“Ours is the Fury”
Welcome to our first main strategy article. These are the types of articles you’ll be seeing from us in the foreseeable future. We will be going in depth on the strategy, art and flavor of each card. Most of our thoughts match up quite well but where they don’t I’ll be quoting differing opinions. Our first card up is Robert Baratheon the First of His Name.
I’m happy that were starting with Robert Baratheon; It seems appropriate. Weighing in at a whopping seven gold he isn’t much to look at with his five Strength and two icons, but he gets an additional Strength for each other kneeling character in play. This is an ability that rewards you for playing the game naturally; there’s no gimmick to it. Sending him to attack with just two characters or attacking second will make your opponent think twice about defying a King. If you do attack first his Intimidate will be more potent, but will only make him bigger at the end of resolution. This reason as well as others makes him a prime target for effects that can stand him, perhaps he should have been his own Hand of the King and left Ned alone. Being the King doesn’t have much of an impact currently as long as Robert doesn’t plan on going hunting. At this point being a Lord and having Renown is icing on the cake. As you can see we have a great big fatty here, sorry Robert but you know I’m right.
Watch Out For: Tears of Lys
Joust/Melee Ranking: 5/5
Art & Flavor
What fantastic art, kudos to Joshua Cairós. He’s fat, jolly and he’s the King of Westeros welcoming you to play A Game of Thrones. He obviously has a Military icon (because he can fight) and a Power icon (because he has a long legacy and name) but lacks an Intrigue icon as he’s not very wily. His ability is easy to decipher; as long as the Realms are behaving themselves and kneeling before their one true King he is mighty!
“Fat? Fat, is it? Is that how you speak to your king? Ah, damn you, Ned, why are you always right?” – Robert Baratheon
Next up we have Stannis the Manis, ahem I mean Stannis Baratheon. He costs six gold and comes with five Strength and two icons; respectable. Unlike his brother, who you can naturally maneuver, Stannis is going to be center stage in a deck. You will want to include three copies and strictly build around him, if you don’t he could cost you your own game. You can’t afford your opponent standing characters while you’re trying to lock the board down so attachment control will be a major component in a deck that includes Stannis. Tears of Lys will be the bane of his existence, perhaps a certain priestess should have left a certain maester alone. Stannis doesn’t shine as well in melee due to players coming after you to unlock their board. Being a Lord has the same connotation it does with any Lord while being part of the Small Council means little, naturally. Stannis works very well with his brother and I imagine seeing them together a lot in the future, Melisandre told me so.
Watch Out For: Tears of Lys, The Starks
Joust Ranking: 4/5
Melee Ranking: 3/5 – To many characters to deal with and paints a target on you.
Art & Flavor
Joshua Cairós brings us Stannis just as he brought us Robert and I love it. Stannis is righteous and stern standing over The Painted Table. He’s the best military leader in Westeros and commands respect and does so by keeping characters knelt. He’s missing a very important icon and may need some help from his wife in that regard. It’s fitting that Wildfire Assault puts an end to his strategy.
“I shall bring justice to Westeros.” – Stannis Baratheon
The Red Keep
As we said in our article, Card Analysis Primer, three gold for any non-character has to be exceptional. Is exceptional an accurate word for The Red Keep? I’m not positive, as I have very limited game experience, but drawing cards in any card game is amazing and you draw two with The Red Keep. Including this card in your deck basically states you will win Power challenges. Luckily, save for two, all Baratheon characters have a power icon. If your keeping the opponent down with Stannis it will be even easier to win. I’m most likely playing only one, maybe two, of this as I don’t want to see it until I’ve established board presence. You will also want to keep an eye out on your reserve while playing The Red Keep.
Dominic’s Thoughts: “I believe in the current card pool there isn’t a loyal Baratheon deck that will not include three copies of The Red Keep.”
