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"Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him." - Doran Martell
This is a rush deck which gains its strength in combining various power-gain techniques to dominate the seven kingdoms, and most importantly, your opponent. From triple intimidate turns, to 3 claims challenges, to potential 15 power gain in a single turn; this deck can surprise many people, and has been my bread & butter success deck for quite some time.
With his fast power-gain, STR pump, and deadly Sand Snakes, the Bastard Viper is an absolutely incredible target for a prince, and can make it quite difficult for any opponent to get past you, or even hit back at all. When you add other combos into the mix (further down), he, along with his unique line-up of bastards, can absolutely dominate any game thrown at him before the opponent even knows that's happening.
- Great Hall (R) if you have any 6 cost characters in hand (especially Big Arianne to get re-use value out of it)
- Gates of the Moon in most scenarios, as you're trying to rush & spam cheap characters as quickly as possible
- The Kingsroad as a backup, rush-y option.
META NOTE (17th November 2021): The currently popular Gulltown route was tested here, but didn't actually seem necessary. Adding that, plus City Festival & City Festival 2: Electric Boogaloo, is always a viable option in though, so edit if you wish.
After this standard turn 1, its almost entirely situational:
- Late Summer Feast is usually my turn 2 choice, mostly to get a big body or many Bastards onto the board.
- Wildfire Assault & A City Besieged for high initiative or specific scenarios (location kneel, or utilizing Kill Me #1 or Kill Me #2)
- Confiscation has found countless use with clearing milks off key characters, or location blanks.
- Siege Preparations is probably the most flexible plot slot here, however I just enjoyed having some emergency draw available, plus it works well with Dorne & Port reserve boost. If Exchange of Information can ever be played with AtG again, use that instead.
Cards & Combos
The Red Viper (SoD) + The Mountain's Skull - The reaction of this attachment is almost never used (however Tyene does make it possible), but the passive is extremely perfect for this Viper. An extra +2 STR, along with the repeatable renown to boost his power gain (and in term, Strength) is incredible value in this deck. It can also be reduced if you manage to find Definitely-Not-Broken Gardens, and can be used as an emergency +2 STR for other characters to win power by 5.
To The Spears! - By the time you find this event, it is usually at the point where you have what you need in order to dominate the game. It is extremely useful mid-game in re-using vital keywords (Intimidate, Insight, Stealth), game-defining abilities (Elia, Darkstar, Viper), or a game-winning turn. As an example, if you have your prince, Elia, and any other Sand Snakes on the board, you can play your "Go away Winterfell" plot & do insane amounts of damage with this event.
Arianne Martell (JtO), Prince's Attendant, Great Hall (R) - This Arianne is extremely useful in this deck, being a natural 5 STR body for when is unopposed from icon removal, and a natural form of draw through insight. The ability helps by either winning a challenge by a certain STR (PtwP/DG) or removing a key character. Additionally, she is a bit of a Milk sponge, keeping your Viper clean from the harmful substances. Attendant and Great Hall greatly assist with her downside; 7 Cost.
Lay Waste - Generally used to clear milks, this can also be used right before a big swing turn by wasting an un-needed location or attachment (such as Dorne (R) when you intend to go first & win) to fetch a Starfall, Skull, Dawn or Condemned.
Obara Sand (Core) - The general strategy is getting as many Bastards out as quickly as possible, and this Obara is an efficient 3-3 body, with the ability to help trigger PtwP on defence; fitting perfectly into this strategy. You may still find value in Box Obara, especially considering you're not running Core Arianne & have Tyene available to put a 5 coster into play, however I felt this one was actually more useful for a lower-cost curve slot.
Bastard Daughter/Desert Raider (R) + Wildfire Assault - As mentioned above, this is a lovely combo to trigger some cards that you want killed, plus it gives you the high initiative to go first and manage their now-smaller board.
The Prince that came at the right time
You gain a pretty good power spike when your used plots are at 3, primarily because you unlock One of your win-conditions. Try to get your prince onto the board before this, so that once the cards line up, you are ready to rush for that win.
When you have Viper on the board, go first. This deck rewards you for re-using his intimidate after winning a challenge by 5. This then leaves you open for an easier or challenge. This deck has various rewards for winning on attack; use them.
Especially once your prince is out, you want to start getting as many Bastards on the board as possible. Obviously some are built more special than others (looking at you Elia & Nymeria), but the key is to have a bastard available to attack for each challenge type to maximize your power-gain on The Bastard Viper.
Draw your Combos
This deck requires you to see a few cards in order to gain lots of power, so you want to see these cards ASAP. Utilize the draw from Dorne, Little Loreza & PtwP, or Insight from Arianne or Doran to find what you need.
Rush & Surprise
You have the tools in this deck to gain insane amounts of power by combining various smaller power-gain cards into a turn or two. The best part too is that your opponent rarely expects them all, and can almost never stop them all, meaning you'll either win or be very close to it. Lets use an example: You find your prince with a Mountain's Skull on him, plus a Bastard available for a , & challenge. You can use those characters & Viper's high STR + intimidate to ensure you trigger him 3 times, plus gaining at least 2 renown power. That's 5 power. Add a Doran's Game into the mix & you have an extra 5 power. Lets also consider 2 claim from City Besieged for 2 more power (or 3 if you give Elia a icon with either Nymeria or PP) and you're almost gaining 12/13 power in a single turn. Add Spears into the mix for even more damage/power, and its seriously surprising how quickly this can snatch the win from your opponent. It is very possible to go from 1-3 power to 15 in a single challenges phase if you play your cards right.
If an opponent finds answers for your viper and/or agenda early, then respond accordingly with your in-built counters. Lay Waste & Confiscation for more permanent attachment or location control, Nightmares & A City Besieged for temporary location or character control on very important turns. Save these cards for those specific counter scenarios, or you will regret it.
This deck has been once I've been working on for years now, originally starting out as a Banner Stag deck, then morphing into a Crossing [Link] deck, and finally into this. Many people may have seen me playing this on The Iron Throne over the last year or so, and I've slowly improved on it, but lately haven't found many ways to improve it for how I enjoy to play it, but will likely return to it with any new Sand Snakes being released. There are always adjustments or improvements that can be made, so I would love to see what peoples thoughts are!
I usually keep my decks close to me, but feel its been long enough to share this deck with an appropriate guide on how to play it. I hope people find enjoyment out of it, and be sure to let me know how you go!