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Nate Parkes
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Recently, FFG posted the decklists for the the Top 8 of the Joust Championship and the Final Table of the Melee Championship.

A common concern amongst new players, or players considering Game of Thrones, is the idea of having to purchase a lot of the previous chapter packs, and the idea of having to purchase multiple copies of some products.

Now that FFG has shifted over to a full x3 copy distribution on all current and future LCG products, most of these concerns have been put to rest. But I think two questions still linger in the mind of the prospective Game of Thrones player:

-Will I have to buy all the previous chapter packs?

-Will I have to buy multiple copies of previous products that did not have the full x3 distribution (especially the Core Set)?

I decided to look at the four top joust decks, to see a) what sets/chapter packs you would need to construct their decks (and how many copies of each), and; b) how much of the deck you could build with just one copy of each product. Also, I'll make some deckbuilding observations for new players looking for rule-of-thumb guides to deckbuilding.

Quote:
Alec Irwin
Joust World Champion
House Lannister

Plots (7)
1 Fury of the Lion
1 City of Lies
1 City of Spiders
1 City of Soldiers
1 City of Secrets
1 City of Sin
1 Valar Morghulis

Characters (34)
3 Mountain Refugee
3 Carrion Bird
1 Syrio Forel
3 Lannisport Weaponsmith
1 Qyburn (King's Landing)
1 Varys (King's Landing)
1 Tommen Baratheon
1 The Hound (Princes of the Sun)
2 Cersei's Attendant
3 Tyrion Lannister (King's Landing)
2 Lannisport Steward
1 Gold Cloaks
1 Lannisport Brothel
1 Littlefinger (King's Landing)
3 Castellan of the Rock
2 Ser Arys Oakheart
3 Enemy Informer
1 Balon Swann
1 Bronn

Locations (16 - 11 income/discount, 5 other)
3 Goldroad
1 Street of Steel
3 Sunset Sea
3 Kingdom of Shadows
1 Alchemist's Guild Hall
1 Queen Cersei's Chambers
1 Toll Gate
3 Golden Tooth Mines

Attachments (2)
2 Insidious Ways

Events (8)
3 Distraction
3 You've Killed the Wrong Dwarf
2 I'm You Writ Small


In order to have all the cards necessary to assemble this deck, you would need:

3x Core Set
3x Kings of the Sea
1x Princes of the Sun
1x Clash of Arms 2 (Ancient Enemies)
1x Clash of Arms 4 (Battle of Ruby Ford)
1x Time of Ravens 1 (Song of Summer)
1x Time of Ravens 4 (Refugees of War)
1x Time of Ravens 5 (Scattered Armies)
1x Defenders of the North 4 (The Wildling Horde)
1x King’s Landing 2-6
3x King’s Landing 1 (City of Secrets)

If you bought 1 of everything, you would be able to assemble 71% of this deck (48 out of 67 cards)

Quote:
John Kraus
2nd Place
House Martell

Plots (7)
1 Fury of the Sun
1 Fear of Winter
1 Valar Morghulis
1 Summoning Season
1 Uneasy Truce
2 Power of Blood

Characters (32)
3 Refugee of the Citadel
3 Orphan of the Greenblood
3 Carrion Bird
1 Bastard of Godsgrace
1 Myrcella Lannister
2 Maester of Lemonwood
2 Herald of the Sun
3 House Messenger
3 Dornish Paramour
2 Flea Bottom Scavenger
1 Ellaria Sand
1 Ser Aerys Oakheart
1 Varys (King's Landing)
1 Darkstar
1 Arianne Martell
1 Areo Hotah (Princes of the Sun)
3 The Red Viper (Princes of the Sun)

Locations (15 - 12 income/discount, 3 other)
1 Shadowblack Lane
1 Lord Doran's Chambers
2 Water Gardens
3 Palace Fountains
2 Dornish Fiefdoms
3 Summer Sea
3 Lost Oasis

Attachments (7)
3 Venomous Blade
2 Bodyguard
2 Taste for Blood

Events (9)
3 Burning on the Sand
3 He Calls it Thinking
3 Condemned by the Council


In order to have all the cards necessary to assemble this deck, you would need:

2x Core Set
2x Princes of the Sun
1x Kings of the Sea
1x Clash of Arms 2, 3, & 4
1 x Time of Ravens 1 & 4
1x King’s Landing 5 & 6
1x Defenders of the North 2 & 6
3 x King’s Landing 2 (A Time of Trials)

With one copy of every product, you could build 74% of this deck (52 out of 70 cards).

