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House strengths, weaknesses, variety, and playstyles

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#1 Lethuin



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Posted 07 December 2010 - 06:33 PM

 Hey everyone,

I've been playing AGoT for about a week at this point and absolutely love it (not only for the gameplay but also for the extremely helpful community). My girlfriend and roommate both got into it, so we generally play 3-player melee (I know, not as fun as 4 player, but we all live together so it makes for consistent gaming). My roommate is all about Stark and my girlfriend plays Lanni. I've played as each of the other 4 houses once (we're at four nights of gaming total, and I've stuck with a house for each night). We've started to see some strategies develop, but we still lack a fundamental grasp of each house.

I've been looking around here and BoardGameGeek to try and find something like this, but I can't find the information aggregated in one place. I've read a lot of the posts about specific deck types (burn, control, etc...), but I was wondering if someone here who's been playing for awhile and has a few minutes could type up a short description of each house. I'm going to be teaching my family to play it over Christmas (great excuse to order that second core set for deck building purposes!) and would love to have a great way to introduce them to each house and how to play.

Ideally, I would love to have the following information for each house:

Strengths/weaknesses (like Stark is obviously very strong in military, alright in power, and horrid in intrigue)

Playstyles (how the average Stark deck works out, i.e. a win through military challenges; stuff like Greyjoy wins with a quick rush through unopposed challenges; Martell likes to make itself hard to attack and slowly accumulates power by not getting attacked much)

Deck types (I know there are stuff like Wildling decks, Burn decks, etc..., but  a quick description of the prevailing sub-themes, etc..., would be awesome)

Just something so I could sit down and say, "Targaryen loves attachments and attachment manipulation. They prefer to do x challenges. They win by slowly accumulating power (?) over the game. Deck subthemes include Dothraki and (?).


If no one's got the time, I'll probably start accumulating this information to put a document together for newbies. Like I said, I've poked around the forum quite a bit, and I've seen what's been posted about some of the houses. However, I think that getting all of this together would be great for people just breaking into the game. As of now, I think that I like playing Greyjoy and Martell best, but with the limited amount of games I've played, I can't tell for sure. If I knew exactly what type of playstyle I could expect going forward, it'd be a lot easier for me to pick chapter packs to invest in (at least until I get enough money to pick up a copy of each!).


(As a small postscript, my initial impressions of Greyjoy and Martell are that they are a lot more reactive than the other houses. Stark, going in, you know exactly what your path to victory is. With Greyjoy and Martell, you have a plan, but a lot of it is knowing that you can quickly adapt to a changing field to find a new way to victory. Is this how it actually is?)


#2 Darksbane



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Posted 08 December 2010 - 03:11 AM

Some quick descriptions, I'm sure these could be expanded upon.




  • Gaining lots of power through renown.
  • Nice spread of each icon. Mostly Military and Power but Intrigue is well represented too
  • One of the best houses for rush with various Location and Characters who reduce cost.
  • Has a decent number of event and attachment based buffs


  • Targeted character control. If you have a specific character of the opponents to get rid of Baratheon has the hardest time doing it.
  • Baratheon high strength character strength is usually lower than similar cards in other houses

Playstyle: Baratheon decks are normally power rush decks of one form or another. They generally use lots of characters with Renown to gain massive amounts of power in a single turn. Lower cost characters and cost reduction cards give them the ability to quickly get alot of characters out. Also with the Kings of the Storm expansion box they have a good Knight deck that can be built.




  • Gaining lots of power through unopposed challenges.
  • Has a number of ways to give their characters stealth to help a challenge be unopposed
  • The most character saves of any house.


  • Weak in Intrigue
  • Many of their cards have theme to make opponents discard cards off the top of their decks, although this isn't bad it isn't a very strong mechanic and generally it is not considered very helpful as you would have to deck an opponent to really affect their play.

Playstyle: Greyjoy usually tries to get through alot of unopposed challenges, they have plot and event cards which help them achieve this or give them extra when they win unopposed. They usually play very agressively using Intimidate and Stealth to push challenges through.



