Too-fat-to-sit-a-horse - 1st @ Stahleck Joust

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SGE 127

Hi everyone, this is Sebastian.

Maybe some of you are interested in the deck that took this years Stahleck Joust, going 12-2. First I have to say, that the deck was built by my friend and teammate Niki (YuleOoze) so honestly all the credits to the construction go to him. The knowledge profit my be limited, because this was probably the last major tournament without the new Targ box, but I will share some of our thoughts during the preparation for the event. The weeks before the tournament we were building and testing lots of decks. After the restriction of Dorne was canceled, I was focused on Martell, whereas Niki tried to make his last years Top 32 Stahleck Deck (Lanni-Dragon) work again. But the more games we had under our belt, we agreed that we wanted to play a versatile goodstuff deck that had good matchups against SoB, Bara Qohor and NW Steel (those were the Decks we expected to be very popular) and was not hopeless against Shadow. And so the idea to play House Stark was born. We tested different agendas, because I wanted to abuse the card drawing potential of Valyrian Steel, but Niki concentrated pretty fast on Fealty and he was right about it. The Deck draws so many cards with Wyman anyway, the bonus Econ makes it very reliable and because of not playing 75 cards you can find your key cards much easier right from the start.

I will just give you a few thoughts about some not so obvious card and plot choices.

Rickon: We absolutely wanted play him three times (along with his slighly larger brother) and he was a real MVP of the Deck beeing so incredibly good against Qohor, SoB, Gifts for the widow, everybody opening with At the Gates... The list is endless.

Fat Cat: The main reason that drew us to the big old lady of Winterfell was, that she was Yoren proof. In general all the key characters of the deck cost 6 or more and therefore can´t be stolen by the annoying crow. Almost all of the middle prized characters are one offs or not unique, so you will not draw dead cards even if one gets taken by the opponent. Fatty Catty also gives you a good way to win on a crowded board or outrace the Wall by gaining passive power.

Arya´s Gift: A way to bring the deck in real trouble is an early Milk of the Poppy on one of your big guys, especially the almighty Wyman Manderly so we wanted to have a way to get rid of it. In times of Valyrian Steel it was a good inclusion anyway and even against Shadow it can move a Pinch of Powder.

Winter Festival: When Niki showed me the list, I was like "there has to be something better", but I am very glad that I recognized during testing that I was wrong. We wanted to play a secound Winter Plot besides the obvious Barring, to let us trigger stuff during our own Winterfell activations and it was definetly the right choice. In 14 games I got the bonus Power 13 times and the two Power advantage is huge in a deck that can generate power very fast, putting pressure on the opponent and forcing him to play a reset.

Wildfire Assault: So this was the reset of our choice for several reasons. If the opposing board gets overloaded, it will get hard for you to push through your power challenges. Moreover it is another option (besides Return to the field) to trigger Fat Cat during the plot phase, collecting the last two power. The most important reason was, that it is the ideal counter to the omnipresent Return to the fields and can really punish your opponents playing YWOYD into Return.

So I will not bore you with plays from all 14 rounds since this is getting longer and longer, but since it was recorded, I would like to say a few things about the final against JCWamma. Firstly I have no idea if I would have been able to beat him, if he would´t have had the worst draw that is imaginable. Probably not. I was so far ahead from the start that I didn´t ask myself "how can I win it" but "how can I possibly lose this one". This was the reason I did not play Nightmares on Wammas Gates of the Moon during plot 3 as it was recommended by the commentators. Maybe it was a bit hard to see, but James had a card in Shadow and I assumed it to be Janos Slynt. This meant that he would be able to win a challenge in the offense, to fire his Bound for the Wall. Because the characters I wanted to play only allowed me to save one gold, I decided that playing the No Surprises would be more important than denying him to gold, because him hitting Fat Cat or Robb was probably the only option to turn the tide. And I think I was right about that. In the Barring the Gates turn we forgot to check our handsize during the Taxation Phase. Neither James, me, nor the judges sitting at the table noticed it. Although the line of play (James playing Valar M, me playing Return to the fields) was crystal clear and I think I had no real advantage because of this, this is a mistake that shouldn´t have happened and I have to apologize for it. And to all who were asking themself, why I dind´t play the Fat Cat during the YWOYD turn and win in marshalling: after all those hours and so close to the goal, somehow I thought it would be saver to attack for Power with three times Renown and Claim 2 under the protection of Winterfell to seal the deal. For all who want to blame me for that: we can talk about it, after you play your 14th competitive game of GoT in 28 hours which is by the way the Final of Stahleck ;)

Lastly allow me a few words of gratitude.

I would like to thank my Bro Niki for building this deck and like always sharing it with me. Without you this would not have been possible, so this win is yours as much as it is mine. Big thanks to all my friends for their incredible support. All my opponents have been great and fair through the weekend, but I have to highlight JCWamma. It was an honour to play the final against him. And although he had all reason to be disappointed about his bad luck when it really mattered, he applauded for me. If anyone needs a lesson in sportsmanship and character I know the right man for that. And last but not least I would like to thank the whole team who makes the Stahleck experience possible and invests time and money to create this event for the game we all love. I hope the story continues for a long long time.

So this is it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

See you round.

And don´t forget. Winter is coming...

19 comentarios

YuleOoze 111

Great player, great deck and (even more important) a dear good friend! :) Congratulations on your incredible performance!

