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Hello everyone! I am Ondrej Kubis aka Raius. This is a deck i've played at Stahleck this year and made TOP 4 with.
Here is the link for the tourney. https://thejoustingpavilion.com/tournaments/7174
I've been testing the deck for quite long time and at the end decided for this version. I've provided the deck to Martozar as well. He won smaller tourney undefeated which showed us this is a good choice. At the end he made TOP 32 as well.
What to say about the deck. There is a few non standard decisions made.
Trading with the Pentoshi This was the first choice in Barring meta. If you have enough gold to marshal the cards despite the gold penalty, you basically don't care about the plot. You have some non character shadow cards to trigger Bowels of Casterly Rock or The Knight of Flowers (AtG). Also 3 gold for opponent allow him to wider his board and therefore Valar Dohaeris hits even harder.
The First Snow of Winter is quite traditional here, but i've played Close Call for majority of time, as there is bunch of 3 copies in key characters, but it showed up to be the key card in NW Steel matchups. Close call was often just 1 card draw, as our characters doesn't die too much here.
Rest of the plots is quite self explaining.
Interesting choices might be Catspaw. It was added after i found out there is not always strength to push A Pinch of Powder by 5, but sometimes you have enough gold to return key character or just return defending character to kneel the wall etc. I still think it was good choice even when i used her just once in 10 games.
Only 1 Hired Assassin. I know he is key in Mirror, i just believed there won't be as many Shadow decks in the meta, which was right call. I lost 1 game in mirror with Tyrell KoSh, but these are mirrors. The better draw in setup / early game looses.
3 times Shadow Priestess was a difficult decision. I went with 3 instead of substitute 1 with Shrewd Diplomat. I don't like to stand the char (even if it has attachments) to allow him another challenge. It doesn't solve anything. You can just kneel the char right away before it gets the attachment. Still i believe 3 was right call.
The Knight of Flowers (AtG) in 3 copies is the decision no Shadow player i've talked with has supported and i don't know why. He is the key card. He is winning so many games, speeds the deck so well that i don't get why would i play less copies.
Varys (DitD) in 2 was the worst for me. I've never used him and i believe i could have played different card for him. He is great in Tyrell, but Lanni has other good choices (Still, 1 copy should be fine.)
Just a few shadow decks plays A Pinch of Powder. Not sure why. It was bonkers all the time. I was even considering to play 3.
Pyromancer's Cache is great. It just wort against Harrenhal (GoH), Winterfell, Dorne, The Wall (Core) and much more. Also, do not forget you can play it on your Roseroad to get 1 more draw. Such a great card (no Condition is great too).
This is quite self explaining i guess. Ask if there are some things unclear.
Never used "On a Misty Morn", but Martozar claimed it was good in his (same) deck. But we play it a bit differently, so i guess it might fit some game styles.
Some of you might be surprised by 2 Clever Feint and 2 The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due, but it was important and also great decision. With Expose Duplicity, Barring the Gates and The King in the North you can't play Shadows as it was in the old days. You need to stay on the table and fight regular games. You need bank and feint just in some situations to hide before you own Valar Morghulis or Valar Dohaeris. In majority of the games i finished before i was forced to play them. In most games i've played Valar Dohaeris just to save my own characters from Valar of my opponent. And if you misplay them, you have to accept to have them discarded by duplicity. Therefore, don't leave many cards in shadow :)
At the end, i have to say i am not the player who enjoys playing the same deck over and over again. I am trying to play different decks with all the different houses, but this one is an exception. Every game is different and it is so difficult to play. There is so many triggers and decision points i just fallen in love with it.
If you have any questions, just ask me! I will be happy to answer.
I would like to thanks to all my opponents (Especially to Sam Braatz, our game was amazing to me. I didn't believe i can win this after your first 2 rounds. For me that was the best game of the tournament)
Thanks to Martozar who helped me test a lot.
Thank you all who prepared this awesome event this year and can't wait to see you all again next year!
Hear me roar!