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|Rose plus Lion; Knights & Ladies||0||0||3||1.0|
This is a deck I put together for team Tyrell for Jesse's Name Day. James and Natalia ended up playing it, and Natalia had by far her best tournament performance to date. She came one win short of the cut after losing her potentially 5th-win-game to cards in deck (2 cards short).
DECK ORIGINATION AND CONCEPT
One of my favorite plots that I've never quite gotten to work is Name Day Tourney. It has decent stats and has the potential to generate 3+ power, putting it in similar territory with plots like Heads on Spikes or Winter Festival. Team Tyrell was already exploring The Lord of the Crossing, but I wanted to see if I could make a rush deck out of a different agenda. And since we were prepping for Jesse's Name Day, it seemed like the right time to take a close look at Name Day Tourney.
Name Day Tourney really shines when you can use it as an opener. In a rush deck, you want to start grabbing power ASAP. And boards are usually pretty small on turn 1, making it a lot easier to win challenges with a solo knight. With the goal of playing Name Day Tourney on turn 1 (and ideally turn 2), it was apparent that the best agenda is Kings of Summer. Not only does the agenda provide an extra gold, but the +1 reserve can make a big difference when opening with a 5 reserve plot. Plus, we already have a lot of summer synergies via Knight of Summer, Arbor Vineyard, and Ser Robar Royce.
Name Day Tourney - The whole deck is built around this plot and winning challenges with a single knight. Every character is either a knight, a lady, or a Highgarden Courtier (who can stand a knight). As an opener, the 4 initiative allows you to go second, which means you can choose which challenges to defend (and trigger the plot) on defense, and then you can swing back and pick and choose which challenges you can win. Everything should be focused on maximizing the plot. Claim barely matters at all. If all goes as planned, you should be able to get 3+ power on both turn 1 and turn 2. Combined with the abundance of renown and maybe a Lady Sansa's Rose, it is very common to be at 10-15 power by the end of turn 2.
Compelled by the Faith - Almost all of our power is going onto characters. It would be a shame to lose it all. Compelled by the Faith should almost always be your turn 3 plot, and this deck would not function without it.
The Knight of Flowers (Core) - Loras is an absolute workhorse. He's obviously a knight, has renown, and his ability fits perfectly into our game plan. But perhaps more importantly, he's a lord who can be duped and cannot be Warded. Name Day Tourney only works if you have somewhere safe to store the power, and Loras is the best target for that. Ser Garlan Tyrell (OR) is also quite good, but doesn't have the attacking-alone ability and is vulnerable to Ward. Similarly, Brienne of Tarth (GoH) can be a great power bank, but she is missing the crucial knight trait.
Knight of Summer, Ser Jon Fossoway, Knight of the Reach - These guys are all very efficient characters that can generate power on their own. If we can go from 1 power per challenge (from Name Day Tourney) to 2 power per challenge (via renown or quasi-renown), it becomes very viable to get to 15 power on Turn 2 even without Lady Sansa's Rose.
Jousting Pavilion, Growing Strong, Highgarden Courtier, and Margaery Tyrell (Core) - This suite of cards makes it easy to win challenges with a single knight, and the Highgarden Courtiers can give you effectively another 6-10 STR knight with renown, but for only 2 gold. All it takes is a Courtier and a Jousting Pavilion and you can use The Knight of Flowers (Core) in two challenges.
Mare in Heat and Tourney Lance - These attachments make it a lot easier to win challenges with a single knight. The Lances are obviously best on offense, while the Mares can be incredible on defense. Even if they send in 3 characters on a challenge, you can defend with one knight, remove the biggest one with Mare in Heat, and maybe even remove another one with Offer of a Peach.
Once you get past the 2x Name Day Tourney and Compelled by the Faith, the plot deck is actually fairly flexible. You should generally try to have as many summer plots as possible, but otherwise there are no hard and fast rules. Here are my suggestions:
The Reset - Duel, Valar Dohaeris, or Valar Morghulis - For the tournament we went with Duel as our reset of choice. It's not something that people would expect out of a Tyrell Summer deck. Plus, sometimes you don't need a full reset. Often, one turn without your opponent's 2 bigs is enough time to close the game. But this is very meta dependent, and either Valar could work in the right situation.
