Game of Throne's Magic: the Gathering Set
Magic: the Gathering Comes to Westeros
I love Game of Thrones, I was very late getting into the series (I started the series in the months before Season 7 debuted) but once I started I could not stop. I finished Seasons 1-6 before Season 7 aired and was able to enjoy the new season as it aired too.
I recently did another re-watch of the entire series and started to wonder what a card set of Game of Thrones would like and began experimenting with the cards of different characters and events. After awhile it was clear I wouldn't be able to stop so I decided to make the cards using the various online programs available and share them here with you.
Now, a few disclaimers.
First, I limited myself to six cards per each of the major houses, Night's Watch, and two cycles of cards. I followed the same formula for each house: three creatures, the words of the House as an instant or sorcery, another instant or sorcery, and a Saga showing an event or aspect of the House.
Not every character will have a card and the vassal houses will not appear either. The only titles I included in the names are King, Queen and Ser and only if the character had them before Season 8.
Also, to avoid uploading 60+ images and causing the load time of this article to sky rocket, I will be posting the images from each House/group or cycle grouped together. A complete text list of the cards will be linked below to make reading the effects easier.
Finally, the cards are only based on my views of the characters from the show. You may feel the characters should be different colors or have different effects which is fine, we all have our perspectives and opinions so please be kind on my interpretations.
With all that out of the way let's get into the article!
I had a difficult time deciding on what ability to give to the honorable House Arryn, I was heavily leaned toward Exalted but after remembering about the Knights of the Vale I decided on Battalion.
For the creatures I chose Jon, Lysa and Robin, the only Arryns we saw in the show. And yes, that is Liam Neeson I chose for Jon Arryn. Unfortunately, I did not like any of the photos of Jon Arryn from the show and that photo definitely fit the bill nicely.
Jon and Robin have Battalion with the respectable Jon being able to bring out his allies while Robin can bring out his soldiers. While Lysa does lack Battalion she does help her men by protecting them during your turn.
The House Arryn words, "As High As Honor", is the House Arryn Instant which gives defensive support to your creatures that have Battalion. The Moon Door is the basis of the House Arryn Sorcery which allows you to deal with a problem creature.
For the Arryn Saga I chose to focus on the final days of Jon Arryn which saw his investigation lead to a discovery that cost him his life. The first and second effects are meant to represent Jon's investigation, the third him discovering Robert's bastards, and the forth being his investigation discovered by the conspirators and them taking action to murder Jon and conceal the truth.
Ability: Battle cry
For the Baratheons I had one choice for their ability, battle cry. Robert and Stannis are seasoned warriors with both having proven track records of leading men into battle. Renly was not involved in the wars, but was able to rally a large and loyal force to help him. The Baratheon brothers are the creatures I selected to represent their house.
Robert has the ability to push his men through the thick of battle, so I gave him the ability to buff blocked creatures so they can overcome whatever is in their way. Stannis is a stalwart commander who is able to get the best from his men which is why he can untap all attacking creatures you control so they can be utilized more. Renly is new to war, but he is a gentle soul who would best fit in green and white life gain.
The words of House Baratheon, "Ours is the Fury", is the Baratheon sorcery and certainly brings out the fury in your creatures. The House Baratheon Instant is an iconic line and moment, "Do Your Duty". That Stannis, he sure knows how to make an order and inspire those to fulfill it.
For their saga I chose Robert's Rebellion, a war built on love and lies. The first ability represents the early stage of the war, when the key players gathered and alliances were struck. The second ability is the climax of the rebellion, fierce battles were being fought throughout the realm that determined the fate of the rebellion. The final effect is the outcome of the rebellion, a decisive victory for the rebels and their coalition.
The Greyjoys were an easy choice for ability, they do love their ships so the crew ability is the ability for them. In particular the Greyjoys giving the vehicles they're crewed to buffs and bonuses. Most of their spells also grant their vehicles buffs in addition to their other effects.
