this up with an RRP of £14.99 it will add plenty more to your game and make you once more take a look at the cards in your deck and tweak again.