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I just managed to win the German Nationals and some people already asked for the deck list, so here it is. The tournament: https://thejoustingpavilion.com/tournaments/5618
A short history of the deck: After the release of Drowned God Fanatic I decided to try to revive the Greyjoy Good Stuff deck that was pretty successful last year for nationals. Over the last two weeks I played more than 60 games with different versions of this deck on theironthrone.net and in real life. It started out as "The Rains of Castamere" as that was pretty good last year, but in testing I found the impact of the schemes pretty lacking. Even Breaking Ties is a little bit uninspiring without Flea Bottom. After @Diomedes suggested adding Newly-Made Lords and The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due, I moved away from Rains and switched over to The Wars To Come. That worked pretty well but I realized that I didn't really needed 10 plots and was lacking some speed to close out games before I run out of ressources. So I went to The Lord of the Crossing, which is probably my favorite agenda anyways.
Similar to what @jcwamma did with his Tyrell Wars deck for Euros, I just tried to throw in all the generally good stuff:
- The Greyjoy Powerhouses: Euron Crow's Eye, Balon Greyjoy (CtA), Asha Greyjoy (Km)
- Location Hate: We Do Not Sow, Newly-Made Lord, Sea Bitch
- Saves to protect the important guys and enable offensive Valar Morghulis: Iron Mines, Risen from the Sea
- Denial: Nightmares, Nighttime Marauders and of course the new GJ Hotness Drowned God Fanatic
I guess I will talk about some of the specific card choices in more detail:
Drowned God Fanatic: This dude is just nuts. He gives GJ at least three different advantages they were lacking beforehand:
- Cancelling important character abilities like Aegon Targaryen, Hizdahr zo Loraq, Robb Stark (Core), Areo Hotah (Core) .... results in huge temposwings or even just outright can win games. And you don't have to telegraph because it costs nothing. Your opponent just has to guess or pray that you don't have a fanatic.
- Greyjoy was lacking military and intrigue icons and the Fanatic brings both whenever you need them. It also functions as a "stand" ability.
- A "kill-at-will" which was sometimes hard to get beforehand. Killing Acolyte of the Waves or Warded Characters (more on that later :D) is just convenient.
Balon Greyjoy (CtA): Balon Greyjoy (Core) is pretty cool in Crossing-Decks because of almost guaranteed unopposed third challenge, but the King version is just superior in the current meta with lots of The King in the North. And being able to buff your loyal characters during any challenge is also really valuable.
Nighttime Marauders: These guys are one of the best shadow cards so far. 5 gold is expensive but the ability to wreck your opponents hand, especially on the turn after Weapons at the Door or The First Snow of Winter. Especially good against Qohor-Decks that run a lot of same-cost attachments or against Burn-Targ. But even if you don't hit anything, the information from seeing the entire hand makes decisions easier.
Only 1 Victarion Greyjoy: Victarion is probably as good as the 7-coster I'm playing but he has the problem of being non-loyal. I expected a lot of Stark and getting a 6-cost character with power bounced by Breaking Ties just wrecks your boardstate.
Iron Victory: The ship might look strange in a deck with only 1 Victarion but it enables the possibility to produce as much power as you have saves in combination with Drowned God Fanatic. Even if you don't "combo" it, the deck will probably use some saves during a game and that is just extra power.
The Seastone Chair: In most games this card is more of a threat than an actual kill effect. But forcing your opponent to defend your military challenges or waste Nightmares on it is nice for 1 gold. It also makes your Valar a lot more dangerous.
The Spice: Pay The Iron Price: I always enjoyed the thought of using your opponents Crown of Gold again and again but this card is in the deck because of the rise of Stark. Almost all Stark decks at the moment play 3x Ward and stealing your opponent's Catelyn Stark (Core) for 2 gold is just funny. It is really situational and that's why it is only a 1-of but it helped a lot in both wins against Stark this weekend. Can also be pretty cool with Queensguard.
- The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due: Works nicely with Newly-Made Lords and Drowned God Fanatics and can help to get out the important 7-costers if you're otherwise economy starved. I would like to play a second copy but I'm not sure what to cut.
I won't go over the plots because this is getting pretty long but if you have any questions I'm happy to answer them!
Onto the actual tournament report. 41 participants, 6 rounds of swiss followed by a cut to Top 8. 5-1 was guaranteed to be in the Top 8 + 3 or 4 people with 4-2 records.
Round 1: Win against Chris Meeuwsen with "The Rains of Castamere" --- 1-0
I actually watched one of Richard Walkers games at the UK Nationals with Stark Rains and had at least some idea what the deck was doing. After The Withering Cold left both our boards knelt out for turn 2, Chris marshalled Robb Stark (Core) while I got out Balon Greyjoy (CtA). I got my military through with Balon's ability, allowed him to stand his board including Catelyn Stark (Core) and then stole her with Pay The Iron Price and Ward.That left him without any intrigue icons while I was able to get my three challenges in. I later Valared his Robb and Wyman Manderly which he couldn't recover from.