  • Best Gold production and card draw of any house
  • Many effects to Kneel an opponents characters
  • Very powerful in Intrigue challenges.
  • Many tricky events


  • Not as strong in military and power as other houses.

Playstyle: Lannister uses Kneeling and gold/card advantage to limit the danger from opponents characters and give them more options. Their Kneel deck is the normal playstyle, they also are a good house to run Shadows out of.




  • Lots of Intrigue characters
  • Many ways to hurt an opponent for winning a challenge against you
  • a number of ways to control the flow of the game
  • best weenie killing card in the game
  • Have numerous ways to add or remove icons from characters


  • Can take alittle longer to get setup and establish control.

Playstyle: Martell kind of reminds me of a snake. You take a swing at them and will likely get hurt in the process. They have many ways to hurt you for attacking them and also a number of ways to suprise you on defense.




  • Lots of Military and Power icons
  • High STR on armies
  • Good for offensive and defensive builds
  • Good location and attachment control
  • Many ways to kill specific characters


  • Intrigue is very hard to come by
  • Very little Stealth
  • not much card draw

Playstyle: Stark has a number of builds almost all of them focus on winning military challenges on offense and/or defense. House Tully decks are a slower more control oriented win on defense deck while direwolf is the more agressive mostly military focused build.



  • Best Attachment Control and recursion
  • Suprises using Ambush
  • character debuffs to kill
  • Good selection of all 3 icons


  • Their themes (Dragon, Dothraki) need more fleshing out.

Playstyle: Their Dothraki theme is being expanded on greatly in the current chapter packs and IMO seems to be working well. Mostly their decks focus on Burn using attachments and events to remove problem characters.

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#3 rings



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Posted 08 December 2010 - 03:51 AM

I am a little more generic, and also wanted to add the fact that any house can possibly do just about anything the the wealth of nuetral cards (especially icons).  You can play heavy military Lanni if you wish!  Some strenghts are more 'traditional' that haven't been totally fleshed out yet.


Kill cards

Fast decks, 2nd only to Bara usually

Cancel stuff (not a huge amoutn right now, but a few characters like Eddard and Vyrman or whatever his name is, Fear Cuts Deeper)

Search (they now have a great events, and a good direwolf search)

*Main subthemes - Tully weenies, Direwolves

*Main icons - Military first, power 2nd


Best draw in the game

Best income in the game

~do they need anything else - draw + income = good!  :)

Good events


Best house for Shadow cards most likely

*Main subthemes - Clansmen, um...?

*Main icons - intrigue first, power/military about equal


Fastest decks


Stealing characters

Recursion/back from dead

Best "holy" decks

*Main subthemes - as above, Holy/Asshai and Knights

*Main icons - Power 1st, military 2nd


Burn (reducing strength to 0, which kills usually and gets around saves)

Attachment control

Ambush (coming into play during other phases than marshalling)

Some recursion

Best use of influence

*Main subthemes - Dothraki, Dragons

*Main icons - Military first, power 2nd but pretty close between the two


Saving from death

Unopposed challenges

Probably 3rd best at power rush

A great multi-player house (with Baratheon they seem to win the most)

*Main subthemes - Raiders (not fleshed out well yet), Ironborn

*Main icons - Military first, power/intrigue about the same


2nd best draw in game (along with 'reveal' cards, which get around the draw cap)

Stopping icons/challenges

"Revenge' tactics

Uses influence probably 2nd best

*Main subthemes - Red Viper/Sand Snakes, House Dayne

*Main icons - intrigue first, military 2nd


Good luck!!!



Oh, King eh? Very nice...

#4 Mathias Fricot

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 05:40 AM

House Stark

Strength: Robb Stark
Weakness: Jeyne Westerling


#5 Lethuin



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Posted 08 December 2010 - 04:15 PM

 That was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for taking the time to type that up. If you wouldn't mind (and you'd certainly get co-author credit), would you two mind if I took the info that you wrote up, put it together with some other threads that I've found, and put together a general House FAQ (expanded to include, for instance, Wildlings and Brotherhood and other non-house stuff) for people new to the game to look at? I know I would have found it extremely useful when starting the game, and I'm sure others would too!

