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Hi everyone! If you watch The White Walkers' channel, you'll know that my memory is terrible, so this won't be a particularly detailed report. However, I'll do my best!
Before Nationals, Richard said to me "here, try this Targ HRD Meereen deck!" and I scoffed, "I can't play HRD! Set-ups are too hard!"
Turns out I now like HRD, and you can normally get 3-4 cards for set up with this deck - so always mulligan for econ and a nice card drop.
Game 1: Greyjoy Lion WIN My first game of the swiss was very close, and pretty nerve-wracking. Time had been called, and my opponent was going in for the win with little [Theon Greyjoy (TFoA)]. Unfortunately, she hadn't realised [Quaithe of the Shadow] was in my discard pile, so I was able to jump this in with [Flea Bottom] and remove Theon. I could then do my challenges to take the win.
Game 2: Targ Crossing WIN I don't remember anything about this game, apart from that it was Joe's only loss of the entire tournament, so I felt pretty chuffed when he won in the final :D
Game 3: Stark Rains LOSS This was against Kostas, who was playing [Brother's Robes] and [Catelyn Stark (Core)]. This combination meant that my challenges order was all over the place, and I ultimately lost.
Game 4: Targ Crossing WIN I don't remember much about this game; I think it went to time and I was ahead, but pretty sure I would have lost if it had gone to another round.
Game 5: Tyrell Qohor WIN This was against Ryan Wood, previous UK champion. I'm always pretty terrified of playing Ryan, but then if I manage to beat him I get very excited. And that's basically what I remember of the game!
Game 6: Tyrell Crossing LOSS Ben was playing the song deck, and had comfortably beaten me the year before at the previous Nationals. At this point, I was just excited because I figured I'd made the top 16 cut, so probably wasn't paying as much attention as I should have. I think Ben won pretty conclusively though!
Top 16: Martell Wolf WIN I spent pretty much the entire night nagging Richard and trying to figure out what my game plan should be. TRY TO GET [Qarth] AND/OR [Viserys Targaryen (Core)] was pretty much as far as I got. Where, for some reason, the aGoT Gods were like "sure thing Becs, have both!" for my first round. I then managed to keep the board down with lots of military claim, and repopulated with silly Targ tricks. I think at one point I was down to 2 characters, he used Ramsey to get rid of my Missandei, and I immediately used Plaza of Pride to restand my character and dropped another Missandei in for the discard.
Top 8: Tyrell Wars LOSS Matt was really nice to play against, but ultimately stomped all over me. However, I think I was just super-excited and practically bouncing in my seat because by this point I'd won a playmat and I didn't really care much anymore!
Veterans of the Riverlands Tournament
This tournament was based on best of house would make Top 8. Typically, Targ had the most players at 5.
Game 1: Tyrell HRD LOSS Oh. This was a good start. We ended the game 15-0. (I could have actually got some power, but there was an achievement to be first to finish on 0 power, so I thought I'd just do that. But turned out 2 other people had achieved this before me anyway -_- )
Game 2: Targ Crossing WIN David was quite a new player, and didn't know the combinations very well. I was able to rush over him with my Targ tricks and take the win.
Game 3: Stark Qohor WIN This was against Joel, who had been my "nemesis" for a while. I'm starting to make back the wins against him though!
Game 4: Lanni Winter WIN So by this point, I was the 3rd best Targ player. If either of the top 2 Targ players won their game, I definitely couldn't make the cut. Even if they lost their games, I'd have to win mine.
I was against Richard...
So, I was keeping an eye on how they were doing with the mind that I'd go easy on Richard to make sure he made the cut if one of the other Targ players won. Turned out they both lost, so suddenly my game against Richard really mattered.
Richard will try and claim that I took 5 hours marshalling on my last turn. This is obviously a lie. It was actually 12 minutes ... It was a hard decision, ok?! Eventually I chose to discard a nightmares with [Hizdahr zo Loraq] to reduce the cost of my [Daario Naharis], played him out, then discarded 2 cards from hand to put in Qotho, saving 2 gold for [Flea Bottom] and the 2nd [Nightmares]. I was struggling to decide as I wasn't sure if I would need both nightmares (Richard had Tywin and Jaime on the board). I managed to get the power needed though, and we both made the cut as top of our houses.
Top 8: NW Fealty WIN I was against Wamma. I'd genuinely forgotten I'd even played Wamma, so I'm not going to pretend that I remember what happened in the game. Hey wait, I beat Wamma? Awesome!
Top 4: Stark Qohor WIN A rematch against Joel! Joel, at one point, was 14-4 up... he got to 14 power twice during the game ... However, heavy military claim let me wipe out his board and march Robb and all his power off the board. From there I could steadily creep back up with power and win.
Final: Martell Wars WIN Martin didn't find a lot of the key parts to his deck, whereas I found everything I needed. The game was pretty straight forward, and I took my first win of 2018!
Some combinations in the deck:
I mostly used Meereen in the challenges phase with [Queensguard] and sometimes [Plaza of Pride]. I even managed a dream Meereen in some of my games, drawing Qotho and 2 Targ cards.
Discarding Missandei and a Second Sons for Qotho is great fun, especially when you've got Fleabottom.
Discarding Missandei for pretty much anything (Plaza of Pride, Hizdar, Qotho) is pretty awesome basically.
Using Aegon to grab Daario, then steal one of their characters, is a fun way to double your board and force them to kill something more substantial.
Using [Dothraki Honor Guard] when you've Meereen'd your cards is great; so much strength!
Freedmen are also good to discard with Qotho - a lot of people are thrown off by a surprise Qotho and just unoppose him, which means you've won by 5 strength to jump your freedmen in!
Head-banger Drogo (Drogo with Queensguard) is the absolute dream - just use him in 3 challenges a turn with all the renown is lovely :D
I hope that covers everything, sorry for my horrendous memory! Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions.
Also, should probably say thanks to Richard (hagarrr) for building the deck for me and persuading me to try HRD, ukuele for advice, thanks to my opponents for the games, to Liam and Tony and everyone for running Nationals, and to James Parsons for organising and running the Veterans event!