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Getting Started With A Game of Thrones LCG

Whether you are brand new to the Game of Thrones LCG or a returning CCG player it can be alittle confusing deciding what you need to buy to get started playing and having fun. I just went through it myself this year and I'm going to use my experience to try to give everyone a good idea where to start and how to get the most bang for your buck.

First priority: Buy a Core Set. The Core Set is essential as it provides you with the basic building blocks for a number of decks. The preconstructed decks included in the Core set offer good practice to be able to learn the basics of the game without having to delve deeply into the customization aspect or more advanced rules. The core set doesn't just come with boring vanilla cards, which you might be used to seeing in other games starters. It provides some very powerful cards which can go into many more advanced decks (ie Valar Morghulis, Milk of the Poppy, Seductive Promise, and many more). The only cons to a core set is that a majority of the cards only have one copy included. Generally this means it is a very good idea to purchase a second copy of the core set when moving up to more advanced deck building. The Core set retails for $39.95 but it is easy enough to find copies on ebay or at a local gaming shop at a discount

After the Core set there are two sets which are head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to building more advanced decks as a new player. The Stark expansion Lords of Winter and the Baratheon expansion Kings of the Storm provide a huge boost in deck building options for these two houses and they also provide some very good cards usable in any House. Each of these deluxe expansions comes with a playset (3 copies of a card) of every card and 2 lists of advanced decks you can use the cards in. These deck lists are created by some of the top players in the game, and for new players are extremely easy to create as they only include cards in the core set and the respective expansion. This is a great way for new players to transition from the more simplistic core set example decks to a more powerful customized deck. Both of these deluxe expansions retail for $29.95 but as always deal shoppers can likely find them at a slight discount.

As for chapter packs, any of the chapter packs from the Brotherhood Without Banners cycle are good purchases. These are the first Game of Thrones chapter packs FFG produced which come with 3x of each card. As of this articles writing 3 of 6 chapter packs have been released. Each pack in this cycle focuses on a specific house, giving that house more cards in a pack than the other houses received. Each pack still provides good cards for every house and they make neutral decks possible. Of specific note is the agenda Knights of the Hollow Hill from the Mountains of the Moon chapter pack. Although this agenda doesn't fit in all currently agendaless decks it can certainly be powerful and useful in a new players deck with limited card choices.

The Sacred Bonds chapter pack contains some very useful cards for each house. The Herald cards all allow you to search your deck for another character card and place it on top of your deck when they come into play. The 'To Be a..' Events provide some pretty powerful effects for each house and are all usable thanks to the Military Battle, Intrigue Gambit, and Power Struggle plots in the Kings of the Storm expansion.

Epic Battles chapter pack has, appropriately, Epic Battle event cards for each house. These events give you another challenge at the end of the round allowing you get extra claim and useful effects which are different for each house.

From this point much of what you will want to buy will be dependent on which house or theme you want to focus on, which is likely a better subject for another article.

If anyone has any tips they feel would be useful to add leave them here in the comments and I'll add them to the post.
  • Segletes likes this


Another good idea is to have a group of three players buying a Core copy each and then trading house decks (except for the plots) to 3x a specific house for each player. This does not mean you are severely fixed on the chosen house, by trading it away, as the house expansions are so strong that you can later start to play with a traded away house if a house expansion is available (currently only Stark and Baratheon available). Even if specializing i think a Core copy for each player is necessary to have all plots from the Core set available, thus to have not the Core set at all is not recommended.
I would then also, as Darksbane has already advocated, concentrate on the house expansions and Brotherhood without Banners, simply due to the 3x format. That has the nice effect that you can trade plots and agendas, which are only needed once (in the basic rules you can have the same plot multiple times in your deck, but for tournament only once, i would only play in tournament mode). Again, you may exchange cards by specializing in houses with gaming friends.
You might loose on competitive power because strong cards are in the older Cycles, but following this strategy you amass a lot of cards for one house with a big range of plots, thus allowing to play a lot of different deck configurations to get experience, and then you can later decide if it is worth to sink more money in the game.