#6 WWDrakey



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Posted 08 December 2010 - 08:44 PM

A sort-of FAQ with general descriptions sounds like a good idea to me at least.

A few additions that quickly came to mind, some are omissions (by oversight, or just because the themes aren't that commonly used) and some are newer developments:


- Lots of Standing Tech, which can be used to allow one character to take part in several challenges (several events, locations, characters...)

- Quite a large amount of shadow/anti-shadow cards. Possibly the 2nd/3rd best house for running Shadow decks out of.

- Was discard -pile recursion mentioned yet? (although it's not quite there yet)


- Warships are starting to look like a real theme of their own (locations with strong effects and some interactions between them)

- Cancelling of effects (Cancelling of saves, effects, cards moving into/out-of discard/dead pile)...

- Second best house for Holy -decks (but not nearly as strong as Baratheon, at least yet)


- With Clansmen Claim increasing is starting to look like sort-of a new thing for Lannister

- Did someone mention the gold and draw? ;)


- Definitely the best control of the 'flow' of the challenge phase

- Best control of events (both best event-, and best anti-event tech)

- Returning characters to hand


- Due to the Boltons steal effects are starting to be a (lesser) part of the Stark theme

- Second best house for running Nobles out of (Targaryen also has some Noble -related tech, but that is pretty weak due to too small a pool of good Noble characters. Which is odd actually.)


- I would ammend to the burn that Targaryen is the best house for direct character removal right now (pretty close with Stark, but I think Targ is currently ahead)



I was thinking that someone should list the houses in regards to stealth and deadly? ...since those are really becoming pretty prominent nowadays (lots of new cards that give stealth, deadly etc.).

#7 rings



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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:18 AM

Geez, stealth and deadly are so common, and right now are trumped by Wildlings regardless :)

GJ was certainly the first house to really use stealth heavily (Euron always being a big part of that).  They have some locations that give/take it as well.

Martell is probably more-so now it seems, and it always was a strength. 

On Deadly I would say pretty even - I can think of Stark and Lanni cards (You Writ Small is still an amazing events) off the top of my head the most, but nuetrals seem to have a ton. 

Oh, King eh? Very nice...

#8 Darksbane



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Posted 09 December 2010 - 04:04 AM

Lethuin said:

 That was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for taking the time to type that up. If you wouldn't mind (and you'd certainly get co-author credit), would you two mind if I took the info that you wrote up, put it together with some other threads that I've found, and put together a general House FAQ (expanded to include, for instance, Wildlings and Brotherhood and other non-house stuff) for people new to the game to look at? I know I would have found it extremely useful when starting the game, and I'm sure others would too!

Feel free to use my stuff. This is exactly the type of article I'd love to have on my site, so if you want I'd be happy to post it as an article there once you get something together.

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#9 chrassos



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Posted 09 December 2010 - 04:27 AM

Here are my 2 Cents on that

Stark                   Focus on Military Challenge;        

                           Subthemes: direct kill effects, strong in defense, card search effects

                           Weakness: Few Control effects, poor flexibility


Lannister             Focus on Intrigue Challenge;         

                          Subthemes:   gold production, kneel effects, carddraw

                          Weakness: effects only slowing Enemies down

Baratheon            Focus on Power Challenge;          

                           Subthemes:Powerrushing, Renown, negative buffs,

                           Weakness: many Low-Chars without Military, Carddraw

Targaryen            Focus on Attachment control;        

                          Subthemes: burn effects, recursion effects, many  tricons

                           Weakness: need both gold and influence, few High-Chars

Greyjoy               Focus on Location control;            

                          Subthemes:unopposed challenges, saves, discard effects (Raid)

                         Weakness: must play offensive (weak at defending)

Martell                Focus on Event control;                 

                         Subthemes:revealeffects, icon/trait manipulation, influence production

                          Weakness: Card intensive play, No saves

#10 Kennon



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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:41 AM

rings said:

GJ was certainly the first house to really use stealth heavily (Euron always being a big part of that).  


Nah, it was originally Lannister.

