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|30 Identical Wet Bearded Bois- 5th US Nationals (7-2)||11||6||1||1.0|
Guess who just got back today?
Them wet bearded boys that had been away
Agenda changed but much fun to play
And man, I still think Vince is crazy
The damp dudes got to have another beach party this weekend at Dance With Dragons V thanks to the event’s tweaked restricted list that set the Drowned Disciple free. I didn’t initially set out to get the band back together, but on Thursday night I was still stuck for ideas and thought I’d give the RL one last comb over. Given my fondness for these soggy bois and the possibility that this would be the last chance I’d get to play with the Disciple off the RL, I thought it was worth tinkering with.
I never really considered going back to Banner Sun for a couple reasons- first, the negative attachments that really made up most of the package were well timed for the GJ big dude & Stark good stuff meta of last summer and early fall, but seemed like they would be considerably less useful in an environment with a lot of shadows and attrition. More importantly, as strong as the Desert Raider is in general and as well as it synergizes with the Disciples, it pales in both regards in comparison to the Fanatic, which absolutely shines in a shadows heavy environment.
Running Prince as the agenda has the obvious downside of meaning your Disciples can only put power on Tarle the Thicc, which of course slows the passive power gain that would be typical of a Drowned God deck. On the other hand, the upside is that you can tutor your key piece and also recur him from the dead pile if your opponent manages to kill him. You can also get Tarle back with Old Wyk if he’s the top character of your dead pile (sometimes this will mean you skip a Nagga's Ribs trigger to keep him at the top) and you can win by 5. Three different times on the day I had an opponent kill Tarle on their attack as first player, only for me to swing back and have him return to my hand from Old Wyk as well as tutor a dupe for him off the Prince trigger.
Functionally, this makes Aeron (arguably the dampest dude in the Banner Sun deck) something of an afterthought here- Tarle provides better card advantage and isn't nearly as fragile. It also makes the Priests) much more important than they would be normally. They’re another extremely strong hit for Old Wyk if you can set your dead pile up for them.
I ran a high initiative plot line to try and press the attack, which was mostly successful. Fallen from Favor was a poor substitute for Return, it would do better as Loan from the Iron Bank or LSF. Weapons at the Door wasn’t terribly useful, although the initiative did its job. A City Besieged was an incredible value on the day, kneeling a steady stream of Red Keeps and a handful of other useful locations, winning initiative, and forcing opponents to defend what otherwise would be chump military challenges.
Priest of Old Wyk was a placeholder that I meant to swap out before submitting my decklist, but I just forgot ¯_(ツ)_/¯ A 3rd Iron Throne (LMHR) or a 2nd Soup would both be excellent substitutions. The 2 Pinches didn’t wind up being much use in so many shadows matchups, but I still like them a lot for the surprise play of returning Vince to hand. I apologize for the lack of a match report here, but after 12 hours in front of the laptop my brain really turned to jelly. If you’re so inclined you can watch the whole tournament here, I know my top 4 game vs Tom made it on stream as well as the final of course: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/577501171
Congratulations to Adamo for the well earned win- he brought an innovative, interesting deck and played it perfectly. As much of a bummer as it was to lead that game for 80+ minutes and not walk away with the title, the match was intense and a ton of fun. A massive thank you to Chris & everyone else with the NECT for doing a great job running this event- a single day tourney on throneteki of this size was uncharted territory, but they pulled it off without a hitch. Thanks to Ebrey for deciding he’d rather do something else with his evening so that I wound up bubbling into the cut. Thanks also to Roy, Alex, and Mira for 12 hours of commentary, managing to be interesting and insightful while speaking off the cuff for a full half day is one hell of a feat. And lastly, thanks to the Powerhouse for being a constant source of solid deck advice and spiritual uplift.