What are people's initial thoughts? As much fun as Joust is, Melee is the USP of AGoT after all, and the thing it has over Netrunner, Conquest etc. Plus there's that side event at Worlds.
Baratheon - Weaker than in Joust. Still okay, but tends to accumulate power steadily which means it'll get knocked down as it approaches its endgame. Can't kneel the whole board either. Will probably have to run 3 x Superior Claim. Getting Dom for Painted Table also gets considerably harder.
Greyjoy - Probably a top tier choice for Melee. Just as Bara can't kneel everyone, GJ can't kill everyone. However, unopposed becomes really easy. Finding a good location to burn and steal becomes easier too. Will probably want to keep the game small through plots. They also benefit a lot from the Mil role, the Power role and the card draw role. Finishing the game if folk gang up on them might be the tricky part and will require careful plot and role use. That said, Great Kraken and unopposed via Stealth can blitz it, especially with Superior Claim. Forget the 1st Player malarkey. It doesn't do that much for Core GJ anyway.
Martell - Much stronger than in Joust. Can pull off that "win from nowhere" that is a crucial part of melee. Slow accumulation gets hammered, but being ignored and then pulling 7 power out of the bag can work wonders. Punishes opponents for attacking it, which acts as a kind of nuclear deterrent. Sure Ghaston Grey is one-shot, but who wants to be the player who has to take that shot? It's the classic one man with a gun at close range vs three guys. If the three guys rush him, he will go down, but the first of the three guys to step forward is the one who dies.
Targ - Can't kill everyone, but like Martell can deter challenges with threats. Fealty probably works best for them, just because the Dracarys threat is no longer dependent on gold. Lots of ways for Drogo/Dany to be hit in Melee, but attachment removal, stand effects, and Dany being a weak milk target give you better odds of keeping them ticking than some of the big guns of other factions. Master of Laws helps if you get draw stuck, Military role makes you terrifying with Drogo.
Lanni/Any - Various Lanni builds are okay, but apart from Varys (who gets his own section) they don't do anything spectacular in Melee. Tyrion and Jaime are both strong melee characters, but they also don't actually require you to go Lanni as your main.
Varys Morghulis - Lanni/NA can still be strong in melee. Whilst a one/two turn super-grab is one way of winning melee, a board wipe that you can recover from quickly, but your opponents can't is also viable. If a couple of your duped up guys make it through and you have cards in hand where your enemies don't, they simply may not be able to peg you back as you storm forward over the next couple of turns.
Tyrell - These guys lack any serious deterrents (Highgarden isn't a disaster for the attacker). Marge does create some reluctancy to attack them, as you don't want to overcommit, but all in all, whilst they are good, I don't see them ruling melee at present. Again they lack quick closers, though Informant might help and Flowers can always find an opponent to punch through. They do have a good economy however and can choose the appropriate role to help it out at the appropriate time. QoT also becomes easier to trigger as does Mander.
Night's Watch - At first glance you might consider The Wall to be impossible to defend in melee. However I quite like pairing them with Martell (either way around). The nuclear deterrent creates a strange dilemma for opponents. Be the guy who kneels The Wall, and almost certainly take tap in response, or hope someone else does it, potentially letting NW grab 2 power. In the early game you'll likely get your 2 power. And hopefully by the time people start stopping it you can go for the final rush, or will actually be able to fend off all the attacks. Again plot choice and role choice become huge. Roles especially will need careful thought to try and minimise being hit. Sneak Attack gets stronger due to rarely wanting to multi-challenge with this build vs 3 opponents, and if Sunspear is out it's a big disincentive to military you without adequate protection (another player might well help you get that mil retal through even). Calling the Banners is a nice one too. Also, some of their weird cards are more likely to go off in melee. Yoren will usually have choices. Taking the Black might even be worth a 1x. A Meagre Contribution can usually be played on someone before your turn. Sam's much more likely to sneak through a card draw, even with his piddly mono-intrigue.
Stark - Not too sure about this lot. Can't really rush a melee. They are the faction I've been exposed to the least so not too sure, but can't see a great melee deck for them atm.
So, my feeling at present is GJ/Any, Lanni/Varys Morghulis, Targ Fealty, Martell (Possible Wall module) are the ones to go for. I've had very little chance to melee so far though so this may be way way off, hence this thread to garner other opinions and hopefully have a bit of a discussion that's not just about joust (or at all about joust).
What does everyone else think? What about general strategy changes, or cards that suddenly become appealing/unappealing in contrast to joust?
Plot-wise, Calling the Banners is the obvious one. Character-wise you have to rely even less on your big guns, because there's three times the chance of a Milk, Tears or PttS (although unless you make yourself a target early, they won't all be aimed at you). Lack of Draw or Gold consistency hurts less when you take a role to compensate, albeit at the expense of another role. Build-wise you have to be open to the possibility of everyone Wildfiring/Marching to the Wall in unison.