No MIL icon removal spoiled for Martell. Maybe it doesn't exist because MIL is so key for so many triggers, acts as a non-Terminal Milk.
Stark has poor draw. It has no long game. Now it has! Currently only 4 MIL targets for Ice so Roderick is a nice add (Jory will be another). They also have the uniques theme from Winterfell Castle going back to 1.0 No Quarter etc. Roderick has Insight 1+ on Military. That's sick. I'm happy they have given Stark a long game but it seems such a swingy approach (like the variance of Gates amplified).
An analogy is a new Netrunner runner called Adam. He's rubbish most of the time. But because of a "the more I win, the better this card gets" card he uses, if he gets a lucky opening, he snowballs to be nigh unstoppable. And even though he has a very low win rate, you are most likely to win turn 1 (or turn 2 against any build) with him. That's just Bad Design, Mr Litzinger.
I sometimes worry at the High Variance being added to all FFG LCGs. We have it in the next cycle of Conquest where the random terrain drives your special ability - you may be stuffed straight out due to random planets. Not forgetting the ludicrously powerful 1x cards they design there. And that was the game that introduced the search top X cards mechanic instead of tutors that was considered "too easy" by one playtester/moderator/rules editor.
Now I can see them thinking "Netrunner is popular and it has random access which is full of luck". But Netrunner only became popular once they balanced the factions and sorted out issues like Scorched protection (Plascrete) and Agenda flood (Jackson) and even Fast Advance (Clot) and Poisonous Agendas (Film Critic). In the end, whilst it gives every player the illusion that they can win because of the luck of access, it is a highly skilled game like Poker.
These LCGs are not easy to learn. They appeal to clever people. Who want to devise clever strategies. And not be foiled by stupid luck! The current mulligan rule is yet another aspect that shows FFG just want to debase the skill level of their games in their assumption that it will make the game more mainstream. But there's no such market! Customisable card gamers want clever skill-based games. Else we'd be happy with Snap.
My, I'm in a grumpy mood today. But anyone who plays multiple LCGs will have discerned this undercurrent in all their games. And it's suicide trying to appeal to this nonexistent market and disenfranchise your Core base who dislike High Variance, often intellectual elitists who view these games as puzzles to solve.
Back to the topic in hand - are people really impressed with Tyrell cards? Much And More was to bypass draw cap and leverage Rule by Decree pre-plot and recursion. None of that exists now. Tyrell have draw deck effects as their theme and I love that. But after pack 1, what else is amazing? That Warhorse attachment. But the rest, are they really up to scratch? Look what 5 cost gets you in Core. Of course compared to current Pool, they have improved manifold. But so will have other Houses. Fishing Net (sadly back) is huge for Greyjoy. I'm really happy to see Tyrell "growing stronger" but I'm unsure that it will change the current hierarchy. Where Tyrell is a great banner.
Variance is a difficult thing with Thrones.
On one hand, Thrones has the first turn mulligan and setup, which enhance it... but then it has the plot deck that allows mitigation of those very high variance starts of flooding the board with characters. Lo and behold, the First Snow of Winter is coming... (I believe we'll see more than a bit of first turn First Snow, especially when that new Tyrell gold location hits)
Similarly, we have these one-shot effects like that new Targ attachment, or drawing into keystone cards like Melisandre. On another level, we've got built-in tutor plots in Summons & Building Orders and we Tyrell f.ex. has plenty of deck stacking tech and tutors for minimizing any of that variance... which is curious, since they also have cards like Left & Right that gain from that trickery.
Similarly, we've got a much higher character cost variance and disparity in resources... but we're also given much more legit card advantage and draw right off the bat than we had early on in 1.0. And again, we have Heads on Spikes... and seem to now be getting a plot for moving a card from your dead pile.
If anything, to me, it's looking a lot like Variance and especially managing it are a very base core deckbuilding and play skill for this new edition of Thrones. It has always been a part of the game of course, but it seems to be going to a whole new level. We've got a mix of variance inducing and variance mitigating effects, of high impact single cards and effects that allow you to try and make them work... The end result feels like there's an interesting seesaw going on, and it will take a while before we really start grasping how to best use that to the best of our advantage. If the Wot5K winner's deck is anything to go by, packing your deck with tools (2x Summons) to mitigate the variance (of drawing into Varys) pays off!
Honestly, I do prefer it this way to what Doomtown f.ex. has with the "set" starting characters. Those just feel like they promote one-dimensional decks that can be played only in a single way, and become increasingly tedious the more you repeat the same patterns. In a game of Thrones, you're constantly dealt new (good or bad!) starting situations, which you need to find a way to manage through the elements you have at your disposal... preferably having packed your deck full of ways to turn any situation to your advantage.
Whether this approach appeals to everyone is of course a different matter!