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FAQ for House of Thorns


General Reminders* * * * *

Mace Tyrell
  • Characters removed by Mace leave play as normal. This means non-terminal attachments will return to hand, terminal attachments and tokens are discarded, and any lasting or delayed effects affecting it expire.
  • The character enters play standing.
  • Characters removed by Mace re-enter play at the beginning of the beginning of phase step (X.1), which means before any Reactions (including Forced Reactions) trigger. This means that if they are removed during Taxation, they will return before plots are selected, and if they are removed during challenges they will return before totals for dominance are compared.
  • Effects such as Barring the Gates or The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due do not prevent a character removed by Mace from reentering, as the effect is not putting them into play, but rather an effect that removed them from play is expiring. (Source)
  • If a character removed from the game by Mace cannot enter play (e.g. there is a copy in your dead pile, or in play and controlled by your opponent at the time it would re-enter), it cannot enter play and instead remains removed from the game. (Source)
* * * * *

Brienne of Tarth
  • If you trigger her reaction, you trigger each portion she qualifies for. For example, if her strength is 10, she gains 1 power and you give another character +3 strength until the end of the phase.
* * * * *

Margaery Tyrell
  • The kneeling and participating as a defender portions of this ability are separate; Margaery can be used to kneel a character who can’t participate in a challenge (e.g. one with Marriage Pact) or to cause a character to participate even if they cannot be knelt (e.g. they are already knelt, or cards such as Ygritte).
  • Margaery can choose a character without corresponding challenge icon.
  • Characters chosen for her reaction are not declared as defenders.
* * * * *

Willas Tyrell
  • If you trigger his action, you trigger each portion that qualifies. For example, if you control both Margaery Tyrell and The Knight of Flowers, you stand Margaery and give The Knight of Flowers insight.
* * * * *

Desmera Redwyne
  • Desmera Redwyne’s effect triggers only on effects that explicitly refer to removing a character from a challenge. Any effects that cause a participating character to be “no longer participating” in the challenge (e.g. playing Nightmares on Jon Snow (Core) when there is a Night’s Watch character attacking) are not considered to “remove” that character from the challenge and will not trigger Desmera’s reaction. (Source)
* * * * *

Highgarden Courtier
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The Hightower
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Redwyne Straits
* * * * *

Queen of the Seven Kingdoms
  • Attached character must be kneeling and participating in order to pay the cost of the ability. However, the target does not necessarily have to be kneeling.
  • You can use this ability if attached character is attacking alone - you pay the cost, and then fail to choose an eligible target. However, if there are other participating characters, you must target one of them.
  • You cannot trigger this on an opponent’s Lady, as you cannot pay costs with game elements you do not control.
* * * * *

Melee at Bitterbridge
  • You can pay 1 gold to make one participating character gain renown.
  • The lasting effects (renown, do not contribute STR) are determined upon resolution of the ability, and are not affected by changing the STR of any chosen character.
* * * * *

Hidden Thorns
  • “Then, if you control The Queen of Thorns, return Hidden Thorns to your hand instead of placing it in your discard pile.” is a replacement effect that triggers when Hidden Thorns is played. As such, it triggers after the replacement effect of Emissary of the Hightower, and will be returned to your hand rather than removed from the game. (Source)
  • Hidden Thorns is returned to your hand as part of the process of playing it, and thus will not be removed from the game from the forced reaction of The Annals of Castle Black.
* * * * *

Drowned God’s Apostle
  • Drowned God’s Apostle and Aeron Damphair (Core) both have reactions to winning dominance, so you can trigger the Apostle’s reaction first to return a non-unique character, and then trigger Damphair’s reaction to put the Apostle back into play
* * * * *

Corpse Lake
  • If multiple characters are discarded during a single effect (e.g. The Reader), Corpse Lake can react to each character being discarded.
  • Corpse Lake doesn’t trigger off of effects that place a character in the discard pile, such as Queenscrown.
* * * * *

Broken Vows
  • Giving control of a Night’s Watch character is not a cost, so if the effects of Broken Vows are canceled nothing happens.
* * * * *