Quote:
Erick Butzlaff
3rd Place
House Targaryen

Agendas (5)
1 The Rangers
1 The Stewards
1 The Free Folk
1 The Last Giants
1 Blood of the First men

Plots (7)
1 Fury of the Dragon
1 Valar Morghulis
1 Building Season
1 Threat From the North
1 City of Lies
1 City of Soldiers
1 The Winds of Winter

Characters (30)
3 Dragon Thief
3 Refugee of the Plains
3 Skinchanger
3 Ranger of the Watch
3 The Wildling Horde
3 Traitorous Crow
2 King's Landing Assassin
1 Ser Jorah Mormont
1 Viserys Targaryen (Core)
1 Gilly
1 Khal Drogo (Core)
1 Syrio Forel
1 Varys (King's Landing)
1 Orell the Eagle
1 Mance Rayder (Defenders of the North)
1 Val
1 Varamyr Sixskins

Locations (18 - 11 income/discount, 7 other)
3 Shivering Sea
3 Summer Sea
2 Kingdom of Shadows
2 The Red Keep
1 Meereenese Brothel
1 Khal Drogo's Tent
2 The Dragonpit
2 King's Landing
2 Temple of the Graces

Attachments (7)
2 Dragon Skull
2 Twilight Market
3 Flame-Kissed

Events (6)
3 The Hatchling Feast
3 Forever Burning


In order to have all the cards necessary to assemble this deck, you would need:

3x Core Set
3x Kings of the Sea
1x Princes of the Sun
1x Clash of Arms pack 2 (Ancient Enemies)
1x Time of Ravens packs 2 & 4
1x King’s Landing packs 2 & 6
1x Defenders of the North packs 1, 2, 4, 5, & 6
2x King’s Landing packs 1, 4, & 5
3x Defenders of the North pack 3 (Sword in the Darkness)

With one copy of every product, you could build 84% of this deck (61 out of 73 cards).

Quote:
Matt Ley
4th Place
House Martell

Agendas (4)
1 The Stewards
1 Blood of the First Men
1 The Last Giants
1 The Free Folk

Plots (7)
1 Attack From the Sea
1 Uneasy Truce
1 Wildfire Assault
1 Fleeing to the Wall
1 Fear of Winter
1 Valar Morghulis
1 Fury of the Sun

Characters (35)
3 The Wildling Horde
1 Mance Rayder (Defenders of the North)
1 Gilly
3 Orphan of the Greenblood
1 Syrio Forel
1 Mag the Mighty
3 Coldhands
1 Bastard of Godsgrace
1 Obara Sand
3 Val
1 Jon Snow (Core Set)
1 Old Bear Mormont
3 House Messenger
1 Maester Aemon (Core Set)
1 Ser Aerys Oakheart
1 Myrcella Lannister
1 Craster
1 Varys (King's Landing)
1 The Red Viper (Princes of the Sun)
1 Qhorin Halfhand
1 Varamyr Sixskins
1 Sarella Sand
1 Ellaria Sand
1 Orell the Eagle
1 Arianne Martell

Locations (6 – all income/discount)
1 Street of Steel
1 Shadowblack Lane
1 Street of Sisters
3 Water Garden

Attachments (6)
3 Climbing Spikes
3 Venomous Blade

Events (9)
3 A Game of Cyvasse
3 Seductive Promise
3 Burning on the Sand


In order to have all the cards necessary to assemble this deck, you would need:

3x Core Set
2x Princes of the Sun
1x Kings of the Sea
1x Lords of Winter
1x Clash of Arms packs 2 & 4
1x Time of Ravens 2, 3, & 4
1x King’s Landing 4, 5, & 6
1x Defenders of the North packs 1-5
3x Defenders of the North pack 6 (Return of the Others)

With one copy of each product, you could build 87% of this deck (58 out of 67 cards).

Observations for Prospective Players

1. In general, you don’t need to buy multiple copies of chapter packs.

There are exceptions, of course, but in general the decks above use the contents of single chapter packs (with one of two specific cards needed in triplicate, necessitating multiple copies of a single chapter pack). But those are targeted purchases; as a new player, if you decide to purchase the older chapter packs, one should always be enough, and then, depending on how valuable a specific card is in your deck, you may later return to get another copy of that pack.