#11 Skowza



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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:59 AM

Wow, my hat's off to everyone who answered this question, great job guys!  I love that the community support is so good for this game, less than 20 hours after the post before 2 really comprehensive answers are given!
I would only add that Stark is a pretty awful house to play Shadows out of, and maybe someone should add something about which houses generally offer the best opposition to the other houses.  I'll try if no one else wants to post, but I know someone else can do better than me.
Maybe someone can put something about playing with Seasons as well: as a general statement, Martell and Targ are best at Summer, Stark and Greyjoy are best at Winter, Baratheon can do ok with either, and Lannister doesn't much care (I think? I don't really play Lannister, but my impression is they're not particularly unhappy about either Season).

#12 Lethuin



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Posted 13 January 2011 - 10:11 PM

 Hey Everyone,

So I'm finally getting around to writing this thing now that the holidays are over, and I'm going to ask for some help once again. Can anyone who has a few seconds to chime in throw out what some of the most important/strongest/best/most fun cards are for each house? I'm going to add a section of that to each House so that new players know what they should pick up/read up on for any House they might consider playing. Also, anyone who has some time and wouldn't mind reading over my rough draft to see what I've got wrong/am missing, send me a private message and I'll get it over to you.

Thanks again to everyone here - the community's awesome for this game!


#13 rings



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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:01 AM

Sounds great - maybe I can take a shot for Lannister.  To be honest, they have many playable styles due to the high income + card draw advantage, but here are a few.  Maybe Kennon or someone can chime in on Clansmen (if playable already) since I haven't tested them out heavily.  I will do kneeling first.


Alchemist Guild Hall - also a shadows card.  Repeatable kneeling. 

Castellean of the Rock - probably the best kneel card in the game.  Repeatable kneeling.  Drawbacks are 3-cost non-unique (so can be stolen) ally (two heavily played cards discard him).

Cercei's Attendant - weenie 'when killed' kneel.

Enemy Informer - bigger 'come into play' kneel.  Drawback - 3/2 stats.

King Joff's Guard - a pretty expensive army (unles you have a King/Queen), but kneels 2 on the way in and out. 

Lannisport Brothel - a staple - keeps characters locked down knelt.

You've Killed the Wrong Dwarf (Lanni only) - and maybe Distraction (all houses) and/or Parting Blow (all houses) - events to kneel.

City of Sin - a 'City' plot that usually kneels 1-3 characters. 

Oh, King eh? Very nice...

#14 rings



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Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:20 AM

Card Advantage:

Golden Tooth Mines - probably has drawn more cards for more players than any other card in aGoT history considering it has been around a long time   Simple, easy to use, good on the flop.

Tommen Baratheon - If only King, draws one a turn.

Insidious Ways - I don't like it, but I know a lot of people who do.  +2 strength and draw 2 event.

Neutral draw - Val (arguably the best draw in the game), King's Landing for Shadow decks, Knights of the Realm agenda, Sam Tarly + Carrion Birds + Time of Ravens plot are all solid.

Oh, King eh? Very nice...

#15 Twn2dn



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Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:36 AM

I'll take a shot for Targ (of course, skipping all the resource cards like Summer Sea, Drogo's Tent, etc.):

  • Forever Burning: A staple in most Targ decks...you usually want to play three copies of this.
  • Dragon Thief: Cheap, good STR-cost ratio, great icons, ambush, and attachment removal. I would play 2-3 copies of this in every Targ deck.
  • Flame-Kissed: A staple for burn decks, and generally good for all Targ decks.
  • Lady Danaerys Chambers: Very good form of recursion/draw if you play with more than 6 attachments. Depending on how many attachments you play, 1-2 copies is usually ideal.
  • Hatchling Feast: This is an auto-include if you play with lots of influence. If you don't, you may not have space for this card, but it's worth trying to fit in at least 1-2 copies if you can.
  • Jhogo (Of Snakes and Sands): This guy is a great source of draw, even in a non-dothraki deck.
  • Viserys (Core Set): Cheap, easy/repeatable save that's nearly impossible to cancel, and a Lord character. There's not much more you can ask of a 1-gold character. (Maester Aemon fills a similar role and is pretty decent too at 2-gold.)
  • Khal Drogo (Core Set): I prefer this version and see him as a staple in almost all of my decks, but the Defenders version is good too if you prefer to go that direction.
  • Dragons: The cheap 1-gold hatchlings are great...the 4-gold dragons are crap (they end up costing a lot more than 4 gold and usually get knelt by Lanni or killed easily by Valar, etc).
  • Refugees of the Plains: Every house has these 2-STR, 0-cost refugees, and they're just as good in Targ as they are in the other houses.
  • Meerenese Brothel: I play at least one copy in every deck, and usually 2 copies. Attachments are becoming more ubiquitous, and this is probably the best attachment-hate card in the game.
  • Threat from the North: This plot is neutral, but pretty much only Targ decks run it, since they're really the only house that can control the effect/use it to the best of their abilities.
  • Fury plot: No-brainer, but just thought I'd add it to the list.

