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A New A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ Is Now Available

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The latest version of the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ is now online! This update contains the usual streamlined rules, clarifications, new questions, and other minor changes that come with refining the rules. In addition, today’s update introduces a restricted list for the Melee variant. Players who enjoy Melee should ensure they read the list before building a deck for their next event! Learn why and how the restricted list was implemented from the developers in the paragraphs below, and then download the new FAQ to see all the changes for yourself!

Click on the image above to see the new FAQ. This update goes into effect 10/31/2017.

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Developer Daniel Schaefer

The new FAQ update for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game introduces a restricted list for the Melee format, along with its usual clarifications and other improvements. As this is the first time cards have been restricted in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, I’d like to briefly discuss the rationale behind the the list.

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, a restricted list is a development tool that allows us to better control an evolving metagame by placing an opportunity cost on individual cards. By selecting one card on the list, a player passes on the opportunity to include any other card on the list in his or her deck. We chose cards for the list for a variety of reasons: to break up overpowered combinations, to reduce a card’s frequency in an environment, or to help the metagame evolve by restricting a couple key elements of a dominant decktype. Using this type of list allows the metagame to be influenced by the development team with a little more surgical precision than some of the other options that could be employed, such as bans or errata, and a well-maintained restricted list allows players to still play with their favorite cards—they just have to make some sacrifices elsewhere in the deck to do so.

So why are we starting with Melee? The nature of Melee often steers players toward rush decks, designed to accumulate power as quickly as possible. While such decks are part of a healthy metagame, and the cards that are combined in these decks are reasonable candidates in the Joust game, the existing card pool made them too powerful in Melee, creating a format where games often ended very quickly with limited opportunity for interaction. The power level of these decks also hurt the diversity of the format, strengthening those factions that were capable of racing effectively while making more controlling factions extremely weak. The prevalence of several neutral power-gain cards further contributed to the lack of diversity, resulting in top decks that often felt very similar to one another.

With that in mind, the restricted list is being implemented with the goal of slowing the Melee format while increasing deck diversity. To that end, the list contains several neutral cards that enabled fast wins and were becoming near-ubiquitous in top decks. Also restricted are some of the most powerful in-faction cards that slot easily into rush decks, including two cards each from Greyjoy, Stark, and Tyrell and one card each from Targaryen and Lannister. With Baratheon, Martell, and Night’s Watch currently lagging behind in Melee, no cards are restricted in those factions. These restrictions should help level the playing field, opening up new deck building possibilities and offering a wider variety of viable archetypes. Going forward, we’ll continue to monitor the metagame and make adjustments to the restricted list as needed to ensure a healthy environment.

We apologize for the short notice this FAQ update gives to players attending the World Championship, especially those attending the Melee side event on November 4th. While we try to give players as much advanced notice as possible when making significant changes—such as the new restricted list—we felt this update would significantly improve the experience for competitors at this prominent event.

Download the new A Game of Thrones: The Card Game FAQ  now to read the entire update before it goes into effect on October 31st. If you're planning on playing in a Melee event, make sure to read the restricted list so you're fully prepared! Players attending an event before October 31st can still find the previous FAQ on the A Game of Thrones: The Card Game page.

As always, game rules, tournament regulations, and other support materials for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game can be found on our A Game of Thrones: The Card Game page.

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