2. If you want freedom in deck building, you’ll eventually want a second copy of the Core Set.

Every deck above uses cards from at least two copies of the Core Set. This usage isn’t extensive, but the Core Set contains so many basic, effective, utility cards that having two or three copies allows a greater deal of freedom.

3. In general, players are running cards from more recent chapter packs.

I think this is more an issue of play environment than power creep (several characters from the core set and all the chapter cycles continue to see play), but in general, the more recent cards influence the environment most strongly; meaning a new player shouldn’t feel obliged to pick up all of the past chapter pack cycles; the more recent ones should predominate the environment.

4. You should get a copy of Clash of Arms Chapter 2, Ancient Enemies, and a copy of Time of Ravens Chapter 4, Refugees of War.

You only need a single copy of each, but every single deck in the top eight (and every deck in the final melee table) ran one of the "Fury" plots from "Ancient Enemies," and every deck above ran cards from "Refugees of War." The refugees are useful, 0-cost multi-icon characters that aren’t seasonally dependent, so they provide a strong, low-cost deck building option to every house.

Deck Building Observations:

I have always been told that, in general, a deck should consist of:
-7 plots
-30 characters
-12 income/discount locations
-18 "other" (events, attachments, effect locations, characters)

The decklists above confirm this. With the exception of Matt Ley’s Martell Deck (which runs only 6 discount/income locations), the other decks all run 11-12 discount/income locations. They all run at least 30 characters, and the most any deck has is 35. Beyond that, the remaining "other" cards are a mix, depending on the strategy and style of the deck. Each deck ran between 6 and 9 events, but the number of attachments varied from 2 (Alec Irwin) to 7 (Erick Butzlaff and John Kraus).

It’s beyond the scope of analysis to comment any further. I hope this will be useful to someone.

Reminder: if you are unfamiliar with any of the cards mentioned above, it’s easy to take a look at them on Dabbler.

Cheers,
Eldil
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Great job at that analysis!
 
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Damon Stone
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Quite excellent. On thing that should be mentioned is that the deluxe expansions contain new resources for that House, which may reduce the need for multiple Core Set's for basic resources. The Lords of Winter deluxe expansion was each card x3, meaning the basic resources (many of which were in the Core Set) were there in full play sets. If the rest of these continue with this trend Buying multiple Core Sets would only be for specific versions characters.

And if you have a friend who plays a different house you each buy 1.5 and get a play set of two Houses.

I'm willing to bet in the future as all the products come out in the x3 format that you'll find replacements for for powerful cards, the question becomes is that going to besatisfying enough for you? Some people want to build very specific kinds of decks, rather than just a competitive deck. Obviously those who want very specific decks will require a different kind of buying pattern.
 
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Lee Edgson
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Crawley
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As a newcomer to the game, me and my mate are planning our first joust tomorrow, I found it vey interesting to see the breakdowns.

One thing that did confuse me is the number of agendas in the third and fouth placed players' decks as the rules state:

"Before you start the game, you may choose a single agenda and place it beside your House card to gain its benefits (and drawbacks) for the
entire game. Agendas cannot be removed from the game by any card effects and are not considered to be in play."

I've only got the core set which doesn't come with agendas, but have the rules changed, or am I missing something obvious?

Lee
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Hunter Shelburne
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I believe from my understanding you can have more than 1 agenda to choose from, just only 1 in play.
 
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Daniel Ach
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All of those agendas are The North agendas which specifically allow you to play more than one (per the text on the card). Normally it is just one.
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Nate Parkes
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danach81 wrote:
All of those agendas are The North agendas which specifically allow you to play more than one (per the text on the card). Normally it is just one.


This is absolutely correct. "The North" agendas specifically break the "only-one-agenda-in-play" rule. The trade-off is that for each "The North" agenda you have in play, the number of power you need to win the game is increased by 2 (so if you're running 3 "The North Agendas," you need 21 power to win the game.
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James Ludlow
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That Lannister deck is probably the most expensive one posted too. Unless you buy CCG singles, the 3 Distractions from the Core Set are pretty critical (at the tournament level, certainly not for casual play).

I threw together the "Knights" theme deck that comes in the Kings of the Storm to see how it would fare. This deck requires 1 KotS expansion and 1 Core Set. Here's what I observed.