(In a summer deck...excluding neutral stuff)

  • Fairweather followers: These will be one of your best cards when you have a Black Raven in play. They are incredibly good with Forever Burning, since you can recur that event and play it at any time to stand these guys while it is summer.
  • Red Warlock: Toolboxing...not amazing, but worth including at least 1-2 copies if you are playing summer. Their poor cost-to-STR ratio can be mitigated by the fact that you can search for an Aegon's Blade to make them very good.

(Shadows decks...excluding neutral stuff)

  • King's Landing Assassin: This guy is pretty good, but  you're paying 4 gold for a 2-STR character, so he's not an auto-include.
  • Dragon Skull: This is good in a shadows deck, but otherwise pretty mediocre. It costs 1 more gold than a Flame-Kissed and can't be ambushed (so it feels MUCH more expensive), but you can play it as a setup card and can kill characters that already have attachments on them.

I think that pretty much covers most of the "staples." There are other cards that are very good, but not auto-includes, depending on your build and playstyle. For example, Street Waif can be amazing, but he can also be a BIG let down, and these days I don't think he's an auto-include. The poor cost-STR ratio makes him a liability, especially when you play Threat from the North.

If you're curious about neutral stuff, I would also play the following in a Targ (and in most other) decks:

  • Carrion Bird: Play 2-3 copies (and definitely 3x in a summer deck).
  • Val: I prefer 2 copies in most Targ decks, but some players don't like playing them at all. I would experiment, but I think you'll find at least 1 copy very helpful.

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting (though keep in mind that if you play Lady Dany's Chambers, you want to keep the number of neutral characters to a minimum).

#16 rings



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Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:09 AM

Board Control:

Personally, I usually play a board/hand control deck - destroy (and discard) more cards than they can reasonably put on the table.  Some kneeling is strong as well.  For Lanni, here are favorites:


I am You Writ Small - surprise Deadly (great in a power or intrigue challenge) and many times a +2 bonus.  People hate seeing a 1 strength Lanni character coming over for an intrigue challenge, you defend with 2 or 3 strength, lose the character and still the challenge. 

Lanni Pays its Debts - kneel a Lanni to kill a character who won a challenge.  You can even do it with the character that died (say for claim in a military challenge).

Sir "Chillin" Ilyn Payne - a very breakable character (4 cost ally, 2 strength so burned or venom blade'd easily) but if not taken care of, can really change the dynamics of a game.

Arys Oakheart - discards an ally, which many decks have. 

Kneeling effects (above)

**Also, trait manipulation control is getting a little better.  The combos have to be set up and are not 100% reliable so I won't go into them in depth**


Seductive Promise - win a power challenge by 4, take a non-unique.  Change of control cards are very strong.

Condemned by the Council - a zap for that troublesome location.

Confession - with more Holy cards being printed, can be very strong hand control taking their best card.

Hand's Judgement - 1 gold cancels any event.  There are some pretty

Narrow Escape - the protection against big turns or plots from your opponent. 

Varys - a slightly worse (usually) Arys that still can discard and Ally.


Valar - the grand-daddy of comeback cards...although less effective with Narrow Escape out there.

Wildfire - Valar light, to hit opponent's who over-extend or just help your board position.