Watch Out For: Put to the Torch, The Greyjoys
Joust Ranking: 4/5
Melee Ranking: 5/5
Art & Flavor
Tomasz Jedruszek brings us this sweeping vista of The Red Keep. I love the glaring sun in the background. The Red Keep belongs to the Baratheons and it’s Loyal!? I suppose to the peasants it seems that way. I would think The Red Keep would help you with Intrigue challenges but I suppose Power makes sense as well. And after a long bout of defending against your conspirators you can relax as you get ready for the next day by drawing two cards.
Consolidation of Power
Consolidation of Power has a lot of things going for it but one major aspect going against it. As for the strengths of this card; It only costs one gold and kneels characters outside challenges. This effect works extremely well for both Robert and Stannis and a certain character will hate it. The problem is it only kneels characters in the Marshaling Phase, as such it isn’t a good trick and you need to use your plot gold on it and not gold gained from other sources. The Power swing from this is a small price to pay to lock down a good character or a few annoying weenies and if you desperately need it yourself you can target your characters as well. This could have been amazing with Lightbringer (it’s only good) but alas you must consolidate your power before you gain renown.
Joust Raking: 4/5
Melee Ranking: 2/5 – A small stone in the pond
Art & Flavor
Regis Moulun brings us a marching army and I love the little flaps on the banners. I believe the main fluff of this card is apparent when you use it on your own characters.
Ours is the Fury
Ours is the Fury is a very restrictive card and has Robert Baratheon written, and drawn, all over it. I would have loved for this to cost only one gold but I’ll have to make due. The effect is very strong if you’re the first or second player but shines when acting first as it’s a nice trick to throw your opponent off when they try and attack you back. If you do use this on Robert, and you should, remember you will most likely win dominance.
Works Extremely Well With: Robert Baratheon
Joust/Melee Ranking: 4/5
Art & Flavor
Joshua Cairós brings us Robert Baratheon once again. I believe this depicts when Robert and Ned’s party stop at The Inn at the Crossroads on the way to King’s Landing and Lady has a very bad day. The name and effect of the card doesn’t quite mesh with the art in my opinion and it would have made sense, to me, to swap Ours is the Fury and Consolidation of Power’s art.
Our last card is the Legendary sword Lightbringer, or is it, wielded by our rightful King; Stannis Baratheon. This card is expensive but on the right character, which isn’t Stannis, it’s brilliant. If I play this card it will only be a one or two of. If you want to try something neat you could put this on a weenie and consolidate power for a fun but probably wasteful trick. It’s Reaction is only limited to once per phase so if future cards allow you to gain power in each phase it could shine brighter.
Gamaran says, “Lightbringer is a 2/5 card on most banners, but its 4/5 in Fealty. With Fealty Lightbringer costs 1 gold, and you can equip it to your Mil claim for the turn and then bounce it to our hand after you lose Mil claim, with Melisandre on the board Lightbringer becomes the only bounce-able/recurring Kneel that Baratheon has.”
Joust/Melee Ranking: 3/5 – Could be slightly better in melee if an opponent wants to “kingmake” you.
Art & Flavor
John Matson brings us the famous Lightbringer. Stannis and Melisandre are making Lightbringer in this picture, obvious I know. Stannis gains the renown he wants so much by equipping this and when you gain power it keeps you going.
It seems playing Loyal Baratheon has a very control feel to it. You can lock down the early game as you establish the board then attack in with a big fatty repeatedly in the late game. Baratheon has two high costed Lords that need each other to function optimally so having a good economy is going to be paramount. The characters are lacking Intrigue icons so you will want to put Little Birds on them as soon as you can, so they don’t get poisoned, even more so on Robert as he’s your linchpin and you want to attack with him as much as possible. The Starks will most likely be the hardest match-up as they stand themselves, but they may also make a good banner so you can get out of your own Stannis effect. I love the flavor of this house but with so much riding on Robert it may not be the best main faction to choose.
Banners Well With: The Greyjoys, The Lannisters
Remember to leave any comments if you don’t agree on any of the above or if you have any input I will quote you with the handle of your choosing in the “thoughts” section.
Next article; “We do not Sow”. An analysis of loyal Greyjoy cards and why you would want to faction them.