The first Greyjoy I chose for the set was Euron Greyjoy, the most brutal and bloodthirsty Greyjoy we saw in the show is more than deserving of granting his controller a second battle phase so the vehicles under their control can attack again. The second Greyjoy I selected is one of my favorite characters from the show, Yara. An amazing captain who inspires great devotion in her crew, her card allows her men to pull double duty by untapping them once they crew a vehicle for the first time each turn. The final Greyjoy had to be Theon who is a bit unconventional when it comes to the Greyjoys, so he does not have islandwalk but does have nonbasic landwalk which he will give the vehicle he crews.
"We Do Not Sow", the words of House Greyjoy, is the house's sorcery which allows you to steal an opponent's permanent before buffing your vehicles. The Greyjoy instant is their more famous words, "Pay the Iron Price", which destroys an opponent's creature while giving you the reward of an extra card draw.
The Greyjoy Saga I chose is the Greyjoy Rebellion, their failed rebellion that took before the events of the show. The first and second effects of the saga represent the opening stages of the rebellion when the Greyjoys destroyed the Lannister fleet and made some gains. The third effect represents the turning point of the rebellion when the rest of the realm rose up to quash the rebellion. The final effect represents the end of the rebellion, defeat of the Greyjoys.
There were many conspiracies and schemes in Game of Thrones, but the Lannisters were the house to best benefit from all the schemes and conspiracies they put together, so they are the house I decided to give Conspire to. Unlike the Conspire from Shadowmoor, this iteration comes with the benefit of creatures who would love nothing more than plot and scheme behind the backs of their enemies.
The three Lannister creatures were obvious choices, seeing as the three have been around since the first episode of the show. Cersei loves a good, brutal scheme and whenever she conspires against your opponents they will not live long to regret it. Jaime, while more of a morally ambiguous character than his sister, still does conspire and he will bring a few of his men to back him up. Tyrion's conspiring will give you the benefit of his knowledge and wisdom, but he still has his family's temper.
The lesser known yet still the official words of House Lannister, "Hear Me Roar", is its house Instant and gives a creature you control a buff with a nice Conspire option. The more well known phrase "A Lannister always repays their debts" is the house sorcery which allows you to shuffle your hand into your library and draw that many cards with a burn effect if two creatures you control conspired the same turn it was cast.
The saga I chose for the Lannisters is The Red Wedding as it perfectly showcases their scheming. Despite not being there directly they still wiped out a major enemy. The first effect of the saga grants all the cards in your hand conspire which represents the plans for the wedding and massacre being put together. The second effect of destroying a creature and all related creatures is the massacre itself, RIP Rob. The final effect is the period of prosperity that the Lannisters found after The Red Wedding which came to an abrupt end soon after.
The Martells were a tough choice for ability, I went back and forth before deciding on Prowess. It seemed to be a perfect fit for them as Oberyn, the Sand Snakes and the Dornish soldiers were shown to be highly skilled in combat. I also gave a few of their spells the ability to cast another, weaker spell without casting it to help pump their prowess up.
For the Martell creatures I chose Oberyn, Doran and Trystane. Oberyn is a force to be reckoned with, and his card is no exception. Prowess with first strike and deathtouch shows his skills as a fighter, but it is his death which will bring his daughters to avenge him. Doran is not a direct force to be reckoned with in the show so his card is the same. Each time you cast a spell without paying its converted mana cost he will buff your creatures. Trystane didn't have much screen time on the show but his interaction with Bronn is what inspired his card.
The sorcery for House Martell and its official words, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", lives up to its name by buffing a creature, having it fight another creature and cast another spell without paying its mana cost. For the instant I chose another iconic Oberyn moment in which he put himself forward as Tyrion's champion. "I Will Be Your Champion" empowers your creatures and also cast another spell without paying its mana cost.