1. It was a fun deck to play.
2. The cost curve was a bit too high. Some tweaking to cheapen the character costs would help.
3. It was only a couple steps behind a fairly well tuned Martell / Brotherhood deck that was also packing knights (not favorable for this deck's agenda).
4. It wouldn't take much in terms of extra cards to tune this up, and I'm going to take that as a personal challenge and report back. Some more punch from the plot deck will probably do wonders.

The point is that a Core Set + 1 big expansion provides a nearly competitive deck that is a lot of fun to play. Add in some research on dabbler for specific cards, and you can stay competitive on the cheap.

 
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T C
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The most important thing when considering buying cards to up your deck to tournament winning levels, is what level of deck are your opponents using?

If your opponents are not playing tournament level decks, it will probably actually hurt your group's play experience to if your deck suddenly becomes drastically increased in power. You only need world championship level decks if your opponents are playing world championship level decks.

The other thing to consider is whether you are providing all the cards for your entire group or not. Getting one tournament level deck isn't too expensive by CCG standards. If you have to provide tournament level decks for 4 or more houses for all your players then it can get pricy. Especially if they want to use some of the same cards that are 1 per chapter pack in multiples, such as Samwell Tarly. Still it is certainly cheaper than trying to provide tourney level magic decks for you and your friends.

For straight value I think 2-3 copies of the core set is the best initial buy for someone who is providing all the cards for his play group and wants some deck building options. Even better if you can split the sets up with friends who are interested in different houses than you are.


There is a good selection of tournament level decks posted on the official forums here for more ideas:

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?e...
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Fel Barros
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Marvellous job.

Any chance you'd do it for Melee?

Tipped you for usefulness!
 
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Stu D
Australia
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Just as some background, I'm a long time MtG player though due to ever-skyrocketing costs am looking to branch into other games as well. I love Song of Ice and Fire so AGOT was a natural fit! I've only played one game and am yet to acquire the core set, but my CCG instincts kicked in and I started doing some analysis on decks/sets. I'm probably more interested in Melee than Joust so I thought I'd have a go at analysing the lists from the FFG 2010 Champsionships. Sorry if there are any mistakes, let me know and I'll update. Hopefully its useful to someone

Also if anyone has any high-placing Melee decks from other Houses (Lannister!) I'd love to see them/analyze them. Ideally I want to build 6 house decks that are all competitive with each other for Melee while being decent for Joust. Any general tips on this appreciated.

Quote:
Brett Zeiler
Melee World Champion 2010
House Greyjoy

Plots
1 Mutual Cause
1 Winter Festival
1 Rise of the Kraken
1 Take Them By Surprise
1 Fury of the Kraken
1 Condemned by the Realm
1 Alliance

2 Island Refugee
3 Seaside Urchin
1 Wex Pyke
1 Maester Wendamyr
1 Orell the Eagle
3 Wintertime Marauders
1 Asha Greyjoy
1 Dagmer Cleftjaw
1 Randyl Tarly
1 Theon Greyjoy (A Time of Ravens)
1 Nute the Barber
1 Balon Greyjoy (Kings of the Sea)
1 Victarion Greyjoy
1 Island Mercenaries
3 Tarle the Thrice-Drowned
3 Melisandre (Defenders of the North)
3 Support of Harlaw
3 Assertion of Might
2 Ahead of the Tide
3 Assault of the Kraken
3 Risen from the Sea
3 Summer Sea
3 Gatehouse
3 The Iron Mines
3 Iron Island Fiefdoms
1 Aeron's Chambers
2 Longship Iron Victory
3 Scouting Vessel


Sets required:
1x A Game of Thrones (Core Set)
3x Kings of the Sea
1x Princes of the Sun
1x Lords of Winter

A Clash of Arms:
1x Ancient Enemies

A Time of Ravens:
1x A Change of Seasons
1x Refugees of War

King’s Landing:
1x The Tower of the Hand
1x The Battle of Blackwater Bay

Defenders of the North:
1x Wolves of the North
1x Beyond the Wall
1x A Sword in the Darkness
3x Return of the Others

The list supplied had 64 cards. With 1 copy of each set, you could build 64% (41/64) – not much. If you bite the bullet and buy 3x Kings of the Sea you can build 91% (58/64).

