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Recently I have been inspired to play the game again and immediately this Fools agenda jumped out at me. I am not entirely sure what the design team was going for but it certainly presents some interesting possibilities, plus it gets a bonus for the sheer weird factor of trying to make Fools into a thing. When I first made this deck I sort of made a "normal" Baratheon deck with a bunch of fools tossed in, then I noticed that the deck had maybe one loyal character in the entire thing. So of course I realized then it would have to be a Brotherhood deck. Not to mention I noticed Gendry (BtB) who seems tailor-made for this agenda.
First of all I will mention a couple other directions I considered and discarded. One possibility was to go for more of a shadows sub-theme in order to better utilize Penny. Obviously I quickly gave up on this as the shadow options for Baratheon, in my opinion, are simply too inefficient without some kind of extra support like Assault from the Shadows. Another possibility was to try and really capitalize on the jank potential from Shagwell to try and give a bunch of keywords or something. This is hampered too much by the cost limitation on "Florian and Jonquil" which prevents most characters with nice keywords from being made into fools.
So the deck I ended up with is basically Brotherhood, Fools, and then some "toolbox" cards like Milk and such. The plots are extremely variable as a result, and I would say you can pretty much make the plot deck whatever you prefer, although I do recommend Close Call and The Smith at least:
- The Maiden: This seems like one of, if not the best all-purpose opener right now, and we have another couple Seven plots to benefit from it.
- Close Call: Lots of multiples of characters.
- The Smith: This plot has quite a strong interaction with the agenda as you can kneel your facedown fool cards for it, plus its obscene stats of 6/6/1/6 (with the Maiden). It typically allows you to delay Political Disaster for a turn to catch more locations with it; you can use this, kneel all their locations, then PD.
- Political Disaster: Low amount of locations, Kingsroads, and dupes for Hollow Hill. This plot and the next I would recommend to counter decks that will play resets while relying on lots of locations for long-term value.
- Nothing Burns Like The Cold: Similar reasons as Political Disaster. You can take the attachment hit on one of your fool cards to avoid discarding Milk.
- The Father: This plot seems a little too strong to me, any deck with a decent number of low-cost uniques should probably be considering it. It especially goes well in this deck due to Renly Baratheon (FotS).
- You Win Or You Die: The idea of this plot is that you will still have a "hand" with the cards that are under your fools, so you can sort of get around the 0 reserve. In my games this performed fine but I think it could be replaced with a different restricted card that you might prefer. In particular I think you could use Loan from the Iron Bank instead and use some more expensive characters like Beric Dondarrion and Ser Richard Horpe.
Now a couple of notable things with this deck are number one, there is no card draw except for The Hollow Hill, because that search effect is just way too juicy. This is because I am counting on the agenda to provide me my card "draw," and for the most part I think this worked fine. If I did have turns with few cards available to play, well, that is my moment to play You Win Or You Die. The second notable thing is the lack of any resets. This is because, in my experience, rarely if ever are there any match-ups where any of the resets really would benefit you. I can think of maybe one or two games where Valar Morghulis might have given me a chance to stay in an otherwise lost game, but even in those cases, I think it would still be an uphill battle. This is of course very meta-dependent and if you think a reset is necessary there would no problem including one, probably instead of The Father.
- "Florian and Jonquil": Even in this Farce deck, this card is not a great performer, and I think if not for Anguy the Archer I would have cut it. But the combo with Gendry (BtB) and Anguy the Archer is good enough to justify its inclusion I think.
- Begging Brother: As with all the cards discussed here, this is a "flex" spot. For instance you could use Red Priest here instead if you wanted. Ultimately I went with the Begging Bros because in addition to always being solid with Renly Baratheon (FotS), I found that a couple of my losses were due to cards that could be potentially stopped by these guys (Halder (R), Drogon (R), etc.).
- Lady Stoneheart: Initially I had more of her but she is just too much of a high variance card. There is no denying that in some cases she is a potential game winner, or at least very impactful, but in others she is pretty much useless. If you need her, hopefully you can find her with The Hollow Hill.
- Queen's Men: This card is a personal favorite of mine and one that I have a hard time ever passing up on in Baratheon cross-faction decks. Maybe Red Priest would be better but I think you won't mind having this against factions like Night's Watch and Targaryen. On the other hand maybe I should have stocked the deck with more copies of Jinglebell to make it easier to use.
- Ser Justin Massey: Combos with Gendry and Renly, though many other characters could just as easily go here.
- Sweetsleep: I included this card because I found that a couple of my losses were due to attachment voltron type decks which I lacked any way to deal with. It also allows you to counter the omnipresent Milk or if nothing else can be fodder for Nothing Burns Like The Cold. If you really want to go for meme plays, you could try to get away with running Unexpected Delay with this in the deck to help set it up + "Florian and Jonquil" and the fact that your fools will attach things to themselves.
I think that pretty much covers it. I had some fun playing the deck and won a fair number of games. A few final interactions to take note of:
- Lady Stoneheart will kill Jinglebell if they are both in play.
- Your fool characters only gain attachments when they stand, so it is often worthwhile to throw them into challenges even if doing so won't really change any outcomes. You just want them to kneel so the agenda will activate in the standing phase.
- I am pretty sure that bestowing Shagwell is never worth doing in this deck. He is just here for his stats and trait.
- Be aware of marshaling phase action windows with The Smith. If you are first player, you can kneel their Great Hall or whatever as your first action and such.
- Holding or playing duplicates of The Hollow Hill may vary depending on when/if you expect to use your 2 location killing plots. Note that a dupe will save it from PD but is wasted if you must discard it for Nothing Burns.
- You probably should remember not to use The Hollow Hill on a Win or Die turn. The only edge case is if you have a couple dead chars and know they won't be revived by Close Call, you can try to search out one of their dupes to remove a now-dead card from your deck.