For the Martell Saga I chose Oberyn's quest for justice for his sister. The first effect of causing your opponent to lose life and discard a card and you to gain life and draw a card represents his arrival in Kings Landing and all his snubs towards the Lannisters. The second ability of giving a creature lifelink and deathtouch is his volunteering as Tyrion's champion. The final effect is the Trial by Combat itself, a nail biting gamble which can go two very different ways.
From the beginning, I wanted to give the Starks persist. They have been put the worst adversities but have persevered each time, the surviving ones that is. As much as I wanted to include Ned and Cat in the cards I just leaned more towards the Stark kids instead.
Sansa has truly endured much throughout the show and has shown how her experiences have influenced the person she has become. She is a great leader and peacemaker which is why I gave her the ability to stop damage reducing your life below 1. Arya is my favorite character so she was the first creature card I made with her ability to transform into her defeated enemies. Bran was the last Stark character I chose and his greensight will help you by revealing the top card of your library.
Winter is Coming, the words that even casual Game of Thrones fans know, is the House Stark Instant. Putting a +1/+1 counter on a creature with a -1/-1 counter causes both to be removed, this with the untap effect will help you refresh all your Stark creatures. The North Remembers is the Stark sorcery helps you replenish your hand with card draws and reinforce your creatures by making them indestructible.
The Battle of the Bastards is the Stark saga, the first effect of each tapped creature dealing damage to itself is the battle itself. The second effect of two creatures fighting is the end of the battle where Jon and Ramsey finally faced each other directly. The final effect of giving each creature you control a +1/+1 counter and each planeswalker you control a loyalty counter is the aftermath of the battle when the Starks retook Winterfell.
House Targaryen was carried throughout the show by Dany, and boy did she bring much fire and blood wherever she went. Madness was my first and only choice for the Targaryens, they certainly had their moments of insanity which defined major events throughout the show.
Dany was really a given as is her ability to burn an enemy and heal you when a dragon enters the battlefield. Viserys was trickier but I feel like weakening an opponent at the expense of yourself is in line with his character. I debated on doing Drogon but chose to do the Mad King instead, his madness works well with his House's cards.
The House Targaryen words and sorcery is literal fire and blood by burning your opponent before forcing their creatures to block yours. Viserys's best known quote, "Awaken the Dragon" is the Targaryen instant and is a burn card that fuels the Targaryen madness by making you discard a card.
I had a few different events I wanted to make into the Targaryen saga before I went back to the Season One finale and chose the rebirth of dragons. The first effect represents the funeral pyre of Khal Drogo with the discard requirement and giving you mana to use. The second effect represents the birth of Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion by allowing you to bring three dragons back from the graveyard. The final effect represents how Dany used the dragons, making it so enemy creatures who've been burned can't block.
House Tully is another favorite of mine, one which got criminally low amounts of screen time throughout the series. This made it difficult for me to create their cards, but even more so when it came to selecting their ability. I finally settled on bolster, House Tully grew in power through marriage arrangements and bolster helping the weakest creature you control become stronger seemed like a good fit for the Tullys.
For Hoster Tully I did have to use a stand-in photo, unfortunately I couldn't find any photo from the show I liked for him. As the head of House Tully I gave him the ability to bolster anytime a non-token creature entered the battlefield under your control. The Blackfish was more straight forward, as the more militant Tully I gave him the ability to bolster whenever he attacks. Edmure was trickier but I feel like he would be good with the ability to bolster when you gain life.
The words of House Tully, "Family, Duty, Honor", is the Tully sorcery which bolsters three consecutively times and gives each bolstered creature an ability. The Tully instant is my favorite aspect of Riverrun, its ability to become an island to protect itself from attackers.
The Tully saga was tricky to settle on but I decided on their marriage alliances to the other powerful Houses of Westeros. The first effect of bolstering and scrying is the match being arranged and the deal made. The second effect of searching for the legendary creatures of various families is the marriage taking place. The final effect of winning the game if three matches were made is House Tully advancing itself in the political environment of Westeros.