Round 2: Win against Franke Roders with The Lord of the Crossing -- 2-0
Second game, second finalist deck from the UK nationals last week. I actually tested that deck myself during the week for 2 or 3 games so I knew how it worked and what to look out for. I setup Asha Greyjoy (Km) with dupe and an Iron Islands Fishmonger. Franke marshalled Hizdahr zo Loraq first turn and followed it up with The King in the North on turn 2. Luckily I had Balon Greyjoy (CtA) with dupe in my hand and got him out with Trading with the Pentoshi. I was then able to Valar his Hizdahr and some other stuff while he was low on cards. IIRC I won on turn 4 due to Balon's renown.
Round 3: Win against Hanno Lunser with The Lord of the Crossing -- 3-0
Because Hanno's setup lacked economy he was struggling during turn 1 and marshalled Redwyne Straits which I promptly took with We Do Not Sow and Euron Crow's Eye, after he already had claimed a We Do Not Sow for intrigue. The second Fanatic prevented him from getting gold with a Scheming Septon for his tricks, which gave me too much power so I was able to close out the game on the turn after.
Round 4: Win against Lennart Paga with The Wars To Come -- 4-0
Lennart got out a lot of economy during the first few turns but was struggling to get any characters on the board. Because my Balon had hit the table on turn 1 was able to get to 9 or 10 power pretty quickly. During turn 3 or 4 I get to greedy and instead of marshalling an Iron Mines I kept the gold to play We Do Not Sow. Two Venomous Blades took Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) dupes and left me with no saves for his Valar. But I was able to rebuilt my board with Trading with the Pentoshi and close the game before Lennart was able to build up his board.
So at this point I was almost certain to make the cut because all of my opponents were doing really well themselves and I had the best opponent score in the field.
Round 5: Loss against David Tegtmeyer with The Wars To Come -- 4-1
David played a Drowned God deck which of course also got a lot better with the arrival of Fanatics. He got out two Drowned Disciples out pretty early and started to rack up really fast. In the end he had just enough saves to protect Tarle the Thrice-Drowned from my Valar Morghulis and the game ended on turn 4 IIRC.
Round 6: Loss against Lucas Abels-Vehns with The Lord of the Crossing -- 4-2
Second game against the Queensguard Crossing deck and the second time I didn't see a single limited location or a Drowned God Fanatic. In contrast to the game against Franke, Lucas was able to dupe his Hizdahr zo Loraq and I didn't get my Balon so his The King in the North turn was pretty brutal.
I made place 5 after the Swiss with all of my opponents finishing in the Top 15.
Quarterfinals: Win against Lucas Abels-Vehns with The Lord of the Crossing -- 5-2
I think my setup consisted of Theon Greyjoy (TFoA), Great Kraken and some economy but I also had a Fanatic in my hand so I felt pretty good. He marched Theon while I got out Balon on turn 1 and threatened his board with the stealth from Balon and The Seastone Chair. I had no intrigue icons but luckily Lucas never hit the Fanatic in my hand with his intrigue claims or heads on spikes. So I was able to cancel his Aegon Targaryen on turn 3 after Valaring to get rid of his Hizdahr. That essentially ended the game.
Semifinals: Win against Dominik Haas with Fealty -- 6-2
Dominik hadn't lost a single game so far and Stark is always pretty dangerous these days. He setup Robb Stark (Core) with dupe and got out Greatjon Umber during his The Withering Cold. I didn't have any big characters in my hand, so I just marshalled some small stuff and kept my gold for Nightmares (for Greatjon) and Nighttime Marauders. My intrigue claim hit a I Am No One and the Marauders got rid of another one and a Winter Is Coming from Dominik's hand. On turn 2 I was able to cancel his Robb with a Fanatic and claim the Ward which enable me take over Catelyn Stark (Core) again with Pay The Iron Price.
On turn 4 I was able to get up to 13 power but he had Robb, Greatjon and Eddard Stark (WotN) out. I knew he would play You Win Or You Die and I wasn't able win the initiative with my own You Win Or You Die so I had to Valar killing his Greatjon and Eddard, while I was able to save my Balon and Victarion. But Dominik got a claim 3 military challenge off thanks to Winter Is Coming and the stealth from Varamyr Sixskins killing my board including Balon and Victarion. On turn 6 I was finally able to close out the game with my own You Win Or You Die, an Acolyte of the Waves (killed by a Fanatic) and the power from The Lord of the Crossing.
Grand Final: Rematch against David Tegtmeyer with The Wars To Come -- 7-2
The first game against David was pretty sad from my side of the table but I got a pretty good starting hand this time. The setup was ok with a Fanatic, Winterfell Steward, Iron Victory and a Roseroad, but I had another Fanatic and a Newly Made Lord in my hand so I decided to keep. He had setup Nagga's Ribs, a Roseroad and a Drowned God's Apostle. I drew into Euron and opened with Trading with the Pentoshi. David wasn't able to dupe his Ribs so at the end of the round Nagga's Ribs was under my control and I had enough saves to protect my board. On turn 2 I added Balon to the board and get some power and stole some more locations with Euron. On turn 4 or 5 I was able to finish the game with a big power challenge and a power from Iron Victory.
So all in all the deck performed really well. During testing I lost a lot of games to Stark but during the tournament I guess I pretty lucky to draw into my Pay The Iron Price during both Stark games. Location control is still pretty good and the 7-cost characters are still pretty cool. ;)
Thanks to everyone from the German community (and the Dutch guys that came over of course!) who made the tournament a cool, well-organised and drama-free experience. Next time we just need a few more participants! :D