Red Wedding - strong if you have lots of Lords/Ladies - if you play someone who also plays Lords/Ladies (which most decks have) you can manage a pretty good swing (-1 character for them, +2 power for you), if not it can finish a game by killing your own.

City Plots - good effects if you have the $$, which Lanni can (weenies Councilor and Weaponsmith, 2 cost Steward). 


Oh, King eh? Very nice...

#17 Lethuin



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Posted 14 January 2011 - 09:02 AM

 Awesome, thanks everyone. I think I have enough for Lanni/Targ/Martell; can anyone weigh in on Greyjoy/Stark/Bara?

#18 Lars



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Posted 14 January 2011 - 09:04 AM

~bara all you need to know is The Laughing Storm.

#19 Tomdidiot



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Posted 14 January 2011 - 02:08 PM


There are several main builds with Baratheon - the fast "rush" build with lots and lots of renown characters, the slow control (usually but not neccessarily Asshai) build with lots of Shadowy cards, or the long game knight build.

To a certain extent, Baratheon isn't about WHAT characters you choose, but about WHICH versions of the carriers you'll choose - the different Roberts, Renyls, Stannises, Melisandres and Davoses all serve very different purposes.  I'll mostly cover the useful ones.

The Roberts

- Core Set: Plain Simple, Grab power quick and run kind of Robert.  The Robert you'll most likely use if you are relying on a "only king in play" ability of another Bara king.

- King's Landing: Usefull, but given the prevalance of shadow cards in the game, might not be the best.  Also has the King Trait which screws up your other Bara Kings' abilities

- King's of the Sea: Even recursion could be useful, I guess...

- Kings of thE Storm: An additional power challenge is good.  As long as you can win it, that is....


- Core: A very good Melisandre that is best against Rush/Renown decks (like Bara Mirror!)

- Defenders of the North: A very very good rush Melisandre that gives you extra power for unopposed challenges and for dominance.  Very good synergy with Fox's Teeth and Eldon Estermont

 - Brotherhood without Banners: The power stealing effect is nice - the direct kill particularly so.  Works better in slower, controlly decks.


- Core: Don't touch this guy with a 10-foot pole.

- Time of Ravens: He's Cheaper and he's got draw, which Bara is generally lacking.  Unfortunately, you have to build your plot deck around him (stuffing it full of Power Struggle Traits) to get use of the draw, but he will synergize well with the Stormlands (+1 claim on power challenges when you have a power struggle plot revealed)

- Kings of the Storm: My preferred Renly and preferred Bara King.  Basically a permanent -1 cost reducer - you'll get your moeny back in a turn.


- Core: My preferred Stannis.  Lets me push through lots of undefended challenges, particularly in melee where at least one person probably doesn't have a lord in play yet.  Particularly useful against Targ.

- Kings of the Storm: Yeah, kind of a "If I don't get to draw cards, you don't get to draw cards" kind of guy.  Works well with Bara's lack of card draw to keep the game in balance.

Other (General) Bara Cards that are usually quite good in a deck:

Royal Entourage - You can put in these bad boys for free when you play a Lord or Lady, even if they're in your discard pile.  Pretty much an auto-include!

Eldon Estermont - Good for pushing through unopposed challenges.  Once you get power on him, he becomes quite the monster

Loyal Guard - Duplicates are always good.

Brienne of Tarth (Princes of the Sun) - For one you absolutely HAVE to win the challenge and you don't want your opponent playing Stupid Martell tricksies on you like Burning on the Sands.

King Robert's Hammer: Stanind effects are always strong.  And seasons aren't particularly common nowadays, so it'll be very unlikely to be tapped out

King Robert's Debt: Pretty much the only really good in-house draw Bara has.

Obey the King!: Very Versatile event that can both stand your own characters or kneel your opponents' characters.

Power of Blood: You have lots of Nobles to protect from a Valar.  It'll probably be prudent to run 2.

Rush Deck Staples:

Rush Decks rely on grabbing pwoer quickly with lots of renown characters.  Works with cards that enhance your claim like Stormlands, or cards that give you bonus power for various reasons (Defenders Mel, Superior Claim/Make an Example)

Knights of the Storm: Great if you don't win initiative. You can grab it back during the Marshalling phase and attack first!

