“Valar morghulis,” she said once more, and the stranger in Jaqen's clothes bowed to her and stalked off through the darkness, cloak swirling. She was alone with the dead men.
–George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce There Is My Claim, the fourth Chapter Pack in the War of Five Kings cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game!
War wracks the Seven Kingdoms. Baratheon, Tyrell, Lannister, and Stark armies march into battle against each other, while Greyjoy raiders prey upon the coast and strike at undefended strongholds. Five kings have been crowned, and each will pursue his claim as long as he draws breath. Death is everywhere, in the gory aftermath of battles and the carnage wrought by pillaging soldiers. In the midst of all this tumult and destruction, one young girl receives a worn metal coin and first hears the fateful words: “Valar morghulis.”
There Is My Claim is the fourth Chapter Pack in the War of Five Kings cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, and it continues your journey through A Clash of Kings, the second book in George R.R. Martin’s epic saga. Here, you can evoke the turmoil of the War of the Five Kings with plenty of new cards that interact with Kings, even as the winter winds rise and the Summer and Winter plot traits become more important to your strategy. Finally, you also gain access to powerful new unique characters, including Jojen Reed, Pyat Pree, Jaqen H’ghar, and new versions of Stannis Baratheon and Aeron Damphair.
Over the years of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, from the original collectible card game to the second edition of the Living Card Game®, many things have changed. Strategies were forged in battle, and counter-strategies were formed to answer those decks. The fortunes of the Great Houses rose and fell with changing times—after all, the very nature of the game as an LCG meant that a faction can never rest on its laurels. As the game changes and adapts, all factions and players must grow or die.
Still, there are some core aspects that have remained constant over the years. The plot deck guides your turns and gives you a measure of control over how your deck performs from game to game. Three distinct types of challenges give you three ways to attack your opponent’s position. And when characters die, they stay dead.
The nature of death in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game has made the ability to kill your opponent’s characters very powerful—an entire game can hinge on a brilliant sword strike or a glass of poison. So it’s understandable why a plot like Valar Morghulis (There Is My Claim, 80) can be expected to shape how the game is played for years to come.
On its surface, this plot is incredibly simple. It only reads, “When Revealed: Kill each character.” Obviously, the ability to wipe the board on demand is almost unbelievably powerful, but it’s balanced in a variety of ways. First, Valar Morghulis only offers you two gold—barely enough to afford even the cheapest characters. Although there are ways to gain more income with economy locations or plots like The Long Plan (Taking the Black, 16) or Ranger's Cache(Wolves of the North, 52), in most circumstances, you’ll be unable to play more than a single character the turn that you play Valar Morghulis.
What’s more, Valar Morghulis has a claim value of zero, which essentially dictates that your challenges cannot touch your opponent unless you have ways to raise your claim like Winter Is Coming (Core Set, 159). Finally, a relatively low reserve value of five means you won’t be able to keep many cards over into your next turn, potentially forcing you to discard cards you would rather have kept.
Is the powerful effect of Valar Morghulis worth the cost of its statistical drawbacks? The answer, of course, depends on your deck. If you’re playing Valar Morghulis, you don’t want to flood the board with characters, only for them to be wiped out by this plot—you want to lure your opponent into overextending, destroy his hand to reduce his options, then strike with Valar Morghulis to create an opening. For more controlling decks, Valar Morghulis can be truly dangerous, allowing you to prolong the game, negating your opponent’s advantages until you’re ready to make your move.
Valar Morghulis can also give you the chance to come back from a losing position. For instance, if you have two unique characters with duplicates and your opponent has a more powerful range of characters but no way to save them, you can play Valar Morghulis, save your own characters, and kill your enemies. Alternatively, factions like House Greyjoy may use Valar Morghulis more offensively, relying on an arsenal of save effects like Risen from the Sea (Core Set, 81) and Iron Mines (Calm over Westeros, 92) to protect your own characters while wiping out your opponent’s.
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