The Closer - A Tourney for the King, You Win Or You Die, or Forced March - You want at least one plot with 8+ initiative for that turn where you need to get over the finish line. We went with A Tourney for the King because of the summer synergy, but it's not an obvious choice. Sometimes you can get 10+ power with the plot, but most often it is just for the initiative, summer trait, and occasionally immune to events.
Card Draw - Exchange of Information, You Win Or You Die, Close Call, or Counting Coppers - Other than Pleasure Barge and Alerie Tyrell, there is no card draw in the draw deck. You absolutely need at least one plot that gives you cards. I think Coppers is too much of a tempo hit and Close Call is insufficient, so Exchange of Information seems like the best at the moment. The spread of locations, events, and attachments should typically give you at least 3 cards.
Flex Plot - Trade Routes or Wardens of the South - I reeeeaaally wanted to get Wardens of the South in this deck because it fits with so many of our synergies (winning alone, standing with Highgarden Courtier, summer trait). But at the end of the day, having a good econ plot in Trade Routes proved to be more consistent.
GENERAL STRATEGY TIPS:
You should typically play Name Day Tourney T1 and T2. These provide good gold and it's easier to trigger the reaction while the boards are still relatively small. T3 should be Compelled by the Faith unless most of your power is protected by dupes.
On the Name Day Tourney turns, use these strategies:
- Make sure you have a lord/lady in play, ideally duped, to put all the power on. Don't be afraid to use Pleasure Barge to dig for dupes. Be mindful against Stark that Ward could steal all of your power unless it's on KoF or Brienne.
- Try to avoid playing 2 ladies (even Brienne), because that means you have fewer knights.
- Get as many knights in play as you can. Renown or other power gain is preferred. If you have Jousting Pavilion and/or Growing Strong, Highgarden Courtiers are great to give you "extra knights" for only 2g.
- Generally go second unless they can wreck your board. You don't care about winning challenges on offense (except power if they have any). You get as much power from winning on defense as you do on offense. By going second, you can defend what you need to, then swing back and get the easy/undefended challenges that you can win with solo knights.
- If you are going 2nd on T1, let them get an unopposed so you can swing back for power claim.
- You want to trigger your plot as much as possible. So, generally don't defend unless you can win the challenge with just 1 knight. Only make challenges with 1 knight unless you can get more power with a different strategy.
- If you have a Lady Sansa's Rose, try to trigger it on a duped knight (if possible).
A few other random tips and tricks:
- Ser Hyle Hunt is great vs Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) (and many others).
- With Jousting Pavilion, you can trigger Highgarden Courtier on any knight when they declare alone.
- Offer of a Peach is amazing against characters that are already standing. If your opponent is attacking with someone that might stand (Victarion, Euron/Silence, Plaza of Pride, etc.), try to wait until after they stand the character before you use Offer of a Peach.
I recorded a few games on Ironthrone as a training tool for the people on our team. If you're looking for some video content, go ahead and check them out:
I'm pretty happy with how this deck turned out, and I was super excited to see how well Natalia did with it at Jesse's Name Day. This is a very focused deck. If it doesn't get too disrupted, it can very consistently generate 10+ power by turn 2 and just blow some people out. But also because it is so focused, there isn't much room for good stuff cards like Nightmares or The Hand's Judgment. So there will absolutely be games where you can't disrupt your opponent's game plan enough and you feel somewhat helpless.
I haven't thought too much about this deck's potential going forward. One obvious card that could fit nicely is Arrogant Contender, but I haven't had a chance to try him. At first glance I suspect he will be a slightly more expensive Ser Jon Fossoway or Knight of Summer.
One other amusing side note about this deck is that it is 100% Tyrell cards. Outside of possibly Stark, I don't think I've ever made or seen a deck that had no neutral cards in it. Also, none of the plots are the usual standard fare. So if you are looking for a deck for a Trial of 3 format or maybe an extra deck that you can build without competing for popular cards, this is the deck for you.
As always, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions or have any tournament success with the deck!