The Tyrells are an interesting house, they not only gave us the infamous Queen of Thorns but also her grandchildren Loras and Margaery as well. They all share one defining feature, they are all seeking to advance themselves and their House in the political circles. To do this they like to do good deeds and feats when they have an audience to watch them. Loras is an accomplished knight in jousting, Margaery helps the poor and less fortunate, and Olenna knows how to make herself known.
All this led to me giving them the Heroic ability, they like to be the center of attention so they will love being the targets of your spells! Olenna, as the matriach of the House, boosts your creatures for each basic land you control when she is targeted by a spell you control. Margaery inspires your other creatures to give back to the needy (you) by giving them a slight bump and lifelink. Loras, as the Tyrell's knight in shining armor, becomes stronger when you target him.
Growing Strong, the words of House Tyrell, is their sorcery and helps trigger their Heroic ability by targeting a creature and giving it boost before allowing to play a land from your hand. For the Tyrell Instant I chose Olenna's famous last words which will counter a spell and cause that spell's controller to not be able to cast any other spells for the rest of the turn, literally giving you the last words for the turn.
For the Tyrell saga I gave them the Purple Wedding, a sordid affair with many players involved in the scheme to depose the... "honorable"... King Joffrey. The first effect symbolizes the wedding ceremony where Margaery becomes Queen and everyone is happy. The second effect is the assassination of Joffrey which brings the wedding to a macabre end. The final effect represents the aftermath the dicey plot brought and the political maneuvering the Tyrells embarked on afterward.
I ran into an issue with the Night's Watch, I could not find a mechanic that I felt was a good fit for them. So, I improvised and made a mechanic for them, Winterize. A perfect term for the Watch, to winterize something is to prepare it for winter. Winterize gives an additional effect if you control 4 or more snow permanents.
The Wall was an obvious choice to represent the Watch and it has the ability to stop your opponent's creatures from attacking you. Commander Mormont was one of my favorite characters from the show so he made it onto a card which, like him, his the ability to lead his men into the thick of battle. Jon Snow was the final but another obvious choice who can help his brothers with their battle prowess.
The oath of the Night's Watch is too long to use as a spell, so I used Take the Black as the saga for the Watch. The first ability that prevents damage to your Night's Watch creatures and scrying represents the training stage of the brothers. The second ability which pools your creature's abilities represents the members of the Watch becoming brothers and bringing their collective skills together. The last abilities which wins you the game if you control all basic snow land types and a creature of each color represents what the Watch can do when at full power.
The infamous "For the Watch" moment is the Instant I chose... for the Watch. It can destroy a creature just like it did in the show. For the Sorcery I chose to make a card around the Watch's ranging which can tap all nonland permanents you don't control and allows you to draw a card for each permanent tapped this way.
The Miracle Cycle
There are five gods, or sets of gods, that are mentioned the most throughout the show. These five gods are: The Seven, The Drowned God, The Many-Faced God, The Lord of Light, and The Old Gods, this makes a very nice complete cycle for Magic: the Gathering since there is a set for each of the five colors of Magic.
Miracle is a keyword I like to build modern decks around and it is a perfect fit for what I am calling the Miracle Cycle. But this is not the same Miracle that debuted in Avacyn Restored, these Miracle cards come with a twist.
The five cards all follow the same formula, they have a standard ability if cast normally but it is when the god or gods answer that things get interesting. When the miracle cost of each card is paid a more powerful effect is added to or replaces the first effect.
The Six Cycle
Mechanic: Hybrid Mana
First, I apologize for the lower quality of the card images for the Six Cycle. I had to use a different website than the rest of the set due to the website I was using not having the hybrid mana costs.
This cycle was inspired by Beseech the Queen and how well it could work if reprinted into the set. I wanted to construct an entire cycle to compliment Beseech the Queen and fit the set, and I managed to make cards for the other four colors. Each effect grants a positive effect depending on the number of basic lands you control and the color of the card.