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Von Wibble 179
OK, a disclaimer, a bit like in Mach’s report although I can correctly claim it was the 1st place Lannister deck, the record was a merely above average 4-3. In my defence only 1 of my losses wasn’t close, and all of my losses were to players who made the top 8 or further though.
I can’t claim credit for the deck itself, only for piloting it. I was struggling for deck ideas, merely knowing that I didn’t want to take Greyjoy or Stark as playing mirror matched all day did not appeal to me. Callum Gillespie, top UK Baratheon player and top bloke in general, gave me this deck based on a decent Stahleck deck. I just made a few tweaks to the draw deck, removing 2 Tyrion for 1 Lancel and 1 King Joffrey. Lancel was great all day, Joffrey was fine the 1 time I saw him. I also added a 61st card (UK hollow meta, right!) – a single copy of the Regent’s Guard, intended to provide a little attachment control and to get King Joffrey back to hand. For plots, the deck ran Riddle originally, and I changed it to Gates because I wanted to be certain of getting the early Great Hall. There were a couple of games where my opponent did not open with Gates, and I faced Martell twice, where Riddle can be a liability, so I think it was the right call.
Game 1 – Kevin Richardson: Martell Hollow Hill – Win On setup I partied like it was 2015 with Tywin, reducer, Roseroad, and I marshalled a dupe for Tywin plus Lancel, prompting a question I faced a lot on the day “does he copy printed strength?” The answer to that is “no”, he’s really good with Tywin! I faced an empty board through challenges, gaining some easy power but having Treachery taken from my hand by His Viper Eyes. Varys then turned up in dom, but I was able to use Gifts to find a Bodyguard for Lancel, forcing Kevin to use Valar M rather than Marched if he wanted to get rid of Tywin. Kevin did do this but I had other big characters ready to accrue power and slowly did this over the course of the game. Kevin used Annals to try to get back into the game, playing out Varys again, but he didn’t find the 2 copies of Hand’s Judgement needed to stop the Nightmares and Treachery, and Kevin conceded at this point.
Game 2 – Bambi: Baratheon Crossing – Win I made a mistake, mulliganing a single 7 coster on setup which I should have kept – Bara Crossing surely won’t run Marched? My punishment for this error was a 3 card, 2 gold flop, and even though I was able to marshall out Cersei round 1 I couldn’t chance getting any power on the house card so did no challenges, limiting Bambi to 4 or so power round 1. I played defensively for the next couple of rounds, using Nightmares on core Bob to help slow Bambi down, then was able to use Valar D to even the boards out. At this point I had Tywin with Queensguard out, and it turns out that he beats Bob fairly comfortably in challenges, so I was able to grind out the win.
Game 3 – Callum Gillespie: Baratheon Alliance (Qohor Stag) – Loss Fair enough that I lost to Callum given that he gave me this deck. Callum started strongly with a buffed up Cortnay Penrose, who was also King at the Wall, and I used up all my Treacheries slowing him down – in plot 1 I had a small board and couldn’t afford to let him stand to do a military at me, in plots 2 and 3 Callum was low on cards and I wanted him to stay that way. The game turned in my favour when I saw Ilyn and Plaza (sadly not Kingsguard), this killed a Ghost of High Heart and a tricon Hedge Knight. Not surprisingly Callum used his agenda to Milk Ilyn though, and although I came close to doing a lot of damage to his board on the You Win or You Die turn my Tywin and Hound were just 1 strength short on the military challenge against Cortnay and Bob. The Bastard of Nightsong also did some sterling work in removing my power and I conceded in the last plot, I think Callum would have won 10-8.
Game 4 – Fabien: Martell Hollow Hill – Win This is the game I remember the least, though it was a really good game, very close to the end. Lowlights for me were seeing Fabien draw 7 cards and gain 7 power in the penultimate round of the game from Martell events, as well as putting Beguiled on my Kingsguard Tywin. Highlights were seeing Joffrey for the only time all day and using him to kill a Host of the Boneway, and having Tywin and Lancel “printed strength?” Lannister out at 16 strength each – I closed out the game with a military challenge from these and Jorah, and Tywin had 10 power on him at the end!
Game 5 – Patrick Koller: Greyjoy Sea of Blood – Win Happily I had avoided Greyjoy and Stark so far, but I needn’t have worried as in this game I executed my plan against these factions perfectly – be lucky! Whilst I had high military strength characters available from the start, Patrick saw a total of 4 characters all game – Euron, Qarl, Navigator and reducer chud. None of these characters have high strength and I defended his challenges for the first 2 rounds before getting duped Tywin with Queensguard out. Patrick conceded soon after.
Game 6 – Joe Harrison: Greyjoy Crossing – Loss I got a good start with Ilyn killing Theon – even though I did have to use Gifts to fetch Queensguard when the first attempt was cancelled by Vince. This left Joe with just duped King Balon, who was Marched next turn. Fortunately for him, Joe had played out the King in the North plot 2, and topdecked his 3rd Balon. I made the mistake of not going for military to remove Joe’s saves, and in a couple of rounds Joe played Valar M, saving Balon and 7 cost Vic and wiping my board. I did have the economy to recover and I did have a power lead, so the game came down to who won initiative on the final plot – and it was Joe, who used Grey Ghost to ensure I couldn’t defend and closed the game out.
Top 16 – James Waumsley: Stark Fealty – Loss James has covered this game already, basically I lost on the mulligan where I set up Gregor and Bodyguard, facing Rickon and Wyman. I should have went for the double Marched but didn’t, and opened Gates. Tempted as James was to use Rickon to cancel this, he decided against this and Gregor and Rickon went to the Wall. Both came back a couple of plots later, I like to think their adventures would have been a great story. In the game, James has Dacey out early and a board of 5+ characters at all times, plus Winterfell. Although I put up some resistance with Queensguard Daario wielding Widow’s Wail, it wasn’t enough. I was about 10-5 down and facing Fast Eddy and core Arya by now, and I conceded to join the melee as James was going to win in 2 plots at most.
The only change I would definitely make to the draw deck would be to remove Gates of the Moon (I fetched a Great Hall every time with At the Gates) for a 3rd Gold Mine. Because I never remember to trigger them, I personally would remove Freedmen, probably for a Tommen and a 3rd Second Sons. With plots I could consider finding room for a 2nd Marched, and when Siege Preparations comes out I will be running it, it is perfect for this deck.
Thanks to all my opponents in joust and melee, every game was enjoyable even if some were more tense than others! Thanks to Tony and George for running the event smoothly. Thanks to the Northampton meta for adopting me over the last few years with the slow death of the game in Stoke – a great showing with the top Greyjoy, Baratheon, and Nights Watch players in Richard, Callum, and Dan, as well as being an acceptable bunch of humans. I don’t care what people say about you all, I think you’re OK ;)