Fox's Teeth: One of the most interestign cards in the game, and probably my favorite.  Very very powerful, as it basically guarantees you an unopposed challenge each round.

Knight of Flowers (King's Landing): Cheap Renown and doesn't kneel to attack/defend if there's no cards in shadows. Might not be likely, but it still makes him a good early game rusher.

Superior Claim/Make an Example: For grabbing extra power.

Winter Festival: for the turns when you're on 14 power and you just need one more power to win.....

The Red Wedding: See above.  Repalce "14" with "13".  Also comes with the nice power struggle trait which helps bara a lot.

Take them by Surprise: For when you absolutely have to win initiative.....

Control Deck:

Can work just as well as a Lanny Kneel deck.  This kind of deck focuses on using shadows cards like The Black Cells and Kingswood Trail to stop your opponents' characters from defending/attacking.  It is a realtively slower and more expensive deck, but can work very well once it gets going.

The Black Cells: Its' response (to stop characters from kneeling/standing this phase) is amazing and very flexible - if you trigger it during the challenge phase, you are basically sidelining several characters.  If you trigger it during the standing phase, you are basically keeping some important characters knelt.  Particularly useful, as very few characters are immune to locations.

Blackwater Bay: Lets you gets cards into shadows for Cheap.

Kingswood Trail: Kneel + card that recurs into shadows and comes out again to trigger the black cells.  Does not work well with the fox's teeth.

Syrio Forel (King's Landing): For Triggering your Black Cells

Margaery Tyrell (king's Landing): Blanks an opponent's (non-Lady) character for a phase.  Good for dealing with pests like the Red Viper or Beric.  Or the Blackfish.  or the Castellan. 

Queen of Thorns: Gives you a power every time a card comes out of shadows.  And since the deck relies entirely on dragging cards into and out of shadows.....

Sister of Truth: Extra Shadowy card that can trigger black cells/throw an opponents' shadow card back into shadows.]

City of Lies: Because shadows is expensive.

#20 Tomdidiot



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Posted 14 January 2011 - 03:06 PM


Stark is great at military challenges and pretty good at power, but is generally quite rubbish at Intrigue - the Catelyns are pretty much your only  good in-house intrigue defense, and Roose Bolton is probably the only good intrigue offense.  Stark is also the best anti-control house, and they have lots of cards that prevent all sorts of nasty effects on your characters.  Stark has, unlike some other houses, a lot of versatile deck building options that have different strengths and weaknesses (unlike Lany which is pretty much only kneel)

Stark is also the only faction that can use the Siege of Winterfell Agenda, which gives you power from winning miltiary challenges, but stops you from getting power through other sources


The Staples:

The Blackfish. AKA Mr. Draw Engine. He's Stark's best and most reliable in-hosue draw, has renown, and when he's got 3 or more power on him all Tullys attack without kneeling, which is huge. 

Guard at Riverrun: Good extra draw for when you dont' lose military challenges - which you shouldn't, because you're stark.

Catelyn Stark (Core): Good anti-intruge/power defender, but does tend to get stealthed/milked/killed.

Catelyn Stark (Lords of Winter):Great for springing on your opponent when he thinks he's got the challenge in the bag.  Can't be stealthed out as well.

Eddard Stark (King's Landing): Good generic protection for your Blackfish, your Robb, and himself from pretty much any sort of card.  Also gives card draw

Sansa (King's Landing): Because you need intrigue, and because she can potentially be a Strength 4/noble crest/renown character when there's nothing in shadows

Brienne of Tarth (Princes of the Sun): See above.

Robb Stark (Lords of Winter): Greatif you're playing a trait deck: e.g. Bolton, Tully or Direwolf.  Can also be a good strength buffer in general.

To be a Wolf: The best search in the game with very little.

Crown of Winter: Almost always finds it's way onto The Blackfish or King's Landing Ned rather than on Robb's head: Great anti-control card which gives selective immunity to your opponent's events/character abilities, but allows you to retain  . Also makes it Winter, which goes well with Robb.

