“I have watched you for a long time, watched you with a thousand eyes and one. I saw your birth, and that of your lord father before you. I saw your first step, heard your first word, was part of your first dream. I was watching when you fell. And now you are come to me at last, Brandon Stark, though the hour is late.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
A Journey’s End provides a climactic conclusion to the devious intrigues, chaotic power struggles, and heated naval battles of the A Song of the Sea cycle. The game of thrones is a game of life and death, and the Chapter Pack’s sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty different cards) ensure that no player remains immune to the tides of war.
You’ll find five new Warships, five cards to support the game’s Melee keyword, Mercenary lords, renowned Captains, and three new Prayers for the devout as they call to the Seven for guidance. Additionally, three new cards support the game’s new naval () enhancement.
Each of the Great Houses has wagered its future upon a path it hopes will lead toward dominion over the Seven Kingdoms. At A Journey’s End, it is time for you to throw in your lot. Will you wager your shot at the throne upon the talents of a band of Mercenaries? Will you be able to construct a mighty fleet in time for battle? Or will you seek a different path to victory – one based upon mystical visions and quests for knowledge?
Call of the Three-Eyed Crow
No matter which path you pursue toward victory, you’ll need a few surprises to keep your opponents on their toes. To that end, A Journey’s End introduces six different events, including Choosing the Spear (A Journey’s End, 113), three new Prayers and two House-specific events, one each for House Greyjoy and House Stark.
In A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, events are powerful. They can change the outcome of a challenge or save you from doom after you lose. They can cancel your opponent’s abilities or permit you to search through your deck for key cards. They can boost your strength, or burn your opponent’s characters to ashes, and their mere existence means that you can bluff your opponents and keep them second-guessing their actions simply by holding cards in your hand.
Still, much of the impact of an event stems from your ability to time its play for maximum effect, and you can get greater use out of your events if you understand the slight differences that may distinguish them from similar cards.
Accordingly, while there are already a number of card effects in the game that allow players to save characters or return them to play from the dead pile, Stark players will soon be able to introduce new effects with Call of the Three-Eyed Crow (A Journey’s End, 111), and fully understanding those effects may prove critical toward future Stark victories.
This “House Stark only” card reads, “Response: After a unique non-Army character you own enters your dead pile, put that character into play knelt under your control.”
While it can be included in a deck as a “save” effect, in the sense that it prevents characters from taking up permanent residence in the dead pile, Call of the Three-Eyed Crow is better utilized in a slightly different fashion. First of all, it doesn’t actually prevent a character from being killed. This means any character with power loses that power, and any character with attachments loses those attachments. Of course, the loss of attachments can be a good thing, and that’s one reason to consider including the card in your Stark deck. Second, it’s restricted to unique non-Army characters, and in certain decks, that may greatly limit its utility.
However, most Stark decks take advantage of the great number of strong, unique characters the House has at its disposal. In those cases, Call of the Three-Eyed Crow may serve as a more limited, but less “Restricted” Narrow Escape (Kings of the Storm, 48) or as a more efficient Retreat (Core Set, 171). In both instances, Call of the Three-Eyed Crow will allow you to bring a character back to play bypassing any “Cannot be saved” effects, such as that triggered by Wildfire Assault (Core Set, 191).
The ability to return a character from the dead pile is different from a “save” in more ways than one:
- It can trigger any time an eligible character enters your dead pile, even if that’s not from play. Because it doesn’t check if the character is actually “killed,” Call of the Three-Eyed Crow offers unique protection from one of the most powerful Targaryen locations in the game, Aegon’s Hill (The Tower of the Hand, 54). This may even lead the Targaryen player to target a non-unique character in your hand, providing you with a tactical advantage later, after you’ve attached The Kindly Man (Valar Morghulis, 1) to your House card as an agenda.
- Not only does it bypass the restrictions against “Cannot be saved” effects your opponent may trigger, it allows you to fulfill your own kill effects. How about a deck that wants to kill Jon Arryn (The Tower of the Hand, 57) multiple times to play other free Noble characters? Or a deck that uses Old Bear Mormont (Return of the Others, 113) to cancel your opponent’s “when revealed” plot effects?
- Because cards don’t have “memories,” you could even use Call of the Three-Eyed Crow to power some skinchanger tricks with Varamyr Sixskins (A King in the North, 96). For example, you could return Varamyr to hand to put into play an intimidating Creature such as Balerion the Black (Return of the Others, 109). If you can then kill Balerion the Black during the challenges phase and return it to play with Call of the Three-Eyed Crow, the Balerion that returns from the dead pile will enter play without the “memory” that it should be discarded at the end of the phase per Varamyr’s text. Net sum? A ten-strength, Deadly Dragon.
- But if you want to pursue some combinations closer to home than Wildlings that can bring Dragons into play under your control, you may wish to look at one of House Stark’s most popular Restricted cards, Meera Reed (Tourney for the Hand, 2). Here is an instance where Call of the Three-Eyed Crow is clearly better than another effect that could save a character from being killed. First, few other effects can save Meera, and if you’re using her as your Restricted card, you won’t want her in your dead pile. Second, when you’re using Meera, it’s good for you to have other Stark characters leave play. That said, when other Stark characters leave play, you lose some of the strength you mustered to the table. If you can play Call of the Three-Eyed Crow, your Stark character can leave play, triggering Meera’s ability to duck back into Shadows, and you can then return your character to play, thus maintaining your board position.
- Finally, one would hope the card would have some meaningful connection to Bran. Fortunately, it can. When he enters a game, Bran Stark (Lords of Winter, 10) raises the stakes. You and your opponent will both want to be certain to win any Intrigue challenges. If you win, you get five power. However, if you lose, Bran Stark dies and cannot be saved. Typically, this is a one-challenge gamble. You get enough power to seal your victory, or your opponent kills Bran and escapes the challenge to play another turn. Now, the introduction of Call of the Three-Eyed Crow means that Bran becomes a greater threat than ever, and your gamble may carry beyond a single challenge.
Complete Your Journey Today
Whether or not you use its new events to devastating effect, A Journey’s End opens a plethora of potent strategies for fans of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. As the A Song of the Sea cycle arrives at its final struggles, the game is more dynamic, engaging, and unpredictable than ever. Move today to send your armies to battle, deploy your spies, and launch your fleets.
A Journey’s End is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore!