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Chapter Chat | No Middle Ground

1 Apr , 2016  

AndyWe’re back with another Chapter Chat! No Middle Ground has come around very quickly and we’re both excited and anxious to see how the cards shaped our deck, if they could surpass the wonderful treats we got from The King’s Peace. The game has now evolved to a point where there’s some real choice in best deck construction and it’s supplying an annoying bundle of deck optimisation decisions.

Rich | So let’s stop rambling on and jump into our five favourite cards from the newest expansion pack! Starting with:

ONE | Blood Of The Dragon

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Ah, how my Targ deck loves to burn things… The fact that this affects Daenarys is a little odd, but I’ll take the hit in order to clear out all those one strength soak characters and make a nice path for my Dothraki to take down some bigger game. Playing this plot when you’ve got a Dany and one or two Unsullied on the field is brilliant, suddenly you’re in a position where even those seven strength characters like Tywin and Oberyn are in danger of being Dracarys-ed to death.

Andy | Yeah my first thought was this card was weak and rubbish, (much like my playing style some might say…) however it’s when you start thinking of the combos it becomes a real powerhouse. I do think that with such low stats though it’s going to be difficult to choose over over plot cards. I’m not a regular Targ player, but I’m not sure what I could drop it out for.

Rich | As more burn cards come this’ll only get more powerful, but I agree at the moment it’ll be a tough one to squeeze in. Don’t get me wrong though, this’ll be in my plot deck from now on, it’s just going to take a good deal of experimenting before I’ll be happy with what I drop for it.

Andy | Those low gold plot cards really need to justify their spot in my deck, fortunately with my first pick from this pack I’ll never need to worry about gold again…

TWO | The Arbor

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I feel like for the second article in a row I have to refer to my simpleness. Yes playing neat combos that bring an opponent to their knees is incredibly satisfying but a simple three extra gold a turn. That sort of gold increase has been unheard of outside of the Lannisters so far and so if you want to go peak Tyrell you’re going to be running a huge advantage over your opponents. Any card that provides you more options throughout the game cannot be considered a dud in your deck

Richard | I’m not so sure about this one, I’ll never sniff at 3 gold, but that initial 4 cost means you’re going to be choosing to play this instead of a character. With Tyrell having such a focus on rush-decks at the moment I just can’t see this getting much play.

Andy | That’s fair, you need to get it out early to reap those benefits and it could be a bit of a gamble but making Counting Coppers a six gold plot suddenly puts it into amazing territory. It’s a card I’d like to play with a bit more before I make a final judgement call.

Rich | Getting it early or in setup will definitely mean your economy is pretty much set for the rest of the game, but to guarantee you see it early you’ll want a few copies of it in there, and I’m not sure what I’d take out to make room. One card that will definitely be forcing it’s way into my deck is:

THREE | The Watcher On The Walls

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The Nights Watch has finally been getting some much needed chapter pack love. I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure how useful this will be in the long run, or if I’ll ever get this to trigger, but GODDAMN am I salivating at the thought of dropping this and wiping out all of my opponents big players in one fell swoop.

Andy | The first card to actually make Night’s Watch threatening. There’s nothing like someone coming in for a big swing and you being able to swot them aside with ease. With your opponent hopefully going first you’ll have the two Rangers to kneel. I don’t think this is enough to co-erce me into playing Night’s Watch but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Rich | The cost is high though, Rangers tend to be the stronger Nights Watch characters, and kneeling two is no small feat. If you’re going to play this, you’re going to have to guarantee it plays, which means having a Hands Judgement in hand too, just to make sure you can stop any potential skullduggery. That being said, if nothing else once you’ve got two Rangers on the field your opponent is going to be increasingly more tentative every time you take a gold through to the challenge phase, the threat of this card appearing is going to be pretty much as valuable as it actually hitting the table.

Andy | Speaking of threatening events…

FOUR | Loot

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Now this bad boy is made for those Long Plan Martell nobheads (sorry for the curse) who want to save some back for the next round. Like a lot of these newer released cards it’s another situational event. Your opponent won’t always have the gold to take advantage of looting but on that one time, that one time they do and you go for it… It’s what Greyjoy dreams are made of.

Rich | This is a bit too situational for my liking, but the ability to strip Tywin of his strength or punish Tyrion’s intrigue gold collection is pretty great. Team this up with Euron and it vastly increases the chances of you pilfering a lovely location. You could argue that this would help you secure dominance by taking away your opponents golden contribution, but that’s rarely that important for the Iron Islanders. Until there are more milling cards available this’ll be staying in the box for me, the other Greyjoy events are welcome additions to your hand and I’d much rather see any one of them before this. My next pick is a card that I think damn near everyone will be playing with for the foreseeable future though:

FIVE | The First Snow Of Winter

GT05_79This is a game changer, and one that is going to severely mess up a lot of my current decks. I’m scared.

Andy | I really, really like Lannisport Moneylender. I mean, it’s a true babe. It’s also susceptible to The First Snow of Winter and for that reason I hate this card. This is in an interesting choice and much like Wildfire you will want to make sure you’ve got the capacity to make this play a favourable one. It’s definitely nice to see some new viable plots into the game and I agree with Rich, it will definitely shake up the meta!

Rich | It’s not just those low value econ cards you’re going to lose though, pretty much every faction has 3 cost characters that are essential to their success. Playing this at the right time could absolutely cripple a player, more than possibly any other plot currently in the game. It’s not just the fact they come back to your hand, it’s the fact you’re not going to be able to get them back down again which probably means having them discarded at the end of the round.

Andy | Agreed, there’s a whole load of cards in this pack that’ll change up the current state of the game and it’s really interesting to see them leaning into certain factions play styles.

Thanks for reading our favourites from The King’s Peace, as ever, give us a shout in the comments below if you think there’s someone better AND if you’re reading this in London then say hi! We’re looking to play with more people and would love to know if you’re about. Until next time, good luck top decking!

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