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I've been toying around Drowned God decks for at least six months now but I have never taken then into a tournament. Even the decks hasn't been there yet or there hasn't been a tournament when I would have liked to take it. Luckily Finnish regionals were postponed from Fracas weekend for later occasion since the kit didn't arrive early enough and I was able to go. I was thinking about takings Stark Crossing because I really like how the deck plays and I love I Am No One. However I decided it's now or never for the drowned gods and took them.
Finnish regionals were held in Turku where I've never been in the cut. Playing my Baltic league game day before where my drowned god deck got wrecked by Lanni Crossing day earlier didn't get my confidence any higher. Also I'm usually paired against Seppo - a strong Finnish player - for the first round and it's been a a while since I last beat him. Luckily I had my bye with me from the only joust tournament I've ever won (8 person Store Champ) which would help me dodge Seppo for the first round.
First round - BYE - a win
No Seppo for the first round but a by which allowed me to wake up properly.
Second round - Antti V - Lanni Dragon
Lanni Dragon sounds like a flash from the past. However I knew Queensguard is out and had seem Jim Hansen's deck which abuses Queensguard and Ser Ilyn Payne. Antti's deck did just that and later finished the game with Queensguard Tywin Lannister (Core). Both of us had a good setup and I was feeling confident. However probably in plot 2 Antti decided bring out Ser Ilyn Payne and hack my duped Aeron Damphair (Core). I got greedy, saved Damphair with a dupe and but the dupe in the dead pile to bring it back with Old Wyk. After that Antti marshaled Queensguard and started hacking Damphairs head off through my saves. I counted I can't keep him live until challenges to bring back the dupe and let him die.
The game was still pretty even but when my Summons missed Tarle the Thrice-Drowned and my Drowned Disciple was buried too deep in the dead pile there was no coming back for me. Antti did perfect job to play Marched into my Confiscation to March Ilyn and save Queensguard for Tywin Lannister (Core). That was the end of the game since he had found dupe for Tywin and my Valar would do nothing. Good game and well played Antti!
Third round - Henri - Targ Crossing
Going to lunch break knowing I'm playing Henri next didn't get my confidence going. Henri is a strong player that piloted Targ Crossing to a 2nd place in Stahleck last year. I had lost to last games with my deck clearly and felt like Targ Crossing might be too fast for me. However I talked with Seppo during lunch about it and he said just have a good Valar Morghulis and use your Drowned God Fanatics well you should be ok.
In the game both of us had a decent setup got our thing going. I had Stony Shore Raider which kept Henri's Plaza of Pride in control and I forced him to use Waking the Dragon to get 3 challenges through which left him with empty board for plot too. Of course this is no problem for Targ (he had Flea Bottom and Second Sons too). Luckily I still had a trigger with my Stony Shore Raider to slow him down and I hoarded power with the passive Drowned god stuff. We were both pretty close for the win in plot 3. He was probably around 8 or 9 power and I had something like 12. Choosing plots I decided to go with Uneasy Truce since it would lock him from doing challenges and I might win with drowned god stuff. He chose to go with You Win Or You Die to finish the game. However me being so close to winning it wasn't enough. He made a small mistake of not knowing the power from Uneasy Truce goes to my faction and not just of from he's faction. That sealed the game but I would have probably squeezed the win anyway since he wasn't able to win Power challenge with -1 from Crossing.
Fourth round - Ismo - Martell Crossing
Ismo is my meta mate and knew what his deck is about to do. It punishes opponent from making challenges with icon removal and The Boneway and then comes back with his own challenges. Unfortunately my passive power deck is almost a hard counter against Ismo's deck. When he ended up having a bad setup against my good setup the game was quickly over. I think I won 1 challenge in the game but still finished it third round with help from Uneasy Truce.
Top 4 - Marcus - Targ Crossing
With 3-1 it was not sure to be in top 4 since there was 4 byes first round. However my meta mate Joni had a mod win and was left 5th this time and I was through. It was 3 guys from Helsinki and me representing Tampere against them.
It was another Targ Crossing then. I knew Marcus always likes to have some burn so I expected it. The game was really tight and both of us had a decent start. The power game was also pretty even Marcus being slightly ahead of me. I played Uneasy Truce third plot and he decided to sit that turn. I think I played Valar Morghulis next which was slightly surprising for Marcus. I didn't get a huge advantage out of it anyway, since the last turn he kept his draw and had a The Kingsroad to come back with. I made a mistake of not kneeling it with my Stony Shore Raider.
Next plot Marcus was really close winning it with help of You Win Or You Die. He god two renowns with Ser Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis with help of Dracarys! in the first challenge. He did intrigue next to get one more renown and got to 14. However with help of Nagga's Ribs and Driftwood Cudgel I managed to defend the power 17 against 18 or something. Some people said Marcus could have won if he did the intrigue last but I'm not sure. He also missed one renown on Daario earlier as I missed one Drowned Disciple trigger. I think I might have stolen it with Superior Claim if he made power second. The game was recorded so if Kari uploads it somewhere we are able to look back.
I also debated saving Balon Greyjoy (CtA) during the military challenge and spent my last save for him. Them I realised Marcus is probably going to play Valar Morghulis next and my Tarle the Thrice-Drowned was unprotected with 7 power or something. I decided to go with Ghosts of Harrenhal being in 12 or 13 power. So he did play Valar M and I decided to go first. I should have taken Ghosts first, react from Drowned Disciple, interrupt with Acolyte of the Waves and interrupt with Driftwood Cudgel on Tarle to win before anyone dies. Somehow I was not clear about the timings that moment even you should know this when playing Drowned God. Instead I chose Valar go off first and brought back Balon Greyjoy (CtA) and he brought back Daario Naharis and had Ser Jorah Mormont with two power and two betrayal tokens. I knew I get 2 challenges out of Balon and top decked a drowned go chud so it looked good. Marcus topdecked worse and I won the games next turn.
Really tight game with complicated boards and lot of triggers and decision points which equals good thrones for me. Of course some mistakes too but that happens from time to time. Knowing your triggers and timings are part of the game as well as strategic decision points.
Final - Seppo - Greyjoy Crossing
I managed to dodge my nemesis until the final. I had a decent setup and Seppo mulliganed into great setup. I think after turn 1 marshaling he had Balon Greyjoy (Core), Great Kraken and maybe Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) too. He sealed the deal with We Do Not Sow on my Nagga's Ribs and fetching The Seastone Chair with Support of the People. And even though I played Uneasy Truce early he still profited from making three challenges and it was gg. I think Seppo's deck is really good against drowned god and in general too. Deserved winner and I rather lose to him in a final than first round :)
Looking back I would make some changes. I would cut Newly-Made Lord and add another copy of Stony Shore Raider. They are just great. Some people might think why do I run Superior Claim but I like to have a backup victory condition for Drowned Disciples. Winning dom and power challenges seems goo. With Driftwood Cudgel and Old Wyk getting Superior Claim triggers are often pretty easy. It's a nice deck that needs more practice I was willing to do but I learned during the tournament. I would definitely play it better next time but maybe it's not just fun enough for me at the moment. I like it in an environment of control decks since it's harder to control but in a rush environment it seems to be slightly NPE with Uneasy Truce and passive power gain.