“What Lord Eddard means to say,” Lord Renly announced, “is that His Grace instructs us to stage a great tournament in honor of his appointment as the Hand of the King.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Tournament season has come once more to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros! Next week, the 2013 Fantasy Flight Games Regional Championship tournament season kicks off worldwide, and fans of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game once again gain their chance to vie for the Iron Throne.
What strategies are likely to prevail during this upcoming Regional Championship tournament season? What do new players need to know to feel comfortable attending their first Regional Championships? To answer these questions, we turn to no less an authority on the subject than the reigning Joust World Champion, John M. Bruno.
2012 World Joust Champion John Bruno
Joust World Champion John M. Bruno on the Regional Championship Metagame
I think the number one strategy going into Regionals is to play an agenda! I expect to see a lot of decks built around the agendas, House of Dreams (A Roll of the Dice, 119) and Knights of the Hollow Hill (Mountains of the Moon, 59). The starting boost that each of these agendas provide, as well as the success that each has had over recent months, will spur more players to try running these two agendas. I also think that there will be a lot of Targaryen decks going into Regionals. The most recent World Champion decks always inspire people to create similar versions with modifications to suit them, and last year House Targaryen claimed both the Melee and Joust World Championships. I also believe Greyjoy will be played more and Martell will be played less.
Meanwhile, the recent FAQ made people look again at how they construct their decks. The restriction of the Refugees will definitely change the gold curve of this year’s decks, and the restriction of these cards, along with all of the other newly Restricted cards, will open up deck-building. We will see some more original decks. The new agenda, Black Sails (Reach of the Kraken, 18), will be a sleeper that will create some pretty strong, interesting, and competitive decks.
There you have it – your assessment of this year’s metagame from the Joust World Champion, himself. Agendas are in, and the newer agendas, paired with the recent Restrictions from the latest FAQ, look to make a deep impact on this year’s Regional Championship tournament series. Whether you build these decks yourself, or whether you find the tricks to shut them down, you’re likely to find plenty of players this tournament season who leave themselves vulnerable to the wide range of powerful cards, like Northern Cavalry Flank (Scattered Armies, 103), that gain strength against opponents with agendas in order to gain the consistent advantages that agendas offer them.
The 2013 Regional Championship tournament season runs through June, so there’s plenty of time for you to tweak your decks and get involved! You can find a Regional Championship near you by consulting our lists of North American and international venues.
More information about two-time A Game of Thrones: The Card Game World Champion John Bruno and the contents of his 2012 World Championship Joust deck are available at his place of honor in FFG’s Hall of Heroes.