It was such a pleasure to watch you crush your opponents with our deck, that I almost forgot how frustrating it was to miss this year's cut after starting 5-1. :P

Now we can focus on the new meta and hopefully find a way to handle all these totally absurd Targaryen cards! :D

jeermaster 764

Congratulations again! Hope to see you again next year. =)

samsara03 1

Congratulations! Salute to the pilot @SGE & The designer @YuleOoze. Would you guys give me some hints here:

  1. Core Robb & no wolf king = exposure to TKITN. How Do you deal with it in such a 'kings' meta (bara & targ)?
  2. Everybody plays at least 1 Barring as shadow hate. Is it a trouble with Heir to the Ironthrone? And she-bear, unlike VS, you have no expensive attachment to bring in hence she-bear is limited in the Barring turn.

Appreciated and applause again!

samsara03 1

And one. I usually rely on core Cat and she-bear to deal with the Free Folks. How do this deck play with it?

YuleOoze 111

@samsara03It's true that KitN can sometimes be a problem, but during testing it turned out that the impact wasn't so bad most of the time. If you manage to hit with Winter Festival here, you can still get 2 passive power and don't lose too much tempo. Fitting in Wolf King wasn't really an option as you simply don't have the space. Unfortunately, I lost my own win-and-in match due to king plot in the end.

About Catelyn Stark: For us Fat Cat was the only way to go as she supports the game plan so incredibly well! I have never considered to tech against FF to be honest... :D

You open with Heir most of the time. That's why Barring the Gates normally isn't too much of a problem, because people want to build up their own board in P1.

She-Bear was in the deck as a 1, but finally had to make way for the third copy of Summer (another centerpiece of the deck).

TRYHRDRf1sh 1

THE NORTH REMEMBERS! ... The things I remember (in chronological order):

  • Quote @SGE "I know Stark Fealty is a good deck. I just can't play it. Or I am too stupid. I don't know. I won't play that again." (right after Stahleck 2018)

  • waking up on Sunday morning. Refreshing joustingpavillion, seeing all blue Ws... "nah... stupid internet fooling me again ..." *refresh jousting pavilion "WTF"

  • telling my wife "He's only gonna lose if he has a stroke." (during the final)

  • I also remember recommending that She-Bear @YuleOoze - I also remember that was the red wine talking... OF COURSE it was 3rd Summer...

Congratulations again m8! Make sure Berni remembers to build that statue!

SergSel 31

Congrats! Did you miss Frozen Solid? Or you were just to quick for locations to mess up the tempo for you?

SGE 127

@SergSel Actually the Frozen Solid was the card we were discussing heavily even until the night of the event. As it turned out, the new Throne can be a bit of a problem. I think I had to play against it in at least 6 rounds. If I had to change anything I would squeeze in a copy of Lay Siege or maybe even two. It´s better than Frozen in my oppinion atm.

@TRYHRDRf1shYes I can remeber saying that in 2018 very well^^And maybe this year, before the tournament, there were some things said about getting a tattoo if I am able to win this. Fortunately I can´t remeber that any more...^^But we will see.

SGE 127

@samsara03 With Barring everywhere Heir to the Iron Throne can be risky, this is why I openend with it whenever my board and hand allowed it, because many people tend to play Barring on Plot 2, but obvl. noone can open with it.

samsara03 1

@YuleOoze @SGEThe opening tech is really tricky here. So basically you looking for bran/rickon/other chuds more favorable than big guys in setups? and what do you think about Smallfolk Mob? could it be a 1?

Ratatoskr 62

I didn't have the chance to congratulate you in person yet, so I'll do it here. Fantastic performance, SGE. Happy for you.

SGE 127

@SGEHm its hard to say, but I think you have to make a few games to get a feeling for it. I mean when you open with, lets say a duped Wyman or Robb or a Ricken, then At the Gates is likely the right play. But in general setting up two or three smalls and Econ is good too, because of the Heir to the Iron Throne. Sometimes you would actually like another discard outlet than Wyman to trigger Robb at will, but I don´t think its worth it, because I don´t think you would want to cut one of the Chars for a mediocre card like Smallfolk Mob.

SGE 127

@RatatoskrThank you very much!

YuleOoze 111

@samsara03The opening tech is one of the many things that makes the deck so viable. With six 1-costers you also have a good chance to set up a duped big plus econ and/or chud. In this case you normally don't want to open with Heir. The character combination felt just perfect during testing with third Summer being the last debatable card. As Basti stated above, you really don't want to play mediocre cards to randomly have another way to sacrifice one char or kill a card that comes out of shadows.

@SergSelThat's what it's all about: Kill-Speed! :P And we decided you are better off with Nightmares in the current meta.

Ratatoskr 62

There is an argument to be made that you're always better off with Nightmares than with not-Nightmares. ;)

Diomedes 2278

Congrats again! Rickon best man! ;)

SGE 127

@DiomedesThank you! And he will not get worse... Already looking forward to cancel the first "The Prince who came to late" with him... ;)

samsara03 1

@YuleOoze @SGE thank you for all the insights. I'm convinced about the smallfolk thing. What made your choice that No Surprises over The Hand's Judgment ? And could Fear Cuts Deeper Than Swords be a 1, considering Ser Robert Strong Poisoned Coin Melisandre (Core) & Yoren (TB)?

SGE 127

@samsara03Well No Surprises ist just incredibly good against Shadow. If you are able to fire one during the challenge phase, it can buy you a wohle turn. But also against NW it can prevent Bound for just one gold, it is very, very good against Targ Burn, etc. Fear cuts Deeper has a nice effect, but obvl. you will almost never have two gold to spare.