Bound by Duty: Allows a character to defend again, and again, and again, and again.  Very handy, particularly in a melee game. Probably best played on the Blackfish, because he's the one who benefits the most from getting power put on him.

Endless Endurance: A Repeatble +2 STR surprise card, which returns to your hand every time you win a miltiary challenge by 4 or more strength.  Yeah....

Frozen Solid: Very versatile location/attachment control.

Shaggydog (lrds of winter): Reduces your opponents' strength by 2 for EACH direwolf you haveand can actually help you win intrigue challenges.  Bonus for standing every time the attached character wins a challenge.

Frozen Outpost: Allows a defending character to stand AND gives a Strength Buff.

Frozen Moat: Blanks an attacking character out.  Very useful against the Fox's Teeth, Arianne Martell, Beric etc.

Stark has some interesting builds.

Siege of Winterfell

One of the more common builds out there, but it is VERY VERY one dimensional.   You will not win if you don't win military, period, and your opponent can easily play around it to stop you from winning.  You'd want to include more Renown characters in the deck to help you win the game slightly faster.  The only real autoinclude is:

Storm of Swords; Plot that gives you an extra military challenge.

Direwolf Control

Probably the most hilarious decktype in the game: Hordes of direwolves chomping on your opponents' characters and reducing strengths to zero.  It is very similar in many respects to Targ burn.   Often run with Siege of Winterfell.  Relies on :

Wolfswood: Gives Direwolves Stealth.

Grey Wind (Lords of Winter): With the number of strength reducers you'll have, pretty much all your opponents' characters will be at strength 1/2....

Feral Pack: Deadly is fun.  It's even mroe fun when you're the only player who has deadly and defending against you is practically suicide.

Threat from the North: Pretty much guarantees your opponent won't be able to attack you this round without losing horrendous amounts of characters through your direwolf kneeling


Tully decks rely on using the Tully trait to the full.  This means Strength buffs from Hoster and Robb, and getting your characters to attack without kneeling.  This deck is particularly effective against Targ Burn, because of its reliance of strength buffs from Robb and Hoster Tully.

Blackfish: I mentioned him above.  i'll mention him again.  He is amazing in a Tully deck once he gets to 3 power because you'll never kneel to attack again.

Knight of the Red Fork: Yes, he kneels out all your non-Tully Cards.  He's also cost 1, and with Hoster and Robb, is strength 6.

Edmure's Host: Because when you're running this many tullys, these are pretty much coming into play for free.  And Free Strength 9 armies with the war crest that don't kneel to attack are nothing to laugh at.

Trident Reinforcements: To recover from Valar Morghulises

Riverrun Messneger: Proper intrigue defence, when it's strength 5


Bolton relies on getting lots and lots of cheap characters with high strength itno play, and stealing your opponents' characters

Roose Bolton: (Not yet released): For if and when your opponent has stolen your Boltons.

Abandoned Fort: For grabbing Rogue Boltons back into your hand.  Also combos with imposter or devious intentions to allow you to return characters to your opponent's hand.  Red viper/Beric, I'm looking at you!

Reek: Good for stealing a character with loads of power on it/with a nasty ability

Devious Intentions: Good for stealing a character, for forcing your opponent to kill off a high-value character, or just to give thme the house bolton trait so you can send them back up into your opponents' hand

Weeping Water: For getting the imposters/devious intentions back form the discard pile

Dreadfort: Draw.


Relies on just chopping your way through key opponent characters and winning through brute force.  Probably one of the least subtle decks out there.  This might not be the most effective of decks, because it doesn't actually have a realy way of winning.  It's just good at stopping your opponent from winning and at annoying the hell out of your opponent.

Bear Island: Easiest Repeatable kill in the game.  Completely worthless against a Stark deck though.

Robb Stark (Core): Kill ANYONE after winning a military challenge.

Ice: Surprisingly good deterrent to someone actually defendingg a challenge.

Icy Catapult: Goes on a refugee or other claim soak.  When it dies, you get to kill someone! 

Routing the Charge: Works very well with surprise Catelyn/Endless Endurance.  also deters your opponent from attacking you.  Hilarious with Frozen Moat against Beric or the Red Viper


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