Ser Dontos Hollard
  • Standing is the cost of the ability (just like kneeling usually is), while 'save' is the effect. You can only trigger the ability if Ser Dontos is kneeling, so that you can stand him to pay the cost.
  • Canceling the effects of the ability does not cancel the cost, so Ser Dontos stands even if cancelled.
* * * * *

  • Tokar counts itself for the STR boost.
  • Note that Tokar says “each character without attachments cannot gain power,” and so will prevent characters like Rakharo and Cersei Lannister (LoCR) from gaining power if they don’t have attachments, even if they are not participating.
  • Power being moved (e.g. by Ser Edmure Tully) does not count as being gained.
* * * * *

Faceless Man
  • If Faceless Man copies a character with a faction affiliation, it is no longer considered to be a neutral character as long as it has that affiliation.
* * * * *

  • Attached character can be affected by burn effects (e.g. Dracarys!) while participating in a challenge, though its STR will not go below 1 immediately. However, as soon as that character leaves the challenge, any lasting burn effects will apply and kill it. Note that "until the end of the challenge", "during a challenge", and "while participating in a challenge" effects all expire simultaneously.
  • If Strangler is on Randyll Tarly, and an “until the end of the phase” STR boost is played on him during a challenge, he will not stand after the challenge, as the increase in strength happened during the challenge. (Source)
* * * * *

The Conclave
  • The seven cards are placed at the beginning of step 8 of setup. This means you shuffle, draw your setup hand, and mulligan (if desired) before they are placed. You may look at the cards before choosing your setup.
  • The Conclave's controller can look at facedown cards under the agenda at any time. (Source)
* * * * *

Wardens of the South
  • Reactions to being declared as an attacker share a reaction window with reactions to a challenge being declared, reactions to attackers kneeling, and reactions to stealth targets. This means Winterfell (WotN) triggers during the same window as Wardens of the South.
  • Wardens of the South only triggers when a character is declared as an attacker/defender, not when they participate in other ways.
* * * * *

  • Characters forced to participate via abilities such as Margaery Tyrell do not count as being declared as a defender.
* * * * *

Your King Commands It
  • Power being moved (e.g. by Ser Edmure Tully) does not count as being gained.
  • Cards that are immune to plot effects (e.g. a card chosen for Winterfell Heart Tree) can gain power as normal.
* * * * *

The Spider’s Web
  • The claim raise does not apply for the intrigue challenge during which the reaction is initiated, as the reaction occurs after claim has already been applied.
* * * * *

Now It Comes To War
  • This is a replacement effect, and can be overwritten by other replacement effects (e.g. Vengeance for Elia).
  • As a forced interrupt, effects such as Catelyn Stark (Core) do not affect this ability.
  • In melee, Master of Whispers can be used to force any number of opponents to suffer military claim.
* * * * *

Trade Routes
  • Locations that are immune to card/plot effects (e.g. Pleasure Barge) are still counted for this effect, as it does not affect them in any way.
* * * * *

Nothing Burns Like The Cold
  • Cards that are immune to card effects or being discarded (e.g. Pleasure Barge) cannot be chosen for this ability.
  • This ability will initiate whether or not each player has both an eligible attachment and an eligible non-limited location in play.

  • istaril, BaraBob, FedericoFasullo and 4 others like this


Great work! Thanks so much for taking up this project, it's really appreciated (even... hell, especially by the rules lawyers!)

    • FedericoFasullo likes this

Can you explain why Broken Vows is as ruled? I thought anything that proceeded "then" or "to" was a cost?


'Then' refers to the other part of the effect, while 'to' would indicate there's a 'cost/effect' relation.

Can you explain why Broken Vows is as ruled? I thought anything that proceeded "then" or "to" was a cost?

One thing keeps buging me. Why putting link to images on thrones, when this is posted here on CGDB, which is actual database for images?


Besides that - great summary!

Dec 01 2017 05:05 PM

One thing keeps buging me. Why putting link to images on thrones, when this is posted here on CGDB, which is actual database for images?


Besides that - great summary!


Because, quite frankly, I'm more familiar with thronesdb so it's easier for me to use while writing. Not a great reason, I suppose, but there you go.