Quote:
Daniel Machado
2nd Place
House Baratheon

Plots
1 Winter Festival
1 Fury of the Stag
1 Counting Favors
1 Summoning Season
2 Power of Blood
1 The Red Wedding

3 Value Refugee
3 Highgarden Refugee
2 Old Red Priest
3 Bastard of Robert
3 Loyal Guard
2 Edric Storm
2 Maester Cressen
3 Banner for the Storm
3 Royal Entourage
1 Knight of Flowers (King's Landing)
1 Brienne of Tarth (Princes of the Sun)
2 Renly Baratheon (A Time of Ravens)
3 Robert Baratheon (Core Set)
2 Eddard Stark (King's Landing)
2 Stannis Baratheon (Core Set)
3 Bodyguard
3 R'hllor's Blessing
3 Seat of Power
3 Narrow Sea
1 Street of Sisters
1 Street of Steel
1 Claw Isle
3 Battle at the Wall
3 Distinct Mastery
3 Make an Example
3 Seductive Promise


Sets required:
3x A Game of Thrones (Core Set)
2x Princes of the Sun

A Clash of Arms:
1x Ancient Enemies
3x Epic Battles
1x Calling the Banners

A Time of Ravens:
2x The Raven's Song
1x Refugees of War

King’s Landing:
2x The Tower of the Hand
1x Secrets and Spies

Defenders of the North:
1x Wolves of the North
1x A King in the North

The list supplied had 69 cards. With 1 copy of each set, you could build 72% (50/69). If you have 2 Core Sets you could build 60/69 (87%).

Quote:
Wade Freeman
3rd Place
House Stark
Siege of Winterfell Agenda

Plots
1 Fury of the Wolf
1 Power of Blood
1 Building Season
1 Fortified Position
1 Condemned by the Realm
1 Take Them By Surprise
1 The Red Wedding

3 Carrion Bird
3 Bolton Refugee
3 Hungry Mob
3 Eddard Stark (King'sLanding)
2 Brienne of Tarth (Princes of the Sun)
2 Catelyn Stark (Lords of Winter)
2 The Blackfish
2 Arya Stark (Core Set)
2 Northern Cavalry Flank
2 Guard at Riverrun
1 Hodor
1 Robb Stark (Lords of Winter)
1 Melisandre (Core Set)
1 Jeyne Westerling
1 Syrio Forel
1 Orell the Eagle
3 Distinct Mastery
2 Bound by Duty
2 Feigned Retreat
2 Nightmares
2 Distraction
2 Make an Example
1 Endless Endurance
2 Bodyguard
1 Nymeria
3 Northern Fiefdoms
1 Street of Steel
1 Street of Sisters
3 Frozen Moat
3 Narrow Sea
2 Frozen Outpost
1 Den of the Wolf
1 Lord Eddard's Chambers
1 The Red Keep


Sets required:
2x A Game of Thrones (Core Set)
1x Princes of the Sun
1x Lords of Winter

A Clash of Arms:
1x Ancient Enemies

A Time of Ravens:
1x A Song of Summer
1x A Change of Seasons
1x Refugees of War
2x Scattered Armies

King’s Landing:
1x City of Secrets
3x The Tower of the Hand
1x Tales of the Red Keep

Defenders of the North:
1x Beyond the Wall
2x A Sword in the Darkness


The list supplied had 70 cards. With 1 copy of each set, you could build 87% (61/70).
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Rich Johnson
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(hopefully it's not a faux pas to comment on an old thread)

It's interesting that all of the Joust decks are running Valar Morghulis, while none of the meele decks are running that card. Anyone have thoughts on why?
 
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Probably because generally speaking at least one opponent will. And if no one is when you get three or four players there are usually enough character control,removal, and military challenges going on that the character count stays on the low end.
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Seth B
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So these list multiple copies of "Princes of the Sun" and "Kings of the Sea." I assume that that goes back to when they only came with single copies, given that each card is tripled in the current sets?
 
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Markus Unger
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A Lannister always pays his debts.
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"There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes."
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Moruitelda wrote:
So these list multiple copies of "Princes of the Sun" and "Kings of the Sea." I assume that that goes back to when they only came with single copies, given that each card is tripled in the current sets?

Yeah. Those were dark times (where you could collect three of those ugly resin house cards that came with the original expansion boxes).
 
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